Even though waking up early can be a struggle, I’m glad I have somewhere to go to every morning. I’m glad that I’m needed, that people are expecting me, waiting for me, and happy to see me when I arrive.
Sure, I could opt to live a life of sleeping in. Of dreaming for just a little bit longer as I clutch my dog and smell her ears for just a little bit longer. I could opt to wake when I please, without urgency, and I could make showering optional (imagine the gallons of water I’d save).
But what kind of life would that be? A cyclical drudgery. An eventual restless wandering. Even larvae live with purpose.
We are creatures of habit. Some of us thrive on routine, some of us thrive on the thrill of not knowing what’s next (though really, nobody knows what’s next). But we are all creatures of habit. So I will make my new habit this:
To rise each morning purposefully and gratefully, a willing recipient to the day’s embrace, which is in no way owed to me. To recognize the miracle of mornings. The way they kiss my cheek each day, without fail, without judgement, never wanting anything in return save for gladness, as I flutter my eyes awake.
The human body is an amazing beast. It is beautiful and miraculous, and perfect as much as it is imperfect. The body is built to survive and endure. It is fierce, but also delicate. It is powerful, but not invincible. We forget this, sometimes, I think. We able-bodied, healthy individuals who have been blessed with the gift of good health tend to forget that our bodies work very hard to sustain us in our lifestyles. Good health is a gift. To take care of it is to appreciate it. To appreciate it is to be mindful of the way we treat our bodies.
Health really is the greatest wealth, as Virgil so wisely observed.
The human body is not an endless well into which we can throw whatever our palates or hearts desire. The human body, as I see it, is a temple. The mysterious and miraculous way in which it operates must be respected. We must nurture our bodies the way we strive to nurture our souls, and yet, it seems like we take better care of the things that we buy than our bodies that carry us through our lives. We expect it to perform, to do what it is supposed to do as we take care of our worldly and oh so vital priorities. And only when we fall ill (temporarily or not) do we realize the magnitude of the gift that is good health.
Thank you for these knees that carry me without fail
Thank you for my heart that keeps my body well
Thank you for my sight that fills my world with hues
Thank you for my breath, for its continuous renewal
It is the nature of the human being to not fully realize or appreciate what he has until it is gone. I am fully guilty of this too. So I challenge you, and I challenge myself, to reflect on the way we treat our bodies, our trusted companions, that carry us through the years and storms and joys of life. I challenge you to reflect on your health and rethink the indulgences that burden your body’s ability to function optimally. We stress our bodies in so many ways, and because it is such a durable beast, we don’t feel the effects of the pressures we inflict on it sometimes until it is too late…
I’m not saying we have to be robots and carry tiny scales in our pockets to make sure we eat the exact portions and calories and food combinations every single time we bring something to our lips. I am the first to admit that food is one of my favorite indulgences! I love food! Food should be savored and enjoyed… we have thousands of taste buds for a reason! The bright colors and scrumptious, juicy flavors of various foods are tantalizing for a reason! But my philosophy is… Everything in moderation. Take time to figure out your philosophy and determine what is best for your body and lifestyle. Each of us has a different body with different needs.
And so I leave you with these questions. Some “food” for thought… 🙂
If we strive to take good care of our homes, our cars, our clothes, our phones, our things… why would we not do the same for our bodies?
We think twice about allowing dirt and grime and poison into our abodes… why not do the same for our bodies?
We make sure to keep our homes clean, to give our cars oil changes, to dry clean our favorite shirts, to not get water on our phones or rain on our suede shoes… why not give the same delicate care and attention to our bodies?
Stay healthy, my fellow humans! In mind, body, and spirit!