Studying for life.

Health isn’t like a test you can cram for. It is something that you have to “study” for every day or you will fail.

So many people want to get in shape but they don’t want to do the work. So many people wait until they have a serious diagnosis before they start to take their health seriously. Really, they want to be in shape, but not to get in shape.

It is too easy to blame someone else. Your parents didn’t exercise, so you don’t. Your friends all eat unhealthy food, so you do. This is such a passive way of living. They don’t feel your pain when you can’t walk around the block, or you can’t get out of bed without help. You have to live your life, and by living, I don’t mean just exist.

There needs to be an entire sea-change in the way we think, but until then we have to do it for ourselves.

I have a dream that hospitals and rehab centers will teach people how to be healthy rather than treat their sicknesses. People will learn that health is more than just about diet and exercise.

They will teach people how to care for themselves through food and exercise. People will learn how to cook for themselves and what are healthy choices when they are out at a restaurant. They will learn how to grow their own food. There will be no caffeine or refined sugar, and no tobacco.

They will learn about healthy boundaries. They will learn how to protect themselves and how to respect the boundaries of others.

They will learn how to share their thoughts and how to listen to other’s thoughts. They will learn dialogue versus debate.

They will get in touch with their inner child.

They will explore different ways to express themselves. All arts will be shared and people will be encouraged to pick as many as needed.

They will learn the value of getting enough sleep.

They will get career counseling to find a job that fits their abilities and beliefs.

This movement starts with each one of us, right now. It isn’t a top-down way of thinking. It is a bottom-up. We have to be the change.

Painting and drinking

I keep finding out about opportunities to paint and drink at the same time. This seems like a fairly new idea. You get together with other people and you all paint the same thing and you either bring your own alcohol or the venue provides it. All the instruction and paint and canvas and brushes are normally provided.
For me, alcohol would just get in the way, but I see the point. Plenty of people have a hard time getting in touch with their inner artist. They essentially need permission to create. They’ve shut that side of themselves down for so long they’ve forgotten it is there. Drinking a little helps people unwind. It doesn’t make them creative – it lets them be creative.
It is like drinking when I paint. When I paint I get high, no alcohol needed. I step into a new world where the rules change and anything can happen. There are always surprises. That is why I paint. Painting is an escape.
I don’t paint very often though. Painting is messy. Painting takes up a lot of space. I can’t do it just anywhere. I need to have enough room to put down a tarp, so that is always in my craft room. I don’t spend a lot of time in there actually crafting though. I should probably call it my craft supply room instead. It is mostly where I keep the materials, but not use them. I’m getting over that.
I’ve thought about going to one of these classes and not drinking. But then I remember that the classes aren’t free form. There is a goal. There is a pattern. We are expected to copy the pattern as best we can.
For me, the best part of painting is the discovery. I don’t want to walk along a set path with a guide and a bunch of other tourists. I want to wander. I want to wonder. I want to find new things and be amazed by them.
Perhaps I’m making my life more difficult with this attitude. Perhaps if I learn from someone else how to paint I might learn something that would help me when I’m painting on my own. Perhaps I’ll learn some tip or trick or technique, in much the same way that I learn when I watch cooking shows. I rarely cook what they cook, but I learn how to cook what I want in a different way.
I resist following others. I resist fitting myself to another’s pattern. But then I struggle with things on my own because I don’t know how to do them. I’m realizing this and adjusting accordingly. I can learn from others without copying them.