Post 15 of the 30 Days of Blogging: Revisiting Einstein, Kayaks, and How to Navigate a River

I can’t believe it! I have posted 15 times in 15 days.

I got to be honest, when I started this, I doubted that I could do it for a week, let alone two. I’ve learned a lot and I think my writing skills may be improving, but of course I can’t expect miracles.

I’ve never taken any formal writing classes, except for one. That one was life changing, with an amazing teacher who made me believe that I could be a writer.  That was the first time since I was a kid that I believed I could be something other than a truck driver, or a soldier, or any of those other things I believed I was supposed to be. I owe her and the class much, because whether this blog ever takes off, or whether or not I ever write a book, it doesn’t matter. I am a writer because I believe I can be whatever I decide.

I’m writing this partially because of last night’s post, but also because my computer is crapping out and I can’t write for long without it shutting down. So I’m going to cheat a little and re-post one of my favorite pieces. Not just to get my post out before my computer shits the bed, but because it deals with change. Our resistance to it, and our belief that we simply can’t, even though we have no choice.

You can be what ever you decide you want to be. Don’t ever doubt that.  At the same time, don’t trick yourself to believe that you can stay the way you are, because nothing ever stays the same.

We all have our limitations, but we get to decide what they are.

So ladies and gentlemen, I give to you my third post ever, originally posted in December of  2017.  For my new readers, I hope you enjoy it, and for my seven readers who have been with me from the start, please give it a look and let me know if I’m getting any better at this.

Because while I do believe I can be a writer… I still have my truck driver license, just in case.


 

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Me demonstrating how not to paddle a kayak.

There’s a famous quote from Albert Einstein that we’ve all heard time and time again:

“The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

I hate this quote, for a number of reasons. The first being that Albert Einstein never said it. It’s just a random saying that some dude stuck on a picture of Einstein to create a meme. Now he’s more famous for saying that than he is for telling us that energy equals mass times the velocity of light squared (see what I did there? That’s E=MC², proving that using Einstein references to sound intelligent is even better than quoting eastern philosophy).

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This is a picture of Sir Isaac Newton, and Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. Get it?

Secondly it is way over-used and honestly, I don’t believe it’s the definition of insanity at all. A guy can play the lottery every week for his whole adult life and lose every time, but he keeps playing because he thinks this week he can win. He’s not insane, he’s just a moron. Unless of course one day he wins, then he’s smarter than all of us. Still though, he’s not insane. This is why doing the same thing over and over may be the definition of foolishness, but not insanity.

Insanity could be defined in any number of ways, from walking through the mall naked because you think that you’re invisible, to using your shoe as a phone to call Elvis (I may have done one of these things once when I was drunk, I’ll leave it up to you to guess which one). But not discounting any of these, I feel most of all  insanity is thinking that things will never change. That somehow everything will be the way it is forever. That YOU can’t change. To me that’s plain bat shit crazy.

“I’m too old for that shit.”

I heard it again last week from a co-worker when we were talking about being in our fifties and starting a new excessive program.  “I’m way too old to start doing that. I’ll stick to walking around the mall once a week. My days for working out are long gone.”

That’s Insanity.

This is the reason for my rant. This concept that you are too old or too set in your ways to change. Because the idea of changing up your diet or joining a gym seems like a big commitment, you decide to just stay the way you are and accept the fact that you’ll remain at this level of health for the rest of your life. Well, I got some news for you Bud, you are going to change whether you want to or not, just probably not in the way you are going to like.

It’s like being in a kayak floating down a river. You’re not sitting in still water; the current is taking you downstream. Sure, you can just sit on your ass and enjoy the ride, it’ll actually be relaxing while you slowly move with the water and enjoy the scenery as it goes by. Doing this however lets the river decide where you’re going to end up. That doesn’t sound like a big deal when the river is deep and wide, but before too long, if you don’t get stuck on a sand bar or end up in the bushes, you’re going to end up in the rapids. Then it’s your ass. You won’t stand a chance if you do nothing and go with the flow. You’re going to need to paddle, and paddle hard. The problem is it may be too late at this point.

So, all river analogies aside, the point I’m trying to make is that you can’t just stay the way you are now and hope nothing is going to change. You are the way you are today because of the choices you’ve made in the past and the habits you’ve developed. You are not too old to develop new ones. In fact, you will anyway so you may as well determine what those habits are going to be.

The bottom line is simple-  You can change your lifestyle no matter how old you are. Because if you’re older than forty, and you’re not exercising regularly and eating right, then today is the healthiest you will be for the rest of your life.

And there are rapids ahead…

 

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