The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Survive and Thrive



       Hosted by Stephen Tremp, Michael Di Gesu, Diane Wolfe, and Alex J. CavanaughthIs blogfest is meant to bring awareness of disease prevention and early detection regarding medical conditions that may be averted or treated if caught in the early stages. Our desire is to motivate people to go in for early screening, and if a condition is caught early and treated, then our world just became a little better place to live.

       The topics are wide open. You can post about a particular cause you support. Or you can share a personal or family experience that is near to your heart. What’s great about this Blogfest is you can inspire people to take care of themselves and their loved ones early enough to make a difference in their lives.

Surviving and Thriving?

        I was somewhat reluctant to join in on this blog event, but I decided to jump in at the last minute.  After all, I am not the paragon of fitness and by no means do I set a good example for healthful living.  What could someone like me possibly contribute to an event such as this?   But as I thought upon it further I decided that I must have something going for me that's gotten me this far in life and still able to function somewhat decently and feel well most of the time.

      Often my intentions for healthy living have been good.  Now and then I've set off on some short-lived programs of good eating and some exercise.  Mostly it's been like I am now.  I eat a lot of foods that are not especially good for me and if it weren't for the stairs in my house I'd get hardly any exercise.   Other than hiking and occasional juggling, I am no fan of working out or exercise regimens.   When I was in high school I absolutely abhorred phys ed class.   I don't mind walking long distances, but you'll never see me running--besides my heart arrhythmia prevents me from anything like running or vigorous activity.

       My father and mother were much the same as I have been in my life.  I'm sure I followed in their footsteps.  My father died at age 67 from cancer while my mother who is now 85 is managing to hang on to her life.   There have been family members who have passed early while others have lived a decent number of years with relatively good health.   Is there any rhyme or reason to longevity and good health?

         When I read an obituary of an athlete or some other person who I would have expected to be in very good shape who has died in their 30's or 40's from a heart attack or some other physical affliction, I'm often surprised by my own sustainability of reasonably good health despite my lack of doing anything to be healthy.  Then I'll see an obituary of some person who you might have thought would have never crossed the 50 year threshold living into their 80's, 90's, and beyond.   Sometimes life, death, and good health seems so random.

         I won't deny that good diet and regular exercise can play a huge role in surviving through life with a good quality of living.  Getting regular check-ups in order to screen for developing problems is an excellent strategy that can stave off the onset of dangerous health conditions.   But always?  

       Genetics undoubtedly play a role.  Environment and life circumstances are huge factors that can determine how healthy we are and how long we will live.   However there is one major factor that is the biggest determinant of the outcome of our lives--attitude.

         Happiness, contentment, and goodwill toward others is the most powerful inner force that any of us can possess.   A good attitude will enhance the quality of our lives even if our physical condition is less than optimal.   If we have a sense of direction that moves us forward toward some shining goal that has great meaning to us, then we have more of a will to live.   I'm a strong believer in the power of positive thinking as well as the destructive force of negative thinking.   The mind is a remarkable creative source.    We can will ourselves into feeling well and powerful just as we can cause our bodies to deteriorate and die.

           I'm certainly no scientific expert, but this is what I strongly believe.   I've witnessed this in my own life and in the people with whom I've come into contact.   There is a great deal we can do to enhance the quality of our own lives, but when our time has come then we cannot stop what has be predestined for us. 

        If a fatal disease comes to claim a child or a teenager then it's a sad mystery of life in this world.    A person might live to a ripe old age with perfect health and in an instant be stricken with a death-dealing illness that they never expected.    Death is going to happen, but rarely do we know in advance when, how, or why.  Scheduled health check-ups might provide indications of developing problems and we should by all means take advantage of the medical expertise that is out there to help us.   Advance warnings of those problems can make a huge difference in treatment and healing.    And sometimes the inevitable is going to happen with no miracles to save us.   We should be prepared for the good as well as that we might wish we could delay from happening.

        My inner peace and happiness will help me survive.   The joy of the Lord will give me the strength to thrive.    Without those and without a hope of better things ahead and a reason to live, no amount of healthy living will matter all that much.  I don't want to be like a mere machine that keeps going with proper maintenance.   I am a human with purpose and a desire to flourish.  Sometimes life can be a struggle, but when there is enough good in it then it's worth it.

           Has a positive mindset gotten you through difficult times?     Have you ever made yourself sick with negative thinking?     Can you think of any examples of a person who you thought would have lived far longer than they did or someone who survived through experiences and lifestyles that you would have expected to have done them in at an early age?

           If you have not yet voted on my Battle of the Bands post would you please visit and vote for your favorite artist?    I think I scared off a few people with my selections for this special Halloween edition.


36 comments:

  1. You are so right! It seems at times that no matter what people do to "prolong" their lives - disease comes to those who seem least likely. I try to find a balance. I have started walking this past year and I feel better. My incentive is being able to enjoy vacations more if I can walk and keep up with my family. I eat pretty much what I want but try to limit how much of it. I try to be reasonable and my philosophy is that as long as I'm not being stupid - I'm going to live until the good Lord is done with me here.

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  2. You know what they say: eat right, exercise, die anyway. I overthink till I have worked myself into anxiety that's off the charts.

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  3. Amen to that, Lee! The joy of the Lord can take us a long way.
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest. See, you did have something to offer.

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  4. I doubt we'll ever know how much a positive outlook affects our health but it certainly can't hurt.

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  5. Being happy goes a long way indeed and yeah genetics play a huge role. Some people can do nothing at all, drink, smoke and be merry lol and live to 90. Others do everything supposedly right and kick the bucket at 30. Sometimes no reason, but the cat can always make a rhyme haha

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  6. Sheila-- Walking is one of the best exercises in my opinion. You move your body and it can be inspirational to the mind and soul.

    JoJo-- Anxiety is not healthy.

    Alex- My offering may not have been what you organizers had in mind but it was the contribution I had from my standpoint.

    Susan GK-- I can look at people I know and see how positive outlook has made a difference in quality of life. It may not be a cure-all for good health, but it makes us see things in a better way.

    Pat-- More rhyme may mean more time.

    Lee

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  7. Attitude is everything. A good attitude can beat almost anything in life, including disease and poor health.

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  8. Hi Lee, that was a great post. I love the idea of the positive thinking and our lives being all about the attitude we have about it. You just made my day. :)

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  9. Oh how I agree with you! Having a positive attitude is so key. I know this for sure. My brother's friend just died of a heart attack and he was 53. He did everything right, never smoked, ate right, exercised but genetics plays a part and so does positive outlook. My mom does have dementia but that was due to a major brain injury she suffered from. Other than the dementia, her cholesterol is great so is her blood pressure, her heart is strong yet she smoked and didn't eat properly (she picked at her food). I don't say smoking is good and eating Mcraunchies daily is good but doing what one can, having faith and a positive outlook goes miles

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  10. A positive attitude is always important. And I'm glad you participated. Anything any of us can do to promote awareness is worth it!

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  11. Hi, Arlee,

    A joyful heart is indeed good medicine. We often discount the effects of a good attitude, but staying healthy also comes from balancing the physical and mental.

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  12. When my husband was going through his cancer treatment, positive thinking and prayer (his own and from friends and family everywhere) meant so much to him. Today he is normal.

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  13. L.Diane-- And attitude can be contagious. Better to spread good than bad.

    Lifepost-- Just like I told Diane in the above response, I'd rather "make someone's day" than add burden to it.

    Birgit- Sometimes it's hard to say why some people life longer and better than others, but might as well strive to be as happy as we can be.

    SL-- There are so many things we can do for improving our health and we should try to do what we can.

    Joy-- Balance is important in everything we do or create.

    Tamara-- Great testimony! I've seen people who get a dire prognosis just give up and that leads to worsening of their condition and usually death. You gotta keep pushing onward in order to survive.

    Lee

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  14. I generally have a positive outlook and a caring attitude, but I can be cynical at times. . .

    Our doctor said many people have to let go of getting irritated by the little things others do. (this would be in driving, dealing with rudeness, etc).

    A co-worker of hubs had a extreme argument with a lady who hit his car, and then denied it to his face when he had seen it happen (it was parked at his address). He then went inside his home and had a heart attack, and since he lived alone, no help was called. Sad.

    Good points about genetics, too.

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  15. It's always shocking when someone in the prime of life, or even under seventy, passes on unexpectedly. Accidents and health crises can develop without warning, even when a person maintains a seemingly healthy lifestyle. I had a whole series on my old Angelfire site, I believe six installments, called "Too Young, Too Soon," about famous people who'd passed on at age 65 and under.

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  16. I can really appreciate your post, Lee. The power of positive thinking and embedding positivity into the roots of daily living can be truly undervalued.

    I will say I find it interesting some of the most ornery individuals last for a long time, almost as though to spite the world lol!

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  17. Interestingly enough, despite all that stuff that doctors and studies say you should do to live longer, most people die at around the same age as their parents died, +or- a few years one way or the other.

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  18. DG-- I tend to get less riled these days though sometimes I do bottle up my anger so as not to conflagrate a situation. Bad for me, but it keeps greater peace.

    Carrie-Anne-- So often these deaths come as such a shock, but then again we don't always know all the details of another person's life.

    Angela- I agree that some cantankerous seeming folk just stubbornly hang on. What's going on with that?

    Andrew -- I think that is often the case. I hope it's not true in relation to my own father. I'd rather live as long as my mother has.

    Lee

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  19. You and I have a similar outlook on exercise. However, I have been "treadmilling sans treadmill" at my machine at work for a couple weeks now. Never hurts to take advantage of dead time.

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  20. Great post, Arlee. A positive attitude is everything.

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  21. It took me quite some time to pick up on this. My problem was stress. Worrying over everything...things I can't control has definitely made me sick over my life. I have had a few panic attacks and just flat out depression all from worrying about things that I can't do anything about. Now I try to live in the moment, be happy, and love others and I do feel so much healthier as well. Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

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  22. Hi, Lee,

    I couldn't agree with you more about positive thinking. I NEVER would have gotten through my ordeal if I wasn't STUBBORN and positive I would beat my condition.

    And we DO need a purpose in life. Many depressed people have nothing to look forward to in their lives and feel overwhelmed and become despaired. They see no light at the end of the tunnel.

    Loss of our dreams and aspirations can certainly put a damper on our health. And, yes, negative feelings can spiral into bad health. I've seen it happen on many occasions.

    So, just imagine if you keep positive, eat healthy, and exercise... you'd live forever. LOL.

    Thanks for your input on our hop. Nice to read a different POV!

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  23. Lovely message, and all so true. It can seem so random sometimes, when a healthy person dies at a young age, but the person who recommends a glass of whiskey, a cigar, and bacon for every day sustainment lives to be 115. But I figure I'll try to stay physically healthy the best I'm personally able (which hasn't been the best lately), and see the positives in life while enjoying time with friends and family.

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  24. I'm always reminded of Jim Fixx, the guy who started the magazine "Running". In top shape, he dropped dead from heart attack due to a genetic heart condition. Just goes to show you never can tell. Great perspective, Lee.

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  25. Hi Lee - a positive attitude is a must isn't it; learning to smile when we meet people around our neighbourhood, or on transport systems etc .. that smile can light up people's lives.

    Giving others something else to think about ... and most definitely not dwelling on us.

    There's always a way round the difficulties of life - unless it's a life threatening disease and we are being called - all general things ... those little irritations mentioned really are so irrelevant to living life.

    Enjoy it .. and you've found your happiness, contentment, good will to others with that extra positive attitude to helping where you can ...

    Cheers Hilary

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  26. I think a positive attitude can help us get through most things in life especially with health issues. You have to believe you can overcome the adversity. Faith can be a powerful force.

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  27. I've always been interested in stories of people who lived or died and their health seemed to have nothing to do with it. What is it about those people that had them living loooong when they did nothing healthy? Or died early and they were the picture of health. Maybe it's just a way to remind us that we are mortal and shouldn't take anything for granted.

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  28. CW-- I walk around my house a lot. When I was working I used to walk around the warehouse a lot. I like walking.

    Susanne-- It's tough to stay sunny on cloudy days but I try to keep a smile in my heart.

    Jaclyn-- I used to be the same way. Maybe it's a condition of youth.

    Michael-- Thanks for hosting. Giving up never won a race.

    Shannon --Did I hear bacon? I hope bacon is one of the keys to long healthy life--I'll be around for a long time.

    Mark-- Exactly! That's just the kind of thing I'm thinking.

    Hilary-- Positivity is contagious. I'd rather spread that than something bad.

    Truedessa - Faith is not a cure-all, but it can work wonders.

    Patricia -- It's a real mystery isn't it?

    Lee


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  29. So true. And those genetics are a b!t@h. Good foods and exercise are good for quality of life.

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  30. EXCELLENT post Lee! You bring up great points: it may not really matter all that we do to stay healthy. Only One calls us home when He's ready and we're not in charge of that. One thing is for sure: you are right on the money when you say that attitude is everything. Indeed it is. May we all enjoy great attitudes during whatever time we have left...

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  31. I'm so glad you mention a positive attitude. It can work wonders. Best wishes.

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  32. Hi Le,, you make a great point about life, death, health, and randomness. There is that random factor we don;t always understand and there's nothing we can do about it.

    Life is short and every day is to be celebrated and cherished. A positive outlook is vital. I try my best to be just that every day.

    Thanks for participating in the Blogfest. Hope to see you again for next year's event!

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  33. I agree with you that some things are "just the way it is." Like some people are natural introverts and some are natural extroverts. I believe the same tendencies exist in the physical. Some bodies crave physical activity and others don't, so it is not always fair to tell someone that they don't move enough. I'm a fidgety, moving person. I exercise, but no where close to addiction. As you said, it's important to see your doctors - all of them, i.e. for every part of the body. At least that way, if something is wrong, we have a chance to try to fix it, even if it means giving up salt and having to walk around the block. :) And yes, attitude is everything! And it comes in many forms... for some it's faith; others, family and friends, work, etc...

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  34. HR-- We do what we can and hope for the best.

    Angelsbark-- Attitude adjustment is important for those who don't have it right or the bad attitude can gravely affect ones health.

    Diane-- Works like magic sometimes.

    Stephen Tremp-- Thanks for hosting. Sometimes it can be difficult, but we should try to be positive.

    Anita --We're all different whether it be a matter of learning or the way we are made to be. I think we know what suits us most of the time and others should respect that. But we shouldn't reject the advice others might have to offer either.

    Lee

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  35. I like what you said here: "I'm a strong believer in the power of positive thinking as well as the destructive force of negative thinking."

    I also think it's important to stay away from people as much as you can who project their negative thinking (and personal insecurities) onto you. I find that negative thinkers seem to thrive by feeding off the energy of positive thinkers. Sometimes vampires aren't only after blood.

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  36. Keep thinking positive thoughts while you're climbing those stairs! It's also nice if you can still enjoy your favorite foods in smaller portions. It's great that you're still juggling too!

    Julie

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Lee