Why is it everyone I encounter seems to think the only way to do things is either not at all or to the absolute extreme? What happened to moderation? You don’t need to eat fast food for every meal, but it doesn’t have to be completely off-limits for the rest of your life either. You don’t need to never move off the couch, but you also don’t need to fill every second of you day with being busy and “doing something.”
This is why I don’t go on Facebook any more. Every time I do it seems like I see someone else’s stupid post about the new extreme thing they did to “try and live a better life.” What happened to living the life you want to live? Why do you feel like you have to live up to everyone else’s standards of a “better” life?
The stand-out post this time was of a woman who, in an effort to show her child that there’s more to life than TV, canceled the cable. Well, that seems like a stupid thing to do. Because when it’s cold or raining or he’s sick, why not have it around to help ease things? You don’t cancel the cable, that’s the extreme way of doing it. How about showing by example? How about taking him out of the house and playing with sidewalk chalk with him? How about teaching him jump rope or the hula hoop? How about sitting and reading instead of watching TV yourself? There’s nothing wrong with limiting the use, but there’s also nothing wrong with watching TV either. I grew up very active, always going outside and reading. But I still watched Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. I still watched Jeopardy and the news with my family every night. There’s nothing wrong with having a TV. The wrong comes when you let it dominate your life.
I hear people complain all the time that their kids won’t eat what they tell them or won’t do what they tell them. Well you wanna know my parent’s secret? Why they never had kids like that? It’s not because they were super harsh and we were scared of them. And we certainly weren’t the world’s most well-behaved children. Their secret? Do it yourself.
That’s right. If you want your kids to eat veggies, don’t let them see you pushing it around on your plate avoiding it. Eat it yourself, because that lets them know that it’s not something you’re just telling them. It shows them that you believe what you’re saying yourself. If you say “eat your broccoli, it’s tasty” and then don’t eat any yourself, what are they gonna think? But if you chow down on a mound of it, your children are more likely to do the same.
If you say “don’t watch TV, read a book” and then spend 2 hours dicking around on the computer what are they gonna do? But if they see you reading, actively reading something you enjoy, they’re gonna be interested and ask about it and want to do the same. If you want them to go outside more, let them see you taking walks. Invite them with you. Don’t drive down the street because you’re too lazy and then expect your kids to be the epitome of active.
Why does this country have to have only the ridiculously obese because they can’t put the fork down or the totally health-nut skinny people who preach the gospel of vegan to you? Where are the moderates? Where are the people who go “I cook my own dinner 6 out of 7 nights of the week. My dinner consists of a meat, a starch and a veggie. One night a week I give myself a break and I eat out or order a pizza or something.” What’s wrong with that line of thinking?
Why do we feel that exercise needs to be structured and include fancy machines and classes and routines? Why not walk to the store and do bicep curls with the groceries on the way back instead of trying to block out 30-60 minutes of a rather busy day anyway to do something that, let’s face it, most of us aren’t really excited to do. We pay money for gym memberships and classes so we can feel like we’re doing something worthwhile when that money could be better spent on something that you need (like food or the electric bill) or on something that you actually want to have in your life.
There is nothing wrong with owning a computer, owning a cell phone, owning a car or owning a TV. There’s nothing wrong with paying a cable or an internet or a satellite bill. There is nothing wrong with eating at McDonalds or a pizza parlor, or going out to eat at a restaurant. There is nothing wrong with sleeping late on the weekends, going to public school (or paying for college) or working a minimum wage job. Stop with the crusades, with trying to find some big meaningful thing to do. It’s not necessary.
Because we all end up in a tiny pine box. A mighty small drop in a mighty dark plot.