Looking after yourself
The other day I had a conversation with a very hung over twenty something who smelled like a beer soaked ashtray. He was feeling guilty about abusing his body the night before and about the fact that he never took any exercise. But he consoled himself with the notion that everyone’s got to die of something. Live fast, die young and so forth.
These days, what doesn’t kill you fucks you over.
Modern medicine has done wonderful things for our life expectancies. It’s got extremely good at keeping people alive for a very long time. But it’s still not that great at keeping people well for a very long time. That bit is up to the individual.
Today, it’s not the things that kill you that you should be afraid of. It’s the things that don’t kill you, the things that leave you confined to an armchair for 40 years.
What I’m trying to say here, in this unusually morbid but (I feel) rather important rant, is this: Don’t look after yourself as a way to ward off death. Look after yourself because you might need to live in that body for a really, really long time.
Don’t just give up smoking because you’re afraid of dying a horrible death (if that’s not reason enough). Give up because you’re afraid of living a horrible life – stuck in a body that you’ve messed up.
So eat green things. Don’t drink too much. Get outside. Enjoy your body. Throw out the cigs. Stretch. Get some fresh air in your lungs. Have a drink of water. Learn a new physical skill. Practise moderation. That sort of thing. No need to be boring about it, just look after yourself.