It hasn't been since completing the deck refinishing project last summer that I've felt every ache and pain from a big home project. My sleep and my motivation to keep going is impacted. I'm nearly done with building the new vanity and linen cabinet in the bathroom remodeling project and it's not any too soon. I'm glad I don't do THAT for a living. I took a short break yesterday to make a few images for the Deschutes Land Trust of the Oregon Game & Fish Dept. planting steelehead fry in Whyshcus Creek where it flows through Camp Polk Meadow. The photograph of the guy hauling the fish upstream is exactly how I feel these days. Trying to make progress going upstream.
The concept I need to remind myself is of the "big picture." The issues of daily life, sometimes trivial, irritating, painful, or quite serious for many reasons, are all part of that. A researcher who has studied how some segments of the world's population live long lives (to 100 +) has published a book and newspapers are picking up the story. I read about his research in the Bend Bulletin.
Common to all the groups are nine factors. Dan Buettner’s nine tips for longer life, from his book “The Blue Zones”:
1. Move Naturally. Be active without having to think about it.
2. Hara Hachi Bu. Painlessly cut calories by 20 percent.
3. Plant Slant. Avoid meat and processed food.
4. Grapes of Life. Drink red wine (in moderation).
5. Purpose Now. Take time to see the big picture.
6. Down Shift. Take time to relieve stress.
7. Belong. Participate in a spiritual community.
8. Loved Ones First. Make family a priority.
9. Right Tribe. Be surrounded by those who share Blue Zone values.
I think I'm right there on most of these points (maybe not so much of 7 or 9) and it is not surprising that taking time to understand the big picture is akin to understanding the "space between the leaves," that Carlos Castenada wrote about. Considering then the overall sceanrio of my life allows me to share that
Diane and I celebrated our 12th anniversary recently. It is not about the number of years, it's more of how we got to this point in our lives separately, then together. That is a big picture. We decided to get married and had a little personal ceremony in Yosemite National Park in 1995. That's the photo on the left. We're 13 years later posing for our camera along Tuamlo Creek near Bend, Oregon. There are great stories and wonderful moments between those two photographs. Our lives move together easily and allow us both to try to live like were are in a "Blue Zone." I don't expect to live to 100 though. Just another 30 please?