We read articles all the time about eating better, getting exercise, being positive, having a healthy social life, and on and on and on.
Sometimes I fear that we get immune to what we read thinking it's the same old thing over and over. We know what we're supposed to do. We have the knowledge. We just don't choose to execute.
Enter Agnes Orcutt.
Agnes was Nebraska's second-oldest person at 109. She died on Thursday, but boy did she know how to live life. According to Andrew J. Nelson's article in the Omaha World-Herald (3/18/17), Agnes exercised, ate the right foods, attended daily Mass, volunteered, and had a positive outlook.
We all KNOW we need to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day, but what are we doing about it? I once read that Jerry Seinfeld wrote a joke each day. After he would do so, he would draw a red 'X' on his calendar. He made it visual, and he didn't want to break the string.
It really isn't difficult to get outside for a walk, hit the gym for a quick workout, or do some exercises in our home. It's a matter of choice. Sometimes we need to change it up and try something new. According to the World-Herald article, Agnes learned how to swim at age 65. She did it two to three times a week for the next 35 years. She was a swimmer until she hit 100!!
What's your excuse now?
Many people (including me at various times in my life) keep a food journal to track what they eat and how often. It gives them an idea as to their eating patterns and what they are consuming.
I have something much easier I recently read. Short and simple advice: if you eat foods that don't have a label, you don't have to worry about calories.
Let that one sink in for a moment. If we are eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains as much as possible, then we don't have to worry about writing in a food journal ever again.
I don't often write about the spiritual side of life, because I have a somewhat eclectic view. But here's something to take note of. Agnes attended daily Mass. She lived to be 109. There just might be some correlation there. Although, others will say it's a coincidence. I don't care what side you're on. Just something to think about.
I'm not a particularly spiritual person in the sense of going to church every Sunday. I don't believe going to your place of worship weekly makes you a good _____ (you fill in the blank). It's how you live your life based upon your beliefs and values.
When we volunteer, we are often the beneficiaries more so than the effort we donated time to. We get a rush of positive feelings when we do good. Agnes volunteered at St. Peter Catholic Church. I don't know what she did there, but I imagine she was the type of person who chipped in to help in whatever capacity she was needed.
People don't often donate their time, because they don't think they are doing enough. If they can't do a lot then they might as well not do anything at all.
Wrong thinking, my friend.
Every little bit helps. I volunteer at my local library one Saturday a month on average. Three hours. It isn't a lot of time, but I know it's appreciated. I usher at my church 10-12 times a year. That's a total of 10-12 hours.
The key is to do something.
When I saw having a positive outlook as the most important way to live a long life in the article about Agnes, I did a bit of a happy dance inside. According to her daughter, Joan O'Keefe, she described her mother as someone who was always looking forward and that she was very grateful.
It doesn't do us any good to dwell in the past. We can't go back and alter anything anyway, but it's so hard for a lot of people to just let things go. I'm not saying you're going to live to be 109 if you let things go, but again, there's a bit of a theme going on here.
We can show our gratitude everyday. Bedros Keuilian, CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp International, goes through a five minute gratitude exercise daily. He thinks about three things he's grateful for and three people he's grateful for. He then texts those three people to let them know he's grateful for them and thanks them for being in his life. (mymorningroutine.com).
Keuilian takes five minutes each day to show his gratitude for others, and he's the CEO of one of the fastest growing fitness franchises in the world.
Kind of humbling, isn't it?
None of us knows how much time we have. It's important for us to be in the moment and live in the present each and everyday. Those days add up.
And who knows?
Perhaps, when we get to the end of our days, we will have reached 39,785 of them like Agnes did.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.