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Sorry I've been silent for a while. Computer problems. Need I say more? I don't think so. I hope it's fixed, but I'm not entirely sure. It's not for lack of trying, that's for sure.
I've been thinking about responsibility in the past while. Taking responsibility for myself in every possible way. It seems to grow in enormity with aging. It becomes apparent, with various little stiffnesses here and there, that there is a great, permanent responsibility to look after my body in terms of exercising it to keep it limber and fit as much as possible. That means working with 3 lb. weights every few days for a short period of time, doing some yoga stretches on other days, and walking as much as possible. The latter is easy - I don't own a car, don't want one, and love to walk around the city. I try to find ways to walk a bit longer to shops that aren't so far away, but certainly aren't in the category of convenient. After I move next month, I will be within walking distance of a T'ai Chi centre where I can register for classes, which pleases me enormously. There is also a ravine within two blocks of my new home, where I can go to practice my moves after I have my classes.
There are other responsibilities, of course. The fact I'm a non-secretor helps me to be very responsible in a good way - I can't cheat on my diet very often or very much without paying the consequences for doing so. I think I'm grateful for this. I can be more grateful when I'm not suffering from an indulgence. The effects of cheating on my diet have basically kept me on the straight and narrow for quite a long time now. Yesterday, for example, I was out for most of the day at a conference. The evening meal (for which I had paid handsomely) consisted of roasted legs of chicken, roast potatoes, pasta and salads, with a side of steamed veggies. I ate only the veggies and salads (green with cucumber, peppers and tomatoes) and some beneficial fruits offered for dessert. I went home VERY hungry, indeed, but I'm not suffering any side effects this morning, which is very, very nice indeed.
Then there's being responsible for what I say and do. Even at my age, I must consider carefully my actions and words because there are consequences when I do not do this. Jesus said that it is more important what comes out of your mouth than what goes in. I'm not sure I exactly agree with this sentiment after seeing what eating the wrong food can do to the state of my health, but I definitely agree it is most important to listen to my words: the spoken words and the unspoken ones. I have developed the habit of listening most carefully to what I say. There are two ways of judging my words. The first is what I said, the second is how I said it. I may say something quite innocuous, but if the tone of my voice is tired or judgmental, the effect of the words can be totally lost. I find, in doing this, that often when offering advice to others, it is actually something I need to do for myself, and if I am aware enough, it is usually beneficial to follow my own advice, ignoring whether anyone else has heard it or done anything about following through on it.
Then there are the silent words. The ones that race through my mind endlessly, it seems, dredging up old memories and sometimes grudges, or lists of things that I surely must do before I die. Most of these need to be silenced in some way. Much of it can disappear if I pay attention to it. Writing down the grudges and memories or even the lists can help my mind to understand I have good intentions towards the content it provides for me, and some of the franticness (is that really a word???) that comes at times can then be released safely. Listening to good music can also calm the beast within, and Gregorian Chant, among other religious forms of music, does this beautifully for me. Body language is harder to control. It's also a form of silent speech, and since I can't step back from my body to observe my posturing, it's more difficult to even know how this language escapes from my inmost being. I can only rely on the reactions of friends to give feedback about how I am doing in this regard. I think in this connection, keeping at the yoga stretches does help to be more graceful in movement and posture, thereby aiding the body language to be loving and accepting towards others.
Another responsibility is medical in nature. I was raised in an era when doctors indoctrinated the entire population to come to them for every small health problem because we would do a lot of damage if we interfered in our healing processes without proper knowledge. Unfortunately, as the years have passed by, it has become abundantly evident that a great many doctors know a little about certain areas, but there is much more in which they have either no information or no interest. I don't think it's wise to abandon the medical profession altogether. They are, after all, useful in some areas, and some of them are sincerely trying to understand the human body on a wholistic level. However, that leaves me to deal with the first issue of diagnosis that something is not quite right in my body, and the decision as to what may actually help before it deteriorates into something bigger and more difficult to cure. I find that my body has its own wisdom, and if I ponder its mysteries when it goes into decline, I will usually come up with the right remedy, more or less. I, of course, have no training in this field, and there are times when an expert must be consulted. I tend to see the wonderful Chinese accupuncture doctor if something doesn't clear up or worsens. Between his treatments and the herbs he gives me, I usually recover very quickly after seeing him for a few visits.
I was shocked the other day, watching a program geared for teens, at the advice given regarding acne, a very common adolescent problem. The doctor who was consulted smiled at the camera and said that most people have acne because it is hereditary, and that it is caused in general by abrasive treatments or applying strong astringents, etc. He recommended a gentle wash with soap twice daily, not even using a cloth for this procedure. If it doesn't clear up with this treatment, the only thing to do is to make an appointment to see a skin doctor! There was not even a hint that perhaps eating certain foods (let alone eating for your blood type!) could contribute to the problem more than heredity.
I think there are probably a few other responsibilities that I haven't gone into yet - being responsible for how I feed my intellect, what programs I watch on TV (or even turn it off because nothing is intelligent at the time), what books I choose to read, what movies I watch. Another responsibility is financial. Do I make sure that I pay my bills on time, do I live within my means, do I get carried away with expensive impulse items? Fortunately, the latter one is in a state of remission at the moment. Folks at my age need little in the way of kitchen equipment, furnishings, decorations or even wardrobe.
And perhaps the last responsibility I will list for today - being responsible to keep my blogs up-to-date as much as possible, and to communicate with those dear souls who have sent messages of encouragement or inquiry. For those of you who have sent a message in the last week or so, please be assured that I will be able to answer you very shortly, now that the computer woes seem to be minimalized, if not entirely gone.
Until soon, I remain your responsible friend!