Nikki Giovanni's "The Life I Led" (Click here to hear her recite it!) starts with a cataloging of the physical changes that will happen as the speaker ages: flabby arms like the other women in her family, withered hands, and loosened teeth. All these things are inevitable even as she wants "to grow old like a vintage wine fermenting/ in old wooden vats with style." Don't that sound jazzy? When I think of this image, I think of my grandmother stepping out in her heels and gold hoops. What a woman! The point though is that no matter what we do we can't know what the coming years will bring for our bodies. All we know is that we're going to die.
In the end (of the poem and of life, I guess), the speaker has the hope that the actions she chose in life will comfort her. When I apply this lesson, I stop worrying about whether the actions I'm taking (or not taking) in a particular area make sense to other people. More importantly, I start trying to live that warming life. If I want to be comforted by the fact that I volunteered my time, that makes it easier for me to spend 10 minutes researching organizations in my area. If I want to look back and smile at the fact that I stopped cussing folk out, then I get busy building my vocabulary and/or get from around trifling people. This approach frees me to start experimenting and playing. Yay!!
Day 1 of Unbothered was about celebrating what we've come through. Day 2 is about imagining that dying day when we look back on what we've done. Am I living a life that will warm me later? When we answer this question gently, without judgment, we start to get to the things that matter. This makes goal setting a much more rewarding process.
Thought For Today: When it comes to my health and fitness, am I performing actions that will warm me later? Spend a few minutes making a list of those actions that you think would warm you up!
(Again no judgment, and don't get caught up in the flabby arms! All arms are good arms.-I'll talk more about body positivity next week).
I'll be writing my answer over in our secret Healthy Homies Facebook group. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be added.
I love you, and I'll see you soon! Thank you for letting me be of service.