Preview of Your Coming Attractions

When I retired after 40 years of writing columns for the San Jose Mercury News, I figured I'd said about all I could say. Wrong. I've realized that at age 76, I'm about 10 years older than the oldest baby boomers, who are now turning 66. My very average body has had a lot of experiences in those 10 years. I've learned a lot that could be helpful to people just starting on that same path -- what to do, what to avoid, what to keep an eye on.. Consider me your canary-in-the-coalmine for the boomer generation. Tune in regularly for the heads-up advice.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Relax, dudes

     I had planned to post this Sunday. Didn’t get it done. And that’s OK.
     What I was planning on writing about was learning to relax. So I did – relax, that is. And if that means missing a self-imposed deadline, so be it.
     I’d never miss a work deadline, of course. If other people are counting on you to come through, you must. Reliability and responsibility are important parts of life.
     But so, too, is learning to relax, especially as we get older. Time tends to rush by much faster than it did when we were young. Remember how long summer vacation used to seem? But now, it’s one thing right after another – fast, fast, fast – and developing an ability to relax a bit becomes an important part of survival. Stress is harmful, both mentally and physically. So make it a point to just step back, whenever you can, take a deep breath or two, and just let go. Realize that you shouldn’t sweat the petty stuff, and that much of life (with the exception of loved ones, serious illness and death) is petty stuff.
     That’s why I let this week’s deadline slide for a bit. I’m sorry if you were disappointed, but it’s more likely that you didn’t even notice. And I had a few more hours of relaxation as a result.
     Some experts recommend that everyone should spend at least five minutes each day in meditation, consciously relaxing. Sit quietly and clear your mind. I do that and I fall asleep. Guess I must be doing the relaxation thing really well.

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