Life and Other Things Like It

I just spent the last hour or so reading the articles off The Primalist’s regular round up of links, aptly named Primalisms.  I was a particular fan of the last article in the list about a group of long living people in Greece.  The article gave me a lot to think about.

For one thing, in this country (and I mean the U.S. for all the international readers out there) we chase after “cures.”  Have a problem?  Fix that problem.  We often forget to look at the underlying reasons for that symptom.  Sometimes we go looking for the reason why and find it.  When we don’t, medicine likes to dump it into the broad category of unknowns called “idiopathic.”

There is still so much we can’t explain and I’m not saying that calling things idiopathic is wrong.  I’m saying that if something is idiopathic, then we need to look at more than just that one symptom.  What else is going on with that person?  What else can we improve about the way that person is going about life?

This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  A small piece of the puzzle that needs fixing.  I could go on and on about what need to change in medicine, but today’s discussion is a bit more broad.

So, there is that issue of when you have a problem, we only fix that problem and not anything else.  Medicine often neglects to address things like lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, and the like.  Those are the exact things that rise to the surface when various researchers and studies look at populations of long-living people.

Could I live like those long living people here in the U.S.?  Maybe.  Would my life be better if I could? Definitely.  It would be a huge mental shift.  The thing is that all the things that give these populations longevity are things that feel good.  Think about it.  Hanging with your friends and doing social things feels good.  Being out in the great outdoors feels good.  Waking up when you want to and not to an alarm feels good.

We’ve forgotten what really feels good.  In the U.S., rugged individualism is the name of the game.  We like our separate houses and our privacy.  We schedule social time and limit the time we do it.  We take pride is how much more stressful and hectic our life is compared to the next person.  On and on.  And while we’re doing all this, we’re having uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, and a whole host of other maladies.

This is what I know.  In the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that on days when I can get up closer to when the sun is rising, I feel a lot happier in the morning and it’s easier to get out of bed.  The days when I have to get up hours before the sun is a lot harder even if I’ve had just as much or even more sleep.  Doesn’t feel as nice.  During my down time I crave socialization.  I never really had that sort of craving before, but maybe now that I’m more in tune with myself I feel it more.  Of course, the problem with my craving socialization is that everyone else is busy being “too busy.”

And therein lies the problem.

I just wanted to throw some thoughts out there and get everyone thinking.  Go read the article and let me know what you think.

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4 thoughts on “Life and Other Things Like It

  1. I actually read through that entire article… hahaha (at first I was like, woooah that’s too long, forget this! But then it was so intruiging…)
    This truly is my frustration with life- the world and everyone around us is going at the same crazy pace, caught up and isolated in their little lives, with no sense of community whatsoever. Robert and I both have a dream of having a real community that works, lives, and plays together. But it’s so hard in our society. Many of our friends and neighbors are self-employed, which actually means they are working almost all the time. We love to garden and become more self-sufficient and neighborly, but it’s like it takes so much work and people don’t get along. We want to make this work. And in some ways it has succeeded. But there is still that underlying sense of extreme busyness and isolationism. People want to be alone. They don’t want to be open. They don’t want to be vulnerable- they are still afraid that others will stab them in the back and leave them desolate. And to support themselves without community, they must work harder at providing for themselves. And so they are always busy.
    And I complain and ramble on…
    The point is- community is so important. It’s perhaps the most important thing in life. Community will define the individual and how he lives his life. I want to live a long and happy life. I have to find people who want that too. But we’ve been raised in a world cut off from community- when phone texts and facebook statuses are a legitimate form of intimacy. We’re more connected than we’ve ever been- and we’re more lonely than before.
    How can I make this work in my life? By being more open myself. By extending myself to individuals I think I don’t like- to get over myself and my judgments and look past all the surface and see people for who they are. Everyone really wants community and a sense of belonging. If that’s what I want, then I must offer it to others. I think that’s how it starts.

    Thanks for this post, it’s got me thinking.

    • Ha ha. I’m not a fan of long articles online either…especially if I find the formatting and font difficult to read easily.

      I’ve noticed the same thing that sometimes despite our best efforts to do better and be more community like, the people around us resist being more open and being a part of the community. I admittedly was more like that back in the day, until I realized that community was a good thing and when I had it I was a lot happier. Even being community adjacent is helpful for a shy person like me. I find ways that I can be social. For example, I love talking to people at the Farmer’s market. It’s nice to talk to people outside of medicine and talk about food and life and philosophies. I always feel happier after being at the farmer’s market.

      Thank you for your wonderful comments. I’m always happy to see that I have a comment from you. Hope things are well and you’re staying warm out there. 🙂

  2. Glad to hear someone actually reads those link roundups 😉

    And I totally agree.. our lifestyles are backwards and messed up..we could learn a lot from the people in Ikaria.. but it’s an individual can only change so much.. our society’s not geared towards that kind of living.. their community shares the same values/goals/lifestyle making it so much easier.. but there’s certainly a lot we can still improve in our own lives.. spend the time that we do have more wisely.. reassess our priorities..

    • I love your roundups! I can’t get myself to go hunting for stuff on the Internet, so it’s nice to find a list of links to read that makes me think and want to pass the links on to other people. 🙂

      Agreed, living in the western industrialized world would make Ikarian-like living near impossible unless I moved to a big ranch somewhere and went all Walden. However, it’s all about taking the lessons from it to improve our own lives. I’ve certainly noticed where I could make improvements. 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to come over and comment!

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