What I've Been Thinking About...
So the month of March is turning into Emilia's birthday month. After horse, pony and carousal rides on her birthday, we had a gathering for her last week at the farm and it was great. Other than the occasional tears associated with a bunch of kids between ages 1-7, everything went pretty well! One thing I always enjoy about these gatherings is observing and engaging in play with the kids. It is amazing how much fun an adult can have by acting like a child! A quick piece of advice if you are having a tough day, go outside and act like a 4 year old for a bit and it may just brighten your spirits!
Prior to being a parent, I would hear psychologists discuss the importance of the early years. The example given was that a violent 4 year old will be more likely to be a violent 24 year old. I always thought that was a bit of a stretch but with more reading, talking to parents, and observing, I think it may be true. I occasionally look back at my own childhood and start to understand why and how I became who I was, who I am, and who I will become. I think things like shyness, violence, reckless care of one's body, manipulating situations, etc. are all things that are tested out by children and if not addressed, may very well be how one behaves as they grow. I remember watching Emi play with others when they were 2 or 3 and some would go by the rules, some would try to totally disrupt or destroy the game, others would cry when they wouldn't get their way, and some stood off to the side eating food and drinking seltzer water. As I watched this I wondered, is this who these kids will become as adults? Only time will tell...
Fitness Tip of the Week
I came across a social media post that read, "I know some folks think strength training is dangerous - but what's "dangerous" is lacking strength. Strength training builds resilience, capacity, durability, and self-efficacy." I believe this statement is 100% accurate!
Building strength shows up in our every day lives. If we go for a walk, having a little more leg power will help you take on those hills. If your neighbor needs a hand moving a couch, you won't have an issue chipping in. When we get hammered with snow, a few hours of shoveling won't debilitate you. The list goes on and on but to me, the most important thing about building strength is that the more you have now, the more you'll have later. In 1961, Theodor Hettinger found that "At 65 years of age, a man's muscular strength is approximately 80% of that shown between ages twenty and thirty". In present day, I think those numbers have changed for the better. We can continue to build strength well into our thirties and forties and by doing so, create a much stronger, healthier person when we are in our 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond!
Perspective is All We Have...
During Emi's party, one of our guests made a comment that caught me off guard a little. If anyone has been to our house or walked by our fence, you know who Lailia and Rufus are. They are our two Jack Russell Terriers who like to let you know of their presence by continuous barking and maybe a little chasing. They do not bite and are not aggressive, they just bark... a lot. Most people think they are crazy which I typically agree with. They are a little nutty but the guy I was talking to had a different opinion. He said our dogs are pretty good and their bark is much more "normal" than his dog. I couldn't see how that was possible but then again, I don't have much experience with other dogs.
This conversation got me thinking about how one's own life experience is how they might define things in the world. To the non-dog owner, our animals may seem annoying and stupid. To the owner of an aggressive dog, our dogs may seem like angels. They are the same dogs with the same behavior. The only thing that changes is the lens the person views them through. It was a good reminder in perspective!
What I've Been Reading...
Maps of Meaning by Jordan Peterson
A few years ago I discovered Jordan Peterson in a podcast interview and his message really resonated with me. He talked about things like good and evil, the archetypes that are present in many popular stories, and most importantly, he wanted to encourage everyone that they have the ability to be a better version of who they are today. That you can be way more than you are and we are all capable of being better. It may take time and it may take work but we can do it!
The purpose of this book is to connect myths and beliefs from ancient stories with modern science and theory. It took Peterson 13 years to write and it is hard to digest at times. It is giving me flashbacks of trying to navigate a college textbook where much of the content is a bit over your head! All in all, I am glad I am reading it as it is forcing me to be a better reader as I work my way through the chapters.
Quote of the Week
"Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are" -- Theodore Roosevelt