Age and experience force me to admit I’m smarter than I live. Like a lot of late middle aged people who fight weight problems, I have at least two dozen diet books on the shelves and probably know as much about nutrition as professional dieticians. Seriously. Heck, I think I could write a diet book…a good one. (Tomorrow. I’ll get back on my diet tomorrow.)
I know for a fact a lot of us intend to exercise more…just as soon as the weather improves, the rain stops, or we find a gym we like. In the meantime, our unused treadmill sits lonely in the garage, companion to our weight bench and unused weights. (If you want exercise equipment at bargain prices, try your local thrift store. The last time I tried to donate to Saint Vincent’s, they wouldn’t take mine. Overstocked. There has to be a moral there.)
At a younger age I smoked more than was good for me. I really liked my tobacco, but with each puff, I worried about lung cancer, heart trouble and emphysema. (I could name a half dozen people who died from lung cancer. But I was quick to point out one of them never smoked, as if that proved something. As I write, I’m not sure it proved anything at all.) Over the years, I quit a dozen times, once for four years, but it took a serious bout of bronchitis and a midnight trip to the local ER to finish my smoking days.
I was never drawn to drugs, but I learned to like my beer. During my early career with the US Forest Service, we took pride in being hard drinkers and hard workers. I gave beer up too, but America drinks. Boy, how we drink. And it’s no wonder. You can’t watch a TV program without seeing the lead characters drinking…programs like Blue Bloods, NCIS (the famous basement scene where Gibbs dumps the nails out of a pint fruit jar and pours whiskey for an uninvited guest), NCIS New Orleans…the party town.
I think we ignore what we really know in favor of the pleasure of our habits. I know I did. Maybe it’s a left over from our youthful sense of invincibility. Bad habits may kill, but it’s gonna get the other guy, not me.