Recipe for a Long and Happy Life
Ruth Bernhard gave this out at her 90th and 100th birthday parties. She lived to be 101 years old. She was a photographer, and I think she gave some good advice here.
I’m having a hard time right now with the first ingredient. “Never get used to anything.” To me that means: don’t take things for granted, don’t get too comfortable, things are always changing, remain adaptable and flexible. I have developed some comfortable routines — and now I feel like I’m a little bit too comfortable. Not stuck in a rut — that is too unkind, and too cliché. It’s a kind of plateau, perhaps. An equilibrium or even-ness that allows me to catch my breath, take a rest. . . and now I’m restless again to wander, to explore.
It’s a very normal place to be. Like with exercise, the body adapts if it gets the same workout all the time. It needs new challenges to keep developing, to keep progressing.
So in my life, I’m thinking right now about what I want to change, what I want to let go of, what I want to explore. I often feel this way in the fall. It’s the turning of the seasons. The shift from summer to fall, and winter around the corner. Time to draw in, to reflect, and to prepare for whatever comes next.