Tag Archives: survive

Survive or Thrive?

14 Mar

The title tells a choice we all must make. The adaptive powers of the human body never cease to amaze me. Humans can survive in all kinds of circumstances. The human body can go weeks without food and days without water. Our bodies are designed to survive, no matter what. (Of course, driving lawnmowers while intoxicated and eating tapeworms can still end up being fatal, so don’t go all “1000 Ways to Die” after reading this article.)

We can survive just about anything thrown our way. The problem is, despite surviving in a variety of situations, us humans aren’t thriving. Surviving and thriving are two different things, folks. Survival is a test of endurance. Thriving is a condition of well-being, of growing and flourishing. How many of us can honestly say that we are well? Sure, we all manage to force out a quick “fine” when asked how we are doing by a well-meaning acquaintance or colleague, but how many of us really mean it? If you’re anything like me, saying “fine” no matter what is a knee jerk reaction to years of being raised under an aura of forced civil hospitality. I often dream of telling people that I’m not really “fine”, that “I feel like s%*t today, thanks. My knees hurt, I have a migraine, and my dog is sick. My grandma has lung cancer and I’m flat ass broke.

That would be an honest assessment of my life. I’m surviving, enduring through life with a “same stuff, different day” mentality. Nothing ever changes, things don’t ever get better. Things get worse, but my standards keep sinking lower so I don’t realize just how craptastic my life has become. I believe that is the case for many people.

Then you read about people who are really thriving. You know the types. Maybe you even know those types of people in real life. The type of person who falls in a big pile of crap and comes out covered in gold. Those beaming Primal-ites with their ripped bodies, urging the world to purge their sins through bacon consumption (ok, if sin could be purged by eating a few slabs of bacon, count me in…this former vegetarian loves the fried pork strips.) The beautiful athletes that jog effortlessly at the asscrack of dawn in front of my house. They shout about barefoot running over the blare of their earphones and the sounds of minimalist footwear slapping the pavement. I sometimes fantasize about tying them up and force feeding them some Paula Deen-esque snacks…

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