If you have a drink in your hand, it doesn’t count as working. ~ Fu Xian
Last week, I noted Dan Buettner’s observation that longevity seems to be prevalent in people who “live rewardingly inconvenient lives.” Buettner based those observations on people living in so-called “blue zones*” and for those of us living “modern” lives, one of the takeaways is we’d probably all do well to stop making life so easy.
Much easier said than done of course.
Take my own life for example. Up until our son was born, among other things, my wife and I cleaned and maintained our own home and cooked most of our meals from scratch. However, as we both struggled to keep up with our careers while also taking care of our child (and ourselves), we happily outsourced parts of our lives to buy more time.
This may make perfect economic sense, however, given that the longest-lived people described by Buettner “live in environments that nudge them into more movement,” one cannot help but wonder if the decisions we make to “buy time” are in fact at odds with decisions that contribute to a long life.
Although I’m not planning on giving up my power tools or raising sheep, over the last year, I have conscientiously been insourcing activities to keep me moving. Other than saving money, one of the surprising benefits is I’ve become more connected to the community around me which has made me a happier guy.
So, the next time you’re feeling a tad out of shape, as an alternative to shelling out a bunch of cash for an expensive gym membership, look for some projects to do around your house. Alternatively, consider volunteer opportunities that will get you moving. Not only will activities such as maintaining trails or building homes get you off your rear but you’ll experience the benefits that come with giving.
On that note, speaking of chores, time for me to shut this down and start my day. Before checking out for the week how about some music for our Spotify playlist? Today I’m going to leave you with “Lost in Paris” (feat. Goldlink) off of Tom Misch’s excellent new album Geography. Hope you like it.
*Parts of the world where people are either reaching age 100 at extraordinary rates, have the highest life expectancy, or the lowest rate of middle age mortality. To date, only five blue zones have been identified: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; the Ogliastra region of Sardinia; the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California; and Nicoya, Costa Rica.
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