Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23rd, 2011 - Day 45 of 60

Darling I don't know why I go to extremes.
Too high or too low there ain't no in-betweens.
And if I stand or I fall,
It's all or nothing at all.
Darling I don't know why I go to extremes.

Billy Joel - I Go To Extremes

Old Frank is feeling good, but he is also feeling tired.  Even if you are in ace shape, you still need rest.  I found myself in the midst of a contradiction today.  I am complaining that I'm tired and in need of some rest; meanwhile, I am carrying two computers to the building next door (one in each hand held by their handles).  These are not little computers, they are old time IBM (when IBM still made them) machines.  Then, after I deposit one machine, I proceed to carry the next one up the stairs with one hand while, quite literally, quick timing it up.  I laughed when I got to the top.  I did it without even thinking.  There is no way I would have done that six weeks ago.  No way.  So, I swing between the extremes of feeling wonderful, yet feeling overworked.  There would have been no extremes six weeks ago.  There would have been Frank feeling tired morning, noon and night.  No bounding up the stairs.  No clear mindedness.  No concentration to allow me to get through so many things in such a short time.  If there is proof needed that the Reboot is for more than your beach body, this is it.  We can look good, we can feel good, we can think well and we can be healthy.  Yes, even with a perpetual Reboot, we all have to go sometime.  But when I go, I want it to be after a good, long life and not after having suffered for endless years with one debilitating health issue after another.

Extremes are strange things.  Polar opposites seem like you are as far apart as you can get.  But sometimes even those extremes are joined.  Heads and tails are extremes, yet the two parts of one whole coin.  Night and day are opposites, yet we cannot have a whole day without them both.  My thinking here is more along the lines of human history.  Bear with me as I ramble...   So, imagine being human at the dawn of time.  You eat what you find.  You walk in the forest and eat various greenery, fruits when they are available, roots, berries, a stray nut if you are lucky, etc.  Life is good.  Sure, it has its down sides, too, but you really don't have a lot about which to complain.  With enough food to eat and by living in accordance with nature, the abundant food regenerates in cycles.  You learn those cycles and when certain foods will be available in which locations.  With all this food, you have abundant, even excess energy.  You reproduce prodigiously.  So do your fellow hunter/gatherers.  As time goes on, you start to notice there are other people in your olive grove that never were there before.  Suddenly, the olives are not as plentiful.  Looks are exchanged.  Before too long you notice more people everywhere going after the same food you thought was yours alone.  Now there isn't as much food.  You need to walk farther to find more.  The places that were once abundant are now decimated, even overused.  Some don't come back the next year.  You have to walk even farther.  Before long, you realize you have to hunt other animals for food in the Winter as you are not fat enough to get through and your Winter food supplies of roots and nuts are hard to find.  Now it isn't as easy to get food.  Before you just picked up what was there.  No running, no killing, no hard work.  Now you can stalk game for days and weeks at a time and then have to haul it back great distances to feed your tribe.  Once you are back you just go out again and again.  Life used to be a stroll in the garden.  Now, it is an endless hunting trip.  It doesn't take too long before the hunting trips become expeditions.  The game is moving and so are you.  That is now your life.  This is how the population stays relatively even.

Fast forward a few thousand years...  Some smarty pants (or maybe smarty toga) discovers a way to grow food through agriculture and even store grains.  You learn how to domesticate animals.  Your sore feet thank you as they no longer have to live as a wandering hunter/gatherer.  You've moved up to farmer.  You grow your food and store what you can.  You raise animals.  Life, again, is good.  Again, you have plenty.  Again, you reproduce abundantly.  Again, you soon find more and more people encroaching.  When the weather makes things bad in the field, you wonder if people are coming into your fields and stealing your grain or your crops.  You wonder if those missing animals were not just runaways.  You start to become suspicious of your neighbors.  When poor weather makes your crops wither, all you have are the stored grains.  There are riots, fear and panics.  Then strangers who are very large come around and begin taking things.  You are a farmer, so what can you do?  They are warriors.  You decide you need to learn how to be a warrior.  In time you have weapons and form alliances with your neighbors.  You fight over food and wine and gods and love.  This is how the population stays relatively even.

Fast forward a few thousand years...  Some smarty pants discovers that coal can be burned.  This is an abundant energy source.  You learn how to dig it out of the ground.  It seems like it is endless.  You can make hot fires.  You can stoke fires in boilers.  Those fires help you make things from metal easier than when you did it by cutting down all the trees.  We learn to build steam engines for trains.  We learn to manufacture goods that people want to buy so their lives are easier.  We are better at growing food.  We are better at raising animals.  We are better at making war.  Our number rise.  We know more about what makes us sick.  We live a bit longer.  We still kill one another.  We live in larger numbers more often than we did in the past.  It can be dirty and harsh, but there is work and food and safety as there is civilization.  There are plagues and there are wars.  This is how the population stays relatively even, but slowly begins to creep up.

Fast forward a bit...  Some smarty pants discovers that oil is highly concentrated energy.  We learn to make no end of things from it.  Most useful is gasoline.  We learn to do all the things we did with coal, only better.  One gallon of gasoline can do the work of more than 500 men for one hour, or one man for more than 500 hours.  Things take off.  We learn to grow food with petroleum-based fertilizers.  We build power plants from our old friend coal and from our new friend oil.  We have electricity to run stoves and refrigerators.  We grow more food, we can store food better and transport it long distances with these automobiles we've created and with trains.  With all this extra food we reproduce prolifically.  Soon, our population doubles.  Then, it doubles again.  Then, it threatens to double again.  It used to take a very long time to double.  Soon, even with all our ability to make food, we find that others are starving.  Some people are getting sicker at younger ages.  We are not sure why.  They have odd troubles like gout and diabetes and other strange things our parents never heard of that much, except for a few rich people.  Our medicine becomes amazing against broken bones, severe trauma, bacteria and virus issues, etc.  We create machines, even machines that think, which do the work we once did.  We are so productive that is astounds the mind.  Yet, with all the productivity, we work more than ever.  We feel stressed and unsettled.  We are not as happy. We live longer.  We still kill each other.  Even with all our killing, we notice our population isn't even.  It just keeps going up and up.  Soon we notice that we need more petroleum than we can harvest.  We begin to feel afraid.

The extremes are stark:  famine to abundance; leisure to endless toil; ignorance to knowledge; endless resources to scarcity; small population to massive population.  Why is it we can't see the extremes and make adjustments?  If we know our modern diet is hurting us, why don't we use our knowledge to grow clean, healthy food in such amounts that everyone could afford it and stop eating things that hurt us?  Why not use our modern medical knowledge to continue giving wonderful acute care, yet teach people that stress, poor diet, lack of community, lack of true rest, overwork, pollution, anxiety and physical inactivity can all harm our health?  Can't we use our abilities to create wonderful products in vast numbers to ensure no one goes without books, tools to foster creativity, tools to bring ease to our existence, tools to free our time to do more human things, and supplies to keep everyone healthy and happy without resorting to endless work and quest for profit?  Do you follow me on this?  We tend to embrace the extremes as a positive value.  We discover something new and run to it without considering what we've left behind.  Once we discover Indian food, does that mean we have to reject Chinese food?  Can't we find a way to keep the best of the old and the best of the new?

There needs to be balance in our lives.  Our Reboots have show us how out of balance we've been.  Six weeks into it and I see how much better I can be.  What else should we balance?  Work and play, activity and rest, new technology and old technology, people and things, etc.  We need to consume less.  We need to make less of ourselves.  We need to consider what we are doing and how it will affect ourselves, our families, our communities and our world.  We need more of a plan.  We need to stop running toward the extremes and start looking for a place in the middle.

I don't talk about my Reboot with anyone, but some who are close to me know something is up.  They look at me as if I am an extremist.  They don't understand that they are the extremist.  I think I am, finally, walking toward balance.  I am striving for harmony.  I seek sustainability.  If I eat a hamburger tomorrow and then go on with my Reboot or my post-Reboot diet, I will be fine.  They will continue down the road of the extreme.  If that makes them happy, I am happy for them.  I am not judging.  But I think I am speaking from experience when I say I am now moving toward a place of moderation, compromise and wholeness.  I am trying to stay away from the extremes and find a comfort in the middle way.  Sometimes seeking the middle way makes you an extremist to those who have much to lose.  So be it.

I am 75% through the 60 days.

Weight: 148.9 lbs.

Food: Nectarine, banana (2), almond butter, mixed nuts, broccoli slaw, cherries, raw cacao/goji/seed chunks, apple
Broccoli Slaw "El Diablo" with tomato

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