How are you starting the year?
By Penelope A. Domogo, MD
It’s a new year! It’s 2020- the first year of a new decade and I wish, dear reader, that you are well.
Dates are arbitrary demarcations in our life journey- thanks to the Roman calendar- and they can serve as guideposts for our behavior. When I was writing the date yesterday, I had to be conscious to write 2020, not 2019. Seeing that the date is 2020 is a bit strange as I have been used to writing 2019- this happens every January to me. I am naninibago. At the same time, this change in year makes me pause and reflect. How was 2019 spent? It’s a whole year- 365 days. Last January 2019, December was like lightyears away. But now that it is past, it seems just the wink of an eye. Sandali lang pala!
We are now on a new page in our lives. The new page marked 2020 invites us to take stock of what’s in the preceding page and continue doing what’s well and do better in the rest. The information highway is replete with words of wisdom. And if you notice, advices are always similar. There’s nothing new. Of course! We have been in existence for billions of years- meaning we have survived and flourished. Look at the skyrocketing population in the world. What secret to living well has not been discovered yet? But take a second look at the megacities that have sprouted- sometimes they look like concentration camps. Then as the years go by, more and more hospitals and dialysis centers are built, more toxic pesticides and medicines are developed, more doctors are making health services a lucrative business. Could this be the way to development and progress and happiness? Somewhere along life’s journey, it seems we missed a guidepost. Could it be that the guidepost we are following is toward acquiring more and bigger, building more and bigger, doing more and bigger? Your guess is as good as mine.
One sure thing that has been discovered to be true throughout the ages is that health is wealth. No doubt about it. And another thing that has already been discovered is that health is a product of a lot of factors mainly diet, physical activity, environment, attitude and beliefs. I don’t know how anyone can be healthy if he is morose most of the time, or is not controlling his diet, not having enough physical activity, in a toxic environment, and does not recognize the supremacy of a Higher Being, whom Christians call God. There’s no getting away with eating anything you like – perhaps during Christmas and New Year, you can eat all you can. But most of the time, food should be as God provided. And of course because God is a loving God, he has provided us the best- organic, free from toxic chemicals and thus replete with countless amazing nutrients. Meaning that if you cannot have organic meat everyday, then it means you don’t eat meat everyday.
Attitude and beliefs and traits
Humility is a trait which most of us need to develop. I think humility is recognizing that somebody designed us purposely to be well and happy- that is, if we live according to His design. If we have that recognition, everything becomes common sense. If we want our pechay to grow well, then we need to care for it according to how it is designed. Those designs have been discovered already by our ancestors- our ancestors were intelligent and discerning and they have discovered the designs of the universe and they have passed on the knowledge and skills to us, if only we are receptive. Okay now, this is the question- If we care enough to know how to grow a pechay, would we also care to know how to care for our own selves?
Taking care of ourselves is a natural thing. We live according to nature and we are well. Meaning eat according to the seasons, walk a lot, move those joints and muscles a lot, sleep at night, rest when you are tired. Appreciate your family. Say “hi” to your neighbor. Get out in the sunshine. Get drenched in the rain, if you can – this was a joyous experience in our younger days but as long as we take a full bath just as soon as possible. Appreciate the birds and the trees and the flowers and the bees and the moon up above and the thing called love. And be grateful. Wishing everyone a healthy happy start for 2020!**
“Teach us to number our days that we gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 20:12