Living life to the fullest takes letting go of things

Duane Dailey

Just when I thought I was doing great, I find I should do better.

I’d reflected on my exercise workouts, which were more than doing nothing. Mile walks and lifting weights help.

I’d long passed the point where most people drop their workouts. Good exercise connects to watching the diet. Most eat more than we need for the labor we do.

I’m into the small plate, small helpings and no seconds. What a difference. Oh yes, no pie.

Then I goofed, I subscribed to a health newsletter from the Mayo Clinic. Last month, they aimed at me. Seems their chart for my age group shows I can do better.

Okay, here I go, adding laps to my walks.

This Sunday the New York Times picks on me also. Can I do all of this? On page two the editor of the Smarter Living section says they aim to help us lead a more fulfilling life.

Whoa. My life’s filled to overflowing considering the shape I’m in. The editor, Tim Herrera, tells what he’s done, since starting his job. He calls it “smarter living as personal bootcamp.”

Okay, I’m there with him on exercise and eating goals. Again, it’s the sticking to it, not just setting goals. It’s more than learning what needs to be done. Dang, it means doing it.

I’ve found workouts become a habit, a good habit. I used to think I didn’t have time for regular exercise. But, I do.

Herrera is ahead of me on other things.

He’s learned to manage his finances. Well I do keep my bills paid. But, I can’t say I’m with him on managing my finances. No way. Finances just happen.

His next one, I like. But, I hadn’t made it a goal. He learned to say “No” more effectively. What a concept.

In my part-time job at MU, there seems to be more needing done by fewer people. Administrators come out with a list of things MU won’t do anymore. But, I wonder if the list fits what our state needs.

OK, back to Herrera. He’s learning to find and focus on things “that truly matter.” He says let the rest fade into the background.

Boy, that sounded good — for about five seconds. Not sure I can do that. Seems I’m going to need some help. What I see, the organization leaders, saying lets engage in a whole lot of new stuff. But they don’t say what’s to fade.

Maybe that’s just thinking far above my pay grade.

One of the keys, Herrera says: “Do less, but do it better.” Over time, I I’ve learned to write a whole heck of a lot better. When I attend farm meetings, I’ve had people say they like my stories, because they understand them.

Last week I received a draft of a ‘Strategic Plan.” I didn’t understand how all those big words will help any of my readers do their jobs better. Maybe I need a refresher in bureaucracy. I grew up learning how to educate.

Herrera offers a heap of help. He says to relax. Take a sick day. Take a long lunch. That’ll take me off the road to burnout.

Also, he says to talk to others. I know that helps. I really do. But, wait those around me are too busy, loaded with burdens. They don’t have time to stop and chat.

That reminds me of a Golden Age of Extension. State specialists took time to meet for coffee. Union cafeteria’s big round tables were ideal for meeting. People from animal husbandry visited with those from field crops. Crops people learned what livestock people were doing. There were others as well.

Yep, even gossip helps. We’ve lost something which bureaucrats call internal communications.

Could a leader learn at a workers’ coffee break? No, they’re out driving miles to meetings across the state or livestreaming a webinar.

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