Peddling

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The History of Snake Oil

When Chinese railroad workers came to California, they brought with them a magical elixir made from water snake fat. The fat from these snakes was high in Omega-3 fatty acids which we know today really does work for reducing inflammation, blood pressure and more. Non-Chinese went crazy for the stuff.

Non-Chinese started to make their own snake oil, but either watered it down, or used fat from other animals that were not nearly as high in Omega-3. Peddlers sold this inferior “snake oil” and then it got a bad reputation. (Very Well Health)

And here is one example of modern day “snake oil”:

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Wait, you can INFUSE YOUR SKIN with youth? Why, then, is it on clearance?

 

 

Beholden

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I am grateful for the early morning intention

To feed my daughters earth’s fruits

At lunch when I am absent

my love is omnipresent

I am grateful for the pesky wind

That musses “perfect” hair

And shouts sweet nothings in my ears

All are signs that I’m alive

I am grateful for the cuts on my fingers

They scream silently as I work

scabs, wrinkles, dry cuticles – 

My hands are marked with ravages of time and labor

 

Attitude, Focus and Sweat

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Photo by Rob Mulally

An important skill taught in Driver’s Education courses is to keep one’s eyes where one wants to go (the safe place) and not on obstacles that one wants to avoid. For example, if your car starts to skid out of control, don’t focus on the tree you’re afraid of crashing into, but on the open road. If you focus on the tree, that’s where you’ll end up.

In life, that tree can be a metaphor for the last decades of our lives. We tend to focus on fears such as, “What if I don’t have enough money to retire?”

We live in a youth-centered society. We don’t take care of our elderly very well. So it’s no wonder so many of us fear growing old (despite the fact that it’s inevitable if we don’t die first).

When we choose to stop focusing on aging (and limitations), and start focusing on The Possibilities, fascinating things can happen:

Annie Proulx, this year’s winner of the National Book Award, and author of Brokeback Mountain and The Shipping News, did not start seriously writing until she was 58. (Bigthink)

In the middle of his prolific career as inventor and businessman, Thomas Edison’s plant was burned down by a fire – all of his work was gone. What was his reaction?

“Although I am over 67 years old, I’ll start all over again tomorrow.”

And he did, the very next day. He didn’t even let any of his employees go. Edison and his team made $10 million the very next year. (BusinessInsider)

What are you going to focus on?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CITATIONS

http://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/how-the-mind-body-connection-determines-how-you-age

http://www.businessinsider.com/thomas-edison-in-the-obstacle-is-the-way-2014-5

Buying Fishing Tackle

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Photo by Gabby Orcutt

Her name was Daisy.

She got blue ice cream.

After she named all the colors of the various dots on the ice cream window (blue, red, orange, green, and purple), I told her parents that she was adorable. I asked her, “How old are you?”

She held three fingers up.

“Wow, you know all of your colors and you jump so high and you’re only three?”

She nodded yes. Not proud, not shy, just being factual.

“My name is Daisy. What is your name?” Her voice was a shiny bell.

“Caroline.”

“How old are you?”

Her parents and I laughed.

“A LOT older than you!”

Her brows furrowed and she asked, “Why can’t you tell me?”

 

And I realized that I have bought into it hook, line and sinker*. Why was I being coy about my age? Because I’m a woman? Because 49 is old?

 

“I’m 49.”

She turned to her ice cream, satisfied. Not judgmental. Not shocked. Simply satisfied.

I watched her spoon blue ice cream into her mouth.

And I thought, I’m 49.  I’m not proud, not shy, just factual.

 

*American idiomatic phrase

 

 

Grateful for Aging

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Photo by Alex Harvey
She sat across from me at her birthday dinner. She just turned 35. I am almost 49.

“I have laugh lines! I am getting gray hairs that stick straight up on end!”

“Well, it just makes it easier to pluck them out,” I said, trying to cheer her up.

“I am not going to complain about getting old. I LOVE aging!”

I looked at her sideways. This was unexpected. Who loves aging?

She explained, “We’re lucky to get old. Not everyone does. We should celebrate getting older, we’re so fortunate to keep living!”

Indeed.

I’ve decided that even though I live in America, where it is becoming a crime to be gay, trans, Mexican-American, Muslim or old, I hope we will eventually be like Taiwan when it comes to social issues. I’m not gay, but as an Asian-American, I know what discrimination feels like. In Taiwan, gays have equal rights.  The Taiwanese also respect their elders and take care of them. So I’m going to walk around proud in all my Asian and old glory because I know I’m lucky to be alive and kicking.

Age is Just a Number

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Great achievements take time, energy, commitment and a positive attitude.

Chau Smith, at 70, decided to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.

On the same page is Harriette Thompson who, at 92, is the oldest person to complete a marathon.

Colonel Sanders, Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, began peddling his recipe at 65.

At 73, he sold it for $2 million.

It’s never too late.