Wednesday, July 11, 2012

YOLO - What Brings Texting, Drake and Manolo's Together?

You Only Live Once, That's The Motto, YOLO

Yeah – I am a hep cat.  I am hip to what all the cool kids are saying these days.  One word statements that say it all.  No fully worded sentences need apply.

Fail. Epic. Random. Same.

But, even these games are getting played out.  Being replaced with the latest kick of shortening words to within an inch of their letters.  Supe – short for super.  Ush - (pronounced you-sh) - short for usual.  Obv - short for obvious or obviously – and the one my two teenage boys and their friends seem to use the most.  Obv!

And now, YOLO.  You Only Live Once (although technically, this is a phrase being shortened). Perhaps it’s the result of the text-message-driven world we live in.  Reducing everything we say and do in a day into bit-sized glyphs that once resembled recognizable speech.  A side effect of our wired world, if you will, that allows us to connect to anyone or anything at the exact instant when we need or desire it.  The ultimate in Id satisfaction.

Or is it a symptom of something else? 

We are an impatient lot.  We drive too fast.   We demand instant service.  That was my parking spot!  I don’t have to signal to get in your lane!! Those rules are for the other guy.  We don’t say hello anymore.  This text is more important than you.  The waitress is too slow. Don’t you know I am in a hurry?? We walk, heads down while texting.  You will move for me.  Must do ten things at same time.  Why are these traffic lights so slow!!! Are those doughnuts?  Even our thoughts are impatient :)

The fascination and obsession with all things fast and quick continues on.  From quickie marriages to quickie divorces.  From get-rich quick schemes to quick weight loss plans.  Don’t even get me started on the narcotic-like obsession we have with fast food!  Have we lost our ability to focus or is the need for instant gratification driving a darker, attention-deficit demon within us?

Hold that thought while I get back on back on topic. . .

YOLO - *You Only Live Once*. The latest club anthem popularized by Drake (a good ‘ol Canadian boy) in his latest album drop (of course, I must mention Chris Brown here lest Team Breezy gets all up in my face.)  So what does this have to do with anything?

You Only Live Once.  I thought that would be a good anthem, a good motto for me as I embark on my post-cancer life.  I took the meaning as . . I dodged a bullet.  I have a second chance in life so I am going to make the most of it.  By loving, living and learning to take care of this body and my health like I had never done before.  And by golly, I was going to share my experience with the world.  Unleash the hounds, as I said in my first post.

No more shortcuts.  No more quick diets.  No more missing meals because. . .well . . I was just too busy to stop; not enough time to hoover down some food.  No more missing my work-out because there was not enough time to exercise.  No more long hours of work.  Uh. . just a minute. . .gotta send this last text.  Sorry, can’t talk now, text me later.  Can’t be home for dinner, have a late meeting.  At dinner but both of us are texting instead of talking.  One last email . . .    

No.  I will take the time.  It will be my primary goal.  You Only Live Once.  Just good ‘ol focus, attention and dedication on being healthy in mind, body and soul . . . YOLO . . . until Urban Dictionary (and my teenage boys) informed me that it really meant to *defend doing something ranging from mild to extreme stupidity* and clearly demonstrated by half-naked dude at a Jays game last April.  And, in case you did not get the message, that is YOLO written on his chest and back.  Not quite what I was thinking for my YOLO.  Although his case was mild, I am certain what Steve-O and Wee Man have done takes the YOLO cake for extreme stupidity.

But then I got thinking. . . .while I liked my new definition of YOLO better (obv!), what I was living the last 30 years was the urban dictionary version of YOLO.  It was one long crazy, extreme stupidity.  I was not taking care of the only body I have in this life.  I was putting the instant-gratification-of-the-moment before taking care of myself and my health. . . and . . .my behaviour . . . more than likely. . . . contributed to my cancer.

It is so true that you only live once.  Why wouldn’t you want the best life with the best of health?

We admire our houses, fawn over our cars, treasure our golf clubs, gush over our walk-in closets and have a personal, intimate relationship with our mobile devices.  Why wouldn’t we do the same for our health?  Maybe if our liver was a set of Callaway's, our lungs were a pair of Manolo’s or our heart was an Enzo Ferrari, we would think differently about our body.
What I am proposing in this eclectic post is that you dare to think. Think about your body.  Think about your health.  Think about it new ways – like you never have before.  Do you want to feel better?  Do you want to look healthy and feel energetic?  Do you want to live a long and healthy life?  Take the time for your YOLO.

I am guessing that you never want to be sick.  That your next vacation wasn’t scheduled for the sandy beaches and warm waters of your local hospital operating room like mine was.  Start thinking of your health as that Ferrari or those Manolo’s.  Think of the incredible power of the Ferrari engine that digests food or pumps blood throughout your body.  Think of the exquisite detailing of the Manolo’s that drive your immune system to walk all over cancer invaders.  You get the picture.  No more cheesy metaphors.

The first step in getting yourself, your body and your health back on track is to start the thought process.  Start thinking about everything that you do everyday, that gives or takes away from your health.  Get hold of your attention and focus it back into what matters:  your health.  Begin to change how you value your health - its currency in your life.  I did and I have never looked back.

Remember that this process will take time.  As I did, you likely have a lifetime of bad habits or thought processes when it comes to your health.  Know that you might falter - but pick yourself up and forgive. You can give yourself that second chance again because. . . .

All that matters is what you do next . . .


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