When I turn on the radio, all my favorite songs are playing on a station that advertises itself as playing “your favorite hits of yesterday.”

coffeeI won’t drink coffee after 2 pm because staying up all night isn’t fun anymore.

And where being spontaneous once led to an impromptu road trip to Mexico, it now means going food shopping without a grocery list.

How did this happen?  I mean, I didn’t wake up one day and say, “I’m tired of these trendy clothes and raucous late nights of dancing and socializing.  I think I’d like to start wearing a terry cloth bathrobe with a torn collar and heading to bed at 9:30 every night.”

Even so…here I am.

And yet, I’m not old.  I’m in what I consider that awkward in-between age, the mid-life years.

On the other hand, my eleven year old daughter pointed out that I have most likely passed the middle point of my life span, unless I manage to live beyond ninety years of age.

It could happen.

In any event, the current average female life expectancy in the United States is eighty-two years.  That seems like a reasonable goal.


Except it has come to my attention lately that perhaps I’m not doing everything I could to ensure that sort of longevity.  Oh, I have some good habits.  I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, and I never pick fights with burly security guards carrying large sticks.

Yes, I’ve got the DO NOT’s of health down pat.  It’s the DO list that needs a little more attention.

For instance, did you know that experts recommend eating 2 ½ cups of vegetables EVERY DAY?  Did you know that the average adult should engage in 2 ½ hours of aerobic activity a week, plus two days of strength training?

Of course you did.  I did, too.

I just ignored it.

Lent started a few weeks ago.  I accepted a challenge (along with the other members of my congregation) to use this season to make a change worth committing to.  In other words, instead of giving up chocolate for forty days, and then spending Easter morning glutting myself sick on Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, I picked one thing I knew was hampering my spiritual, emotional, and/or physical health.

And then I committed to changing that one thing.

I picked daily exercise.

sneakers-77089_640I didn’t want to pick exercise.  I mean, I’m fine with a stroll in the sun on a balmy spring day, or paddling around the lake during an afternoon of summer fun.  But getting up every day and running/jumping around for thirty minutes has never appealed to me.

I committed to it anyway.  And now, after a little more than two weeks of daily exercise, I can honestly say, I love it.

Also, I hate it.

I love that I already feel better, and that my strides are longer and quicker.  I’m thrilled that my weak knee feels stronger.  I’m excited to say I simply feel better.

Oddly, even with all those benefits, I still kind of hate exercising.

Scratch “kind of.”  I just hate it.

I literally have to force myself to do it each day.  This is dumb, because when I’m done, I feel great.  I feel energized, and ready to tackle life’s big issues.

Yet the very next day, there I am, whining…Do I have to?

Yes.  I have to.

Hopefully there will come a day when I want to.  I’m clinging to that hope.

In the meantime, I will keep on forcing myself to move more, as well as doing all those other little things that are said to increase life expectancy:  Drive defensively.  Change my smoke detector batteries twice a year.  Wear sunscreen.

roots-194848_640But wait – what about those 2 ½ cups of vegetables I’m supposed to be eating each day?

Uh, there’s always NEXT year’s Lenten challenge.  After all, Easter is only a few weeks away, and those Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs aren’t going to eat themselves you know.

Baby steps, people.  Baby steps.