I've figured out that you spend your younger years test driving philosophies of life. You grab snippets from here and there until you have an amalgamated, mismatched, unnamable collage of mantras, beliefs and non-negotiables, all your own.
Fascinated with Buddhism in my youth, I then stayed on a Stoicism kick for at least two decades.
Reading and rereading 'Meditations' by Marcus Aurelius, it didn't resonate with me the way I was told it should... it took a trip to Central America to figure out why. The Roman Emperor, elevated to such a lofty position, had to strive diligently to remind himself of his humanity and put himself back in touch with empathy, which gets lost in the rarified air of power.
The most profound philosophy of life was found in the mountains of El Salvador. Every day for these people is a struggle, from finding drinking water to keeping safe at night with gun fire erupting, it's a 3rd world country that has lot to teach us high on our 1st world nation thrones. Evar is the coffee plantation manager who put up with having me as his shadow for a few days, pestering him with questions.
My take home was this: to live with dignity and be truly happy when it's a constant struggle, you must be grounded in reality. Optimism is a waster of time. Who hasn't claimed optimistically that 2021 will be better than 2020? Was your life on hold for a year while you waited for things to improve, or did you pick up a new hobby, or become the self appointed trash collector at a local park, as one friend did?
A US serviceman who'd been tortured and starved for years as a POW was asked if his optimism had kept him alive. He said living day by day, finding gratitude for small things kept him alive--- that the optimists all died of a broken hearts when their hopes of release never came.
Some cruise through life with occasional hardships and others have a nonstop uphill battle. Life isn't supposed to be fair. I take great umbrage when I'm told I'm supposed to stop living my life my way for 6 weeks. I'm not one to part with the joys of living life to the max because of surgery.
This is what I think of 6 weeks bed rest. Kiss my ass.
I had a new employee to train on Monday. And horse graves to finish fencing.
And dogs need their daily runs.
Find joy in every day, my friends, don't put it off until tomorrow.