DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Power of Being Engaged

The last thing a fish notices (if fish do indeed notice, and we presume they do!) is water. They are immersed in it, it sustains their lives, and provides the means for them to get food and swim away when they want to escape being dinner for larger fish. In that sense, water is essential for their well being.

In a similar way, people hardly notice the activities in their lives, and they most certainly underestimate the importance of doing to their well-being and survival. Being engaged is important to us for many reasons, some of which have been articulated in earlier posts on this blog. It's always nice to remind ourselves, however, of things we take for granted.

As a recovering academic (actually, academics are never fully recovered), I have sometimes used examples of life changing events that disrupt people's everyday activities, sometimes temporarily, sometimes progressively, and less often, permanently. Many people fear death, and worry about the complete cessation of their engaging daily occupations, but few people even think about how injuries and disease, or changes in their aging bodies, can limit the things they like to do.

These "things" are activities, sometimes called interests, projects, hobbies, work, tasks or simply "doings." A disease or injury that interferes with movement, or any of our senses, will make doing these things, or engaging in life, more difficult. But, features of the environment, policies, attitudes and other dimensions of life also create barriers to doing. People get passionate about policies that restrict their behaviors. Hopefully, they get equally passionate about finding ways to do the activities they love when adversity starts to create limitations.

If we live long enough, we all begin to experience the normal effects of aging. These diminish our vision, our hearing, our taste, and our ability to move around. People react to these circumstances in different ways. Some compensate and don't miss a beat, and others seem to withdraw, which we now know hastens the process of bodily decline.

So, at long last, the point of all this. Make each activity count. Enjoy the moment and appreciate the power of engagement. It is the very substance that makes life what it is.

About Me

I am a writer, lifelong student, former academic and new blogger. My passion continues to be everyday living. I am interested in what people do, how, when and why they do it, and what it means for their their understanding of the world and hence, their well being.