It’s all gone a bit existential

Life begins on the other side of despair.

Jean Paul Sartre

I don’t know about you but when I was younger my half awake nighttime thoughts usually turned to topics such as love, lust, likely adventures, work politics, motorbikes, football and then back effortlessly to lusty love. Simple days, simple thoughts.

Now, when I wake it’s usually to have a pee, and then the subsequent thoughts are to do with my prostate, why I pee so much and increasingly my approaching inevitable demise. Age is a social construct, it’s all in the mind, except it isn’t. Age reminds you every day that you have a one way ticket to obliteration. Scan the body, everything seems to be diminishing, the only consolation is that this is a shared experience. Well, if we are lucky that is. Some go well before the rot sets in. I’m one of the lucky ones; I get to experience the gradual decline in real time; great.

These thoughts then lead inexorably to the big one; the central dilemma ; I try to keep healthy, I keep learning, I’m trying to improve myself whilst at the same time i diminish and fade. If it were a boxing match you would just throw in the towel; unfair contest you would scream. But we keep going, the only real choice is how we choose to perceive this existential state of affairs. If I were a Buddhist, I could find some peace in seeing myself as part of some larger cycle of birth, death and rebirth. I would learn the futility of holding on to things that are impermanent. I could embrace the flux and transience of existence. Try to achieve any sense of permanence in a changing universe in a constant state of change and you invite suffering. Sounds great except I have lived in a culture that celebrates and elevates the individual. I am me, the centre of my universe, without me there is nothing. I’m stuck with that for the moment. I have strived to become, to be, to grow and for what?

So there we have it- my jolly nighttime thoughts. When I wake, the thoughts do change. I’m alive, there are lots of good experiences still to be had, people to meet, places to go. Live with the uncertainty, embrace the absurdity. Fight the unequal fight. Put two fingers up to death and it’s black shadow. With that in mind, and knowing that my goal is to try and die a healthy death (is that an oxymoron?) I shall embark on some more self improvement. I am going to tackle the big one- FOOD! Giving up drink seems easy in comparison. Losing some weight should help in a whole range of ways and in particular I’m hoping less weight= less sleep apnea, less pressure on the bladder and overall better sleep. With better sleep let’s hope those big existential thought clouds dissipate . Such is our existence, one minute wrestling with the BIG questions, the next thinking how we might lose a few pounds. I love it- the complete madness of it all.

So here goes. Goodbye croissants , hello fruit smoothie!

Jim X

19 thoughts on “It’s all gone a bit existential

  1. Addy

    Tell me about it. I’m of an age now, where I need to keep fit, keep low-weight, low-cholesterol, low-everything in order to make it through the next twenty years or so. Sometimes, I think “what the hell, pass me a chocolate bar. Life is too short to stuff a tomato.”

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  2. Jim Simmonds Post author

    Yep it’s like looking after a classic car isn’t it- constant maintenance, tidying up the bodywork, watching out for leaks and trying to keep that engine running- I reckon a little treat like a choc bar is ok now and then. But it is a constant battle, I agree.

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  3. Sober Veg Mama

    Haha Jim I totally relate. I’m thinking about all the awfulness in the world one minute and then frustrated that a tiny hair is growing out of my chin mole again. Anyway I think the healthy eating is sort of like sobriety – the more you do it the easier and more enjoyable it becomes. You and I conquered these ones in reverse order. Pro tip on the smoothie – add some protein powder and hemp seeds – it will help you stay full longer. I also love spinach and fresh ginger in mine.

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  4. Lovie Price

    in that process as well, but very slowly. A few healthier choices, day by day. Dont really need to lose weight( have kept of the 15 i lost last year) but striving for tone, strength( weigh lifting again) and mostly energy and stress relief. The battle against depression is a constant this year and seems to consume most of my waking hours- some days better than others but improving in small increments as i go. Good luck on this journey and good to see your post!

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      I think the tone/strength aspect is more important than gaining or losing a few pounds. I’m guessing the physical work and exercise helps a lot with the depression. Good that you feel progress is being made. X

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  5. jacquelyn3534

    This morning at 5:20am the topic of conversation with my hubby was how work has been really kicking my butt lately and my body is letting me know with new aches and pains. Maybe some different exercises/stretches over time would help. The ones he suggested I think my grandma used to do. 🤣 What happened to those indestructible days? Smoothies work great for me during the workday as I clean all day and it’s not anything heavy in my stomach. However, I think that’s why I fixate on my dinners so much. 😆 You will do great on making different eating choices! I always leave Saturday nights as my snack and tv night. Just can’t bear to give that up and knowing I have that gets me through the week!

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Thanks for your comment. I am making some good healthy choices . The trouble is I’m still choosing some unhealthy ones at the same time. 🙄Is this Ying-Yang or am I just a lost cause?

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      1. jacquelyn3534

        Never a lost cause my friend! Ying-Yang for sure! Just used it this morning as there was 1 brownie left before work. I had already ate breakfast. I ate the brownie at 7am, dunking it in my coffee. So hard to give up such loveliness!

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  6. Lia

    Enjoyed every word you wrote. Cannot give any advice on the subject, stuck in my own universe of angst, but keep writing, it makes for some interesting thinking while smiling!

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Glad you enjoyed it if enjoyedis the right word. I think my actual blog is now experiencing existential angst,”tone or not to be that is the question?” Good to hear from you! X

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  7. Sandra P. S

    To get or stay in shape is the most stressful and frustrating thing that we can do theses days, let alone if we view it as an imposition. And, I think there is not any other way to see it. Summer is around the corner, the same as crowded beaches and loads of “tapas” and beers for lunch, as snack and for supper.
    And for god’s sake! Instagram doesn’t help to feel good with your body and prevent you from seeing photos of delicious sweets and get ideas for cooking tasty desserts.
    I must recognise that I’m an addict to sweets. I find it very difficult to take it off my diet.
    However, I share the same opinion than Addy.
    Before eating a delectable white chocolate cookie, my first thought is “ you shouldn’t”; still, after the first chew, a wonderful feeling of happiness invades me and I can’t help smiling.
    So, that couldn’t be such awful for our health, mental health hahahahaha.

    P.s “Life is too short to stuff a tomato” is the best phrase ever. Hahahaha

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    1. Sandra P. S

      After saying that, I’m with you! It’s important to be health without being tough with yourself. My method to keep my whim in check is taking a gulp of water and eating strawberries and graves.
      However, my weekends are sacred! No perdono ningún fin de semana. Algún postre tiene que caer. Supongo que es la recompensa para continuar la semana Hahahaha.

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      1. Jim Simmonds Post author

        Strawberries and graves! People are dying to eat that – maybe you mean “grapes”😉 You’re right we have to avoid being too hard on ourselves. Doing what’s best for us isn’t always easy. X

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    2. Jim Simmonds Post author

      If A cookie makes you smile then I say eat cookies. Another lovely English expression is “a little of what you fancy does you good.” The key word there is “a little” and that’s my problem – I like a lot of what I fancy!😀

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      1. Sandra Parres Soriano

        Oh God! Sorry! Yes, it’s better if no one eats graves! hahahah I started to write and I didn’t notice it (silly Spanish girl!) hahahaha
        Well, you can focus on a new proyect to forget your whim….. a new hobby maybe…. or a big glass of shake natural banana and nuts or a blend of everything hahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. clairei47

    Hmmm 🤔. I can’t really advise on this as I find I struggle with the ‘sugar shadow’ … she tells me I want all that chocolate, and those sweets. She says I deserve them and I only have one life, I can’t drink so I should be able to eat what I like! It’s an addiction, like any other, and it does not make me well .. physically or mentally but I am finding it really hard to stop. In fact I am worse than ever tbh. I want to live my remaining life not depressed, feeling fit and generally content, not stressed or anxious. To do that I have to eat better and get more exercise. Simple as that really. Reducing sleep apnea is a great reason to lose some weight. Go for it! Xx

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