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Stubborn people reach their goals  RSS feed

 
Nancy Troutman
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I am here to tell you that there is absolutely NO reason that either old age or disability should prevent you from leading a permaculture lifestyle.   Sure, you will do things differently, but you still can get them done.   You might need more tools and different tools than someone else, but you still can do it.

If lifting is an issue, then sturdy toy wagons can make up the difference.   I don’t remember owning a toy wagon as a child, but I now have at least 8 of them in various sizes and shapes.   I have worn out wagons and had to replace them.   I have a metal small one that is primarily used to tote water.   I have another one that is used to transport a harness to the horse.   I have large ones that I use to bring in groceries, nettles, hay, harvest, you name it.   A muck bucket on wheels brings in wood.

A plethora of office chairs and stools on casters can make standing tasks sit-down ones.    An office chair can make loading a woodstove a sit down job.    In fact, I cannot think of any standing job that cannot be done sitting down.

There is no reason that you cannot take advantage of your waste either.    The same toy wagon that brought water into my bathroom takes the waste out.    Though I am not a fan of plastic and go out of my way to avoid it, I am a fan of 5-gallon buckets and gamma seal lids.   If snow, weather, or my antique body makes taking the waste to the pile out back hard, it can sit and wait for me.  

What I am saying is, just because your body is a roadblock to do it the way other permies do it, does mean that you are obliged to live your life as a consumer.  Hit a roadblock to goal?   Think of a way to go around it to reach your goal.   If walking forward is not possible, then roll towards the goal backwards.  Don’t abandon the goal.
 
Tyler Ludens
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My mantra is "Little Bites."

 
K Putnam
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As a massage therapist, I can tell you that people can easily be divided into people who continue to do physical tasks and those who don't.  Here's the thing: BOTH GROUPS HURT.  You're eventually going to get a bit worn down and tired and sore whether you do physical tasks or not, but the ones who do the physical tasks stay dramactially fitter and overall healthier than those who have given it up.  Keep moving!
 
John Polk
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...the ones who do the physical tasks stay dramactially fitter and overall healthier than those who have given it up.  Keep moving!

The same can be said for mental health/fitness.
The onset of Alzheimers can be significantly delayed by mental excercise.

Just as we should get physical activity each day, we should stimulate mental activities as well.
Crossword puzzles, sudoku, or even a few games of solitare keep your mind excersized.
Reading (particularly non-fiction) is also a helpful task.
Any activity that makes you think.

Believe it, or not, walking also helps mental health - with each step, the brain needs to be active controlling muscle movements, and doing a 'balancing act'.  Half a dozen mental steps need to be accomplished for each physical step.

 
Jotham Bessey
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IMO ...

Mental Health is the biggest challenge for anyone trying to reach goals. Very early in the process of trying to reach a goal should be seeking out examples of people that have overcome your particular disability.
Also keep images around that inspires you to want it.
So long as you believe you can and the image is always there, you'll be more likely to keep going when setbacks and challenges arise.

 
Nancy Troutman
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John Polk wrote:
...the ones who do the physical tasks stay dramactially fitter and overall healthier than those who have given it up.  Keep moving!

The same can be said for mental health/fitness.
The onset of Alzheimers can be significantly delayed by mental excercise.

Just as we should get physical activity each day, we should stimulate mental activities as well.
Crossword puzzles, sudoku, or even a few games of solitare keep your mind excersized.
Reading (particularly non-fiction) is also a helpful task.
Any activity that makes you think.

Believe it, or not, walking also helps mental health - with each step, the brain needs to be active controlling muscle movements, and doing a 'balancing act'.  Half a dozen mental steps need to be accomplished for each physical step.



I have no medical training nor have I had any mental health training.   But this has long been my observation... That those who live sedentary lives seem to have the most problems both mentally and physically.   And I have never met a person whose life consists of waiting for a welfare check who led anything but a drudge life.   I subscribe to a YouTube channel with over 500 videos, Donze52, which is owned by a guy that has never earned more than minimum wage.  He works 3 part time jobs, grows most of what he eats, has been married 40 years and raised 2 well-adjusted daughters.   He qualified for, but never received Government assistance.  I have yet to hear him complain once about his circumstances    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQBn9U-E4l0 ; I cannot help but compare him to the people down the street who are 3rd generation welfare recipients and are depressed, obese, and are constantly complaining about their lot.

I remember a customer at my dad's shop saying to my dad that he wanted his children to be happy when they grew up.   Dad shrugged, said he wanted his children to have lived honorable lives and to have worn out shoes.   He often said that if we weren't wearing out a pair of boots a year, then we were wasting our lives.  
 
Jotham Bessey
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Nancy Troutman wrote:

I have no medical training nor have I had any mental health training.   But this has long been my observation... That those who live sedentary lives seem to have the most problems both mentally and physically.   And I have never met a person whose life consists of waiting for a welfare check who led anything but a drudge life.   I subscribe to a YouTube channel with over 500 videos, Donze52, which is owned by a guy that has never earned more than minimum wage.  He works 3 part time jobs, grows most of what he eats, has been married 40 years and raised 2 well-adjusted daughters.   He qualified for, but never received Government assistance.  I have yet to hear him complain once about his circumstances    I cannot help but compare him to the people down the street who are 3rd generation welfare recipients and are depressed, obese, and are constantly complaining about their lot.

I remember a customer at my dad's shop saying to my dad that he wanted his children to be happy when they grew up.   Dad shrugged, said he wanted his children to have lived honorable lives and to have worn out shoes.   He often said that if we weren't wearing out a pair of boots a year, then we were wasting our lives.  


What came first, the chicken or the egg? A lack of mental health reduces drive, reduced drive leads to a sedentary life, sedentary life leads to things not getting done, which leads to depression, and you are back at the beginning. Poor mental health in a parent can destroy the mental health of the child.
Most people die before age 25 but get buried 50-60 years later.

However, carefully analyze your talents and search the world for inspiration. It'll raise your mental health.

I have never met a person over 85 that led a sedentary life.
 
John Polk
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Stubborn people reach their Goals

Reminds me of the old saying "It's the squeaky wheel that gets greased."
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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My mother gives a good example. She is 86 now, has her walks with her dog, several times daily in the park nearby and in the forest (she drives her car to) in the weekends, and her volunteer work for the help of wild animals. She is in good shape mentally and physically. I hope I am able to follow her example.
 
Jotham Bessey
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:My mother gives a good example. She is 86 now, has her walks with her dog, several times daily in the park nearby and in the forest (she drives her car to) in the weekends, and her volunteer work for the help of wild animals. She is in good shape mentally and physically. I hope I am able to follow her example.


Which reminds me of another thread where the question was asked "Do you apply permaculture principles to your body?" or health or something like that. How sustainable is sitting on the couch eating potato chips right?
Permaculture (whether for body, mind or environment) takes vision and stubbornness cause you have to see where you are going, building it takes time and then maintaining it is a lifetime. It's not instant.
 
Nancy Troutman
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The man who taught me about hard work and goals the most was a man named Adolf Pfieffer.   I met him when I was working my way through Business College as a nurse’s aide on the weekends.    The fact that he had a hard life was evident by the tattooed numbers on one arm.   However, he had been a successful businessman but had been brought down by a stroke that left one side paralyzed.   I don’t remember which arm was paralyzed now, but I do remember that it was his dominant side.    Furthermore, the hand that he was left with was missing a thumb and 2 fingers.   He only had a pinkie and the next finger on that hand.

Except for meals and when family visited, he sat down with a shoe on a table in front of him.   And he spent hours and hours every day trying to tie that shoe.    I knew it was impossible one handed, and tried to distract him.   But he merely pointed at the shoe and I complied with his request.  

After about 6 months I came in one day to work to find a party atmosphere.    Adolf was tying and untying his shoe for everyone.   I don’t mean a loosely tied shoe, a very tightly tied shoe.  The following week he was practicing putting on and off a shirt.   Zipping up his pants one-handed came next. 

I worked there 2 years.   By the end of the 2 years, Adolf was completely dressing himself in the morning, including shaving, combing his hair, etc.    He even bathed himself.   We nurse’s aides did nothing for him.   When I left, He was practicing mouthing in front of a mirror.    I never heard him myself, but I was later told that he eventually was able to say an understandable “Thank you” before he died.   I believe it.

After I clocked out on my last day, I went in to talk to Adolf before I left for good.   I thanked him for being one of the greatest teachers I had ever met.  That he taught me the value of working hard and setting a goal more than any other person.  And that I would not only never forget him, but that every time I felt like giving up, that I would think about him and persevere. 

I know he understood me, because big tears were coming down his face and he reached out to shake my hand I thought.  But he actually pulled me to him and gave me a hug.

It seems apparent that some are offended by the thought of hard work.   I am not proud of the things I was handed as much as I am of the things I worked for.    I am a very happy person now.   I think the reason is that I learned to work hard, play hard, and dream big.   
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'm not so much offended as exhausted by the thought of hard work! 

I think some people are born energetic and capable of hard work, just as some people are born tall and beautiful.  Does this mean the low-energy person should be called lazy?  For instance, my dad will be 86 in a couple weeks.  He jogs every day and last year was the oldest contestant in the La Jolla Pier Swim.  His mom lived to be 102, also energetic.  Neither I nor my sister seem to have inherited those energetic genes; we both find it a huge challenge to even get out of bed in the morning. I get exhausted after only a couple hours of physical labor or concentration anymore.  My sister if she overdoes it, can wind up so exhausted she has to stay in bed for days.  Does this mean we're lazy, or does it mean we just didn't luck out in the genes department?  I'm hoping this thread will be more about how to keep trying even when it's hard, and not so much about criticizing other people.

 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Tyler Ludens wrote:...  I'm hoping this thread will be more about how to keep trying even when it's hard, and not so much about criticizing other people...


Tyler, I marked your post as helpful, because you reminded me all people are different and it isn't good to judge someone.
 
John Polk
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...he sat down with a shoe on a table in front of him.   And he spent hours and hours every day trying to tie that shoe.

I once worked with a one armed painter.
He was a smoker, and rolled his own - one handed.  Quite impressive to watch.
"Where there is a will, there is a way."

 
Jotham Bessey
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I'm not so much offended as exhausted by the thought of hard work! 

I think some people are born energetic and capable of hard work, just as some people are born tall and beautiful.  Does this mean the low-energy person should be called lazy?  For instance, my dad will be 86 in a couple weeks.  He jogs every day and last year was the oldest contestant in the La Jolla Pier Swim.  His mom lived to be 102, also energetic.  Neither I nor my sister seem to have inherited those energetic genes; we both find it a huge challenge to even get out of bed in the morning. I get exhausted after only a couple hours of physical labor or concentration anymore.  My sister if she overdoes it, can wind up so exhausted she has to stay in bed for days.  Does this mean we're lazy, or does it mean we just didn't luck out in the genes department?  I'm hoping this thread will be more about how to keep trying even when it's hard, and not so much about criticizing other people.


Laziness is a mental state, not a physical one.
Laziness says "I want a permaculture garden and someone else should do it for me because of XYZ".
Giving up says "I want a permaculture garden but I can't because of XYZ"
Stubbornness says "I want a permaculture garden, XYZ is a challenge, so how can I get around it?"

I'm a sensitive introvert that thinks too much and says to little. Because of it I get depressed and discouraged easily. I constantly look for stories, documentaries and pictures to keep me inspired otherwise I'd just sit and stare at the wall with my brain racing and body not moving. That's why I often talk about having a vision. keep that goal in sight. keep walking toward it. Can I reach it? probably not. But in the end I will have had a journey and lived the life I wanted.

So in keeping with the first post, and the ones considered possibly judgemental, Personal challenges are not always as obvious as someone confined to a wheelchair. However, they all require unique modifications to technique, resources, and or equipment to get things done.

The worst judgement is toward ourselves when we begin to get discouraged because we can't do something as good/fast/hard as someone else. As far as keeping on the path goes, better keep that judgement away!
 
K Putnam
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I think some people are born energetic and capable of hard work, just as some people are born tall and beautiful.  Does this mean the low-energy person should be called lazy?  For instance, my dad will be 86 in a couple weeks.  He jogs every day and last year was the oldest contestant in the La Jolla Pier Swim.  His mom lived to be 102, also energetic.  Neither I nor my sister seem to have inherited those energetic genes; we both find it a huge challenge to even get out of bed in the morning. I get exhausted after only a couple hours of physical labor or concentration anymore.  My sister if she overdoes it, can wind up so exhausted she has to stay in bed for days.  Does this mean we're lazy, or does it mean we just didn't luck out in the genes department?  I'm hoping this thread will be more about how to keep trying even when it's hard, and not so much about criticizing other people. 


I am right there with you as a naturally low energy person.  My goal is to continually be building what I have labeled my "work capacity."  I have a physical job, physical lifestyle, and that is before we even get to raising food, maintaining a property, etc, and yet I always get to the end of the day quite tired and wondering what I accomplished that day, really.  I'm the descendant of real homesteaders. If I was in their shoes, my family would have starved.

I remind myself that there is a difference between being tired and being physically and emotionally stressed.  It is OK to be physically tired at the end of the day.  In the long run, it's probably good to be going to bed tired.  It's not great to be physically or emotionally stressed.  Eventually the body starts to break down under that stress instead of building up capacity.   So, I try to live on the line of working hard every day without going to the well too often.  But I never really feel like an energizer bunny.  The going above and beyond requires daily effort and I still fall short a lot of the time.
 
William Bronson
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I will work hours on my permaculture projects,in the worst sort of weather.
I measure my commitment by the effort I put into it.
Paperwork makes me want to cry with anxiety but 8 hours toiling in the sun is a pleasure,even though both might serve the sane worthy goal.
So I give myself credit for both,knowing that making that call or filling out that form for me is like sticking a hand into a toilet is for someone else.
I also remind myself that I once was a germaphobe who thought I would sooner die than deal with someone else's poop.
I got over it,because of my commitment to my family.
Knowing that one can overcome challenges makes a liar of the devil who says you can't.
Standing up to my ankles in poo water in a first floor apartment,the flushes from three stories above continuing to back up into the toilet bend I was snaking,made me pretty sure I was the worst plumber ever.
Remembering that I stayed with it till it was fixed reminds me that I already had grit. That grit kept me on that job and made me a better plumber.
Most of my work days pale by comparison,and if I come across one that is anywhere near as bad, I'll know I'm up for it.

I'm 45,46 in August, and the perspective age has brought me is priceless.
Every time thought I had ruined everything, I have been wrong.
Chances are I have vastly overestimated my destructive potential,over the years.
I can also look back and see that I gave in fact accomplished something's.

I take comfort in the fact that showing up and sticking to it actually can pay off.
Plus,like honestly it requires no special skill.
Anyone can do it,no matter their station in life,intelligence,education,physical ability, etc.

Good thing to have,hope for those of us that occasionally think ourselves impoverished,dim witted,ignorant,weak and uncoordinated.
Even we can accomplish things, simply by dint of sustained effort.

 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I say often 'I am a morning person', but in fact I use up a lot of my energy doing too many (most physical) things in the morning, and then too little energy is left in the evening. My solution for this problem is: in the evening just sit with my laptop and 'surf' the internet (forums, facebook, youtube.). In that way I often learn something new (interesting quotes, educative videos) and it feels like it's usefull
 
Lori Ziemba
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I'm not so much offended as exhausted by the thought of hard work! 

I think some people are born energetic and capable of hard work, just as some people are born tall and beautiful.  Does this mean the low-energy person should be called lazy?  For instance, my dad will be 86 in a couple weeks.  He jogs every day and last year was the oldest contestant in the La Jolla Pier Swim.  His mom lived to be 102, also energetic.  Neither I nor my sister seem to have inherited those energetic genes; we both find it a huge challenge to even get out of bed in the morning. I get exhausted after only a couple hours of physical labor or concentration anymore.  My sister if she overdoes it, can wind up so exhausted she has to stay in bed for days.  Does this mean we're lazy, or does it mean we just didn't luck out in the genes department?  I'm hoping this thread will be more about how to keep trying even when it's hard, and not so much about criticizing other people.



Thank you, Tyler.  I was born a low energy person, too, and have been that way all my life.  And I can tell you that it is much harder for me to just do the activities of daily living than it is for some people to jog or work out or work 2 jobs.  I'm 56 now, and I've been this way my entire life.  If I had a dollar for every time I've been called lazy, I'd have that homestead now.  I spend my life in an almost constant state of fatigue.  It wasn't until a few years ago that I found out (quite by chance) that I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.  Now I know why I'm so tired.  My ligaments are so loose, they barely hold my body together.  That means my muscles are constantly working to take over the job that most people's ligaments and tendons do passively.  For me, standing upright for any length of time is as hard work as walking several miles is for another person.  Bad connective tissue also means sloppy veins that tend to let blood pool and leak.  So I have very low blood pressure, bruise easily, and feel faint if I'm standing and not moving.  And yes, it's depressing, because, dammit, I want to do more.  But pushing my body too hard justs leads to more injuries, pain and fatigue.  Sometimes, taking it easy is the hardest thing of all, especially since I'm naturally impatient.
 
nancy sutton
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First, adages can be unreliable guides : " try, try again"   "it is lunacy to repeat the same thing, expecting a different result"  and all the rest, including 'the answer is stubbornness'.   Sometimes they 'work', and sometimes they don't  Must be used judiciously

And I agree with Ludi, Putnam, et al, that we are not walking in another's shoes, so it ill behooves us to judge.  I'm glad I learned about the ED disease.

I think the first principle of Permaulture applies here... stop and observe and modify ... starting with our most immediate environment, our body and mind.  As another wise person advised, 'knowing ourselves' is the beginning of wisdom, and it may be that such wisdom is where true efficiency and productivity start.
Personally, I try to be aware of my body when physically working, and am happy to let it rest when requested   Also, try to be aware of my emotions and thoughts. What thoughts are motivating my actions?  Are they true or false?  Can I choose to put my mental attention somewhere else (like right here and now, on the job to hand), or let negativity be ginned up more and more.  For me, it is often a sense of  pressure/rushing that my thoughts create, which leads to subliminal physical tension... which, you know, wears me out!  

 
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