It’s another year, another opportunity to find fresh hope, new inspiration, and novel ways to approach a healthier lifestyle. I am on the hunt for motivational materials – quotes, pictures, videos, experiences – to share with my groups who approach another year of changing long-time habits (not easy! not quick! not always self-propelling!) AND to fuel my own improvements in 2013.
Thinking in the car about this, I drove by one of our beloved Wisconsin landmarks – a frozen custard fast food restaurant. On the billboard outside, seductive flashes of light announced the specials: Chicken Parmesan! . . . Butterfinger Blast!!!
Butterfinger Blast!!! – what an explosive name for a frozen custard treat! Got me thinking about something that truly motivated me recently. It was an obituary about the late Ray Bradbury, prolific author and obviously happy, high energy man. Reading about his “explosion” of a life, it suddenly seemed laughable that food should be described using terms like “blast”, “fun”, and yes, even “explosive (taste)”. And what about the term “lit” we use to describe the intoxicating effect of alcohol? Read the obit (below), and see if you don’t agree that junk food and alcohol as feel-good substances are poor substitutes for the real thing – a truly LIT, WHITE HOT life that EXPLODES into the world with the finest of our natural gifts.
RAY BRADBURY, B. 1920
The Untortured Artist
Shortly before his 90th birthday, when asked which moment of his life he’d return to were time travel possible, Ray Bradbury told his interviewer: “Every. Single. Moment. Every single moment of my life has been incredible. I’ve loved it, I’ve savored it, it’s been beautiful — because I’ve remained a boy.” Bradbury was a rare and necessary antidote to the tortured-genius myth — that toxic cultural narrative that requires great creators to suffer lest their work have no depth, no gravitas, no legacy.
Bradbury left high school with plans of going to college, but no money. So he set out to educate himself by going to the library three days a week, a regimen he continued for 10 years, never romanticizing poverty or the so-called writer’s life. Instead, he celebrated the joy of writing itself. In 1951, living in Los Angeles with his wife and two infant daughters, he got a bag of dimes and rented a typewriter in the U.C.L.A. basement for 10 cents a half-hour. He wrote “Fahrenheit 451” for $9.80.
His secret? “You remain invested in your inner child by exploding every day. You don’t worry about the future, you don’t worry about the past — you just explode.” (my bold print)
– MARIA POPOVA
From the New York Times Magazine, Dec. 30, 2012