living a long, good life

last month, i got together with some of my dearest friends here in seattle. all of them i had known since grade school and/or high school. because of this history, they know me as “art” not “father art.” because of this familiarity, there is a certain level of comfort in our interactions; our conversations are unfiltered. i laughed a lot that evening.

i enjoyed the gathering so much that i would like to continue seeing them until a ripe old age– maybe monthly.

in a personal conversation with one of my closest buddies, we talked about this possibility of getting together monthly as a group until we are in our 90s. i was assuming a good quality of life for us all during these gatherings. but my buddy reminded me that health is not guaranteed. for many, long life is not a value if there is physical ailments/suffering. although i believe in the ultimate redemption of suffering, we ought not willfully bring it onto ourselves. the cross usually finds us– even if we try to hide.

there is also the issue of enjoying life now and living life to the fullest now. for myself, i cannot imagine giving up God’s gifts of hamburgers, donuts and beer! kale adds nothing to my happiness meter. in my younger days, i used to say, “i workout so that i can eat anything i want!” well, now i see the dietary selfishness in such a statement.

i found this interesting piece that talks about quality of life in a fuller context ( )

as a preface, there was this quote: “About two-thirds of your longevity is within your control” ( Susan Friedman, MD, MPH, geriatrician and an associate professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York )

i do not doubt this stat. there are certain things that are within our power; a lot of things are not in our control. it is called life.

here are the 15 areas of highlight from the article. i list them in four different categories:

1– eat vegetables, beans, nuts, avoid skipping breakfast

2– have a sense of purpose, avoid stress, give back, have faith, stay positive

3– keep moving, stretch it out, get outside

4– do not smoke, be social, be proactive

for me, at this time in my life, i am doing okay in most of these general areas. the majority of my posts in my blog expand these various themes.

today, i want to try something new in the areas of weakness for me: eating vegetables and beans. earlier, i listed a few foods that most would say are not good for us in general, me in particular. i forgot to add that i love pizza, pie, and red meat too. diet is my weakness. much of our consumeristic culture pushes bad food on us because to sells and is “convenient.” it is no wonder that a good portion of our population can be labeled obese.

it is not that i dislike vegetables and beans. once i am eating them, i do like them. it is just a matter of actually planning, cooking and then eating them that are my sticking points. maybe i have to be reminded of my father and his vegetable garden. he was so good at growing veggies. but i did not inherit this gene from him.

perhaps i need to be reminded of my own preaching that our bodies are gifts from God and our responsibility is to take care of God’s gifts.

and i have always liked the ben franklin quote: “eat to live; do not live to eat.” so today, i ponder how to better integrate veggies and beans into my daily diet.

do you have any suggestions for me from your own experience?


  1. I’m pretty good about getting my veggies in. I eat a salad everyday for lunch and usually have an apple in the afternoon for a snack. My weakness is sweets! If I could cut those out a little, that would be nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. frarthurcmf says:

      i hear ya!

      one of my tricks with sweets is the two bite rule: two bites of almost all sweets is enough to satisfy. the first bite is great, the second bite good. after that, diminishing returns…

      Liked by 1 person

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