Naked as a Jaybird

If by some strange, unfortunate events, everything around that you’ve built up over your lifetime — your house, your car, your most prized possessions — suddenly disappeared, poofed, went up in flames, blew away, fell into a crack in the earth, was abducted by aliens, stepped on by Godzilla, destroyed by superman, or any other natural disaster that could happen us all, what would you do? How would you react?

*If everything you own was gone tomorrow, how would you move forward?*

I’ve known friends who have lost their belongings in a fire, and others who have experience the power and laissez faire attitude of Mother Nature. (The weather doesn’t give an F. about your new apartment.)

My grandparents house had a brush with a tornado. (…Which is like saying a peanut butter sandwich picked a fight with a dinosaur — no chance.) They were safe, fortunately, but it ripped through their property and cause water damage to their home (could have been much worse). My gran didn’t miss a beat. The first thing I remember her saying was “Now I can finally renovate my kitchen and living room!”

Clothing, shoes last a season or two.

Gadgets feel old immediately, and look like garage with the new version comes out the follow year.

Cars lose their new car smell (in many ways).

And everything else either goes out of style or breaks eventually.

But the one thing you can always take with you is yourself.

Unless you abuse you, with short term pleasures and long-term stresses.

Invest in your mind, body and spirit and even if you’re naked as a jaybird, you’ll always have you.

Skill, energy, character, ability, attitude, mindset, wellbeing, vision, happiness, knowledge and wisdom…

These are the things that stick with you.

And as long as you continue too nurture and strive towards improving yourself, nothing can take that from you.

Old age comes, but doesn’t hit you as bad as others. Because you are ALIVE. You’ve honed who you are and followed your wants, instead of your should’s.

Even in horrible outcomes — cancer, Alzheimer’s… — by investing in yourself, you’ve no doubt helped others become their best as well. Legacy fades eventually, but it impacts those around you, which in turn, they impact those around them, on and on.

And when something breaks, or something is lost or stolen, the pain of that loss isn’t as potent as it could have been. In fact, it feels okay.

I don’t remember where I heard this (so sorry to whoever said it for butchering the full idea), but when you’re not attached to things, you can be happy when something breaks or is lost. you can tell it ‘thank you for your time and your effort in helping me’, and move on, unattached, but respectful of your time together. (And think this works for friendships too.)

You still have what is most important, yourself.

Strong will.

Mentally calm and wise.

Trained and nourished body.

Healthy spirit.

Perhaps you are like me and in a moment of reflection on your life and what you’ve surrounded yourself with. Maybe you are surrounded by things, but have neglected health, skill or character. Perhaps work is your life, and you’re not sure how you feel about that.

Good. :)

Today is always a great day for beginning and for mastery.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner