Influences (pt. 2)

lengua-pupA friend whose Mom lived to 99 told me about his Mom’s life and how she was healthy and vibrant up to the last week of her life.

Beyond having good genes, what influences made a difference in her life?

I started making a mental list of strong, positive influences on my life, the things that have served me well so far and which I’d do again. Of course saying yes to one thing usually means you’re saying no to something else, something that another person might think has more value, but this is my list. It’s also probably not complete and isn’t in any special order. Here’s the second half of the list:

– Two drinks a day, because alcohol is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

– Owning the same car for twenty years was eccentric but I became fond of it and saved heaps of dough.

– Being born ¬†white and male in America was a huge leg up. As weird as that may sound, consider what life would’ve been like if I’d been born female in the Middle East for example.

– As a very young child I was raised in a loving, stable environment. And then, I was allowed to be a free-range kid, taking risks that most kids now don’t.

– Following a simple formula for financial independence was important. It’s just: living simply, paying off my house, staying out of debt, and using a low-cost indexed stock fund.

– Jettisoning religion early was a good thing.

– Discovering some of the Stoic philosophers was refreshing.

– Avoiding sugar, wheat, and industrially processed food keeps me healthier than most.

– Not taking in too much news prevents worrying so much about things I can’t change.

– Having a few close friends.

– Visiting NYC, I’d live there too if I had more cash.

– Not having kids, some parents tell me that having kids is overrated.

– Getting my vision corrected surgically wasn’t life changing, but was a big improvement in my quality of life.

– Having a positive attitude, that and a down jacket will get you thought almost anything.