Get A Life: Don’t become inflexible

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

By Loretta LaRoche

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Every day we wake up and perform our rituals, many of which are quite satisfying. I rather enjoy sitting in my cozy chair, drinking my cup of coffee while I gaze out the window at my garden. Even though I’ve heard that standing on my head is healthy and brings blood to my brain, it’s not something I’d prefer to be doing first thing in the morning. That really wouldn’t help me get a new spin on things. It would just make me dizzy.

Our rituals can be good for us, and they can be comforting, too (I certainly have no intention of giving up my my morning coffee in my cozy chair). But an unyielding reliance on ritual can be destructive — not only to ourselves, but to society as well.

When we become inflexible, we become robotic. Our program has been activated and we do the same thing day in and day out. That sort of inflexibility can create a limited and narrow life. It can also make those around you stressed. There are those who suffer from OCD, a condition that drives their need to be ritualistic. They are driven to repeat rituals and are often on medication supported by therapy to try to help them. However, the rest of our society is often trapped into wearing, using, doing or thinking in certain ways because it’s hip, or healthy, or because some celebrity is involved.

Every week it’s something new: kale smoothies, spinning, crossword puzzles for your brain, a new supplement for your joints.

None of the above is necessarily unhealthy for you. But do these rituals make you happy or are you just doing them because “somebody said so”? If you’ve become invested in something because “they” decided it was good, then you may want to take some time to assess whether you’re really enjoying it. What’s great about life is that there are many options. You don’t have to ingest a certain drink every morning if you hate the taste just because it’s supposed to be good for you. Chances are in a few months “they” will say it’s going to kill you.

How far we’ve strayed from following our inner muse. Lives of bland uniformity lead us away from a life of joy and celebration.

I feel I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I have finally realized I’m “THEY.” I want to be healthy, happy and fit, but I know there are many options to walk that path. I really don’t care how many studies they come out with on the benefit of kale smoothies or the dangers inherent in drinking coffee. “They” still don’t know if it’s good or bad, and frankly, I don’t care!

Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at