Natural Living (Test)

I totally, utterly forgot about posting Tuesday.

This is why:

Abraham Lincoln & the Angry Bird

Can you blame me?

Life takes over when there is a puppy who requires round-the-clock supervision, a reunion with glorious kitchen items such as a Vita-Mix and ice cream maker, and two very, very hungry brothers to feed. Three, if you count Abraham Lincoln, or Abe for short. My youngest brother is a big fan of presidents, in general. He named his stuffed cat Thomas Jefferson when he was 4.

So apologies for totally not posting yesterday. I thought about it Monday night, and Tuesday morning, but I also believe in living life outside of the computer and Internet. When you are totally wrapped up in the moment, lost in the beauty of what is happening right now, that is truly being alive.

Thanks for reminding me of that, little man.

***

This is why I didn’t post Wednesday:

Shores of Lake Superior, Marquette, Upper Michigan

Or Thursday:

The Natural Living Test has been extremely influential in helping me focus on what matters most to me and how I should spend my time. As part of my 25 Things for Turning 25, I’ve decided to focus this month on checking off as many things as I can from the NLT. There have been times over the past month where I’ve been totally absorbed in the moment at hand, without worrying about future schedules, demands, meetings, deadlines, etc. I’ve just simply enjoying being wherever I am, doing whatever I was doing, content and free of cares. Those moments have been rocking a sleeping newborn, foraging for raspberries in the late afternoon sunshine of my friends’ garden, watching the waves role in on a Lake Superior beach, grilling with friends and listening to them play music, eating dinner with my family, and caring for the pup.

I haven’t abandoned you, I promise. Knowing that there are people faithfully reading this blog keeps me dedicated to it week after week. But I don’t think you can exist on blogging or the internet world alone. You’ve got to go out into the world and do something worth following, worth writing and reading about – something inspiring and soulful and alive. Forgive me while I take a short break and concentrate on each moment and being as vibrantly alive as I can. I’ll be back soon!

Back just as soon as I can tear myself away and re-establish that long sought after summer discipline…

I’ve included the Natural Living Test at the end of this post, and I encourage all of you to go out and do something today that will make you, and probably some one else, happier.

“This quantifies how closely your life matches that of our happier ancestors. Write down honestly how many times in the past month you have had each of the experiences below:

  • Rocked a newborn baby to sleep
  • Made up a story and told it to a child
  • Felt the sunrise warm your face
  • Satisfied a genuine hunger by eating ripe fruit
  • Satisfied a genuine thirst by drinking cool water
  • Shown courage in protecting a child from danger
  • Shown leadership and resourcefulness in an emergency
  • Shared a meal with parents, siblings, or other close relatives
  • Gossiped with an old friend
  • Made a new friend
  • Made something beautiful and gave it to someone
  • Repaired something that was broken¬†(My defunct tracfone was one annoying challenge, but I persevered)
  • Improved a skill through diligent practice
  • Learned something new about a plant or animal that lives near you
  • Changed your mind about something important on the basis of new evidence
  • Followed good advice from someone older
  • Taught a useful skill, charming art, or interesting fact to someone younger
  • Petted a furry animal such as a dog, cat or monkey
  • Worked with earth, clay, stone, wood or fiber
  • Comforted someone dying
  • Walked over a hill and across a stream
  • Identified a bird by its song
  • Played a significant role in a local ritual, festival, drama or party
  • Played a team sport
  • Made a physical effort to achieve a collective goal with others
  • Sustained silent eye contact with someone to show affection
  • Shamed someone who was behaving badly, for the greater good
  • Resolved a serious argument using humour, emotional self-control, and social empathy
  • Sang, danced, or played instruments with a group of friends
  • Made friends laugh out loud
  • Reached a world-melting mutual orgasm with a sexual partner
  • Experienced sublime beauty that made your hair stand on end
  • Experienced an oceanic sense of oneness with the cosmos that made you think,¬†This is how church should feel
  • Applied the Golden Rule by helping someone in need
  • Warmed yourself by an open fire under stars

Now, add up all the numbers that you wrote for each item above. If your total score is lower than 100 and you do not feel as happy as you would like, write a five-hundred-word essay explaining why you expect your life to be happy or meaningful if you are not doing anything meaningful for others or feeding your brain any of the natural experiences that it evolved to value and to find meaningful.”