How to Live Longer

stop here

I arrived at my writing residency a little less than 2 weeks ago. That was preceded by a week long road trip from the East coast to the middle of corn country. Even though it’s been less than a month since I left New York, it feels like it’s been more than twice as long.

Living on an old farm offers challenges that I rarely encounter living in cities. Living without air conditioning, not seeing a building more than three stories, remembering to wear bug spray daily, putting buckets under leaks when a thunderstorm or tornado looms, sleeping with only the sound of bugs chirping, asking for help when I don’t know how to use a power saw, depending on other people for transportation.

All of these tasks require me to re-think and re-work my mind and body. I am no longer on auto-pilot. I am more conscious of what I am doing and what I am thinking because everything is new. When I first arrived, I wasn’t sure I would survive two days, let alone two months. The heat was unbearable and my surroundings were so bare bones, I had to put my head down to rest. I gave myself three days to adjust and acclimate before making a judgment on my decision to come here.

We can’t live until we’re two hundred years old (not yet anyway), but we can compound the time that we already have. Say yes to learning. Say yes to adventure. Say yes to challenge.