Simple Rules to Healthy Living

By Jack Sheedy

Continuing with my research on 20th century poet Thomas J. McSheey, I came across these snippets which he wrote while serving as an adjunct professor at Stonycliff College.


Rotary Phone

Call it what you will. Shangri-La. Xanadu. Eldorado. Utopia. Eden. Life is made up of such Lost Horizons. That Paradise which is seemingly achievable, nearly reachable, almost attainable. Yet it somehow eludes us, evades us, and, alas, slips away. Beyond the distant horizon. Lost. Out of sight. Pushed away by the passing years – one year becomes two, three, five – a decade, and then gone.

Imagine the sense of loss Adam and Eve felt when cast out of the Garden. To have lived in Paradise, only to have it taken from them. It must have been the single greatest loss in the history of humanity. Even worse than my retirement account, I imagine.

Modern life, with its technological advances, is like living with a Lost Horizon. How much simpler life was not so long ago – an Eden of a different age, a splendid Garden, in a time when the world was larger and more mysterious, and we were free to run across its fields, unfurled, unfettered, and unfazed by distant things. There was a sense of being at one with our world – divorced from society, but in union with the Creator.

Now we seem caged by the trappings of our modern world. Technology, once our servant, has become our lord and master.

Confound the rotary telephone – it will be our undoing!


Simple Rules to Healthy Living – Physically, Mentally, Spiritually

  • Wake up by 7:00 AM
  • Be showered and dressed by 8:00
  • Take a walk
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Don’t drink too much
  • Do 20 sit-ups and 20 push-ups a day
  • Practice Tai Chi at least one per week
  • Make your bed in the morning
  • Tidy up around the house
  • Put your dirty laundry in the hamper
  • Wash your dishes
  • Empty the trash
  • Have a plan for the day – don’t become idle
  • Be proactive in life – don’t wait around for things to happen, go out and make them happen
  • Do multiple things at the same time – that’s why the brain has two sides 
  • Believe in something – if not God, per se, then at least believe in the power of the sun
  • Have a book nearby – perhaps even read it
  • Keep a garden – even if just a tomato in a pot on the back step
  • Share your life with a pet – preferably one that doesn’t smoke a pipe indoors
  • Be compassionate and tolerant toward others – even abstract expressionist artists
  • Get to bed at a reasonable hour – the same day on which you originally awoke would be good
  • Shampoo, rinse, repeat should not be taken literally – otherwise you’ll be caught in an infinite loop

Jack Sheedy is the author of a number of books and hundreds of articles in newspapers and magazines. He tries to live by McSheey’s "Simple Rules to Healthy Living," although he admits frustration at his dachshund’s annoying habit of puffing away in the living room each evening.

He also keeps a garden, both at home and at work. Check out: welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on