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7 keys for a long, healthy and happy life (as gleaned from surviving Stage 3 Rectal Cancer)

1. Honor the little ghosts--the voices inside your head, encouraging you to do the right thing, to take measured risks, to be creative and free, to follow your bliss.

2. Find a partner--man, woman, dog, cat, horse, whatever. Man was not born into this world to be alone. Find someone/something to share your joys, pains, triumphs and tragedies with.

3. Keep adequate savings/insurance--nothing in life will fully prepare you for the unexpected, however having money in the bank to cover their cost is not only prudent but necessary to live a long, healthy and happy life.

4. Work on your body--eat right, exercise, get your sleep. Enough said.

5. Burn your bridges--when you make a break in life, it's best to not look back, to second guess yourself. Keep moving forward. And the only way forward is, well, forward.

6. Cherish the moments you have with the ones you love--life can be a grand affair at times and it's important to acknowledge those moments with more than a passing interest. Be that guy taking too many pictures, that girl scrapbooking into the wee hours. Then share those moments with others (sharing allows you to relive the cherished times, thus doubling their impact--and your joy).

7. When times get tough (and they will) take your partner by the hand/paw/hoof and dance. And not the lindy (unless the lindy is what you are feeling), but a slow, cheek to cheek dance. Feel the moment wash over you like the mist from a giant waterfall and, when the time is right, kiss their cheek and whisper "I love you" into their ear.

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