In the past two weeks, I have had three family members end up in the hospital. Being 51, I guess part of that comes with the territory of aging.
The funny thing about that is I remember as a teenager my Dad telling me to enjoy life because as you get older, time goes by much faster. Of course at the time this made absolutely no sense to me. After all, we all have the same 24 hours in a day right?
What I now realize is this. Unless we have a great quality of life; meaning everything from health to an awareness of how to balance work and play, time will escape us. As I’ve gotten older and lost people close to me, I now absolutely understand what he meant.
I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones. I lost my Dad at twenty-four and my best friend just a couple of years ago. While both deaths were absolutely devastating, it did really change my perspective on life. What I learned was this – while some things that happen we can’t control, many we can. Time for some life decisions.
Life decision # 1 – Stay healthy
Ok, I’ll admit it…I hate working out. Not even mildly, I really hate it. But here are a few facts. At 51, I have yet to take any medications. It also helps me maintain a healthy weight. As we all know, being overweight is part of what causes many health issues. I know, I love ice cream too. Get over it and just do it. You have to move to be healthy as you age. Maintain a strong core. Added bonus ladies – no double chin and you can still wear sleeveless dresses.
Life decision #2 – Balance work and play
I am a recovering workaholic. I still put in long hours and pretty much never have a day where I don’t answer e-mails but I also take much more time to do the things I love to do. For me, that is travel. I don’t go for multiple weeks at a time…maybe just a long weekend, but I let my brain and body rejuvenate so I can be strong. Both mentally and physically.
Life decision #3 – Drink lots of water
I hate water. Boring!! I personally like soda, but know it’s not good for me. I quit drinking soda twice – both New Year’s resolutions and both times I made it the full year. I replaced soda with water and I am now in the habit of drinking a gallon a day. Not every day, some days I don’t quite hit a gallon. Yes, I have to run to the bathroom a little more, but my skin looks better and my system works better. No medications, remember.
Life decision #4 – Get more rest
This is still my weakness. I bet some of you reading this are like me…once you wake up your mind starts racing about all the things you need to get done. It won’t shut off and now you are awake. I know, everyone will tell you to have a tablet by your bed and write it down. I have tried that…I just create a bigger list. Still working to improve this, however, when I actually get a great night’s sleep, I am a better friend, boss, mom etc. etc.
Life decision #5 – Live a life as free from worry as possible
Let’s face it, most worries come from finances. I’ve had money and not had money. When you have money you never think about it. When you don’t it’s all you think about. Peace of mind is one of the healthiest decisions you can make. I still believe stress causes all kinds of major health issues. Live within your means and become a student of finances. I took a budgeting class as a young lady and it really helped. Work hard, stay focused and get promoted.
Life decision #6 – Believe in God or something larger than you
I have been on a faithful Christian journey for some time now. It has transformed my life. This may not be where you are at, but have something or someone that you believe in and who believes in you.
Life decision #7 –Love someone
It is such a wonderful gift to be able to love someone. Everyday I am thankful for all the love connections I have in my life. My daughter brings me so much joy. My boyfriend is amazing and my friends are my glue – we have laughed and cried together through all of life’s twist and turns. What a blessing.
Now having said all of this, none of us can predict what is around the bend. I do however believe we have been given an opportunity for an amazing life and a healthy one at that. I challenge each of you to take care of yourself and to be happy. Count your blessings and be in love. While time may still escape us, enjoy every minute given.