Thought for the Week
Many New Year’s Resolutions are pie-in-the-sky (for diet resolution-ists, make that celery-sticks-in-the-sky); they’re doomed because they’re viewed as niceties, not necessities.
But health, the number one resolution subject, is a necessity. Why? Because we’re complex creatures, and deteriorating physical health can decimate everything we have: Our emotions, our ability to think clearly and make good decisions; our careers and financial stability; our relationships; our spiritual well-being; and eventually our lives.
I once saw a doctor regarding recurring knee pain. This old-school M.D. advised me, between his heavy smoker’s hacks, to stop exercising and “just live with it.” So I dropped him (he probably didn’t have long to live, anyway). And in his place, I found an exercise-friendly doctor who advised a zero-tolerance policy toward health issues.
It took a few years and a lot of trial-and-error, but I eventually learned how to modify my work-out routine to incorporate knee-strengthening exercises and other types of physical therapy.
Similarly, last year, after being diagnosed with artery blockage, I adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward high blood pressure. Problem: I’m a writer, and my heart doesn’t like me sitting at a desk–it wants me to be constantly active (in its heart-of-hearts, it really wants me to be a construction worker). Solution: I now break up my writing sessions with lots of little movement and therapy breaks. Finally, after a bajillion modifications in my schedule, and a veritable flood of blood-pressure readings, my symptoms have almost disappeared.
But “almost” isn’t enough.
I’ll be at this for as long as it takes, which will probably be the rest of my life. Because, while there are things toward which a “just live with it” approach makes sense (our cat clawing the hallway carpet),
Health isn’t one of them.