A lovely relaxed long week-end with a dear friend prompted me to think about how I am dealing with my own life, as well as about my clients who are abusing their bodies in the name of busy-ness.
We had an urban staycation, with ample time to chat about our lives and the choices we are making. It was a time of great clarification; no vacation to Hawaii or another paradise could have brought as much peace and serenity to me.
Here we are, relaxing on my front porch.
Are your Bragging Rights killing you?
“I never eat lunch,” “I work 12 hours a day,” “I only get about 4 hours of sleep a night – oh, I don’t need any more; I feel just fine.” “Weekend? What’s a weekend?”
I hear these statements all the time from people whose body language and facial expressions show that they are pleased, even smug about their habits. They protest, with overly bright eyes, that they are just fine.
They have drunk the kool-aid; the flavor that tells them that bad things such as heart attacks and strokes only happen to other people – old people.
They don’t know that skipping meals leads to stress, which leads to craving all those things that are bad for you – sugar, fats, and salts. They really don’t grasp that these things are bad for you. And although they may have heard that sleep is necessary for repair of muscles, including the heart muscle, healthy functioning of the immune system, and weight & appetite control, they don’t really feel threatened by their behavior.
They may attribute their anxious or depressed moods to what’s going on in life rather than what’s going on in their bodies. When their memory suffers and they make mistakes, they believe it’s a temporary problem due to overload – which of course will be gone any day now. Only somehow it’s not.
Perhaps they don’t know that cardiac disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, with the death rate rising for women ages 35 to 50. I recently heard a cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute remark that sleep deprivation is a greater precursor of cardiac disease than high blood pressure and diabetes – together.
In the meantime, while waiting for a surprising attack that will finally get your attention, you can be forgetful, irritable, frequently ill, and overweight. Sound like a good life to you?
What exactly is the prize that many of these health scofflaws are pursuing so vigorously?
When you start bragging about this kind of hardiness, it’s a good idea to stop and ask yourself the following questions:
- What did I really want when I started out on this race I now seem to be in?
- Is this prize any nearer now that I have worked so hard?
- Is there another way to get to this same prize?
look around you, and enjoy what is already there.
- Is the prize worth the price I am paying?
Missing key events in the life of your loved ones, especially growing children, is an extraordinarily high price to pay for success which may or may not be coming to you in this manner and in this place.
End of life counselors tell us that people on their deathbeds don’t sigh with satisfaction and say, “At last I got that Beamer,” or “My greatest satisfaction in life was that I got that second home on the lake.”
The Confident Introvert
“What are they afraid of?” my department manager used to ask after meetings in which a number of department members sat, silent and resentful, while he was unaware that his habit of springing surprise agenda items and asking for an immediate decision was very upsetting to these talented, educated introverts. Understanding, appreciating and utilizing the skills of introversion are foreign ideas to some – even to introverts. Now you can read about it in
The Confident Introvert.
Order now at http://www.ConfidentIntrovert.