Within the same span of 15 minutes on Tuesday I learned that two people, important to two people I love, passed away. One of my dad's closest friends since they were 14, and one of my husband's good friends since before we were married. One 69, the other 46. No freak accidents. No weird diseases. Preventable, health-related stuff... Diabetes. Heart disease.
I don't blame them. Stop and look around. It is everywhere. It used to be me.
You hear the acronym S.A.D. quite a bit. "Standard American Diet." Apparently, in the news anyway, it is our issue as a society with 67% of our population clinically overweight or obese. But I don't think that is it. I think our issue is the Standard American Dream, and as a result we eat the Standard American Diet. Just today I had 13 coaching calls. Over half of those clients (and I'm being conservative here) struggle with crazy work schedules, crazy life schedules and/or financial debt. The whole other layer of enjoying work, feeling fulfilled and taking time to give back, see family and friends, have a spiritual practice, have hobbies and enjoy nature is like - "yeah right." We are so crazy keeping up with life we hardly know what that second list means. It's like a foreign language.
We don't have health - because we don't have time, because we don't make time, because this is what we think life and "middle age" - being an adult - is about. Do you ever stop to look around and really ask the question - "What are we doing? What am I doing?" Am I fulfilled, am I happy, am I enjoying life? Or am I just living for retirement and the next vacation or weekend? What is your dream??? What do you want? And if you are caught in the "Standard American Dream" don't tell me this is it. Oh my gosh - we have been given these bodies and these lives to treasure and enjoy. So stop. And ask yourself, what do I want? What would my life look like if I could create it?
I was at a networking meeting this week that I really enjoy - and one of the guys said something that I quickly jotted down on the back of the agenda. "Anything of value is a lifetime pursuit."
To make the choice we first have to deem it important enough. For me, it's wanting to enjoy each day. And not live at a crazy pace. And do something I love. And be fulfilled. And take care of my body. And continue to work at my relationships - so I can be present more. And continue to de-clutter my house (which I'm almost done with by the way - you have no idea how much better it feels!) And continue to tackle my "gremlins." And continue to create better daily financial habits - to totally pay off all our debt - so we can really be free! And so I continue to peel the onion. And with each layer I feel a little bit lighter. And a little bit more on purpose. I almost had to pinch myself today I was loving life so much! :) And it all started with a small vision that continues to grow. And so you start. Take the first step.
Here is a suggestion: Think of a couple things you would love to do - and write them down. Maybe it's a big project, or an activity, or a regular addition to your day or week - time with friends, time for yourself... Then pull out your calendar and take out a really big red pen. And look at every single flipping obligation - and decide. What stays and what goes. Then schedule those couple things you want to add in. And then, shut down the fear that tries to wedge it's way in. The fear sounds like guilt, or all the reasons why it isn't possible. And if that doesn't work, give me a call. I will be more than happy to help you figure out how to make it possible. I've gotten good at it. (I'm being totally serious about that.) And then, take a hard look at your health. Because without your health you have nothing. And make some choices. Think about what and who you want to be around for - because 69 and 46 years old is not enough. STOP PLAYING SMALL!! Think about how it will feel to have, even a small ounce to start, of that live you want for yourself. And then once that feels awesome - you take the second step. And then the third.
At my OPTAVIA OPEN HOUSE coming up (the date has changed) -- from 2:00-5:00pm, Saturday, September 17 -- one of the things I decided will help a whole lot of us it to work on that dream. I just decided this today. So in addition to healthy appetizers, "fueling" samples and lots of great folks - plus a 3:00pm Live Optavia video call - we are going to put together vision boards. It may sound cheesy (I used to think so), but I'm now a big believer... so come with an open mind... and a bunch of friends. Get all inspired. And leave with a bigger dream than you even knew you had in mind! I'm so excited!!!
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