Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 2010

There are always life lessons to be learned.  They are all around us in the people we meet, the news reports, our neighbors, our co-workers, our situations, and our decisions.  We may read an inspiring story in our email or hear a heartfelt song on the radio that almost moves us to action.  But not quite.

We know in our hearts that it would benefit us to take these life lessons to heart but we often fail to do that.  Oh we think they are pretty, they are cute, they are special, and oh so true.  But to take them to heart would require me to reflect on it and consider its application to my life.  How many of us feel that it is true virtue to "do unto others as you would have done unto you" but in reality, don't follow this simple rule of life?  Sure is a great morale at the end of a heartbreaking email story though, isn't it?

I spent almost twenty years teaching private voice and piano lessons.  Many times I would enhance the lesson with some stories or examples and hope that the student would internalize the experience and grow as a result.  I can still remember some of the blank stares or the absent smiles.

My grandfather had many wise comments to say (and wise cracks as well!).  I often regret not writing down the things he said.  But I do remember one of the many lessons he taught me:  if you don't grow with the experience it was a total waste of time.

What decisions are you making lately that bring about change in yourself?  It is tough to change because many times it involves admitting that we are at fault or lacking something.  I'm just fine if I don't change.  But isn't it really a waste of time, indeed a waste of a LIFEtime, if I don't at least acknowledge the fact that I could be a better person today than I was yesterday?

I know that I am a totally different person than who I was say, oh, five or six years ago.  In fact, I like the person I am becoming BECAUSE of the decisions I have made.  they were not all easy decisions.  To be honest with you, the ones that make the biggest improvements in our lives are often the hardest ones to make...especially if it means breaking a long-running habit.

What this has to do with mom's cancer and dad's Alzheimer's I hope is pretty clear to you but in case it is not, I will spell it out for you.
Eat the right foods.
Drink enough water.
Don't play the blame game (no one is responsible for your health but you)
Stop smoking.
Get some exercise once a day that increases your heart rate.
And don't forget to keep an eye on your own health - physical and mental.  This body is the only one we get and although it has a tendency to break down it is still our responsibility to take care of it.  If you have cancer in your family then take a pro-active stance for YOUR health with regular check-ups.  If you have Alzheimer's in the family take a pro-active stance for YOUR mental health and study it, learn about it, feed your brain and let it keep growing, and tell your doctor.  

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