The Year Ahead

The Year Ahead

“Hello Friend!”

There is a song from the Musical RENT, “Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure… Measure a year?” That is what 2013 will hold for me, and for you. No more, no less. How will we use it, invest it, spend it?

Life is a balance. It seems if we want to do one thing, something else has to be left behind. So, we must choose. There are givens in my life. I fit in what I can around those givens, those nonnegotiables. If I am asked to fly for work, I fly. It is an irregular schedule, but it (the flying schedule) is a nonnegotiable. Some weeks I don’t fly at all, and sometimes I am gone for over a week straight. If I am in town, I attend church and sing in choirs for two services on Sunday mornings. If I am in town, I attend Thursday night choir rehearsal. If I am in town, I take a piano lesson on Thursday afternoon. I get to choose what to fit into the time that is left over.

Unlike a person who works 8:00 to 4:30, five days a week, every day is different for me. I like the variety! But, with that variety and freedom comes the responsibility to not waste time. I need to fill the voids constructively. There are times when the schedule just gets jam-packed. It sometimes feels like one activity segues into the next, and I don’t have a chance to come up for air. I tend to have many different interests, and want to do it all. Now! I need to be more cognizant of choosing well, and doing what is important in the long run. The important things involve others. Am I making a difference? Are you making a difference?

Resolutions at this time of year often involve losing weight, or trying to improve one’s health. But the resolutions fall by the wayside, and after a few weeks are forgotten. Let me try to put this concept into perspective.

If you lose your health, everything stops. Period. There are people who spend their whole life earning money, but at the expense of their health. They then spend all their money trying to regain what they have lost. Wouldn’t it be better to not lose it in the first place?

So, invest in yourself. Do it for yourself. Do it for the ones you love. Do it for those who love you. But do it. You know what it means. You’ve heard it all before, but do it. Do it now. Eat the good stuff, skip the bad stuff. Eat less of it, and eat the smaller portions more often throughout the day. Exercise regularly. For me this should be running three times, swimming at least once, and biking at least once each week. Find an exercise buddy or group. It makes it so much easier, and you can hold each other accountable.

And get proper sleep. Sleep is when the body repairs itself and gets stronger, both physically and mentally. Sleep is a basic human need. Just like food and water, you need sleep. Shoot for eight hours. That means if you need to get up at 0600, you need to go to bed at 2200. Plan accordingly. Try to make it so you wake up when you are ready to wake up. If you need to, set an alarm as a backup, but try to make it so you really don’t need the alarm.

I get to choose. You get to choose. We could be unhealthy but rich, or be healthy and not rich. Given those choices, I would choose healthy every time. Make it a lifestyle. Make health one of the nonnegotiables. I believe health is the second best investment you can make. (Faith would be the first, but we’ll save that discussion for another time). With health all the other doors and possibilities open. Without health your options become limited.

Wishing you health in the New Year! But it is your choice. No one can do it for you. You are responsible for you. Invest in yourself. Choose well!