Yep, it’s 4th do July week, I have to go with freedom and independence. Or do I?
Had a very “AHA” conversation with a gal earlier his week about freedom. Now I think I am pretty open minded with letting people express their freedom with their beliefs, the right to speak their opinions, bear arms and even burn the American Flag that I hold very dear. And yet as we chatted it became clear that I do not give myself much freedom. I have a very strict code I believe I “should” stick to. Unfortunately this code is so strict that I am either on it…..or way off course.
Food. Exercise. Eat your greens, up your fiber; drink your water, no soda; seedy fruits by lunch, nothing 3 hours before bedtime; get 8 hours of sleep, meditate 20 minutes daily; stick to this list of exercises, no running. And then it becomes a drag, a bore, too restrictive and just plain impossible for me to ignore chocolate one more minute! And I am off the proverbial wagon completely….like that wagon is not even in sight, I am headed in a different direction!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not jumping from fad diet to crazy exercise plans, I’m just not always doing what makes me happy, what brings me joy. And as the conversation with this gal progressed she asked if I could loosen the reigns a little everyday to do things that were good for me but also do some things that bring me joy and relief so that the day doesn’t come that I have to throw down the reigns in complete frustration.
I had to sit with that for awhile. Yes I can loosen up a bit and how does this translate to my clients? I mean, most people come to me not liking to eat veggies and workout. So how do I work in feel free to eat what brings you joy and exercise when it makes you happy BUT you still have to eat veggies and workout?
So here you go….
You have the freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. You have the responsibility to honor your body in ways that make your body feel good, not just short term but long term as well.
You have the independence to do whatever exercise and activity you want, as frequently or infrequently as you want. You have the responsibility to move your body so that it can continue to move you as you age with grace.
You have the freedom and independence to make choices every single moment of every single day, for better or for worse. And you have the responsibility to deal with the results of those choices.
If you choose to smoke a pack of cigarettes everyday for 50 years, you will be responsible for the doctor bills when you develop cancer. You will be responsible for having made the choice to not see your grandkids grow up or for leaving your spouse alone in the golden years.
If you choose to eat fruits and veggies most days, go for a little walk and lift some weights once in a while; you get the joy of going on fantastic trips with your family in your retirement without being a burden to anyone.
If you choose to drink daily and only eat “food like substances” throughout your life, you will be responsible for massive joint pain, joint replacements, heart problems, liver problems and all the bills that go along with that, but also for not being able to easily do things with those you love as you age not so gracefully.
If you choose fruits and veggies, drink moderately throughout your life and indulge sparingly, you will likely experience the joy of seeing your great grandchildren born and living a pain free, independent senior life.
Really, I hear you roll your eyes as you think that retirement, great grandkids and travel are so far away. I invite you to hang out at some different senior living places. You will see people reaping their responsibilities and freedoms all over the place. Some complaining in despair about physical pain and regrets of missed events. Turn down another hall to see lively active older adults dancing with toddlers and beaming to tell you stories of a busy weekend busting with family and activities.
When do you think the choices for these different lifestyles were made? Friday? “No, I think this weekend I will stay home and hurt from those donuts I ate when I was 45,” or “I am so glad I ate those veggies when I was 9, I’m going dancing at a family wedding this weekend!”
NO! You have the freedom, independence and responsibility today and everyday to make these choices.
I wish you well.
If you just aren’t quite sure where to start or which decisions are more urgent to make…give me a call and we’ll talk about where you want to be in the near and far future and which decisions are most important today! 612-202-0448