Monday, June 28, 2010

Some progress, some problems

I went for a nice long walk this morning, for the first time in ages. I love getting exercise. I wish it were easier, when the stress rises and the pressures increase, to remember that. But this morning was good.

I'm cutting back on caffeine slowly. Soon I'll get off it completely again, but I can't afford the grouchy moods and headaches that come with a cold turkey approach this time around. Too many priorities to manage right now.

And no, I haven't figured out what the guiding priorities of my life all are yet. Working on it. These are the priorities of the moment. Family. Work. Exercise. Sleep. Repeat.

Sleep is the one being squeezed out again. It's 11pm, and I just sent the last work email of the night. Not the last I could have sent, or "should" have sent, but the last I have the energy to send.

So, this isn't nirvana. I'm not a changed man overnight. I didn't plan to be. But I'm making progress, and paying attention, and that's a step.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A weekend of tears, in a good way

I admit it. I'm a fan of America's Got Talent. Yes, the moments of failure make me cringe with empathetic embarrassment, but the moments of brilliant success are inspirational. And when those successes have a touching story behind them...well, that's why I keep coming back.

Tonight I watched two sisters, a young teen and a twenty-year-old, sing with power and truth. These girls are two of four siblings, all of whom have cystic fibrosis - a disease of the lungs that makes it increasingly difficult to breathe, much less sing. They were told they never would. They sang wonderfully, and their story is beautiful.

They know they don't have long to live. People with cystic fibrosis live into their thirties, most of the time. The older sister has probably already lived half her life. They emphasized living each day for the gift that it is. Their parents stood in the wings and watched their babies soar. I had tears in my eyes listening to them, and have them again writing this now.

This weekend I also saw Toy Story 3. The movie is fantastic. Rollicking laughter, edge-of-my-seat suspense, and yes, more than a few tears. I won't be giving anything away if I tell you that Andy is growing up, and heading off to college. Of course, it got me thinking about how quickly our own three children are growing up. Our littlest, our son, turned five last week. Our eldest daughter turns twelve next week. Time is passing. I don't want to miss one day.

And this week I found out that someone very close to me has a serious new health issue. His newly revived perspective and his re-found passion for spending his time on the things he values most had me in tears once again. It's been an emotional week, and a valuable one for me.

I need to spend some time thinking about my priorities. About how I want to spend my life. Each day of my life.

I know this much. I don't want to spend it in pain. OK, my pain is mild compared to most. Compared to someone with cystic fibrosis, it's nothing at all. I have back aches all the time, and a chronic pain in my side. Both are caused by my body's tendency to carry my extra weight, and there's a lot of it, around my middle.

I'm tired of hurting. I'm tired of bringing this on myself, because I choose to eat when I'm stressed out, or unhappy. I'm tired of being stressed out. I'm tired of choosing to get a little bit more done at work, instead of getting a little bit more exercise.

I'm not making healthy choices. I need to clarify what's REALLY important to me, and start making choices that align with those priorities.