Squander.


Yesterday’s Discovery Channel bomb scare yielded an unexpected find; a Twitterer named DCDebbie who was determined to deliver the news right from the front lines. Turns out I have a lot in common with Debbie, especially politically speaking, and when she tweeted, “Obama said Bush supports our troops, but I disagree. Bush lied about war, used forged docs, even troops were unsure as to y they were there.”

Ever quick to jump into the fray, I tweeted this response, “Exactly. You don’t squander what you value.”

The profound truth of that statement swept over me like a tidal wave, and – in true Ginger fashion – it began to sink in that it was a lesson I too needed to learn.

I’ve spent a lifetime squandering my health. This means it has had little value to me. I think that’s true for far too many, who always put off all the things we need to do to get healthier for another time. Then when we’re lying on a gurney after a heart attack or we learn that we have cancer and our lives are shortened by a good many years, we realize too late that all those missed opportunities were actually squandered opportunities.

I found this song months back thanks to So You Think You Can Dance, for a routine created around the idea of how we treat mother earth:

Why take everything you see?
You have nothing left to squander
If you keep pushing me away
You’ll have no one left to, no one left to love

It was meant in the romantic sense but those lyrics we can turn inward. There is nothing more precious than our health. If we don’t take care of ourselves, there’s no way we can take care of others… or the planet or our causes – it all begins with our commitment to survival.

How can we love others if we don’t first love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves? How can we be there for them and take care of them when we don’t first seek to secure our own health? It’s like that airplane safety tip that says you have to put your oxygen mask on before you assist anyone else.

If we don’t take care of ourselves then there’s no way we can care for others, and in fact we can burden them with the consequences of these choices.

In overweight women, especially, this is a problem. Many “don’t have the time” to do the things they need to do to be healthier and more fit for their families. Instead they pour every ounce of their energy into taking care of their husbands and their kids and their families and their job, and their health pays the price for it.

It looks like selfless devotion but it’s not. It’s putting the least value on the most important person in the equation, and thereby jeopardizing our very survival.

There’s simply no reason for it. Not with the information and opportunities we have to make these changes. It just takes a little prioritizing. We can put it off and come up with a long list of excuses, but it all amounts to pissing our chances away to become more than we are.

This lyric in particular struck me hard:

You’re less than you should be
why run so hard to finish last?

It’s all our choice; and if we choose not to take advantage of the time we have and the health we have now… then there’s no other word for it but “squandered”.

So today I choose to embrace these opportunities that will make me stronger and healthier.

I will value my health because there is nothing in this world more valuable.

Proud moment: Got up early and walked two miles at the park. Plus I met my calorie goals yesterday.

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