All during our lifetime, we set goals. We set goals and wish away time to achieve them. Then when we achieve them, we are often too stressed by daily problems for enjoyment. Where did those enjoyable years go?
I'll tell you where they went. They went to raising kids, a restart of life after a divorce, toward a college education, paying bills and maybe working at a job you dislike. They went toward buying a home or car or to pay the baby-sitter. Few folks considered their own body health during those enjoyment years; they were too busy just getting by.
Your own kids play at the same game and spend a lot of their free time preparing for the years that we have already lost. Stop and take a good look at necessity. It's nice that someone needs you; they also need you to be healthy, happy and productive, but you can't be there for others if your emotional and physical health fails.
Hard fact of life: We take on too much responsibility. It's insidious the way we tend to absorb stressful situations. What did you give up personally when you took on that last little extra responsibility, maybe a part of you? Kids take a lot more planning today; they have school, careers (most work by age 15), sports and social involvements. These all involve the participation of a family member. Again, a little piece of you is given to another good cause, and more responsibility is added.
Today, right now, whether you are 15, 25 or 45, consider eliminating a few of those layers of commitment to others and slip in a little for you. Go out and stroll through the leaves, leave the dishes in the sink and try a sport, a college class or an exercise program.
A hundred years from now, no one will care that you forgot to take out the trash. Make an appointment for a doctor check-up and keep it. Buy a book on nutrition and read it. Learn a little about "you" and what makes you happy.
Any of these things will start you thinking about yourself.
Stop thinking of yourself as "too old," or worse, that you are unable to cope. Well-being, physical and emotional health will give you a clear space in your busy life. Don't wait until your health fails and you fail your loved ones before you change your lifestyle. Don't wish away your life to meet your goals. You can still meet your goals with time out to enjoy every day.
n Jerry Vance is owner of The Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Senior Center.