As I write this, I am on a flight back to my hometown of St. Louis. I am coming back from Pittsburgh, where I participated in the inaugural Women's Health Conversations event brought to the Pittsburgh community by Dr.Vonda Wright, an orthopedic surgeon, mobility expert, and source of inspiration to many - myself included.
Dr. Vonda, with the support of forward-thinking financial executives, envisioned and executed this event in hopes of showing/reminding women that, along with addressing their financial needs, addressing their own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as a priority is not only OK, it's necessary.
This event concept was borne from a massive social media conference for women executives - Dr. Vonda felt that if women can make the time to learn nuances for career building and corporate ladder climbing, they would want to make time for a conference discussing the nuances of building skills and strategy for better current and future health.
The event was a success on every level and I could not agree with the concept more.
What sits with me as I make my way home to my family is what I was telling other women around me: You don't have to be all things, to all people, all of the time. It's OK to focus on just a few things that you want to do really, really well. And, over the course of a life, these things tend to change depending on where we are in our life stage. This is all more than OK.
Right now, for me, the priorities are family AND career. Both are extremely important to me, yet I realize I have slowly and insidiously become out of balance. I have focused too much on career, allowing some things on the home front to go on auto-pilot. Things like too many take-out meals, skimping here and there on sleep, getting a little too flexible with my kids' routines because it is easier on me to do so. I can cram more things into my multitasking day if I get a little loose with the structure of family life.
So as I sit here, en route back to my beloveds, I make a renewed and more formalized commitment to what I have been kicking around in a more abstract way:
I am reconnecting to what matters to me most, now: doing the best I possibly can with creating a healthy family environment, and doing the best I possibly can with the job responsibilities at hand right now.
In order to accomplish this, I must take care of myself first. And I know what I need to do - it is pretty formulaic for me. I need to make sure I am getting enough quality sleep; choosing the right foods that work for me, my body and metabolism; being physically active every day; incorporating mindful movement and meditation into my daily routine; nourishing my mind/body and soul with enough space around activities; and surrounding myself with people who support and uplift me in this journey.
I no longer feel like I need to achieve a specific professional or financial goal by a particular age. I realize I need to do the best I can, at this moment, with what is in front of me right now.
For even more tips on how to get better health and need the health care system less, check out: The New Prescription: How to Get the Best Health Care in a Broken System by Dr. Cynthia D. Haines, M.D. (Dr. Cindy Haines) and Eric Metcalf, M.P.H. This is a book about getting what you really want: better health on your own terms. More medical care doesn’t mean better health. Dr. Haines and Metcalf reveal some of the most egregious problems with a medical system gone awry, opening readers’ eyes to how to better navigate the changes underway. Using solid research, insiders’ insights, and patient anecdotes, they offer cost-effective and potentially life-saving ways to get more out of health care while using less of it.
Published On: September 16, 2013