What’s More Important?

When I was a kid, when the world extended as far as my house and school, when the only people who exist were my family and friends, it was easy to make decisions. As I got older and my world expanded and time weighed down upon me, as conditions altered and people came in and out of my life, priorities necessarily changed.

Things that were hard become easy and vice versa. When problem A was no longer baying for my attention, I had more time to focus my energies on problem B. Or C. Or D…

Constant reassessment of what’s more important, and urgent, is a factor of life. Keeps us on our toes, makes us more adaptable to the winds of change. Sometimes I keep prioritising things lower down than they deserve because I want to artificially increase the priority of other things in order to reach a goal.

For example, health. As a young fella, I took an able body and the ability to walk up stairs for granted. I could eat hamburgers, drink up-sized milkshakes, and sample super-hot peppers and not worry about the consequences. I could take the stairs, or not. I could walk, or not. I had the choices before me and, therefore, had no need to prioritise keeping in shape.

Then bones start clicking. Muscles start hurting. Tight skin becomes flabby. The time invested away from health, and into other activities, started to tell. Things become harder than they should be. I struggled to get up, to keep up. Add a little boy into the mix and it only got worse.

So what’s more important? Family? Work? Leisure? Community? Hobbies? Sanity? Or is it ‘Health’? Ask me about ten years ago and I would have put Health somewhere near the end. Ask me today, and I can safely say I’ll put it up near the top of the pile. Why the shift?

Last year I had a problem in my neck and shoulder. I had a tingling sensation in my fingers. My arm just wasn’t working. I couldn’t lift myself off the ground. That’s bad. I went to an osteopath and she helped lay it all out for me.

It’s actually quite simple – I can’t help with anything if I’m not alive and, to almost the same extent, I can’t help effectively if I’m not well.

How about that? I used to consider focusing on myself a selfish act, something that could only be realised once everyone else was satisfied which, let’s face it, is not going to happen. Now I see, and it has taken a long time, let me tell you, and a lot of introspection, that by neglecting my health I’m also neglecting my family, my career and my community, not to mention my own interests.

In short, over the past year, I’ve been spending a lot more of my time exercising and eating better and that means time for writing, craft, videos and blog posts. Cardio, weights, boxing, running, that kind of thing and I’m feeling a lot better. Like, a LOT. That said, I’ve regained strength in my shoulder and arm, so I’m looking to ease back on exercising and resume some of my other tasks.

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