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Balancing On The Edge

The edge I mention in the title is the “Edge of Too Late”.

I’ve stood at that precipice at least once in my life. So have most of the people in my world. How about you?

If :

*you’ve sidled up to the Marlboro Man, batting your eyelashes, in hopes of finding out where he hides his stash of smokes

*you forgot what your kids look like and you think your husband is your CEO in disguise

*you’ve spent hours searching Pinterest for new uses for your enormous collection of vodka bottles

*you’ve stopped counting calories because, well, you just can’t count that high

*your idea of exercise is pulling on your pantyhose, then…

 

Don’t look down…

You’re on the Edge of Too Late

What can you do now?

Since we all want to live long healthy and happy lives, we’d better figure this out. If you’re truly too close to the edge of the virtual cliff, take a step back, turn around and look at where you’ve been.

Examining how we got to the edge is the only way to move in a safer direction.

 

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Looking back to the 1950s, women started working outside the home. Modern advances in medicine and technology made life easier. People moved from the city to the suburbs. Doing things faster became the only way to keep up.

When we had time to make our breads, desserts and meals from scratch and ate a reasonably sized portion; when we could walk or ride a bike to the grocery store or the library or school; when we could watch TV only until 9pm because the station went off the air after that hour;  when part of the excitement of the day was seeing the mailman walk up to our mailbox; when we played outside til dinner and went back out to play til dusk…that’s when people were healthier, less stressed, had more time for the family and hobbies.

When we watered our lawns and pulled weeds by hand; when soap and water was good enough to clean almost anything; when we ignored the occasional pesky insect; when we used fresh air, flowers and a fresh-baked loaf of bread to enhance the scent of our homes…that’s when we were healthier and free of so many chemicals.

 

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There are informative articles in newspapers and magazines, reality shows on TV and reports on the Internet all telling us what we need to do to be healthier, to avoid serious illnesses and to live our lives with more quality.  We read them. We pay attention. We may do further research on the topic ourselves and talk to our family and friends about it. We even try to take some of that advice and put it into practice.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t succeed on the 1st or the 5th or the 20th attempt to set ourselves on the right track. We’ve gotten lazy, spoiled and seem to think as we did as teenagers…”nothing bad is going to happen to me.” We think we still have time, no matter how much time has passed since our initial effort.

 

We carry on for decades still telling ourselves the same untruths…I’ll quit smoking by the end of the month…I’ll start on my healthy eating plan on Monday…After this one more fast food meal, I promise to cook dinner at home…it’s a party, I can’t deny myself a drink/dessert.

The reasons we do this are as varied as people are different…not enough time to plan, it’s too expensive, not ready to change yet, it’s so much easier to…spray chemicals on the lawn/make dinner out of a box/drive instead of walk or ride a bike/join a gym/play a board game with your kids, etc, etc, etc.

 

So, one day, you get the feeling that you have put off whatever it is you know in your heart that you should have done for yourself and your family just a bit too long.

You feel as if you’re on the “EDGE OF TOO LATE”.

How hard will you kick yourself when the day comes that you are diagnosed with lung disease from smoking, diabetes from overeating, cancer from pesticide use, failing organs because you just couldn’t stop yourself from overindulging your wants instead of taking care of your needs? And at that point, will it matter how angry or sorry you are? Oops, it’s too late!

 

I’m as guilty of this behavior as anyone. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have medicines to cure illness, technology to make tasks faster and easier, enjoy eating to the fullest, or reap the benefits of the hard, sometimes stressful, work that affords you a comfortable life.

But, I vow to live by Socrates’ adage, “Everything in moderation. Nothing to excess.”

 

Change is hard, but it will be worth the effort.

I’ve made changes this year and lost 45 pounds in the process. Now that I’m in the habit of having dessert of my choice once a week, eat less fat and getting on the treadmill every morning before breakfast, it’s easy to maintain the weight loss and stay in the groove. It feels great to be in control again.

You can do it, too. Baby steps…that’s the easiest way to begin. Change one thing. Develop a habit. Vow to start today, rather than next Monday or after the wedding/party/cookout, etc.

 

Start NOW! You’ll be so proud of yourself for hauling out that sexy, smart and strong woman who you are hiding behind your bad habits.

 

What do you need to change? Tell me your experience of getting off the cliff.

Please do leave a comment. I love it when you tell me what’s on your mind.

Marcia Richards

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Discussion

  1. Sheila Seabrook  August 14, 2013

    It’s far easier to live on the edge than to live a well balanced life, isn’t it, Marcia? I’m guilty of overworking and forgetting to exercise. There was a time when I didn’t think I’d make it to 40. I actually gave my boys instructions on how to find s girlfriend for their dad when i was gone. :) But then I discovered a wonderful naturopath, got healthy again, and pay much more attention to my body’s needs and my stress level. But I still forget to exercise!
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    • Marcia Richards  August 15, 2013

      Sheila, I’m so sorry to hear you had a health issue but very glad you dealt with and are better. As for exercise, what about all that bale-lifting and barge-toting when your husband enlists your help with one of his projects? Seriously though, walking at a brisk pace around your gorgeous property would be enough exercise several days a week. Put it on your calendar or set your smart phone to ring and remind you to get busy. (LOL, That reminds me, I need to do the same so I’ll get on the treadmill daily) Stay healthy, girlfriend!
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  2. Inion N. Mathair  July 30, 2013

    Hi Marcia so sorry for the absence. But we were finally able to publish our first book and are getting back to our friends blogs we’ve missed so much. Yours included. So, first off, congrats on the weight Marcia. 45 lbs…that is so fantastic!! And we are so proud of you! Your post touched me, deeply. I’ve been struggling with cigarettes for far too long now. In my mind, it’s as you said; “I’ll start tom. but tom, never comes! This has been a big help and so truthful in that your challenging us to look at the end result of our vices rather than the excuses we make to keep them! Pray for me as I’m going to begin once again, and try and put these awful things down! Congrats again and keep up the great work Marcia!
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    • Marcia Richards  August 11, 2013

      One cigarette at a time…make one change daily…figure out where you typically light up. Is it when you’re on the phone, at the computer, when you exit the mall? Pick one place that is a trigger for you and STOP IT! Don’t allow yourself to light that cig. You’re stronger than that.

      When i wanted to quit smoking, I asked my husband to stop smoking around me. He did and it helped so much. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from others.

      Find something new to do with your hands and chew on a pretzel instead of a cigarette.
      I will be praying for you! You’ve got this!
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  3. Kitt Crescendo  July 29, 2013

    I was about to work myself to death in a job that didn’t appreciate me and didn’t allow for a work/life balance. I wish I could say that I’d been smart enough to pull myself off that ledge, but I think it was divine intervention that prevailed. Getting fired turned out to be the best thing that happened to me. It enabled me to refocus on the things I was truly passionate about and make time for the people who enrich my life.

    Somehow I think God knew that if he left this one in my hands, I’d still be there, slaving away, working overly long days with no appreciation…and completely miserable. Instead, I get to actually use the gifts he gave me!
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    • Marcia Richards  July 30, 2013

      Thank goodness, Kitt! Can’t imagine how you’d be feeling today if you’d stayed there. Sometimes we need a little push to do what’s best for ourselves. Glad it all worked out well and you’re better off for it!
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  4. Diana Douglas  July 29, 2013

    Ten years ago, my father, son and grandson lived with us. My father suffered from Parkinsons, our son was going through a traumatic divorce, our grandson was in his terrible twos and I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. After some soul searching, I realized I couldn’t change any of that, but I realized I could change myself and I began my quest for serenity. It wasn’t easy–sometimes, it still isn’t–but I got better at it as time went by. Take care, Marcia!
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    • Marcia Richards  July 29, 2013

      Oh, Diana, what a difficult time that must have been. It was so smart and strong of you to make the choice to change how you reacted to your situation. That makes all the difference. We can’t control certain life circumstances, nor can we control other people, but we can make life easier to deal with by changing our outlook and behaviors. You did that! Congratulations for taking care of YOU in the midst of so much chaos!
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  5. Gloria Richard Author  July 29, 2013

    Oh, boy, I was on a cliff five years and several months ago. One I had challenged and denied and tried get-arounds to buy more time. I didn’t want, could not fathom, giving up what I perceived to be my best friend. Wine. Vino Blanco. Pino Grigio.

    I’m a recovering alcoholic. I never get to say recovered because I stand one drink away from that cliff, and will for the rest of my life. And, it feels good to have “me” back. I’m blessed that I came to my senses before my now-healthy liver suffered permanent damage.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t love to party. Crazy concept for me when I faced that tough decision. I didn’t think I’d be able to enjoy parties, be around normal drinkers, be clever or creative or witty without that prop. As it turns out, I’m now blessed to be comfortable in my own skin. I feel the same on the inside as the person the world sees. And, bring on the parties and the dancing! I’ll chauffeur you home if you have a good time. Many “normies” tie one on every now and then. Me? I got stuck in the tie-one-on zone.

    Thanks for a wonderful, thought-provoking post, Marcia.
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    • Patricia Sands  July 29, 2013

      What a fine post, Marcia! Gloria, one of my closest friends is also a recovering alcoholic and I hold the two of you in high esteem. You faced an enormous challenge and with every day that passes you are victorious and wonderful role models for the rest of us, no matter what battle we are waging. Thanks!
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      • Marcia Richards  July 29, 2013

        Thanks, Patricia! I agree with you. Challenges abound in everyone’s lives. Those who choose to make healthy decisions are my heroines!
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    • Marcia Richards  July 29, 2013

      You rock, Gloria! No habit/addiction/obsession is easy to break free from but you’ve managed to get it under control. Kudos to you! Control is all we have whether we drink, overeat, smoke, sit around all day…we have to make the choice to be healthy, work hard to gain control again and then maintain it. It can get easier, as time goes on, to hold the reins. So proud for you! You are one kickass woman! So glad to know you!
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