Top Ten Ways I Thrive (yes, even in this economy)
I was recently asked to list my top five to ten strategies for “thriving.” Given the body I inhabit, I picked ten. Here they are:
1) (I bet this is a unique top pick) GREAT DRUGS…legitimate ones, of course. I would literally be dead were it not for biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry. Daily inhaled and oral medications keep me breathing and digesting with the best, and I am thankful for that every day. My willingness to accept the need for them, and to follow a diligent routine has to be my top strategy.
2) A sense of purpose. This has come to me late(r) in life, but is rapidly rising to the top of the list of things that keep me going. I now understand (I think) why my soul picked this particular body to reside in this time around. It was a mystery for awhile why I went to an elite medical school, only to retire after 5 years of practice. Then why, of all things, I became a certified personal trainer? And then, a wellness coach? Huh? I thought the idea was to go into medical research and somehow help to cure CF…
Now, every day I coach people like myself to incorporate exercise into their routines just as it is becoming a medical certainty that exercise is VERY important for people with CF. Because of my MD, I am asked to speak and write about this topic. I am passionate about the importance of exercise in keeping myself healthy, and have been told that I am a “beacon of light” for the CF community. Now that is a sense of purpose.
3) A sense of humor. One of my signature strengths is humor, and it is a good thing!
4) My two sons, who have revealed within me a depth of love and feeling I never would have known. They keep me going. They keep me attentive to caring for myself…because they need me. They keep me laughing…and screaming (it’s good for the lungs). They, amazingly, are capable of both warming every cell in my body and driving me crazy at the same time.
5) Connection with others. The love and support of my partner, my family and my friends, specifically, provides an immeasurable amount of fuel to keep me going when times are not so great.
6) Faith. This is a hard one to describe, as I am far from religious. My faith is centered on a felt sense of trust that I am connected to a greater whole, one that was there before I was born and that will be there when I am gone. When I am lucky and can let go of my brain for awhile (in meditation), I don’t feel separate from this greater whole at all. That keeps me going.
7) Movement! When I don’t exercise every single day, I feel like I am letting myself down. My dedication to pushing my body is what brings me to age 48 in pretty good shape (for someone with my genotype). Of this, I am certain. Certainly, I don’t do now what I did in my 20’s. But, as I’ve said countless times before: I ran until I had to jog. I jogged until I had to jog/walk (now). When I can’t do that anymore, I’ll walk fast. Then…I’ll just walk. If there comes a time when I can’t walk, , I’ll roll (but I’ll push myself!).
8) Sleep! I love to sleep, and sleep loves me. I don’t function well without 8 hours…at least. Sometimes I take 2 hour naps in the afternoon, and I refuse to feel bad about it. I know my body…it is worthless when it needs sleep. I acknowledge that it needs more sleep than the average body. When I lose sight of this, I remember the constant battle that takes place in my lungs, and then happily surrender. This probably should have gone up there after the drug thing.
9) The unending quantity of information on the web makes lifelong learning as easy as finding the on switch. Since ‘love of learning” is another SS, I’m never bored.
10) Dogs…I collect them (six today). I know…you are probably scratching your head, but if there is one thing that keeps me in the moment, it is a dog.
What keeps you going?