If you’re reading this on the day it is published, today is my 29th birthday. My birthday always brings up a wide range of emotions for me, as it is also two days after the anniversary of my …
If you’re reading this on the day it is published, today is my 29th birthday. My birthday always brings up a wide range of emotions for me, as it is also two days after the anniversary of my father’s death. Having life and death so closely related for the last twelve years has led me to spend this time really questioning how I want to live and what is important to me. This year has been no exception to reflection and pondering.
Living a healthy life has always been a focus of mine. Even as a young child, I made decisions based on what would help me feel and be my best, in the most efficient ways possible. While this drive to be better has remained, my motivations for doing so have shifted over the years. When my father was still alive, I did it for me. After he passed, the focus spread to helping others. Recently, I’ve realized that the impact of prioritizing our health goes much further.
For years now, I’ve anchored the belief that I help people improve their health so they can live long, fulfilled lives, and be around to see all of their children’s and loved ones’ important life milestones. I want people to live longer than 51 years, unlike my father. While this is true, and I do want adults to improve their health for their own sake, it’s even more important to me that we prioritize our health for the sake of our children and loved ones.
My father died of a heart attack when I was 16 years old. His chronic, preventable illnesses also kept him out of work for the six years prior to that. As a child growing up in a household with a sick parent, I had to take it upon myself to care for myself and my sister more than I was ready for.
My dad could only focus on taking care of himself, and my mom had to split her time between taking care of us, and taking care of him, oftentimes completely neglecting herself. I had a front-row seat to see that the burden of one person not prioritizing their health spreads far and wide. We not only hold back ourselves, but we hold back those that are closest to us.
Our health is the foundation of everything that is important in life. It is impossible to build anything that will last on a weak foundation, and without our health, everything else we value will come crumbling down. We will not be able to support our family physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially.
We will not be able to fully use the unique gifts each of us possess. We will not be able to enjoy our own lives, because we are preoccupied trying to survive. And what hurts me the most, is that we actively make the lives of our children, family, and those we say we care about more challenging when we don’t prioritize taking care of our own health.
As this birthday passes, I recognize why I work so hard to prioritize my own health and I also have a deeper connection to why it’s so important for me to help you prioritize yours too. Improving our health allows our children to be the best version of themselves. Here’s to another year of getting better each and every day, for ourselves and for those around us. Are you with me?
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