It’s the New Year. It’s 2014. And most of you reading this post are women. I just wanted to take a few moments of your time to remind you of several very important things you should do sometime in 2014 IF you haven’t already scheduled them.
1. Get a yearly health exam. It’s a good thing to do. You only need to see the doctor once a year — unless there are other reasons you’re going: you’re sick, have a chronic health issue, etc. But even if you don’t “need” to, you need to anyway. Everyone should be checked out at least once a year. You never know what new and exciting questions your doctor may ask you that might help you in keeping healthy all year round and live a longer life.
2. Get an annual mammogram. They’re changing the guidelines all the time, but I think most doctors suggest you have a mammogram once a year after the age of 40. My breast cancer (DCIS) could only be detected in a mammogram, not by a monthly self-exam. So, GO DO IT. Make that appointment now. You could be saving a life, i.e. YOUR OWN.
3. Get an eye exam. I used to poo-poo these but as we age, our vision can change with time. You might need glasses, or maybe your prescription isn’t strong enough. Why strain those beautiful baby blues (or greens or browns or whatever color your eyes may be) if you can see your eye doctor once a year and get checked out.
4. Exercise. We all know we should exercise to keep healthy, reduce stress, and lift our overall mood. I never exercised when I was younger. I skated and rode a bicycle when I was a kid, took the bus instead of walking when I was a teenager. It took me years and years of generally not feeling quite “up to par” for me to hear, “Stop drinking caffeine and exercise” for me to take it to heart. Now, if I don’t incorporate a short bike ride into my daily schedule, things feels a bit off. And it’s fun to get outside, especially since many of us are so tied to our computers.
5. Take time for yourself. We’ve all heard this a million times, I’m sure. Taking time for yourself can mean many things for different people. I do yoga several times a week. It keeps me limber so I can ride my horse. And riding my horse is something I do solely for my benefit. I get to be in the wilderness, breathe fresh air, see the trees and the sun and the flowers and the birds. Which really makes me happy and does wonders for my mental health. Find something you like to do and DO it. For YOU.
THIS IS BY NO MEANS A COMPLETE LIST. There are other things, like having a yearly dental exam, losing excess weight, etc., but these are a few of my favorites.
I realized on New Year’s Eve that I was scheduled to write a post for January 3rd. I thought about what I could say to wish everyone reading Women Unplugged a Happy New Year. So I decided to repost what I read in my friend Sheri de Grom’s blog today. It’s just too valuable to keep to myself and I hope it has meaning to you throughout the year 2014 and the year after that and the years after that.
“What Will Matter” by Michael Josephson
“Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end. It won’t matter whether you where beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin colour will be irrelevant.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter are not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
I found this article so disconcerting and so unforgettable that I had to share snippets of it here to elicit your opinions. Straight from my favorite Huffington Post.
FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE WAY TECHNOLOGY IS AFFECTING YOUR MEMORY.
1. Information overload makes it harder to retain information.
2. The Internet is becoming the brain’s “external hard drive.”
3. Distraction makes it more difficult to form memories.
4. Information overload causes us to lose sight of the big picture (and then the small picture).
5. Millennials’ memories are rapidly degenerating.
I’m betting the majority of people following this blog are avid readers. My sister Kathy and I share suggestions about new authors we’ve discovered. She told me about Joy Fielding several months ago. I’d heard the name before and even read one of her books years and years ago. So, I bought one of her books for my Kindle and I was instantly hooked. I read every e-book she had and then started on the ones that weren’t available in e-book form. I adore her writing. It’s very different from the other authors I’d been reading. Her books give me a great sense of the main character and the internal drama that woman is going through. I can’t say enough good things about Joy Fielding.
What are you reading right now and do you have a favorite current author?
As I’m writing this post it’s 2:30 in the afternoon on Halloween, and I’m truly depressed. Tonight will be the first time in 19 years that my husband and I won’t be trick-or-treating with one of our kids. I could cry. Or, better yet, I’ll cry later so I don’t get the keyboard wet!
Our son is 19 years old and I recall he was 9 months old on his first Halloween. Money was tight and I sewed his first outfit. He was a ghost. I took an old sheet and ironed on various goblins and ghosts and pumpkins, cut a hole in the top for his head, and voila’ – his first costume. Four years later his sister came along and I think by then we’d graduated to buying their costumes at Party Warehouse.
When my son turned 15 he started walking around with his “bros” on Halloween but we still had our daughter. We’d walk around with another couple whose daughter was our daughter’s best friend. We always had a good time talking and laughing. By the time we got home it was always too late to hand out candy.
This year we’ll have plenty of time to hand out treats but I’m not in the mood to see other little kids in their costumes at my door. My daughter will be going to a party with her friends around the corner and my husband and I will be home alone.
I’m going to walk around (with or without the hubby) so I can see all the kids and the crazily decorated houses. If I don’t leave the house I know I’ll succumb to tears.