Learning to Put #1 First

Before the summer a group of educators created a both a twitter discussion page #tmet and a related blog. The purpose, simple, a place to educators to communicate and motivate each other in maintaining or starting a healthy life style. Since the discussion started I must admit that there have been many educators who have contributed and interacted in the conversations and in sharing ideas.

My only comment or post, was that I was going to be quitting smoking and that was in late May. Since then I haven’t commented once, but I have followed the adventures, goals and accomplishments of many of my PLN friends. I am glad to say that I have been able to accomplish the feat I tried – – – I am a non-smoker, not even the cigars that I so often enjoyed.

However, roughly before August I was informed that m Blood Pressure was high, so I was to take some medication for it. O.K. nothing way out of the ordinary, but then my doctor increased my dosage, and increased it one more time, apparently I had reached the recommended limit for that particular medication. Next step,  another medication, O.K.  Getting a little worried. The day before school started while the rest of my colleagues in my division were busy planning and preparing for the arrival of our students, I was lying uncomfortably and concerned in the local emergency department. Which resulted in another trip to the doctors, and him saying current combination of medication is not working, will try another one.

Buddy Brian catching his first EVER fish 🙂

At this point I am concerned so I speak to some friends and some colleagues. One in particular, who at 30 had a heart attack. I explained my situation and told her my Bp she thought that it was high and that I should be one medication. When I told her that I was the change in her facial expression, was enough to tell me what she was thinking  – – – I was in TROUBLE.

Needless to say there are more changes that I can and probably will make to try and get healthy. However today I did something I haven’t done in awhile. Instead of cutting the grass, shopping for groceries, cleaning the house or some other mundane task I joined some friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile and went fishing. Just me, the boys, a boat on the water and fish. It was peaceful, relaxing, exciting but some much more that I can’t fully describe it. You know when you are craving something and you try everything in your house to satisfy your craving, and you finally find it. Yeah that is how it felt out today.

He gets to at least hold his first catch (Catch and Release)

I normally am a guy that goes 100 % or more everyday, my mind is always working. There have been times when I have worked 20-22 hours straight and then helped out a friend that suddenly bought a new washer and dryer and needed to pick it up. I can generally be counted on to help anyone at any time, but today I learned an important lesson that I will try to plan for.

I need to put myself first, not because I am selfish or that I don’t care, but that if I don’t take care of myself, relax and enjoy life. That there is a possibility that I will be enjoying great times and experiences with my friends, not because I am there, but because they are thinking of me.

So here is to literally changing how I do things, time to enjoy life rather than just be part of it.

Chris (left) Brian (right) Northern Pike (center)

In closing I would like to thank my two friends Brian and Chris, who joined me on my fishing trip, who just talked like nothing was wrong, who simply enjoyed a beautiful day and experience with me. Hopefully one that will be the start of many.

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4 thoughts on “Learning to Put #1 First

  1. Hi Shawn. This is a lesson that many of us don’t really take on board until it slaps us in the face. I know that I need to start saying ‘no’ sometimes as there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep on doing what I’m sometimes asked to do. I also have high BP and am on medication – the problem with BP is that there are no real symptoms to let you know you need to change. Good to hear that you’ve taken stock and you’re right – you do need to put yourself first, and it definitely isn’t selfish.

    Good luck and keep on keeping it all in perspective 🙂

  2. Thanks Pam. . . yes I agree there are not any signs or indicators and it is both frustrating and scared when some changes and advice aren’t working. Stay healthy, and if you have any suggestions or ideas that have worked, send them my way.

  3. In this post I was reminded of an important lesson: It is important to be committed, dedicated, and helpful, but never at the expense of our own health and sanity. We’ll be no good to anybody else if we’re not around. Thanks for reminding me to slow down and smell the flowers.

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