I posted this question on my Twitter page and was not surprised by the number one response – 53% stated it was “my family”. I would have answered exactly the same way a few years ago, but not any longer.
Pardon? I don’t value my family as my number one priority? I wish it were that easy. When I was diagnosed with a brain tumour, do you think I could say that my family was #1? Of course I could, if I were living in a fantasy world. The tables had turned. Whether I wanted to be there for them or not, it really wasn’t a choice. My health immediately became OUR priority. I was blessed to have a family that wrapped around me and supported what I needed, every minute of every day. As we coped with the diagnosis, the medications, the medical opinions, craniotomy and…and… and… It went on and on. I could not drive, cook, cheer on my children during their sports events, meet a teacher, was easily confused when they spoke to me, lacked short and long- term memory. How in the world did they do it? My husband and three teenage children jumped into the roles of protectors, schedulers and chauffeurs. Bottom line – my health became THE priority for every single one of us.
Should that priority have changed as I recovered and stepped back into the role of mother and wife? Maybe, but it hasn’t. Without my health, I know I cannot be there for my family as I would want to be. I’ve seen the other side of the fence all too clearly. I will do anything within my power to never be thrown over it again, separated from those I cherish the most in my life.
It has become “normal” in this crazy society to leave the house first thing in the morning and juggle countless things every day. Why can’t we take 1/2 hour to ourselves? 1/2 hour to sit on a bench and enjoy the view and sounds of nature and those around us? 1/2 to close the door and enjoy time reading a book, listening to a podcast, watching a comedy show? 1/2 hour to take a long bath listening to the music we love? 1/2 hour to regroup or take a walk! We deserve nothing less. Run, run, run. Really?
My health is my priority so I can be here for my family in every way possible, as long as possible. People talk about “balance” in their lives? What does that even mean? The definition is different for everyone. From my perspective, balance comes with time every day to focus on health – whether that is physical, emotional or spiritual. It shouldn’t be considered selfish, but expected.
Six years ago, my answer to the question would have been, “My family”. Not anymore. My family is my world but I can no longer take my health for granted. I’ll be here to meet, hold and love my grand babies – If I have anything to say about it!
“The present time has one advantage of every other – it is our own.” (Charles Caleb Colton)