Senior Health: Listen to the Wake-Up Call

Aug 22nd, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Some times things happen in life that provide opportunity to rethink how you are living.  And Dr Wayne Dyer has an interesting comment on Facebook this week that may provide guidance for those of you who want to do some rethinking.  He says,

“I focus on what’s really important in life. Quality rather than appearance…ethics rather than rules…integrity rather than domination…knowledge rather than achievement…serenity rather than acquisitions.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

My rethinking-my-life experience was precipitated about 10 days ago by a Transient Global Amnesia attack (that’s TGA for those of you who want to read about it on the Internet).  I’ve been amazingly healthy all my life.  And then, following a stressful emotional event, my mind just checked out that day.  I have no memory of what happened all afternoon, and only spotty and vague memories of what happened in the morning.  I awoke in the middle of the night, realized I had hospital bracelets on and awakened my husband to ask him why they were on my arm.  Absolutely no memory of the previous 14-18 hours.  He told me what had happened for the 13th time following the TGA.

This was the most serious wake-up call I have ever experienced, and the day and days following, the most frightening I have ever experienced.  My physicians are very clear:  No stress.  Doctor’s orders!  Now after 10 days, I can begin to think about how I want to change (rethink) my life…

  • Focus on what’s really important to me:  my family, being productive as I age, making a contribution when and where I can, saying no when I want to, and being more thoughtful about standing up for myself;
  • Increasing Quality in my life: I’ve always loved teaching, even in my early elementary years.  I remember getting the neighborhood kids together to play ‘school’ and I was always the teacher, even with older kids.  My social work/educator life was very fulfilling.  I retired early.  Now I think I want to up the quality in my life, and perhaps I’ll do some teaching again;
  • Stand up for ethics rather than rules:My sense of right and wrong is very strong, and I promise myself to continue to stand up for ethics, doing what is morally right and challenging the status quo who insist on immoral rules;
  • Permit my integrity to be expressed; forego domination and control: This is the toughest one for someone whose conscience is worn on the sleeves!  But the lessons learned in what I now call my ‘Check-Out Day’ give me renewed determination to just be me and not have to manage the world.
  • Focus on knowledge and learning rather than achievement and recognition: This is probably the easiest goal for me.  I’ve always loved learning.  School and college were always easy and fun.  I completed my fourth degree when I turned 50.  Recognition has never been important to me, and I will not permit it to become so now.
  • A life of Serenity above all:  ‘Things’ are becoming less and less important to me, and that is good.  I want to stay on that path.  I choose to remain serene in the face of disappointment, loss, emotional challenges… all which create stress.  I will follow the Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz), especially, “Take nothing personally.”

Some of us need wake-up calls to decide to live differently.  Emotional health and physical health are inextricably intertwined.  In order for a body to be healthy, the mind and spirit also must be healthy.  Even if you haven’t had a wake-up call, this may just be a good time to rethink how you are living.



Tags: , ,

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.