I truly believe that.
A close friend of mine has recently been diagnosed with a long-term illness. We no longer live close enough to see one another above once or twice a year, but we remain kindred spirits.
Health is something healthy people don’t really think about. It doesn’t really become an issue until it is an issue.
It made me think about that old metaphor about how you fill your life:
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he picked up an empty jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students, if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’
‘Now,’ said the professor, ‘I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things –Health, Family, Friends.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, car & things you are passionate about (kite surfing/dress-making/whatever!).
The sand is everything else – the small stuff. ’If you put the sand into the jar first, he continued, then there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. So…
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Take care of your health and well-being.
Play with your children.
Take your partner out to dinner.
There will always be time to clean the house or put the rubbish out.
Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'
I have nagged/cajoled/begged/encouraged my friend into attending an Iyengar Yoga class once a week. She is in pain, tired and nervous. It is a 20 minute drive. But now that her health is seriously in question she understands that for the first time in her life (well, since having children!) she needs to prioritise herself. To prioritise her health. For one evening out of seven, she can say this is mine, I am putting myself first tonight.
It is so easy to list the reasons why we can’t find the time to look after ourselves, but maybe if we look closely we’ll see a lot of time is spent on the sand and not enough time on the golf balls.
All of this is easy for me to say during the summer holidays…ask me again during term time when I’m working full time and attempting to keep up with my children’s school & social life! I am a work in progress, as is my time management. However, even thinking about how we organise our time can lead to a change for the better.
So the question is:
What are your golf balls and how many hours per week do you devote to them?