July 2007 - Sooner or Later, Later Becomes Now

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Like so many of you, my days are filled with work, meetings, family responsibilities, caring for elderly parents, and just running the errands of everyday life. We tell ourselves that sooner or later, we'll get to whatever it is that we "really want to do." We take tomorrow for granted and assume that time for fun can be deferred to our "retirement" years.

However, I'm finding that the problem of living in a state of perpetual delayed gratification is that way too many of the folks I know don't make it to retirement. It seems that each month, I get a call about someone who has passed away with no warning. Gone. And for those that do make it to retirement, many are too sick to really enjoy life the way they had envisioned. Rather, they're retiring with numerous health problems resulting from years of poor choices and health behaviors. Their health is so poor that pursuing that deferred dream is virtually impossible.

Way too many of us are living in the land of "I'll get to it later", believing that time will stand still and wait for you to finish whatever it is you're doing. Well, as the old saying goes, "time waits for no one". So here's my suggestion: Live your "later" sooner. In fact, stop procrastinating and make your "later" your "now."

Start now-to get healthy so you can enjoy today-and tomorrow if you're blessed enough to have a tomorrow. Today is the day that you've been given, so what better time to start making healthy choices and engaging in positive health behaviors--eating right, exercising, and health screenings. This improves how you'll feel today as well as improve your chances of living a longer, healthier, and more energetic life. And while you're at it, start that hobby or take that trip that you've always dreamed of. Take the dance class, organize your finances, mend a broken friendship, plant a garden, tell someone you love them. The reality is that sooner or later, we all run out of time, and most of us don't know when our journey will end. Given that "later" is not promised, "now" is all you have-use it wisely!

With you on your journey to wellness
Dr. Mary S. Harris

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