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Food for thought

January 3, 2011 - Erin O'Neill
I'm not usually one for making New Year's resolutions. Like a list of household chores, resolutions start as good intentions but then get tossed to the side and, ultimately, neglected.

Every year I say I'm going to try to lose weight, try to be more organized, dedicate more time to myself ... blah, blah, blah. I hit the ground running only to hit the wall before completing the first lap. Or something like that. I'm not good with sports metaphors.

But this year I had an epiphany that came in the form of an unfortunate incident at a restaurant. I was with several members of my extended family over the holidays and we gathered, as is customary, at one of the giant feeding trough buffet places. I'm not really a huge fan of these types of places but when your 89-year-old grandfather is picky and stubborn, it doesn't leave a lot of choices.

On this particular visit, there were about 12 of us. Each of us was taking turns making trips to the bar. I took my daughter, who is also picky and stubborn, up to chose a few of the handful of foods that she will eat. When we rounded the corner, there was a woman being wheeled out on a stretcher, clutching her chest, her pale face frozen in a painful grimace. My daughter was horrified, automatically assuming the woman had died.

At that moment, it was like I was struck with the lightning bolt of reality: This. could. be. you.

Needless to say, a salad was pretty much all I could muster at that point. But I came to the realization that my goals have been much too specific up to that point — lose 10 pounds, watch less TV, read more books, get my finances organized. My one and only goal should be to try to keep myself alive as long as possible and enjoy every second of my life. That should be easy enough, right?

 
 

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