by Bo Fitzpatrick, CPA
There is not much I look forward to receiving in the mail these days. Lots of junk mail, catalogs (especially this time of year) and bills are really all that come. Back in high school and college, I did look forward to receiving one particular magazine in the mail – Sports Illustrated. Back then we didn’t have all the information at our fingertips like we do today with the ability to search and find on the internet or social media just about anything we want to know. The writers for SI were the best and I was one of the many completely taken by George Plimpton’s April article about the baseball phenom, “Sid Finch” in the mid-80s. Today, I have a new magazine I eagerly await receiving. It is called, “EXPERIENCE L!FE”, a monthly magazine put out by Life Time Fitness, a national chain of fitness centers. Each issue discusses topics I find interesting and inspiring, reminding me of what is important. And, it comes in the mail.
My last post, Partner Work Ethic – How to Survive It, discussed how hard public accounting professionals work and the toll it takes on the person. I raised the question, “How do we take care of ourselves and not crater because our body and spirit have had enough”? The magazine, EXPERIENCE L!FE, is dedicated to helping all of us stay healthy in body, mind, and spirit. Give it a read.
So, how do we maintain our health while working those insane hours? A short story. A couple years ago, I decided that since I was now into my 50s, I should go get my heart checked out. My blood pressure was a bit high, but otherwise, my heart and arteries were fine. The doctor comes in and says things look good. Of course, you have two risk factors. (What?! My mind screamed…two risk factors!) The first is, you are over 50. (Okay, guess I have to accept that one.) The second is you are overweight. (Again, What!? Sure I have a belly, but I don’t feel overweight.) He went on to say that the chart says at 5’9” I should weigh between 165 – 172lbs and you weigh 186lbs. (PS – I haven’t weighed 165lbs since senior year in high school.) Thank you, doctor. I walked out committed to getting down to one risk factor.
Long story short, I now weigh around 175lbs and my blood pressure is good. More importantly, I feel grounded in my life. Not every day, but most days. So, for those of you that read my previous post, here is what I do to try and ensure I will stay around this earth for a bit longer:
• Physical capacity – eat properly; limit one cup of coffee per day; exercise at the gym 3 times a week; walk 1.5 miles 5 times a week; drink lots of water; and avoid excesses of any form.
• Emotional capacity – start most mornings (before looking at emails or anything else) with 30 – 45 minutes of quiet time, including 10 – 15 minutes of meditation; daily inspirational readings; love my family; be positive and happy at work; take time to “smell the roses”.
None of the above is really anything special. It is the “steady wins the race” concept. We all know what we need to do. The irony is, the more time we take to be good to ourselves, the better we will be at our jobs. Of course, it is incredibly hard getting started. But with another busy season right around the corner, maybe start today. Commit. Go for a walk. Right now. Just get up and do it.