By M Ryan Taylor
I left my last post a little open-ended, by saying, "Make your health your first priority and it will benefit every other aspect of your life. It has for me." Then I neglected to give any concrete examples. So here they are, from mundane financial matters to the spiritual.
Financial: I eat less, so my grocery budget doesn't need to be so huge. Yes, I've been trying to buy organic produce which is more expensive generally, but cutting out most pre-packaged food and junk food more than balances it out. Also, we're trying to use our bikes or walk whenever we can, so we negotiated a lower insurance rate on our car and use far less gas than we were.
Relationships: I haven't nearly reached my goal, but my progress (and not keeping it a secret) has allowed me to make new connections with people and strengthen existing connections with others. I think many people don't know what to say about my singing or composition accomplishments (other than "that was beautiful"), but everyone can relate personally to the struggle to maintain a balance in health.
Family: All those hours on the trail with my wife gave us a lot of time to talk on the way down. I feel closer to her than I ever have. Even after her going back to teaching in the fall (and I knuckling down on performance and composition), we find ways to spend more quality time together in our "off" hours. We've been bike riding together on dates. We read to each other. I encourage her in her hobbies, guitar playing, and drawing.
I want to talk more extensively about balance, spirituality, and work, but I'll save that for next time.