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A Pledge to Stop Mistreating My Heart

Friday, January 20, 2012

By Kelly Deeny

I follow my heart most of the time. It doesn’t always serve me well, but I still let it guide me where it chooses. I trust it to know what’s best—to understand my limitations, both physically and spiritually. After all, it’s been through a great deal. It was in need of repair from the start, yet it held on. It kept beating. Kept me alive. It knew struggle and so have I. We’re a pair. It takes care of me. And yet...

I don’t always return the favor.

I’ve stated on numerous occasions that I despise exercising. So it should come as quite a shock to some of you that I started a blog all about how I intend to lead a healthier lifestyle. I have set goals for myself, including to not only be more aware of what I eat, but in the activity, or lack thereof, I partake in. So far, I’ve already started eating more salads with healthier dressings and cut back on the carbs and cheese I am so fond of.

I’m fortunate that my place of employment promotes a healthy lifestyle. They offer light menu options and painted a walking track around the exterior of the building. Just last week I walked three times! That’s a lot for me. With winter weather, I’ll have to move my walking inside instead. But I intend on continuing to exercise, for myself, but also for my heart.

I have a niece and two nephews, with another nephew due to arrive in the summer. I want to be around to see them graduate high school and college. Be there at their weddings and celebrate the birth of their children. I want to be healthy enough to play soccer out back with my nephew, chase my niece around the house and just keep up with them in general. They have so much energy. And I have significantly less than I want to have.

What keeps me from achieving my healthy lifestyle goals? I know full well what the problem is. I am stubborn. I’m a Taurus and part Irish—I am stubborn! Sometimes that’s good, but in this case perhaps not. I could have an epiphany about how I am ready to join a gym or dance class but the second someone else tells me I should, the idea becomes less appealing. Ridiculous, I know. Yet I can’t deny that it happens; quite frequently, it happens. The decision must be all mine. My choice. My control.

I just recently attended the funeral of two beloved family friends, a husband and wife who died of cancer within weeks of each other. A tragedy such as that puts life into perspective for the rest of us. I looked at my life, at my actions, and thought “Grow up, Kelly!” I’m still here. I still have many opportunities yet to fulfill. I have dreams to see blossom into reality and growth still to come. The passing of these two wonderful individuals opened my eyes to just how much I have been mistreating my heart. It deserves better from me.

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