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Happy Birthday, Mom

My Mom turned seventy on Monday, and it really got me thinking about the time we’re given and all the things I want to accomplish in my years here. As I was preparing what to say during her celebration Monday night, I came across a blog post written by another amazing woman, Dr. Judith Rich, who’d recently turned seventy and shared her own thoughts on reaching such a milestone.

In her post, Dr. Rich talks about how it wasn’t until she reached seventy that she realized how important all those hours she’d spent at the gym maintaining her physical fitness had impacted her health now and she was grateful that she’d committed to her health along the way.

I’ll admit though, I’ve often wondered if the years we add to our lives by working out are basically bought at a cost of spending that same amount of time working out. If that’s the case, I imagine the primary reason to work out is to enhance the quality of our years, not simply the duration. But it also set me to thinking about areas of our lives where we can receive a “double benefit” by combining activities when and where possible.

For example, we can achieve a “double benefit” if we truly enjoy the time we spend working out. This might be as simple as working out with someone you enjoy being with. Or maybe working out by yourself if you are an introvert and need a break from being with people after a day of doing so at work. Another area might be by combining walking or running while listening to an audiobook or a podcast.

There are even areas of our lives where we might be able to achieve a triple or even quadruple benefit, such as eating food that’s healthy (first benefit) and delicious (second benefit) with people who enrich our lives (third benefit) in a place we enjoy (fourth benefit).

A friend once told me that he makes a point to take one of his children with him when he goes to run errands, which might be a triple benefit if you factor in the child’s benefit of getting to spend cherished one-on-one time with a parent.

The area of lucid dreaming is one that fascinates me, and I have even reflected on the thought that if we can learn the art of lucid dreaming we can experience a rich world of dream thought where we can solve problems that face us in our waking lives or have incredible experiences that we otherwise wouldn’t have, all while allowing our bodies the rest they need.

During the celebration for my mom, I most certainly maximized my benefit by being able to honor someone I love and admire, share my gratitude that she’s been with me for this long, and do it with my family members.

What do you think about the concept of allowing your time to do double or even triple-duty? Are there areas of double or triple benefit in your own life?


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