health provides an opportunity to manifest a better life.
~ Craig M. Becker
It’s been years since I went to the dentist. And the optometrist. Like, I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t remember how many, years.
Ever since I was no longer eligible for my parents “dependents” benefits, and had no work-place benefits of my own, the expense of health-related appointments like the dentist and optometrist always fell somewhere below drinks with friends, travel, clothes, a car, phone, and computer on the priorities list. I had good intentions many times over. But something else always came up. And my mouth and eyes never seemed to complain with any real significant discomfort. Thankfully.
Recently though I’ve been re-thinking this priority list of mine. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older; because I’m getting wiser; because I’ve settled for the time being in one place long enough to consider getting a new dentist in a new city. But I’ve started to think about my health in a slightly different light.
The World Health Organization in 1948, defined health as:
“…a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being
and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
At the time this definition was considered forward-thinking in that it included mental and social well-being in addition to physical health. However more recently, in an article called How should we define health? (2011), it’s limitations were criticized along with a push to include the ability to cope with and adapt to life’s stresses and challenges. This again takes our understanding of health beyond the medical model’s focus on absence of disease, and highlights the inter-relatedness of the mental, emotional, social, and physical aspects of well-being.
I like to think I can consider myself a healthy person. At least relatively speaking, no matter which definition you choose to adhere to. But I also think there is always more we... I could do to improve my overall health and well-being.
One of the ways I want to be passion-filled about ME this year is to explore some of the health-related expenses I’ve been avoiding. Because really, what good are the drinks with friends, travel, clothes, a car, phone, and computer if I don’t have good physical health in order to truly enjoy it all?!
So I decided: the monetary Christmas gifts I received this past holiday season (along with a few Christmas-spirited tips from before leaving that job) are going to be invested in my health.
Starting with the dentist.
Perhaps within that focus I can find a small sum to reward my health efforts with something more... fun! Or perhaps enjoying all that I already have with a renewed sense of health – manifesting a better life – will be reward enough...
You'll have to excuse me now, it's time to get flossing!