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Commentary: Don't bite off more than can be chewed

December 26, 2012|By Lisa Hamilton

I suppose it takes a near death experience to appreciate the meaning of life. Interestingly enough, as we prepared for the dramatic end of the world last Friday, choking on a piece of pot roast the day before seemed so ironic, almost embarrassing.

Casually testing my pot roast, I cut off an unusually big piece, chewing it to see if it was done. Yet, for some reason, I was so rushed, chewing seemed like a waste of time, so I decided to swallow it whole, to shave off a few seconds of my hurried day. Quickly off to the next "things-to-do" list, I observed that the rebellious bite was not adhering to my plan. It got stuck right in the middle of my throat.

It was at that moment I realized that this might be the end. I thought about calling 911, yet I couldn't talk. How can you ask for help when you can't talk? Well, I thought, this is it. So I prayed. "God, if I live through this, I am going to make the best New Year's resolution. I am gong to turn my life around, take smaller bites, and stop and smell the roses. If you give me one more chance, I am really going to surprise you. How about it?" Knowing that prayer was my only hope, I breathlessly waited.

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At that moment, just as the pot roast popped out, I felt like I had been given a second chance. "Thank you God!"

It is amazing how something often taken for granted, like the air we breathe, instantly becomes of paramount importance, like so many other things in my life. And so, just as promised, I was going to declare, my "to-do" list wasn't going to rule my life. Instead of doing more, I was going to focus on being more. Instead of setting up lofty goals, and failing, and then feeling guilty, I am going to set goals that I can achieve. Instead of losing 10 pounds a month, how about 1 pound a month? Imagine going to your support group and saying, "Well, I have some great news. I am proud to announce that I lost 1 pound this month!" and then getting a standing ovation. I was going to set myself up to win. To stop focusing on everything that isn't working, and focus on what is.

My new goal was to feel good about myself, my life. I declared that I was no longer going to feel like a loser, but a winner who hasn't quite won yet.

My New Year's resolution: Live in the moment, and love fulfillment of just being. I was appreciative just to be alive.

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