Friday, September 11, 2009

If my health was my first priority

How would I be living differently if my Health was my first priority?

This is a question posed at The Happiness Project Blog. It is supposed to help people make changes in their lives I think.

My answer to the question is easy:
I would exercise 2 hours a day and 3 hours a day on alternating days.
1 hour walking
1 hour weights
1 hour yoga

1 hour walking
1 hour yoga

I would sleep 10 hours every night.

I would drink 2 Liters of Water a day.

I would get 50% of my daily caloric intake from fresh and frozen fruits and veggies.

I would eat fish - cooked at home - 3 times a week.

My life is nothing like this. It won't change twards this anytime soon, because my health is not my first priority. Sure- I wash my hands often- I don't party all night- I don't want to get the flu - and I try to find some meat/protein and some plant product to eat on a daily basis. (I have a normal BMI and am probably healthier than 50% of Americans my age.) That is about all my health gets right now.

My true priority is getting out of graduate school with a PhD. Sooner rather than later. Sooner might be 6 full years total. That would be almost 3 full years from now. And I am working as hard as I can.

Here is a list of my priorities:
1) get out of grad school with PhD
2) Keep my 2 pet dogs alive and somewhat healthy
3 and 4) me and husband time for us together or time for him or time for me. This alternates depending on the week.
5) sleep
6) find food to eat

This list was easy to make because I just look at how I spend my time:

11 to 13 hours a day working at work.- I don't read blogs or chat or call or text or anything.
I just work. I don't take lunch breaks etc- I just work until I cant stand it because I am so hungry and then i find some bread and milk at my desk. I eat for 5 minutes and continue working.

1 hour commuting. 30 min door to door each way.

1 hour dogs. Feed AM and PM walk a short walk PM.

2 hours - eating at home, 1st breakfast, last dinner, showering, getting dressed, playing on internet, reading blogs, reading cook books

7 hours sleeping

Sometimes I sleep for 6 hours and food shop for one hour.
Sometimes I sleep 8 hours and see my husband for one hour.
Sometimes I see my husband for 15 minutes.
Sometimes I spend more time at home answering emails to my students about their lab reports.
Sometimes if I don't get home too late I will try to cook some chicken in the oven because on the one day I made it to the food store they did not have a rotissery chicken I could buy and I can't find any meat.
Sometimes I will talk to my mom on the phone for 15 minutes. I try to talk to her once a week.

I don't think the "health as your first priority" question really applies to anyone who actually WORKS hard for more than 11 hours a day - and wants to bathe and sleep some and find some food to eat.

I guess during my 2 hours a day where I eat and groom and play on the internet I read self-improvement blogs and find out how I can't use their tips in my life if I am still going to work hard at graduate school.



Skuh said...

hoo! I am tired just reading this agenda. Remind me never to go for my PhD.
You're a better woman than I am, Fermi!

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

If only....I'd be happy with having 2-3 hours a day to work out, time to cook a good meal, and being able to sleep 8-9 hours per night.

I pretty much would have time to work a few hours a day, if that.

ps. My "word verification" was UNEED. lol.

Tino said...

It's all about getting the balance that you want--or I like to believe that.

That seems like too much work! But I can see how you want to get out of school ASAP. Do you find that you enjoy the process of working in the lab?

Fermi said...

Shuh: Most PhD students do not work as much as I do. When I was in different group I would not have dreamed of working this much.

And working more does not equal better.
working more equals working more.

Tino: Yes, I LOVE lab work.
It is the perfect job for me because doing my experiments, and designing them, and interpreting my results, and knowing what experiments to do next is my favorite thing. I am good at it, and there is just enough thinking and stimulation to keep me happy but not over stressed.

There are other parts of my job though- other than lab work.
This is enough for a whole post.
maybe next time.

Anonymous said...

Very thoughtfull post on Self Improvement. It should be very much helpfull.

Karim - Positive thinking