Writers live full and demanding lives. Let’s become more focused and productive with my unscientific version of Repeal and Replace!
Replace: Go to bed earlier. Even fifteen minutes can help. If you like how you feel, shave off a few more minutes until you find that perfect bedtime. The more often enough rest helps you be vibrant the next day, the more you realize how little you need to care about late night comedy shows.
Repeal: Coffee addiction.
Replace: Getting enough rest will help you relish that cup of coffee. There’s a huge difference between “I’ll fall asleep right on the floor and/or kill someone if I don’t have coffee now!” and “I’d love to enjoy a cup of coffee on this beautiful morning.”
Replace: Keep up with wellness visits. Many illnesses, such as diabetes and some cancers, have few or no early symptoms.
Young people need wellness visits, too, partly because as a group, Gen Xers and Millenials are at increased risk for colon cancer.
The earlier you catch any problem, the easier it is to address. Even better, vaccinations for adults, such as for Shingles, are now available. Yes, I’ve had mine.
Too expensive? It’s cheaper to go for checkups now than to stop everything to cure illness later. For instance, get symptom-free high blood pressure and cholesterol under control now to prevent a heart attack, which could require costly treatment, including surgery.
Don’t have time? If you think you’re too busy to go to the doctor today, imagine how much more intrusive to your life – and your family’s – it would be to drop everything for emergency surgery at an unspecified future date. To follow up after a heart attack, you’ll likely be under the care of yet another doctor, (a cardiologist), and self-care afterwards is time-consuming. Not to mention the emotional toll a close call with death will take on you and those you love.
Some illnesses, such as diabetes, affect other organs. Left untreated for diabetes, you’ll likely end up learning about other doctors, such as a nephrologist. Ordering “diabetic” shoes takes weeks and requires several appointments with yet another doctor. So now you have to visit at least three doctors.
So are you sure you don’t have time today?
Consider the following wellness visits:
Primary care physician: Overall health. Please see this doctor as a minimum.
Dentist: Prevent tooth decay, pain, and gum disease. (Don’t let fear keep you away from the dentist for forty years, as it has one of my acquaintances. Trust me, novacaine needles have gotten WAY smaller than they were decades ago.)
Gynocologist: Some women’s ailments are symptom-free at first. I have convinced many of the women in my life to get the newer 3D mammograms.
Eye doctor: Not only do you want to keep your vision in check, but issues such as glaucoma are best caught early. Some people develop cataracts in their forties.
Dermotologist: See this doctor especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun, or did as a teenager. I’m happy indoors all year long, but I go anyway.
Repeal: Too many demands.
Replace: Learn the word, “No.” That’s right. Let this wonderful one-syllable word fall right from your lips. Use it to avoid activities and obligations that are not necessary and are not your passion or priority. This includes church activities. And yes, you can even decline a request from the pastor, no matter how worthy.
Repeal: Lack of balance.
Replace: Take time for yourself. Even a little each day will help. Find “your” place. This could be a chair in a corner, or maybe you have space to set up a home altar you can view as you think and pray. Even if you can only find ten minutes, stick with it. You need time to collect your thoughts and bring matters to the Lord.
What do you want to repeal and replace in your life?
What tips can you offer to help live out priorities and passions?
Timely post, Tamela. I’ve completed almost all of the above. My next priority in the wellness arena is to set up a morning exercise routine. I’ve procrastinated long enough. Lol!! I do enjoy my morning coffee while I have my personal Bible study and post daily scripture on social media. It has taken me years to courageously say ‘No’ without feeling guilty, and it’s a refreshing, freeing feeling.
Repeal unforgiveness, and replace with, for some, at least, the trip down the narrow and brutal road which may be the only way to grace.
As I write this I’m hove-to between the Scylla of pain and the Charybdis of fear…and I will admit to hearing the Siren of instant apotheosis. It can be too much; it can be far too much.
And I would not anyone to be here, not my worst enemies (and I have had some seriously bad ones). This doesn’t come from an epiphany, or from a sudden Scriptural revelation; it doesn’t come from an ecstatic experience of God or a harsh douche of the truly diabolical, suddenly rising real and mean in my view.
It comes from a place of decency, of knowing that while I have been both hard and ruthless in this life, these can only be effective for the intended good if rooted in an innate mercy that springs from faith, and a faith that is at its heart defined by Love.
And in not wanting anyone else to pass this way, I am hoping that somehow my journey will shield them, and that they can, by some calculus, be forgiven and spared. They didn’t truly know what they were doing; neither did I.
But I know now.
Let the battles end here, with my passing; and let it all go.
Your words brought tears to my eyes. What an articulate and practical words on forgiveness and life. Thank you! I needed this today.
Throat burning here, Andrew. Beyond grateful for your lion heart, generosity of spirit, and posting for posterity.
Fighting the good fight here because you are there.
Repeal: Being sedentary.
Replace: With movement. According to Dr. Daniel Amen, even 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking can do wonders for the heart, mind and soul.
Lois Y Easley
Fabulous and needed! Bravo!!
Tamela, your post reminds me of prepping a springtime garden.
Repeal: Weeds (Pull up by the roots malice, jealousy, resentment.)
Especially with strangers who cut me off in traffic, the sample table at the grocery store, or important conversations with people in need.
Replace: Seeds of Hope (Plant kindness, rejoicing with those who rejoice, and goodwill.)
Thank you, Tamela for the words of encouragement. Recently took two vacation days from work. Set aside the to do list and took that time to relax, read, write, and enjoy time with my mom. God blessed it richly.
Prayer definitely is the medicine for allergies to mornings. Laughing!
Look forward to reading your latest blog post! 🙂
What a timely post. Thank you, Tamela. I’m in the “lack of balance” category and have been seeking God’s guidance. I’m finding I not only need time for myself (as you mentioned,) but I also need to enjoy it and not feel guilty. I’m a work in progress that’s for sure! 🙂
Sheri Dean Parmelee
Tamela, I would like to repeal the need to clean my bathrooms and replace that need with a maid so that I can spend more time writing and less time thinking that I don’t want to be shut down by the health department. Like that old bromide, “dust keeps, as long as you don’t get it wet.”
Sheri, what a great repeal and replace! Laughing. Yup. Housework never seems to go anywhere…
Great message! I want to repeal negative thoughts when thinking about myself and replace those thoughts with positive uplifting thoughts. I am a child of God and that is the most positive thought in the world. 🙂
What a wise and practical woman you are!
Good word about 3-D mammograms. I recently had one that caught a very early cancer, and I’ve already had surgery to remove it. It’s not something any woman wants to think about, or believes will happen to them–I think I’m still in denial. But thank God for new technology. I believe He gives inspired ideas to medical researchers and providers. Take advantage of it if you can.
Tamela Hancock Murray
Teresa, I was away last week and just now saw this. I am so grateful the new technology served you well. I am also praying for a complete and quick recovery. Please keep me posted.
Thanks for this caring, thoughtful post, and the idea of “Repeal and Replace”.
A word about cataracts: I was 54 when my eye dr. referred me to an eye surgeon for cataract surgery for both eyes, or else blindness would result. I was stunned; after all, I wore good sunglasses, and I thought cataracts only happened in older people. The dr. explained there is an aggressive form of cataract which occurs in younger people. I had the surgery, and even though the whole thing was somewhat traumatic for me, good came from it. It was the backstory for a devotional I wrote, ” An Unlikely Offering”. A magazine published it. I read comments about the devotional online, and the prevailing theme was, “I needed to read this today.” God used it and brought good out of a situation I called bad.
Repeal: perfectionism. In the extreme form, it’s a downer. Replace: grace and acceptance.
My tip to help live out priorities and passions: know what they are, and give them the importance in your life they deserve. For example: Some people who like to write may let it go by the wayside because generally, writing doesn’t pay well. So the time and effort goes into what brings in the most money. Yes, the bills have to be paid. But if a person really wants to write, and particularly if the person has been told, “You have the gift of writing”, then the person needs to take the time to write. Otherwise something that should be expressed, doesn’t get expressed, and the person becomes unhappy because that creative urge isn’t being fulfilled. There is only so much time in a life.
This is perfect and so true! I’ve repealed sitting and replaced it with PiYo since February and cannot believe how it’s improved my overall well being. I sleep better, crave sugar less, and when I must sit (most writers do) my mind is clear and focused. The external improvements are great too 🙂
Thank you for this post, Tamela! I love reading blogs that help me reevaluate current actions to achieve the results I’m shooting for.
Last month I “tried on” the habit of getting up an hour earlier to write and exercise first thing in the morning. (I found my Bible reading time had to wait until later, since reading in the early morning hours just makes me cross-eyed sleepy.) This habit nudged me to go to bed earlier and reclaim quality sleep I’d been missing trying to catch up on my projects at the end of each day.
I don’t always meet this goal of writing first, but it’s something I continually strive for. Removing the pressure of “I have so much to do today and still haven’t written yet” destresses my life tremendously, and encourages me to write even more. When it comes to writing, momentum is a beautiful thing. 🙂
Also, increasing your activity is a big one. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I drilled my doctors on why it struck me at only 40. And though there is no clear answer, my cancer doctor has done research that shows it could be related to free floating calories. “Increasing activity and reducing high calorie foods,” he said, “is the best way to prevent cancer.”
Tamela Hancock Murray
Wow, that’s eye-opening! Praying for you!!!