I had a great experience Saturday morning speaking with the School Nutrition Association of South Carolina. There were close to 400 people in the room from across the state. These are a group of people that directly impact our kids and are often overlooked unless someone is complaining about a school feeding program. I can tell you from talking with many of these people, that they are genuinely concerned about helping our youth and have many stories about helping students individually and collectively. For their service to the youth of our state I thank them.
One wish I shared with them is "Take care of YOU". This is something I have learned the hard way and now know how important this message is to me and all. Far too often we forget to take care of ourselves in an effort to take care of others. I did this for much of my adult life and went 'all-in' with this effort from the end of 2004 to2008. I thought somehow during this time that if I took anytime to focus on me I would be taking away from my efforts to resurrect and save a youth serving organization I felt deserved my full attention. I know now this was not the best way to do things. I had to 'come out of the fire' to see how destructive my behavior was to me, my wife and the people that love me.
"Taking care of You" is not a selfish behavior if you are honest with yourself. I equate it to having the right tool to do the job. If you are looking for a tool or piece of equipment to do a good job you typically want the best tool you can find, the sharpest knife, the best software, the best of anything. Why would this be any different with people? You want to be the best YOU to serve others!
I did not feel successful in February 2009 and did not feel I could help myself much less help others. Hence, I had to find my path 'out of the fire' before I could help anyone else. On March 2, 2009 I started my journey out of the fire! I now work to help others find their path to health and wellness. I feel good about this and feel successful again.
I had a number of members of SNA of SC share their stories/journeys with me after breakfast on Saturday. I thank them all for their thoughts and inspiration. I ask you, as I asked them, if you are fortunate enough to find your way out of the fire help one other person you meet with no strings attached. This will do at least two things for you. One, you will get a great feeling of satisfaction in helping someone else. Two, you will reinforce your own good habits by talking about them and teaching them to someone else.
Note to ME and YOU: Take Care of YOU! and pass it on, pass it on, pass it on………….
Living, Loving, Losing, Laughing!
The Fat Guy