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Remembrance Day: Gratitude and Health

Today is Remembrance Day. Remembrance of the sacrifices that were made by those who fought for the freedoms that we enjoy now. Just one day a year designated for remembrance. Every year I remember to stop to pay my respects with silence. But I feel that it’s also important to remember to be grateful every day.

My grandparents did not fight in the war. My Dad’s dad worked for an asbestos company his whole life and he needed to stay at the mine so that they could deliver asbestos for equipment for the war. My Mom’s dad was not allowed to fight. As Japanese-Canadians, he and the rest of my family were sent to the internment camps. They did not fight in the war, but they and their families certainly made their own sacrifices and contributions.

For me to live the life I live now, my parents also made personal sacrifices. I remember my mom worked 3 jobs–a nurse/teacher, a lamaze class teacher, and a figure skating coach. My parents both worked hard to give my sister and me every opportunity they could. My Mom’s mom made sacrifices for her family. She would serve everyone else food and eat only what there was left (if anything, sometimes). I’m fortunate I don’t need to be hungry.

I feel it is my duty, my responsibility to live well. And by “well” I mean that I will take care of my health so that I can do more, offer more. When I feel healthy, I have the energy, focus, and vitality to serve others. My purpose is to serve. I love this role I get to play–helping others find their path of health and wellness. If I purposely damage my own health by eating poorly, failing to exercise, focusing on the negative, I feel I’m doing a disservice to the sacrifices others have made for me.

Yes, spending time every Remembrance Day to pay our respect is important. But what do you, or can you do, more regularly to make sure that the sacrifices of those before you do not go wasted?

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