Our house – Nancy’s and mine – is a real mess. My wife Nancy and I have an agreement that the downstairs study, the foyer, the living room, the dining room, the gym – those areas in our house are always kept clean. We work 60 hours a week at day jobs, but we each work another 30+ hours at the jobs we love.
But this month the downstairs study, the gym and the dining room table were invaded by a lot of Nancy’s work – she is writing a grant. I have never seen her work harder in trying to renew this grant for the training of fellows in developmental and behavioral pediatrics, her area. So papers referenced in writing the grant have literally taken over our house.
Could Nancy write the grant and do the grant on her own? No, of course not. Could I have done the work I have done in writing books and even this blog alone (without Young Dr. Oz and so many others)? Of course not.
We all have team members, researchers who help us, multitudes – we don’t do it alone, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have important roles.
The good thing about our home being a mess is that I know my best buddy in life is my wife. And I know when she is done and when I am done with my mess, we will love each other, we will respect each other, and we will keep helping each other stay healthy.
We all need a best buddy – and this is especially true when it comes to eating and acting healthy when you are stressed and overloaded with work. You need that best buddy to keep you exercising, to keep you taking the right foods and supplements, and to, yes, enjoy life together. So while Nancy is working like crazy (and doing things to stay healthy, too) and I am working like crazy as we start the Enforcer e-coaching company, we have learned to be best buddies to each other, to tolerate the messes, to enjoy the accomplishments and time together that not spending time on the messes affords us.
And that is the best tip for the year: Whether at home or at work, the best way to enjoy any task you do, in fact, the best way of enjoying life, is to find and to nourish a great buddy or great buddies (yes, Dr. Oz is a second great buddy to me).
Having a buddy or best friend at home and at work isn’t an excuse to gossip; it is really a key to managing the stress and consistently choosing healthy behaviors. Having a friend will help you be more productive at work, which will also lower your stress. Why? Maybe we feel that obligation, that accountability to the buddy, or maybe we enjoy our work more. And that works when you are quitting a bad habit, too. When you want to get rid of cigarettes, don’t quit alone. Do it with a buddy.
May you be lucky enough to have as wonderful a set of buddies as I do. And a wonderful partner in life who motivates me to stay healthy and to clean up my areas in the house at least twice a year. So find and nourish that buddy, NOW!
-Young Dr. Mike, The Enforcer