In the children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” the cookie kicks off a long chain of other things the mouse needs, just because he had a cookie. One reviewer calls it a “circular tale.” Wikipedia says it illustrates a “slippery slope.”
I write to entrepreneurs, because it’s a word that applies to a lot of us:
entrepreneur—noun–a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
By that definition, if you lead your family in a big decision about real estate, you’re an entrepreneur. Ditto if you call the shots for a major kitchen remodel you’ll live with for the next twenty years. Running a company? Of course. You’re also an entrepreneur, in my opinion, if you make a living writing, counseling or performing; guide your child through the college admissions process, with or without bribing an admissions officer; manage a household to live on less than you earn; or lead a sales team or business unit within a larger corporation.
Initiative, risk, and cookies. No matter what your line of work, the need to take initiative and accept risk pushes you out of your comfort zone and into a chain of stressful events. You might soothe yourself with a cookie, or cake, or Coca-Cola, or other available substances. Or you don’t soothe yourself, and lay awake at night, unable to sleep. It’s a rotten way to live. Either way, you get accustomed to more and more stress and may not notice you are on a slippery slope toward burnout, depression, and health problems.
I have done all of the above, but sail on smoother seas at the moment.
Yet every year at this season I recall that last glorious, beautiful fall when we knew my father was dying, and celebrated every precious drop of family time together. His death kicked me into a long string of terrible, horrible, very bad days, to quote another famous children’s book. No…wait…years! Very bad years!
Last year I made a list “How Three Horrible Years Helped Me Be Happier:”
🔹I talk less about negative stuff.
🔹I turned to art, music, nature to nurture and feed my spirit.
🔹I spend time with people who are kind.
🔹I take care of my body.
🔹I appreciate simple things.
🔹With fewer possessions, I feel lighter and more free.
My career seems to be moving in a circular tale too, as recent jobs turn me back to where I began: as a healthcare professional teaching and guiding others toward better health. Still reading books! Still making videos! But body and mind are connected and I want to make the most of my holistic health, and help others do the same. To me holistic refers not to mystical treatments or practices outside of scientific evidence, but to a lifestyle that supports our full potential in mind, body, soul, and emotional connection to others.
So be on the watch for more…blogs, video book readings, and ideas for how to de-stress your body and prevent burnout.
© Deborah Rankin, R.D., 2019