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    Lesson Eight – Loved Ones First – Make Family A Priority

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | July 19th, 2021

    Lesson Eight – Loved Ones First – Make Family A Priority

    Growing up, I was upset because every time I was off school, my parents were off. They were both teachers and their vacation was the same time. When I had children, I made it a point to be on vacation every time they were off from school. My youngest child was upset. She wanted to be home alone without a parent like the rest of her friends. I smiled because I understood.

    In Dan Buettner’s book, Blue Zones, Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, lesson eight is Loved Ones First – Make family a priority. There was a quote from the book that resonated with me – “You make investments when you go to school and get educated in a particular field. Investing in our children when they are young helps assure they’ll invest in us when we’re old”.

    Taking the time off to be with my children on their day off was one of the ways that I invested in them. I realize not everyone is able to take time off when their children are off, but it is important to find your way to invest in them. It is cheaper to invest in your children when they are younger and things are manageable than to start investing in them when they are older.

    In the book, the following strategies are offered to put Loved Ones First:

    1. Get closer – Consider living in a smaller house to create an environment of togetherness. It is easier for families to bond and spend time together in a smaller house.
    2. Establish rituals – Children thrive on rituals; they enjoy repetition. Make one family meal a day sacred. Make a point to purposefully celebrate holidays.
    3. Create a family shrine – Have a place where you have pictures of loved one. Take annual family pictures and display them in progression.
    4. Put family first –Invest time and energy in your children, your spouse, and your parents. Play with your children, nurture your marriage, and honor your parents.

    When it comes to Loved Ones First – Make family a priority, I leave you with the following African proverb:    

    If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success

    We have one more lesson in our journey to creating our Blue Zone. If you have missed the other lessons, please click the link below:

    1. Move Naturally – Be active without having to think about it
    2. Hara Hachi Bu – painlessly cut calories by 20%
    3. Plant Slant – Avoid meat or processed foods
    4. Grapes of Life – Drink red wine (in moderation)
    5. Purpose Now – Take time to see the big picture
    6. Downshift – Take time to relieve stress
    7. Belong – Participate in a spiritual community
    8. Loved Ones First –   Make family a priority
    9. Right Tribe – Be surrounded by those who share the Blue Zone values

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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