Friday, January 4, 2013

Hillary Clinton

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Hillary Clinton is a workhorse.  I would guess that she gets more accomplished in an hour as Secretary of State than I do in a day.

An incredibly savvy woman who has served this country as First Lady and as a member of the US Senate, she is also fearless about putting her beliefs into action and that's one of the reasons why she is the most admired woman in the world according to a December 2012 Gallup  poll.  In fact, this marks the 11th year in a row that Hillary has held the number one spot.  
But her current medical situation makes me pause.

I was very happy to read that she was discharged from New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday where she was diagnosed and successfully treated for a blood clot in her head.  According to her doctors, the blood clot developed from a concussion she suffered in her home earlier in December.
Clinton's spokesman explained that while she was at home fighting a stomach virus, she had become dehydrated, fainted and fell, striking her head.  Blood clots are nothing to fool around with; especially when found in the brain.
Even though Clinton said in a statement yesterday that she is eager to get back to work now that the clot has dissolved with the help of blood thinners, her medical scare is a strong reminder to me and all of us who routinely multi-task and push themselves that we need to work smart and protect our good health.
Staying hydrated is definitely a priority and one that increases in importance as we grow older.  WebMD says older adults have an increased chance of becoming dehydrated for the following reasons: they may not drink water on a regular basis because they do not feel as thirsty as younger people, their kidneys might not work as well as they once did and they might choose not to drink lots of water because of an inability to control their bladders.
Something to look forward to right?
I enjoy working but when I am involved in a project I am passionate about I know that I sometimes lose track of time and sometimes even forget to eat.  Working hard can be satisfying but I try to remind myself that work shouldn't compromise my health or yours.

For example, I have a job where I sit in front of a computer.  Throughout the day, I constantly remind myself to get up and walk around.  I need to give my eyes a break and I definitely need to move my body.  Sitting in one place for hours at a time is not good for any part of my body even though I have worked with people who are almost macho about how long they work in front of the computer.

To me, that's not working smart.  That's just marking time.  At a certain point you are no longer focused on what you're doing because you've been at it for so long you don't even see it any more. 

There's no gold medal for working yourself to the bone.  In fact, I've seen some people end up very sick trying to put in unbelievable work weeks.  Sooner or later, the lack of sleep, the stress, the constant mental go-go-go, the eating on the run and deadlines wear you down.  I  find it's not the amount of hours you work, but what you do with the hours you work that helps you stay on top of your job.

If you are a workhorse too, I think the healthiest plan to follow is to try to be proactive.  Evaluate your schedule and see what you can get done before a deadline.  Remove distractions and do the work when it's time to do the work.  Push through until the work is done and reward yourself with a break.

I appreciate and admire Hillary Clinton's work ethic and her talents but her hospitalization was a public sign to all of us that sometimes we need to put the breaks on our work schedules and be aware of the health pitfalls that can happen when you put in long hours in a pressure cooker job.

Please rest up Hillary.....we need you!

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