A new opportunity

Dear Dad,

There is nothing scarier than hearing that someone you love has suffered a heart attack, unless of course you are that someone you love who is having that heart attack. The good news is that neither the heart attack nor the shock of hearing that you were having a heart attack managed to kill you. Even better, news is that there was very little damage to your heart muscle and thanks to the wonders of medical science, your two clogged arteries were plunged with angioplasty and a few days later you were sent home.

Now what? I am betting that is the question you are asking yourself. Sitting around in your boxers and yelling at CNN was never really your style. Until a few days ago you moved at a pace that would exhaust a man of 41 1⁄2, which happens to be exactly one half of your age. Getting back to work, presiding over board meetings, traveling the world, and occasionally visiting your grandkids are more your speed. To your credit, you have moved at a fast pace and retained a vitality that even I envy.

So you have two options. You can choose to hang up your loafers or you can pick up where you left off. For the first time in my life I don’t honestly know what your answer will be. Your were born in a taxicab speeding past the Baltimore City Penitentiary in 1924 and, as best as I can tell, you haven’t stopped moving since. Perhaps, it was that first sight of the prison that makes Lenny run.

So I beg you to keep on running, but at a moderated pace. The way I see it, you have been given a huge opportunity to adapt a fast-paced life into a well-balanced lifestyle. No longer can you and Lainy afford to eat out 4 or 5 nights a week and substitute a late night bowl of cereal for simple family dinner when you eat at home. Prepared foods from the gourmet counter and other convenience foods from a box or the freezer don’t count as a healthy meal.

So what’s a hard charging executive to do?

  1. Don’t listen to well meaning advice
  2. Listen to the nutritionist and cardiologist
  3. Everything in moderation
  4. Hire a chef – sort of
  5. Cook a meal at least once a week with your spouse
  6. Dine responsibly in restaurants
  7. We need sodium to live – use it wisely
  8. Avoid processed foods – especially anything that says “diet” or “healthy”
  9. Shop the farmers market
  10. Splurge every now and then

Let me explain:

Re: A new opportunity