Lifestyle, what is that? The very definition is “an individual’s way of living”.
There was a time in the not so far past that I had no idea of what that meant. If someone had asked me outright what lifestyle meant to me, I would have said something like, “of the rich and famous“?
Being born and raised in a small, rural community my upbringing taught me how to work hard. My siblings and I worked alongside our mom and grandma in the fields. We started out working for grandma and grandpa in their vineyard and graduated up to the prune and peach orchards.
Those days were long, hard back-breaking work. In the fall and winter we would cut the root-stock mother plants and haul the 6 to 7 foot long vines into the garage in bundles. We would cut and bundle, grandpa, when he was home, would pack them like a mule on his back. Grandma wasn’t as strong, so she used the little Cub Cadet tractor to pull them in. Cold and wet it was work we had to do to get the product, root stock, to market. In the spring it was time to help till the fields, put down the fumigation and plastic to kill the weeds before planting the new stock. Summer months were spent standing on our heads, pulling weeds and chucking rocks.
There was never time to dream of luxury vacations or what we think of today as lifestyle. Most of the time we were thankful just to get home for a hot bath, a big meal and bed.
When the family took vacations it was usually all 5 of us kids in the back of the camper on dads pick up truck headed across country to visit relatives. Oh sure, we stopped alongside the highway at the Stuckey’s or tourist attractions occasionally.
One trip in particular I remember being so disappointed…I was maybe in 5th or 6th grade and we were going to Yellowstone Park. Now, think like a kid for a minute, what do you suppose I was expecting? You’re right; I thought there would be swings, slides, a merry-go-round, things for kids to do! Guess mom didn’t really explain what the park was in too much detail!
As an adult looking back I sure didn’t appreciate the effort it must have taken. Surely it took plenty of money to tote all of those kids a couple thousand miles to see a geyser, a moose and a bear, too!
Things didn’t change much when I got married and had a family of my own. There were doctor bills, hospital bills, and car payments. With house payments who could think of a vacation, especially one like the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
Our vacations, although fun, were weekend trips to the coast to camp. Have you ever camped? With two small children it is hardly what I consider a vacation, it is flat out work! Occasionally we would travel to the mountains for weekend fishing trips, camping with my folks or friends.
Once they suggested we get a hotel room and we freaked out, who could afford a room? Our luxuriant dinners were the large order of chicken nuggets and family fries at McDonald’s with a soda!
Then I was introduced to network marketing and my thinking started to expand. The friends who worked beside me encouraged us to travel to conferences; our first was to Las Vegas, Nevada. That was huge for us, driving over 13 hours we were exhausted yet excited.
The next trip was to New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ll never forget that trip, I was so sick with the flu…but I had a ball and remember every wonderful side trip we made. From the jazz music drifting down Bourbon Street to the century old Cafe Du Monde and the scrumptious beignets with lattes. Those are memories etched in our hearts and one day we will go back to enjoy that rich treat again.
That was my husband’s first plane ride…he was so scared that it took us 3 hours for a 2 hour trip to the airport…we had to stop at every rest stop, if you get my drift! But it was so worth it. The foods we experienced, the sights and people we met all different from home. The world is huge and is just waiting to be explored.
When we were introduced to nutrition our minds grew even more to the lifestyle waiting for us. Traveling to places like the Caribbean on a first class cruise, San Francisco and a bay cruise, Las Vegas, Seattle and the Space Needle!
We ate escargot, caviar (icky I was like Tom Hanks in Big…spit it out), but I tried it! Snorkeling in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean was unbelievable; I had to pinch myself to make sure it was real.
Debarking from San Juan, Puerto Rico my husband cried in disbelief that someone like him could be experiencing something so incredible. Dancing on the deck of the ship as we pulled out of port was like watching the Love Boat on TV only we were the stars.
But you know, if we didn’t have our health none of that would have mattered. Without taking the business seriously we never could have won that cruise to have experienced the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
Being able to travel to Maui, Hawaii with our best friends was so incredible. We got to experience that lifestyle with people we love and care about, healthy enough to enjoy it. We enjoyed it so much that a couple years later we were able to take both of our kids and grandkids back to Maui for a two week lifestyle vacation. That rocks, there’s nothing like it.
Today, when life throws us lemons, we just catch them and squeeze hard…the lemonade is sweet and we look forward to the next adventure in living lifestyle healthy one ounce at a time.