I got a thorough physical exam years ago. At the end, I asked the doctor what was the best thing I could do to boost my immune system. With all the information overload these days about what is, and isn't, good for us, it's hard to know which advice to follow.
The doctor didn't hesitate one second -- and looked very confident as he prepared to give me his answer. I sat up in my chair, pen poised to take down the golden nugget of information. I'll never forget his answer. He said, "The best thing you can do for your immune system is ... [drum roll] ... sleep."
Sleep? So much for the latest earth-shattering discoveries. Since then, I've come to respect this response a lot. The sleep state is when the cells in our bodies get a chance to repair themselves. I now refer to sleep as "cellular repair." It's much more respectable to announce you're going off for some cellular repair rather than just to take a nap.
So, before I doze off at the keyboard, I want to acknowledge the results of some of this reflection and repair time. Sticking with the birthday theme, one of my greatest gifts in life is to have the opportunity to write this column. For this, I'm grateful to you, the readers -- in print and online -- as well as my editor, Rosalie Earle, the copy editors and the staff and management (thanks, Trip, for being an early adopter of the concept) at the Sunday Gazette-Mail who have believed in me for the past four years. I celebrate each of you, as I do my writers group, family, friends and business associates who inspire me on a continuing basis.
When I started writing "Live Life Fully," it was my hope that a dialogue could get started about important topics and everyday life lessons. That's because I believe we all learn from each other. I certainly got my wish and continue to marvel at the feedback and wisdom I receive from you. I'm always open to comments on your life experiences as well as suggestions on topics to explore and ways to improve the column.
My meditation message for July 17 in "The Secret Language of Birthdays" seems to fit well with the column's purpose: "Problems in life are simply challenges to grow." There you go -- further confirmation we're on the right track.
Oh, and any of you out there who were born on Oct. 28 share the same birthday as my sister, Paula -- and Bill Gates!
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, a marketing communications firm specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive media. Reader comments are welcome and may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or emailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.