Today I am at home with a bad case of the sinuses. I have been struggling with allergies for weeks and–stupid me–went for two days straight without taking my sinus medication. In addition to that I have had a chronic stiff neck due to too much computer work. I woke up with a plugged up head and a major sinus headache. Got some food in my stomach, took my medication, added some Excedrin, took a hot, hot bath, and am presently waiting for my eyes and brain to come back into focus.
Health is one of those things that I think we all generally take for granted. That is, until we lose it. When you’re 20, one hardly thinks about it at all. We’re invincible, and we treat our bodies like playgrounds with lots of dumpsters lining each boulevard. As you get older–as I am, regrettably–health becomes a bigger and bigger issue. All the success in the world, all the wealth, can’t buy you one healthy, energetic day, and won’t add one more minute to your life when you’re lying on your deathbed.
So when you are burning the midnight oil on a writing project, living on Diet Coke (as Orson Scott Card talked about in the forward of one of his novels), or even, heaven forbid, popping pills to keep your energy level up rather than getting the sleep you need, remember that health shouldn’t be taken for granted. Garbage in, garbage out. There have been many famous authors who were alcoholics, but if it is a causal effect then writing may lead to alcoholism, but not the other way around. Their lives, for the most part, were too short.
I for one, want to live a long life. Not the least reason being that I still have a lot of stories to write. And then read to my great-grandchildren.