Instant gratification is part of our lives. Thirty years ago most homes had one phone line, although they may have had multiple phones in their home. About 25 years ago most families did not have a personal computer and we certainly didn’t communicate regularly with emails, let alone even imagine to dream of sending instant text messages via something called a smartphone. We now find ourselves walking around with hand held devices which allow us to instantly connect with people in our lives. We text, we send photos, we update our social media accounts while driving or walking…we are driven to complete all tasks NOW!
Looking for shortcuts…
We all look for ways to save time. We look for shortcuts when we are driving, walking, completing simple tasks like writing, gardening, studying, cleaning, cooking, and eating. But sometimes shortcuts can be dangerous and deadly. Think about the hiker that decides to take a trail that is not on his/her map, or the driver who is trying to save time and takes an unmarked road, or the cook who decides not to shop for mushrooms but instead picks some wild mushrooms to complete the stew, or the homemaker who is out of a commercial cleaning solution and determines that it makes sense to mix together chlorine bleach with ammonia.
Dangerous (and maybe deadly) nutritional or dietary shortcuts…
Over the past couple of years we have often written about the importance of good nutrition and we have talked about caffeinated energy drinks. We share these posts to point out that nothing really takes the place of a healthy diet, daily exercise and good sleeping habits. But perhaps because it is human nature to get accustomed to instant gratification that we start looking for shortcuts.
We search for shortcuts to fall asleep, then we look for shortcuts to wake up. We look for shortcuts by skipping breakfast, then we miss lunch only to find we overeat at dinnertime. We resolve to exercise a bit each day, but after a week or so the daily exercise disappears from our schedule. Then one day we are standing in a grocery store or convenience store and notice an enticing little bottle that says: 5-Hour Energy Shots ~ Feel It In Minutes, Lasts For Hours…B Vitamins, Amino Acids, Zero Sugar.
This week The New York Times wrote: “Federal officials have received reports of 13 deaths over the last four years that cited the possible involvement of 5-Hour Energy, a highly caffeinated energy shot, according to Food and Drug Administration records and an interview with an agency official…Since 2009, 5-Hour Energy has been mentioned in some 90 filings with the F.D.A., including more than 30 that involved serious or life-threatening injuries like heart attacks, convulsions and, in one case, a spontaneous abortion, a summary of F.D.A. records reviewed by The New York Times showed.”
ABC News reports on 5 Hour Energy investigation
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We all look for time-saving shortcuts. But it is important to remember that life itself is precious and each time we make a decision to try something new we should take the time to consider the possible consequences or our decisions. Do some research, read the news, talk to your friends and family, seek counsel from your medical provider. If you are in treatment for an addiction, talk to your therapist. If you are in recovery, reach out to your sponsor for input. Be careful out there: It’s your life…treat it with respect.