Yesterday I was sitting in the doctors office, waiting my turn and flipping through the latest issue of People, I mean, Women’s Health. I came across an article by the beloved Dr. Oz who, in spite of being an Oprah disciple and writing that really boring diet book I tried to read five years ago, has always maintained my respect as an authority on womens’ health.  (I’m sure he’s relieved.)  I’ve long enjoyed reading his sound advice for optimum health and longevity:  Eat more almonds.  Eat less sugar.  Get more ginko.  Get more sleep.  His plan sounds so simple but alas, requires just enough effort on my part that I have contented myself with merely reading about it.  Implementation?  That’s another matter.  I’d like to think that I follow Dr. Oz academically.  It’s a valid position to take, and I fancy myself rather good at it.  

Until now.  Because in yesterday’s trashy mag health journal I discovered, at long last, a Dr. Oz suggestion that I can–that I do–follow, and not just in theory!  It’s called “Energy Management,” and it’s brilliant.  In this article, Dr. Oz explains how, though we often seek “time management” in our lives, what we ought to strive for is “energy management.” This means taking time do things that, though perhaps “unproductive,” are relaxing and

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enjoyable, and thus renew our energy level for unpleasant tasks that lie ahead.  The theory  is that if you are rested and recharged, you’ll sail through the sticky parts of your day as quickly as if you’d penciled in extra time to do them, the extra time having been spent on your fun, energy-renewing activities that will increase your overall efficiency.  Translation:  Naps are in, dishes out.  Oh my faithfuls, finally–a doc that’s speaking my language!

Summer is the perfect time for me to happen upon this psuedoscientific breakthrough.  Take today, for example.  I spent the better part of  9:30 am to 4:30 pm in the car, driving my kids to doctors appointments and basketball camps and violin lessons and activity day and lunch and errands somewhere in between.  (So glad we’re getting a break from the busyness of the school year.)  Around five ‘o clock, I looked around and decided that, after last week’s chaos, my life house needed a major cleanup, so I began to tidy and scrub and sanitize dutifully.  I slugged along for awhile, but then the heat and my laziness fatigue got the better of me.  I resisted resting at first, and then, like a flash of welcome lightening, the words energy management shot through my mind.  That’s right! I thought.  I MUST manage my energy!  I threw down the mop, picked up People Women’s Health, and flopped down on the sofa, determined to obey Doctor’s Orders.  I decided that, for once, I would follow such Sound Medical Advice to a tee and render myself immoveable from the couch for the rest of the night.  I would also avoid rising too early the next morning, lest I should waste precious energy I might need for important things later in the day, like yelling at teaching my children and watching West Wing while feigning ironing.

Change is in the air, my friends–I can feel it dancing atop the cool summer breeze, visiting me with a renewed sense of Self.  My lifelong sluggishness and forgetfulness will soon be a thing of the past, because–why didn’t I see this before?–it’s all been the result not of laziness or disorganization, but merely mismanaged energy.  What I’m really trying to say here is something that you may have heard me say once or twice before:  It’s Really Not My Fault.  See, for my entire life, I have been duped into thinking that I had to work to get work done.   Yeah, well, following that philosophy hasn’t gotten me anywhere besides driving a minivan and writing a crappy blog called just a stray junior mint.  But now, at last, there’s a physician out there who understands my pain and knows how to cure it:  Less mopping, more movies.  Less Walmart, more Target.  Less writing (too cerebral), more West Wing (just pseudocerebral enough.)

In fact, so solid does my new health platform seem, I’m thinking it applies to diet as well.  If less work and more play will help me Get My Work Done, then it follows that less edamame and more ricotta will help me Get My Weight Down.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Let’s discuss it over a piece of lasagna.  Right after my nap.