A Warm Fire During the Winter

Since it’s getting cold outside right now, I’d like to warm you up to how we spent fall break this year.


I am currently involved in a 4 year advanced TMJ and Sleep Disorders training program that meets 4 separate times each year for a two day session. In October our meeting was held in Cancun Mexico, and it landed on the same dates as our kids’ fall break, so we brought the family along.


We enjoyed a few days of fun and exploring, and then I got some exciting work done during last two days while the kids and my wife Megan enjoyed a couple extra days of sun.


One of the restaurants at our resort called the Lighthouse served Breakfast until noon each day.

I had to laugh when I saw that sign. 12PM breakfast?!? I haven’t eaten breakfast that late in decades, maybe ever!

I joked with my 15-year old son Judson, If I can’t make it to breakfast by 12 I have a real tardiness issue! But in all seriousness, there are countless individuals who do actually suffer with getting up in the morning and I feel for them!

During one night of our stay, we watched an outdoor fire dance show. For some reason it made me think of the old saying that “if you play with fire, you might get burned.” 


In ancient China, a wise saying echoed through the ages, reminding people of a fundamental truth: “Those who play with fire perish by it.” This timeless wisdom holds a crucial lesson that is as relevant today as it was centuries ago, especially when it comes to our health. A similar saying, found in the Old Testament Proverbs says “Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?”

This idea speaks to the inherent danger and inevitable consequences of engaging in wrongful, unethical or immoral actions. The imagery of walking on hot coals without getting burned serves as a vivid metaphor and underscores the idea that just as we cannot tread upon burning coals without experiencing pain, we cannot engage in wrongdoing without facing the consequences of our actions. 


Some of this is simply part of life, part of our learning lessons as we “skin our knees” along the way.. 


Just like playing with fire can lead to bad consequences, taking uncalculated risks with our health can have a significant impact on our well-being. 


Maybe it’s putting off exercise and diet, skipping our dental or sleep hygiene, or indulging in that extra dessert late at night (I personally have been guilty of that one plenty of times!)

One way I’ve viewed this saying is simply by looking at it from the standpoint of learning. None of us are perfect, nor should we set those kind of expectations on ourselves. We can count on more bumpy roads ahead, but the more I’ve embraced this as part of life learning, and not as failure, the easier it has become for me to digest.


From another point of view, considering the risks we take with our health when we neglect crucial aspects like sleep, nutrition, and exercise can be likened to playing with fire or the positive or negative consequences that come from our choices. Just as our kids might be fascinated by flames but unaware of their potential danger, we sometimes overlook the consequences of our actions.


Sleep, for instance, is a vital component of our health. Just like fire requires attention and control, so does our sleep. Neglecting sleep, staying up late into the night, or constantly sacrificing it for work or entertainment is a short sighted pleasure. It does have long term consequences. 


So, what can we learn from this ancient Chinese wisdom? Just as a child would learn to treat fire with respect and caution, we should apply the same principles to our health. Taking calculated risks, making wise choices, and recognizing (learning from) the good and bad consequences of our actions are all key to maintaining a healthy life.


We hope you have a wonderful Christmas, New Year and Holiday season where you can ensure your well-being and live a healthier and richer life in 2024. 


By the way, if you are a member of the Pinecrest Smile Club plan or have an insurance plan with expiring benefits that you’d like to use before 2023 is over, we have just a small handful of slots open so text or call today to schedule (limited availability through December 31st).  


Merry Christmas!