02/03/2011 05:24 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Finding the 'Me' Factor

Only I would pick the week before Christmas to go to the dentist after not having gone for... let's just say the last time I went I don't think there were any iGadgets around. My excuses are many, some legitimate, but none that would hold any water in a court of law. I could just see a judge now, "Well, Mrs. Domestico it looks like you are guilty of making excuses repeatedly in a crime against your teeth." A lawyer stands up that represents my teeth and says, "Let's not forget all of the excuses she makes about exercise and eating well." That's when my guilty conscience stands up and yells, "I object," just to save face, of course, because, let's face it, if they brought up all of the excuses I make to myself, I would be serving a life sentence in the excuse corner.

Besides hating going to the dentist, I have been a bit busy. Living amongst doctors for the past eight years with a disabled child causes this weird phenomenon to occur. You start to avoid any doctor for any reason, other than you can't stop bleeding or you cannot breathe. Working for a startup 80 hours a week didn't help; raising three kids, taking care of a house, cooking and keeping everyone in clean clothes does take its toll. Whenever it comes to taking care of "me," the part of my brain that holds the giant box of excuses would open up and say, "Go ahead, Amy, take one, it's easier." I would reach in and pull out a "bad weather," "has to be on a call," or my favorite, "I will do it next week." See how that works? I bypassed tomorrow and went right for next week.

How do we stop this bad habit, the habit of not taking care of ourselves and putting everything and anything else before us? For an excuse addict like me, I believe it's one step at a time. The old analogy, you have to crawl before you can walk works here. But how did I get here to begin with is the biggest question? I would have to look back to about the time I became a mom. Being a mom has a devastating effect on your "me" factor, it turns into a "them" factor faster than you can say "epidural." That is when you wake up 10 years later, sitting in a pile of rubble that used to be you, and until you can clear away the rubble and organize all of the pieces back into place, "you" will be lost amongst a sea of excuses.

So my advice to anyone out there who has decided that everything else is more important than taking care of yourself, please remember, you need the "me" factor to be able to take care of "them" as the years go by. We aren't born with a second set of adult teeth, and the damage that happens when you are not eating right or exercising is long lasting.

I am not the type of person to make New Year's resolutions but this year I have a "no excuse" rule in effect. If anyone else wants to jump on the bandwagon, there is plenty of room.