Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mid Life and Priorities

I just read in the NY Times where Angelina Jolie made another cancer preventive decision and had her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed. It wasn’t too long ago she had a double mastectomy. Bless her. For a woman, a celebrity too, it has to be a monumental and frightening decision. But for a mother who is determined to do what she can to be there for her children, it is a no brainier. I would do the same thing.

If someone told me that I was a high risk for breast cancer or even if there was a spot on my mammogram that was questionable… take them both. I will buy some more that look better. I have no vanity when it comes to staying on this earth for my children. Same rationale goes for any of my parts. I am not concerned about an ovary, uterus, boobs or anything that may harbor a deadly cancer. If I tested high risk for any of those cancers I have no problem letting them go. And I know how Angelina feels. There comes a time when you know you need to be around for someone else. This life is not about you anymore. It isn’t the fear of cancer or dying that drives us to make these decisions. It is the fear of leaving this world before our children are grown. It is our maternal instinct to protect our young that guides and drives us in our daily existence.

In my family, my genetic weakness is not a cancer. The weakness in my family comes from alcohol. Apparently we carry the code for a weak liver. Well, that is not an organ I can live without so the only thing I can do is keep that sucker detoxed and clean. I used to enjoy a glass or two of wine on the weekends but even now, when there are at least 4 bottles of my favorite wine sitting in the pantry, I think twice about it. I know that an occasional glass of wine is good for me. But that doesn’t keep me from second guessing myself when I do decide to have one. The repercussions of over indulgence haunt me. They nag me from the back of my mind. Just like a cartoon when the warning lights and sirens start to go off, I am keenly aware of my own family history and how my actions can make me another victim of my own genetic code.

So here I am in my mid 40’s realizing that I am not the center of my world. My little family is what I revolve around. Both my husband and I make our two children the center of our universe and we rarely do anything without them. And that is what I have come to realize…. when we begin to live for something or someone other than ourselves we consider life more fragile and therefore take better care of ourselves and those closest to us. 
With age and wisdom comes selflessness. As we get older, the people we have known all our lives start passing away, we have to acknowledge that our time is short and we need to make the best of it. Cherish the ones you love and make sure to take care of yourself so you don’t leave them too soon. God gave us free will to choose how we live our lives. The human body can weather the storms of the occasional bad decision but it is our responsibility to take care of this vessel we have been given to the best of our ability. If not for ourselves then for those we love.

Live long and prosper my friends! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Downside of Technology

I saw something on the news this morning and it made me think about how much this world we live in has changed. They were talking about the Apple Watch and the research that had been done for two years creating the watch. And that it would revolutionize healthcare because of the way it could help track exercise, vital signs and overall fitness.

I fear, while we are trying to make life better, we are also making our world smaller. Literally and figuratively. I cant imagine my world on the screen of an apple watch. I have a hard enough time seeing the screen of my iPad without my glasses.We are making ourselves completely self contained. With all our electronics we have created a life where we don’t need any human interaction. We can do just about everything all by ourselves. Provided you don’t have children you don’t have to see or talk to another human if you don’t want to. We can order anything we need online and have it delivered… including groceries. Pay our bills online. We can stream all the newest movies and video games. We can now do all our social interaction online all from the comfort of our home. We don’t have to go to church because the preacher will come to you … over the internet or TV. I admit I am the worst for most of these things but for me it is the convenience factor. I don’t have the time to do most of these things in person because I am busy going here and there with two kids.

*** NOTE*** Epiphany Moment***
It seems we are taking the humanity out of being human. When my children were young I could have been a stay at home mom and isolated them but it was important to me that they learn how to interact with other kids their age. I could have put them both in a private school full of kids just like them but I felt I was depriving them of learning how to function in a diverse society. The world isn’t just like them and they need to understand that. I want them to know people will look different and believe different from them and that is ok. Because when they grow up they may leave the confines of their little bubble and boy they will see some different things! (epiphany moment is over)

I miss the days when we had to actually go visit with our friends. There is something to be said for quality time and interaction with other people.  Now we just text or facebook them. I get more of it now that my daughter is playing several sports and it is with new people. My own personal close friends are the ones that I don’t get to interact with and I miss that. Once again, I find myself wishing my life away for the weekend and before I know it I am looking at Monday morning which is 5 more days away from the next weekend. And I always end up wondering why it was only two days and what the hell did I accomplish?? I have to fix that… maybe a time management app… NAH.
Above all technology has made me miss books. I really really miss books. I miss turning pages. I miss the smell of a library book. I ran out of space for books and bought a NOOK about 6 years ago. It doesn’t smell like a book. And it certainly doesn’t read or feel like a book. It will simulate turning a page but it is not the same. In this electronic world I can honestly say that a real book is what I miss the most. I don’t miss shopping, I don’t miss banking, running errands or even chatting on the phone. I miss a real book. To the right is a picture of my happy place... if I had a spare closet... this is what I would do...

And I can’t imagine an apple watch can fix that. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Its all in the Trying

There are so many things I try to do on a daily basis. Sometimes it is more difficult than others but every day is a struggle to be the best me, put my best out there, think kind thoughts and so on.  I almost always wake up happy. Happy to hear the clock, happy to roll to my right knowing I will see a soundly sleeping 5 year old little piece of sunshine, happy that when I go from the bed to the bathroom it is just a matter of seconds before a little black dog noses her way in to greet me and then tell me to hurry up so I can let her outside to do the same.

I have a morning routine that is comforting in a way. Dogs, husband, children and at some point I manage to get myself ready and off the baby and I go to kindergarten and the rest of my day. Funny though the end of my day is much like the beginning but in reverse. Before I go to bed I end up putting Children, husband and dogs to sleep before my own head hits the pillow. Last one down … and the first one up. And so we begin another day.

I know I have complained about the weather and how wet and gloomy it has been since before Christmas. It has been so miserable for so long that we all must feel like bears coming out of our hibernation caves when the sun finally came out this past weekend. It was glorious! The Bradford Pear trees are all of a sudden full of blooms and this weekend is the equinox so spring is here and there is no turning back!


So here we all are… trying. Trying to get through the winter of all winters, trying to trudge through another week without wishing our lives away for the weekends of warmer weather. Trying to enjoy every moment on this big blue marble before our time is up. And even though there are things that need to be done, most of the time they can wait if there is some other thing you need to be doing… like playing with kids or basking in the warm sunshine. I promise you, you will be glad you did because you cant get those sweet moments back and no one really cares if the house hasn’t been vacuumed. 
It’s all about the trying. Trying to live our lives to the fullest and at the same time not miss out on the little things that make it all worth living!