Tag Archive | Health

Holiday Reflection

The Holidays have always been a strange time of the year for me.

Some years they’ve made me happy and other’s they’ve made me sad. Every year, they cause me to reminisce about the past, both the bad times and the good. They make me want to be a better person. And they remind me that in a few short months, I’ll be another year older.

And getting another year older depresses the heck out of me, these days.

As I watch my boys, who were babies just yesterday and young men tomorrow, I realize that the immortality of my youth had faded away. Perhaps I am the last to realize this about myself, but I wish that I would have savored my youth just a little bit more. It’s not that I didn’t travel or do crazy things. It’s not that I didn’t have fun or that I have a lot of regrets.

I just didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have.

I didn’t bask in it every day. I was so busy getting somewhere in life and doing “something important” that I didn’t realize “Hey, I’m only 23,24, 25 etc.” or “I can eat whatever I want and not gain an ounce” or “Five hours sleep is more than enough!”

I was foolishly just living and not appreciating, not reveling.

I suppose I’m doing that now. Only it’s different. Only now, it’s not about me. Because I’m much older than 24, I can’t eat whatever I want, and I need at least six hours of sleep to even think about getting out of bed. Now I value my life through the lives of my children. And I’m watching them grow entirely too fast. Which means that I am also growing older, which I’m not ready for.

I want to grab the robes of Father Time and bring him to a screeching halt so that we can slow things down just a little bit. I’m not ready for my boys to be young men, and I’m not ready to be old, yet. After all, there is still so much that I want to do. Still so much that I need to do.

So I find myself reveling, now before it’s too late. I do it in the every day. I do it in the small moments, in the things that I used to walk right by. I find that I am more selfish in my priorities because I know that the time that I have is limited, and I know that my children won’t always be as in love with me as they are now.

I wish that I could slow things down and make life go just a little slower. But since I can’t, I’ll have to settle for squeezing every bit of joy that I can from the time that I have with the ones that I love. I’ll have to settle for trying to be patient, forgiving, and loving. And I’ll have to settle for seeing the small moments, the little miracles, hearing the tiny whispers, and appreciating every single bit of happiness. I’ll have to recognize my weaknesses and accept my failures, and move on because that is the best I can do.

At the age of 19, my incredible niece is a cancer survivor. I believe her life is special and that there is so much waiting for her. She has stared into the darkness and come out alive. I imagine that she is destined for something amazing and beautiful.

We can let life just fly by or we can embrace each moment. The Holidays remind me of that because they are a constant. They have always been the barometer I used to measure how much value my life had.

But now, they are the barometer I use to measure how much I value my life.

My husband has instilled in me a love of Charles Dickens, “Christmas Carol.” We watch it dozens of times over the holidays because it often hits close to home. It reminds us that we only have one chance at this life and that it is ours to cherish or to lose.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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For Me…

It’s no secret. I juggle. Everyday.

And with the busiest time of the year upon us, I know that I will desperately cling to my sanity as I do every year.

Sometimes I have so many balls in the air, I know that I’m never ever going to be able to catch them all. It was difficult to balance before I started writing again, a few years ago. And with the writing, it sometimes feels impossible to make time.

Being a Wife, mother, working career woman, daughter, I’m often spread extremely thin. But the writing is for me because I need it to clear my mind, and to be a better person. I need it to relieve stress, to exorcise my demons, and to work through the tangled web of thoughts that get cluttered up in my head. Making time in the midst of hearing my name called hundreds of times a day, can be extremely challenging, but I try every day.

Stories have always been something that I have always loved and needed, almost as much as the air that I breathe. Reading a good book and allowing it to transport, inspire me, and fill me with it’s beauty has opened me up to worlds that I never knew existed. Writing about them has been a privilege and has given me more joy than I ever thought possible.

But I’m torn as most of us are, when it comes to meeting our own needs, and meeting the needs of others. A great many of us, when we get to choose, put the needs of others first. I truly think that there are times that we have to give ourselves permission to choose to do the things that make us whole and make us feel right. Whether it is writing, or going to a yoga class, or a concert, or sitting in a coffee shop alone for an hour with our thoughts, we should just allow ourselves the time. We have to realize that we don’t do it to neglect our responsibilities, or the people in our lives that mean the most to us, but we need to do it in order to make ourselves whole. The better that we are, the better we can be for those around us. If we are not whole, we truly can’t be the person that we are meant to be.

We don’t always look at our lives like this. But I know that its what I need, for me. The reality is, that sometimes we simply become frustrated by our own lack of personal time to do the things that we want to do.

I don’t question that I can do everything. I know that I can, slowly, steadily, and with great care. I know that my children won’t be little for long and that they won’t want my attention as much in a few years. I know that my life today will be very different from my life in ten years from now. So for day, I have to be realistic in my priorities. I have to suck up the frustration sometimes and write when I can, not always when I want to. I have to accept that the story is still within me, waiting to be told, but that it’s going to be told a little slower than I may want it to.

Setting realistic priorities, expectations, and goals, will help me to be the best possible Me that there is. Which is best for everyone! ❤

No Food or Drink Allowed!

One of the downsides of being adopted and having no chance at knowing your history, is also not knowing your medical history.

When I was in my 20s I knew that this would end up affecting me more as I grew older. But as most 20 years olds in the prime of life, I felt the strength and promise of a long life. So, I smoked my Marlboro lights, drank wine, ate lots of red meat, and shelved it for a much later time while I enjoyed my youth. I thought that as I grew old gracefully, blessed with somebody’s Asian genes, my mortality would continue to elude me.

It’s been quite a few years later and unbeknownst to me, mortality has been sneaking up on me for awhile. Since my 20s, I’ve successfully moderated my intake of wine, red meat, and cut out the Marlboro lights. I’ve substituted with chicken and hot tea, but I’ve certainly enjoyed a good steak and a nice bourbon Manhattan on occasion.

But after a recent trip to the Doctor, my mortality has finally caught up with me and in full force.

After telling me about a medical issue that I have that won’t go away. Ever. My Doctor’s instructions were to “lose weight, exercise, cut out fat, carbs, sugar, and alcohol.”

“WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Yes! Lose Weight, exercise, cut out fat, carbs, sugar, anything with flour, and alcohol.

Then he handed me a sheet with some “helpful” diet instructions and left the room, I’m guessing before I threw something at him. After all, the tendency is to shoot the messenger, is it not? I read the “helpful” diet sheet and it basically said “no pasta, rice, bread, donuts, cookies, cake, chocolate…” In other words, nothing good to eat… ever!

It was a little overwhelming, to say, the least. And when I consider that there are people who receive MUCH WORSE news from their Doctor than that, it gives the “No (bad) food or (alcoholic) drink allowed” sentence to seem like a walk in the park…

Did I mention that my career for the past 20 years has been in the Hospitality Industry, and that I work around Food and Alcohol everyday??! 😦 😦 😦

I’ve been VERY crabby for the past couple of weeks.

But I’ve eaten a lot of chicken, spinach, romaine lettuce, fish, and wasabi peas, and I haven’t had any alcohol for over a week. I don’t even know if the wasabi peas are all that healthy, but since they don’t contain any carbs, sugar, or alcohol I decided that they were safe. I’ve also eaten a lot of almonds, hummus, and broccoli. And I’ve also lost 4 pounds.

I haven’t fully embraced my new “healthy” lifestyle, but I have a beautiful family that I’d like to grow old with, so I don’t have a choice. My diet wasn’t that horrible to begin with and I didn’t drink alcohol every day. After talking to my Doctor and doing research on my own (I’m not a Doctor, but I play one on the Internet) I’ve discovered that I can have one drink at a time, on occasion. I just shouldn’t have more than one.

The next step is to start working out again regularly, and to gradually change how my family eats as well. With my husband’s family history and now mine, we can finally start creating a picture of what we are passing on to our children. My side of our family history begins with ME. Finally having some information either good or bad, to begin with is at least that… a beginning.

So for now… I have to take a day at a time and stop thinking about all of the things that I can’t have, and start thinking about all of the things that I WILL have by changing my lifestyle.

But I anticipate that I will still end up crabby from time to time. I don’t think I’ll be able to help it. After all, I do still love bourbon, good beer, wine, ice cream, chocolate, and pasta. I just don’t ever see that changing.

Blog Challenge-Day 28 What I’m looking forward to…

We are always looking forward to various events or milestones in our lives. We can’t wait until we have the perfect job, the perfect love, or are happy, or rich, or married, or have kids etc. We are so busy looking forward to moments in our life that we often bypass the moments that are right in front of us.

I’ve often heard that Happiness isn’t a place we get to live in, just a place we get to visit. But through some painful moments in my life, I’ve learned that happiness is a place in our own mind. If we pause to see where we really are, instead of where we think we want to be, we may realize that happiness is directly in front of us. Happiness and contentment are there every day in the simplest of moments.

Yesterday I met a teenage boy, Patrick, with Downs Syndrome. When I met him, I smiled and he smiled back at me. Then much to my surprise he blew me a barrage of kisses. In that one moment, my heart exploded with pure happiness. A sweet boy who was living in his moment, was blowing kisses at me. I don’t know how I could have been anything but happy. Patrick’s gesture was meant to be innocent, sweet, and beautiful, with a touch of mischieviousness~and it was all of that and more.

I’m so happy that I didn’t miss it.

I’ve learned that I can look forward to the most insignificant moments every day. Whether it’s grocery shopping or cooking breakfast with one or both of my sons, cuddling with my family (2 boys, 2 adults, 2 dogs) on our regular Queen size bed, or peace and quiet in my car on the way home from work. If I pay close enough attention~I won’t miss those moments. I try to keep myself open to the moments that take me by surprise, that catch me off guard, and take my breath away.

So I look forward to the tiny moments. And I am so truly thankful for them, so much that I don’t need too much more.