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On the afternoon of my 32nd Birthday

Posted Oct 02 2008 3:13pm

I slept so solidly from about 11pm to 4am last night when suddenly I found myself wide awake and watching Obama's Presidential Nomination acceptance speech. Well. I watched the first 10 minutes and only listened to the rest. I found myself with tears streaming down my face. And it's not as if anything he said was anything I wasn't expecting. It was just reiterating the hopes I, too, have for this country. Hopes that I have for my family and myself. I think, more than anything, I was crying for the fact that I have found my own self at a point so underwhelmed.

Underwhelmed. Cynical. Unsure. Non-committal. I thought it was just me, but it sounds like, maybe, these things are plaguing much of the country's mindset.

I don't mean this post to be too political, I don't think I am wise or capable enough to speak on the issues when so many other people do a better job at it. I am much better at talking about me (!!!) Big surprise, eh?

I guess what I find most compelling is how big government ideas--big world ideas--big picture ideas--can be melted down to those of each individual. Perhaps it's like a mass collective energy. So many unsatisfied people melding together to find themselves in this slump and then, hopefully, on the rise.

For instance, yesterday, visiting with our doula, a woman who I would love to one day call not only our doula, but a friend, I realized how I doubted myself. That I doubted my opinions, second-guessed my thoughts, back-peddled, and in general am, quite unsure.

I used to be more confident. When I was younger, before I married and had kids. And I think it makes sense that having kids would shake my confidence. Everything is so new when they woosh out into the world. I don't think it's just having a child who was born with a heart condition or Down syndrome. Some people, I think they find I am more sensitive now, some people, like my sister, tell me they don't think I have ever been so strong. I think both things are true.

There once was a Tricia who never ever ever thought she could make it through her child being born with a disability and needing heart surgery. But she did and she's stronger for it, and more resilient.

But there was also once a Tricia who took risks. Who drove across state lines during snowstorms overnight. Moved. Started over time and again. I am not saying she was the most practical person, but she had fun. She did things. In her way, she moved and shook.

And it's not so much that I want to take risks anymore. At least not of the variety I had come accustomed. I guess it's just that complacency is not a happy option.

I know I am responsible now for not only my own health and happiness, but of my entire family's health and happiness. That's ok. But I think, I have to remember that I am part of this family and that my own health and happiness is also important. And part of my health and happiness comes from taking risks--calculated though they may now be--unless I fall into a complacent despair.

I don't mean to suggest that I have some big idea or some big plan, I have to go through my life line by line, I think, and make some small changes in the hopes that bigger ones can come on the horizon.

And for some reason, looking at our country, I see a reflection of myself. And how I need to change.

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