Now that Oprah has gone off the air, I’ll have to try and carry on the best I can without her. I’m trying to live a Mindful Life. ……….Wait, what was I blogging about? I got distracted. I’m also trying to find my Authentic Self, but so far all I’ve found is a carbon copy in my desk drawer. How do I know what my Authentic self is?
As a teenager I loved to dance and I wanted to be a professional dancer, but everyone told me I was "too tall and I wouldn’t fit in with the other dancers." Maybe I shouldn’t have listened, but when I was growing up the only tall dancer I ever saw was Tommy Tune and he mostly danced alone whenever he was on TV.
I gave up on dancing and thought about being a psychiatrist. I was really interested in psychiatry until I found out I’d probably have to go to college for at least seven years.
Finally I decided to go into journalism because I was nosy, a good listener, and I liked to write. I mostly enjoyed working at newspapers, except for the long hours and the stress of deadlines. I wound up losing my job when I became too sick to work.
Since I was unemployed with time on my hands, I wrote a book, and published it myself. Now I’m trying to sell and promote my book, which is a lot of work.
I’m also a mother, grandmother, and pet owner. I like trying to make people laugh, movies, theater, concerts, reading, making bracelets.
Is my Authentic Self made up of all of the above? I don’t know? I should have paid more attention when Oprah was on the air.
Meanwhile I wrote the following poem:
THAT’S MY LIFEThat’s life, what would Oprah say?
Trying to keep it Authentic every day.
Just when I think I’ve reached a higher spiritual plane.
I screw up and have to start all over again.
I’ve been a writer, an author, a mother, a daughter,
a sister and a friend
I’ve worked at newspapers and done other capers
The list doesn’t end
Just when I think I might finally win the race
I trip, wipeout, and end up in last place
That’s life, you just have to keep trying
Because no matter what happens
It’s better than dying
So I’ll just keep moving on
And know matter what happens
I’ll try to stay strong
I was shocked when I heard teenagers were getting Botox. Then came the horrifying and sickening news that a mother was injecting her eight year old daughter with Botox so she could compete in beauty pageants. What’s next newborn babies being injected with Botox because they developed wrinkles while coming through the birth canal? I’m worried about this country. Every year society becomes more and more obsessed with youth and beauty. If things don’t change this is what our future will look like:
"Persimmon what are you pointing at? I told you it’s okay to talk about people who aren’t as rich and beautiful as we are behind their backs, but don’t point at them!"
"But mommy what is that? Is it a monster?"
"Oh Good God! It’s an old lady. What is she doing in Beverly Hills?"
"What’s wrong with her face?"
"I’m sorry you had to see this, Persimmon. Those are wrinkles. That’s what old people used to look like before Botox, plastic surgery, and personal trainers were invented. I hope you don’t have nightmares over this."
"But why doesn’t she get Botox so she can look better?"
"Maybe she can’t afford it. She probably wasn’t as smart as mommy and didn’t marry a rich man. She should give up some of her grocery money and use it toward Botox. She must be a size 5. She could stand to lose a few pounds."
"I’m scared, mommy. Am I going to get wrinkles?"
"Of course not! Mommy knows a great plastic surgeon."
"But what about your neck? It has some wrinkles on it."
"I told you never to mention mommy’s neck! They can’t inject Botox into your neck but I pray every night that scientists will find a cure for neck wrinkles during your life time!"
History tells us that the Mayflower Pilgrims left England to escape religious prosecution. I maintain they left to escape the food. They heard rumors that they could get roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob (maize) in the New World.
I believe the expression, "Keep a stiff upper lip" originated from a guest who discovered his English hosts were serving Spotted Dick, Blood Pudding, Toad In The Hole, and Jellied Eels for dinner that night.
I love English accents and the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Royal family, but the more I learn about traditional English food, the more I believe the English are masochists. Not only do they eat fruitcake at Christmas; they serve it at weddings. Haven’t they heard of marble cake? William and Kate’s wedding cake consisted of eight tiers of fruitcake covered with white and cream icing and sugar paste flowers. I’m sorry but when I go to a wedding I look forward to eating a piece of cake. Who wants to eat fruitcake? I refuse to eat anything containing neon, glow in the dark pieces of who knows what!
The British invented fruitcake in 1400 before Betty Crocker was born. Now it’s a tradition. I’m sorry but when I was a kid we ate Spaghetti O’s and drank Tang. Does that mean we should make it a tradition? No, why should we when we can have pasta and fresh orange juice. Why should the British cling to their fruitcake when there are so many better tasting alternatives?
In Pepin, WI they hold an annual Fruitcake Toss every winter where they fling fruitcakes across an empty parking lot using a catapult like device. Now that’s a fitting response to fruitcake. The irony is there’s a famous fruitcake made in Claxton, Georgia. Why couldn’t Mrs. Claxton be famous for her donuts? Now that’s something I could embrace and support.
Besides, ruining wedding cakes, the British have also ruined pies. I love pie. I love almost every kind of pie, except Mincemeat. It’s completely unnatural to put meat and raisins in a pastry shell and call it dessert.
Someday I would love to visit England. If I go I guess I’ll be living on fish and chips and avoiding the pudding.
Instead of my usual light hearted look at life, I'm writing about something more serious. In 2005, I was diagnosed with Vasculitis. The disease has greatly impacted my life. During the summer of 2009, I became very sick and wound up being rushed to the emergency room at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN because blood was hemorrhaging into my lungs. I spent five days in the Intensive Care Unit where I stopped breathing on my own and almost died. Altogether, I spent 21 days in the hospital. I lost the job I held for over 12 years because I was too sick to return to work. Today I am doing better, and thankful to be alive. There are a lot of things I can no longer do, but I try to stay positive and focus on what I can do.
When I first became sick I was misdiagnosed and suffered for months before I finally got a correct diagnosis. I want to try to prevent other people from going through what I went through by trying to raise public awareness.
Early diagnosis and treatment are vitally important, yet autoimmune diseases can be difficult to diagnose. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association reports that on average, it takes four years and four visits to different doctors before a patient discovers what’s wrong with them.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) up to 23.5 million Americans have an autoimmune disease, yet if you asked the average person to name one autoimmune disease, they would be stumped. There are more Americans living with autoimmune diseases than people living with cancer (11 million) or heart disease (17 million). There are 80 plus autoimmune diseases and the one thing that they all have in common is that there is no cure. In the case of Vasculitis, treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and the patient’s general health.
Symptoms of Vasculitis vary from person to person and may include the following: fatigue/weakness, chronic sinusitis/nasal allergies, cough/shortness of breath, lung inflammation, asthma, joint pain/facial soreness, abdominal pain/gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney problems, nerve problems, vision changes, atypical severe headaches, skin lesions/rashes, and fever.
Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels, arteries, veins, or capillaries. When inflammation occurs, it causes changes in the walls of blood vessels, such as weakening and narrowing that can progress to the point of blood vessel blockage. A result of Vasculitis is that the tissues and organs supplied by affected blood vessels do not get enough blood. This can cause organ and tissue damage and even lead to death.
In most cases the cause of Vasculitis is unknown. A combination of factors can cause the inflammatory process to be set in motion.
For more information on this disease, go to the Vasculitis Foundation’s website at: www.VasculitisFoundation.org or call 1-800-277-9474.