Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Here's to change ( A shout-out if you will)

One of my good friends has been obsessed with Valentine's Day since we were teens. We didn't have boyfriends in high-school so every year on V-day, she wanted to fake a cold and skip school so she wouldn't have to see all of the flowers, teddy-bears and chocolates strolling the hallways. I guess she figured there was no need of being reminded that she wasn't getting any romantic gestures made towards her on that day. Since high-school, she has still dreaded V-day and became a scrooge for the holiday; until this year.

Last week she mentioned Valentine's nonchalantly over email and how she thought it would be nice to spend it with someone special but wasn't going to get all bent out of shape if that didn't happen. She was looking forward to her Mom's annual gift and a fun night out with the girls. I was a bit surprised at her positive tone but gladly welcomed it. I was expecting the usual cursing every happy couple that crossed her way attitude which always made me laugh. Then today, she sent me a V-day ecard and seemed to be all smiles over email. Turns out a special someone did give her some treats today for V-day but I don't think that's sums up the reason for her happiness. She recently wrote an uplifting story about recognizing that she has been surrounded by love from so many people for so long and feeling blessed because of it. Her once cynical attitude has changed into a fairly postive one. I love seeing my friend really come into her own; she has put a smile on my face because I see her growing for the better.

So on this day of love, I say love, accept and cherish who you are because in the end, that's all that really matters. Happy Valentine's Day!!


Thursday, February 8, 2007

Can I live a "Clean" Lifestyle?

I think we all have the cut off age where you swear to yourself that you will start living more healthily. Mine was always 29. So now that being 29 has set into my psyche nice and well, I have started to take steps towards living a more "clean" lifestyle. First stop was the doctor yesterday. I hadn't had a physical in god knows how long. As soon I walked into the doctor's office, I got scared to death. All of my usual calm is generally left at the admitting doors waiting to attach back to me after I leave the clinic. In the back of mind, I think that clinics and hospitals are the places where bad news is a common reality and where dreams go to die. Fellow patients always look a little dejected and worrisome as they are waiting to be set free from their delirium.

Unexplainable recent fatigue and exhaustion prompted the doctor's vist yesterday. Usually I am a ball of energy regardless if I am tired or rested. But lately, everything I do has made me ready to pass out on the floor and sleep for days. Of course, every imaginable disease ran through my head as I waited to be called. What if this, what if that ran circles around my brain. It's funny how we think we are invincible until we get sick. Then all of sudden, you start cursing yourself for every unhealthy thing you do with repentance.

There are many unhealthy habits that I continue to hold on to, but the main one is smoking. I have smoked for far too long and it's time to rid this bad habit out of my daily lifestyle. When the doctor looked at my chart yesterday, she said, "I see here that you smoke. Well, it doesn't hurt to stop". So I quit smoking as of two hours ago. I had to finish the last pack this morning with my coffee. Me and Marlboro had some good times together but eventually the bad times will start to show its ugly face. I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dangerous lover; the feeling of loving something that is not good for you but not wanting to let go. Next stop on the road to healthy living will be trying out Veganism for a month!! Can't wait to see how that goes.

For now, I have to wait on my blood tests to come back before I can fully relax and know that I am still in good health. I still worry that the cigarettes, unhealthy eating and lack of exercise has done some irreversible damage but tis better to change these habits now while I am still young than when I am old.


Monday, February 5, 2007

Unspeakable Joy

Last week I completed my first session volunteering at the homeless shelter. I didn't know what to expect when I arrived but I was ready and willing to do whatever. The night started off with prayer and then we got down to work.

I was placed on Kitchen Duty;I prepared the tables with water and silverware. I worked alongside former homeless men who are currently in a program that helps get them off of the street. They were definitely the happiest bunch of people I have seen in a very long time. Not one person complained about his less than glamorous job of fulfilling the kitchen tasks.

They didn't even complain about their current lot in life. If anything, they seemed to be so full of joy and hope of what the future holds for them. One talked about buying a house one day and one talked about being able to see his kids on a regular basis after they got out of the program. Their joyful spirit couldn't help but to rub off on me and for the first time in a long time, I didn't think about my past failures in life nor did I think about my current problems. I was simply content and for the two hours I spent at the shelter that night, I wanted nothing more and nothing less.