I have been pretty speechless lately. Not for lack of material, but because I'm doing my best to just hang on, with what feels like a 1 finger grasp, and that usually requires my full attention. I don't know if you remember my post recently about my heart, but its faulty, labored, and often painful functionality has been keeping me occupied. I recognize that I'm not the only person in the world to have experienced problems with her heart. But when I sat in my cardiologist's office, waiting for the results from my stress test, at 28 years old, it never occurred to me that he'd mention the words coronary heart disease, artery blockage, or angioplasty. For some reason, I was okay with the thought that my stomach was a wreck. I could handle migraines, and backaches, and toothaches, and even infertility. But knowing my heart isn't working with maximum steam really, really bothers me. I can't sit down for more than a couple minutes without my mind wandering to the most terrifying worst case scenarios. And I have a very vivid, detailed imagination. These scenarios are even scarier now that I have my own family.
This may sound overly dramatic, but I feel the most crushing need to prioritize. You may remember my list of 101 things I want to do before I die that I put together back in March 2010. It's amazing how a list can be streamlined when you realize those things that take precedence. I don't think it's healthy to go through life with the words, "In case I die..." as a personal mantra. But for now, as I'm facing obstacles that bring me just a little bit closer to mortality, those words are always on the tip of my tongue. (Have I mentioned I'm a dramatic person in general?) As I've been sifting through my most important priorities these last few days, I realized more than anything, I have a lot to say- mostly to Trenton and my kids. For that reason, I am shifting the focus of this blog a tiny bit. I still want to write about things I've learned, but I also want to get, in writing, all the things I want my kids to know, if for some awful reason they don't have me around. I know this sounds horribly morbid. But it's really not when you consider that none of us really knows when we're going. And even if I live to be 120 years old, I'll still be happy I kept a few words of advice for my babies- and something to laugh about, I'm sure.
So here is my "In case I die..." for today- I want my Emma, especially, to know that nobody takes you as seriously as you take yourself. So lighten up. I have only recently come to realize how much quicker you heal from illness and heartbreak when you recognize that the situation is almost always temporary and not as bad as it seems. Don't let embarrassment hold you back from anything. It's not worth the stress it will do to your body and the years it will take off your lifespan. It's also not fair to yourself, to keep from doing something because you're afraid of how you'll appear to others. Who cares? I mean really...why care? Everyone is going to have an opinion, but the only opinion that matters is the one you have of yourself. So go for it!