Thursday, September 8, 2011

A little Perspective

A lot of really crazy things are going on in my life right that make me want to hop in the car, drive to my parents house, curl up in my mom's lap, and pretend I am 10 again. This is probably greatly illustrated by the strange dreams I have been having lately where I have been running away from evil beings like bloodthirsty aliens and deranged video game characters (please, don't ask). The internet says that dreams like this indicate there is some problem or issue that I don't want to face and that I should think about what the things chasing me symbolize. Bloodthirsty aliens=something foreign I have no control over? Deranged Mario Brothers=your guess is as good as mine.

Of course I don't put too much stock into the meanings of dreams because there are so many things that can influence our subconscious. However, given the way things have been going lately in my life maybe the dreams I've been having aren't too far from the truth. Maybe there are some things, past and present, that I just need to embrace and not be afraid of.

To put this into perspective I offer a conversation I overheard at the doctor's office today (where I was diagnosed with stress-related stomach issues, go figure). First let me say that I really love my doctor. She is always very nice and personable and so easy to talk to. Her specialty is family medicine (as are all the doctors in the office) but when I go in there I never see families, or young people, or anyone under the age of 65 for that matter. I feel like I somehow picked the geriatric doctor and everyone is secretly laughing at me when I walk in thinking "bless her heart, she doesn't know." I've tried to convince myself that its the time of day that I'm going or that maybe there are just a lot older people in that particular neighborhood but really, I think its's the doctor's office for old people.

Not that I have a problem with old people at all. Some people are squemish and don't know how to act around the elderly but I still have 3 out of 4 grandparents, knew both my great grandmothers, and have happily visited many a nursing home in my day. The only thing that does make me feel uncomfortable is that I feel like these people are looking at me all young and (relatively) healthy and that I am somehow making them feel sad because they no longer have their youth. It's silly but I actually feel guilty about this even though I know that there is probably a 95% chance that these people are perfectly happy and are glad to have lived long and successful lives (at least I hope this is the case).

But to get back to that conversation I overheard...

I was sitting in the checkout area of the office waiting for the woman behind the desk to call my name so I could pay my co-pay and get back to work when I began to listen to the conversation of two men next to me.  One of the men was 79 (we'll call him Man B) and Im not sure how old the other man (Man A) was although he said he had a brother who was 88 so Im guessing late seventies, early eighties as well. Man A was discussing a recent episode where he temporarily lost his mind and had to be hospitalized. Apparently he was lashing out at nurses and doctors and didn't even know where he was. Man B was listening to his story and commented about how he was glad that medicine was able to bring Man A back to life. Then the men started talking more about their health and this is when Man A mentioned his 88 year old brother and how he was in such great shape for a man his age. Man B mentioned that at 79 he was grateful that he was in the shape he was in and that anymore, a man who can live past 75 should be grateful because he's made it past the average life expectancy. All the while here I am, this 29 year old trying to pretend like I'm not listening to these men while on the other side of me there is this older woman clutching her diabetes testing monitor and smiling at me like old people do when they see a young person, and all I am thinking is that things could be worse in my life. I could be these people, sitting in the doctor's office, discussing how I am lucky to have reached greater than average life expectancy, be in good shape, and thanking god for all of the medicines that are keeping me kicking.

Well played God. Well played. Way to give a girl some perspective.

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