Friday, December 7, 2012


Oh come on, surely you have learned, by now, that you have to look out for yourself.

No doctor can really do that for you. If you have a medical pal, (nurse or doc) you like, and can chat with freely, hang on -- maybe do something pally-nice for them -- give them a memento -- a wood-carved horse, a blown-glass elephant, or a camel -- something which symbolizes that you know that you're riding on that person's back.

Even if the person is your roommate, spouse, or dearest best friend, YOU need to know all the stuff in the list that follows:

Your Blood Pressure and Diet -- learn the words systolic, diastolic and know the numbers -- are you high, low, or in the normal range,  and are you getting the necessary nutrients, vitamins, calories, carbohydrates, and minerals? 

Your Elimination -- urination and bowel habits -- be aware of quantity, color, quality, frequency, discomfort -- all the aspects of your body's output -- the sphincter and peristaltic feelings.  Are you having to work hard to empty bladder or bowel?  Are you losing control?

Your Symptoms -- anything that's weird, odd, different that you're feeling, you need to know when it occurs, how often, and does it keep you from functioning normally.  Include moodiness -- depressive, or suicidal thoughts, and your worries -- the events, the things you do that get you flushed, get your  heart-racing.  Are you ever dizzy, ever feel faint? Do you get enough sleep? Are you often exhausted?
.....Also keep track of sneezing, itching, rashes; also twinges, or dull aches when you bite or chew. Do you sweat a lot, or never sweat? What about your eyes, your ears -- are you seeing and hearing normally?

Your Exercise -- do you know what exercises you ought to do every day, or every other day, or once a week?  You need to be in charge, and realistic.
.....Be aware of your arms, legs, shoulders, back -- do you wake with a backache,  or aches in neck, elbows, hips, knees, or wrists?  Whatever, where ever -- pay attention!  And include feet, toes, hands, fingers, and thumbs, in your exercise.

Your weight and height -- are you gaining, losing?  If you're shorter than you were a couple of years ago, you are shrinking as you age, so pay attention to sitting  and standing taller.

B-bp/diet  E-limination, S-ymptoms E-xercise W-eight/height.  
B E S E W --  that's Dr. Em's,  the camel's acronym

Golly, a body, your body, is a priceless gift that you own. Keep track of it. It's fascinating to know, to be aware of it, to maintain awareness. If it's difficult for you -- aha -- that means you've been ignoring you.

Get a tiny special note book. (Yes, I'm big on notebooks -- I've got too many things I have to be sure I do every single day.)

Carry your notebook with you, and put down any thought that occurs to you, and investigate it further -- by yourself, and then, if it's worrisome -- consult a trusted, highly recommended MD. 

It's a fact -- the biggest most important fact of life -- you-yourself, YOU are the boss of your own life and death.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Watching Ben Affleck, who's now 40-years-old, is fascinating -- he's expanding, embracing more, trusting himself more and more.

Joel Stein, a Time Magazine columnist, in his recent four-page spread, said, "A decade ago Ben Affleck was a tabloid fixture.  Five years ago he was a fledgling filmmaker  Today, he is the force behind one of the the year's best movies."

Joel Stein is 39, a commentator on the younger generation, who's become a writer star to watch.  And 43-year-old Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck's girl friend in 2003 and 2004 -- when they were headlines as "Benifer" --  has become a super star.

Joel is a sexy, good-looking man. I call him "Joel," though I don't know him, but because -- in his writing -- he's told me so much about himself. I feel as if he's a personal pal. Undoubtedly, a lot of Time's readers feel the same way -- he's gotten to be a bigger and bigger name in the magazine. And Jennifer Lopez -- wow -- she keeps expanding, taking over more in every area -- performing,  directing, creating, selling her advice on fashions, diets, cosmetics, and her private life.

The private life of Ben Affleck -- married to actress Jennifer Garner, Daddy to their three kids -- he's carefully handling all this nowadays, in the same way that he is currently handling his career as an actor.

He said that he chooses films to act in, based on the what the film itself is about, and explained that he studies the message, as well as the character, feeling out if it interests him. He does the same thing, applies the same standards, when he's reading scripts, looking for his next directing project.

He says he gets focused, gets energized, by the essentials, by what makes sense to him.

Hmm.  I note, in myself, that my energy goes toward approval -- more readers, more Tweeter followers, more Facebook likes -- as if THAT will prove that what I'm doing is successful, in the way that my parents thought of success. Success meant making money, being a recognizable name. (They were very proud  of me when I began to be listed in books about Modern Dance.) 

Hmm. Isn't that what Jennifer is doing?  And Joel is doing? Their projects are reaching ever larger audiences, vaster markets, and are making them more money -- Jennifer is raking it in, and Joel now has a huge following on

Ben isn't doing that. He's brushing aside success and approval, doing what he calls  the "essentials." 

Gee, what I am doing makes less and less sense to me. What makes sense (to me) is to work harder --  doing has become an essential.

Ben is showing me and maybe you too -- focus on what's fundamental; central. absolutely necessary; important to you.

The question to ask ourselves:  Are we growing?  Or are we surrounding ourselves with insurmountable walls of doing -- doing this or that, and more and more till you bump in a wall, fall back, and get up faster so we can keep doing, doing, doing?

Oops -- I think I've gotten caught in doing an out-of-date, silly, dumb dance -- what was it called -- the "boompsi daisy?"

Monday, December 3, 2012


I am not a sound sleeper. But Mom was there last night. She needed something. I tried to argue with her -- convince her it wasn't necessary.  We were scrapping --yes -- discussing pros and cons and her reasons for feeling the job had to be done. I think it was shopping for something. I stated my reasons for saying NO nicely, but insisted the matter be dropped. We were exchanging ideas but it was not a happy conversation -- we were scrapping.

Golly, it was nice.  It was great, seeing her, feeling her energy even though she and I disagreed.  I miss her. I am sad, when I realize she is gone and not much attention is being paid to that fact.

I have a light on the shelf -- the high shelf above where I sit in my favorite chair at my computer. I note that the bulb is out. Golly, old style bulbs don't last, especially if you keep them on 24/7. The fixture is the one that sat next to Mom's bed after my father died -- it was there for the last decade of her life.    
It's a "Yahrzeit" candle --it's a  Jewish tradition, to light a candle and keep it lit after someone dies.  My family never celebrated Jewish things or attended any church. My father came from a rabbinical family and rejected his Jewishness -- he said we were agnostics.  Mother's family was Jewish, but also, never celebrated any of the traditions.

Ah, but the year that my brother was drowned, and my father died -- that got Mom totally into all the traditions, including lighting two candles on the dining table every Friday night. (The Sabbath tradition -- "shabbat"  it is called.)

Mom didn't give me religion or faith or any belief in life after death -- the  beliefs that are important, and sustain so many friends -- beliefs you pass on to your offspring, which I couldn't didn't do -- I wish I had.

But Mom  gave me a renew-itself  body -- an ability to heal very very quickly, cuts as well as broken bones, and broken spirit too.  She gave me resilience.  I spring back. I persevere. Though I get down and discouraged, Mom somehow taught me -- gave me a precious power --. a keep-going, reinvent, I'll do better next time spirit.

So why did she visit me last night?  Because Mom is me. The woman who visited me was an  aspect of myself. that continues to amaze me.  Depressed, not sure what to do or where to go, I was visited, and told I have to go shopping.  I was scrapping with me, sitting in my flowerpot, not wanting to take on anything new, grow or change or do anything that might make me uncomfortable. 

Mom was annoyed.  Mom told me, "You have plenty of time." 

I didn't want to listen, I covered my ears, turned away, got busy and pretended I was too busy to bother with what she was suggesting.

Mom said, "You can do anything -- that thing, that idea that's in the back part of your mind -- take it out, look at it, get to work."

That's what we were scrapping about. What's is this idea?  Oh, just something I sort of, maybe, possibly, might start working on -- shh -- verbalizing it now might jinx it.       . . 

I found a new bulb.

Her light, my light is lit.