Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Are you a worrier?  Do you worry about how your kids are doing in school?  About your health?  About how you are going to pay the bills?  Oh, the list can go on and on, can't it?  So now that you've answered what it is you worry about, let me ask you this... How's that workin' for you??

"Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow."

I used to worry more when I was younger.  Not a lot, but more than I do now.  Most of the time, it had to do with me being a perfectionist.  I am always harder on myself than anyone else could or would ever be.  I finally learned to ask myself this question when I realized I was worrying about something: "If I died tomorrow, is this what they would put on your gravestone?"  Somehow, as morbid as it sounds, that put everything in perspective for me.  Think about that question.  I would love my epitaph to be something like this:  Mom, Grandma, Sister, Lover, Friend - She excelled in those roles, the most important in her life. 

The only thing worry does for me is to give me a better idea of what's important to me.  Worrying about my kids doesn't prove to them I love them.  But showing them I have confidence in their decisions does.  Worrying about my health doesn't change the issue.  Talking about, and doing, what I need to do to change it does.  I know what I'm saying can sound cavalier to some.  I think some people are hardwired to worry.  But if you really think about what you accomplish by worrying, you'll realize you can take away its power.  You'll no longer say, "I can't help it.  I worry."

So for all those worriers out there, I'm going to offer the wise words of Leo Buscaglia,

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,
it only saps today of its joy."

What about you?  Do you worry? 

Friday, October 1, 2010

What's YOUR Neighborhood Like??

Have you ever gone back to the town where you grew up after being away for a few years, and notice the things that have changed?  "Oh, the gas station on the corner closed up!"  or "What happened to Murphy's Tavern?  It's now a pool hall??" or "Whoa, they built a new post office??"  You knew that town.  You explored the streets when you were a teen, hangin' with your friends.  It was familiar to you.

Are you that familiar with your breasts??  (enter sound effects of car screeching to a halt).  WHAT DID SHE JUST SAY?????  Okay, stay with me for a minute.  This is one time I don't digress!!

You see, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  And a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I decided that I would be a bit of a nagging angel to my friends and family when it came to getting their mammograms.  I try to send something out each year reminding them to go for their mammogram.  But monthly breast self exams (BSE's) are important, too.  BSE's allow you to learn the terrain of your breasts.  You learn what's not right when you exam them once a month. 

It's true not all breast cancer can be felt.  Especially when it's early.  I was one who would not have felt the cancer had I been doing a monthly BSE (which I wasn't).  But since going thru the surgery and radiation, I've taken a class on what to look/feel for.  I have learned the terrain, scar tissue and all.  I know my neighborhood. 

So, I'm here to nag you into
1) schedule your mammogram,
2) learn how to do a breast self-exam, and
3) learn your neighborhood. 

Don't wait til you're in your 40's or 50's.  Do it now.  Do it for your family.  Do it for you.