It’s Just a Number

This post is a couple of weeks overdue, but life happens sometimes, right? And more likely than not, given how little I pursue my birthday as an event – it probably has something to do with it.  But I am now 50.  AARP eligible.  But when I think about it, being 50 is just a number.

I know a bunch of people – my peers from high school and other walks of life – who have seen turning 50 this year as a watershed moment.  A time to take stock and do a self assessment.  But when I think about it – 50, it’s just a number still.

I look at life as full of milestone moments – if you’re heads up and looking ahead those moments of assessment and self scoring should be ongoing.

What would happen if I hit 50 and suddenly realized my life lacked meaning?  I suppose that’s where the mid-life crisis is born.  But that’s not me.

Physically, with the exception of a cranky hip I’m feeling better than I have in a long time.

Emotionally, I think I’m in better shape than I’ve been in for a while as well.

My kids are doing well – in school, in life and in general.

My career is going in the right direction

So what do I have to look back at and decide I need to restart? I don’t think anything – but that’s through the lens of looking ahead – and staying at a high level of keeping my eyes on the goals of my kids, my life and my choices.

Not to say I would never want a do-over on something here or there – but there’s no need to wait half a century and try to unring the bells.  A friend of mine posted on Facebook this morning a great link about being wiling to say, “I need to start again,” and it’s exactly right.

So 50, it’s just a number.  Now it’s 50 and a couple of weeks.

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A Little Bit Organic

A little bit organicA couple of weeks ago 14.5 and one of her friends were sitting in the kitchen eating a snack, and when I walked in the friend took a bite of the bagel she was eating and commented on the organic bagel (and organic vegetarian cream cheese).  It was confirmation that my move to become a little bit organic wasn’t as covert as I thought.

It’s been a slow process at home, and like most things with fits and starts.  It probably started three or four years ago when I stopped buying soda.  Slowly I’ve been trying to replace pastas with whole grains, bread with roll-ups, having more fruits readily available for a quick snack, Greek yogurt instead of pasteurized yogurt, etc.

The reasons why though are not as simple as they seem.  Yeah, there are the health benefits.  And yeah, in most cases they taste better.

But health is not a moral imperative.  It’s a choice.  In my case, I make the choice for three people (at least in the house).  And I don’t want to seem militant about it – but I am not concerned that my kids may (or may not) have figured out why I do this.

I am one of those people who rarely medicate’s a cold – for me and for my kids.  14.5 turned an ankle at soccer a couple of week’s ago and I explained as best I could with evidence why a brace would be a detriment to her healing – even though it would mean a day or two of higher pain.

It’s not to say I don’t treat illness or injury  – it’s just that I’ve seen what medication can do and watched as it did as much damage as it helped.  That experience makes me think twice about medications we take in the house and the foods we eat.

So sure, there are lots of reasons to eat well and take care of yourself:

  • look better
  • feel better
  • lower blood sugar
  • prevent heart disease
  • sleep better
  • and on and on the list can go

But in my case it has to be because I want to and I want to set a good example for my kids.  And for me, that is reason enough to be a little bit organic – to be on top of what we are eating and drinking.

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Per Chance To Meet

It was probably inevitable, but meeting Health Club Girl’s ex probably could have occurred in a more controlled way.  Alas sometimes we don’t get to control all the things we would want.  And so, my girls, HCG and me sat down for a burger at a table adjacent to HCG’s ex and her younger daughter.

As I steered my girls to the opposite end of our table and HCG was saying hello to her daughter I introduced myself to the ex and asked if he wanted us to leave.  He said it was OK and we settled in for a sometimes uncomfortable 40 minutes.

This was a first for me and my girls-and I knew at some point this meeting would happen.  But after a day in the city and a relaxing weekend I was not really ready.  But make the best of it we would do.  HCG’s daughter probably had the toughest time, not sure who to respond to, trying to share with my girls and feeling she had to keep the peace between her parents.

On our way home, my girls asked if that was a planned meeting (it wasn’t) and if I had ever met the ex before tonight (I hadn’t).

I don’t have any illusion that at some point I would have a relationship with HCG’s ex.  At the same time, because I do spend time with her girls and I am sure he knows my name its good to put a name and a face together.  It helps me at least.

In some cultures (Japanese if you don’t talk money and French if you don’t talk terms) a meeting over dinner is considered good business.  I suppose per chance, rather than planned and excrutiated over gets it over with like pulling a band-aid off.

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Guess I’ll Have to Go Old School This Time

12/5 UPDATE:  So it took two calls, but got the appointment I needed.  Still, it would have been better to search online for the test–would have cost everyone less in time and resources.

I’d like to think I am pretty tech savvy.  Yeah, there are some things I don’t get and probably don’t need to get, but overall I am certainly more than able to leverage the tools of my trade to do research, fill in blanks and  get things done.

As I tend to remind people though from time to time, at the end of the day we can do 1000 things exactly right, but when you have garbage in, you get garbage out.

Case in point is my five-day quest to find a lab to perform a very specific medical test that my doctor has prescribed.  Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong.  But I did a blood test a few weeks ago and there were some abnormalities–I chalk that up to mostly being north of 40.  So my doctor asked me to go have this test done.

Pretty easy I thought.  My health insurance company has a pretty good website, I am sure I can put in some keywords, locations and piece of cake–data.  Not so much.  I can get a list of labs near my house or near my office but I have no idea if they perform this test.

Sounds like a solvable problem right? Just a quick call, because this data has to exist somewhere in the insurance company database, right?

Yeah, not so much.  After waiting on hold for 15 minutes the guy at my insurance company offered to do the same search that I did and give me a list of places I can call.  So I ask him, “Can’t you search by procedure or test?”  “No,” is his response.  “Did you want me to send you a list?”  “No,” I responded.  “I already have that.”

So I figure I would ask my pals at Google.  After all Google knows everything right?

Yeah, not so much.

Now, I can do some deep reading and scare the crap out of myself with what if’s about results of this test, but I still can’t find a place to actually get this test done.

So, to the phones I go.  A little old school for you.

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