Armed enough to be dangerous: when knowledge affords the upper hand

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In a recent post—“A new way to approach the New Year…”—I talk about exercising kindness to self by managing my health. Along that vein (pun intended), I donated my blood to science (okay, not exactly) and learned that I share a familial gene mutation. Although my heart sunk when I viewed my results, I did not awaken one day with this disorder; as with my heart defect (BAV), I’ve lived with Factor 5 Leiden every day for 50 <cough cough> something years. I just didn’t expect to see the big fat “F,” so to speak, glaring at me from the online healthcare portal. In non-doctor speak, the diagnosis simply means I may be prone to developing blood clots. But the funny thing: I’m grateful. I am able to arm myself with knowledge about my genetic makeup which, in turn, allows me to exercise better care for my health. Ignorance might be bliss, but it will not save my life.

How do you exercise kindness to self?

Happy anniversary to me

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[Image credit: m_bartosch]

Two weeks ago I celebrated a momentous occasion: my one-year anniversary with the publishing firm I work for.  In some ways, I can hardly believe 365 days have come and gone since my first day on the job, but in other ways, it feels as if I’ve been a part of the team for years.  In my experience — whether it’s a job or a new friend or group of people — when the dynamics are aligned just so, I think it’s only natural to move into that empty spot waiting to be filled by our unique personality and skills.  I think that says a lot about ourselves to be able to fit in, and about the people we’re with.  As for my job, I hope I’m there for a while … as long as I’m still learning and still gaining experience doing what I love.  Here’s to another year: of knowledge, of success and continued laughter.

What have you done for a short time, but feels like years?

Blood, toil, tears and sweat

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The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets
for it but what he becomes by it.
~ John Ruskin

Unless we think of others and do something for them,
we miss one of the greatest sources of happiness.
~ Ray Lyman Wilbur

Fifty percent of employees don’t like their co-workers and the same amount don’t like their bosses.  Additionally, roughly 35 percent don’t like their jobs.  I feel fortunate that I currently don’t fall into any of those categories.  And although my career path is not the most lucrative, I agree with Ruskin’s words.  Of course I want to be paid for my time, but what I’m gaining in experience and knowledge will Someday be my highest reward.  But I also know it means nothing if I don’t think of and do for others at the same time — especially those who have supported me as I’ve pursued my dreams.  Perhaps their job was the hardest of all.

Are you happy with your daily toil?

To die tomorrow or live forever

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[Image credit: Jennifer Ellison]

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.
~ Mohandas K. Gandhi

It’s possible I could die tomorrow.  If that were true, I’d spend today with the people most important to me doing what I love the most: likely combing the shell-laden southeast beaches and writing the remainder of my story as a snapshot in time, building memories that will live on long after I’m gone.  There would be no time to sweat the small stuff, but just enough to cram decades of dreams into 24 hours of living.  But if I were to live forever, hopefully I would build upon each life lesson — always thirsting for knowledge, yet passing along to others the wisdom of my experience.  I think when it comes right down to it, however, it’s all about learning to live life to the fullest regardless — of time and of circumstance.  Always living, learning and loving.

What would your today look like if there were no tomorrows?