Successful Habit #2: Staying Healthy

Are you a ticking time bomb?

Children with healthy mothers are much more likely to survive childhood, attend school and live healthy, productive lives.

Liya Kebede

I never went to the doctor as a young woman. After that, I only went when I was pregnant. Then to the pediatrician with my children. I rarely thought about my own health until the day I hit meltdown. That was the day I was diagnosed with hypertension.

I began taking medication but I was never aware that diet played a major factor in my overall health. I continued to eat whatever I wanted. When I had a headache —which happened frequently — I would just take pain killers. I would stay in bed for days on end until the headache passed. It never dawned on me that I was suffering from multiple transient ischemic attacks or TIAs. (more…)

A daughter’s wisdom

2014-07-22 14.20.43I was watching a DVD of Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdon on FMTV.com the other day. Actually, I really do watch it almost every week. She is so insightful and very funny.  Anyway, in listening to her, even at age 50+, I felt I was listening to a mother speaking lovingly to her daughter.  I realize that I never had a woman sit me down and tell me anything about how to be a woman, let alone how to be a wife and mother. There were no “birds and bees” talks and no preparation for even simple life events such as my monthly cycle. I can’t even remember anyone giving me even a tiny anecdote about life as a woman. I therefore stumbled through life as a teenager and bumbled my way through three marriages.  Not that there are any guarantees even with wise, motherly grooming.

Dr. Northrup also mentioned a personality by the name of Mama Gena and I decided to look her up and see what she was about.  In reviewing Mama Gena’s website and reading her book Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, I was “violently” struck by how clueless I had been, growing up as a young woman without female adult leadership.  I do not agree with all her points in the book but some parts lead me to wonder what my life would have been like if my mother had taught me how to deal men and their “MARS-tian” behaviors.  Would I have gone through three marriages and divorces if I was clued into any of life’s little secrets some mothers share with their daughters? Would some gentle hand holding when I was heart broken over some young prince, help me to deal maturely with my future relationships? Who knows for sure?

What I do know is that by listening to Dr. Northrup (I also read her book “The Wisdom of Menopause”) I’m keenly aware for the first time,  what missing the experience of having a mother fully engaged in my life really means.  For instance:

  • there have been brief moments that I felt pangs of envy when I see a mother and her daughter shopping or discussing their upcoming vacation together.
  • I have been mildly jealous of a daughter gushing about how much she was looking forward to having a gab session with her mother.
  • And, there have been too many times when I wistfully admire a mother/daughter team participating in an event — even if they were just shopping for a home on House Hunters.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), I do not have a daughter.  There is no one to bond with in that special and unique relationship.  I’m not sure however, if I would have anything to offer her, especially in the area of communicating with men.  I certainly would not want her stumbling in my bloody footsteps — footsteps bloodied with the effects of too many mistakes.

Overall, despite having to figure out life for myself, I did not turn out too badly. Miraculously, I managed to turn on the inherent, motherly charm, hawk-like protection, and love for my sons with no thought of what I did or didn’t have. As a matter of fact, maybe I do go overboard sometimes just to make sure they aren’t “missing out” on life.  Fact is since I recognize that a mother can never take the place of a father, despite her best efforts, I seek to find positive, male role models for them.

So maybe in hindsight, life turns out for me exactly the way it should have. Truly I have no regrets or disillusions about what life should or shouldn’t  be. Through forgiveness and self love, I have learned to own my life and to take responsibility for my own actions, regardless of how well prepared I was for this game called life.