At-Risk

I was thinking about the term at risk in light of recent events.

The term “at-risk” usually pertains to children growing up in dangerous neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are poor, the homes are old and in need of repair, and they are often riddled by crime, like a fierce drug trade. No child in America should have to grow up this way, but for many parents, this is all they can afford. 

The truth of the matter is, though, all children are at-risk if they aren’t getting what they need. And that puts all of us at-risk, doesn’t it? Not to mention our future?

Our country is at-risk and has no future if we don’t take our children’s and our people’s quality of life more seriously and from a place of respect. We don’t need Nostradamus or a Mayan calendar to predict that. 

 We can do SO much better. Really. 

 

Expletives aka Swear words and their Usage.

Some people cannot wait to chastise you for using swear words. I am not one of them; I only have a problem if that’s all an individual uses to the point where I can’t understand what they’re trying to say.

Expletives, when used sparingly, indicate emotionally intensity, frustration, and anger. I think we’re all entitled to articulate it and verbally let it out. It’s a lot more constructive and positive to let a person have their say, and listen for what the problem is.

Chastising a person for having negative feelings is repressive, restrictive, phony, and dehumanizing. Obviously you don’t want honesty, you want to be pacified. You know, like when you ask how someone is when all you want to hear is “fine”.

Genuine concern doesn’t come with conditions or censorship. Nor does the willingness to do something about the problem once voiced.

 

Excerpt from Real Life, Pt. 2–Blessings

At the end of the year, a lot of media looks back at the months before. I guess it’s only natural as December rolls around. We know everything that’s come before, but not what’s ahead. We’re all just hoping for the best from the upcoming unknown. 

It’s really easy to gripe about what’s wrong, or talk about all we want and don’t have. Earlier this week, when I reflected on my career, I mused that I have common ground with Esmeralda in the Hunchback of Notre Dame–a gypsy perpetually dancing for pocket change. Comically, I am damn good at finding pennies in the street. But on a serious note, I have had a hell of a time having health insurance and a living wage since I graduated college. And this is frustrating, embarrassing, and definitely hurts my pride; I’ll spare you the details until a future post. For now, I think I’ll talk about blessings. I’ll limit myself to 5 for this post. 

I was born in 1976 in a military hospital in a sleepy southern military town. I was one in 4000 children born every year without a thyroid gland. Like many things in medicine, detected early, this defect can be counteracted with meds and blood test management. Undetected, you will be mentally retarded and eventually die. The thyroid is instrumental in growth and a lot of biological processes for your entire life.

Luckily the corpsman (aka doctor in military medicine), Moran, thought I looked a little odd and didn’t just dismiss this observation, but pursued it further. They pricked my heel, which is the thyroid test, and its results affirmed his suspicions. I was a baby with congential hypothyroidism. I was put on artificial hormone meds immediately. I grew up healthy.

So that’s one blessing. 

I am in my mid-30s now, and I’ve been married a year. A lot of people enter into a lifetime commitment with the best intentions, highest hopes, and very much in love, but it doesn’t last.

That’s two blessings.

My parents both had lost their mothers by the time they were my age. Thankfully, I can’t say that, and neither can my spouse. Both women are very healthy. Our dads are still alive too, thank goodness.

That’s three.

Our siblings are happily married. We have two beautiful and healthy nieces, a one year old and a nine year old. My best friend has three boys, and their youngest is our godchild. He is healthy, growing quickly, and passing through early milestones very fast. I can’t help but think he wants to catch up, ASAP, with his brothers in order to play with them.

That’s a loaded fourth blessing. 🙂

We bought a house this year. Prior to that happening, we stayed with my parents. Not everyone has resources when life doesn’t flow according to plan. I am very grateful we do. And we love our townhouse. 

I hope you have at least 5 blessings in your life.