Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011 ~ Day 206
Odds and Ends

Fireworks are going off in the background as I type, and every so often our house shakes a little. I wish I was out with my family watching the bright lights right now but out of nowhere this lousy virus my entire family has been fighting for weeks hit me pretty hard, so I've been curled up on our bed trying music therapy - Via Satellite, Jeff Buckley and The Cure.

I do think the music is helping.

(As an aside, I once read that Norman Cousins cured himself of ankylosing spondylitis by locking himself in a hotel room, watching comedies and taking Vitamin C. In a related vein I'm pretty sure that the right music could cure me of *anything* if given enough time, and no interruptions.)

That said, I've gotta admit that I admire the chutzpah of my four year old son who barged into my bedroom despite his daddy telling him that I was sick, saw that I was nearly asleep, stormed over to my bed, grabbed my arm hard - yanked it - and said, "Mommy!!! MY SHOE!!!"

"Wha..." I mumbled in reply.

"MY SHOE IS WET. LOOK. IT'S WET." He shoved his tennis shoe right into my nose. "HOW did it get WET?"

"Ummmmm.... uh.... honey, ask your father."


He slammed the door behind him.

Even in my sickly stupor, I had to smile. My children have got to be the most inconsiderate people in the world sometimes and yet it is (almost) ALWAYS out of love. That kid just wanted me to know that he had a wet shoe. His life couldn't progress forward in a happy way until he was sure I knew of his plight. That's how much he loves me.

Sometimes it seems like he feels if he doesn't make sure I know about it... it might as well not have happened to him. This applies to all kinds of other situations, such as the fact that he asks me every single time if he can use the bathroom. While hopping on one foot.

"Of course!!! Sweetheart, you DON'T need to ask Mommy to use the potty!"
I answer, every single time. "You can use the potty whenever you want to!"

When he's feeling unusually confident, he'll just inform rather than ask me. Sort of like a news bulletin. "Mom, I'm going to pee now."

"Um, okay. Well, thanks for letting me know."

Sometimes my husband and I begin to giggle uncontrollably when he does this, as we imagine how funny it would be if we consulted each other as much about bathroom agendas as our children do.

* * * * * * *

All this to say, I'm not asleep right now. The slamming door was like an alarm clock - it set off some kind of adrenalin rush in my heart and now even though I'm still feeling lousy I'm also a little bit wired.

Weird how you can be exhausted and wired at the same time.

I always wonder about the tie between immunity and emotions. I read once that people tend to have less immune resistance when they've had some kind of emotional trauma or a fight with someone they love. I think back to where I was three nights ago, so depressed over the problems we were having with our son... so much tension and strain throughout my body and mind that day. Maybe that explains why my resistance finally went down.

This makes a pretty good incentive for me to try to keep my emotions in a gentle state. One more thing to add to my Mommy-Do list.

"Stay relaxed, so you'll stay well... so you can take care of the family!"

I like the sound of that. If only they'd legalized marijuana in the state of California, I'd probably have given it a go with the hope that it would chill me out and keep me healthy.

Since we're on the theme of medicine and well-being...

Today I read an article in the newspaper that talked about a biomedical gerontologist's theory that the first person to live for 150 years is already alive... and that it is possible that the first person to live for 1000 years will be born just twenty years hence.

I'm not sure why that's on my mind right now, but I think it's pretty exciting. I couldn't help but wonder if one of my own children may live for 150 years. Imagine how much they would see! How much they could experience! How important their lives could become.

With 150 years in which to impact the world, you wouldn't necessarily be in a rush toward anything. People could stay in college for ten years if they felt like it, and still be considered very young to enter the job market.

Women wouldn't worry about giving up their careers to be stay-at-home mothers because in the grand scheme of things, if you're going to live to be 150, giving up 20+ of those years to raise your family is just a drop in the bucket. You've still got at least 110 more good years left in which to focus on yourself, after the kids are raised.

I wonder how that kind of life span would change the institution of marriage. These days, it's pretty rare for a couple to live long enough to be married for 50 years... especially because folks are getting married later.

If you knew that you were going to live for 150 years, would you ever get married? "Until Death Do Us Part" - well, if you marry at the age of 25, that could conceivably put you with the same partner for the next 125 years. Which is, um, a long time.

I guess it would be the same as it is now though... some folks would meet their true love in junior high and be blissfully companionate for the next 138 years. Others would play the field until they were say, 100, before settling down.

Biology being what it is, women would still need to have babies toward the beginning of their lives. However, one cool perk would be that new mothers would have their own mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers to turn to for help with babysitting or child-rearing advice. "We took care of our kids differently in my day!" would take on a vastly expanded meaning.

If I was to live to be 150 years old, that would mean that at 35, I am still basically a child. Endless time in front of me to travel, work, write, cook, achieve big things AND become a great mother to my children. I can only picture my children at the age of 106, 104 and 102... - with me at 137 - "You know, Mom - the first twenty years or so were a little rough but we've got to hand it to you, the last 80 years have been really solid. Nice job!"

Of course there are other practical ramifications to all of this too. Like birth control. If we were to live as long as 150 years, it would probably be necessary to limit the number of children that could be born in a country during any given year, since so many people would be living so much longer. Resources would be spread thin, and there would be no room for new life... the old life would still be monopolizing the planet.

Hard realities aside though... I would love to live to be 150 years old, especially if my children would likely still be around. With enough years of hard work I would surely be able to save up enough money to show them the entire world, country by country. I could take them everywhere from Alaska to Bhutan. We could live for thirty years in the Italian countryside or the Spanish Riviera.

There would be, quite simply, enough time.

I suppose that with a common lifespan of 150 years, a death at the age of 75 would be considered quite premature... way too young.

Funny how it's all relative.

I don't know if I'll ever see a personal benefit from all of the new medicine and technology that's apparently right on the cusp of becoming. Either way, to me life is miraculous and beautiful - full of potential. I love it! For this reason, I hope that Aubrey de Grey turns out to be right.

A long, active, healthy, happy, love-filled life.
Full of music, full of fireworks.

(Free of overpopulation, rationing and warfare over resources...)

I wish these things for my children - and I truly wish them for yours, too.

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