An email from a new follower prompted this post. She said that she connected with something I wrote about how to spend the time you have left in your life. She said that she found inspiration in that. Having my words repeated back to me as being inspiring is FREAKIN’ INSPIRING to me. You guys have no idea. The things I wrote over the past two years were put out there just to keep myself going. A few wonderful friends kept an eye on me from afar and provided encouragement when I needed it. Now others are getting that same encouragement, and they are sending it back at me – tenfold. And I needed it. Big time. I was thinking about quitting bodybuilding for a while, so you have no idea how grateful I am.
I have not talked about it much, but my mother died when she was 56. That was in 1990. Brain aneurysm. The docs thought it might have been congenital and asked if I wanted an autopsy so I would know if I might be at risk for the same time bomb going off in my head. I decided I didn’t want to know. Probably should have, though, because I’ve been a little paranoid about it. If I get dizzy, I worry. If I get a headache, I worry. (Luckily, I don’t get many headaches and I don’t get dizzy very often.) I’ve lived since then thinking that I might have limited time, too. No one knows, right? That feeling has become more intense as I got older and started approaching the magic number of 56. (I’ll be 51 next month.)
Living like I’m on borrowed time has made me…
less tolerant of people being rude or disrespectful
more rigid about setting boundaries between “work” and “life”
more devoted self-care
As I approach my mother’s death age, I’m less likely to eat junk and call it a “quality of life” thing. When someone posts online that they eat dark chocolate or drink wine because it’s a “quality of life thing”, I roll my eyes. First, I don’t think you are serious and it’s just a figure of speech. But if you are, my first response is…seriously? Exactly what IS the quality of your life that something you eat sustains it? And yes, I know I’m annoying my wine-drinking-chocolate-eating friends. Feel free to comment, but you know we aren’t going to agree. We’ve disagreed on this for a couple years now. I’ve eaten PLENTY of chocolate in my life (and I eat the super food cocoa almost everyday; I just don’t get the sugar). I’ve drank enough wine (and rum and beer) to know exactly what I’m missing. My question for you is this – do you know what you’re missing?? There is nothing like feeling twenty years younger when you’re 50. Nothing. Do I want my 30-year old body back? Hell no. I’m in much better shape now and feel so much better. And it’s attached to a 50 year old brain that can appreciate it.
I do like my cheat foods, but there really isn’t any food that is sooooo worth it to me that I can’t postpone it until a scheduled cheat meal. My husband’s blog today was about endorphins. I swear, there is nothing like that rush. And the endorphin rush after lifting is so much better than after cardio. And there is absolutely nothing better than to be able to go to bed every single night excited to wake up the next day instead of going to bed each night afraid I might die in my sleep from an aneurysm stroke, or heart attack. I am NOT exaggerating that fear. I lived that way for several years.
Sorry – that post took a sharp turn away from where I thought it was going. I love you, my wine-drinking-chocolate-eating friends. Please just go “Oh, that crazy, health obsessed Tammy. Gotta love her” again. 😉