And no religion too

I’m not sure why, but sometime yesterday I had this thought; “I wonder how I would view life if I had grown up with no religion?”  I played a Christmas gig at a church over the weekend and I imagine that prompted me thinking in that direction.

I grew up in the Midwest and in the South, so Christianity has been all around me my whole life.  I would have labeled myself a Christian for about 33 of my 49 years of life.  Now I try to not have any labels and fluctuate between probably never being 100% that there is no God of some kind, and probably never being 100% sure that is there is some God of some kind.  LOL

So I did what any scholarly, deep and free thinking individual would do.  I Googled it.  I Googled “growing up without religion” just to see what kind of experiences others may have had.  I found a post on a blog called Scary Mommy that I thought was really good.  I’m not saying she is right and others are wrong, I’m just saying that I enjoyed reading it and thought she has a pretty healthy look on life.  And since I don’t think I can say what she said any better, here is the link:
http://www.scarymommy.com/i-was-raised-without-religion-and-im-glad/

I know this time of year can be fun for some people, stressful for some, and sad for others.  If I don’t post again in the next couple weeks, I hope you all have as peaceful and enjoyable a holiday as possible, and safe travels to those that are traveling to visit family and friends.

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Health

I am 49 years old and have been very fortunate to have been very healthy for most of my life.  I have had things that most people have had; chicken pox as a child, started wearing glasses in my early 20’s, I’ve had the flu a handful of times, colds here and there, etc.  But, no major health issues at all.  Heck, I don’t think I had my first cavity until I was around 35 years old.  Well, now that I think of it, I had some serious back issues for a while due to a very slight scoliosis and lots of years of martial arts.  But good chiropractors, tai chi and yoga have done wonders in the last few years.  But overall, I am very grateful for years of good health.

Earlier this month, I was in the hospital as a patient for the first time in my life!  Long story short, it appeared that I was having a heart attack and went to the ER.  To the staff there, it also appeared that I was having a heart attack so I was admitted to the cardiac unit and hooked up to many machines and given all kinds of tests over the next 24 hours or so.  The staff there was wonderful.  But they took so much blood that I’m sure the hospital is run by vampires.  🙂  I was relieved to hear that they could not find anything obviously wrong with my heart or lungs.  So I was sent home.  Over the next few days, I slept about 15 hours a day.  I was off work for a week, and in retrospect, it probably should have been longer.  I’ve had some follow up visits and other tests done and still nothing concrete as to the cause of my symptoms.  The symptoms are not as intense as before, but are still hanging around.

One odd thing is that I don’t seem to be terribly concerned about what some would consider alarming symptoms.  Odd, but good, I think.  I’m pretty sure that things like being mindful and living in the moment and other Buddhist type principles I’ve been reading about and practicing have helped to diminish the amount of worry that I’m doing.  I am still working on that being the case in every other area of my life!  LOL  Not judging situations as “good” or “bad” also helped me a little with all this.  And I do mean, a little!  But a little is better than none.  Again, applying this to other areas as well can be tricky, depending on how we normally label the situation.  It’s about training your mind to think differently.  And it’s not like once it’s done, it’s done.  It always makes me think of the Buddhist monk at the monastery down the road from where I work saying, “we have to practice, practice, practice”.  He’s right.  But then there is also that element of just going with the flow of life, and being OK with it.  It’s an interesting balance.

I’m noticeably better today for the first time since all this went down.  I don’t think I’ve ever taken my health for granted, but I think this will help me be more grateful for good health than ever before.  Feeling like shit really sucks.  Being in the hospital really sucks.  This experience leaves me with a greater respect and compassion for people who have had to endure chronic illnesses, long hospital stays, ongoing treatments and blood work, etc.  If you fall into this category, you are a rock star!

I wish you all the best possible health for where you are in your life.