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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 7 Health Awareness Writing Prompt: Write about What You Want Today.

See, I thought I was on track for securing what I want. I had gone to college because my guidance counselor saw potential in me. When I finished the two-year school, I headed into the work force, and then married, and began a family, which is what I'd wanted to do. And I was happy.

The economy, though, was crashing in the early seventies; gas was rationed to every other day purchasing, inflation was eating up what I could earn in my part time position in a department store that was seeing a slow down of purchasing, and I realized that the time had come to go back to college while it was still affordable and get that teaching degree that would let me take a stable position. That was the new want - I wanted to teach, and to work in a secure environment that would not be harmed by fluctuations in the stock market and in supply and demand. There would always be a demand for teachers, for there would always be students. And when I finally signed the teaching contract six years later, I was happy.

Our family continued to grow, first with a second child, and then with grandchildren. It grew and grew with cousins, and we often got together to share holidays. But then it began to shrink: our parents were aging and declining, and needing more help from us. When they had finished passing through the sadness of decline, and were laid to rest, I looked at where we were then, saw that I had managed to keep my job and my professional reputation intact, and saw that we still had each other, and I was happy.

When my own symptoms took me to the doctors' offices, and I learned that they believed I had multiple sclerosis, I decided to comply with the diagnosis and take the prescribed injections each night, rather than taking the less frequent interferons which could have interrupted my attendance at school. I stuck with that prescription for four and a half years, following it downward into a depression so deep that I needed additional doctors and prescriptions to help me out of it. When I finally exited that, I decided to go with my inner belief and stop the injections, as their side effects of depression and anxiety had already cost me my teaching position. With the guidance of family and friends, I got through the paperwork and secured a pension; it was less than it would have been had I been able to stay longer, but what happened had happened, and was irreversible. I once again took stock: I realized I had completed thirty years in the classrooms, believed I had done some good, and still had a happy marriage and so I could be happy about that.

So, what do I want today? I'd like to say I know what I want, and that I have a plan. Truth be told, I am happy with the way things evolved thus far. It would be nice to earn a little extra money to compensate for the shortfall in my pension, but in time, we will have some of the larger bills paid off: bills I took on believing I would have two more years of full salary to pay for them, but I haven't, and so we're tightening out belt until they are paid. I don't want for much, ever. My father told me years ago, when he retired, that we didn't have much, but we had enough. It is my mantra now. There isn't much left to want; I have it all. Peace, love, a home, food to eat, and a family with which to share my stories. It is enough.
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