For years, I have been struggling with hypertension. Up until a few months ago, it has been under control with medication. Something in my anatomy, my psychology, or my karma has been altered, however, and now I find myself in the position of having to take six different medications daily and my blood pressure is only at acceptable levels half the time. My husband, Laurin, has been urging me to put politics aside completely, as he knows how I tend to get worked up over world events. Even knowing the strong role that stress can play in one's state of health, I poo-pooed the notion that only by making a lifestyle change, outside of diet, could I expect to get well.
Yesterday, I learned that a cousin of mine had a second heart attack at the age of 58. He's recovering. Last week, I found out that a young man in his mid-30's whom I knew back in Detroit died suddenly of a heart attack. I like my life in Denver. I love my friends and my husband and I want to be around until I'm as old as he is (84). I don't know what else to do. So, I'm going to unsubscribe from Alternet, ProgressNow, RePower America, and all the other purely political websites that now fatten my in-basket day-in and day-out. I am going to delete messages from political candidates and stop watching MSNBC. (Coincidentally, both Bill Moyers' Journal and NOW are going off the air at the end of April. Perhaps PBS was trying to make my decision easier?)
Many of my devoted readers--you both know who you are--will be sad to learn that this also means that I will no longer be facilitating the DisabusedUUs political forum. I will miss our lively discussions but will still see you on Sunday mornings. I would love to hear your thoughts on this posting (and any of my earlier missives), should you care to post a comment.
I have no idea whether I will be able to successfully transition into this new way of being in the world. I have been a political junkie since high school. It is in my blood--and that's the problem. Of course, I will continue to participate in the system by voting (Democratic) until I am too weak to lick a stamp. But my personal health must be my highest priority. (If political invigoration doesn't arise from self-interest, where else? But persisting in the face of a life-threatening illness would be pure foolishness.)
I intend to spend my new-found time relearning to cook, exercising, and watching all those wonderful TV sitcoms that I missed while attending rallies. I will also be traveling the country by auto, taking in the beauty of nature and visiting friends and family, with Laurin at my side. I will always care about my countrymen and women and their part in building a more peaceful and greener world. But I am passing the torch with no regret to very capable younger generations...and those seniors who are healthier than myself. Carpe diem!