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spring issue

dealing with alzheimer’s & age proofing your brain

ways to get in the sun this spring

where do you work out? 1


CONTENTS

As a geriatric physician, I’ve spent the past thirty years battling against the gradual decline of my Alzheimer’s patients. Now the disease is stealing my own father.

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21 FINDING BALANCE

27 GREAT OUTDOORS

33 NOT TOO WILD

The idea of finding balance in life crowds pages of self help books, it dominates magazine articles and sucks up hours of day time talk shows. They purport that once you find balance, you will be happy. Balance your career with your family, your work with your play, your up time with your down time. Even it all out and you will be satisfied with life.

Outdoor recreation in the United States is on the rise. It has increased no matter what time of the year it is--spring, summer, winter or fall. And millions of Americans are taking advantage of what Mother Nature has to offer. The report followed trends for 33 outdoor activities and figures on manufacturers sales of outdoor footwear and equipment, camping equipment, snow sports and water sports.

Adventure travel - once the province of young, single, risk-loving males, has boomed in recent years to include more women and families. Women’s interest has grown with their passion for physical fitness, industry observers say. Baby boomers who led the wave into environmental awareness and outdoor recreation now want to share their experiences with their children.


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GET OUT:

Take your yoga outside Within the confines of a studio, yoga teachers do their best to create an ambience of soft lights and pleasant sounds, and an aromatic experience.

health nuts

GET SPICY:

12 Spice up your cooking Herbs and spices have more disease-fighting antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. This will help you know how to rack up the benefits.

6 Ways to get outside this spring

forever young

new heights

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GET SOME SUN:

DEPARTMENTS

This year, spring has given the downhill Snow athletes plenty to be happy about. If you are into Snowboarding, or Cross-Country skiing, there is still plenty of snow in the local mountains. If you are into winter snow sports this spring will help keep you in a mental and physical state of well-being.

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new heights

GET SOME SUN

6 GREAT ACTIVITIES FOR SPRING

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Snowshoeing

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Cross-Country Skiing

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Snowboarding

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While some snow sports may be winding down, snowshoeing can be just as good this time of year than any, and warmer temps and longer days allow for more comfort while you’re hitting the trail. Some snowshoers take the sport up yet another notch by running.

Not only is kicking and gliding on two skis an incredible aerobic challenge that works your running muscles, but it also builds your arm, back and core strength, too. Plus, you’re in the great outdoors swishing on snow, which can be an nice change from miles on an indoor treadmill.

Spring snowboarding is like a reward from Mother Nature. After a season spent battling the elements - cold weather, howling winds, driving snow, rain, the spring season presents a kinder, gentler form of snowboarding.

Hiking

TIP

Spring in the Rockies is a transitional period. High mountain lakes will generally remain frozen until July. North facing slopes hold the snow and ice longer. Spring snow melt can make stream crossings hazardous. Snow melt will depend on whether precipitation was below, or above average.

If you’re a seasoned hiker and backpacker, you know that the right preparation, apparel, and hiking gear can make a huge difference in how enjoyable your outdoor experiences are. Gear such as a rechargeable lantern can greatly enhance your hiking experience.

Rock Climbing It’s adventurous, acrobatic, and takes place in some of the most beautiful spots in nature. One consequence of the requirements of rock climbing is that women are often more likely to have what it takes than men, particularly when it comes to balance and flexibility.

Mountain Biking When it comes to mountain biking, there aren’t many women around. Sure, go to a cross-country race, or certain special nodes in the world, like Whistler, and they’re there. And many of them rip, make no mistake. Women in mountain biking represent a small amount.

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forever young

GET OUT & TAKE YOGA WITH YOU

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Within the confines of a studio, yoga teachers do their best to create an ambience of soft lights and pleasant sounds, and even an aromatic experience. But striking a mood is perhaps just an attempt to evoke a natural setting—the great outdoors. Why settle for a replica of natural surroundings when you can have the real thing? Taking your class outdoors can be just what you need to invigorate your class and pluck students out of a stale studio routine, especially if they’ve been loyally attending your class through the winter months.

Embrace the Experience Being outside can intensify the yoga experience in many ways, since nature inspires all the things you try to drive home with students—focusing awareness, breathing deeply, practicing stillness. First, though, you have to get students to think more in terms of embracing rather than battling the elements. It can help to remind them that a breeze can deepen your breathing, the warm sun can deepen poses by making muscles more pliable, and a ladybug can invite you to focus on something small and still.

Mat or Not? Uneven, natural surfaces such as sand, grass, or the woodland floor can intensify a yoga posture and its physical benefits. Whether you use a yoga mat or not depends on the terrain, as well as personal preference. “On a smooth, warm rock you may not want a mat, but on crunchy pine needles during forest sadhana, it’s necessary,” Jarecki says. However, she cautions, “Don’t use a sticky mat for sand, unless you have an outdoor mat to use.”

Plan Ahead Whether you’re conducting outdoor classes on studio property or in a public place such as a park or beach, you’ll want to choose a place that boasts safety and comfort for everyone. The more you know about the location, the better you can prepare your students for the experience and answer any questions they may have. For example, you’ll want to find level ground with enough space for your entire class to do their asanas, and that’s quiet and secluded enough that students can hear you and can meditate comfortably. Jarecki says she looks for “a wide open space with an uninterrupted view of the sky, soft sounds of nature, not much foot traffic from other passersby, fresh air, and smooth stable ground beneath.” She also suggests checking that your spot doesn’t have sharp rocks or objects underfoot, nearby cliffs, or other physical dangers.

Freeing the Yoga Spirit Pairing up yoga and nature can be an incredible experience if students are ready to embrace the outdoors. “When the classroom is outdoors, free of the mirrors and windows and designer clothes, the ‘yoga scene’ is left in the dust. The open space really expands everyone, and there’s an instantaneous freedom you just can’t replicate indoors,” says Kimblin.

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health nuts

FOUR EASY-TO-FIND SPICES TO SPICE UP YOUR COOKING

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Paprika

Ginger

Oregano

Cumin

Health Benefits:

Health Benefits:

Health Benefits:

Health Benefits:

Antibacterial

Aids Digestion

A staple of Italian dishes, oregano is loaded with antioxidants and can also help fend off bacteria. When it comes to natural and effective barriers against E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria, oregano oil was found to be one of the most effective.

Although this flavorful spice has a long history as a treatment for indigestion in Indian households, medical research has just begun to suggest the benefits to the digestive system.

Iron Absorbtion

Paprika, which is commonly sold as a powdered spice, is actually a type of ground pepper, Capsicum annuum, which is in the same family as chili and bell peppers. This deep red spice can vary in taste from sweet to extremely hot and can also be bought in a smoked version. A whole paprika pepper is known to have six to nine times the amount of vitamin C as a tomato. Because of its high C content, paprika can also help you absorb ironrich foods and may help your body fight common infections.

Reduces Pain

It may surprise you but one teaspoon of ginger has similar antioxidant levels as one cup of spinach. And ground ginger can be used to enhance both sweet and savory dishes. For savory fare, ground ginger can be mixed with honey and heated to provide a sweet gingery glaze on steamed carrots or broiled salmon fillets. Ginger also livens up marinades and sauces. In addition, Dr. Bazilian says, “Scientists are looking at the role compounds in ginger for digestive issues (nausea and others) along with its role in reducing pain.”

It is followed by allspice and garlic, according to a study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologist. “A phytochemical in oregano called carvacrol has shown antibacterial traits.”

Cumin is found to be useful for both dyspepsia and diarrhea. The spice appears to stimulate the liver to secrete more bile, which aids in the breakdown of fats and the absorption of nutrients, leading to healthier digestion. Cumin is able to increase bile secretion up to 71 percent.

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As a geriatric physician in San Antonio, I’ve spent the past thirty years battling against the gradual decline of my Alzheimer’s patients. Now the disease is stealing my own father. by Jerald Winakur ASCEND

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AGE-PROOF YOUR BRAIN 6 easy ways to keep your mind fit forever

1) Get Moving “If you do only one thing to keep your brain young, exercise,” says Art Kramer, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Illinois. Higher exercise levels can reduce dementia risk by 30 to 40 percent compared with low activity levels, and physically active people tend to maintain better cognition.

2) Pump Some Iron Older women who participated in a yearlong weight-training program at the University of British Columbia did 13 percent better on tests of cognitive function than a group of women who did balance and toning exercises. “Resistance training may increase the levels of growth factors in the brain, which nourish and protect nerve cells,” says Teresa Liu, head of the university’s Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory.

3) Learn New Skills Learning spurs the growth of new brain cells. “When you challenge the brain, you increase the number of brain cells and the number of connections between those cells,” says Keith L. Black, M.D., chair of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “But it’s not enough to do the things you routinely do — like the daily crossword. You have to learn new things, like sudoku or bridge.”

4) Say “Omm” Chronic stress floods your brain with cortisol, which leads to impaired memory. To better understand if easing tension changes your brain, Harvard researchers studied men and women trained in a technique called mindfulness-based stress reduction. This form of meditation, which involves focusing on sensations, feelings and state of mind, has been shown to reduce harmful stress hormones.

6) Spice It Up Your brain enjoys spices as much as your taste buds do. Herbs and spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, basil, parsley, ginger and vanilla are high in antioxidants, which may help build brainpower. Scientists are particularly intrigued by curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, common in Indian curries. “Indians have lower incidence of Alzheimer’s, and one theory is it’s the curcumin,” says Black. “It bonds to amyloid plaques that accumulate in the brains of people with the disease.” A study in humans also found those who ate curried foods frequently had higher scores on standard cognition tests.

For more information visit: ascend.com/ageproof

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“Dad,” I say when I visit their house that afternoon, “what is it? What’s wrong?” “I want to go home. Please, take me home!” “But, Dad, you are home.” “I don’t know where I am. Please, Jerry-boy, take me home. You know the way. . .” “I don’t know where else to take you, Dad. You’ve lived here for twenty-nine years.” “You go to hell! You’re in with them!” There is no walking away now. He is an abandoned child. He searches for his boyhood home on Boarman Avenue, in Baltimore, or perhaps our first family home there, on Forest Park Avenue. He hears voices but can’t decode what is being said, and his mind assumes the worst: My mother is insulting him, planning to run off; his sons are belittling him, his mother scolding him, his older brothers and sisters teasing him. He is lost, with no father of his own to turn to. I see that he has wet himself; a dark ring marks his place on the couch. As a geriatric physician in San Antonio for the past thirty years, I have been through this before. I have been cursed, spit on, bitten, and punched by demented old folks over the decades. A poor woman threw a shoe at me when I stepped inside her hospital room. The day before, she thought I was the devil. As a doctor, I know what to do; as a son, I am uncertain. So I assume my doctor role, retreating into the armor of my starched white coat. I walk to the kitchen and check his daily pill slots to make sure he’s been getting his regular medications. Sometimes my mother, unable to see due to macular degeneration, inadvertently leaves pills in the plastic containers I fill every couple weeks. But everything seems in order.

The Problem With Pills

The pills are often as much a part of the problem as the cure. My father takes eight medications a day; my mother, who is 82, fourteen. They are both on vitamins and minerals, blood pressure medications, diuretics, and cholesterol-lowering drugs. My father also takes two pills for his heart. My mother takes drugs for her diabetes, a thyroid disorder, osteoporosis, and depression. This is not unusual for folks their age. I spend my doctoring days prescribing medications for my patients, reshuffling the ones they’re on—a tiny dose change here, a retiming of administration there. By now I have written or refilled hundreds of thousands of prescriptions, but my constant goal is to cut back on medications, stop them altogether if I can: Less is usually more. Every geriatrician knows this. Looking through my father’s pills, I recall a patient of mine, Lilly, a woman who first came to see me carrying a brown paper shopping bag crammed with pill bottles—at


least forty different drugs prescribed by at least a dozen physicians. “This one’s for the high blood,” she had said, “and this one’s for the sweet blood, and this one’s for the low blood. These three are for my bad knees, and this one’s ’cause I’m sad a lot, and this one’s ’cause I don’t sleep too good, and this one’s ’cause I’m tired all the time. I can hardly keep ’em straight, but I got a big list at home tacked to the wall, over the phone in my kitchen. Last month the company cut off the service when I couldn’t

The pills are often as much a part of the problem as the cure. My father takes eight medications a day. pay the bill. All these medicines and still I feel so bad. That’s why I come to you now. That and all these other troubles.” She had handed me a list of symptoms, pencil-scrawled on a ragged piece of paper. I spent two hours with Lilly, hearing one story loop into another: bad marriages, kids in jail, ER visits, surgeries, strange diagnoses mostly self-made. I knew what was happening to Lilly, what happens to many people like her in a medical encounter. The physician begins to drown in a sea of conflicting information, feels powerless to alter the circumstances of this person’s life. A wave of helplessness washes over doctor and patient both, and he reaches for his prescription pad. “Here, try this,” he says. “I think it will help.” Then he steps into the hall, picks up the next chart, and moves on, hoping the drug he has prescribed helps but doubtful it will. I could not change the circumstances of Lilly’s life, couldn’t make up for her poverty or lack of education or the poor choices she had made. But she improved significantly when, after some lab work and many

more hours of listening, I was eventually able to whittle her medication list down to three. Prescribing for the elderly is complicated. They don’t metabolize drugs at the same rate as younger, healthier patients. The main workhorses of drug excretion—the liver and kidneys— decline in function with age, as do all our organ systems. The elderly, like my parents, are often on multiple drugs (including over-the-counter preparations the doctor might not even know about), and the incidences of unforeseen interactions begin to mount. We know so little about these interactions. Indeed, the pharmaceutical companies are infamous in geriatric circles for not including our elderly patients in drug trials.

All For Money

These days, between the Food and Drug Administration and Big Pharma, I hang suspended in a netherworld of prescribing angst. The FDA has pulled more than twenty drugs off the market in the past two decades, drugs they first assured me were safe to use but then ended up damaging livers or kidneys or hearts. I have always tried to protect my patients, wait if I possibly can for aftermarket studies to bring more data to light. It is one thing, I tell my patients, to judge a drug’s benefits and risks after it has been given to a few thousand patients in clinical trials; it’s quite another after it has been prescribed to hundreds of thousands upon its general release. In the parlance of the technology and pharmaceutical industries, doctors like me who are cautious, who do not immediately jump on the company bandwagon every time it trumpets its “latest and greatest” product, are known as “slow adopters.” Now these industries have figured out a way to circumvent my judgment should I fail to join the chorus of cheerleaders for their newest breakthrough. On television, in magazines, they promise an end to arthritis pain, a good night’s sleep, a cure for incontinence, a firm erection. My phone rings off the hook with patients who worry that I may have blocked their path to the Fountain of Youth when I decline their requests. Some even change doctors.

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I have no sympathy for Big Pharma. I resent its intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship, resent the constant introduction of new—often rushed—products into a marketplace crowded with me-too drugs. Big Pharma is right where it has always wanted to be—smack-dab in the middle of my decision-making process as it tries to influence consumers who also happen to be my patients. And yet here I am, in my parents’ home, rummaging through a basketful of medicines I take down from a high shelf. This is where I store the unused pills—all the psychoactive drugs prescribed by my father’s physician for his recurrent bouts of anxiety or agitation, for his depression and his insomnia, for his memory loss and lethargy, for his confusion and paranoia, for his belligerence and sadness. I take down a dozen orange plastic pill bottles with white, almost impossible-to-remove lids. My father’s name is on

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every label: Some are six months old, some several years. We have been dealing with this for a long time. Haloperidol and risperidone. Olanzapine and quetiapine. Paroxetine and citalopram. Alprazolam and trazodone. Donepezil and rivastigmine and memantine. Organic molecules, various combinations of carbon and hydrogen and nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur—the atoms of which we are all made—bioengineered to slip across the blood-brain barrier, to stimulate one receptor or block another, precipitate a rush of ions through neural membranes, flood synaptic gaps with potent neurotransmitters, flip a switch here, throw a breaker there, block a surge somewhere else. I settle on the bottle of risperidone. Although I am reluctant to use this drug—any drug—in treating my father, I know that he has taken it before with success. It has worked. It has settled


him down, albeit with an added degree of cognitive impairment. My hope is that by continuing to use this drug judiciously, I can maintain the status quo and keep my father at home for a bit longer, delay the decision to relegate him to a long-term facility where I know he will only deteriorate faster. I bring my father a bisected tablet and a cool glass of his nutritional drink. “Here, Dad, take this. I think it will make you feel better.” His eyes, still wild, stare at me. “What’s this for?” “Dad, you’ve got shpilkes,” I say. I use this Yiddish word, retrieved somehow from my own memory, because my father has lately been interspersing his speech with snippets of this language, his mother tongue—the mamaloshen—the first words he ever heard and therefore the last ones to abandon him. He smiles. “Az ich habe shpilkes,” he says. And he swallows the pill. “For the shpilkes,” my mother and Yolanda tell him when it is time for the next dose. Before long he is back to his usual demented but pleasant self. This time I made the right decision.

membranes, flood synaptic gaps with potent neurotransmitters, flip a switch here, throw a breaker there, block a surge somewhere else. It is a small gathering. Family-oriented to the point of insularity, my parents have made no close friends in all the years they have lived in San Antonio. Everything is ready, and I wheel my father into the living room. “What’s the fuss about?” he asks as he enters, seeing all these faces he recognizes but cannot place. For a moment he is scared. “Dad,” I say, speaking into his good ear, “today is a special day. You and Mom have been married for sixty years.” He searches for my mother’s face in the small crowd. “Really? Is that true, Mom?” “Of course it’s true,” she says. “Do you think we made this up?” “It doesn’t seem like sixty years,” he says. “It seems like a hundred to me,” she says. We, the assembled family, laugh nervously. My brother leans in and asks our father, “So what do you think about all this?” “I just want to say that I love Mom more today than I ever have.” He reaches for her hand, but she doesn’t take it. I want to believe that because of her terrible eyesight she can’t see this gesture, but I’m not so sure. We all applaud my father’s words. I push him up to the dining room table, festive with cards. He picks out one. “Did you see these, Mom?” he says. “I can’t read them,” she answers. He begins to read to her. “Have we really been married sixty years?” he asks her. “Every bit of it,” she says. “I hope you know I love you.” “I know,” she answers.

“Really? Is that true, Mom?” “Of course it’s true,” she says. “Do you think we made this up?”

Keeping Memories Alive

Three days later, on my parents’ anniversary, those of us who love them assemble in their home. My wife brings a dozen yellow roses and arranges the table. My brother stops at the grocery store for a side of sliced smoked salmon, some cream cheese, a few tomatoes, and a red onion. I drive over to the bagel bakery, and pick up a dozen—onion, poppy seed, and sesame— just out of the oven. I take down a dozen orange plastic pill bottles with white, almost impossible-to-remove lids. My father’s name is on every label: Some are six months old, some several years. We have been dealing with this for a long time. Haloperidol and risperidone. Olanzapine and quetiapine. Paroxetine and citalopram. Alprazolam and trazodone. Donepezil and rivastigmine and memantine. Organic molecules, various combinations of carbon and hydrogen and nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur—the atoms of which we are all made—bioengineered to slip across the blood-brain barrier, to stimulate one receptor or block another, precipitate a rush of ions through neural

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

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The idea of finding balance in life crowds pages of self help books, dominates magazine articles and sucks up hours of day time talk shows. They purport that once you find balance, you will be happy. Balance your career with your family, your work with your play, your up time with your down time. Even it all out and you will be satisfied with life. I’m simply not buying it.

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KEEPING BALANCE If you want to balance your work life, exercise, diet and family, there are a few things that you need to do. Here are a few tips that will help you do so:

Make a schedule.

Creating a schedule will allow you to be more organized in your life and know when you are supposed to do certain things. There are many free scheduling apps that you can download to your smartphone or tablet.

Get the whole family involved.

If you want to exercise more, why not get others in your family involved too? There are many sports that can be enjoyed together as a family. Find things that everyone will enjoy and like to participate in. This will make exercise more pleasant for you and you will soon forget that you are actually exercising.

Find a gym that’s close.

One of the most common reason as to why people don’t get enough exercise is that they don’t always have time to go to the gym. There are now some companies which offer the employees a gym, but not every workplace does. A good idea would be to try to find a gym that’s located close to where you work. That way, you can go exercise before or after work. It’s a great way to exercise everyday.

Avoid diets that are too restrictive. Some people choose healthy diets that are too restrictive and end up feeling hungry or having low amounts of energy. This is one of the top reasons why those who go on a diet often don’t last too long on it. Try to find one where you can still eat the foods that you normally enjoy, but in lesser quantities. With some willpower, you will be able to adapt to your new diet much faster.

Prepare to make some changes.

If you’ve made the decision to pay more attention to your health, this means that you will be making some some changes to your life. Be aware of this and be prepared to make the needed modifications to your schedule, and diet. As you improve your health, you will no longer need to worry about having to choose life insurance without medical exam because you’re afraid you aren’t in good enough shape to pass the medical examination. You will start feeling better about yourself and all it takes is taking action and changing a few things in your daily life.

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When I think of balance, I remember being a first grader on the seesaw. When my friend and I balanced on the seesaw and we were both just a couple feet off the ground we were bored. But when one of us was high in the air, a bit terrified and screaming, “Mr. Brown, let me down!” we were living a six year old’s life on the edge and were thrilled. When the other one was sitting on the ground, we knew that soon we too would be up there with the wind in our hair, on cloud nine. As I got older, I became a gymnast. I worked long hours on the balance beam. When was I the most excited about being on the balance beam? When I was off balance and hoping to stay on while performing a trick I had never done before. Walking perfectly


balanced across that 4” piece of wood did nothing for me. When people tell me they have good balance in their lives, my first thought is, “how boring”. To me, balance is ho hum, status quo. I didn’t come into life looking for mediocrity. I’d rather risk and enjoy the thrill of it all, win or lose, than be scared to be off balance. Don’t walk down the middle of the road in life, step out on the edge and don’t look back. Precariously teetering on the rim is

Probably not. Because he’d have an office and it would be off-limits. Most men I know store their roles in separate compartments, to be taken out, dusted off, and worn at appropriate times. Our role is fluid. We can’t turn off, tune out or otherwise escape family responsibility. We’re always on. In all fairness, fathers are fathers every day of their life. The difference is, we mothers are moms every minute of ours. I don’t resent this, not for an instant, and I don’t think

I didn’t come into life looking for mediocrity. I’d rather risk & enjoy the thrill of it all, win or lose, than be scared to be off balance. exhausting but exhilarating. You’ll live high and fall hard but you’ll know you are alive. As a young mom with four active daughters, involved in school, music and sports, my life was a hodge-podge of bustling activity. I wrote part-time, at night or in the wee hours of the morning, while my family slept. Back then, I fantasized about a time when my life would be my own— no more afternoons spent driving from one activity to the next, no volunteer work, no laundry fairy multiplying the loads. I imagined long, uninterrupted days at my desk, immersed in my work. Now our daughters are grown, two with families of their own. While, yes, I occasionally spend 10, 12, 14 hours at my desk, those days are rare. Like most women writers, I constantly struggle to find balance. My husband is a terrific guy. When the girls were little, he, not I, got up in the middle of the night. Even now, he does more than his fair share of the chores. When our daughters need something fixed—their car breaks down, for example—they don’t hesitate to call him. With emotional issues, I’m the one they rely on. Believe me, talking is far more time-consuming than finding a mechanic to fix the broken transmission. Whenever the need arises, because I’m a mom first, before anything else, my work takes a backseat. Deadlines get pushed back, the article or story goes unedited, the book sits in a file, waiting, neglected. And I feel guilty for letting it go. If I do focus on work, I feel guilty for not devoting more time to my family. Either way, I feel bad about myself somehow. Years ago, I attended a seminar with Alice Hoffman as the keynote speaker. It was not merely that I loved and admired her work. No, I wanted to BE Alice Hoffman. This successful female writer put out a bestselling book every year. And they were good. Very good. And she had four kids. This was a woman who did it all, and did it all well. I couldn’t wait to learn how. Imagine my surprise when she talked about the difficulty of striking a balance. “My kids,” she said, “think I don’t have a job.” Say what? Would the kids think the same if they had a dad as a writer?

that you do either. I want to be with my family. In fact, as I’ve come to realize, I’ve actively chosen this life. Men find balance—by marrying us. Yet, even if we had wives, their needs, I suspect, would be at least equal to ours. Most women are people-centric. Sure, we value success, but we’re relationship-oriented. The people we love truly are our reason for living. I’ve spent a lifetime seeking balance only to find that it doesn’t exist. Balance is elusive, a figment of our imagination, reinforced by culture in movies and TV. If we’re to be contented, we have to let go. We have got to accept that we can’t always do it all—stop feeling guilty! She who dies with the most toys—or the cleanest house or the best brownies—does not necessarily win. Or maybe she does. But, believe me, unless she’s got ice running through her veins, she feels guilty, too. That’s who we are. Better to accept it than always fight and feel guilty. Our lives are big and wonderful and, yes, messy. And that’s OK. So go ahead—kiss those boo-boos. Call a friend. Spend an extra hour or two at your desk. The beds will get made, the cleaning picked up, the laundry folded. Maybe not in that order. Really, why does it matter?

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weight training is easier

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ASCEND- Megan Morton