Friday, February 19, 2016

Toxins, toxins, everywhere!

So, yes, there are toxins. Literal toxins. Figurative toxins. Given the rancor in our political campaigns and in the world, there are all sorts of toxins. Some are obvious. Some not so much.

Recently, I had a major wake-up call to what toxins could be doing to my body. Some of this is due to the fact that I weigh more than I should. Twenty pounds or so overweight. However, some of these toxins could be creating the weight problem. And a whole lot more.

I started doing research on what's in most of our foods and in our personal care products. There are many many hormones that are alleged to be safe, but, in truth, in the amounts we are exposed to these chemicals, it seems quite plausible that the substances may be more toxic than we realize.

There have been many articles written about mothers of prepubescent girls restricting their dairy and meat intake so as to limit their exposure to hormones. Much has been publicized about the age of adolescence dropping younger and younger. Well, those of us who are older have reason to think about ourselves and our own health. A lifetime of exposure to some of those hormones and other chemicals may not be as safe as we once thought. Some of these things are essentially toxins.

As I have delved into this, it has surprised me how pervasive this problem is and how difficult it is to reduce one's exposure. But it is time we do this.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Thinking about Love on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day can be kind of a strange day. My dad was kind of a romantic, although probably most people did not know that. But he always did special things for Valentine's Day, both for my mom and for me. Even as a little girl, he bought two candy hearts...a big one for my mom and a little one just for me. I did not appreciate it as much as a child as I do now as an adult.

One of the things I've noticed is that people have very different ideas and needs when it comes to love. I like to express my love of others and like to be told that I am loved. Some people feel that that is overkill and that after it has been said once, it need not and should not be expressed again.

I have also heard it said by cynics that Valentine's Day is just a ploy by card makers, candy makers, florists, and restaurants to make more money. I suppose that is possible but there are many ways to express love that do not require cards, candy, flowers, or eating out. Gestures of love, being creative and going somewhere special or just spending time together is often a potent expression of love. Composing a song, painting a picture, cooking a special meal are ways to show another that they are loved.

Others say that love is expressed every day, so why should one day be dedicated to that? Well, that may be but expressions of love can get lost in the hectic bustle of day to day jobs, stresses, and worries. I think it is nice to have a day dedicated to love.

But most of all....love can mean different things to different people. Love is one of those concepts and words that is very powerful and evokes an emotional response. I suspect though, that love means different things to every individual person. A person's culture, their early family life, spiritual orientation, value system, life philosophy all influence how the individual defines love. And I would guess that we rarely talk about how we define love....authors have written books about what it means, but in our relationships, I suspect we rarely if ever define what we mean. I think that is kind of intriguing.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours! I hope you feel loved and that you have an opportunity to express that love if you so wish.