Chasing dreams, making them come true...Sacrificing your time, traveling to another country to make a real difference in someone's life...That's what two of my fellow 50-year-olds are doing right now. Me, on the other hand...well, I'm living vicariously through them thanks to Facebook and blog pictures and postings because I've spent way too many days this past month sitting in doctors' offices, filling out pages and pages of forms, being poked, prodded, scanned and dilated from one end to the other, some routinely and some not. It's just a vicious coincidence that my headaches and shingles appeared right in the middle of all of my regularly scheduled (way in advance) appointments and check-ups.
Today I sat in a darkened "dilation" area (a dead-end hallway lined with comfortable chairs on one side and a flat-screen TV on the other), waiting for the ophthalmologist to determine whether or not the shingles had damaged my retina, and thinking about how doctors seem to be getting younger, how all of the waiting rooms, stacks of magazines and polite receptionists are blurring together, and how grateful I am that there is nothing seriously wrong with me - I realize there are people who deal with this on a daily basis for months, even years.
My diagnoses so far include: excellent, normal, and A-Typical. My headaches are still a bit of a mystery, but the physical therapist and I are both convinced they are related to the shingles, which seem to be packing up their bags, preparing to move out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed we're right. Goodbye, good riddance, and PLEASE don't come back!
Now, back to the 50-year-olds who are accomplishing more than filling out tons of paperwork about their families' medical histories...
Richard, one of my screenplay classmates, is in Cannes, France. Even as I type this, he is over there hobnobbing with distributors and other movie-type people, trying to sell four films to foreign markets, while learning as much as he can in preparation for selling his own screenplay (Saving The Farm.) I knew I should have gotten his autograph before our last class!
Meanwhile, Scott, a friend from high school, just arrived in Bayaha, Haiti as part of group of volunteers donating their time to help the poverty-stricken village. Scott even attended a water drilling school a few weeks ago run by Living Water International, an organization that helps bring water to villages in third world countries.
This is what 50 should be about - dreams, sacrifice, helping others, discovering talents and gifts and passions, using them wisely, being the best you can be, inspiring others along the way. I guess we just have to learn to do all of that in between doctor's visits.
Now watch this to learn more about the Bayaha, Haiti Project...