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Looking through my family tree this week, I’ve discovered some unpleasant surprises.

While its true that I’ve always known that my biological father and maternal grandmother died of different cancers, what I failed to pay attention to was their ages. Both were relatively young, and I was very young at the time they both died (19 and 25, respectively). But now, 20 years later, I’m not so young. And I’m very close to the age my father died, which was 47.

At twenty, 47 didn’t really seem that young to me. Now I realize it was incredibly young, especially considering modern medicine. And now it terrifies me. Terrifies.

I hate that lately I’ve had these horrifyingly clear epiphanies about life in general, and my own life specifically. I have obsessed over these realizations, wondered why it took me so long to get to them. How had I not known that I’ve had serious anxiety all my life? Why wasn’t I treated for it? Is it because I minimized it in an effort to seem strong, or did everyone around me minimize it for whatever reason? Why have I suffered through trauma and not be treated for that either? Why are my parents so bad at taking care of their health problems and why have I followed that stupid and dangerous pattern?

It seems my genes have doomed me in a way, have made the possibility of fatal diseases of the mind and body damn near inescapable for me. I’ve often felt, in the last month, in the midst of the multitude of health issues I’m facing, that I was also going through the proverbial mid-life crisis. Which may or may not be the case. With a father dead at 47 and a grandma at 65, it doesn’t seem very likely. My sister did remind me, thankfully, that our great-grandparents lived to their 80’s and 90’s.

All of which has brought me to here and now. And the future. And what I want it to be. And some very big questions.

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Oh yes, I am thankful.  This week is Thanksgiving, which chiefly means (for me, anyway) an extra and much deserved day off. The past few months have seen a flurry of social activity around here; I’ve been an unusually social beast and have had a damn good time at it.  However:  just the thought of the holidays *stresses* me out, so I’ve come up with a plan of action.  Part Martha Stewart, part [insert title of any film showcasing nutty family scenarios with hoards of crazy family members and inlaws], and part my obsessive need to plan and list things.  That said, here is the plan:

Drink lots of mimosas.  Get a bottle of OJ and champagne ready.

Avoid shopping malls at all costs from now until January.  Shop on-line!

Pet cats daily.  Hug ALL of your friends daily.  [This is from Martha Stewart:  apparently, petting animals for a certain period of time, or having physical contact with another human releases feel-good chemicals into your system.]

Put hot neighbor on speed dial so that I don’t miss ANY hugs.

Keep in mind that the new year is a mere six weeks away.

Ask doc for some valium before heading to any family functions.

Read Sarah Palin’s new book before seeing any republican relatives, so that you are informed enough to argue intelligently about it. Also read up on health care plan so that you can defend the public option. Be prepared to be called both a communist and socialist.

Finish reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  This is just for fun.  Ok, and also the fact that I’m hoping Mr. Collins gets it by Charlotte before the book is over. I know, I’m a little sick.  Deal with it.

If all else fails, book a flight to some Caribbean Island and hide.

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