I went back to the doctor at Baptist Hospital last week for my twice yearly check-up. It seems that my blood test that gives me the "all clear -- no sign of recurrence of cancer" signal every six months was no longer in the good, safe place -- the number had increased quite a bit, and I was concerned. My doctor looked at everything else and decided that we should re-check in 3 months before doing any further tests or treatment. Not an emergency, but not to be ignored,
So I am kind of in the same place as my good old Highlander. The "MAINT REQD" light came on this week, and Sam, my own personal mechanic, is gone on a fishing trip. We talked on the phone and he said it will be okay -- don't have to take it in for emergency repairs -- and he will look at it next week. Like me, the car has a lot of miles on it -- over 200,000. But it still runs fine, and if the light didn't remind me, who knows when I would think about changing oil or doing whatever this light indicates. If I didn't have that blood test last week, I would think everything was fine. No symptoms -- as a matter of fact, I feel better than I have in a long time. I am eating healthy food and walking 4 or 5 miles -- or more -- every day. But yet -- something is needing attention. Every time I get in the car, the light reminds me.
I started thinking -- maybe God has been reminding me -- that there are other things in my life that need attention, too. During the last nearly 40 years of being a full time mom, and teaching school, that's where my focus has been. Now that I am retired, I am finally taking time to give some attention to other things that need maintenance.
- My health -- like I said, I am walking more than ever in my life and making healthy choices when it comes to food -- after many years of junk food, fast food, and too much food. I;d like to have lots more years and I know I have to do better if I want to hang around a lot longer.
- My family -- I've recently called or visited with 3 of my relatives who are over 80 years old. Why didn't I stay in touch with these precious people? They remember my great and great-great grandparents and have shared stories and pictures that no one else could tell me about.
- My spiritual life -- I'm spending more time in prayer and have started reading my Bible again. I plan to read it all the way through, Because I go to church 3 times a week, I convinced myself that was enough, and I have been slack in my personal devotions.
- My personal surroundings -- house and yard have been neglected for years. Weeds in one little flower garden have been replaced with pansies, but the big one needs major work. And even after 4 months of retirement and many bags to Goodwill, I still have lots more tidying up to do.
- My Friends -- friends need maintenance, too, and I have needed a warning light to remind me that if I don't spend time growing friendships, my friends won't know what a treasure they are to me. But it takes effort, and I made the first step today by meeting with 2 of these treasured friends for a long walk and conversation. We enjoyed it so much that we made plans to do it every week.
- My marriage -- after 41 years of living with my best friend and love of my life, I'm aware that there is no one I would rather spend time with, But usually I do what I like to do -- read, sing, write -- and he does what he wants to -- hunt, fish. fix things. This year -- no, I am NOT going hunting with him! But it won't kill me to go out in the boat with him, I guess -- he quit inviting me because I always had an excuse. One day I will surprise him by volunteering to go! We have spent time together more lately, and we need to do it more. But really, if he is happy, then I am happy -- I really love that man!!