Saturday, December 11, 2010

Over 40 with plenty of excuses

It's occurred to me over the past few years that there's something "special" in this country about being over 40. For example, by the time a woman is over 40, she's supposed to be "over the hill" and no longer desirable. The thing is that there are PLENTY of women who defie that stupid idea!!! It's also occurred to me that when you're over 40, it's extremely easy to come up with reasons NOT to go back to school including, retirement, college funds, life in general, mortages, car payments, and the list could probably go on indefinitely!!! Well after talking to many med schools before I turned 40 and now many afterwards, it seems to me that "40" seems to be the undefined age people "expect" you to have become whatever it is you wanted to be when you "grew up". Well, TO HELL WITH THAT!!!!

What I can tell you that my knees which killed my track career back in the day, hurt like hell these days for reasons I can't really figure out except that I tend to sleep in the fetal position and keep my knees bent at my desk at work for 4 hours + per day. Urgh!!! I guess the signs of aging are upon me, LOL!!!

I did have a very interesting convo with the new Path in the lab the other day and she said something that literally stopped me in my tracks, "You should really think about becoming an MD, and the type that sees patients". So again, inspiration from places where you least expect it and at a time when you really need it. The thing is while I clearly enjoy the field of Pathology, I feel like something is "missing" in my life now that I no longer volunteer with Komen, and it occurred to me that that "something" is contact with people. Sure, I live and work with "people" but it's not enough, not even close. And a recent visit to the NIH Clinical Center on the patient floors had me really thinking about how good a field like Gerontology would make me feel. I think it would give my research a more tangible "purpose" and I could certainly keep the "pathology" flavor of my research going in diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's (I'm also fascinated by Traumatic Brain Injury as I've mentioned before). So on that note, I think I'm going to see what volunteer opportunities may be available at the senior living facility a few blocks from my house sometime in the next few weeks!

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