Friday, April 25, 2014

Swimming's Safari Adventures!

Simon & Garfunkel-At The Zoo

Someone told me it's all happening at the zoo....
What a peculiar day it was for Swimming this past Sunday. Easter Sunday coincided with Swimming's Birthday! To celebrate, she and some buddies decided to head out for a little safari at the zoo. Oh my ears and whiskers the things we saw! I must admit that I am very impressed with the high-profile animals that are staying at Cleveland Zoo. They don't give many facts about them so I decided to look up some facts and posted some below. Here are some pictures of the amazing creatures. Disclaimer: all pictures are zoomed, I was not actually that close to the animals.

Here are some lions. Did you know that Males with darker manes are more likely to attract female lions (lionesses)? Also, they only live to about 12 years old in the wild. I used to think that lions might be my spirit animal and like this woman they'd see me and want to give me a hug. From these ones, however, it does not seem like they want much to do with me other than to eat me.

How good-looking are these elephants? The African Elephant is the largest land mammal. Did you know that an elephant calf often sucks its trunk for comfort like a human baby sucks its thumb?

A Malayan Sun Bear and little baby bear. They have gorgeous long fur and really like honey! They are the smallest of all bear species. These folks are mainly living in Southeast Asia.

Here is Sir Tiger. Most tigers have yellow eyes except the White Tiger which has blue eyes. Also apparently their urine smells like popcorn!

Here is a Giraffe Family. Giraffes usually sleep for 1-12 minutes! They also have very pretty eyelashes. Surprisingly, I felt these creatures were very serene and could easily slide into first place as my new spirit animal.

I'll end with sleeping Koala. Koalas have two thumbs to help climb trees and eat eucalyptus. Along with the kangroos, their babies are also known as Joeys! Here's a great Koala survival story. Apparently they have the best insulating back fur among all other marsupials. This fur is highly resilient to wind and rain and their belly fur can reflect solar radiation. Amazing!

Lastly, as a Birthday present, I've adopted a panda from the WWF. Here is the photo I received--I like how my panda is posing, so chic! In keeping with ancient Chinese tradition I will be naming my panda after 100 days, but look how pretty it is!

All-in-all, Swimming had a very interesting birthday, filled with fun and a few mishaps and a wonderful video card from one of her best buddies playing one of my favorite tunes on the violin! After noticing that I've sprouted a few new gray hairs I've also come to embrace becoming older and transforming into a Golden Girl. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014


This post is entirely inspired by a friend who is participating in Landmark. I'd like to share two interesting facts: Antidepressants and antianxiety med users are the fastest growing population in our country. The fastest growing age group of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds are preschoolers. Yes. I've fact-checked this one from multiple reliable sources.

First I'd like to point this discussion to some interesting and thought-provoking articles:
in particular this sentence "Learning how exercise, diet and sleep bear on mood gives us tools to use in caring for ourselves." (This is part of the mission I'm taking on when I become a doctor and have already geared an entire segment on this blog towards helping others get all those aspects in tune.) I also definitely agree that confronting pain is a vital part of the human experience that allows us to connect to each other.

Here are some fast facts.,8599,1914604,00.html

I am only going to comment on the use of these meds in minors. I went to a grade school where a fairly good amount of students were on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. Most of them turned out to have successful careers. Whether the meds made the difference I don't know. What I do know is that no matter what the good effects may be one can never fully understand every single biochemical side effect of a drug long term or short term. There is absolutely a place for these prescriptions in medicine, but there is also no doubt that they are over-prescribed as an easy fix.

I was blessed and lucky to have had parents that sincerely tried to give me the world. As a child I relentlessly journaled and I now have several diaries that document my life and all the emotional ups and downs. If I were to change one thing from my upbringing it would be that for whatever reason I wish I had been passionate about one or two things or causes or activities and that I had followed through on those passions back then. I wish there was more of a push or urgency for me to find and follow that passion when I was younger (and not jaded by the real world.) It took me a while to figure out that medicine was something I was really passionate about. I do believe in fatalism and that the road I took to get here was required. I had to experience the different things I experienced in order to recognize that I wanted to be a doctor. I can't help but wonder what it would have felt like to have had that feeling back in high school. To have been as passionate about a cause bigger than myself back then would've given me the perspective that school was just the vehicle to allow me to do what I wanted to do; my daily toils weren't a big deal since school would've only been a fragment of my life.

I feel that parents are the ones who become the final decider to allow their children to be placed on these meds when they are minors. I don't know the back-stories and I don't want to criticize parents who have made this choice. I do want to inspire parents, with all their wisdom and experiences, to also not entirely rely on these medications to fix a problem that they may feel helpless about. If I was a high schooler and I had the meaning in my life as I do now, I would definitely have felt more empowered and less narcissistic (as evident by the pages and pages where I poured my heart out about what really was trivial problems.) As parents, it should be their job to aid their progeny to becoming a fully-functional human being. I feel that can only occur by exposing children to the possibility that they can do anything and helping their children connect to their higher purpose or a greater cause that's beyond the hallowed halls of high school. High school, no doubt, is tougher now with social media and technology. But the classmates of mine that are settled were those that were truly committed to things beyond just high school at the time (whether it be excelling and truly dedicating themselves to a sport or to music or to a human rights cause or to anything really like art or science or the humanities.)

I've definitely felt a great deal of pain and sorrow myself throughout the years, but I forced myself to engage with something higher and that's when real growth came. As an example, in what I consider my darkest hour is also when I chose to become a hospice volunteer. I also want to take a minute and point out that health, sleep, exercise, and sprituality/philosophy are crucial aspects of ones existence. If these aren't all in tune for adults who are parents it becomes extremely difficult to raise children who are also well-rounded. Just some food for thought.

Lastly, I'm going to close this post by pointing out that my friend has created an acronym out of wisdom to jumpstart this movement: Wisdom IS Doing me.

Here is another article:

The Anti-depressant Generation: "We need a greater focus on building resilience in emerging adults."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Patriot's Day!


So glad the Marathon was successful! A little bummed I missed Patriot's Day in Boston, but I'm most positive that it was fantastic. #BostonStrong!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Some nice quotes today

Ed Sheeran-Sing

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  
Marianne Williamson