Attempting to Be Fair and Balanced


I promised a “con” view of Obamacare, and this is the most well thought out one I’ve found. Definitely gives us something to think about.


“Love Actually” and other musings about emotional energy

In the introduction of the movie “Love Actually“, Hugh Grant muses about going to the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport, witnessing the reunions that happen there and how nice it is to watch. I got to experience that firsthand the other day when picking up my husband from the DFW airport.

I was surprised when I got there because I’d forgotten how crowded the international arrivals gate can be. There were families of all kinds; some holding signs, some holding flowers, some just bristling with anticipation. I was instantly energized and uplifted although it took me a minute to realize why….then I saw my first reunion. Two people obviously thrilled to be in one another’s presence again. Maybe they’d been apart for a few days, or a few weeks, or maybe even a few years….who knows? So I sat down and watched more closely.

The same thing happened over and over. A traveler walking through the door with a searching look on their face….the eyes widening….a grin appearing…..a new purpose to their steps until they physically met their loved one. There were children screeching, running and being swept up into the arms of parents. Not to mention hugs and kisses all around. The atmosphere was amazing, and indescribably beautiful which is interesting to me because picking someone up at the airport is really such a mundane task.

Yet, I found myself reluctant to leave once I’d reunited with my loved one…with all of the requisite hugs and kisses of course. The world we live in is short on overflowing joy and happiness and I wanted to continue to be a part of it. However, reality is reality and my poor husband had spent long hours on a plane to get back home. Asking him to hang out at the airport and bask in the glow of complete strangers hugging would have been a bit much I think.

That experience got me thinking about emotional energy and how we feel and respond to it. It’s one of those phenomena that is nearly impossible to describe, but my guess is that most people understand what I’m talking about. For good or bad, we sense the emotional energy around us. When we are around genuine happiness we are drawn to it. When we are around anxiety and fear, we tense up. We can get swept up in anger and indignation as well as relaxing in the presence of the truly peaceful.

Are we all just emotional sponges?

A friend recently commented about how she doesn’t watch the news because she becomes very emotional and didn’t want to expose her body or mind to that kind of stress. At the time I understood what she meant although I didn’t quite agree with it. After all, if no one pays attention to what’s going on in the world how can we hope to improve it? I think I have a deeper understanding of her point of view after my experience at the airport.

We watch horror on the news and we can’t sleep. I know that happened to me after seeing the Batman premiere early Friday morning, and arriving home to the news of the shootings in Colorado. So we feel grief and even visceral fear about an event that didn’t impact us directly

We get onto FaceBook and start steaming at the rhetoric of some of our “friends” about any number of things. Politics, religion, parenting…you name it.  So we don’t even need to be in a room with someone to feel their emotional energy. If they are angry, and we agree with them, we get angry. If they are angry and we don’t agree with them we get indignant at least and maybe defensive and angry ourselves.

What does this emotional energy do to us? I have to believe that there is an effect, and not just in the moment. We may not have figured out how or why but we do know that there is a link between our physical health and our emotional health. So maybe the best medicine is cultivating positive emotion in our lives while minimizing the negative. Maybe we learn to let go of the people whose energy seems to be unrelentingly  angry and tense.

And just in case I get really down on life and stressed out to the point where I lose my perspective on things, I can always go hang out at the airport. That is where the love is.

Ah, the Life of a Graduate Student

Well, it finally happened.

Someone, actually two people,  asked me what was up with my blog. I was expecting it, of course, but I was chagrined just the same at being called out (albeit, very gently) for not writing for the past couple of weeks.

Now, as a matter of fact, I have been writing….. and reading, and note taking, and outlining, and researching, and reading some more……but not as the Passionate Moderate…..I’ve been doing those things as a first term midwifery student. And this will be one of my easiest terms according to those who have gone before me. The thought makes me a bit nauseous….or is it nauseated?

Not that I’m complaining! I’m thoroughly enjoying my new role and eager to learn as much as I can, but I must be truthful about one thing. Being a blogger who writes about current events is very difficult when you don’t know what’s going on in the world. My life right now is consumed with pathophysiology, the history of midwifery and nursing theory (yuck). No time for politics and scandal….which is fine for the moment. I’m sure as the election season revs up I’ll be sufficiently motivated to share my thoughts on the subject.

To give you an idea of how immersed I am in what I am learning, and probably an idea of what a dork I am, let me tell you this little story:

Last week I had an exam in pathophysiology, and one of the topics covered was the stress response. I spent an evening really trying to study the cascade of hormones and resultant physical changes which happen when the body is in danger, either in reality or imagined. Then I went to sleep, and I should point out that I tend to dream very vivid, wild dreams in general, but his particular night was like an action, adventure movie with many heart-stopping and tense moments, chases, gunshots, near drownings, you name it, and every time I noticed a physical reaction or sensation in myself I’d think, “That’s part of the stress response.”….over and over again. (I did quite well on the exam, by the way.)

So there you have it, I’m a little…shall we say…preoccupied with school, but I promise I haven’t forgotten about my blog or my readers.

Still to come, a “con” guest blog about Obamacare from a medical student you can find at I have no idea who this student is, but the blog writing is phenomenal. I highly recommend you start to follow.

Also, a musing about emotional energy and what it means to our physical and mental well-being.

Beyond that who knows……

I’ve just started my graduate studies to become a nurse-midwife, so while I wrap my head around my schoolwork and get organized I’m re-blogging a different perspective on the “pros” of Obamacare. I’m hoping to have a guest blog for the “con” side soon. If you like this post check out some of Dr Sloan‘s other articles; he has a great and informative blog.

Mark Sloan M.D.

“You cannot educate an unhealthy child, and you cannot keep an uneducated child healthy.” Jocelyn Elders M.D., former U.S. Surgeon General

I was one of millions of happy people following Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act. The ACA greatly expands access to care, benefits, and coverage for millions of children, and if there’s any hope for the future of this country it has to start with healthy children.

It’s difficult for people with health insurance to truly understand what it’s like for those who don’t have it. Or for those who had it and then lost it in the recent economic downturn. And it’s easy to overlook the toll this can take on a child’s chances of success in life.

Here’s one example from my practice:

I took care of a family I’ll call the Swensons for several years. Greg and Connie have three kids…

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Happy 4th of July!

Today I just want to briefly say that while I have my issues with the state of politics in this country I appreciate the freedom I have, especially as a woman, to speak my mind without fear of retribution. We live in a flawed country, but a great one just the same.

So fly your flags proudly, enjoy your time with family and friends and remember that our ability to enjoy these things in peace is a luxury many, many people around the world do not have. (And remember too, those families who are not enjoying this holiday together because one or more of them are overseas on active duty in the military or have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.)