Part of me feels like it was practically yesterday when I was in school. Ms. Justina was teaching my class. I hadn’t been assigned a career yet. I was making friends. And I was slowly realizing my feelings for Macie.
The rest of me is all too aware of the gray hair creeping up on me. The wrinkles on my face are more noticeable every day. I’ve been working in my assigned career for more than have my life at this point. And my children are not really children any longer. They’re now the ones going to school and wondering what career they’ll eventually be assigned. Robin is the oldest so naturally she’s more focused on her future at the moment. I hope Phoenix follows her lead.
Robin studies hard every day. Of course she doesn’t know what career she’ll be placed in yet, so she doesn’t have a single subject to focus on. I think she’s trying to learn as much as possible about as many different things as possible. And academics aren’t all she works hard to master.
She also exercises every day. She trains as hard as I ever have. Honestly she runs herself ragged.
She impresses with her work ethic, but I also want to make sure she doesn’t train and study too hard all the time. That’s why I remind her to make time for other things – to balance things out. Painting comes so naturally to Robin and so does making friends. She’s a people person. I can tell she’s happier when she doesn’t cut these things out of her days completely. Her smile is much brighter after she paints or spends time with her friends.
I’ve met a couple of her friends by now, and I was pleasantly surprised by who ended up in her life.
I was happy to hear Robin became friends with Audrina. She is Ms. Justina’s daughter. Ms. Justina isn’t the teacher anymore – she is much too old now – but she’ll always be Ms. Justina to me. Audrina has been as good a friend to Robin as her mother was a good teacher to me.
Robin’s best friend, however, is Tiffany. I knew Tiffany looked familiar the first time I met her. She’s the daughter of another old friend named Sienna. Macie and I haven’t kept in touch with many of our old school friends. It’s not that we didn’t want to, but there’s no easy way to keep in touch when you work in different areas and have families to look after. Of course, Macie was never close friends with Sienna, but I was for a short time. It is nice to see a new generation of all these families growing together.
And speaking of Sienna, recently I saw her for the first time in years. Unfortunately it wasn’t under the best circumstances.
She came into the clinic with abdominal pain. We considered other treatments, but in the end she needed surgery. She pulled through, but it was surprisingly difficult operating on a friend. I’m glad I could help, but it sure would be nice to have another doctor at my clinic to assist especially in cases like Sienna’s where I know the patient personally.
The extra help would also be nice, because it might allow me to focus more on finding a treatment for the terrible dementia epidemic. As far as I can tell it still presents in one hundred percent of the population. My experimental treatments have yet to have a noticeable effect on the mental health of my patients as they age.
At least there is one bit of good news in the realm of public health. One of the treatment trails has given patients a big increase in physical strength and stamina. I know my mother used to talk about her reduced stamina after The Disaster. This weakening of the body is a condition just as common as the deterioration of the mind, but I think I’ve overlooked it many times simply because it isn’t as obviously tragic as the dementia. After all, I know it is possible through very hard work over many years to build and maintain muscles and strength. This new breakthrough I believed will make it more obtainable for people from now on to build their physical strength and stamina.
I have already started prescribing the new treatment which includes a variety of health supplements as well as an exercise routine to the vast majority of my patients.
Everyone in the family including myself has also started these treatments.
My hope is that improved physical health will result in improved mental health as time goes on. Of course I’ll continue searching for other treatments, but I am beginning to believe this is our best hope.
This has all given me a new focus. I have refocused on my own exercise routine. I want to be healthy as long as possible for the sake of my family, friends, and patients.