I was going to write about moderation. I don’t do moderate. I say that I am a nice, calm middle of the road woman but that isn’t true. There’s a part of me that will always push the limit.
Politically, I nod and smile if you don’t agree with me, but I rarely tell you how stupid I think you are if your opinion disagrees with mine. When I exercise, I end up with pulled muscles. I took an aerobics class when I was younger and thinner and turned so red from exertion that I looked like a beet with feet.
I don’t diet unless it’s the crash variety. I have learned that it isn’t necessary to dare the electric or water companies to shut off my power and water. I can pay the bill BEFORE the death date.
I have never found too chocolate or too sweet. I am an alcoholic so you can rest assured that I never met a drink I didn’t like nor did I think it was a good idea to quit when I could “feel it.” Numb. That was the goal. I smoked cigarettes like I drank; when I quit smoking, I was going through 3 packs a day. And I didn’t just burn them in an ashtray because I got too busy. I smoked those suckers.
In sobriety, I recognize obsession when it leaps at me. If I don’t, I have enough sober folks around me to ask if I “obsess much?” Moderation isn’t natural for me; I make a point of noticing extremists. Must be a you spot it, you got it kind of thing.
A day or so after my birthday which marked the birth of me AND Adnan Nevic, the 12-year-old Bosnian who is the 6 billionth human born on this planet in 1999, I read that the 7 billionth person will be born around Halloween of this year.
Nothing is moderate about the population growth over the past couple of hundred years. It took from the dawn of humanity to 1804 to achieve our first billion population mark. By 1927, the world population was 2 billion; 33 years later, in 1960, the population stood at 3 billion.
- 1974-4 billion
- 1987-5 billion
- 1999-6 billion
- 2011-7 billion
- Notice how the billions are closer together. Originally, 2013 was the guess for when Baby Seven Billion would be born.
The world fertility rate is dropping in developed countries; not so in the underdeveloped ones. Like the estimated life span, it various widely from country to country. In Niger, where the average life span is 44, women bear more than 5 children on an average. Statistically, it’s 5.5 but I keep picturing half a baby. In Japan, where the life span is 83 on the average, the average is less than 1 per mom.
In the U.S., Utah moms bear an average 2.6 babies; Texas rings in at #4 with 2.3 babies per mom. The teen birth rate in Texas is #3, just behind Mississippi and New Mexico. Immigrant moms generally have more babies; their children and grand-children usually have fewer. Generally, the more educated the family, the more likely the couple to have fewer babies.
With the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, family planning clinics have closed in Texas which may give us a baby boom. In 2010, the Hidalgo County’s eight clinics provided family-planning services to 23,000 patients. The services included contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and wellness exams for both men and women but not abortions which the federal government will not fund and hasn’t since 2,003.
When state cuts to family planning took effect in September, the Hidalgo County network was forced to lay off half its staff and shut down four of its facilities. Patricia Gonzales, social worker and clinic administrator, estimated that the closures would affect approximately 16,000 low-income men, women and teens in the Rio Grande Valley. For many of them, Planned Parenthood is the same for them as it was for me: the family doctor. Face it, there are many of us who do not have adequate insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid.
Does it worry me? It does. At least enough to renew my membership in NARAL and Planned Parenthood and to make sure that my voter’s registration is up to date and ready to ride with me to the voting booth. One more thing that sobriety has taught me is that I am responsible for doing my part. It may not take me to Occupy Wall Street, but it does make me participate in life.
Oh! And thinking about H.B. 358, the so-called Protect Life Act, which states that hospitals may refuse to terminate a pregnancy even if to do so saves the mother’s life. In late 2009, an Arizona bishop excommunicated Sister Margaret McBride, a senior administrator at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, because she authorized an abortion for a woman who was 11 weeks pregnant and suffering from a potentially fatal case of pulmonary hypertension.
“In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy,” the hospital said in a statement. The Diocese of Phoenix sharply condemned the hospital’s decision to abort the baby, saying in a statement that the mother’s life should never take precedence over the baby’s.
Which brings to mind the question: What is the difference between stupidity and genius? Even genius has limits.
Nothing moderate about that, huh?