This past weekend it was a blogger lunch hosted by Nintendo and the American Heart Association at The W Hotel in San Francisco. The focus was on active play for a heart-healthy lifestyle, but all I could concentrate on were the lovely salads placed before empty seats.
A perfect wedge of lettuce surrounded by artfully-placed sliced cucumbers, drizzled with a light citrus balsamic vinaigrette.
As a panel of various cardiologists and pediatricians took the stage for a Q-and-A on heart disease, I watched the servers clear those salads. Tray-fulls of them still untouched and not a single slice out of place.
I wondered if they would just get tossed. How many resources- gas, water, time, etc.- were spent to get even one of those salads from a farm to that table?
Then, my thoughts turn to the servers taking them away. Assuming they didn't make a two-hour commute to work each day, I wondered if they're able to make a decent living in one of the most expensive cities in the US.
Are they able to afford the same heart-healthy, nutritious food for their families that the panel of docs are telling us we should be feeding ours? And how demoralizing is it to then toss mountains of perfectly good food away like rubbish? Every day? For a living?
I find myself worrying about a lot of things lately.
After being rushed to the ER in the middle of the night last week, my son received multiple breathing treatments. I had found him in his bed flailing around, gasping for air and too frightened to scream. We called for help right away and he made it through just fine.
I don't know what compelled me to check on him at the particular moment. My friend, Marci, would say that it was the Holy Spirit guiding me. Indeed it was, but I worry about the next time... What if I don't check on him until it's too late?
This time it was wasn't too late. As I sat by my son's hospital bed comforting him, I starting thinking about parents who would have been in that same situation fretting not only about the well being of their child, but the mounting medical costs.
The next morning, when I was asked to pay a larger, but not unreasonable amount for his asthma medication, I thought about how someone without our caliber of health insurance could afford the full price out-of-pocket.
Would their child just go without in the hopes that *knock on wood* he or she won't need it again?
I worry about my children's education. Should I support my local public school with all of its cost-cuts and bureaucracy or do I go broke on the Catholic school that's done so well loving and nurturing my son so far?
I worry about my aging parents who live half-way across the country. How will I afford to take care of them when I can barely afford kindergarten tuition?
I worry about the seventy-year-old man who collects the carts and bags the groceries at my local Safeway. It seems like such tedious and hard work. I wouldn't want to do it, but I wonder if he does. Or is he a former Silicon Valley engineer whose job was outsourced and this is just the last option for him?
I worry that my husband's own Silicon Valley career is so competitive and stressful, leaving him little time to sleep, eat, or exercise. When I phone rings, I expect to be the one informing me that he died of a heart attack at his desk just as his co-worker did a few weeks ago.
I worry that I've been a stay-at-home mom for too long and my punishment will be that I won't be able to find a job and support my children without my husband.
I worry that with another emergency like we had last week, we will join the millions of Americans drowning in debt over medical bills.
I worry about the teen mothers and abused women at the local shelter who I long to mentor, but feel I have abandoned because I can't seem to commit my time to anything other than my own needs and those of my family.
I worry about the world-ravaged by war, poverty, and hunger- that those around me seem to know nothing about. Or care.
I worry about lots of things and more, and for this I am told I am unpatriotic.
I'm called an intellectual elitist and a socialist and lazy and dumb.
I'm told I am not a true Christian.
And then, I begin to worry about our future.