Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Coast to Coast Day in the Life

Sometimes I need to be reminded that I have an amazing job.  Like everyone else I start to take things for granted, and I forget that the routine things I do everyday seem incredibly interesting to people.

Take my last trip for instance.  My mother called me at 9 am on Saturday morning.  "I thought you were going to work?" she said.  "I am.  I'm already in Chicago," I replied.  That day I flew to Portland Oregon, and watched the mist swirl around Mt. Hood as we descended to land.

The next morning I watched the sun rise over the Rockies, on my way to Denver and then on to Newark, NJ.  The view of NYC wasn't as clear as it was last week, and I'm ashamed to admit I barely noticed it.

The third day had me flying back across the country to see the other ocean and land in LA.  The fourth day was back to Chicago and then home for the holiday.

After discussing  my schedule with a friend, I realized how unusual my work week had been compared to most people.  I had been back and forth across the country 4 times in 4 days.  Sadly, I only left the hotel once, in Portland.  In the past I would do a lot of sight seeing on the road, but lately I have started using my time away from home to write, catch up on emails, and talk on the phone.

I bid for my schedule each month based on seniority.  I'm lucky enough to have the seniority to be home with my family for the holidays.  The airline industry runs 365 days a year, and there are a lot of employees sacrificing time off with their families to make sure everyone else makes it to Grandma's house for turkey.  I'm grateful to all of my co-workers and anyone else that is required to work on the holidays.  Thank you for holding down the fort, and I hope there was an extra big piece of pie for you when you arrived back home.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Finding My Boogie Shoes

I have a love hate relationship with dancing.  I love to dance, I just hate to dance in public.  The source of my closet dancing was a college boyfriend.  While on the dance floor at a bar, he leaned over and whispered something in my ear.  Thinking I hadn't heard him correctly, I asked him to repeat himself.  No, that was definitely what he said.  I dance like a cow.  Ever since then, the only time I would dance in public was in the middle of a crowd, and usually only after several drinks.

Last summer I met Becky - a smiling, dreadlocked, whirling dervish African dance instructor.  Becky was a teacher at Jim Donovan's Summer Rhythm Renewal, a 4 day retreat of drumming, dancing, writing, and personal growth.  Becky's passion for life is infectious.  I have never seen anyone light up a room like she does, spreading the joy and bliss of dance.  In the renewal atmosphere of love, compassion, and encouragement, I felt I could accomplish anything.  I joined Becky's performance group, and after 3 nights of practice we performed at a concert.  I was terrified, and absolutely exhilarated.

Fast forward to the Friday after Thanksgiving, two nights ago.  My husband and son and I traveled to Johnstown, PA, to see a drum and dance performance by Becky and Jim and several other friends.  We arrived early, while Becky and her dance group were warming up.  Ironically, they were doing the same dance I had learned over the summer.  Becky graciously invited me to join them for the performance.  I thought about it for two seconds, and then politely turned her down.  I told her I would dance with them after their performance was over.

And that was when it happened, the turning point of the night, and the last twenty years.  My five year old looked at me and said innocently, "Mama, that sounds like a scaredy cat."  How did he know?  Was the apprehension and fear seeping out of my pores?  And how did he know I needed to be called on it?  How did he know that I secretly wanted to dance, but was letting the shame from all those years ago keep me from having a good time?

I didn't end up dancing with the group for their performance, but I did dance several times when audience participation was encouraged.  We were sitting in the front row, and halfway thru the concert my son grabbed my hand.  No one else was on the dance floor, but he wanted to dance.  There was no one to hide behind, no alcohol fueled propulsion to give me the sensation of being a better dancer.  I thought about being a scaredy cat.  I thought about the memories I could create for my son (and myself), if I stepped out of my comfort zone and onto my feet.  I thought about the shame I had carried around for twenty years, and wondered if it was still serving me.  In front of almost 100 people, I decided it wasn't.  I danced with my son.

Would I have danced that night if my son hadn't called me a scaredy cat?  Probably not.  I'm sure he doesn't realize the profound impact his statement has had on my life.  From now on, every time I contemplate a challenge to my own self imposed limitations, I will ask myself if I am being a scaredy cat.  The answer will most likely be yes, but the outcome will be much different.  I will now use the butterflies in my stomach to propel me out of my seat, and onto the dance floor.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

I am thankful.   I am tremendously lucky to have a supporting, loving husband, and an adorable, precocious child that teaches me more than I could ever teach him.  I have a loving extended family, a beautiful victorian house, and a job that satiates my desire to be somewhere else.  I am blessed with wonderful new friends who inspire, challenge, and teach me something new every day, and old friends who remind me of who I am and where I've been.  And I am blessed with an unbelievable spiritual awakening,  driving me to become something bigger and better than I ever thought possible.  For all of this and more, I am thankful.  Blessings to all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Easy Breezy

My foray into alternative health started around 10 years ago, right about the time of my 30th birthday.  I started developing allergies, which worsened every year until I was around 35.  Traditional western medicine offered me no cures, as the blood tests concluded I wasn’t allergic to anything.  I have since found that my allergic symptoms seem to vary greatly depending on what I choose to eat.

I have tried to adhere to a gluten free diet for the last year or so, with varying degrees of success.  I commented to my new naturopath/homeopath that I was having difficulty being a gluten free vegetarian with my travel schedule.  She told me that she has various food allergies as well, and that it is easy to travel and be gluten free.

Her comment bothered me on several levels.  First of all, I completely disagreed that it was easy.  It was easIER than it was a year ago when I started, because now I knew what to substitute for wheat.  As a long time vegetarian, I had been eating wheat and dairy at almost every meal.  She had been gluten free for so long that I thought she had forgotten how hard the lifestyle change was when first going gluten free.

Secondly, her comment gave me an uncomfortable feeling about myself.  I thought to myself, “if she’s saying it’s easy, then there must be something wrong with me because I think it’s so hard. “

 I have a chemically sensitive friend, and one day I mentioned that it must be really hard for her to eat out because she is allergic to so many things.  She replied, “It is as hard as I choose to make it.”  That statement resonated with me and made me feel good.  The naturopath telling me it was easy when I knew it wasn't just made me frustrated and grouchy.

Another friend of mine suggested that instead of saying, “It’s as hard as I choose to make it,” that I say “it’s as easy as I choose to make it,” – using a positive term instead of a negative.  That didn’t feel right to me.   Why did it feel better to say hard instead of easy?  Did I need someone to acknowledge that what I was doing was difficult?  And why was I making it difficult?  Why couldn’t I say it was easy?

 “I think you just have a problem with the concept of easy,” my friend said.  I argued that if I told her flying a plane was easy that she might not agree.  Gluten free might be easy for someone else, but not for me.  She then came up with a profound concept that suddenly put everything into perspective for me.

Anything is easy when we decide to go “all in”.  When we fully commit to something with all of our heart, soul, and determination, it is easy.  It’s while we are still on the fence that it is hard.  I know from my ups and downs with my diet over the past year that I am not fully committed to a gluten free lifestyle.  When I finally make that decision, then it will be easy.  But until then, it’s as hard as I choose to make it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Simple Thank You

My morning in Newark didn't start out very well.  I won't give the details, but suffice it to say I witnessed several acts of bad behavior by grown ups pretending to be children.  Actually, they weren't pretending, they WERE acting like children.  The Newark airport itself can be challenging even on the best of days, so I wasn't in the best frame of mind to begin with.  I couldn't wait to get the day over with before it had even started.

I spent the first third of the 6 hour flight to Phoenix in a bad mood.  Somewhere over no man's land I had a realization.  (This has been a good "thinking" trip for me).  I have been reading Gretchen Rubin's book, "The Happiness Project."  The book details Gretchen's year of trying to make her life happier, by changing something small every month.  I have been trying to adopt some of her ideas and suggestions, and they have really made a difference.  I decided to stop being annoyed with the people on my plane, and find my way back to happiness by developing an attitude of gratitude.

Today is the Monday before Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for, including some of the less than pleasant people on my flight.  By buying a ticket they are supporting my airline, which in turn provides my paycheck.  I decided to acknowledge and thank every person on the flight, even the ones who might not have deserved it.  I told the folks how much I appreciated that they came out to fly with us today, and I was grateful that they were helping me support my family.

My little gesture of appreciation helped to cheer me up, and I hoped it would make the passengers happier too.  The 140 mile an hour headwind directly on our nose had made us 25 minutes late into Phoenix, so I was looking for a bright side anywhere I could find it.  I don't know if it made the passengers feel any better, but it sure supported my own happiness project.  I enjoyed it so much that I decided I'm going to thank someone every day this week.  Not just family and friends, but someone that wouldn't normally be expecting a thank you from me.

I think I'll try it again right now.  Thank you for reading this blog.  It gives me immense pleasure to know that someone out there is interested in what I have to say.  And I thank myself for continuing to write the blog, even when it's uncomfortable to say certain things, or when I'm not sure that anyone is actually reading.  See, it worked.  I don't know about you, but I've got a big smile on my face.  I can't wait to see who I can guerrilla thank tomorrow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My "A-HA" Moment at 30,000'

As you might imagine, I spend a lot of time at work staring out the window, with plenty of time to ponder.  I had a realization today at 30,000', somewhere between Denver and Newark.  I discovered that the reason I stopped writing this summer was the same reason that my son didn't want to draw anymore.  (See the previous Everyone's an Artist post for an explanation of his dilemma).

This spring my friend and I participated in a private writing class with a wonderful instructor.  I was working on a long poem for the assignment. My father passed away in 2006, and my poem focused on exploring my relationship with him on a deeper level.  As I approached revision number 15 of the poem, I not only lost interest, but I found myself not wanting to write at all for a while.

My apathy towards writing wasn't due to any fault of the instructor.  I admire and respect his advice, and with each suggestion and revision the poem became much better from a technical standpoint.  But it felt too much like work to me.  I am very impatient, and I don't enjoy the editing process.  Blog posts seem to be the perfect medium for me - short, sweet, and not a lot of re-writes.  Re-working the same poem over and over again removed the joy of just throwing a fresh idea out on paper.  Instead, I was trying to massage every sentence into the perfect visual image.  Revising the poem made me delve deeper into my own personal growth, as well as evolve as a writer.  But somewhere along the way I lost the passion to write.

So I go back to the question I posed with my son.  Where is the line between teaching the correct way to draw, write, create, etc. - and stifling creativity?  In my case, the writing class made my work more interesting for other people to read, and more technically correct.  But the critique, although thoroughly positive and for my own growth, also made me stop writing.  How can I evolve as a writer without instruction?  How do I allow my inner voice to creatively express without feeling censored, when I still have so much to learn?  What is the correct balance?

I guess for now, the answer is to do whatever it takes to keep me writing.  Right now it feels best to focus on thought over form.  Just like my son, if I become distracted by creating "correctly" instead of just writing for the sheer joy of expression, then I will quickly become discouraged.  I may not win any awards for grammar or punctuation, but if I can inspire someone to think than that's all that matters.  And that's what will keep me writing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Everyone's an Artist

There is no right and wrong when it comes to art.  Everyone's an artist.  I am an artist.  Until last year, I would have said the previous three statements were lies.  And then I met my friend Stephanie.

Stephanie is an artist at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, PA.  She is also a gifted workshop facilitator, and the goal of her classes is to "encourage creativity without fear of judgement."  Before I attended her workshop, I believed everything about creating art that I had been told as a child.   I'm not a good artist, I cannot replicate with my hand what I see with my eye so I should just give it up, my art does not look like everyone else's, I'm not creative enough, etc. etc.  Stephanie made me realize that as long as I have the ability to put a crayon to paper, I'm creating art.  All that matters is the expression, and there is no right and wrong.  Everyone is an artist.

My five year old son loves art, and I have been actively encouraging him to draw and paint.  As we walked home from school the other day, I suggested that he draw one of his "stick people" drawings for a neighbor.  Most of his art consists of half-stick people with big heads, eyebrows, and giant hands, and they look adorable.   His response to my suggestion - "No, because he won't like it."  "Why wouldn't he like it?" I said.  "Because the lunch lady didn't like it, and she told me I had to redraw my stick person again."  (I have since come to find out that the lunch lady is also a part time teaching aid.)

 I explained to my son that everyone has an opinion about art.  I also told him that the only way art was "wrong" is if you are told to draw a cow and you draw a tree.  When we walked into the house I pulled out his folder, and there was his stick person picture.  The front side was his normal drawing of himself in his Halloween costume.  As I flipped the page over, there was the picture he had been made to re-draw.  An unnatural, balloon shaped form, it didn't resemble a person any more than his stick figure.  And it certainly lacked the "soul" of the stick person.

That night I called to discuss my situation with Stephanie.  She explained that this kind of situation makes kids stop drawing altogether.  Because they can't express themselves the way they want, or are trying to conform to someone else's idea of art, it becomes too difficult and they give up.  Then they end up in her class 30 years later, wanting to reignite the creative spark that was extinguished in childhood.

I decided to go to the school and share my feelings with the teacher, and we had a nice discussion.  When I told her what had happened, she said she encourages the students to try to make realistic looking people, not just stick people.  In her mind, she is just trying to help them become "better", or more "realistic" artists.  I myself wondered where the line is between teaching more "realistic" ways of drawing, and stifling creativity.  The teacher seemed to listen as I explained what I learned from Stephanie, and she said she would have a discussion with the art teacher to get her opinion.

The teacher then proceeded to show me some of the other student drawings that looked nothing at all like people.  Some were lady bugs, some were blobs, some looked like square snowmen.  "See," she said to me, "Your son's looks great compared to these."  She then told me that several students were never able to start the drawing project, because they were perfectionists.  The entire front and back of their page was scribbled out, because their attempt to draw themselves didn't look the way they wanted it to.

I tried to point out to her that maybe the reason some of the students couldn't draw at all was because they were afraid to make lady bugs or square people.   I'm not sure if the correlation ever dawned on her, but it was crystal clear to me.  A five year old should draw because he loves to draw, not worry because he can't make an exact replica of himself on the page.  I felt really sorry for the kids that were afraid to draw, and I was really proud of the kids that drew lady bugs and snowmen as their self portraits.  I'd take a lady bug over a fear of drawing any day.

As for my son, the next chance I get we are going to sit down and draw a whole army of stick people.  Just because we can.  We're artists after all, and that's what artists do.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Vision

From Debbie Ford - "When our actions come straight out of our vision of our lives we radiate joy, and passion effortlessly carries us through our days.  What is your vision?"

What is my vision?  I wish I knew.  Part of my problem lately is that I can't seem to find a direction.  It's as if I'm moving in circles, growing, but without a real destination.  Too many commitments, not enough time.  Like the rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland," - always late, but not sure where I am going.   I decided the best way to find my vision was to start free writing and see what I came up with.  Here are the results.

I envision a world of respect.  Respect for mother earth, respect for each other, respect for ourselves.  A world where everyone knows and understands that they are worthy.  They are valid.  A world where I know I am worthy, I am valid.  Here comes the shadow again.  I have such a deep desire to help others live a better life.  To be of service to the world.  But I cannot do that until I clean my own house.  Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."  Maybe it's time to listen.

I envision a world where I am as honest with myself as I am with everyone else around me.  I refuse to lie to other people, but I am constantly lying to myself.  "I'm not good enough, I'm stupid, what do you think you're doing, are you kidding me?"  These are the thoughts and ideas that fill my brain and begin the never ending cycle of negativity in my body.  I must help myself before I can help others.

Every choice I make when I open my mouth affects my well being.  Whether it is thoughts and ideas coming out, or nourishment (or lack thereof) going in.  My vision is to help everyone understand this, but it has to start with me.  Words that are carefully chosen have so much power.  My own words have the ability to draw negative or positive energy to me.  The ability to uplift me and those around me, or cause feelings of negativity and hopelessness.  The foods I choose to nourish me do the same for my body.  I can choose healthy uplifting foods, or foods that zap my energy and emotional well being.  My body is a temple, I will start to treat it that way.

I long to help others fall in love with themselves, so that love will spread outward like a never ending wave, touching all on the planet.  Why is it so easy for me to envision this for others, but not for myself?  Why is self love so difficult?  Is it because self love feels selfish, as if I am putting myself first instead of helping others?

What if self love = self care?  What if it felt more like a necessity, instead of a luxury.  I cannot help others until I help myself.  If I want to see this love bubble grow, then I need to be the epicenter.  And if I want to help others in need, it all starts right here at home.  Respect, integrity, compassion - for myself, and then the world.  This is my vision.

Audio/video vision inspiration

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Me and My Shadow, My Shadow and Me

Unlike Peter Pan, I can't seem to get away from my shadow.  In my last post, I discussed the selfish aspect of my shadow.  My husband will be happy to know that I am no longer denying this aspect of myself,  so I am now ready to clean my house.

Unfortunately, there's been another shadow lurking around for awhile now, and yesterday it decided it didn't want to be silenced anymore.

Over the last few years, I have started to question some of the "truths" I have believed since childhood.  I am taking Walt Whitman's quote to heart - "Re-examine all you have been told.....Dismiss what insults your soul."  Some of the truths I have been questioning apply to religious dogma.  I currently find myself closer to God than I have ever been, and I am working on developing a personal relationship with him, without the church or a minister being my connection to him.

I was at the airport several hours early for my flight yesterday, and for some reason I was drawn to attend the non-denominational church service in the chapel.  When the minister asked for prayer requests, I uncharacteristically raised my hand.  I asked for help and guidance so that I could stop being so judgemental.

I have been having a real problem with this lately.  I'm judging everyone and everything, and it's driving me crazy and making me really unhappy.  Other parents at the school, politicians, frackers, co-workers, people I pass on the street - no one can escape my judgement.   I seem to think that if everyone would just think the way I do and do things my way, the world would be a perfect place.  And there in lies the shadow.  Whatever or whoever I choose to judge, I am capable of those same behaviors myself.  I am them, they are me, and we are all one.  This was a strange concept for me at first, but the more shadow work I do, the more I'm starting to understand it.

So when the minister repeated the prayer requests in prayer, I was interested to hear his advice for me about being less judgmental.  He said, "please help Kim release her judgements, and help her remember that we judge according to your word."

Hold on, did I just hear that?  I asked to be less judgemental, not swap my own set of judgements for a different one.  This is one of the reasons I'm falling away from the church lately, because I don't think anyone has the right to judge anyone else, no matter whose authority they believe they are following.  It's not my place to judge at all, and I want to get rid of this tendency.

Ahh, there it is.  The reason it won't go away.  The reason that situations keep presenting themselves to me that cause me to be judgmental.  I'm trying to kick it, cram it, shove it, shame it out of me, instead of giving it the attention it wants, so it can be released.  This shadow aspect and I have a lot more work to do before I can move on, and I have learned a valuable lesson.  Third party intercessions can be really helpful in some situations.  But when it comes to the shadow, only you can do the work.  Anyone else just gets in the way.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Selfish Little Shadow

I have a serious motivation problem.  Every room in my house has a project that is half finished, or a mess of clutter which needs to find a home.    A new (antique) dresser needs to be cleaned up before I can put clothes in it.  Ditto for a new display cabinet.  An entire basement needs to be cleared out before the contractor can come and remove the asbestos.  As I've walked from room to room this week, I have felt overwhelmed, disgusted, and lazy.  Until today.

Today I realized that instead of being upset at the state of my house, I should actually be celebrating the fact that my aversion and resistance to the mess is actually helping me with my spiritual growth.  If it weren’t for the mess, I never would have discovered my shadow –my shadow self that is – that is crying out for attention.

The shadow is a repressed part of the unconscious mind. Carl Jung once said that the shadow "is the person you would rather not be."  One of the most life changing books I have ever read is “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers,” by Debbie Ford.  The book describes the shadow self in depth, helping to understand, embrace, and release that which subconsciously holds us back.  How does this relate to my house being a disaster, you might ask?  It all started with fracking.
 I had a life coaching session today, and the discussion centered around things that are happening in my external world that are really affecting me.  One of these things is my disgust at fracking (which is another blog post altogether).  I realized that the traits I attribute to those that “frack” are greed, short sightedness, and selfishness, with selfish being the one with the most charge for me.  So we started talking about being selfish, because that which annoys us in our outer world is a mirror for what we need to work on in our inner world.
I realized that I felt selfish about not cleaning my house.  My husband had been at work all week, and I was at home.  It’s not really fair that I have filled my week with writing, reiki sessions, and appointments, when I could have been cleaning the house.  My husband never said a word to me about the mess, but I was feeling selfish because I was looking after my own needs all week, instead of taking care of our communal space.
The coaching session included some energetic work to release my attachment to being selfish.  My homework was to think of the most selfish thing I could do today, and then go and do it.  I worked on thinking about being selfish in a positive sense instead of negative.  Selfish means taking care of self, and by taking care of myself, I can take care of others as well.  I realized I was worried about appearing selfish in several other instances too, which seemed to vanish once we discovered I was resisting my shadow self.
By acknowledging my selfish shadow and working with it, I was able to change my viewpoint about the whole situation.  Now I’m actually looking forward to organizing the house, instead of dreading it.  But that will have to wait.  I’m on my way out the door to give my shadow some well deserved attention.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 to the Rescue

I think I've returned to my senses.  I did some research on one of my favorite websites,, and I've found some alternatives to Retin A.  One is apple cider vinegar, which I'm trying out right now, and the other is baking soda.  My hair dresser had previously told me about the baking soda, I just haven't had a chance (re: motivation) to try it yet.

I get my hair cut at an Aveda salon in my neighborhood.  It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that Aveda is a play on words - Ayurveda.  The salon uses many Ayurvedic principles, and my hair dresser and I started talking about acne the last time I was there.  In her training, she was taught that breakouts on the forehead were caused by stress, along the nose is hormonal, and blemishes on the cheeks are related to diet.  This made a lot of sense to me, since it all correlated with my specific breakouts.

I mentioned this theory to my dermatologist yesterday, and it was all she could do not to laugh in my face.  After calling it "crazy talk" and "something that came from a guru", she basically told me to stop listening to whoever would come up with something so ridiculous.

Now everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  To be honest, I don't know why I expected her to have any reaction other than the one she did.  It was my reaction that disappointed me, and made me realize I still have a lot of work to do.  I thought I was past the point of hiding my opinions when I feel strongly about something, but apparently not.  Not only did I not stick up for my friend,  I didn't stick up for myself.  I let the fear of being criticized silence me - again.

So this is my challenge - to express who I am and what I believe in, no matter what someone else thinks.  I know this isn't something I can change overnight, and I'm sure I'll have plenty of opportunities to practice.  For now, I'll forgive myself and remember my current mission statement.  "By accepting all of who I am, I joyfully move forward with grace and ease."  Some things are easier said than done.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vanity vs Integrity

Two weeks into my fifth decade, and things have been great so far.  Only 2 minor annoyances, which I won't even complain about, I'll just comment on.

The first is my eyesight.  I have been blessed with amazing eyesight.  In the past, if I could see a sign I could read it, no matter how small the print was.  Over the last few months this has begun to change - rapidly.  I found myself sitting at the bar with my husband yesterday, squinting to read the beer tap.  Why do we squint anyway, it doesn't miraculously make the letters bigger.  The herb bilberry is good for eyesight, and it does seem to be helping.  Even so, I'm afraid I am on my way to glasses, a sure sign that I'm getting older.  I must admit this makes me a little sad, watching my body slowly start to adjust to it's age.

The other issue I'm having, which is much more detrimental to my aging ego, is the appearance of adult acne.  Again, I was blessed as an adolescent not to have to deal with acne, so this is a first for me.  At least at 17, many peers have acne too, and everyone can sympathize with each other.  Sitting at the dermatologist today, at the age of 40, I felt a little bit strange discussing types of acne.  It was like I missed that day in class or something. Anyway, this whole situation brings me to my next dilemma.

Over the last year I have really been trying to approach my health by using natural products, and have only used mainstream medicine as a last resort.  I have always believed that when our body shows us symptoms, we need to address the underlying issue, instead of just covering up the problem by taking drugs.  I know my acne is showing up because of stress and hormone fluctuation.  When the Dr. offered a Retin A prescription today, my first instinct was to turn it down, which I did.  I know why I'm getting the acne, and I should be addressing the cause of the problem.

But vanity is a funny thing.  It makes me color my ever-increasing gray hair every four weeks, even when I know that's not really good for me.  And when the Dr. said, "Retin A is good for wrinkles too", my ears perked up a little bit.  So much so, that I walked out of the office with a prescription.  Whether I choose to fill it or not is still up for discussion.  Listening to the side effects and precautions was enough to make me reconsider, and I plan to do some more research before I make up my mind.

Will my vanity inflated ego win, or my desire to honor by body in a natural way?  Will I sell my soul to the Retin A devil?  Stay tuned and I'll let you know.