The Ice Bucket Challenge Bandwagon

bag of iceI was slow to jump on the Ice Bucket Challenge bandwagon. In case you’re living in a cave, it’s when people dump ice and water on their heads to raise awareness AND money for ALS, then challenge others to do the same. I originally thought… ‘what is this actually doing to HELP the cause?’ NOW I get it, I know why it works: 1) it’s fun, 2) people like to watch other people make fools of themselves, 3) nobody likes to back down from a challenge, 4) most people don’t mind giving to a good cause… and 5) THIS is a good cause.

I’m familiar with ALS, a few years back, the BF wrote his thesis on the search for a cure. I googled it and it hurt my heart to see people afflicted with this horrible disease. I know there are plenty of terrible diseases out there, but most offer some hope: drugs, chemo, radiation, surgery. ALS is fatal, 100% of the time. There is no cure, life expectancy is 2 – 5 years. The BF works in the pharmaceutical industry, his company had an ALS drug fail in a late-stage trial, it was depressing. It would have been the first new drug to treat ALS in 15 years. I can’t imagine how many people pinned their hopes on that drug.

Here we are, having fun & raising awareness and money for ALS

Raising awareness AND money for ALS.

Which brings me to back to: The Ice Bucket Challenge. After poo-pooing it for nearly a week, I got called out. I was all set to ignore the challenge and write a check, but I said, “screw it”. I invited a friend over, she brought ice and wine, I provided snacks, a bucket and frigid water. We stressed about what we were going to say, we did a few takes (which made an AMAZING blooper reel). It was fun, we had SO many laughs, we’re STILL laughing about it. Then I researched reputable ALS charities and donated to: ALS TDI is a nonprofit biotech company dedicated to developing treatment; and Compassionate Care ALS supports people living with ALS. Then I googled something completely unrelated to ALS and miraculously came across this blog, written by a man living with ALS. It’s touching and sad and amazingly well written.

So there you have it. If you haven’t been challenged, I challenge you. Keep it going. Have fun. Donate a few dollars if you can. Then thank your lucky stars you have the ability to lift a bucket.

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LIFE. It Works Out Exactly as (other people) Plan

keg party

Man… I miss college keg parties.

Last year I attended my sorority alumni picnic –which was a kegger in a dirty frat house basement– but it was fun to see old friends and meet the young ladies who were current sisters. And yes… I felt OLD! There was one girl I talked to, she told me how she was graduating but had little interest in a career and didn’t plan to get much use from her degree because her primary goal was: A) get married and B) have a baby. She was 20, about to graduate, had the world in front of her, but she just went on about how she couldn’t wait to be a wife and mother.

I could have smiled, nodded, and walked away… rolling my eyes as she turned, but I thought, what good is meeting these young women if I don’t share my wealth of knowledge and life experiences? So I explained to her that, having goals was great, knowing what you want is amazing… but sometimes life doesn’t work the way you think it will and you have to be prepared for that too. She looked at me like I was nuts, but I continued, “When I was your age, I thought I’d be married at 25 with babies, a house – but life is funny and things don’t always work out according to even the best laid plan”. Obviously. I mean, here I was, single, nearly 20 years her senior, I had a good job, owned a home, a great guy – but marriage and babies eluded me. Over the years, my priorities shifted but I ended up happy, even though life went in a direction I didn’t foresee at 20.

She shrugged me off, didn’t care, and honestly, neither did I. With a bit of snark, I remember thinking, Good luck to her… this chick is in for a rude awakening when she realizes marriage, kids, etc., don’t come as easy as she thinks.

its a GIRLWell, the joke is on me. I saw her Facebook post yesterday, she was married last month (which I knew) and, SURPRISE, is expecting a baby in December. So…. occasionally I’m wrong. There, I said it! I guess some people luck out and life works EXACTLY as they envision. But I’m not ready to roll the credits and declare they’ll live happily ever after. Nope, I’m not convinced it will be all roses and sunshine by the time she hits the ripe old age of 30, but I’ve been wrong before so I guess anything is possible.

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