WHITNEY CAIN, PHD

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Things I Wish I Had Known

Double Helix by Bruce Peebles

Double Helix by Bruce Peebles

  1. You can’t tell which kids were breast fed and which weren’t (unless, of course, you watched them being fed).  At least this is the case for middle schoolers.  By that point, pretty much all of them breathe through their mouths and act like turkeys.
  2. I only regret not exercising on the day I skip and the day after.  Past a 48-hour window, I can’t remember which workouts I skipped and which ones I made. I’m sorry I’ve spent so much time trying to decide whether I should exercise and then regretting whichever decision I made.  If I had the time back, I would nap or read or laugh or go exercise or go skip exercise. 
  3. Just because I want something for you, doesn’t mean you want it.  It doesn’t matter how good-hearted or generous my dreams are for you.  If they aren’t yours, they don’t need to be mine.
  4. Just because I want something for you, doesn’t mean it would be good for you.  See above and add, “Plus, you might know something I don’t.”
  5. Putting on a brassiere may not always be simple.  It never occurred to me there would be a day when putting on a bra involved moving things here and there and bending backwards and forwards.  It’s doable, but still.
  6. Usually, we get another shot.  In most cases, we do. This isn’t an excuse to avoid a risk.  It’s a reminder that opportunities have a way of popping up again, and, often, they are better on the second, third, fourth or fifth time around.
  7. Most people are doing the best they can.  Sometimes it just doesn’t seem like it.  Luckily, there’s number 6.
  8. Grieving takes a longer than we’d like it to take, but it ebbs and flows so it’s manageable.  It’s true.
  9. Progress isn’t a straight-line trajectory.  We move in spirals and corkscrews and winding helixes.  We revisit and re-view the past, as well as sit firmly in the present and hypothesize about all kinds of possible futures.  We dip in some of those and then back up and try out others.  Progress takes the scenic route.
  10. The people who told me this stuff knew what they were talking about.  They did.
Whitney Cain