Sunday, May 25, 2008

Clues in the Patterns

Watching family traits perpetuate is a very interesting process. I became aware of these patterns as I researched my own family histories, and began to count recurring patterns of faith, depression, alcholism, divorces, reactions to unstable or stable employment, and how family members perceived leadership. These characteristics can assume physical, spiritual, and behavioral aspects. According to the geneticists, we all inherit our mitochondria from our mothers. Since the mitochondria is the powerhouse of nearly every cell in our bodies, we receive much more than our mother's good looks. We are given their capacities for energy and stamina. So if your mother was able to habitually run marathons, you're probably going to be able to work long hours and not get ill, if you live a fairly healthy lifestyle. If she was easily fatigued, you may have inherited those limitations, too. Of course, the father's 23 chromosomes cannot be discounted, and will affect how much stamina and energy the children will have. And overdoing things will wear out anyone.
Emotional and psychological issues are also passed down. On my mother's side of the family, her ancestors suffered some form of abandonment due to one parent leaving, or divorce, a pattern running to some of my siblings' families. And then there are the parallels of the lives of cousins...ever notice how sometimes the first, second, or last born children in extended families live similar lifestyles, and have similar results?
The depression that my Norwegian forbears often experienced was probably due to the fact they settled in the U.S. Midwest, where they could not longer obtain enough iodine from their diet, causing thyroid weakness. My mother took prescribed doses of thyroid, and, after investigating my own lack of energy, I learned to request it, too. Being alert to unique habits, health conditions, and beliefs can be used to strengthen your current family.


Shirley Bahlmann said...

Wow, fascinating information, Matt. An interesting note on the cousin thing - when I visited my cousin in Mesa a couple of summers ago, he offered me oatmeal for breakfast. I gladly accepted, then he pointed me in the direction of the sugar bowl. "Um, I don't eat it with sugar," I said.
His face beamed when he said, "Neither do I!"

Pink Ink said...

My husband would love to have a bloodhound like the one (or all) in this post's fun photo. But I won't let him. :-)

(We have a redbone coon hound, and a beagle, and I'm more a small-dog beagle person.)

On family traits passed down...the trick is to recognize them, and then to say, I will try to be better.

I hope my kids don't pick up too much of MY bad traits :-)

The Bloodhound said...

I think we ALL hope our children improve on what we gave them...