Summer Time

20170528_130156.jpg” Summer time and the livin’ is easy…the frogs are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.” Well, as we all know, the lyrics from this song in “Porgy and Bess” is introducing the audience to not only a new way of life but a change in the seasons. The axis has turned and we are in the throws of summer time.

It’s time to consider that during this time of year, we are all prone to the health issues that come with this season – sun burns, dehydration, insect bites and stings, falls, sprains, broken bones, traffic accidents, boating mishaps and camping casualties.  People are just more active when the weather is warmer – it’s a fact of life, at least in this area.  Not only that but we tend to “let our guard down” when we are enjoying ourselves.  Which means that we are less vigilant with our safety issues and health maintenance rules.  We drink more alcohol and less water.  We eat more carbohydrates and less protein.  We get less refreshed sleep and stay up later watching more sports activities.  We move around more and aggravate our muscles more than we are used to.  Let’s face it, there are a lot more “week-end warrior” out there on the playing field in the summer time.

So, let’s all be more vigilant.  Make that extra effort to drink more water.  Before deciding to be part of that week-end football or soccer game, you may want to spend some time in the gym and tone-up a few “under-used” muscles, first.  When taking that beautiful boat out into the pristine lake, stop and think – did I pack the sunscreen, insect repellent,  life vests and extra batteries?  Your friends will ask you to go hiking and you will say, “Sure, and I’ll wear my good hiking boots and bring a current map of the trails – don’t want to get lost.”

It’s really very simple – be prepared and stay aware!  Have a great summer.

 

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Recovery

2518 South 12th St - Springfield, IL

Whenever we are not at our best we need to recover.  Sometimes it’s because we are ill or we have been a little sad or we have been physically injured.  This process can be from a perceived or actual problem.  It is a time of replenishment and redemption and rescue.  Our body and our mind need to quiet – to be still.

This is a difficult process in our society, especially today.  Our society is geared toward achieving, doing, producing and showing results in our endeavors.  That normally means that we are in motion.  We are using our energy to make things happen – make events occur.  We are in a whirlwind of activity which tends to be in constant motion.

Stepping back from the “tornado of turmoil” can take courage.  We can be addicted to the action and activity just as we can be addicted to any other adrenalin producing activity – it changes the chemistry in our brain.  However, it is necessary to take the backward step if we are to be calm and quiet.  Our mental, and ultimately physical health, demands that we make attempts to quiet the noise of our lives.  Remember that you can take the step because – you are recovering.

Recovery

2518 South 12th St - Springfield, ILWhenever we are not at our best we need to recover.  Sometimes it’s because we are ill or we have been a little sad or we have were physically injured. This process can be from a perceived or actual problem.  It is a time of replenishment and redemption and rescue.  Our body and our mind need to quiet – to be still.

This is a difficult process in our society, especially today.  Our society is geared toward achieving, doing, producing and showing results in our endeavors.  That normally means that we are in motion, we are using our energy to make something happen.  If we are not constantly showing others that we are being a productive member of society then we may become less productive – possibly invisible in society.

However, recovery demands that we relax, we stop, we slowly breath – we heal.  This, of course, produces mental anxiety.  We are surrounded by bodies that are in constant motion and every fiber in our body is telling us to do just the opposite.  Even if we do isolate ourselves from this fray of perpetually moving objects, our inclination is to quickly jump back into the whirlwind of motion.  Again, our internal mental voice tells us – wait you’re not ready, producing more anxiety.

Obviously,  the recovery process contains it’s own brand of stress.  The key is to not “bow” to this idea and elevate this idea to “distress.”  So, if you are in need of some form of recovery – take the time to do just that, recover.  Resist the urge to jump back into the whirlwind too soon and understand that stress will always be part of the process – but you can handle it because you are recovering.

Invisible Disabilities

An unseen physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity is a general definition of invisible disabilities.  We often see a person using the blue and white disability placard in a public parking area and we question the use.  The person appears to be able to walk and move without using major appliances such as a wheelchair or crutches.  How can the person be “disabled?”  We automatically make a judgment based on what we assume is that person’s situation.

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If the person has both legs and both arms, they should be able to walk around and function perfectly fine for themselves.  There should be no need for any additional consideration or help.  They should not be entitled to any special assistance…  Again, we make an assumption based on what we know not on what the reality may be for the other person.  We place our own reality on the other person.  All of us are guilty of doing this at one time or another in our lives – even the most compassionate of us.

I’m talking about the disabilities that we can’t physically see.  The medical and psychological issues that limit or impair the  ability to easily function as the majority of healthy individuals.  This area opens up into a valley of unseen vistas: low vision, respiratory, cardiac, muscular, auditory, sensatory senses of the body that limit the persons ability to ambulate easily through the normal activities of life.  Maybe it’s the person who parks in the disabled parking space who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments and just has enough energy that particular day to drive themselves to the local store and pick up their medication from the pharmacy.  Possibly it’s the daughter who has just been released from the hospital after a kidney transplant and she struggles through her first trip to the grocery store to restock her kitchen cabinets.  Or it could be a husband who has just been admitted to a hospice program for his terminal disease and he wants to make his last trip to the hardware store to buy some tools for that “one last repair job at the house.”  Yet it may be the wife who is the repeated victim of intimate partner violence and suffers chronic, debilitating back injury from her abusive husband.

Who are we to judge the use the “disabled” parking space?

Civility

Civility is described as: a polite act or expression (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus).  In today’s society this idea seems to have taken on a character of it’s own.  Wouldn’t it be nice if courtesy and civility were interchangeable.  It could be our calling card.  We could be kind to people that we meet and be sociable at the same time.  Each person who met us would believe that we valued their opinion and truly wanted to spend time with them.

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When we sit down with a person to have a face-to-face conversation, we could look them in the eye, respond both verbally and physically to their comments, wait until they are done talking, respond appropriately to their statements and engage them in a meaningful conversation.  As a very famous person once said – “You can’t underestimate the power of primal needs.”  Everyone is hungry and wants to be valued, listened to, and understood.  If a person repeatedly gets ignored or beaten down when they nicely state their cause, they will become louder and louder in their delivery method.  This behavior quickly becomes erratic.

People become overwhelmed with emotion and their perspective fades into a cloud of grey annoying chatter.  This verbosity mixes with other babble from other ignored, emotional mortals geared toward hubris and the air is filled with opinions, ideas,  feelings, judgments, conclusions and estimations that stray far afield from truth.

So, let’s all take it down a few notches.  Maybe you didn’t like the past but ponder a minute on what you would like the future to look like.  Maybe the purpose of your next conversation is to determine what the other person really believes instead of trying to win the conversation or convert the listener or belittle them in public.  Albert Einstein may have posed this thought: “I think that the most important question facing humanity is, Is the universe a friendly place?” You decide.