Road rage isn’t something I’ve struggled with. Sure there are times when I’m running behind and I get frustrated in traffic, but never angry. Usually, if I’m running behind it’s my own fault. But that’s not the issue at hand, we’ll talk timeliness another time. For my new full-time job, I commute to downtown Louisville.
On a good day, it takes me about 30 minutes. With the beginning of the school year, it seems everyone has returned from vacation and is back in their routine, driving to work downtown at the same time I do. The clogged highway has slowed me down in the morning. The other day I noticed as I crept along that I wasn’t angry but a little anxious. Not a normal emotion for me. So I turned on my “sing along” playlist.
This is the playlist of all the songs I love to sing along with. And when I’m alone, I like to sing very loud. In doing so, I no longer felt anxious and I gave my lungs a little workout. Walking into the office, I had a song in my heart and wasn’t all stressed from the ride in.
I may have found a cure for all those angry, crazed drivers. Sing! Here’s what’s great, no one can hear you, sing loud. Go ahead and flashback to those stand-on-your-bed with the hairbrush microphone moments. The escape will de-stress and change your spirit for the day.
It’s intriguing to me the plethora of commercials offering middle-aged people programs and pills that make them feel like they are 25 again (who wants to be 25 again? I was young and dumb). Or they promise to stop the signs of aging. I can’t even tell if these products are vitamins, medications or therapy. I agree that as we age things about our bodies change. Sometimes those changes mean we can’t pull an all-nighter, or after a day of yard work, we are sore in places we didn’t know we had. We pace ourselves differently. Each of us ages differently. Why are we fighting so hard to not age?
The fact of the matter is we are all aging. We are changing. It’s going to happen. The challenge isn’t to turn the clock back, it is to move forward taking care of our selves and aging as gracefully as we can. To live lives that are purposeful until our last breath. It’s too easy to let ourselves slow down. We can sit down too early and then we get stuck in routines that can be unhealthy and waste a lot of time. Parents of young children spend their days working and caring for children. That’s the season they are in. Children grow up and need less of our care. With this season, we get some of our time back. What do we do with it? Do we get sucked into reality shows and TV watching every night? That is no way to let life go. Stay engaged.
So much of what I’ve noticed about the elders in my life is that while their bodies are aging their spirit is still very alive. They get up every day and do something — go to the store, go work in the yard, they read, volunteer, spend time with friends etc. They are active. They are engaged in living. It didn’t take a pill, potion, or therapy to accomplish this active elder life. I’m not sure what to call it, other than a decision. Even when their bodies do fail their desire to keep moving, they continue to live and be as active as their bodies will allow. They know their days on this earth are waning. Instead of sitting down and waiting for their last breath, every day they get up and make the decision to DO life.
Today is the day. It’s eclipse day. The day for which millions have waited and planned. We’ve had experts predicting and sharing with us how to get the most out of the eclipse. Here are a few of my thoughts.
Have your approved eclipse glasses. (@NASA) Check out Nasa’s safety tips for viewing.
Be realistic — We live in a time of amazing scientific advances in meteorology. Today we have weather warnings that save lives and the ability to predict to the minute when events like an eclipse will occur. With all these great resources, we can’t control the weather. WHAS meteorologist, Jared Heil, @whas11jared, posted a video a couple of weeks ago with the chances of clouds on eclipse day. If it happens just remember there is no controlling clouds, how they move or where they stay.
Be in the moment — don’t waste the few minutes you have observing to try and capture the photo or video. Take in this 100-year wonder. Consider the creator.
“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26 Think about how awesome this event is. Ponder the fact that when He set the moon, sun and stars in motion, He knew how they would orbit and when there paths would cross.
What if could hear other people’s thoughts? Do you ever wonder when you’re standing in line behind a stranger, what are they thinking? Or if you notice someone noticing you, do you wonder what opinion they are forming?
In the 2000 romantic comedy, What Women Want, ladies man, Nick, through an electrical shock is given the ability to hear women’s thoughts; to peek behind the curtain into the psyche of the female mind. After being just a little freaked out about it, it’s explained to him to be a gift. But, would it really be a gift to hear other’s thoughts?
There are many women reading this right now thinking, yes! I would love to hear my husband’s thoughts and really know what goes on inside his brain. I get that. But we don’t. How many times have you thought something and then the discernment filter comes out added to a little wisdom and you don’t express the thought? How many arguments were avoided or hurt feelings preserved? On the other hand, do we miss opportunities to encourage and support?
The ability to hear others’ thoughts would be cheating ourselves of the journey to getting to know each other. Relationships are grown over time. We slowly reveal our selves to others as trust is built and our connection grows. It a melding of souls. For those we interact with who will remain strangers or acquaintances, let me encourage you to take notice and take the opportunity to share an encouraging word or thought. You never know, it may change the direction of their thoughts.
There have been two occasions recently that I found myself in the hospital, visiting not being cared for. As when anyone goes to the sit with a friend or family member it was impossible to plan for how much time is needed. What I learned about the way time works within the walls of a hospital is that the clock measurements are secondary to the events that take place.
Time is measured from having a test run to when the results come back from it. The next measurement is what will happen from those results. A CAT scan is ordered. Wait. Go have CAT scan run. Wait. Receive the results. All clear, good, breathe, next steps. Wait. The doctor will be in with the official diagnosis. Wait. Meds are offered every four or six hours. Shift change. New nurses, another round of vitals. Dinner comes at 5:00 p.m. Food services do seem to use a regular clock. Perhaps food service workers are the links to living on real-world time.
As a visitor, it’s an odd feeling to walk out of the hospital time warp and back into normal timekeeping to realize 10 hours have passed. If I had started knowing I would be there for a long period, would I have planned differently? Taken snacks? To be honest, sitting in the hospital with a family member, time really doesn’t matter, only they do and making sure they are being cared for. The time warp of hospitals is necessary to keep the health of the patient the priority. Here’s hoping for less time spent in the hospital and especially in a hospital bed.
So it’s July. Half way through the year. How are things going? Do you still feel as optimistic as you did on January 1st? Take a few minutes today to do something to recapture that optimistic-goal-setting-dreaming state of mind. What if you recapture that feeling, revisit your goals and spend the next 150 or so days working toward accomplishing just one of those.
Someone older and wiser than I once told me that in order to really get to know someone you should date them in all four seasons before getting married. While one year of dating doesn’t sample all possible joys and challenges life will offer, it does give you an glimpse.
My husband and I dated 50 weeks before we were married. Not quite a year. But we had been friends before that and had even traveled in groups together. Looking back, I remember things about him that attracted me to him even before I realized how much I cared for him.
He is a strong faith-driven man. He loves me and would lay down his life for us. It’s scary how much we think alike when it comes to family life, problem solving and some of the curve balls life throws.
When we married, he immediately became a step parent. For nine years he has handled this role with wisdom and love. Never rushing the relationship, he has become a mentor and dad to my son. He has sacrificed date nights, trips and things he wanted to do when parent-duty called. All because he agreed with me in the beginning that raising a confident child who would always know parents who love and support him is a priority.
Today is our ninth anniversary. I love our life together. Doing life on the busy days and the super-slow-stay in beds days, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We haven’t quite gotten to the point of finishing each other’s sentences, but it will come. Becoming soulmates has taken time, love and trust.
The next decade will bring a new level to our relationship. At some point we will be empty nesting and planning for another season. I have no doubt that we will do so holding hands, praying for each other and laughing about our secret jokes.
This week’s post honors my husband, Jay. Happy anniversary, honey. I love you.