Charlotte A. Stout

If you missed an ealier post, this page has my previous June 2018 Reflection postings.
If you want to read some earlier Reflections, click on the links below for the month you are interested in:

May 2018April 2018March 2018Feb 2018Jan 2018Dec 2017Nov 2017Oct 2017Sept 2017

June 8th: It’s Your Life – Own It!

Every year we have a birthday. It’s just one of those facts of life. With every birthday we decide how old we truly are through our words, actions and activities.

I know I never want to be old. I don’t view aging as growing old. Rather, I choose to see it as an opportunity to experience new things and set the bar a little higher to challenge myself. I enjoy seeing what I can achieve when I apply myself. I am not looking for the fountain of youth. I am attempting to be as active and engaged in life as possible up until the very end.

I see people every day who moan about life in general. Their knees hurt, they get winded, they don’t have the endurance, don’t have the time or, they don’t have anyone to do things with. We can find a myriad of excuses to stay home, watch television and be complacent in life. It takes courage and commitment to be fully engaged in life.

If you find it hard to do things alone there are lots of social activity groups one can find online, in the newspaper, through church or community centers, with interests ranging from book clubs to mountain climbing.

If you have physical issues that limit your activity level, find out what you can do to address those issues. Do you need to lose weight, eat better, adjust vitamin or mineral levels, get physical therapy, or just get moving? Sometimes, the only thing we need to do to improve our energy and feel better about everything is to move. Start with a walk around the block and move forward from there.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. I remember when I was on a feeding tube and wondered if I would ever again be able to enjoy normal activities. I was told by one doctor that I would NEVER get off the feeding tube and I needed to accept and live with this fact. I refused to accept that prognosis, changed doctors and pushed myself. It took a long time but I recovered.

This is your life. Don’t accept limitations. Push yourself so you can enjoy every single minute you are here. Start slow but start so you can scale a mountain, glide over a cliff, ride a camel, or bike over the Alps, if you seek adventure. Join a gym. Hike the forests. Educate yourself through lectures, museums and reading. Laugh and dance often.

This is your life – own it and love it!

June 1st: Slow Down and Breathe

I witnessed two incidents in the past week that left me feeling sad, concerned and frustrated.

Firstly, I was in the seven story parking garage attached to a medical office building and hospital looking for a parking space. The car in front of me was incredibly slow. The garage has two-way traffic with very narrow lanes going in each direction – up and down. It is a difficult garage to navigate in with sharp curves as one enters each level. There was a line of cars behind me as we all waited for the person at the front of the line to select the perfect spot – if there is such a thing.

I was absolutely dumbfounded when the BMW SUV, not a compact car, behind me pulled out into the oncoming traffic lane and whizzed past me and the slow car in front of me. I mean really! The driver of the BMW was very lucky a car was not heading down the ramp or there would have been a head on collision. My heart was in my throat.

Secondly, the route home from the gym takes me by a school with crossing guards. When the school has a late start I am often caught in a long line of cars waiting for the crossing guards to safely guide the children across the streets. Today a crossing guard was walking into the crosswalk holding up her orange stop sign to let the children cross. A large suburban with a woman behind the wheel crossed into the crosswalk and kept driving. The crossing guard was dumbfounded. She attempted to get the driver to recognize what she had done but the driver had a one-track mind – get across the street and be on her way.

Either one of these incidents could have caused unnecessary bodily injury to others. I remember when I was always in a rush. However, I do not believe I have ever taken a risk like the two incidents I describe here.

I wish people would just take a moment to slow down and breathe. Nothing is so important that we should endanger others through our actions. Slow down and breathe. It will do wonders for your mental and physical health.