Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Five Steps To Refocusing Your Life

Determined or drifting?  Those are our two choices.  Life will throw curves.  We either re-calibrate or we drift.  Drifting is; at face value, easier.  Going along, reacting, coping.  If you are on track, then you can coast a while; that’s not drifting because you are heading toward your desired goal.  Drifting implies aimlessness.  Determination implies a stated target you are aiming at.

The Dillo household is re-calibrating.  We’re in process---don’t know if it’s a day, a season or a year.  We face aging and sick parents.  Work issues (tension and stress) are beyond normal this year; so that they bleed into our normal outside-of-work living (having to work to 10 pm; classroom with large population and beyond-bell curve behavior issues).  We left our church family of ten-years after communicating our concerns.  So we ask ourselves questions.  We wrestle with answers---take small steps.

Here are five small steps that may help you when refocusing your life:

1) Question. Ask yourself questions.  Have friends ask you questions.  What are you looking for?  What works?  What ignites the fire in your heart?  When deciding to leave our church we kept asking questions: What’s personal preference?  What’s scriptural?  What do we feel we’re missing?

     2) Get feedback from your community.  Vacuums suck.  Don’t make your decisions by yourself.  Get other people’s perspective.  Ask friends for input.  Ask enemies for input.  Get input.

     3)Set goals.  Brainstorm if you have to; set a bunch of goals. Soon you’ll recognize the ones that don’t apply. 

     4) Make the goals measurable.  There are a bunch of great techie tools to measure progress; word counters for books, heartbeat monitors for workouts.  I’ve found Strava to be a great training tool for solo workouts.

     5) Recognize the process.  Wrestle.  The answer probably won’t come overnight. I’m still trying to prioritize actions I take and activities I chuck.  Give yourself grace.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Freud, My Dad and Scrambled Eggs

I lay back on the analyst’s couch.  The discussion resumes.  In a thick, German accent he revisits the question, “Why breakfast?”  I don’t think it's only me.  There’s something deep and archetypal about it.  Perhaps it's the eggs.  

Symbolic; I suppose.  Reaching back to childhood I equate quick breakfasts ---Frosted Flakes, Cap'n Crunch, cold cereals and hot cereals--with school days.  Summer days and weekends tantalized with morning cartoons and full breakfasts; eggs, bacon, fresh melon; peaches and bread-with spreads of butter, peanut butter, marmalade and jellies.  Years later I would add coffee to the list---the smell, the heat, the senses coming awake.

The doctor taps his pipe against the table and mutters, “Der pater.”  Father; yes.  In the early days before the screaming fights and the long absences dad would come into the kitchen to cook.  I remember scrambled eggs with other ingredients; sausages and salami; flavorful but different than mom ever made.  Bathrobe on; which was dressed-up for dad on a Saturday, he scrambled eggs. Mom percolated coffee and set out the table.  My sister and I sat at the table waiting to be served.

The analyst inhales; adjusts his pipe.  A clock ticks in the background.  “So---you were served,” he says--both statement and question.  So we were.  That may well be the crux of breakfast’s hold on me.  The good breakfasts I’ve had have all been served.  I’ve enjoyed them in repose; most often in community with others.  I’m being served.  I’m ordering what I want.  Extra bacon or absurd amounts of butter and syrup-even pure maple!.  All mine.  Id, ego and Sabbath rolled together like a crepe.  The alarm sounds.  Reflection ends. I go on my way--- thinking about breakfast and planning my next Sabbath rest.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Zombies and the Prescription Panic of 2016

70 percent of Americans rely on prescription drugs.  That’s a lot of zombies.  Horror movies are just real-life situations turned upside down; right?  Okay maybe it’s not every day that you are trapped in a room with no-way out except for a saw.  But the bad-girl is always the first eaten by wolves.  So what if they closed down your neighborhood pharmacies?  What if you couldn’t get your prescription anywhere; not even Los Algodones?

You run out of Thyroid meds.  Without thyroid supplements you become cranky; irritable, slow and lethargic.  Over time you could drop dead or slip into a coma.  Not a problem though because it’s a quick, cheap, easy refill at your neighborhood Rite-Aid.  Until you get there and it’s closed.  And so is every other pharmacy in the city.  Now you’re angry, anxious, cranky and irritable.  And so are 75 million other Americans that rely on Thyroid supplements.

In 2010, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the United States with 69,071 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death. In 2010 getting your insulin was a piece of cake.  In the prescription panic of 2016 you have to rely on your wits; your money and your connections. Imagine the shut-downs beginning.  Think of black markets; crime synonymous with legal drugs.  Now you can’t rely on your insulin to save you.  That’s a lot of metabolic shut-downs.  That’s a lot of fear raging rampant.

There is one bite of good news that comes out of all of this.  It could save you from being dead—or being brunch for the undead.  If the plot of a money-making zombie film is correct: zombies like healthy flesh.  The slothful thyroid or the partially-paralyzed pancreas may kill you---but the zombies won’t.

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