I’ve had a variety of experiences in the last few days. First, I hiked with friends in the mountains. I had not done that since I was a kid, and according to my friend, who knows the Rocky Mountains from the bottom of her boots, we went on an easy trail. We enjoyed lunch before beginning, she loaned me a walking stick with a spike on the end, and off we went. The weather was perfect, the scenery spectacular, and the company stimulating. I thanked them profusely for the new experience even though my right heel burned from a blister.
Next, my oldest sister had an unfortunate fall and required airlifting to an intensive care unit in serious condition. Her care was impressive, but she felt frustrated and anxious because she had a ventilator and couldn’t speak. Like a baby, she couldn’t tell us what she needed or where she hurt. Despite being heart-wrenching, watching skilled nurses expertly and compassionately manage a multitude of tubes and electronics, as well as my sister fighting to breathe, was as awe-inspiring as the beautiful scenery on my hike.
Lastly, I attended two events at Northeastern Junior College (NJC): an open house celebration for the Applied Technology Campus Expansion project and the Donor Appreciation Brunch. Both, organized by Vivian Hadley, executive director of the NJC Foundation, were impressive. Students, both young and older, working toward ensuring a brighter economic future energize me. Visiting with and learning where students came from and how they chose their career fields brings me joy. The administration and staff deserve kudos for the innovative growth of NJC—a shining star for Sterling.
We don’t have to veer far from our daily activities to see magic in motion, but we need to initiate participation and involvement. Mental health can benefit while cheering from the sidelines or our comfy recliners, but if we care about our mental health, we need to get up, dress up, and show up. Involvement is the key to unlocking the cabinet containing creativity and accomplishment. How can we grow and feel good about
ourselves if we don’t get out and contribute? Many people work long hours to organize and host various events for celebration, knowledge, entertainment, or fundraising. The least we can do is offer support by our presence.
The four events I shared with you today, even though seeing my sister so ill was not fun at any level, reminded me of human goodness. I didn’t have to attend any of the events but had I not gone, think what I would have missed. I gained knowledge, made memories, visited with family and friends, and met students—priceless.
They’re four simple examples of living while I live.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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