by Patrick McNerthney
I just saw my primary care doctor for a wellness visit. Such appointments only occur because my wife tells me I’m due for one (she keeps an incredibly detailed family calendar somewhere in her brain that keeps track of all this stuff). It works this way:
My wife makes the appointment, reminds me about it roughly 20 times throughout the following month, puts it on our shared Google calendar thingy with a bunch of alerts, starts texting me every day as it draws closer, I forget about it, then she tells me about it again a few hours prior, and magically I remember to go.
(I swear I wrote it down here someplace.)
During this appointment, I asked the doc about how to lose some weight. She told me, “Managing weight at your age is more about watching what you eat than exercising.” Which makes sense – it doesn’t matter if I run three miles if I’m going to wash it down later with a pizza.
But I hate the drudgery of disciplined eating, mostly because it takes an amazing amount of focus on my part. It’s really a struggle. Yet when I do it, it works, and my friends and family say things like, “Oh, you’re lucky that you can lose weight so easily, etc. etc.” Which is very nice, but accidentally glosses over the effort involved.
This happens to all of us. We intimately know our business or project or life story, and how hard we work to do our best. But the outside world will never see all of what we do, can never understand everything that happens behind the scenes.
(Maybe if they use this it will help!)
Sometimes this leads to a feeling of disconnection between what we feel is blatantly evident, and what others have decided about us, based on their limited view into our lives. And this is a dangerous thing, because it can lead to the feeling that we are never truly seen, or heard, or understood; so we can become discouraged and stop trying to do what we think is important.
The solution to this misalignment is consistently showing up, ensuring that our actions are integrated with what we think is so vital to share with the world. Show up, again and again, and do the work. Because anything in life can derail us from our mission – including deciding our goals are not important enough to pursue, based on the dismissal of people who can’t possibly see the whole picture like we do.
We just can’t give in to this.
And making it easier to stay the course is faith; the universal belief that there are many, many people on our side–the widespread public members of the team – that we simply haven’t met yet.
One of the biggest challenges for the elderly, children with challenges, and people with diverse abilities is believing their goals add value to the world – especially in the face of social isolation. Fine Art Miracles champions creative expression as a beautiful way to change this mindset by providing underserved populations a chance to show up and do the work of simply making.
Whether learning something new, or reconnecting with a previous talent, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, and Dance & Movement Therapy provide a path to achievement, self-worth, mastery, relevance and connection – all through the act of demonstration. These programs also can reveal just how many people your residents and loved ones have on their team; which is both encouraging and validating.
Oh man–how long have I been writing? Can you remind me when I’m supposed to get my haircut again? It’s getting super long, and I know I made an appointment, but I just can’t seem to locate it on my Google calendar thingy.