Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Family Medicine Activist: Go Mow the Lawn and Get Refreshed

#HAWMC Day 21

We're having some rough times in America recently, challenging our identity.  Who are we?  What do we stand for?

At times like these, what helps us to get a better focus on life?

For me, I've discovered that mowing the lawn, frees me to get refocused.  Riding our Sears lawn tractor around our two acre yard takes me away.  No phones, TV, internet, people or busy distractions.

The peace and focus arise from the mindless following of the edge of the last cut.  Then the brain calls up files for review.  I can filter out the ones I don't like and notice the colors, the smells, the green, the neighbors walking by with their dogs, the neighbor jogging by, the treeline, the farm beyond the treeline.  Then safety disruptions when I get too close to the large pine trees when I'm trimming under them.  Watch out for that branch!  OK.

Then music starts.  I hear old songs a lot.  Songs from the sixties.  And hymns.  And show tunes.  And patriotic songs, especially those we sang in the West Point Glee Club and the Alumni Glee Club. Then family memories, West Point and Vietnam reflections and family and family and church and God and eternity and Jesus and love and family members who have departed and life and issues.  Then the recent and current crises in the context of  principles learned over the years.  It's like a long, silent prayer.  Watch out for the tree branch!  OK.

Family Practice and Family Medicine experiences pore through most other memories after 175,000 patient interactions over the years.  I've been blessed to work with, learn from and even help thousands of unique people and families since graduation from Ohio State's College of Medicine in 1976.

I feel blessed to be free to mow the lawn, silently pray and hum some tunes and reflect and get refocused.  How do you refresh your focus?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point. We all need that mindless getaway to refresh ourselves. I enjoy doing garden work so we have similar tasks to achieve this.