Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trapped in the System

Not sure what to make of today. Be patient and let me explain. I've been going to physical therapy for some time now due to some sort of left hip strain I gave myself back in March, thinking I can just go and start jogging as if I was still a kid. After several weeks of limping around and general discomfort I started physical therapy on the recommendation of my doctor.

All good. The problem was that I wasn't getting better and sometimes the therapy aggravated the situation. So that place suggested it might be good to see an orthopod to see if there might be issues other than muscles at work here. Had an appointment for today. Was advised to get there a half hour early to fill out the usual forms. I downloaded the forms form the office's website and filled them out at home. Still, I got to the office about 25 minutes early.

Handed in the forms, paid my copay and sat down in the waiting room (which was certainly not full of people) and waited. And waited. And waited. After about an hour the receptionist who took my copay called me and led to me to an examination room, saying the PA would be along soon. I waited. I waited some more. And a little more. By then I had been at this place about an hour and a half with no word from anyone about how much longer I would be there. That wasn't so bad, but I had already read those anatomical charts they always post on the walls. I even checked out the box of examination gloves to see if they were latex or not (they were latex, size large). A couple of magazines on a chair did not interest me. After a half hour in the exam room with no word forthcoming, I decided that maybe, just maybe, my time might actually be worth something, too.

I let myself out of the examination room, immediately walked past a guy with a stethoscope reading an x-ray (he glanced at me, said nothing and went back to the x-ray) and found my way down a hallway to the same receptionist who took my form, copay, and after an hour had brought me to the exam room. I asked her to credit me back on my copayment. She looked perplexed. I told her I had been there for about an hour and a half and never saw anyone (admittedly, I was ONLY one hour past my appointment time - but I have been cancelled from at least a couple of dentist appointments for being 10 minutes late!) She sounded surprised that I had not been seen. I simply asked to be credited back on my copay, which she promptly did. And then she asked me if I wanted to reschedule.

Now I got confused. They should be rescheduling with me, I thought to myself, not the other way round.
I politely said no thank you, I will just go to another business, and went home.

Now, it is entirely possible that I was impertinent. Maybe I should have held out for 2 hours. But being Thursday I knew that I still had to get some things done like vacuum the house et al. Besides, by then I was feeling rather unimportant in the eyes of that place and was losing my grip on the humility factor. End of the world? By no means. Just meant that I would have an appointment with another office (oh, man, more forms to fill out). Ok, so I'll hobble along like I just came from a shootout at the OK corral for a few more days.

What's with all of this? I think most, if not all, of us get trapped in the system. Just in different ways. Perhaps our jobs, duties, obligations, relationships or expectations put us in places where we run the risk of winding up unimportant or forgotten. Good people who take it off the chin. Or, capitulate in fear of.

In the first century, a man exhorted people to trust and to go beyond being trapped in the system. Maybe it'll cost you. It cost him. All today cost me was some time. Big deal. What about all those other places where we are "trapped in the system" and the cost of authenticity can be very high. And to trust beyond what appears to be can be very hard indeed. Your comments welcome.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Taking the Splash

So today's visit to the dentist was uneventful. The best thing about going to the dentist is the free (my favorite "f" word) stuff you get. As a kid I would look forward to intriguing and exotic things like secret decoder rings. Now, it's a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and those little floss containers that come in handy for traveling. At least there were no cavities.

Seems like today was a "hurry up and wait" kind of day. Don't live in Massachusetts anymore, but passed the Basketball Hall of Fame four times (should-a stopped for lunch). All in all, everything I did today was basic mundane stuff. But then again, most of what I do every day is basic mundane stuff. And it mostly wouldn't matter all that much if I put some of it off until tomorrow.

There's a lesson in all of this - perhaps someone reading this can develop it better than me. Most of the time, most of our days are spent doing regular things. Some things are constantly repeated (give up brushing your teeth for a week and you will rapidly understand.) I'm taking the saying "going around in circles" to a new level. (Sure hope somebody out there in blogland will jump in and comment otherwise I have to fly solo here.)

What for me seems to change a lot is my mood/attitude toward what is happening at the time. I often don't like that at all as I can dredge up some of the old negative, lazy, lethargic attitudes I have become proficient at. Every now and then I am able to infuse a good/positive attitude about things to which I surprise myself and think "how come I don't see it this way more often?", and I don't really know why I don't use it more often. Maybe I feel it takes too much effort, or I believe it's not realistic - just a passing phase, or my humanity is simply not up to the task.

Two thousand years ago a man underwent his Paschal Mystery and revealed the fullness of the divine life in the depths of the human heart. How does one realize this in one's own human experience of life, and how come (at least it seems to me) most folks don't even seem to notice? Does the mundane stuff and our ever-changing attitudes cloud things and preoccupy us?

But, ever get that gnawing feeling that something bigger than the ordinary is going on precisely in the ordinary? Somebody says the right thing at the right time, or unexpected favors or compliments or friendliness catches us off guard. Those are the places I need to look for more often. Don't think I have to  look too high or low or around the ordinary. But I do have to look. Your comments are very welcome.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A New Experience

Today I created this blog. I thought it can be important as a way for me to spell out and order my ideas, and to gather input from those much more insightful than me.