I can usually count on my Friday’s to be one giant exhale, but it’s the weekend and I’m still running. My dad entered the hospital via emergency last Saturday, and although he is doing very well, we are learning that recovering from pneumonia can be complicated and just takes time. So we aren’t yet sure when he will be released and the whole family is contributing time at the hospital in hopes of not just of being closer to him, but also occasionally giving my mom a chance to leave the room without concern that the very moment she goes to get something to eat or exercise her legs she’ll miss seeing one of the doctors. In other words, there is a lot of waiting around.
And you’d think that waiting around would be the perfect situation for getting caught up on some blog reading wouldn’t you? Well, guess what? Our hospital has blog filters! Yep! Provided a log-in and password and armed with my trusty iPad I was all set to at least do a little reading. We’re talking hours of sitting, so good reading time! But then this strange little box pops up to tell me that blogs are prohibited except for one hour a day. Now what sense does that make? The legalese addressed hospital concerns for patient privacy stating I could have ten minutes at a time on WordPress and not to exceed one hour a day. If I had any plans to breach patient privacy I would need to be quick about it! Good grief. So my blogging this week has been really spotty.
Today was a one-day respite from the hospital, spent with my granddaughters. I was able to sit on their patio, enjoying a little warmth and sunshine as well as reading a few blog posts. The last one I read before we closed up shop to get to Sophia’s Tae Kwon Do practice was a post by The Accidental Cootchie Mama, Andra Watkins. Her title caught my attention, Why Are the English So Bloody Nice?
Andra refers to a trip to England and her observation that the British people were friendly, with genuine “hellos” and “goodbyes” unparalleled in her American experience. I offered that I thought Southern Californians were quite friendly. I have good experiences on the street when I make eye contact and say hello. I don’t encounter unfriendliness anywhere, really. But my concern with Southern Californians is an increasing level of rudeness.
That may seem counterintuitive to my claim that friendliness prevails. But my point was punctuated today with dozens of parents collected in one large room presumably to observe their darlings practice Tae Kwon Do. The parents are a friendly and jovial lot! But remember. I have already made the claim that most people are VERY friendly.
I couldn’t help notice the dad in the front row on the phone. Not whispering. He had to speak up to be heard in an active room, but in his defense the door was a good 15 feet away. I also really enjoyed the smiling dad sitting behind me thoroughly enjoying whatever he was drinking in that paper cup! He enjoyed it so much he just couldn’t contain himself, and seemed sure we didn’t mind the sound of air being sucked through the straw. I don’t think he noticed the loud objectionable noise. I did.
Then there were the very happy, oh-so-pleasant parents with the younger children scooting all over the floor. Not wordlessly playing mind you, but slithering all over the place speaking to Mom (and the rest of us). Mom flashed me a friendly smile while also sharing the universal sign of parental resignation–the shrugged shoulders and wordless wink that tells me she isn’t planning to interfere with her child’s creative expression. What good would it do?
Other very friendly parents stood in the doorway and chatted at above normal voice levels…but who could blame them. They had to talk louder. After all, the instructor and our martial arts-learning children were performing and that can be loud. If you want a personal conversation you must raise your voice!
So after responding to Andra’s post and mentioning my belief that rudeness is on the rise, I couldn’t help but notice the distractions. I could tune most of it out, however, and simply enjoy the children. They didn’t seem to care. I think they’re used to it!
Whatever is going on in your life, and I know that many of you have difficulties and heavy concerns of your own, I hope you will find at least a little personal refreshment. Mother’s Day is hard for many of my friends, and it may be for you, too.
Still, I hope you have a good weekend, possibly shifting your priorities a bit to take care of yourselves. Find some ways to refresh before Monday. I’ll be checking in from time to time–between the hospital no-blog rule periods–and hope to hear you’re doing well!
- started tae-kwon-do (ianlong.wordpress.com)