Friday, February 15, 2013

Tune Up - PART 1

Traveling by plane doesn’t seem complicated these days. However, when the flight attendant begins giving instructions about crisis procedures, you realize things are very different from earthbound travel—the drop-down mask in particular. No other form of public transportation requires oxygen in case of an emergency. Clearly, you are to take care of yourself first, before attempting to care for any children. It makes sense. How can you help anyone else if you aren’t getting oxygen to your brain? You can’t think straight or formulate sensible decisions when you’re on the verge of passing out. It’s the same with parenting alone. How often I have seen single parents attempt to care for their children when they themselves are obviously in need of some quiet time, a little community, or counseling.
It was 1995, I was thirty-two, suddenly single again, and losing weight. I wasn’t trying to find a woman. I was just forgetting to eat. There was a lot of stress in my life and some things were neglected in order to cope. I was only able to keep a few essential things in focus—my kids’ welfare, my job, and the search for basic shelter. My hygiene was cut back to a shower and brushing my teeth. I often forgot to shave or put on deodorant. I didn’t always feel the need to get dressed on the weekends either. It took all I had to juggle the basics. I ate to stay alive. A bean burrito and a cup of water at the drive-thru fueled my body. My car interior became my second apartment. Life was dismal.
Before long, it was evident I was becoming weird. I needed to stabilize my mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical lives. Here’s my philosophy about us men: if we don’t maintain some type of community with others, we digress. To better understand, let’s hear from you about some of those areas. How have you found yourself needing some mental tune-ups?