Reflection: Last Friday dawned dry, calm, and sunny with a forecast of temps in the high twenties. Seemed like a perfect day to trim the hedge along the driveway.
Instead of starting early in the morning, when it was cooler and the sun not quite so high in the sky, I headed out around 11 am. By 12:30, with the job half finished, I took a break for lunch. Once fed and watered, I immediately headed back out, hat on my head for a little portable shade.
By the time I finished the job around 2:30 in the afternoon, I was overheated, flushed, lightheaded, and reduced to a labored shuffle as I stooped to clean up the last of the clippings on the ground.
Slowly making my way into the cool of the house, I collapsed into a recliner calling out for ice water and a cold cloth. Sunstroke? Maybe. Heatstroke? Likely. Stupidity? Certainly!
I could hear my Dad’s voice in the back of my mind declaring, ‘Damn fool!’ That’s what he used to say about our farmhand who insisted on weeding the garden in the heat of a summer day. I, apparently, had morphed into Bill McGowan!
As I headed into the last of the work on the hedge that day, I knew I wasn’t feeling well. But did I pause, take a break, or stop for the day? Nope. And why not? Because I was intent on crossing the finish line. Damn fool!
Action: I took a risk with my health that was entirely unnecessary. Had I left part of the hedge to be finished in the cool of the evening or the next day, it would have harmed no one and certainly helped me. However, with my mind fixed firmly on getting the job done, that option never occurred to me.
For years, I’ve advocated the importance of pausing for renewal as the work unfolds. And yet, here I was, ignoring my own advice.
I don’t think I’m alone in barreling on when other choices might be wiser. How about you?
In the larger arena, as we collectively ease our way out of the first cycle of the Covid 19 shut down, I see people taking unnecessary health risks ignoring wiser courses of action.
Be careful out there, my peeps. Small choices have big consequences.
Quotes Of The Week: Most of the quotes I found on risk taking advocate a ‘go for it – liviing on the edge – caution be damned’ approach. Interesting, isn’t it? Here are a few alternate thoughts to balance that out:
- Life’s greatest dangers are often found in apparently small risks. – James Lendall Basford
- Safety is not a gadget but a state of mind. – Eleanor Everet
- Better a thousand times careful than once dead. – Proverb
Resources Of The Week: Here are links to several articles on assessing activity risks during the re-opening of the economy on the heels of the first wave of the pandemic.
From the Center for Disease Control – ‘Deciding To Go Out’.
From PBS Health – Weighing Coronavirus Risks.
From CTV News – Minimize The Risk: Rules To Get You Through The Pandemic
From Business Insider – Relative Coronavirus Risks Of Everyday Activities.
Readers Write: In response to the recent Pause message, It’s Less Than Ideal But It’s Something, Pause reader PS writes: Once again, you bring light and optimism during this “less than ideal” time. You continue to turn negatives into positives and see light at the end of the tunnel. I still look forward to receiving and reading your emails – they brighten my day!
Pause reader JM writes: And let’s not forget what comes after ‘H’. It’s ‘I’ as in: I will STOP seeing all that this period of quarantine has taken away from life as we know it, and START to appreciate all that I have to be grateful for.
News: I stepped out into fresh territory for me this month, and delivered a couple of zoom presentations for a college wellness program. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the virtual delivery experience. And, more to the point, the client was happy with the results. If you’re looking for virtual presentations for your organization, keep my services in mind. It’s a brave new world!
Art: During the month of June, I took part in a challenge to undertake 30 paintings in 30 days using a Direct Watercolor approach – no pen, no ink, at most light pencil, but mainly going right in with paint on the brush. It was challenging, with more than a few failures along the way.
However, there were a few gems, too – including this one. No visit to Waskesiu Lake is complete without a stop to say hello to the Waskesiu River. This old friend – the broken tree – has been there for some time now, and the river just keeps on running.