I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability
of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
~Henry David Thoreau
It’s another Memorial weekend and I’m once again at my getaway home to get away from all the hustle and bustle of life as the coronavirus pandemic ensues but seems to be winding down. Driving only four hours from home, like the months prior to now, I saw so many walking around without masks. But this time all the restaurants and bars are open. I could see in windows and outside café’s that nobody was wearing a mask, as if this never was.
But of course I’m coming from South Florida where things remain different; most operations are cautious and guarded. I continue to do ninety percent of my patient sessions through a video platform in my office. I see the last patient of the day in person but it’s uncomfortable in our masks so I prefer video sessions.
My husband’s restaurant remains closed though some are partially opened, he waits for the go-ahead from the owners of the building who are concerned about liabilities, as most businesses are. Yet, here at my getaway, restaurants are thriving as if nothing was going on, business as usual.
So here I am this holiday weekend watching small boats, kayaks, tiki-hut type boats, along with huge boats, paddle boards, canoes and an occasional dolphin power by while I’m working on my upcoming book, Release Your Obsession with Aging: Heal from the Inside Out. A book on how how to stop chasing youth and embrace the now. As the music across the water is loud and fast beat, the pandemic continues nearly reaching one hundred thousand deaths in America alone, but life goes on as they sing to the song, laughing and clinking glasses.
As I’m typing away a patient from long long ago, will call her Lidia, comes to mind. She loved the ocean for swimming, sailing and diving every chance she could get. She also loved to drink in excess and it showed in her posture and face. She binge ate and binge drank, slept little and partied hearty. She was beyond her years in her appearance. This was the type of weekend she tended to party more. So as the party boats go by, with the occasional dog in tow, my mind wanders thinking about Lidia and her aging process along with her progression as she recovered.
Today Lidia is clean and sober and looks amazing. She sleeps seven hours rather than under four and eats natural food while taking good care of her skin, exercising and living her dream as a motivational coach. But life was not always like this for her, she took the initiative to make a change and it paid off. She lives a productive, conscious, happy life so different than her existence of years ago when she barely remembered the night before in her drunken stupor.
I wonder about the party across the water if some might have a drinking problem often undetected in their youth as everyone partying seems the norm. One fellow stands out louder than the rest, drunker than the rest, making sure they hear and respond to him.
Listening to the laughter and yelling brings back memories when I tended bar through college in Chicago on Rush Street. I was practicing shrinking before really practicing as a clinical psychotherapist, addition psychologist. I could pick out the drug addicts versus the social users and the alcoholics versus the casual drinker, the prostitutes versus those looking for love in all the wrong places.
I could pick out the over eaters, the under eaters, the dieter and the bulimics. I knew the food addict first-hand and the bulimic through exercise was no stranger to me. I identified with them. As I suffered from food addiction and bulimia in secret. I felt shame. The same shame the drug addict, alcoholic, gambler and all the other addictions out there feel.
So life goes on, they dance, sing, drink and listen to loud music singing along—the same body of water where only a few months back a boat pulled up with an elderly couple singing happy birthday to an elderly man well in his nineties with his wife by his side as they practiced social distancing. It felt like an Italy moment when Italians sang on the balcony as the virus spread across their land killing thousands upon thousands. And here…not that many weeks later …a young group party only doors away from the elder couple. Life goes on…
Every Memorial Day Weekend I spend at my getaway writing about the shenanigans and goings on…but this time it feels bitterly sweet. Usually it’s the opening of the summer but somehow it doesn’t feel so celebratory though the partying continues. Perhaps they are drinking to celebrate the partial opening of America…to forget what happened and continues to happen—or could it be they’re young and feel it’s an elderly virus and they are spared. One may never know…as life goes on…
I hope you are safe wherever you are and that you were able to open your summer with hope for brighter days to come. We’ve all changed in some way, walking with caution and what if’s…but…life goes on….
What did you do for Memorial weekend? Did you find yourself celebrating the start of summer or were you hesitant to let your hair down and party down? Fireworks out in the distance, as the music slows down almost to a finish…the water ripples under the docks and life goes on…and the one drinker, louder than the rest continues to drink and talk as the others bid goodnight.
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Hugs to you, I care!
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No More Diet Mentality!
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.