Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Archive for 'Get A Life'

Get a Life by Loretta LaRoche

We live in a world where everyone expects things to come quickly and easily. God forbid we should have to wait a few extra minutes for a cup of coffee or have to put up with traffic. Fast-food restaurants have become a metaphor for life: Get it fast and easy!

It may well be that as we’ve gone down this road, we’ve lost something along the way. Consider the following startling facts:

Rates of depression have risen in recent decades, at the same time that people are enjoying time-saving conveniences such as microwave ovens, e-mail, prepared meals and machines for washing clothes and mowing lawns.

People of earlier generations, whose lives were characterized by greater efforts just to survive, were mentally healthier. Our ancestors also evolved in conditions where physical work was necessary to thrive.

By denying our brains the rewards that come from anticipating and executing complex tasks with our hands, we undercut our mental well-being, according to Scientific American Mind.

Evidently, we feel a deep sense of satisfaction when physical and mental effort produces something tangible. Younger generations have tried very hard to create atmospheres and situations that are comfortable and rewarding. Much of that mind-set has produced individuals who “want what they want, when they want it.” Losing weight should be instant, therefore we want our food in boxes or cans that are so-called easy weight loss plans.

Finding a mate has boiled down to five-minute lunch dates. You sit with someone for a few minutes and are supposed to gauge whether they might fit your criteria.

Children are supposed to be rewarded for just showing up at a sports activity, even if they don’t have any skills. Sadly it is creating a society without a lot of resiliency, which comes from hard work and having to put up with situations you’re not in the mood for.

Studies in longevity consistently point out that those who reach 100 have been through hard times, and were able to adapt to those situations. Maybe the real success in staying well mentally and physically is in discovering that the mind and body like effort. Perhaps that’s what makes us thrive and survive!

Loretta LaRoche writes the Get a Life column for The Patriot Ledger.

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Get a Life by Loretta LaRoche

The other night I clicked onto the” movies on demand” station and as I scrolled through possible selections, a young woman’s voice relentlessly announced and reviewed other possible selections. As I became more and more perturbed by her faux cheeriness, I realized that I could hit the mute button and her barrage of words would be eliminated. The relief I felt from the silence was immediate. I also realized that we somehow have transitioned into a society that is always bombarded with someone talking about something.

There was a time when television stations shut down and all you saw and heard was static. I often yearn for static. At least it doesn’t share any kind of information. Most often you don’t have any choice in whether you want to hear the incessant “blah, blah, blah”. It seems to permeate every public area. 

Try going to a restaurant and simply enjoying a meal with some quiet background music. Not a chance! More often than not, there are two or three flat screen TV’s  each airing different programs. After all we don’t want the customers to go into withdrawal.

Many people have the TV on all day so they don’t miss anything that might be happening here or somewhere on the planet. The insanity lies in the repetition. Take the recent alert for hurricane Earl. Every station reported it and went over it until most of us could have gotten a degree in meteorology.

Yes, I could have turned it off, but my passion is the observation of absurdity, and nothing was more absurd then watching one of the reporters describing waves as she was buffeted about the beach in an almost horizontal position.

Many talk shows not only have guests but also include a panel of” so called experts” that engage in verbal boxing matches”. Outshouting and interrupting in order to get their point across is par for the course. I guess listening while someone else talks and then responding has gone out of style in exchange for being rude.  

But then, what’s new? We have all seen the erosion of civility over the years as we marched into the era of “self absorption”. I am always optimistic that we may wake up some day and actually start listening to one another, but until then I have a new best friend, “the mute button”.

Loretta LaRoche writes the Get a Life column for the Patriot Ledger.

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Get a Life by Loretta LaRoche

As a young teen I would beg my mother to let me wear blue jeans. Her response was always a very forceful “NO”! Her rationale was the fact that she felt they were unladylike.

I finally got my first pair after I was married. Mine were baggy and had the look of someone who was about to plow the north forty. My kids practically lived in overalls called Oshkosh B’Gosh, which were all the rage, and my husband had a grown up version.

I loved how comfortable my jeans were and they really suited my lifestyles. A tee shirt and a pair of sneakers was all you needed to get through the day.

Well, blue jeans have certainly evolved and transitioned into an entire industry that seems to have created a national uniform for most Americans. I travel a lot and I have witnessed hordes of people wearing them. There are still individuals attired in the slouchy jeans of my generation, but some of the newer versions look more like applied body paint.

Recently I was in the airport sitting at a coffee shop when I happened to notice a few women standing on line waiting to get served. They all had jeans on, but they were so tight, that they looked as if they were going to shred into a million pieces if they made one wrong move. As I continued to observe them I kept thinking “how do they get them on or off”?

I gave up wearing panty hose because I would often feel like a sausage. I hate tight anything because it makes me feel like I’ve been captured by maniacal fashion designers who care more about their designs then how they look or feel on real people.

Believe me, I’m not advocating for shrouds, but shouldn’t there be a modicum of common sense around what we look like? Tight jeans, tight underwear, tight anything has some unhealthy side effects. Skin and our parts are supposed to be able to breathe and have circulation available to them.

I’m surprised there aren’t more people calling 911, because they can’t get their pants off and are being strangled by them. The other issue for me is that a lot of individuals who encase themselves in tight jeans should find a three way mirror and have a good look, they just may think twice before they go out the door.

Loretta LaRoche writes the Get a Life column for the Patriot Ledger

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Get a Life by Loretta LaRoche

Over the last twenty years or so our culture has become besotted with the concept that happiness is contingent on having positive thoughts. The pursuit of this belief drives many people to think something is wrong with them. The irony is that this very belief creates even more unhappiness. Many of us have been acculturated since childhood to love happy endings.

Unfortunately, life often hands us lemons and we can’t always make lemonade out of them by simply thinking positive thoughts. In fact a certain degree of negativity allows for self reflection, allowing us to look at a problem from different perspectives.

A body of research focused on “defensive pessimism” has shown that we need pessimistic thoughts to navigate life in a balanced way. Many things we value bring a wide range of feelings.

You can have a wonderful partner, but unless he’s a robot, there will be times when he/she disappoints you, and conflicts will rise. All my happily ever thoughts did not stop me from getting divorced.

A job may bring great satisfaction, but inevitably something may happen, like pay cuts or termination. Good health can be disrupted by minor or major illnesses.

Repeatedly filling your head with positive thoughts and images may be a step in the right direction, but life is not that simple.

In fact trying to avoid unpleasant feelings often gives them more of a foothold. For example consider this analogy: “There’s a pink elephant standing in the middle of your room, but I don’t want you to think about him”. I would bet that you are having a hard time not conjuring up that elephant. I have discovered that whenever I struggle with something, it takes more of a foothold.

So does this mean that you should not attempt to engage in more positive types of thoughts and emotions? Absolutely not! But do consider making space for unpleasant feelings.

Become more aware of your thoughts and what you do about them. Becoming more “mindful” allows us to become more adept at using acceptance or action to solve our problems. A flexible mind gives us the opportunity to bounce back from life’s challenges. And that just might make us feel happier.

Loretta LaRoche writes the Get a Life column for the Patriot Ledger.

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Get a Life By Loretta LaRoche

We live in a world where everyone expects things to come quickly and easily. God forbid we should have to wait a few extra minutes for a cup of coffee or have to put up with traffic. Fast-food restaurants have become a metaphor for life: Get it fast and easy!

It just may well be that as we’ve gone down this road, we’ve lost something along the way. Consider the following startling facts:

*Rates of depression have risen in recent decades, at the same time that people are enjoying time-saving conveniences such as microwave ovens, e-mail, prepared meals, and machines for washing clothes and moving lawns.

* People of earlier generations, whose lives were characterized by greater efforts just to survive, paradoxically, were mentally healthier. (Our) human ancestors also evolved in conditions where hard physical work was necessary to thrive.

* By denying our brains the rewards that come from anticipating and executing complex tasks with our hands…we undercut our mental well being. (Scientific American Mind ).

Evidently, we’d feel a deep sense of satisfaction when true physical and mental effort produces something tangible. The newer generations have tried very hard to create atmospheres and situations that are comfortable and rewarding.

Much of that mindset has produced individuals who “want what they want, when they want it”. Losing weight should be instant, therefore we want our food in boxes or cans that are so-called easy weight loss plans. Finding a mate has boiled down to five minute lunch dates. You sit with someone for a few minutes and are supposed to gauge whether they might fit your criteria. Children are supposed to be rewarded for just showing up at a sports activity, even if they haven’t any skills.

Sadly it is creating a society that will not have a lot of resiliency which comes essentially from hard work and having to put up with situations you’re not in the mood for.

Studies in longevity consistently point out that those who reach one hundred have been through hard times, and were able to adapt to those situations.

Maybe the real success in staying well mentally and physically is in discovering that the mind and body like effort. Perhaps that’s what makes us thrive and survive!

Loretta LaRoche writes the Get a Life column for the Patriot Ledger.

Posted in: Get A Life

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