Step Back
Off the Wall, November 10, 2016

Face it. We all have roadblocks or those unexpected situations that cause us alarm and sometimes send many of us off the deep end. We think life couldn’t be better, and then all of a sudden, some type of challenge stops us dead in our tracks.

I like to classify them in three different categories: mental, physical, and emotional.

Take Mary Hanglekis, from Wana, Rhode Island. She has now reached the golden years, as they are known. What she has noticed is that her mind isn’t working as smoothly as it used to. She has found out that by trying to do one thing, she gets distracted and does something else.

Recently she told her husband, John, to take out the garbage. He got to the back door, lifted the lid and turned around to walk back into the house carrying the circular metal top of the container. As he approached the doorway, he stopped, looked down at his hand and asked himself, “What the heck am I doing?” Stepping back, he thought the process through, then proceeding as plans called for.

It has almost gotten to the stage of carry a tape recorder with us and then replaying it as we make our journey between the points of origination to that of our destination. One could always take a notebook, but it only takes a split second to lie something down and forget where one puts it.

And by all means, never clean up and organize unless one writes down where everything is located. To step back and try to figure out where a certain item or items one neatly placed somewhere for easy finding may work for some, but not for seniors. Here again, it’s best to step back, get a notebook and categorically note what room an object (s) are in, possibly what shelf the thing is located and designate a container with a name, number or letter. If this isn’t done, one will probably mess up all the organization one attempted and there will be time lost.

Eliminating stress is key to keeping an even keel. Plan on setting a goal to do a couple of things well, and one will be much further ahead.

Nobody knows what it’s like to have an accident and have to dispose of all those plans one may have had lined up to do.

Michael Mouserhaus, Fort Wayne, Indiana, was riding his bicycle and at a pretty good speed when a car went through a stop sign and broadsided him, throwing him to the pavement. Paramedics were called and he was life-flighted to a trauma center where doctors literally saved his life. The college professor would live, but had lasting side effects that would cut into his career.

Lying in his hospital bed forced him to step back and think about not only his future, but also that of his wife and children. Sadly, his educating students were now behind him. He had to consider what lay ahead.

There are so many people who have physical issues that daily they must have kind of plan of attack each day. Some were born with impediments; others with infirmities while others maybe were injured while defending our country.

There isn’t a day go by that one must step back and plan out their day.

Last we have emotional setbacks.

Remember when one met the love of his or her life and thought they’d have a bonding relationship for a long time only to discover one of the partners broke it off? Heartbreak sets in and maybe words were spoken that should have been kept to oneself. It’s happened to most everybody who wants a bonded relationship.

Loss of someone you know or/and love has devastating effects on the living. Many people feel emotionally distraught when they lose their spouses or children. Depending on individuals, healing may take longer times than for others.

Put yourself in the shoes of those who stood under the cross and watched Jesus Christ hang there dying. Here was an innocent man that was born, grew up teaching Christian principles.

What feelings were conveyed – sorrow for a great person who was loved by many, One who was nailed to the cross out of love for His creation, you, me and many human beings throughout the world. He sacrificed His life for us to free us from our sinfulness. He taught unconditional love.

If confronted with a problem, step back, assess the situation, and then move forward.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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