Accept and connect
Thanks to the inadvertent generosity of Starbucks, I didn't have to climb a mountain in my bare feet or learn to speak Tibetan to discover the secret of peace and happiness. It was delivered personally along with my morning coffee — and the message was steamy fresh and venti.
I realize those of us who work in long-term care are used to receiving truth only through rows of stars or voice-mails from plaintiff attorneys, so we're not always open to other sources of wisdom. But if you and your computer or mobile device happen to spend quality time in one of these obscure coffee establishments, I guarantee the universe will be talking to you.
Let me warn you, the story of my unexpected enlightenment is extremely uncomplicated — I merely sat down at Starbucks, and opened my Macbook. That was it. That's absolutely all I did. But what followed was a thunderbolt of insight straight from the cosmos, right there on my screen, screaming truth with a big, green button:
Accept and Connect.
Naturally, as an obsessive seeker of Wi-Fi, I clicked on it as instructed — and the metaphorical lesson downloaded instantly into my waiting cerebrum, where it transformed into a flashing pop-up ad in my consciousness that I've since transcribed to a sticky-note taped to my bathroom mirror:
Accept and Connect.
I plan to stare at that prescription every morning because I'm convinced it's really the recipe for a peaceful and fulfilling life — in every moment and experience to simply accept what happens, and look outward for ways to channel our natural uneasiness, judgment, anger or blame into positive connections with other people and the world around us.
Now, if your beloved grandmother gets accidentally locked in a dialysis clinic or staff members post inappropriate videos dancing on resident beds, you should probably add a third action step: Accept, Correct and Connect. But that's an advanced lesson for another day.
The point is that in this uncontrollable, impermanent finger-snap we call life, resistance to the reality of now is always futile, and stepping outside ourselves to serve and support others represents our only lasting path to true happiness and peace.
Accept and Connect, then do it again — forever.
Not a bad lesson for the wee hours of a Thursday morning. And the first and only time paying $5.25 for a venti caramel frappuccino actually seems worth it.
Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, a national Silver Medalist and regional Gold Medal winner in the 2014 Association of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) awards program. He has amused, informed and sometimes befuddled long-term care readers worldwide since his debut with the former SNALF.com at the end of a previous century. He is a multimedia consultant for Consonus Healthcare Services in Portland, OR.