Saturday, November 27, 2004

• Don’t try to answer your cell phone while riding your bicycle; home for the holidays?

Don’t try to answer your cell phone while riding your bicycle
· Tuesday afternoon, heading back to my office after the Office of Information Technology/e-operations staff meeting at 4200 Wisconsin Avenue (home of the Greenberg Theater and other AU offices.) While in the building lobby I had received a call from my son, an inveterate mobile caller. He loves to just ‘check in’ while driving or waiting in an airport line, enroute to one of his international commitments. I appreciate this and enjoy our brief ‘check in’ conversations, though I rarely initiate them. Not long afterwards, I was pedaling briskly along the Nebraska Avenue when my phone buzzed. My son is calling again, I thought and I should answer. With one hand I reached for my phone, while braking with the other, skidded, lost my balance and fell to the ground (on the grass fortunately) with a horrific crash. ‘Are you all right,’ a passing biker queried. ‘No problem,’ I lied. Both my leg and my self concept and sustained injuries …..On this, the day after Thanksgiving, the pain is subsiding, and it has been around long enough to remind me not answer my cell phone when riding. That I didn’t wind up in the hospital, permanently injured, as able to pick up my father later in the evening, as planned, is something else to be thankful for.
Home for the holidays – myth and reality
· “How are you spending Thanksgiving?” is a frequent question we ask each other is the holiday season approaches. Most of my Anderson Hall neighbors seem to view the prospect of going home for Thanksgiving with high expectations. What surprises me is the relatively large number of older adults who do not. “Family gatherings” are anticipated as a burdensome, quarrelsome intrusion on a busy schedule. They are seen as a time when, after initial conviviality, the scars from old family wounds are scraped open. “I’m going to see my mother,” a friend reported, “and I dread these yearly gatherings.” I heard something like this too often over the past few days. For the many who seem to feel similarly, there must be a better way. Could there be a frank acknowledgement of feelings, and the design of holiday celebrations that would be true celebrations for all those who chose to participate. That would be something to be thankful for!
· How was your Thanksgiving holiday?


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