I don't know about you, but I tend to do my best thinking when I'm working in the yard. When I was in the navy, it was always while on the bridge wing where I seemed to find the most clarity. Sometimes amidst the sweat rolling into my eyes I imagine being gracious in defeat after I miss a putt that would have won the British Open, being happier for someone else's good fortunate, than I'd be disappointed that the victory wasn't mine to cherish. Which is an odd thing for me to imagine since I'm terrible at golf. Or I imagine knowing just the right words to convince my children to judge their worth based on their contribution to the world not the size of their paycheck. Or as I did this morning I think we need to have a self-awareness month.
So I came inside to start working on those thoughts only to learn that September has already been designated Self-awareness month. Heck, I didn't even know that's really what Ramadan is all about. The self-awareness month was so eye-opening I decided to see what other worthy causes had a month set aside for their focus only to learn there are nearly 400 causes we feel are worthy of remembering. Peppered around some of what I consider to be worthy causes (e.g. autism, homeless and hunger, march into literacy month, sexual assault prevention, to name a few) are months to appreciate or celebrate hamburgers, bar-be-que, shopping cart return, Blondie and Deborah Harry, and Bathroom Reading. Now don't get me wrong, I love bar-be-que but a month of showing my appreciation for it probably wouldn't be good for me. Believe it or not, I don't need a reminder to take my shopping cart back to the supermarket, or a "pull my sofa off the wall" month, or even an Ideas month (remember that's what my backyard is for), but what I do need is a self-reflection and self-awareness five minutes a day month.
I think Jim Valano had it right when among other things he said that every day we should laugh, we should think and we should have our emotions moved to tears, because maybe if I do that I'll remember without being reminded of the important issues that need remembering. I'll appreciate the health I have to more fully enjoy each moment. I'll remember my two roommates who died, one to drugs (December is Drunk and Drugged Driving Month) and the other to defense of our country (May is Military Appreciation Month). I'll remember a close childhood friend who died of AIDS (November is AIDS Awareness Month), or my wife who survived Breast Cancer (October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month). Others I'll just have to get over not remembering; potty training and preparation for Kindergarten months are past and opening for me I'm afraid.