By Rick Banas of assisted living provider BMA Management, Ltd.
The wording on his shirt caught my attention as I walked past. I was in my first lap of a walk around one of the lakes at the Twin Lakes recreational area in Palatine, Illinois. He was sitting alone on a park bench alongside the walking path.
“Make Every Moment Count”
I am not sure exactly why, but I immediately put aside whatever it was that I was thinking about and began focusing on those four words.
“Make Every Moment Count”
Maybe it was because of everything that had happened the previous day. In the morning I went to see a doctor for a physical. I went because my family is concerned about my health. After all, I will be turning 63 in a few weeks. The last time I had a complete physical was more than 30 years ago. The last time I saw a doctor was in 2007, only because it was required to have a hernia repaired.
In the evening, my schedule allowed me to attend Tai Chi. I started taking the class in Chi Gong and Tai Chi at Holy Family in Inverness nearly two years ago. The class is taught by Paul Semanic, who has been a Do-It Yourself Messiah trumpet soloist in Chicago for many years.
I used to have mixed feelings about the warmer weather months. I loved the long hours of daylight, the sun and the opportunity to be outdoors without having to bundle up. But the warmer weather meant allergy season. My eyes would water and itch. My nose would run. I’d endure bouts of sneezing. Congestion would build up in my throat and chest. I am not sure if there is any connection; since I started the class, my problems with allergies have all but disappeared. In addition, I have more flexibility and less stress. I am sleeping better and sitting up straighter.
On my way home from Tai Chi, I heard the news about Robin Williams. He was only five weeks older than me.
As I continued my walk around the lake, I began noticing things about the park that before had not caught my attention.
The joyful noise from all of the children playing on the swings, slides and other playground equipment.
The group playing touch football.
The people out on the lake in paddle boats, and the young lad in a kayak that was gleefully weaving around the paddle boaters.
The mother sitting and talking with a young boy; her arm around his shoulder.
The group walking rescued greyhounds.
The older couple walking around the lake; he with an artificial leg.
I began thinking about how lucky I am.
To have a family that cares so much about me that they demand I see a doctor. I appreciate their teaming up to make sure I made and kept my appointment.
To have health that enables me to take long walks around a lake on a beautiful summer evening. More and more research indicates that regular exercise not only benefits your physical health, but also reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improves brain function.
To work for a mission-driven company that operates assisted living and memory care communities that serve individuals of all incomes.
To be able to exercise outdoors on a magnificent summer evening rather than being among those trapped on a mountain top in northern Iraq.
I also began thinking about all the ways I find to not Make Every Moment Count. The times that I find lame excuses for not exercising or not practicing the meditation, Chi Gong and Tai Chi routines that I learned. The times that I tune out family members or friends so I can watch some inane program on television.
In the days ahead, which I hope are many, I encourage you to join me in making every effort to Make Every Moment Count.
All affordable assisted living communities managed by BMA Management, Ltd. are certified and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. All assisted living communities are licensed and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“BMA Management, Ltd. is the leading provider of assisted living in Illinois
and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”
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