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    Tuesday's Thoughts From The Frontlines Of My Aging Mind

    “Ch-ch-changesTuesday's Thoughts - Tim Sabados

    Turn and face the strange

    Ch-ch-changes

    Just gonna have to be a different man

    Time may change me

    But I can’t trace time…”

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    If you’re a David Bowie fan, then I’m sure you’re familiar with these lyrics to his song, “Changes”. While not my favorite Bowie tune, I do believe that it’s a pretty good fit for everything that’s been taking place over the past couple of months.

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    Years ago I remember someone facetiously say that death and taxes are the only guarantees in life. I suppose you could add “bills” to that list. Yet, I’ve come to believe that change is truly the only constant and no matter how you look at it, deny it or reason with it, all of us are going through it.

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    I don’t know about you, but the aches and pains after working out or doing yard work aren’t going away as quickly. Things are starting to become blurrier. The grays more prevalent. And that bourbon Old Fashion I decided to drink a few weeks ago that turned into two, which led to a third and ultimately opened the gates to the hangover underworld, left me feeling down and out and unable to get my proverbial “poop” together for nearly two days.

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    I’m sure we can all agree that while change is bound to happen it’s not easy to go through. We resist it as we age. We resist it at work because, hey, who really wants to do away with the familiar. Yet, there are some transformations that need to happen and this need for change is clearly being demonstrated with the rise of the BLM movement. And let’s not forget about the recent Supreme Court decision to protect workplace rights for the LBGTQ community.

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    When it come to change I guess I’m a little more conventional, maybe more cautious, in that I promote prudence over a radical approach. Maybe it’s one of my own shortcomings because I often think about that adage, “Look before you leap.” Regardless of the fact, I’ve found that in life, too much too quickly doesn’t necessarily result in a good outcome.

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    One of the unfortunate aspects that goes hand-in-hand with the emergency department is the waiting room. There exists an expectation that when someone steps foot into the department all their needs will be taken care of right away. All too often this expectation can’t be met given the sheer volume of people and various levels of sickness that help create a continuously changing environment. Sometimes I tell patients to count themselves lucky when they have to wait, because when we’re rushing you to a room and quickly performing tests, that’s not the time to celebrate, but more the time to worry.

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    There’s a lot of energy and emotion behind the BLM movement and given the history, it’s well deserved. This fervor, however, has the potential to hinder rather than promote dialogue regarding race relations; and we’re all at a point where open discussion is needed. There are those who are too quick to condemn, too quick to pounce when something isn’t expressed just the right way or to one’s satisfaction. Now, I’m not including those whose language or actions are blatantly demeaning in this discussion. Rather, this is about those who are trying to understand, but instead have distanced themselves for fear of exposing a shortcoming and subsequently becoming bombarded with scorn.

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    Nothing promotes a defense mechanism and the building of walls faster than ridicule. This is a time we should be breaking down barriers to promote better understanding and unity. Unfortunately, people move on their own timeline and as much as I’d like to see sweeping and defining changes to behavior and attitudes toward racism as well as sexual orientation, while disappointing, for some the best that can be done is planting a seed and hoping it takes root.

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    Change in and of itself comes from within. Growth, understanding and compassion occurs when someone willingly analyzes the way they think, looks at their lifelong influences and uncovers their own faults. In a nut shell, you’re trying to understand what makes you tick. It can be a difficult path, then again, nothing in life that leads to positive growth is easy. As a shaman once told me we all have issues, even the holiest of men, that we’ll be working on for the rest of our lives.

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    There’s been a definite call for action, but within that action exists a need to listen. Being a little less judgmental can help facilitate the journey inside ourselves. A little less condemnation can help expose the goodness in each other so together we can forge greater unity and equity. Because when things change inside someone, things can change around them for the better of all.

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    I still believe that the majority want to be in this together, let’s not be too close together while we’re all in it.

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