Several months ago, I had the privilege to visit one of my dearest friends in another city. Since we so rarely get to see one another, we tried to take a photo together, and I planned to put it on Facebook and Instagram. It took no fewer than 15 tries to get a good shot. Every time my eyes were open, hers were closed. When both of our eyes were open, I wasn’t smiling. In the next shot, she was distracted by someone to her left. Finally, we were both smiling, with our eyes open, and looking into the camera, but there was a huge group of tourists in the background, blocking the entire landmark we were standing in front of. Finally, we got a halfway decent picture with both of us and the landmark all in the picture.
The simple truth is that we aren’t designed to be glued to a computer screen or in an office all day. Our brains have evolved to thrive in sunlight, in lush green surroundings, and by the water. Since I think we’ve seen the last of snow in Boston (fingers crossed), it’s time to jumpstart our cognitive batteries and kickoff this spring with a plan to leverage our local resources.
As a man of a certain age, I am constantly faced with the realities the growing difference between what my mind thinks I can do and what my body actually does. Even though I specialize in connecting the mind and the body — I am still caught off guard more than I would like to admit.
I have had patient after patient come into my office talking about what a harsh and relentless winter this has been. I can’t agree more! It is always interesting to see how people talk about the weather. There are two classic perspectives that get presented: How cold it is on the thermometer and how much energy is being used by the thermostat. What an interesting way to understand ourselves as well!
After a month since returning to school, how are you doing? Feeling any of that Syllabus Shock? Have you settled into routines of classes, dining hall hours, sports practice or music rehearsal or the on-campus job? For a lot of students, September is an exciting time of reconnecting with friends, meeting new people, signing up for clubs and committees. With so many opportunities offered to you at the start of each semester, it can be easy to overbook yourself and forget to leave time for, oh, I don’t know…sleep. Exercise. Eating well. Studying, even.
There seems to be a thread in the conversations I have had lately with many of the men I see in my practice. Our discussions are centering on the institutionalization influences of how masculinity is defined. We have entered into these talks from a variety of perspectives but we seem to end up circling around the same concerns. Coming to grip with how men define their own manhood is a pressured and loaded situation.