Work in Progress
As we finish mental health month, I want to tell you about a luncheon and workshop I attended earlier this week. It was the Glendale Healthy Community Coalition and held at the Crescenta-Cañada Y. There were some interesting speakers, including a GPD officer who partnered with a Dept. of Mental Health worker. They talked about the types of calls they respond to and how difficult it is to determine if the person they encounter is drunk, high or having a mental health issue. Tricky to be sure.
George Saikali, the president of the Glendale Y, then spoke. He talked about visiting his native Lebanon and how there are very few incidents of suicide there despite people living in “abject circumstances.” The reason? According to an article in Harvard Business Review, they feel a sense of community, of belonging. Even more so than living a healthy lifestyle, the sense of belonging contributes to a person’s sense of well-being. That connection may be through family, church or another group.
George went on to say the statistic of few suicides in Lebanon can be found in other downtrodden countries as well and attributes that to the people having a sense of community.
I have this coffee mug I use at the office. I’ve had it for years – probably since the days when I worked at the CV Sun in the 2000s. It’s very colorful – many shades of blue – and is chipped in a couple of spots toward the bottom of the mug.
Though I’ve occasionally used different mugs over the years, I keep returning to the blue one. Despite its chips and obvious use (i.e., coffee stains) I just like it.
Thinking about the things I learned at the GHCC luncheon, I see the parallels between my coffee mug and me. In many ways, I’m chipped and (okay, let’s just say it) damaged. Unlike the perfection I can easily find around me (just visit social media for a peek into the perfect lives of just about everyone else) I screw up sometimes. To be frank, I don’t try to be anyone’s problem yet sometimes that’s exactly what I am.
Thankfully, I do have a sense of community and do realize that, after all, I’m just a work in progress.
Happy Birthday to … me! Next Tuesday, on the real Memorial Day (May 30), this young lady will wear her birthday crown, carry her birthday scepter and listen to the strains of a birthday song (yes, there’s more than one). Hopefully someone will bring in a chocolate cake, too…
Here’s to hoping … and pishing on my diet.