Wake-up Call

Do you remember the hotel/motel “wake-up call?”  It’s gone by the wayside since the advent of smart phones with their alarm and timer features.

We no longer need a front desk person to make a courtesy call to make sure we’re awake to begin our day’s business or adventures when away from the routine of home.  But the metaphorical wake-up call hasn’t timed-out of existence.  We still receive those from time to time.

I’m referring to those nudges from God, or the universe, as in “universally” dispensed.  We all get them.  Whether we notice or heed these wake-up calls, is a personal problem or salvation, depending on one’s attitude toward wake-up calls.

Wake-up calls are reminders, something else we have on our smart phones.  But then there’s me and there’s Siri from my smart phone.  I asked her to remind me about something and she assured me she would.  No reminder.  Or was it me?

In some reminders we are prompted to “get our act (or the four-letter s-word) together,” or there will be consequences.   We might not like some of the consequences related to unheeded reminders.

Some examples of a metaphorical wake-up call might be an argument with someone with whom we are in relationship.  That argument may be the wake-up call that saves a relationship or triggers its demise.

But it does one primary thing: it shocks us out of the status quo, out of slumber. It can be a eureka moment of clarity that helped us dreaming children awaken to reality.  Suddenly we’re back in Kansas and not in Oz anymore.

Then there’s the financial or economic wake-up call.  Something bursts the spending/saving/investing bubble and we realize our means don’t match our lifestyle.

Something has got to be done, differently.  Restructuring is a key characteristic of bankruptcy laws, for a reason.  It’s a merciful second chance that the laws of our land once offered those in need of one.  This is reminiscent of a pause or snooze button, if you will, on the wake-up call or alarm.

Another familiar wake-up call is the one beep beep beeping inside your body.  It’s the health wake-up call, usually called “symptoms.”  If you see a doctor regularly, for wellness checks or preventive care, your wake-up call may be in the form of lab test results.

If we’re alert to our body’s signals and we’re keen to play the game, “what doesn’t belong,” we might be fortunate enough to stave off the chronic, from the acute.  Let’s play clue and respond when our bodies say, “this isn’t right,” or “this isn’t how my body usually plays the game.”

This is when it’s time to pull what submariners call a “crazy Ivan,” or deploy the emergency brake.  Maybe you’ve let a lifestyle habit that can’t be classified as “healthy,” get the better of you.  You know, they say it takes only three days (most likely, hellish ones), to change a habit.

I’m guessing that 3-day estimate is optimistic especially for a well-ingrained habit.  But I’ve done it so I know it can be done; can you say “sweet tooth?”

Change it up and do what you’ve always known you should do to reverse those needling symptoms.  If it’s not within your power to change on your own, then resolve to get some help.  Yes, humble yourself and seek help“No man is an island.”

Coincidentally, that saying originated with the seventeenth century metaphysical poet, John Donne’s meditational essay and sermon entitled, in part, “Steps in my Sickness,” based upon his serious illness.  He, like the rest of us needed “a little help from his friends.”  (It’s always the Beatles with me – With a Little Help from my Friends – Lennon/McCartney released 1967).

One of just a couple of country songs I like, and I include on my jogging playlist is, Island in the Stream, written by the Bee Gees but I know it as performed by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.  The difference between their island and the one-person-marooning kind, is their partnership.  They dream to “sail away to another world,” together.

We all need to let at the very least some other human being into our lives to help us navigate the planet.  If you need medical help, seek it.  If you need financial assistance, ask for it.  If you need relationship help, there are people who care and will come alongside to help.

Don’t ignore a wake-up call.  It’s there to get your attention.  A smart phone, by the way is smart only if you take advantage of its smart features.  Will you answer the alarm, the call, or the text?

Will you heed the reminders you recorded on your phone or will you snooze right through them?  You’ve got this, just answer the call.

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