Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mama Bean marvels at her complacency

Complacency kills practices. Patients are complacent; doctors (including this one) are complacent. Complacency resists change, but Change is Life. I could frame most of my professional doings as a battle against stagnancy, a fight for movement. The bulk of my work is correcting spinal joints and muscles to move better, to change their disordered state, to help people hurt less. The next layer is suggesting things they can do to help themselves. In the short term, maybe using ice to control pain and inflammation. Longer range, here's some stretches to prevent injury at work. And then preventative measures, quit smoking (just joined a friend's conversation about that on fbook) or lose some extra weight. These things aren't Chiropractic suggestions, but they invite people to change, away from complacency.

Patients return the favour. Every time someone doesn't respond the way I expect, or a mother brings in her toddler with a disorder I've never heard of and wonders if what I do can help; every time I'm challenged to think outside the diagnostic boxes I see day after day, my complacency gets shaken off my smug face. This is a pitfall of using a highly systematic adjusting method - one gets caught in a rut of protocol. This is what I know, now; when I start saying, "Business as usual" my business is dying of complacency.

Complacency kills families, too. All relationship, really. Papa Bean and I have been together since June 23, 2001. That's 105 months of change - his multiple schoolings, my extended leave of absence to Chiropractic college, houses, marriage, jobs, moving... When we drifted into complacency, we withered. Those who have survived a long distance relationship know that nothing about your communication across those many, many miles can be taken for granted. And then Bean! Babies change by the second. Their little neurons are building myelin (Go, myelin, go!) and connecting synapses with every breath, it's Insane. I think this may explain the paradoxical feeling that the days go slowly but they grow up too fast. On the one hand, packing that much Dynamic into a day makes the day long. But over a month or so, they've packed in the amount of learning and change and excitement our soft, adult bodies experience in a year, or more. And that makes the months seem fast. I can't afford to put things off, there is no "I'll do that tomorrow." And this will only be more apparent as he grows, starts talking, goes to school. We're molding a Life here! Complacency will kill it, if I don't keep my princess butt in gear.

Here's the rub, for me. Complacency kills faith. God is the biggest Agent of Change there is. If I lose sight of that, or give up on that, or reject that with my complacent apathy, out of desire for some comfortable status quo, I am spiritually dying a slow death. This may be my favourite part about Papa Bean attending pastor school; we are both learning, and being agitated by new and old ideas, and finding new language to communicate with and about God. It is perhaps fitting that, at the same time, our church finds itself at a crossroads. There is dissatisfaction being voiced, which is the opposite of complacency, and that`s a good place to start. I have hope that positive, productive change can be effected. I have faith that`s what God intends. I am looking forward to working on my complacency through the Easter season, which makes sense, being the celebration of God`s most transformative, most un-complacent work on Earth.

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