It’s Memorial Day and I’ve enjoyed a couple of days without an endless list of “to do’s”, appointments and the never-ending task list. I’m sitting on my back deck at home … and filtering through the trees is a mostly obscured view of Long’s Peak … a snowcapped peak rising more than 14,000 feet out of nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. Perhaps it is this reprieve with a view or it is some of my recent reads including my current trek through Brené Brown’s best-seller Rising Strong, or maybe it is a mixture of all the above … but I find myself resonating more than ever with a common saying here at CSUVetCE: “You’re more than a learner … you’re a whole person, so stay awhile”. To us, this phrase is a reminder that the best version of ourselves is usually expressed when we are whole and nourished. We nourish our whole selves by breaking out of our roles and titles and identities … and feeding the person within … feeding ourselves and breathing in the things that bring to each of us meaning and connection to the world around us. Rather than rushing from task to responsibility … we’re encouraged to pause in the presence of those things that nourish us and to “stay awhile”.
We’re entering that magical time of year, here in the northern hemisphere, where we all have a few more daylight hours to “stay awhile” and to explore and pursue those things that nourish our whole person. Whether it is choosing to invest an hour or 2 of daylight before work to read something fulfilling on the patio with coffee in hand or it is stealing a couple hours after work to remind yourself how good it feels to sweat through exercise or to connect with nature by retreating to a nearby fishing hole … we’re given the gift of daylight this time of year and it is a great time to explore and treat that other half of your whole person.
I will confess that I live and work in a magical place where those “cup-filling” experiences are everywhere that I turn this time of year. Sure, in the winter I can manage to conjure up excitement for a full moon snowshoeing trek or a weekday escape to an area ski resort, but summertime is a whole different level for me. Part of what does it for me is sharing the magic of this region with others, so for those of you that are heading this way during the summer season, please let me put you on something good. No matter what you enjoy, I think I can find it for you here. Last night, I enjoyed a beautiful professional dance concert with my wife and my daughter, who herself, is a dancer (ironically, the story line of the concert was about merging our many selves and stories into our fullest wholeness). We’ve also got some great outdoor concerts and films series in the summertime as well as some wonderfully funky music venues. Don’t despair if the performing arts aren’t your thing because we’ve also got wonderful restaurants, quaint shops, golf courses surrounded by mountains, hot air ballooning, beautiful streams and rivers for fly-fishing, kayaking and whitewater rafting (pause for breath), endless trails for running & cycling and miles & miles of empty country roads waiting for your road bike. After all that you might be just a little thirsty and ready to relax … did I mention that you can re-live your new memories over an amazing brew on a patio at day’s end? Yep! … we’ve got 25 craft breweries in our small town … I suppose that is why we’re known as the Napa Valley of Craft Beers. As for me, if you give me an extra hour, you’ll find me on my bike, on a hike, or throwing a fly on one of 2 local rivers … all of which help me to feel more whole … which makes me a better husband, dad, co-worker, and veterinarian.
So, in my reflected wholeness, let me invite you to remind yourself that you’re more than a learner … you’re a whole person … stay a while. It is the perfect season to do just that where ever you are. Drop us a comment … tell us what you do to help feel your fullest wholeness … goodness knows that we can all learn from one another! I’ll look forward to meeting you here, there or somewhere. In the meantime, celebrate the season and let those extra daylight hours help you to be a whole soul!
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Dr. Palmer’s career has spanned both private practice and academia. Ross is a professor of Orthopedics at Colorado State University, Associate Director of Education at the Translational Medicine Institute and a frequent speaker / educator at conferences around the world … but he’s much more than those roles … he’s a whole person and so are you.