Rock Me

 Fall color trees reflected in the water. 
When I am running/walking in the park, I wear sunglasses. Even if it is cloudy. Too many of my patients walk there, too. Sometimes they still recognize me (perhaps it is the hair) but usually that is when they have passed me going the other direction. I will hear a whispered gasp or, “That’s my doctor!” behind my shoulder.

I keep going. 

I also wear earbuds so I can pretend not to hear. Not that I actually play anything through them. 

I like the silence.

One of my pet peeves is people on the trail chatting away on their cell phones about nonsense OR those who play their music loudly from arm bands… 

It is never a catchy, inspiring tune. Oh, no. It has to be acid rock. You can listen to acid rock. Just wear ear buds. I hate your music. Probably the deer and rabbits don’t like it either. And this is just supposition here, but they probably also don’t want to hear about your young nephew’s birthday party. I always think that it says something about someone’s character, their disregard for other people on the trail, when they behave that way.

The other day a woman was coming at me chatting loudly into her phone. I was thinking terrible thoughts about her, I admit. Seething, in fact. When I got close enough (my eyesight is not what it used to be) I realized she was my patient. 

And you know what? She is a super nice woman in that context. I have known her for eight years. I also took care of her husband until he died.

So I took that out and chewed on it for a while. I realized that for all of those negative feelings I felt, I still liked her, even though I know this about her now. Even nice people do inconsiderate things. They are still good people. It felt good to let go of that indignation.

It is easier to harshly judge those we do not know. It is even harder to remember that we only see small segments, snapshots, of other people’s lives. No one is entirely good or entirely bad. This includes me, myself.

Here I am in my forties learning more about people and more about myself…


79 thoughts on “Rock Me

  1. I run a lot on a combined bike / pedestrian trail. Why is it that the cyclists are big on “Share the road” when they are on the road, but never think of that on the bike trail? For me, the annoyance of loud, inappropriate music pales in comparison. Don’t those cyclists realize that most the pedestrians they push off the road came there in their cars? The courtesy they give is pretty much what they can expect to get.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Next to our cement ditch–a.k.a. the LA “river”–I have had bikers literally yell at me to get off the path, even when I used to walk close to the crumbling edge (there’s a dangerous drop). I have had bikers dive aggressively directly at me, purposely, or between me and the chain link fence, when the rest of the bike lane was empty–when the entire remaining width of the lanes in both directions were empty.

      I am frequently unnecessarily brushed from behind by bikers going at top speed who call out, using their etiquette: “On the left!”. This is SO dangerous–to come close enough to a pedestrian at that speed that you actually touch them. I reply “What if I were deaf?” That one HAS gotten some surprised glances, and a couple of shouted “I never thought about that!”

      I have Meniere’s. I have a foot drop when I’m fatigued. What if I stumble when one of these asses is buzzing me?

      A son of one of parents in my sons’ Scout troop killed a woman with his bicycle. He was riding at speed and she was out jogging. Too many bikers resent pedestrians, and don’t accept that it is THEIR responsibility to leave a safety margin between them and those on foot.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So very true. We often know one side of a person based on our interaction with them but their other sides may charm or annoy us if we knew them better. Of course, there’s always not knowing what’s going on in the lives of others that may cause them to act in a certain way, sometimes even out of character.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For what it’s worth, there’s a riverwalk I take my daughter on by where we live. I sometimes intentionally call someone on my cell phone for safety purposes. Because I work during the day, I have to do the walk in the late afternoon, when it’s a little darker. And because sometimes it’s a little secluded, I like to be on the phone on the off chance we might be approached.

    I don’t know how true that might be for your fellow patients and pedestrians, or if any of them suffer from social anxiety, but sometimes the “noise” people put out is to serve as a barrier between themselves and others for their own physical or mental sense of wellbeing. Just worth considering. (I happen to hate loud cell talkers and those who blare their music, too, but I understand its necessity in certain contexts.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This reminds me of the time a number of years ago, when we took our family to the 4th of July fireworks display at the local university. We were all settled on our lawn chairs awaiting the first starburst and were watching other people arriving and trying to find the best place to sit. Lo and behold, along came our family physician (whom we loved) – along with his office nurse (whom we hated), and they sat not too far away. I did the best I could not to stare, but really, the evil office nurse?

    Not too long after that, the physician gave up his practice to go work for the VA. I sincerely hope we had nothing to do with that decision, especially since it was around that time that we also learned that the cranky office nurse was, in fact, the physician’s wife. No wonder she was always so protective of him!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. But I do wonder if tolerance granted has become excessive and has produced a deterioration of public etiquette? Or maybe I’m just getting crabby in my advancing years. I do admire your ability alter your assessment of a person based on evidence presented.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Oh my goodness, I am one of those people. If I must walk in the dark, like walking home from taking Moo to her bus, or when I walked my dog before the sun came up in Georgia, I’ll always be talking on the phone. I don’t feel safe, even with my dog, walking in the dark.
    It’s rare, but I sure do/have done it.
    My anxiety doesn’t care if you’re offended, but the polite part of me does.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wear my ear buds whether the piano music loaded I-pod is charged or not. Yep, keeps a few people away.
    And the people close by talking loudly, my crazy daughter outdoes them by taking her volume up a notch and dropping F-bombs in every sentence . ( one look from me and she stops – but sometimes it is fun to watch)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I need to start jogging in the park near my home again…with earphones or not. ๐Ÿ™‚ The last time I did that though, under the blazing afternoon sun, a stranger asking for help lured me to a secluded place in the flats nearby in an attempt to molest me. Brrr!

    I can’t imagine seeing my clinicians in contexts out of their offices. I might not even recognize them! ๐Ÿ˜€

    People on bicycles with earphones blasting loud music terrify me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It takes 6 seconds to determine how you feel about someone and a lifetime to change that opinion……
    I am with you about noise outside. I detest people who go to the beach or River and blare music on a radio…I came to hear nature, not other people’s noise .And please…don’t chat me up…..

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What are the odds that we should both share posts on the same day about the perils of judging people we don’t know? And that my post actually mentioned one of your lovely posts in it! Get out of my head, my blogger-friend! (big smile)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So true! I imagine people more easily assigning others according to their professional associations versus actually seeing others as people in their task at hand. A doctor is always a doctor.
    Can you imagine how many plumbers get to hear about toilet and pipe issues whenever they are discovered? Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m not a phone person to begin with, so anyone talking on a phone in public makes me a bit crazy.
    I’ve been in races and seen people talking on their phone in the middle of a marathon! Seriously – is it just me who thinks this need for constant chatter is wrong?

    When I see someone on the phone while being served in a grocery store, shopping etc it takes all my energy to not scream at them. I am soooo glad that encountering people on phones while on the hiking trails is not a problem I’ve encountered. I hope I never do .. I think I might lose it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s so sweet… I’m not that forgiving. Somehow, after witnessing someone I thought I knew and respected leaving a dirty diaper on the beach or getting sloppy drunk and coming onto someone else’s husband sullies my entire opinion of them. I am not perfect. :/

    Liked by 1 person

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