With the snow and inclement weather over the weekend, I was forced to run a total of 20 miles on my treadmill at home. The treadmill is reserved for the really cold days of winter otherwise I try to stay away from it as much as possible.
Running on a treadmill is probably a tad more enjoyable than watching paint dry. The monotony and repetition is enough to make you crazy.
I well remember as a child, having a friend who kept a pet mouse in his bedroom. He lived in a large aquarium that contained the usual mouse furnishings. The highlight for the mouse was a running wheel—the mouse version of a treadmill. When I’d visit my friend, I’d often see the mouse running round and round the wheel in what seemed like blissful joy.
I used to wonder why he did it. Did he really think he was getting somewhere? I doubted it. He’d run for a short while, stick his head out of the wheel and look around, then go back to work. He never got anywhere, but it never seemed to bother him. He just kept running and running.
Incredibly, he never once complained. If he felt any boredom while he logged his miles, he kept it to himself. Why can’t we humans be more like mice, running happily in place? Why do we get so bored running on treadmills?
I think the answer is that we spend so much time ignoring ourselves nowadays that we require constant (external) distractions. This is why we are busy texting rather than interacting with the people sitting right there next to us. Whether at the dinner table or at the office, we are living vicariously through our smartphones.
Many of us no longer realize that there is a lot going on inside us and right across from us with our potential for personal enrichment and the social interaction we can experience with those who we love and care for. This interior and exterior world is a natural antidote to the boredom we experience on the treadmill. But it requires us to plug into ourselves and others to reap the benefits.
The beauty of my job (at least one of the amazing aspects of it) is that where I work at Regency Nursing Centers, we are always “plugged in.”
We are not plugged in to our smartphones, but to the people and residents who surround us and who we care for.
You won’t find staff at our facilities involved with their smartphones during business hours. They are not texting or talking on their cellphones, oblivious to everything around them. This is one of the first things we are in-serviced on; cellphones go away and our residents are front and center.
You might think that what I’m talking about here is a small nuance and “no big deal.”
In actuality, it is a VERY big deal.
Don’t kid yourself, as I’ve visited at least several nursing homes and rehab centers and observed staff members on shift yapping and texting on their smartphones while their flummoxed residents sat just yards away waiting for help.
Engaging with our smartphones is natural for us and doesn’t require pro-active intent. We do this all day when we are NOT at work and it is perfectly ok. Therefore, in the workplace, this type of stuff needs to be curtailed through a committed and concerted effort.
Regency Nursing Centers makes this effort – and with success.
Not everyone does, so the next time you visit one of our competitors, tell the nurse to put the phone down.