There’s Always Room for Expansion

There’s always room for expansion. I’ve learned a few things since mid-March. One of them is, there’s always room for expansion.

Now you may be thinking I’m referring to expansion into the pj pants we’re wearing all day long. Nope. Well, maybe. But that’s not the point. It’s just an example. Other examples include: Making room for months worth of toilet paper, paper towels, and Clarisonic face brush refills; finding stores that will deliver necessities like car batteries; increasing personal space; donating more to those in need. Expansion in many areas has become a necessity.

And there are even greater opportunities to expand. Never before has so much scientific information been readily available and paraded before us. Now is a great time to learn about the process of clinical trials and how to participate in them.

Research is happening all of the time. The results of most of that research was previously published in journals and/or on websites where very few people saw it. Translational research has sought to change that by bringing research quickly into the practice of medicine to improve outcomes.

Now, Twitter threads bring links to studies immediately into public view. For the general public it would probably be better if studies were peer reviewed before that happens, but the accessibility and increased speed with which information is disseminated is a fantastic move forward. And the pandemic has meant that studies do not linger in obscurity prior to publication.

You don’t have to be fully fluent in statistics or chemistry to read the abstract of a scientific study. And if you start your lessons on Twitter, you’ll have experts breaking down the implications of new research. Of course, you’ll have to choose your experts carefully to get credible information, but most have their credentials in full view.

For those of you who have been frustrated through the years by a lack of accurate serological testing for Celiac Disease, there’s an opportunity to see multiple articles regarding specificity and sensitivity and how they affect test results in coronavirus antibody tests. Specificity and sensitivity are key to the weight information from a serological test should be given when diagnosing a disease.

Whether or not you choose to get lost in the science is up to you. But expanding knowledge is always a good thing. It will help you sort through the misinformation that abounds. And it will keep your brain active and engaged.

At this moment when your circle of friends and family may be contracting, expanding your mind can provide stimulation, inspiration, and knowledge. I always have room for those, don’t you?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

An Eye Opening Cold Shower

I took a cold shower this morning, literally, an eye opening COLD shower.

Okay, for those of you who must go there…no, not for that reason. My air conditioners aren’t working. Two air conditioners, both less than 3 years old, two…not working…AT THE SAME TIME! It’s 99º outside, feels like 106, and who knows inside? My thermostat only registers 90º and it’s been maxed for two days straight. I’m in line for a repair, but the line is LONG. I’ve now left for a coffee house with free wifi so I can hopefully smell better and think straight.

As with all unexpected, and even unwelcome, obstacles, having to do things differently lets me see things differently. Each and every time, I learn all over again that some of my assumptions are just wrong.

I live in an old two story house with the master bedroom upstairs and guest bedroom downstairs. I would assume that it would be cooler to sleep downstairs under the ceiling fan, but for some odd reason, it’s not. Without the air on, downstairs is staying hotter than upstairs once the sun retreats.

So, if downstairs under the ceiling fan is not the coolest sleeping environment, it stands to reason that between the open windows on either side of the upstairs would be my next best choice, right? Last night, I opened the windows and with a pillow, sheet, & cold wash cloth in hand gave sleeping on the padded bench by the window a try.
I was sweaty, uncomfortable, and aware of every loud rap song that streamed out of the windows of passing cars. I was NOT asleep. I finally decided that being right by the window was doing me no favors and slipped into my bed hoping exhaustion from the heat would keep me from tossing and turning the night away.

This morning, it was cool outside when I grabbed the paper off the porch. Cruelly, cool. Ironically cool. Relaxing cool that had failed to permeate the wide open windows upstairs where I slept. I should have slept in a tent in the back yard. Or, as I discovered when I grabbed my clothes after that cold shower, in the closet. My closet was cool – inexplicably cool. The coolest place in my house. How can this be? It’s directly under the roof. It’s enclosed so no air moves around, and yet it is cooler than my cross-ventilated bedroom.

The air repair won’t happen until tomorrow at the earliest. Tonight, as is the case with all unfortunate circumstances, I will have the chance to make a different choice based on the new information that has been forced upon me. I didn’t ask for this. When I was literally wilting at my computer yesterday, I didn’t exactly welcome the opportunity to learn any of these facts, but today I recognize that I really only have two choices: 1)Do the same thing and be miserably hot, or 2)Take what I’ve learned and make a more informed, and hopefully more comfortable, decision.

That makes it an easy decision! I’ll be a quick learner. Does that mean I’ll sleep in the closet? Maaaaybe.

Here’s what I’m taking from this situation: When you find yourself in an unfortunate circumstance, the things you have the opportunity to learn can change your day or your life if you show up with an open heart, an open mind, and a willingness to let go of your assumptions. And you may not even have to take a cold shower to see the possibilities!