On a daily basis I walk by the fitness center at the University of the South. A rather intriguing sign is outside the ‘free’ weight room…….”YOU MUST HAVE A SPOTTER” What’s a spotter? What does a spotter do? Upon close observation, the weight room is busy with both males and females doing all types of conditioning exercises with free weights (no machines). Something you notice immediately, they are working in pairs. While one of the individuals is working with the weights the other is watching closely to be sure everything is done in an orderly and proper fashion. Occasionally the ‘spotter’ will assist by partially lifting the weight and taking the pressure off the person involved with the weight. Safety is top priority! Another role the ‘spotter’ plays is that of a cheer leader. Throughout the room spotters can be heard saying “you can do it,” “go for it.” “you da man” Thankfully. I have never heard….you da woman. There are times when cheers or applause can be heard. It is a festive place primarily due to positive reinforcement and safety provided by the spotter.
I have never been in the weight room, but I have had spotters most of my life. We guys call them “a bud”. Basically they fulfill the same role as a spotter, i.e. watching out for our welfare, listening, non-judgmental, encouraging. Everybody needs a “bud.” It is that person you can telephone without a reason. It is someone with whom you can share anything and know it will be kept between the two of you. It is that individual you can count on to listen and not be judgmental but encouraging. When the sky is falling you know your ‘bud’ will be there. You are blessed if you have a ‘bud.’
The development of a healthy emotional life is directly correlated to your ‘presentation of self’ and ‘self-worth.’ Speaking personally and professionally both of these concepts come into play as part of the aging process. The gradual change that occurs in your physical appearance and the decline in areas such as memory, and mental processing, if allowed, will have a negative impact on ‘self.’ To assist in this transformation, that occurs to all of us, I encourage you to have a ‘bud’.
Ideally your ‘bud’ will be your spouse. However, due to the differences in brain function and bio-chemistry of males and females, common interest and activities may vary. This should not be perceived as a negative. A bud should never supplant the spouse. The objective is to have an active lifestyle rather than one of passivity. If you don’t already have a ‘bud’ begin the process. I hasten to add you will know when you meet the person that is right for you. The chemistry between the two of you will immediately be compatible. Stay away from gossipers and individuals who are negative.
Taking a walk together is a good start. You may want to designate a time to meet for a cup of coffee or similar activity. Try establishing common interests, “just for the love of it.” Try your hand at something new: historical adventures, music, writing, nature, whatever you do discover the details and secrets and share them with your ‘bud’. A day trip to that quaint store or village, a trail, a city is especially meaningful. In the beginning you will have to make it happen. I guarantee it will lift your spirits and your self-worth will soar.
Remember, Everybody needs a “SPOTTER: (a bud).
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