Be Grateful for The Little Things!
It is finally the holiday season again. It’s where time slows down just enough so we can cherish one another's company! What comes to mind when you think about this time of year? When I think of the holidays my thoughts include family gatherings, delicious food, endless desserts as well as for everything that I am truly grateful for. Throughout the year, we sometimes lose sight of all the good we have, and take advantage of things that come naturally to us—the things produced with little effort.
As a Speech and Language professional, I am fortunate to be able to look back on the efforts made by all the individuals I work with, and see how far they have progressed from where they started. It is time to celebrate all the advances made, no matter how big or small, because each one is so powerful. Every year, I create a vision board of the things I would like to accomplish, some more easily obtainable than others, but many are short-term goals that build up to great larger achievements. To reach our BIG goals, we first must accomplish smaller milestones that will then lead us in the desired direction.
Many of us rely on our voice, each and every day, when interacting with others. We use this voice to communicate our needs, wants, and desires effectively. For most of us, we speak without thinking about how our body makes it happen. I want you to try something before continuing to read! Create the sound [k]... finished? How easy was that? Did you think about what the muscles in your throat and tongue needed to do to accomplish this? Or, did it happen automatically—without much effort? The sound [k] can be considered as a ‘stop, voiceless velar sound’. This single sound is created without moving the vocal folds. The back of the tongue is pushed up against the soft palate with air built-up behind it. Then, the air is released to fully complete the sound. Well, that’s a mouth-full, isn’t it? So many different components went into making one sound that we use for many important words in the English language.
Every day we produce a variety of sounds, words, sentences and even hold entire conversations. There is so much that goes into this that we typically don’t think about. When you are talking to a friend, do you think about where your tongue needs to be placed? What lip shape needs to be made? Or, how much air pressure is needed for each sound, word, and phrase? For some, producing a single sound correctly is a challenge. But, with a lot of hard work and professional guidance, the effort pays off. Oh, what sweet victory!
It's these seemingly small skills that we acquire and utilize on a daily basis, that we should be so thankful for, each and every day.
This year, when you sit down for your holiday meal and share thoughts and memories with your family, be grateful that you can; whether it's verbal, the use of sign language or other methods of communication! Happy Holidays from all of us at Arbor Therapy! We strive to make a difference in each and every life we encounter.