A Day in the Life

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Here is how my morning will go tomorrow: Way too early - 7 AM - I will shake off the sleep, get out of my car, unload a didgeridoo, portable amp and mike, personal stuff, and movie camera and stand, and drag them to a deserted spot in Balboa Park in San Diego. Then I will watch the sun rise over the silhouette of the Museum of Man tower across the bridge to the main part of the Park.


    If things go as scheduled, various drummers - mostly people playing west African djembes - will start rolling in at around 7:30. I will be greeting each drummer, then we will arrange ourselves into a sort of semi-circle and start warming up. The place around us will start filling up - casual strollers, volunteers setting up a water bottle station, more volunteers to direct traffic, a uniformed Park official ... 

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    Sometime around 8:30, a group of joggers will head toward us, then swing left over the bridge. Our noise-making will be in full swing as the first of a crowd of about 3,000 strides toward us. Within minutes, the bridge will be packed with people walking for mental health awareness.


    The event is the annual San Diego County NAMI Walk. I am on the board of NAMI San Diego, and this is our main public event of the year. 


    The crowd will be in a celebratory mood, with a strong assist from our merry band of noise-makers, but we can also expect to be reminded why we are all here. Inevitably, someone will be toting a sign, “In memory of ...” followed by dates indicating a life way too short.


    There will be a short lull, then the crowd will swing back in our direction. They will do a short loop and swing past us one more time before fading back whence they came. Then our merry group will disband. We’ll run into each other again - at another event, a drum circle, a full moon celebration, whatever. I’ll pack my stuff into my car, then head to where the Walk originated, hoping to catch up with friends and fellow mental health advocates. Maybe I’ll grab a bite to eat with someone.


    Events like this energize me, but by the time I head home around noonish I’ll be a wrung-out dish rag. I will spend an hour winding down, then I’ll crash and hopefully wake up with a rebooted brain.


    Another day in the life ...




    No Question of the Week this week. Feel free to comment on days in your life.

Published On: April 20, 2012