Pillbox Becomes Uncomfortable Crutch


Increasingly I’m finding myself heavily relying on my morning pillbox to let me know what the day of the week it is.

Either I am too busy or getting older, but one thing seems to be consistent: days of the week now run together like never before and I need help.

I could understand if I were retired or living beneath palm trees on a white sandy beach. But I’m not. I am just like most of you – living in a seven day a week world broken down into 24 little segments. But suddenly, things are becoming increasingly indistinguishable and running together like the ingredients in big batch of gumbo simmering over a hot fire.

Today’s world is connected like never before. Rarely, even when asleep at night, is my phone beyond my arm’s length. With the simple push of a button I can see or be in touch with about anything in the world. My mind, however, the tool attached to the other end of my finger, is becoming more questionable with each passing day.

My acceptance of even owning a pill box, complete with little flaps with a large letter indicating the day of the week, was introduced to my life after accidentally taking our dog’s medicine one morning. While no ill effects resulted, other than an urge to bark at an occasional squirrel, my wife realized I was no longer to be trusted alone in the medicine drawer.

Before long, however, I began to transfer my burden of knowing what day of the week it was from my mind to this little white box containing my daily cocktail of ‘helpful’ pills. Granted, this little box is no match to my so-called smart phone, but I find its simplicity of purpose to be beautiful. Finally I’d found a helpful friend without cords or apps.

Within a short time I’d transferred or delayed my expectations of what day of the week it was in until I’d meet up with my new friend in the mornings. Much like Pavlov’s dogs, I found pleasure or reward to a certain action or result. Even on mornings when I might already have a pretty good idea of the day of the week, I seem to get a little extra fun out of finding opening the little compartments until one confirms my suspicions.

But then reality came to visit. One day I found myself flipping open each little compartment only to find them completely empty. Opening each a little faster than previous one, panic set in. Suddenly I found myself questioning everything: the day of the week, where the bottle of baby aspirin was hidden, even if maybe I’d already taken my medicine for the day.

I guess I am now at the point my in life where I’m going to need to begin exercising my brain a bit more and not delegating neurological chores to objects surrounding my daily life like a crutch. Maybe lulling myself into a comfortable state of earning pleasure from confirming the day of the week by from my daily pill box — like one of Pavlov’s dogs — just might need some rethinking. 

After all, Pavlov’s dogs and I will always still share the common bond of barking at the occasional squirrel. 


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