As a one-time fitness instructor, I recently passed along to my busy adult son that just three ‘ups’ will take pretty good care of core fitness – sit ups, push ups, and pull ups. Of course, mixing in rhythmic movement like cycling or hiking is a good idea, too. But it made me aware of how many other ‘rules of life’ cluster around the word ‘up.’ This little two-letter word can be a noun, adverb, adjective, preposition, or verb. It’s pervasive in English, and this little ‘write up’ will visit just a few. You’ll see the connection to hearing a few paragraphs forward.

Lift Up

Keeping to the theme of parental guidance, we begin with ‘Lift Up.’ Nothing serves character development quite like service. ‘Who did we lift up today?’ might be a nice daily life progress check (up) question.

Wake Up

Having already touched on ‘Tone Up’ in the fitness note above, it’s useful to recall that gravity is the nemesis of life. Hence, ‘upward’ is usually the preferred trajectory of actionable living. But to fully engage life, we are obligated to ‘Wake Up,’ both physically and mentally. The Buddha said so, and so does the alarm clock. And don’t we need to occasionally ‘Look Up’ the meaning of a word, or find meaning looking up and contemplating the night sky? [“Be humble for you are made of earth; be noble for you are made of stars.”]

Make Up

Next we should mention ‘Make Up’ or ‘Patch Up’. Repairing damaged relations, at least those worth keeping, belongs in our little guidebook. (Not so sure about the Mary Kay part of ‘make up.’) Then there’s the value of occasional ‘Tune Ups’ for automobiles and attitudes. A good parent would be tempted to throw out still more Up-itudes, like ‘Pay Up,’ i.e., minimize debt, but attend faithfully to those acquired. And how about ‘Back Up’ – both data and friends? Certainly, ‘Cheer Up’ would have to jump in. We know that ‘misery’ is amplified or minimized by the face of our response. Smiles up, frowns down.

Alas, for this short piece, we will have to pass over dozens more ‘up family’ members like ‘Stir Up, Dress Up, Clean Up, Settle Up, Put Up, Shake Up, Screw Up, Take Up, Speed Up, Lock Up, Work Up, Jump Up, and Fed Up, as well as the delightful ‘Lighten Up.’ These will have to wait for a longer, uh, post up. But for now we must include ‘Listen Up.’

Listen Up

Listening is not the same as hearing; it’s an active process calling on our ‘attention muscles.’ But the resources to attend (glucose and neural circuitry) are rapidly depleted in noisy sound environments; those circumstances when the voice we’d most like to listen to may be buried in cascades of other sounds. A little hearing loss aggravates that problem hugely.

Ironically, most ‘hearing problems’ aren’t due to hearing too little … but to hearing an excess of competitive interference. Improving that situation is the challenge of highly trained Hearing Care Professionals putting advanced signal processing to work. And that is the singular focus of Family Hearing Centers, now and for the past 51 years. It isn’t an easy task, and it isn’t perfect. But we get results; we Patch Up personal connections and we Lift Up the spirits of people struggling to hear more clearly. Just ask any of our thousands of grateful clients. When you are ready to ‘Tune Up’ the sound patterns of your ears for effortless listening – we can help.

OK, time to ‘Saddle Up’ and get back to work.

– H. Christopher Schweitzer, Ph.D.

Sr. Board Certified Audiologist
Family Hearing Centers of Colorado – Since 1963
Bonus: Here’s an interesting tidbit from a recent issue of New Scientist:
1000 Billion electrons are needed to power a hearing aid for 1 second!