Those of us who are in the last chapter of our lives need to know that we can still make a difference. Continue to live each day to leave behind a legacy of love and caring.
The days slip by and all seem more or less the same. I once read something that said change things up each day to make them stand out. Then it will seem that things are more interesting. It may only be driving to work a different way. That made sense. When I was still working I sometimes had no idea how I got to work. I knew I drove there but that’s about all.
We do have to be intentional about paying attention to life even when the days can blend into one another. Yesterday I baked bread and today I worked in the yard. That helps me remember those two days. If I just sit and watch TV then nothing is different.
Even in this covid time take time to make changes each day. Do something that makes that day memorable. It doesn’t have to be spectacular but just something to mark the day.
When we drift into same, same, same it is easy to feel depressed and anxious. Just a walk outside to watch the birds will help.
There are so many projects that could be done around here.So many things that need doing. Yet some how I have lost my enthusiasm.
There is something about staying at home that has made me less likely to do the things that I should.I have been knitting and crocheting so I am doing something useful. However,There are so many other things that I could be doing.
There is so much yard work to do. My front and back porches need painting.There is housework that can be done. Why is it that I don’t want to do those things? Not having a regular schedule seems to make me lethargic.It makes it too easy to sit around and do nothing.
This is definitely not the way to be. Tomorrow I plan to get some yard work done and some other things that are stacked up at home.We are not in total and complete lock down so we can get out but plan to keep it limited because of our ages.
This is the perfect time to do some of the things we have put off don’t just sit do something !
As I was out walking today I thought about how many of our illnesses are caused by our lifestyle. Heart disease, some cancers, COPD, and many others are directly linked to how we live.
I was reminded of a friend of mine who smoked. Each year she stopped smoking for Lent and then started back up after Easter. What a crazy thing to do.
Some problems arise because of our mental health. Anger can be linked to stroke and high blood pressure. Anxiety and depression can lead to suicide. I don’t think we cause those problems ourselves but they may be, and frequently are, linked to our childhood. Our parents were responsible for how we were treated as children. In some cases this was good and in others not. It can be a major struggle to overcome childhood trauma and it does affect lifestyle which in turn affects health.
More and more we are learning about the link to our lifestyle and our health issues. I hope that we are able to make better decisions for ourselves as we learn and especially for our children. Maybe the more we learn the healthier we will be.
We procrastinate. I think we all do. We put off things. Those of us who have anxiety would rather suffer being anxious than tackle the thing that is causing the problem. We would rather obsess about it and keep putting it off. This make the anxiety blossom and nothing has gotten better.
I am better at doing things than I used to be. Somewhere along the line I discovered that doing the thing I dreaded got it our of the way and then I felt better. Sometimes the list has to be scrapped until the next day. Sometimes I fall back into the trap of putting things off and then I suffer for it.
One of the things that got me started was some advice a number of years ago. The person suggested making a list of the things that needed doing and then prioritize them. You may not get to the end of the list each day but you will be able to cross some things off. Seeing those cross outs makes you feel better. It also tackle the things that I obsess about first.
It doesn’t work for everything but is does help with some things.
I have written about this before but today it jumped out at me again. We are a nation of hoarders. As a nation we have too much stuff. Near my neighborhood there are already two massive storage facilities for people to put their excess “junk” in. I have know people who put stuff in those places and later have no idea what they have stored. I know there are some people who have downsized and know they will be moving up again and need to keep their things but they are the exception.
There is a TV program where people bid and buy unopened storage places and recycle for money what is inside.
Now a brand new huge facility is being erected. I guess there is so much “stuff” that we have outdistanced the two already here. What are we thinking?
I have spent the last six months sorting and cleaning out closets, cabinets and drawers and taking the excess to charity. I am still not done and am ashamed that I have so much extra that I don’t need. At least I have never needed a storage facility to house the excess. I know that someday we will have to move from our home (as age catches us) and my intention is to give away everything we don’t need for a smaller place. I will not keep and store things.
Are we a hoarding nation?
I have this quote hanging where I can see it when at my desk. It is so powerful. There is always so much that we don’t or can’t understand and we can chew on it over and over. Rilke says that we have to let it go and gradually we will be able to live into the answers.
If we persist chewing on them we can’t move forward. We have to LIVE today. We can’t be obsessing over things we don’t understand. Let it go.
Today we went to the grocery story. It still amazes me how many people do not put the carts away. These are not people parked in the handicapped places but others. There are many cart return places and no one has to walk far to take a cart back.
This is just one of many small things that we can do to make things better for everyone. Possibly these are the same people who throw trash out of their car windows, leave trash on the beach and are unconcerned about who has to clean it all up.
Consideration is the name of the game. Nothing huge but small things that make life better. When you think of how long most of these small things take it is minute. I can see the worker coming out of the grocery store and looking around in disbelief as all the carts are in their proper place.
Remember small courtesies make a BIG difference.
I was scheduled for a Community Conference this morning. The child involved did not show up. We were told that the mother is usually the problem with this particular child. For me that is really sad. The child’s case will go back to juvenile court to be dealt with. It is awful that this mother cares so little for her child that she would let the child enter the Juvenile Court System rather than find other solutions and have the case closed. If they had appeared we would have worked to find options for reparations that did not include going to court.
It just makes me want to find this mother and tell her to get her priorities in order. Of course that would do no good. So many children are with parents who are uncaring or so self absorbed that the children don’t matter. Some of the parents solve problems by themselves getting in fights or some other unacceptable way of handling things.
We have to begin teaching conflict resolution in elementary school to try and stop this. Children learn what they see and do what their parents do. It would be good to offer a class for the parents as well and hopefully change what the children are exposed to.
Violence breeds violence.
If there is one thing I have learned in the last week it is that a 79 year old does not bounce back. My husband has had several surgeries in the last few years…mostly from jumping out of airplanes in the army. I have had none. I have always been supportive of him during his recoveries but I am not sure I have appreciated just how hard it is to get back to your best you can be.
He has been so supportive and kind to me with this surgery which was not a bad one (as surgeries go), I guess experience is the best teacher.
I have no complaints today other than being tired. I am usually the energizer bunny but have had to listen to my body and rest. I am grateful that everything went so well.
I have always spent a lot of time crossing bridges before getting to them. This time I was better than usual. I think the time I have spent learning new habits and applying the needed skills did make a difference. My journey to be “worryless” is advancing. I’m not at the end but making progress. We can get better but it does take work. Seeing this improvement encourages me to continue my efforts and keep going.
I think that it is easy to get discouraged when we can’t see progress but it will come with time. Just work your way through one day before considering the next. Things can change.