De-stress

It has been difficult to find time to write in the last few days. We have some family here from out of town and finding time alone is not easy. I miss it but I am also enjoying my family. This has been a good holiday but I will be glad to get back to normal.

One of the things that can be hard is to not be in a normal routine. It throws us off and makes it harder to relax. I will work through it in order to enjoy the time that we have together.

destress-october

The holiday season can be stressful for most of us. It is easy to obsess over shopping and wrapping and cooking until we are worn to a frazzle. In  the new year it is time to check how you are feeling and take some extra time to de-stress. The time after holidays can also be a let down. When we were living at West Point the cadets called it “gloom period.” If you live where the trees have all lost their leaves everything looks gray. It can make your life feel gray.

embrace

 

 

 

Find something to brighten your life. Go out to lunch or dinner. Treat yourself to a bubble bath or eat your favorite food. It will help you slide into the new year ready to embrace it.

New year, new changes

every-end-is-a-new-beginning-quote-3At this time of year people are thinking about the New Year. 2020. I never expected to see that year. My mind just couldn’t get that far but here we are. I don’t do resolutions. Instead I like to think about habits.

If we want to change anything about our life we have to start with ourselves and the only way to make changes stick is by having them become habits. During 2019 I managed to begin some positive things that I wanted to stick. I am glad to say that those changes are now habits. Making something a habit is hard word. In the beginning we have to push ourselves. We keep wanting to say “I’m not gonna do that today…I’ll do it tomorrow.” We skip one day and then the next and the change is just gone.

daily routineIf we struggle and work to keep on one day we will find that the change is not a struggle at all. It has become a habit. We have powered past that hard part and something good and new has happened.

If you have in mind to make any changes in 2020 forget about grandiose plans. Pick small changes and work on them one at a time. When one succeeds it makes it easier to take on the next one.

Small acts of kindness matter

 

Sometimes one small gesture can give us the strength to do enormous things. From “Call the Midwife” Season 7 Episode 4

small act of kindness

Recently I have gone through discovering my thyroid needed to be removed…setting up Dr. visits and having surgery. Not exactly what any of us want to do at any time….especially in the weeks before Christmas when there is so much that we want to do.

I wasn’t looking forward to it but knew it was important. I have also learned through the years that getting things done quickly is actually easier than dragging my feet. So I scheduled visits and surgery and began the process. I dreaded it…but what happened was unexpected.

The surgeon was cheerful and personable. (If you know anything about surgeons this is not the norm. They are nice but mostly see their patients asleep.) He put his hand on my shoulder (also unusual) and helped me to feel his caring about my case. He agreed that the surgery needed to be done.

I was sent to the scheduler who was friendly, pleasant and wanting to help me schedule so it fit my life. She knew I wanted to have it done quickly so as to get it behind me. A date was scheduled after Thanksgiving. The following Monday she called to say the surgeon had decided to work on Friday and she called me first to see if I would like to move to that day. That was perfect for me and I was touched that she remembered.

When getting the prep labs etc the nurse and I had an amazing discussion about our views of faith and God. She had been to Tibet to visit religious sites. She was another along my journey whose caring made my day better.

This all was more than one small gesture but each of them helped me to move forward with confidence and an expectation of success.

KindnessCanvas

Remember what your attitude and demeanor can mean to the people you connect with each day. We can make someone’s day better!

Lasting Memories

My husband loves Christmas. He can’t wait until the tree is up and the decorations out. He bought the tree while I was in the hospital but had it delivered after I came home. It is now up and decorated. (which he did) I am good but still some tired.

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I managed to get enough energy to do some of the other decorations and things look pretty nice. We have pared down some over the years and don’t over do.

If we strictly followed our church’s thought we would not put up decorations until Christmas Eve and keep them up for the 12 days of Christmas ending on Epiphany. When I was a child my father and I would walk into the woods and cut a tree on Christmas Eve. That was such an exciting time for me. Just spending time with my father doing something special was enough. I remember it with such fond memories.

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I hope we were able to give those kind of memories to our own children. These are things that can’t be duplicated. Expensive gifts are nothing compared to time spent with parents. It is so wonderful when we spend time with our own children playing, what I call, “remember when….the time the dog opened most of the presents under the tree during the night??” Those are the things that last.

Spend on memories not things. The memories last.

Work place stress

One of the joys that I have being retired is that I don’t have to work with bullies or crazy people. Over my years of working I have had to deal with many different types. Fortunately for me the people closest to me were usually wonderful.

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Over my working years I read a lot about how to handle situations at work and sometimes the advice worked and sometimes not. In my last job, as a parish nurse, the major frustration was not the staff but those elected by the congregation to sit on a board. The major headache is a typical one for any workplace in that the people who don’t do the work make decisions for the workers. If you are not the person doing the job you really have no idea how improve the work.

I think they were glad to see me go as in that job I didn’t have to work and was free to bring up any problems. May be why I am not there.

I once heard a consultant who “fixed” major corporations asked how he found out what needed to change. He said that he dressed like the workers, had no one tell anyone he was there, and spent time with those doing the jobs. He asked them how they did their job and how and what they would change to make it better. He took that information, wrote it up as his report and submitted it. I wonder if the companies followed his advice.

 

An “I” society

Today my husband and I took our weekly trip to the grocery store. When we came back out and unloaded out groceries then (as usual) I went to take the cart to the “return carts” place. On the way to do that I found three more carts in the middle of parking places that people had not bothered to return.

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Since this was no where near the handicapped area these were obviously people who were well able to return the carts. The total time that it took me to return all of the carts was less that one minute.

It is laziness? Are they too busy? Too important? Too uncaring? I mean really how long does it take to put the cart where it belongs. In addition to the cart not put away those carts blocked three parking places that could have been used.

We are really becoming a lazy, uncaring society. Yes, the carts would have been corralled by the staff of the store but in the meantime they are a nuisance to other shoppers and take extra time for the employees to retrieve.

It is not that this is wildly important but it is a symptom of a bigger problem. We have created a society of people who don’t care about anyone but themselves. I wish I knew how to fix this.

Disorder

The work on our bathroom continues. Today we had the insurance adjuster as areas below the shower seat and the floor were soaked. There must have been a break in the tile that we couldn’t see. We don’t know what they will do but anything will be a help.

DisorientedLogoThere is something disorienting about living somewhere in your house that you never stayed constantly in. It is a strange feeling. I didn’t ever think about it being off putting but it is. I don’t know why. It just feels wrong.

I really can’t think of the word to describe how it feels. The word that comes closest is disordered. According to the dictionary it is:  disrupting the healthy or normal functioning of.  Our closets are between our bedroom and the bathroom and the bedroom is covered with plastic and unusable. To get clothes I have to wander into the disaster zone and find what I want. I keep moving things to the bedroom I am using. Who knows what will be there when we get done.

coping-skills-2I am spending time out of the house, mediating when I can and generally using coping skills to stay myself. I didn’t expect something that is a happy circumstance to be disorienting. Oh well. Live and learn. As a nurse I know that even good stress is stress (eustress) and can get to you. I think that having to delay a week because of the hurricane didn’t help.

They are moving on with the work and I hope they are done soon.

Small steps = big changes

change will happen

When I began this blog I was in a very dark hole. I was struggling to find my way and a purpose for my time. I am happy to say that in the last two years I have come a long way. I do have meaningful purpose in my volunteer work with the Mediation Center. It has even grown more powerful recently in my shift to doing Community Conferencing. (the program that helps keep teens from the court system)

 

I have developed some habits that make my life so much better and let go of some that were pulling me down. I still have a way to go but being able to see progress is so wonderful.

Keep-going

 

Whatever you are facing in your life it is possible to make changes. We get bogged down because moving forward seems so slow. Don’t let that get to you. Just one step each day…one positive step will make change happen. We all backslide from time to time but keeping on is the key. Trying to learn to let each day be the focus is hard and I’m still learning but things are better. They can be for you too.

The Knit Wits

My friend and I have started an knit/crochet group meeting at a local coffee shop/restaurant. We have been meeting for quite a while but the group has suddenly begun to grow. It seems that we are gaining women who enjoy creating something beautiful while spending time with others. No phones, no media, just us. Since this meets at about 11:00 am we don’t have a lot of young women who can come but there are some young moms who stay at home with children who may want to join. I hope this happens. It will be a wonderful opportunity to share our old ideas and learn new ones.

The atmosphere of the place engenders pleasure and calm. It is like being in one’s home without having to clean and cook. This is an oasis on the islands where we live. There are sofas and lounge chairs where you can just chill. I love this place. The Friendship Coffee Company