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.

Plan a joyous holiday

being happyChristmas is coming fast. I hope that I can shake off some of the “tireds” and get everything done. I love this time of year but it is really hectic. It is also a difficult time for those who are suffering from grief or any other crisis. We need to be mindful of others and help where we can. If you have a friend who has no family to be with include them in your festivities.

For years we had another family joining us for Christmas dinner. The dad in the family had died and we made them part of ours. My family is noted for what my kids called “taking in strays.”

This can be a lonely time for others. I had to adjust to not having all my children around when they married, had families of their own, and moved away. Life is ever changing and we have to be willing to change with it. I choose to accept the joy that I have instead of longing for the things I don’t have. The past is gone and now is where we are.

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Celebrate the holidays in any way that works for you. Take a day for yourself. Do something special just for you. Plan something with friends. Don’t sit home and be sad. You can make a choice. Plan ahead!

? The Death Panel?

choices medicalI have been out of the loop for several days. Had thyroid surgery on Friday and am feeling good…just tired. After a fall season of chaos I hope we are moving into a winter season of rest and joy. I now have to catch up on reading everything that I missed.

I hadn’t been involved in the hospital system for a while and had forgotten how dehumanizing it can be. The hospital was good, care was good it is just how the system operates. It is so easy to feel like someone out of one of the dystopian novels. Especially the older ones like 1984 and Soylent Green. It is easy to imagine yourself discovering that the light embedded in your arm has just lit up and it is time for you to go and be floated up to bliss.

It has been under discussion and very much under wraps having a Death Panel decide who will be left to die. The majority of money is spent on end of life care. Sometimes the kind where life is extended but not necessarily for the better.However, judgement needs to be made based on health and choice. If we are lucky the medical system will continue to allow us to make out own choices and not force the elderly but active to be told that nothing is allowed at their age.

Terrible topic. So sorry. It is just something that I know could come if we don’t have a say about what happens.

I promise more pleasant topic tomorrow.

Preparing for surgery with new focus

The events of the last few weeks have been stressful but organized. I am to have surgery on Friday to remove the other half of my thyroid. It is pressing on my trachea. The Dr. visits and pre-surgery were especially good with pleasant, wonderful, caring people and greatly efficient. The whole process has gone exceedingly smooth. It was moved from Tuesday Dec. 3 to this Friday as the Dr. decided to work that day. Now just to get it done and headed back to my ??normal?? self. The surgery itself it not difficult we just don’t want to find any unexpected problems.

consistency (1)

As part of my journey I have worked hard on finding new ways to reduce anxiety in my life and some of it is paying off. My consistency with prayer, meditation and focus on each day has really improved. That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been moments but nothing like before I started this journey.

Consistency and a determination to live more fully and joyfully are making a difference. I may succeed in conquering it before I shuffle off the planet. The lesson learned it that no matter how many times spent backsliding getting up and going on it what matters. Each day is progress….maybe not so visible but it is there.

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If you pray keep me in your prayers and if not send good thoughts my way.

Whatever

hourglassThe sun is shining beautifully outside but in here it is raining on me. For the last several months things have been breaking or going wrong around here but it hasn’t stopped yet. I feel as if I am in the bottom of an hourglass just waiting for the sand to cover me. None of the things have been major but they are piling up.

We had a leak on our property and our water bill was enormous. I dropped and broke the glass on my Kindle. It still works so I will see if it can be fixed. I caught the back edge of my car on a bike rack and that has to be fixed. (again no major damage…just aggravating)  My printer quit so I have to get another one. Somehow it is time for this to stop.

On the plus side my grandson, wife and great grandson are coming for Thanksgiving. We are so excited about that. We always have to take the bad with the good.

In spite of all of this the sun is shining and life goes on. I realize that perspective is everything. If our expectations are that everything will always go well we are in for a big shock. I think that is why we can be so disappointed. Our expectations are so far off from reality. It is how I choose to live each day not what happens. Many of the things that have gone wrong will be funny when they are in the past.

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Choose to roll with whatever happens. It makes us happier.

People matter

expect-e1573855705917.jpgToday is my 79th birthday. I was hoping that it would be a good day but my hope was in vain. While backing out of a parking place my car caught on someones bike rack and pulled loose a part of the side panel on my car.

This is my favorite car that I have ever had. It is not going to be difficult or expensive to fix as it looks as if it just needs to be popped back but it really got to me. I don’t know if it’s because I was expecting a good day or if it is because the car is my favorite.

It is not usual for me to be so upset about something like that but I am. Just one of those days.

 

I have talked to many times about how life is never boring and here it is again. The fact that it is not boring can be because of something good or something bad. Today it was something bad. We will get the car fixed and all will be well. Now all I have to do is get myself back to a better state of mind. By tomorrow this will just be a bump in the road. After all, for me, it is not things that are important but people. Remember that when things go wrong that can be dealt with.

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People matter!

My list

I have gotten better about some things as I have aged. On Friday I will turn 79 years young. The year before eighty. It seems like a milestone. It has made me think about the things I really can do something about and came up with this list.

  1. My choices and actions
  2. My attitudes and priorities
  3. The people that I chose to be with
  4. How I use my resources both physical things, my energy and my emotions

If-you-create-a-vision-for-yourself-and-stick

These are the things that I have some control over. Anything else is not something I need to worry about, stew over or waste time on.

Now the only things I need to do is to stick to this list.

Life and death

Years ago I was distressed by  a family’s loss. In an auto accident one young daughter was killed. I felt that her life had been cut short. A minister friend had a different perspective. He felt that each of us has a life span that is ours alone….just as we are all individuals.

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I was reading a novel today and came across a similar thought that was attributed to the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. The book is “Gullah Secrets” by Susan Gabriel. Living near and having cared for Gullah people I have always respected their wisdom.

An elderly Gullah woman says: “Like a story, every life on earth has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Sometimes a story lasts only hours. Sometimes days, years, or decades……It is not about the lucky or the unlucky. The good or the evil…..Life and death are in an eternal dance just like that whirlwind. Wind and sand. Sand and wind. A dance across time.”

This vision of each of our lives is comforting to me. My birth and death are mine and are as unique as I am. Life and death. They both continue.

 

 

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.

types-of-coworkers

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.

 

Learning and using it

Today I had to attend a class to re-certify as a mediator. The class was helpful and interesting but I realize I am no longer used to sitting in class all day. At one point I stood up for a while to just get out of the chair. We were given breaks but the first one was long in coming.

It is interesting when many things that you have done in life enrich whatever you are doing presently. I have noticed this happening several times in my life. It’s as if I am being prepared for the next thing to come. Today was mostly about listening, discovering what lies beneath problems, and helping to find common ground between people. I have used and taught communication skills many times in my life and this was mostly a endorsement of what I have already learned. I will be using it in a different way and learning that was helpful.

Learning-never-stop

If we are truly living we are learning all the time. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t learn something new. Maybe from TV or books or other people. It is interesting to think at the end of the day about what is new and how can you use it.

Nothing is ever wasted. As you age you learn something you thought was useless 10 years ago is just what you need now. Absorb everything you can in life and somehow it will be used.