Monday afternoon I called a dear friend. Just a simple check-in to see how she and her husband are doing during these strange times. We haven’t seen each other since March, and we’ve had one other phone call since then.
After our first phone call, she began shopping at the same grocery store I do. I had shared how easy it was to do an online order, set a date for FREE pickup, and have your groceries brought out and loaded in your trunk. Monday she shared she had been copying my shopping routine.
We talked about the surprises you get sometimes. Those shopping for you may think they’re picking the perfect substitute for an out-of-stock item. Or the surprise of learning your item is out-of-stock and there is no substitute. Or getting an entirely wrong item despite carefully ordering the one you wanted. AND there are no returns during the pandemic.
A good laugh came out of this part of our visit, and I asked my friend how she was dealing with all these surprises. She said, “Sherrey, for the year 2020 I have decided to lean on the word ‘acceptance.'” I like the idea of leaning on acceptance. A variety of situations exist where this is easily applied. This pandemic year has brought many issues where acceptance would help.
For each individual, there is likely a long list of things quite different from mine or yours. But each of us misses something we believe is an ordinary part of our lives. There is nothing we can do about it. Perhaps we can accept it until the pandemic is over.
I’m not much of a phone conversationalist, but I was glad I telephoned my friend on Monday. We laughed a little, shared a lot about our children, and she enlightened me to the world of acceptance during these times.
Who have you reached out to lately? Anyone? Family or friend? What have you accepted recently?
Following up on my post from last Monday, I’ve compiled a list of resources in which you may find information and/or interests from which you may find a way to help make a change.
These items were found in various circulated newsletters, blog posts, and my personal reading. As I publish this list, to my knowledge all links are working. Let’s hope nothing messes them up in their transmission to you.
I encourage you to find your way in our current situation to make a change in yourself, your community, your workplace, your church, your family, and on and on. It’s the only way things can become different–we all have to work together. Continue reading “Ways You Can Participate in Change”→
It’s all about timing these days. Living in a fast-paced world as we do, calendars, watches, and schedules keep us on time, most of the time.
Several things come to mind which depend on timing:
Figure skating partners must keep time to the music and each other.
Choirs match their voices in entrances and cutoffs so that they sound like one voice.
Gardeners pay attention to the right time to plant seeds and then thin the new shoots. Never forgotten is the timing of watering those seeds.
This all leads to my lack of timing this week. Following my last physical therapy session, I counted the days needed to recover. Somehow preparing blog posts slipped off my radar into the ether losing my timing for posts for this week.
Monday night I told Bob I was finally feeling better from last Wednesday’s session. We laughed as we realized that Wednesday waited on the horizon.
Bob asked if I’d thought of canceling this appointment and taking a break. I slipped off with no answer and thought about his words. I could do that. No one would know why I canceled. But if I cancel an appointment, I’m one session farther away from the goal, whatever it is right now. And I don’t want to get behind.
As you read this, I may be in physical therapy working hard. Wish me well!
Physical therapy isn’t always a popular topic, especially for those undergoing it. Why did I choose this as a post topic? Because these days, physical therapy is always on my mind. Once a week appointments with my therapist, and a daily exercise regimen between weekly appointments.
I’ve been blessed following this latest surgery to be treated by two of the best therapists I’ve yet to meet. David, my therapist in the rehab center, was one of the most compassionate of my caregivers. And he was a hard worker but always conscious of his patient’s physical well being.
My outpatient therapist, Amy, is equally compassionate and explains everything in lay terms so her patients understand her expectations and helps them set their own expectations. Additionally, Amy has a great sense of humor and makes you comfortable during each session.
The point I’m attempting here is that even though it’s called physical therapy, a lot more goes into its eventual success. Compassion, language, patient comfort and care all go into the perfect recipe for physical therapy.
It takes a unique individual to possess all the qualities above. And if that is the case, you are likely to have greater success and actually look forward to appointments.
Lots of folks make resolutions each new year. Others set specific goals. I’ve never been successful with either. As I attempt to live in the slow lane, I’m putting aside such organized planning for my life.
Instead, I’ve chosen the word “contemplate” to guide me through my next year.
Slowing down has shown me areas in my life lacking attention. Examples include God’s teachings, prayer, reading, music, and more. When we center on a given activity, we hear more, see more, sense more, and learn more.
The word “more” in that last sentence excites me. Why? Because in this fast-paced, recognition driven, madcap social media world, I run to keep up. If I slow down and allow myself space to focus on the important things, I receive boundless gifts in the form of “more.”
All that translates to slow down, think, contemplate.
About the time I reached this conclusion, Mary Oliver left us for a better place. Yet, during Oliver’s life, she gave us many gifts in her poetry and other writings. I began to scour the Internet reading about her life and her poetry. While doing so, I came upon one of my favorites, thanks to a high school English teacher, The Summer Day.
It’s my belief God has slowed me down for a reason. Perhaps so He could shine a light on what I need to be doing more often and with greater intention. And He’s probably asking Himself, “What is taking so long?”
Well, there are a few things over which I have no control currently. I firmly believe in God’s understanding and patience much more than I do my own. So, I’ll push forward with this new lifestyle and way of thinking and writing to see where they take me.
As a full-time legal secretary, wife, and mom, I felt busy. I longed for the days of retirement. People said when they retired there was never enough time for all they wanted to do. How could it be?
Now I know. With retirement in our lives for a combined 17 years, it seems each day reaches the brim of overflowing. Yet there are always things still left undone.
Add in my chronic pain and minor injuries (both of us) and it seems even more overwhelming. Facing surgery and recovery, I realize the time has come to make changes in my handling of this gift called life. Read with me for a few more paragraphs to see what my plans entail.
Achieving a Balanced Life
Balance is something we all count on in our physical world. Walking, running, biking, hiking, and any number of physical activities need good balance. Some of us have excellent balance, and some of us are likewise blessed, or not, with poor balance. I fall in the latter category (no pun intended).
Poor physical balance doesn’t mean I can’t have a balanced life. Life itself is:
Incrementally divided by time and how you spend it;
Affected by our activities, whether physical, creative or otherwise;
Based on our relationships and others’ impact on our lives;
Enriched by solitude.
1. Time and How We Spend It
Due to chronic pain and an unhealthy spine, I’m spending far more time on the computer than I should. Both sitting and standing are painful so those options aren’t as available to my writing as I’d like. Besides my writing, there is a newsletter and blog post reading. Then comes social media and email correspondence keeping me current with writing friends. Social media also helps keep up with family. More and more, everything requires a computer.
Bottom line, too much of my time seems front and center with my laptop. And I’m beginning not to enjoy it so much. You might say it’s because of my current spine pain and impending surgery but that’s not what I’m feeling. It’s what I’m going to call “computer burnout.”
2. Activities, Creative or Otherwise
If I’m going to be able to sit more comfortably after surgery, I want to quilt! If I could have a day or two a week in which I cut quilt pieces and sew them together, I’d be a happy camper quilter. And improved sitting means I could play the piano more often. Improved standing means I could work on my flute music. Both of these I miss because of (drumroll, here) “computer burnout.”
Also, I volunteer as a mentor in the Mothers of Preschooler program at our church. It requires only two Friday mornings a month, but there are other outside activities. Then new births among our group which include cooking for the family until mom is back on her feet again. Case in point: One of my mentees this past year gave birth to triplets. Although they were born in May (quite early in fact), they are just beginning to transition home. We’ll be cooking for them soon.
A great love of mine is being a “groupie” for the bands my husband makes music in, among them a Dixieland jazz group. I enjoy getting to know the other members and their spouses. And it’s great fun helping now and then hosting refreshments at a concert.
Bob and I enjoy supporting our church home and family in many ways. Each which requires a time commitment. This is something I’m not willing to give up yet.
3. Relationships and How They Affect Your Life
If I overload my day, I easily grow frustrated and a bit testy (don’t ask Bob what he calls this, OK?). This isn’t fair to Bob, especially if he’s in the middle of a new design project or new music or whatever he’s engaged in. My frustrations taken out on him make him feel less important than he truly is in my life. And it works both ways.
Time for keeping our relationship rich and loving should always be at the top of our list.
Friendships need a similar consideration. We never should take out on a friend our daily frustrations. Keep this in mind and you’ll feel better and so will your friends.
Don’t forget family, including children, parents, siblings, and even your pets. They don’t deserve to receive the brunt of your disgruntlement. And most importantly, they need to hear you say, “I love you.”
Bob and I both tend to be introverts. Solitude is important to each of us. And one’s desire for some alone time doesn’t bother the other. I probably have the advantage here. Bob has music rehearsals two nights per week plus an occasional Sunday afternoon. Concerts and performances come at odd and random times. As I mentioned above, I love to go along and support him.
We are both avid readers. Often we find solitude sitting in the family room reading. Soft classical music may be playing in the background. It’s amazing how you can find solitude in the same room with another person. We spend many pleasant hours that way in our home.
Solitude is an important part of self-care and we need to bring this to the forefront of our own well-being. Time to reflect on your life, values, memories or to spend time in meditation is healing in many ways. Don’t ever forget to take care of yourself.
I’ve taken a long time explaining myself (sorry!). What I need you to know is that my posting schedule with the blog will soon change. In fact, I missed posting last week.
Starting today, I will be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites much less than usual. I will continue to participate in a few groups a bit more actively because of their relationship to my writing.
Beginning with this post, I’ll be posting every other week, when possible. Surgery, recovery, and rehab will dictate sometimes. Those who requested my posts via my newsletter will arrive as they always have. When I post, you’ll receive it under cover of my MailerLite account.
My newsletter schedule will change as well. The newsletter will no longer come out on the third Wednesday of the month. Instead, I plan to make my newsletter quarterly rather than monthly. This change will take place beginning in October. The first quarterly edition will arrive in your inbox on Thursday, October 4, 2018.
I hope you will each take the time to review your own lives and commitments. Take time to look for balance, harmony, and joy in your life. If it isn’t there, figure out why and then make whatever changes are necessary.