Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror and Christmas is just around the corner. We all know what that means! Lots of parties with crazy delicious food, fun drinks and yummy desserts. For many of us it also means Tums, Pepto Bismal and a hangover or 2. Shortly after the holiday last year, we decided to do a Whole30 Experiment and radically changed our eating habits. We expected it to last 30 days but we liked it so much we pretty much kept eating according to the program guidelines.
The Whole30 has you eliminate sugar, alcohol, dairy, legumes and grains and replace them with vegetables, high quality meat and healthy fat. We did a strict Whole30 for about 42 days and we ended it when we went on vacation last winter. On vacation we ate and drank anything we wanted and when we returned home we sort of resumed our new way of eating.
Many of the people I work with in the nursing home don’t seem to have much going on in their old age. They sit and stare into space or at the television screen until it is time for bed or their next meal. Whatever leisure activities they enjoyed in the past either cannot be completed in the nursing home setting or they have lost the interest or ability to participate.
I have worked with some elderly patients in their home as well and some of them are in the same position. They wait for the phone to ring, for their favorite game show or for a visitor to stop by. I want more in my old age! I want to be more like Mother Fran and other seniors who still know how to live life with a purpose.
I can remember sitting around the table and my sister-in-law asking everyone for their highs and lows of the day. She wanted to know the high point and the low point of each persons day. It was a great way to connect with each other, to share some important aspects of what happened that day and how you were feeling about it. On Thanksgiving, she would ask each of us to state what we were grateful for that day. She was ahead of her time in terms of understanding the benefits of expressing gratitude.
I’ve read about a gratitude exercise where every day you write down on a slip of paper something for which you are grateful. At the end of the year you can pull out those slips of paper and review them. Right here in My Little Blue Kayak, I have written about gratitude many times, including here and here. It seems that being grateful is all the rage!
When I was a kid we celebrated Thanksgiving in the traditional American way. Our family got together and prepared a delicious turkey dinner with all of the fixings. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but thinking back it was a complicated process that all of us engaged in. Think of an orchestra where every musician brings their special talents; knows what to play and when to play it in order to create a masterpiece!
My honey is not a complainer. When the going gets tough she doesn’t whine or moan; she just keeps plodding along until the task is done. She has missed 3 weeks of playing tennis due to a shoulder injury and now is sick with a cold. She still isn’t really complaining but I know she is hurting and feels crappy.
Last week I wanted to plant the seed that maybe she should go see her doctor about the shoulder. We chatted for a few minutes and then moved on. Before I left the room, I asked if she was ok and she just looked at me like I was a bit crazy. “No, I’m not ok, I am hurting.”
I just wrapped up my tough month of work that I wrote about early last month. In that blog post I detailed some of the things I planned to do to stay sane. I am happy to report I finished the month without pulling out my hair, losing my cool or having any type of breakdown. But I didn’t do it alone! I had lots of help to stay sane while working a lot of hours in an environment that doesn’t nourish my soul.
By definition, shouldn’t common sense be common? From my experience it is really not all that common and those that have it are blessed. When you use common sense you are able to identify problems in advance, solve simple issues that arise, go with the flow and deal with interruptions.
According to the dictionary, common sense is “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts”.
Some situations I have come across that make me go HUH?
You know that feeling when you buy something that you have coveted for a really long time? There can be immense satisfaction in owning something shiny and new. In 2010 I purchased a Mini Cooper Clubman with 10,000 miles on it and I was in love. It was a deep brown color and it caught my eye the minute I saw it.
I nicknamed that car “Hot Chocolate” and it looked amazing with my little blue kayak perched on its roof. I loved that car from the moment I laid eyes on it until this week when I gently patted its hood and said good-bye. “Hot Chocolate hit 112,000 miles last month, was burning oil, sounded rough and was started to look her age!
Last night my honey and I went to a wedding for one of my co-workers. It was a short, sweet ceremony followed by an hour-long cocktail hour, buffet dinner and wrapped up with some dancing. The night was a lot of fun and it was good to let loose a bit!
Now this freshly married co-worker is getting ready for her honeymoon and I am going to cover her shifts for the next 2 weeks. Then another co-worker is taking the following 2 weeks off and I am covering for her too. During this time I will also have a few yardwork jobs lined up.
Yup 4 weeks of essentially full-time work. I can’t believe I agreed to this. When I get stressed I lose my composure, I get off track and life gets chaotic. I don’t want this to happen this time so I thought I would do some planning in advance to ensure I stay sane for the next month!
I have been negligent in my posting responsibilities! Sorry but I have been busy leading what I like to think is a simple life. Overall it is simple but when something comes along to rock my boat it gets a bit tippy for a while! No worries though, all is good. Even now I don’t have time to write anything major, but I thought I would give a quick update regarding life in my little blue kayak!