Intentions Review for May 2019

My Star Word for this year is “Empathy”. The internet defines empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Merriam-Webster says, “Empathy is similar to sympathy, but empathy usually suggests stronger, more instinctive feeling.”

Here are my intentions for 2019.

Physical Health

  • Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 20 more pounds this year. – I’ve lost 5.2 lbs this year so far.
  • Continue to average 150 miles a month on my Fitbit. – I didn’t do very well in May, but I was hampered by my health. I intend to walk more, adding a short walk every morning, until I get clearance from the doctor to get back to more strenuous exercise.
  • Wednesday morning (May 1), I was released from the hospital with instructions to find a surgeon when I got back to Tacoma. I took an Uber to the station, and got on the Empire Builder for Seattle. I arrived back in Tacoma May 3rd. Big Al had made an appointment with my Primary Care Physician for May 10 for a referral to a surgeon to fix my hernia. I kept that appointment, and the first time the surgeon could see me of a consultation was June 3. By May 20th I was in bad shape, and basically bedbound. I went to the emergency room that night, and they sent me home with instructions on how to reduce the hernia externally. I started trying to get to a surgeon to do something sooner than June 3, and couldn’t get a call back. On May 22, I was back in the ER and threatening to camp out. The on-call surgeon came in a talked to me and she understood that I couldn’t spend the next week and a half flat in bed because of something that could be taken care of with day surgery. She scheduled me for surgery on Friday, May 24. I was in a 9:00 am and home by 5:00 pm. I took it easy over the weekend, and by Sunday morning I felt good enough to go to church. I took my last pain pill on Tuesday evening, and I’m feeling much stronger, and ready to get by to my life. My post-op appointment will be June 6, and I expect to be released with no problems.
  • My personal trainer is working on a 360 Wellness trainer certification, and I’m being one of her Guinea pigs. It focuses on physical health, emotional health, intellectual health, spiritual health, and the balance in all those things. (I didn’t know it when I started this monthly blog, but she must have been reading my mind.)

Emotional Health

  • I AM trying to remember “empathy” in my interactions with people I meet.
  • My spell in the hospital reminded me of how necessary kindness and empathy are when someone is ill. Also, I thank God for Medicare and TriCare (military retiree health care). No one has mentioned money to me yet. I’m a little afraid to see a bill, but so far everything is taken care of.

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading from fluff mysteries to more substantial novels. – Books read this year.
    • The Library Book by Susan Orleans – finished
    • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – finished
    • Becoming by Michelle Obama – finished
    • Womanish Midrash by Wil Gafney – finished
    • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – finished
    • The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor – finished
    • Entering the Passion of Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine – finished
    • Silent Night by Danielle Steele – finished
    • Autumn by Ali Smith – finished
    • Winter by Ali Smith – finished
    •  A Good Year by Peter Mayle – finished
    •  Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley – finished
    • The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman – finished
    •  Wife of Moon by Margaret Coel – finished
    •  Cleaning the Gold by Karen Slaughter and Lee Child – finished
    •  Beyond the Garden by Ashley Farley – reading
  • Continue to read the Washington Post and the New York Times for reasonably non-biased reporting. – I scan the headlines and read articles that interest me.
  • Continue to watch the Rachel Maddow Show to feed my angst and resolve. – Check
  • I’m also writing things for the Poetry class that meets twice a month. This quarter we’re working on short poems – one stanza or haiku. I hope to finish a little book with illustrations, collages, and poetry this month.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship. – Check. We’re taking a 6-week break from Bible Study and will resume in July. I managed to attend worship every Sunday, including teaching an adult class on foundations of Presbyterianism.
  • Try to carve out time daily for intentional prayer and meditation.

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones. – I still regularly attend the Gazebo Group (the folks who meet on Monday evenings for Happy Hour.)
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church. – I will return to Bible Study when it resumes in July. Coffee Hour is between the services, and it was held upstairs (adjacent to the Sanctuary) this month instead of on the lower level. I’ve been going pretty regularly.
  • Tend the relationships I have on Social Media. – I try to keep up with people I call my friends on Facebook. I’m trying to post “Five things that made me happy today” every day on Facebook. It really helps me to concentrate on things than make me happy instead of feeding my angst.


  • I’ve backed off from People Power. Life has interfered with my work there. Maybe I can resume when voting in the 2020 election heats us.
  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials.
  • Attend GA Nominating Committee meetings, both face-to-face and virtually. – See above.
  • Support #BlackLiveMatter, #Me,Too, #ThePoorPeople’sCampaign, #ClimateAction, and other social justice movements. – I donate regularly to MoveOn, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. I attend rallies and marches if I’m available.
  • Al and I went to a Community Iftar in May on one of the weeks I was not ill.


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