My Star Word for this year is “Encourage”. The internet says “encourage” means to give support, confidence or hope to someone.
Here are my intentions for 2020.
I wrote this at the end of March. “Needless to say, everything went out the window early in the month. I managed to get my hair cut on the 5th, and went to church on the 8th, but then the bottom fell out. Gazebo Group was cancelled along with all classes, and other group activities on the 9th, including Senior University. Bible Study was cancelled on the 10th. On the 16th all Wellness classes and personal training was cancelled, and residents who eat in any of the dining rooms had to either pick up their meals and go back to their rooms, or have their meals delivered. The Wellness Center remains open, but all of the employees who work there are gone on unemployment.” The closures have remained for all of April, and we’ve been told that Senior University, Wellness Classes, etc., will not be held in May.
- Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 15 more pounds this year. – I’ve lost 4 pounds since 12/31/19. No change since the end of March, but, on the plus side, I haven’t gained anything either.
- Minimize chocolate, including mochas. – Since the end of Lent I HAVE indulged in the occasional mocha, but not like I was scarfing down at the beginning of the year.
- Be sure to get 25 grams of fiber every day. – Check!
- Continue to work with my personal trainer for strength, balance, and endurance.
- All personal training cancelled by COVID-19.
- Work on core strength and balance by myself between times. – I’ve ignored the strength and balance exercises I was assigned for during the lock-down, except the (very) occasional sit-to-stands and seated planks.
- I’m walking much more, and not relying on the NuStep in the Wellness Center for my step count. I’ve been averaging 10,000 steps a day.
- Notice and report any unexpected physical changes (rashes, bumps, etc.) to my doctor. – no new rashes, bumps, or aches!
- In the light of COVID-19, I’m trying to be much more intentional about washing my hands regularly – ALWAYS after I’ve been out of the house. – Wash Your Hands, Don’t Touch Your Face.
- Remember that excessive encouragement can be nagging. – I’m trying to remember.
- Say it with a smile. – I try to remember, but as we’re shut in together, I’m finding it really easy to get testy over NOT MUCH.
- I’ve also realized that Big Al and I don’t function with the same motivations. If I have something that needs to be done, I do it right away. He prefers “Never do today what you can put off to tomorrow.” It makes for some “interesting” family dynamics.
- Now that I’ve realized that, I hope I’m being more empathetic (empathy was my Star Word last year) when he rebels against my “schedule”.
- My biggest emotional need right now is to internalize how not being able to look forward to all kinds of things is eating at me. An empty calendar really gets to me. Realistically, I know I may not see family again for two or more years (at least until there is a verified vaccine). And at age 75 (almost 76), even discounting things like automobile accidents, or catching the virus, my horizon of possibility is shrinking. I think I’m probably at the “depression” level of grief right now, and I understand there’s nothing I can do but endure. There are trips that won’t be taken, restaurants that won’t be eaten at, sporting events that will never happen, hotels that won’t be visited, etc.
- Continue to post “Five Things that Made Me Happy Today” every day on my blog.
- Some days, this is the only thing that helps me get on with living my life (no, I’m not suicidal, just down.)
- I’ve returned to my Meditation practice, daily. I’m using the Oak app. It fits my needs, and helps with my mood.
- Expand my leisure reading. Read 50 books this year (not just “fluff”).
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – finished
- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo – finished
- Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy – finished
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – finished
- On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle – finished
- 142 Ostriches – by April Davila – finished
- Pretty Girls – by Karen Slaughter – I gave myself permission to quit after 25% of it
- The Tuscan Child – by Rhys Bowen – finished
- The Victory Garden – by Rhys Bowen – reading
- Keep up with the national news daily without obsessing over it.
- Listen to NPR
- Watch Rachel Maddow
- I’ve subscribed to Heather Cox Richardson’s daily letter. It’s helping keep me sane.
- Participate in Creative Writing classes here at Franke Tobey Jones.
- All in-person courses cancelled by COVID-19.
- We were able to complete the Flash Fiction course via Zoom this month.
- Attend Brain Training when it is offered by Senior University. – Cancelled by COVID-19 – and none scheduled for May.
- Participate in Great Decisions here at Franke Tobey Jones. – This month we participated in two chapter discussions on Zoom. Not many people there, but a manageable group. We’ve been given access to the videos that go with each chapter.
- Participate in virtual weekly Bible study on Zoom.
- Participate in virtual weekly Worship on Facebook Live
- Participate in Interfaith Dialogue – The Community Seder and the Community Iftar were cancelled by COVID-19. I really miss the contact with my Muslim and Jewish friends.
- Continue with General Assembly Nominating Committee – The General Assembly will be rescheduled and held remotely with only the essential business being conducted. Our part is essential, so we’re waiting to hear about a Zoom meeting sometime in May.
- Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones.
- Wellness Center – The center remains open, and I use it when weather keeps me from walking. No other people there, usually.
- Gazebo Group – We continue to meet weekly on ZOOM, and new people are joining us almost every week.
- Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
- Bible Study – Fewer people attend via Zoom than attended in person. I’ve been remiss in not reaching out to those I’ve missed seeing.
- Earth Care Congregation – we have been certified as an Earth Care Congregation. The bees have hatched in the garden, and people are planting their summer veggies.
- Keep up with family.
- My sisters and brother and I have an Instant Messenger group set up and we check in on each other every morning, and through the day.
- I send an IM to my children every morning asking for a “Wellness Check.” Sometimes I even get additional information about their families without asking.
- My sisters and I (and sometimes a niece and a cousin and her daughters) do a Zoom call every Sunday afternoon. I’ve seen and talked to them more this month than in years. I hope we continue that even after all this is over.
- Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials. – all cancelled by COVID-19. I try to participate when there are virtual meetings.
- Support the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and MoveOn. – Check
- I have regular donations going to my US Representative, and to the Democratic National Committee.
- Support the election of officials who are champions for Social Justice issues.
- Climate action
- Racial justice – I sign and send petitions, particularly when requested by the Presbyterian Office of Social Responsibility
- Health Care Availability
- Wealth Inequality