Intentions for 2020 – Review for May

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 May, and we’ve been told that Senior University, Wellness Classes, etc., will not be held in June, although accommodations are being added gradually. Wellness staff is now holding “hallway exercises” for 3 or 4 people at a time in the buildings, accompanying individuals on walks around campus, etc. You have to sign up for 1/2 hour slots to use the equipment in the Wellness Center – no more than two people at a time in the area. We have to wear masks inside buildings, and are encouraged to wear them walking around campus. Senior University is providing Zoom classes on various subjects, and is also pointing us to YouTube videos, etc.

The staff is bringing “Happy Hour” around to us every week. We take our folding chairs out and sit in our driveway, and they drive around with wine, sodas, and snacks. We visit with our next door neighbors in their driveway.

Physical Health

  • 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. – Unfortunately my mocha consumption has gone back up as the shelter-in-place continues.
    • Be sure to get 25 grams of fiber every day. – Check!
  • Continue to work with my personal trainer for strength, balance, and endurance.
    • My trainer has given me a program to work on by myself to get back to where I was when they pulled the plug on everything at the beginning of March. .
    • I try to do it 3 days a week.
    • The last couple of weeks I’ve been recovering from a pulled Achilles tendon, so I’m 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. – I’ve noticed some rough patches of skin on my face that I will review with the doctor at the time of my annual checkup in July.
  • 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. I also carry hand sanitizer in the car, and use it religiously as soon as I get back in the car when I go on the rare shopping expedition.

Emotional Health

  • Remember that excessive encouragement can be nagging. – I’m trying to remember.
    • Say it with a smile. – I think I’m doing better at this now. Generally, I’m less on edge or easily irritated.
    • 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.” He and I are both mellowing out a little.
    • I hope I’m being more empathetic when he rebels against my “schedule”. And he doesn’t rebel quite as forcefully.
  • I’m a little more accepting of the loss of things I had been looking forward to. The hard part now is not knowing when, if ever, this will all end. It’s looking pretty endless now, but I know, this too shall pass.
  • Continue to post “Five Things that Made Me Happy Today” every day on my blog.
  • I’ve returned to my Meditation practice, daily. I’m using the Oak app. It fits my needs, and helps with my mood.

Intellectual Health

  • 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 – finished
    • Carrying Albert Home – by Homer Hickam – reading
  • You would think with the “Stay Home – Stay Safe” order I would have more time to read, but, alas, it seems like I’ve lost a lot of the will to sit and look at a book. That, and I have a bad habit of falling into a rabbit hole on the internet and frittering away several hours doing nothing. I try not to beat myself up over it. I understand that mentally I need to just do some mindless things sometimes.
  • Keep up with the national news daily without obsessing over it.
    • Listen to NPR
    • Watch Rachel Maddow
    • I subscribe to The Washington Post, and The Seattle Times, and try to read most of the important news once a day.
    • 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.
  • Attend Brain Training when it is offered by Senior University. – Cancelled by COVID-19 – and none scheduled for June.
  • Participate in Great Decisions here at Franke Tobey Jones. – This month we had a discussion of Slavery and Human Trafficking on Zoom. One of the best chapters so far this year. We’ve been given access to the videos that go with each chapter.

Spiritual Health

  • 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. Nothing yet scheduled for the fall.
  • Continue with General Assembly Nominating Committee – We finalized the slate for General Assembly during a 4-hour Zoom call a couple of weeks ago.

Social Health

  • 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.
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
    • Bible Study – Fewer people attend via Zoom than attended in person.
    • 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.
    • I’m attending a Zoom Earth Ministry meeting this afternoon.
  • 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.

Social Justice

  • 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’m devastated over the murder this week of an unarmed black man by a police officer while three other officers looked on in Minneapolis. Looking for ways to support my friends who are people of color.
    • Health Care Availability
    • Wealth Inequality


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