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, May, and June. Wellness staff is still 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. They are exploring having one or two in-person classes in the Wellness Center for those of us in the Duplexes. 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 and anyone else who wanders by in masks.
- Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 15 more pounds this year. – I’ve lost 2 pounds since 12/31/19. I had lost 4 pounds by the beginning of March and I’ve only gained 2 pounds since then, so I guess that’s a plus.
- Minimize chocolate, including mochas. – I’m not having as many mochas in a week as I was last month, but I get my fingers in the trail mix with M&Ms too often.
- My endocrinologist wants me to get more calcium (preferably from food or drink) and she told me it’s okay to count the mochas towards my calcium intake.
- Be sure to get 25 grams of fiber every day. – I’ve gotten some crackers that taste like sawdust but that have 4 gms of fiber in each one with only 20 calories, so I eat them with cheese (adding calcium).
- Continue to work with my personal trainer for strength, balance, and endurance.
- Personal training has been cancelled, but she sees me when I use the equipment and always has encouraging words to say.
- My Achilles tendon is still iffy, 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. Wearing a mask all the time is certainly not helping my complexion.
- 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.
- I’ve scheduled a bone density test (ordered by the endocrinologist) and my mammogram for September.
- I got my teeth cleaned this month after putting it off from it’s regularly scheduled time in March (when all dental offices were closed except for emergencies).
- All the staff and the residents in Health Care and Assisted Living have been tested for the virus, and well as 75% (or more) of the Independent residents. There were ZERO positive tests. We sometimes thought the strict measures put in place by the administration were excessive, but they seem to have done the trick.
- 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.
- Every now and then I get a little down because I can’t see an end to this enforced confinement.
- Continuing to post “Five Things that Made Me Happy Today” every day on my blog helps me with my frustration.
- 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 – finished
- Carrying Albert Home – by Homer Hickam – finished
- Clair de Lune – by Jetta Carleton – finished
- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek – Kim Michelle Richardson – reading
- I’m still having trouble settling down with a book, but I try to read for half an hour or so before I go to sleep, at least.
- Keep up with the national news daily without obsessing over it.
- Listen to NPR. I’m a member of my local Seattle station, and have started taking advantage of special on-line interviews they offer to members.
- Watch Rachel Maddow
- I subscribe to The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and CNN’s 5 Things You Need to Know, and I 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 July.
- Participate in Great Decisions here at Franke Tobey Jones. – This month we had a discussion on Zoom of U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle (aka Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador). Not really a part of the world I care much about. It was depressing to learn how we in the United States have messed in their lives and governments and then abandoned them.
- 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 in mid-May. Our slate was accepted with no additional nominees at General Assembly last week (held virtually)
- Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones.
- Wellness Center – The center remains open, and I use it. 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 enjoying 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 since the COVID 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’m hopeful that the killing of George Floyd will be the turning point. I fully support the call to defund the police, particularly since they don’t seem to be able to control the “bad apples” that give them all a bad name. Camden, NJ, seems to have had the right idea in firing everybody and starting over.
- Health Care Availability – I’m hopeful the Supreme Court will be sensible and not pay attention to the President’s suit to do away with the Affordable Care Act. I can’t think of a worse time to do that than right now in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.
- Wealth Inequality