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.
NOTE: We are gradually opening up, a little. The Wellness Center is open, but you have to sign up for a time to use the equipment – only two people at a time. The staff has a couple of classes a week – but no personal training. Still no dining rooms open, still Happy Hour in our driveway. Still no gatherings, including Senior University, Gazebo Group, etc. Still no visiting in any of the other buildings. Masks at all times outside the house. Last month I went to the dentist for my cleaning that had been put off since March and I finally got my hair cut this week. Shopping is mostly of the on-line variety. I go to Trader Joe’s about once a month, and to the commissary about once every six weeks – otherwise, I order from Safeway and they bring it out and put it in my trunk – no contact, or from Amazon – again no contact.
- Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 15 more pounds this year. – I’ve lost 3.8 pounds since 12/31/19. I’ve re-lost the weight I put on at the beginning of the pandemic.
- Minimize chocolate, including mochas. – No more than 3 mochas a week.
- 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.
- My cholesterol was a little high when I had my blood tests for my annual physical. I’m cutting down on the number of eggs I eat weekly (I was eating between 9 and 12 every week – easy protein).
- 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 seems to have recovered so I’m walking more every day – at least one long walk daily.
- Notice and report any unexpected physical changes (rashes, bumps, etc.) to my doctor. – I’ve noticed some rough patches of skin on my face and a few red spots that I will review with the doctor at the time of my annual checkup in August. Wearing a mask all the time is certainly not helping my complexion. I had one brush with basal-cell carcinoma 15 years ago so I want to be extra careful.
- 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. We also carry Lysol wipes in the car for complete sanitation for our hands.
- I’ve scheduled a bone density test (ordered by the endocrinologist) and my mammogram for September.
- There was one staff member who tested positive for COVID-19, but extensive contact tracing shows there was no spread.
- 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. I’m trying to stay grounded in this “between time”. The beginning is over, and I can’t see the end yet. Liminal space.
- 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 – finished
- Educated – by Tara Westover – finished
- Shameless – by Nadia Bolz-Weber – finished
- All American Boys – by Jason Reynolds – reading
- Since the weather has gotten warmer, I often spend a couple of hours in the rocking chair on the back porch reading.
- 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 August.
- Participate in Great Decisions here at Franke Tobey Jones. – This month we had a scheduled hiatus. We will resume in August.
- Participate in virtual weekly Bible study on Zoom.
- Participate in virtual weekly Worship on Facebook Live
- Participate in Interfaith Dialogue – There is a scheduled Interfaith Conversation on Race and Faith on Zoom sponsored by the Islamic Center of Tacoma with a panel of representatives from the Islamic Center, Temple Beth El, Trinity Church, and the local Buddhist Organization.
- Continue with General Assembly Nominating Committee – We had a good-bye party virtually on Zoom saying farewell to those folks who were rolling off of the committee after at least 6 years.
- 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 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 continue to 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 heartsick about the Federal troops who are occupying American cities. I’m encouraged by the actions of the ACLU to push back. They are winning most of the times they get to court.
- Health Care Availability
- Wealth Inequality
- There’s a primary election next Tuesday. We vote by mail, exclusively, in Washington State. I voted a week ago. Easy decisions. I largely voted for incumbents.