Intentions for 2020 – Review for December (and basically the whole year)

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 basically shut down the middle of March, opened up a little in May and in August we closed down again with the rising COVID-19 rates. The Wellness Center is open, but you have to sign up for a time to use the equipment – only one person at a time and only 30 min. three times a week. They are doing fitness classes on Zoom twice a week. No personal training. Still no dining rooms open, although the Dining Room did deliver Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner to our houses. No Happy Hour because it’s too cold to sit outside. The staff hosted 10 Days of Merriment before Christmas when they provided a treat and a drink. Still no gatherings, including Senior University, Gazebo Group, although we meet by Zoom. Still no visiting in any of the other buildings. Masks at all times outside the house. Shopping is still of the on-line variety. I go to Trader Joe’s about once a month, and I haven’t been to the commissary since the beginning of November – otherwise, I order from Safeway and they bring it out and put it in my trunk – no contact, or from Amazon – again no contact.

Physical Health

  • Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 15 more pounds this year. – I’ve managed to maintain the weight I came into 2020 with. Quarantine, difficulty in finding a place and decent weather to exercise have meant that I’ve yoyoed over 5-7 pounds and ended up back where I started.
    • Minimize chocolate, including mochas. – Starbucks keeps luring me with specials and “free” stars and I got a plethora of chocolate covered nuts for Christmas. At least I’m not eating MUCH more chocolate.
    • 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 cut down on the number of eggs I eat weekly – no more than 4 per week, and I’m keeping the cholesterol under 350 gms on the days I eat eggs, and under 150 gms on the other days.
  • Continue to work with my personal trainer for strength, balance, and endurance.
    • Still no personal training, and I do very little other than use the NuStep.
  • Notice and report any unexpected physical changes (rashes, bumps, etc.) to my doctor.
    • The biopsies on two places on my face revealed one squamous cell cancer that will be taken care of with a peel, and one basal cell cancer that I’ve scheduled Mohs surgery for towards the end of January.
    • I’m currently suffering through a 6-week peel that has me trying not to scratch my face off.
  • My mammogram was completely clear. The bone scan showed that I have a little bit of osteoporosis in my left fibula – 1.7% chance of a broken hip in the next 10 years.
  • 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. We carry Lysol wipes in the car for complete sanitation for our hands.
  • A fourth case of the virus was reported by a staff member at Franke Tobey Jones, one in July, one in September, one in October and one in November. We’ve had a total of 17 cases here, all limited to either staff or residents in the Skilled Nursing facility. They have a quarantine wing there, and everyone who was infected is now moved out.

Emotional Health

  • Remember that excessive encouragement can be nagging. – I’m trying to remember.
    • Say it with a smile.
    • Al knows what he should do (he has exercises to do between PT visits) but he is unmotivated to do them. I’m having a hard time NOT nagging him.
  • I’m becoming more resigned to this enforced confinement.
  • The promise of vaccines is wonderful, but I’m trying not to pin my hopes on that with case counts and deaths rising. We’ve gotten word that the staff and folks in Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and Memory Care will begin receiving shots 1/10/2021.
  • Continuing to post “Five Things that Made Me Happy Today” every day on my blog helps me.
  • 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”). I didn’t make it.
    • 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 – finished
    • When We Believed in Mermaids – by Barbara O’Neal – finished
    • How the South Won the Civil War – by Heather Cox Richardson – finished
    • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson – finished
    • The Lakehouse by Joe Clifford – finished
    • The Sentinel by Lee Child – finished
    • The Wonderboy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg – finished
    • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman – finished
    • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson – 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.
    • I’ve also recently subscribed to WTF Just Happened Today? A daily newsletter that arrives at 3:00 pm.
  • Participate in Creative Writing classes here at Franke Tobey Jones. – Creative Writing is on hiatus until sometime in the new year.
  • Participate in Great Decisions here at Franke Tobey Jones. – The new season will start in late January – possibly on Zoom.
  • I’m listening to Heather Cox Richardson on Facebook Live on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She answers questions on Tuesday and has started talking about Reconstruction on Thursdays.

Spiritual Health

  • Participate in virtual weekly Bible study on Zoom.
  • Participate in virtual weekly Worship on Facebook Live.
  • Our new transitional pastor will start with the new year.
  • Participate in Interfaith Dialogue – No meetings because of COVID-19
  • Continue with General Assembly Nominating Committee – Nothing happening for a while

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones.
    • Wellness Center – The center remains open, and I use it. No other people there.
    • 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. I subscribe to several Climate Change newsletters.
  • Keep up with family.
    • I try to communicate with my sons regularly on Instant Messenger.
    • My younger son lives close enough to come see us, and help if we need him. (His help was invaluable when my husband was in the hospital.)
    • My sisters and I have an Instant Messenger group set up and we check in on each other every morning, and through the day.
    • 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.

Social Justice

  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials. I try to participate when there are virtual meetings.
  • Support the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and MoveOn.
  • 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
    • Health Care Availability
    • Wealth Inequality
  • We vote by mail, exclusively, in Washington State.

30 Days of Thankfulness – 11/27/20

Today I’m so thankful for all the wildlife that enjoys my yard. This week I’ve been visited by the deer, a couple of squirrels, a family of raccoons and many, many birds. I have flickers, stellar blue jays, juncos, sparrows, woodpeckers, finches (gold, rosy, and plain), starlings, and flocks of bushtits, just to name a few. I LOVE this place.

30 Days of Thankfulness – 11/23/20

Today the RN for Home Health and the Occupational Therapist for Home Health come to help begin Big Al’s full recovery. Medicare and TriCare together make my heart sing. I’m so thankful I don’t need to shoulder all the responsibility for his ongoing well-being. Caregiving is not my strong suit, and I really don’t want to be the exercise police and the diet police.