Now What?


Throughout this entire, long, drawn-out, nasty campaign for the Presidency of the United States I have kept opinions to myself. I would not engage in ANY political discussions with anyone: family, friend, coworker or stranger in line at the grocery store. I even kept my mouth shut watching the third presidential debate with my husband beside me on the couch, knowing we were each biting our individual tongues so as not to insult each other — you could say our political leanings differ.

My belief has always been that the decisions we make in the voting booths are ours to use as we see fit. We all do our homework, or not, on the issues and candidates from local, to state, to federal levels of government and then cast our votes accordingly. And although we may do the intellectual homework, I believe when it comes down to the actual flipping of the lever or filling in the bubble sheet, we actually vote from an emotional perspective including those who say they “vote for the most qualified candidates regardless of party affiliation.” It’s all emotional.

We have beliefs and thoughts we hold dear to our hearts, grounded in our life experiences, good, bad or otherwise. The day before the election I re-posted the meme below, and although this morning I am having a tremendously difficult time not being despondent, I’ve decided to revive my daily gratitude blog. My hope is that by acknowledging the day-to-day things for which I am grateful, I will find my way through the next four years with grace, understanding and respect for beliefs, decisions, and opinions that are different that my own.

My “thank you” today is for this platform on which I can share my words and hope that readers will find what they need here.

14962656_10207667694391113_8661302653781604361_n

Bloggers with thoughts:

 

 

Lucille (weekly photo challenge)


This week’s photo challenge (Rare) got me thinking about how rare it is for me to have an elderly person in my life.  Last week we took our friend and former neighbor, Lucille, out for her birthday–her 89th birthday!  been in assisted living now for 3 years; since her third, and last, fall in her home.

She does not have much family and  no one really visits her with any regularity, except for me and my husband.  That’s not to say though, that she stays cooped up in her room all day.  Not Lucille!  She takes advantage of every road trip, bingo session, sing-a-long, or any other activity that’s offered at her residence.  Either my husband or I take her shopping at least once a month and stop to visit when we are in her neighborhood.

Lucille has let us know, often, that we’re “her people”. I’m grateful today that I’ve had the chance to get to know her and call her a friend.

Lucille

Gentle Reminder or a Knock to the Head


Of late I’ve not been practicing what I preach, as the saying goes.  I’ve gotten away from my daily practice of gratitude and it happened when I stopped blogging every day. Today, two V-8 knocks to my forehead reminded me that I’ve got to get back to writing every day and, more importantly, return to expressing my gratitude for each and every day–and that starts today.

********************************************************************

1.  From Joel Osteen’s Daily WordYou’re a person of destiny. God is counting on you to make a difference in this world and fulfill your purpose. With this gift of life comes a responsibility to develop your talents, pursue your dreams, and become what God has created you to be. AND 2. begin and end day

Writing with Pens and Pencils


When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?

I’ve been told many, many times that I have lovely handwriting.  It probably comes from learning how to write “cursive” in first grade–Catholic school.  I am often the de facto note taker at meetings, particularly if it requires writing on chart paper or dry erase boards.

There a couple of things I typically refuse to do with a keyboard:  Christmas cards and thank-you notes.

imagesT4XYVNYCI wholeheartedly believe that thank you notes do not get the attention they deserve.  At work, I have a drawer full of note cards.  I write about five thank you notes a week.  Sometimes it’s a few lines and sometimes a couple of paragraphs, but always by hand!  I often see the cards tacked to a bulletin board or sitting on a bookshelf;  leading me to believe that while most of the staff I work with certainly appreciate any acknowledgement of gratitude, it’s the hand written ones that are most valued by the receiver!

So, sharpen your pencils and make sure there is ink in your pen and say Thank You!

Check Out What Other Bloggers Think of Pens and Pencils:

Thankful for Nurse Carol


My admiration for nurses began when I was 5 years old. I was brought to the hospital to have my tonsils taken out. I remember three things most: being in a room with several shiny cribs, that I was the only little girl in the room with other pediatric patients were, and my nurse:  Nurse Kelly.

It was the first time I received anesthesia and I remember Nurse Kelly standing at the top of my bed; her head was upside down to me and she probably was telling me exactly what was going to happen. But at 5 years old I’m sure I didn’t pay too much attention — I simply thought the coolest thing about her was her name!

The next nurse that I have a particular fondness for is the nurse from our family doctor’s office, Fran. She ran that office like clockwork.  I can barely remember having to wait for any amount of time before we got to see the doctor; unlike the offices I sit in as an adult.  Fran would greet us with a smile and a familiarity of a long-time friend.  I think the occasional lollipop was received after annual flu shots, too.

nurse thankI have nurse friends and nurse co-workers whose dedication to their profession is simply unmatched by so many others.  But the nurses who’ve impressed me the most are the ones who took care of my Mom during her more than three-week stay in the hospital.

A trip to the ER the night before Halloween for some extreme stomach pains turned into a major surgery, nineteen days of hospital food  and roommates who should have had a private room.  But what made it all bearable for Mom was the nurses!  My Mom has tried to remember to write their names down so she can send a note to the hospital.  For me, their names are a blur; TJ, Alyson, Maureen, Dee Dee…  For me, their names are irrelevant, except for one:  Nurse Carol.

Carol took care of Mom post-op in the CCU.  She was there as the anesthesia was wearing off.  She managed the troops of us who streamed in and out of the room that I’m sure had a limit on the number of visitors.  Carol held Mom’s hand and calmed her as three doctors tried to talk to her at the same time. When the epidural was removed and the new drugs to regulate her heart were hung on the IV stand, she looked into Mom’s eyes to help her focus the pain away. Carol explained everything once, twice, and then as many times as Mom asked.  She forced Mom to do her breathing exercises and to eat (drink) her meals to get stronger.

You may think this is all normal nurse behavior and maybe it is, but wait, there’s one more thing.  When Mom was transferred off the CCU and to a “regular” floor to continue her recuperation, Carol came to see her at least once a day every day she was working.  Carol went above and beyond any expectation we could have had of the nursing care we wanted for Mom.

While nurses are celebrated for week and day every year, my Thanksgiving Thank You goes out to Nurse Carol.  Thank you for taking care of my Mom!

Thankful Bloggers:

More gratitude can be found here!

Positivity Doesn’t Need To Be A Challenge


I finished my daily Thank You postings last Monday and spent this week not writing, but thinking about what to write.  I’ve landed on an approach I think will work for the next 365 days.  I want to use my blog as a way to share gratitude and positivity; stories, ideas, insights–things I come across that strike me and I hope would bring a smile to you.  Here’s the first one:

happy girlsRecently on Face Book, I’ve noticed at least two friends who’ve taken “The Positivity Challenge”.  There are a few different challenges with fan pages; for five or seven days you post three things for which you’re grateful that day.  Not unlike thanking someone everyday, the thought of stating your gratitude out loud is a pretty powerful thing.  According to this article in Psychology Today, if you break the process of being mindful about gratitude into small steps, you can more easily make it part of your daily routine.

Give it try, see if it works for you.  You might surprise yourself!  Oh, and thank you for stopping by!

Positive Bloggers:

Today Really is 20 Days To Go!


On July 9th I mistakenly counted only 20 days until my year-long journey of posting a thank you each day would be over… I counted wrong.  Maybe it was because that had been my 345th post and so I just assumed there were 20 days left.  I just looked at the calendar and realize that TODAY is 20 days to go.  There have been times when I posted twice in one day by responding to the weekly photo challenge.  I’ve also missed two days of posting all together, perhaps that evens things out in the long run.

I haven’t run out of things to write about yet, thankfully.

I went today to send a package to my grandchildren in Arizona.  When they first moved back it was a weekly ritual, going to the local UPS store to ship a package of trinkets, clothes, or other items found in their bedrooms after they left us.  I kept the weekly packages going for over a year and also sent things specifically for birthdays or holidays when those days popped up on the calendar.

It was always the same little old man who helped me with the shipping process; he even suggested that I take some blank forms and have them ready when I arrived, so I wouldn’t have to wait too long.  Today the little old man was not behind the counter, it was a little old woman instead.  She was just as friendly and noticed right away that my form was complete, remarking, “you’ve been here before.”   As she reviewed the information, “oh, you have been here before but not for a while, I recognize the name.  I’m usually in the back getting packages together, it’s nice to put a face and name together.”  A broad smile came over her face as she looked down to measure the box and enter the information into the computer.

When we were done with the transaction she made sure to look up, right into my eyes, and thanked me for my business and hoped out loud that I would be back again soon.  Today’s thank you goes out to the nice lady at the UPS store and others like her who remember their regular customers and make them feel special!

testimonial_cloud