Help Yourself First

Just as when we sit on an airplane, during the instructions from the stewards about safety, we hear, “If you are with a child or someone needing help, fix your own oxygen mask first, then help them with theirs.” It becomes apparent you cannot help someone if you are lacking oxygen. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

It does, unless we’ve grown up in a dysfunctional family, one who practices codependency. It’s not unusual for the adults to bluster, fluster, and scatter about, with high anxiety, and craziness everywhere, re-enacting “Who’s on First?” I’m glad to see almost every bit of self-care writing begins with taking care of you first.

It’s neurotic and just impractical to care to the health, welfare, and happiness of everyone else first. A natural answer to the question, “What can I do to others,” is not do for others so they don’t have to do for themselves. Enabling is just that – doing so they don’t have to for themselves. They will learn nothing if you do it for them, except to learn how to manipulate others into enabling them.

Certitude is the absolute conviction that something is true. Once we make others understand we are all here to take care of ourselves, we will have the confidence to set boundaries and enforce them. We will also be able to walk the walk and talk the talk. Not many of us can do both at once. It’s a difference in our lives we can be proud to model to others.

As we practice self-care and boundaries, we see the value in others doing for themselves. There is no contest for self-sacrifice, especially when it’s destructive to us and others. Having strong convictions about these things is what makes us good examples, citizens, and friends. Try establishing this as a habit for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, it’s easy to feel alone and out of it. We may need to work at remembering how we are blessed instead of what we are lacking. Take extra time to be grateful and you will soon be changing your outlook. It is so very worth it. I remember years when the most I was grateful for was that the car started. Or it was paid for. And no one was ill or arrested or hungry. Look deep, you’ll be surprised what you realize.

Have a good rest of the evening, and we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Be safe out there.

Corporal Daegan Page

I am beyond words after watching the funeral of an American hero. Out of respect for him, here is a video his family shared on Facebook today. It lets you know Daegan as a person. A son. A brother. An uncle. A boyfriend. All the best things of his life. We, as a grateful nation, can never imagine a loss like this, unless we’ve had a knock at our door. Thank you, Corporal Page, for being all-in. All the time.

Watch the video, and know, we need to make America worth his sacrifice. We need to get along. We need to stop bickering. Now. See you tomorrow.

Where Did Wednesday Go?

Thursday, December 3, 2020. It’s about 4 p.m. and I honestly lost Wednesday. After getting injections in both my knees and feeling kind of punk last night and into today, here we are. I’m caught up with the minor sewing project for a friend. This weekend, I believe we’ll see some Christmas decorations in our future. I’m getting to feeling a little festive, we only have one gift left to purchase, and that’s for our grandson in Maryland. It’s hard to know what to get for a thirteen-year-old young man. Next week, I’ll send gifts to the grandkids in Colorado. I wish so hard we could see them. Not yet. COVID is rearing its ugly head still. Someday, we’ll have a normal world. Not a new normal, but a normal one.

Hope keeps us alive and thriving. I hope sincerely we have normal again. I don’t want to forget the good things about life before COVID. At our stage in life, we were enjoying our time immensely and have endless discussions about many things. Life is wonderful. There are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we really want to do. Not travel, not feats of adventure, just simple, everyday life. We talk a lot about how our parents sacrificed for all of us, and about we never knew we were “poor.” We were the same throughout our neighborhoods, and as kids, we didn’t know better.

I believe the sacrifices of our parents were proof of their generosity, and their hope to provide us with the magic and wonder of Christmas. I used to love to make gifts for people. One year, I made seventeen tied blankets for various neighbors, friends, family, others. I’ve made quilts for people, embroidered Christmas pillowcases for the Grandkids, and want to continue doing things like this. I may make them and sell them at a craft show, because not everyone likes handcrafted items. I’ve crocheted afghans for people, one year, everyone received one. Nieces, nephews, everyone. I enjoyed it so much. It’d be wonderful to have that type of Christmas again. Giving from the heart is what I enjoy the most.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I think it will be harder this year with Christmas since the churches are not holding services. It was always a big deal, attending a Catholic grade school, after fourth grade, almost all the boys were altar boys, and all the girls were in the choir. We practiced those expected duties until we were blue in the face to assure near perfection. No excuses. No missing rehearsals. No one questioned.

Come Christmas Eve, at about 10:15, my brother Tom and I would walk the three and a half blocks up F Street in South Omaha, and arrive in time to take our appointed stations. The organ played Christmas Carols solo for a while, then the choir sang with the organ. They blessed me to play the organ after proving I could. I didn’t take lessons from the nun who taught piano; I took from a neighbor lady. I will never forget our enormous church, packed to the gills by worshippers, the smell of incense, and Monsignor chanting in Latin. Brother Tom and I practiced the Latin just to make sure we could both pronounce it,

We sang many of the songs in Latin at first. By the time I graduated from eighth grade, it was all English. Amazing times they were. I still love Christmas music. Come to think of it, it’s time to gather up those CDs for my music of the day to create by. Note to self: Don’t forget Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Harry Connick, Jr., and all the others. There are a lot of memories in those old songs. Good memories, worth keeping.

I have to say if you need a gift for a laptop user, get one of the laptop ergonomically correct holders I bought from Amazon. I swear by it, it’s improved my neck pain 50% in the couple weeks I’ve had it. Worth the $60.

Love this – it really helps my neck pain and headaches.

After an unplanned day off, know I missed visiting with you. I cannot imagine performers, musicians, small theater actors, and others how they miss their people. Yes, I hope things pick up for them. I’m going to try to not miss visiting with you again. Be Kind, Be Careful, Be Courteous, and Be Safe out there. You don’t want to pass the virus to someone who may not make it out the other side. Thank you for reading, I’ll see you again tomorrow.

Sunny Saturday

When you live in the midwest, anytime the temperature is above twenty, it’s not windy, and the sun is out, it’s like a fine summer day upon us. People are nice to each other, the stores are a little less crowded, the grocery stores are pretty much sold down in inventory. Maybe they are planning cook outs? I’m not sure, but the shelves were oddly vacant today.

We just don’t eat at home a lot, so our “grocery list” is probably like a snack supply trip. Bagels and peanut butter for breakfast, with a yogurt, coffee, and we usually eat a late lunch/dinner out. The rest is lettuce for salad, cottage cheese for me, apples, carrots, and crackers and cheese for a snack. I used to fully stock the refrigerator for dinner every night, but we just ended up throwing so much away, it was not good. I think if you eat a balanced diet, the rest will take care of itself. We both could lose several pounds, so I don’t think we’re in danger of malnutrition. I’m just not that hungry anymore. For anything. It might be an aging thing??

I’d rather have lighter fare than restaurant luncheon items. Burger and fries? Maybe once a week, no more often. Tacos? Maybe once a week. I would eat a small steak and salad, or pork chops and a potato. Baked potatoes are great, especially loaded. I like sweet potatoes baked with a dash of sugar and cinnanom. delicious. I’ve never seen the thing about smoothies. To me, it’s just mushing everything up, and sometimes there is so much sugar added. I like the purity of raw fruits and like to eat them as such. Veggies the same way. The closest to natural the better.

We have a birthday in the family on Monday. Addison will be thirteen. She was born on her Grandma Sandy’s birthday, which was really cool when it happened. Sandy lost a hard battle to lung cancer ten years ago. It was such a sad thing and we all think of her often. Sometimes I wonder what she would think of these wonderful grandkids of hers. I know she would love them to pieces. All three of them. All we can do is love the kids and tell them about their other Grandma. As long as we keep her alive in our conversations, she will live on.

It hasn’t been a good day for writing. When I start out late, it seems I cannot get things on paper. Tomorrow will be another day. I’m just going to review my printed pages and figure out where to tell stories about my additional characters. It should work. Instead of my main character just thinking the story, I’m going to have the characters talk the story. Descriptions, narrative, and lots of colorful characters should do it.

I thank you for reading today. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope to see you, too.