In Memoriam

I won’t be doing my “normal” Sunday Salon/My Own Personal Sabbath post this weekend. My mother-in-law, who had suffered with Parkinson’s for several years, died this past Wednesday night, with her daughters Deb and Kim (my wife) at her bedside.

Below is a link to my wife’s Instagram post about her mom’s passing:

Comments are closed on this post, but please know that your thoughts and prayers are appreciated for Kim and her family at this time.

My One Word for 2021

As I said last year, I’m not sure when I started doing this or who got me started since many bloggers I knew were doing variations on it. According to a few notes on Evernote from previous years, my one word for 2014 actually was two words: “Focus” and “equilibrium.” The equilibrium part of it was because I had just discovered that year that I have tinnitus. In 2016, the word was “Reinvigorate.” In 2018, it was “Breathe.”

This year I’ve decided to keep last year’s word for my one word for 2020 too:

“recuperate,” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recuperate. Accessed 12/14/2019.

Physically

At the start of last year, I was recuperating from knee surgery the previous October. In late March 2019, I somehow injured my left knee. After several months of doctor appointments and physical therapy, in late October 2019, I had arthroscopic surgery on the knee wherein a small mass of torn meniscus was removed and the cartilage around the knee was smoothed.

During the “Spring Lockdown,” I was able to walk a lot around our neighborhood, which helped with the healing of my knee. However, after I went to back to work at the library in late May/early June, sadly I became mostly sedentary again despite our having curbside service and having to walk books out to patrons in vehicles or on our porch. Then in late September, I broke my left middle toe, not helping me get (back?) into a groove or any groove.

Oh, and yes, in mid-November, my wife Kim and I tested positive for Covid-19 that put both of us out of commission for a couple of weeks. Luckily, it was mild for both of us with neither one of us having fevers and the main symptom for her being losing her senses of taste and smell.

I have no specific goals, other than to walk more, consistently throughout the whole year, rather than just here or there, and to be more consistent with the times I go to sleep and awaken.

Mentally & Spiritually

Awakening earlier also ties in with my mental and spiritual recuperation. Over the last couple of months, I have been attempting to awaken earlier so that I have time to meditate and journal before I head out the door to work on weekdays. I’ll be honest that I usually haven’t awoken early enough to have time to do both and only one or the other, and then with either one, very inconsistently.

Then on the flip side, I haven’t been meditating at the end of the day, as recommended by the Worldwide Community of Christian Meditation to which I was introduced earlier this year by Deb Nance of the blog Readerbuzz. I’d like to incorporate both morning and evening meditation regularly into my routine.

The Journey logo.

Last year I set a goal of reading a book a week (including one nonfiction book a month), journaling daily, and re-incorporating devotions into my daily routine. This year, I have the same goals, but with a slight different emphasis with my morning after starting online therapy in February even before the lockdown. Last year, I said that journaling for me would mean typing into an app called Journey on my laptop. I noted that unfortunately, my printing and handwriting is atrocious (my wife blames my former job as a newspaper reporter where I had my own version of shorthand/ “chicken scratches”) so as a result, I would not be using a physical journal.

However, since then, I have been journaling longhand on legal pads at the direction of my therapist. This year, I would like to continue that, and add using Journey to keep memories more for posterity and possibly I’ve thought (in the back of my mind) for my nephew Jonathan and niece Grace (since Kim and I don’t have children) for when I’m “gone”. I remember my late paternal grandfather kept a diary every day for years, including weather reports each day complete with temperature and barometric readings, and I enjoyed looking back at his reports after he passed away in 1979 when I was 10. Maybe some day it can be the same for them reading my entries.

Hmmm, according to Uncle Bryan, it was 32 degrees Fahrenheit on December 31, 2020 and the barometric pressure was 30.23 inches, whatever the heck that means.


As always, I have five other goals for the year, that I have made as goals every year:

  1. Be quick to listen.
  2. Slow to speak.
  3. Slow to anger.
  4. Talk less.
  5. Smile more.

The first three are from various translations from The Book of James in The Bible, that my mother likes to quote often:

“Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

James 1:19

The last two are advice Aaron Burr gave Alexander Hamilton in the song “Aaron Burr, Sir” in the musical Hamilton.

What about you? Do you have a “One Word” each year? If so, what is it? If not, what is one goal you have for 2021?

#birthdayphotoanhoursortof

For the last few years on Instagram, inspired by @michelleerin, I have been taking a photo each hour of my birthday with the hashtag #birthdayphotanhour. This year, since I haven’t been on Instagram in a while, I decided to do it here on my blog. I’m calling it #birthdayphotoanhoursortof because I don’t have a photo to share for every hour. Instead, I’m sharing these highlights from my birthday this past Tuesday:

All in all, it was a good day, being especially good to spend time with family for my birthday.

Today’s Lesson: Focus on the person in front of you

Today’s lesson is to focus on the person in front of you. I went for a doctor (nurse practitioner) appointment this morning and on the way out, the check out clerk told me that I was scheduled to be back for an appointment in three weeks. However, I knew the NP had said three months, not three weeks. When I let the clerk know, she said, after looking at her screen, that the NP had said three weeks.

She also had a phone call on hold that she twice went back to while (trying to) talk to me. And she looked back toward where another checkout clerk was supposed to be but wasn’t and rolled her eyes. I let her schedule the appointment, but later that morning, I double checked and learned from the nurse, who was with me before I saw the nurse practitioner, it was three months, not three weeks.

I was transferred to a receptionist, who also wasn’t listening to me at first, and did get the three week appointment canceled. Before I hung up, I let her know politely that they should focus on the person in front of them and that it’s not a patient’s fault if they are shorthanded.

I have a feeling that before the day and week is done — if only because of self-confirmation bias, it will be a lesson that I need to learn too. I’ll keep you apprised as the week progresses.

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