Friday, December 23, 2011

To the Earth I Come

To the Earth I come with my kind son, drinking in the brisk, cold wind
Looking south to Pilot Rock, we do not linger, for it is December and cold outside.
A reminder winter is well underway, and it is no time to bask in the sun that has gone over the hills before our four p.m. arrival.  So we return to warm our tummies with a hearty soup, for Jeff needs some down time to ready for his flight to Calgary in the early hours of the morning, and I need prep time with my caregiver to have good meals over Christmas.  May the much needed snows and rains come soon too.  It is the time of the Winter Lodge, where storytelling and sharing beauty in simple ways takes precedence over doing too much on limited resources; it is a time to conserve and nourish our roots, and give a helping hand as we are able to be there for one another.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Importance of Social Networking

Reach out, play, start small but get involved with other people.  We all need to remain active, whether it's socializing at the local YMCA, calling a friend to take a walk, learning new skills that help us connect on the internet or using a cell phone. 
    Sometimes we need a helping hand as we age.  Learning new skills is often easier with the help of someone who already has some of the skills we may be new learning.  Some learn from a manual, a TV program, a friend, a book, or whatever interactive ways keeps you curious and able to hang in there and not feel discouraged.  Even fifteen minutes on a computer social network can expose us to ideas, information, possibilities that engage our minds even when attending a workshop or night class may be beyond our financial and/or physical means.
     In my grandmother's senior years, she had no computer skills and could no longer drive as her vision failed, so her church was the center of her social life.  She had an alcoholic husband who didn't realize how isolated she felt.  Her means of networking included phone calls and letters, but she had no access to the networking we can do with today's technology.  Being isolated leads to depression and feeling powerless to getting important social needs met.
  So the next time we feel frustrated trying to connect on the web, realize we have communication possibilities not even dreamed of by our forefathers and mothers.  Networking helps us build community, and yes, it takes time, attention, and sometimes patience that is in short supply when we are tired.  Lighten up!   Communication is important, and reaching out is part of honoring we are social beings.  Solitude has its place too, but when we reach out with love and concern, we feel connected.  We learn from each other, and find ways to deal with problems that may be outside our personal experience.  Enjoy learning with and from others; it will keep your brain alive, and let you be a happier person!