For the New Year….Commitments To Myself

December 26, 2011

Health, Mike

Christmas 2011 is past now…it comes and goes so quickly.  So much anticipation, so much preparation and in the blink of an eye it’s gone.  We had a very quiet day.  Very.  It was relaxing.  It gave me time to reflect as we approach the one year mark when my life changed markedly.  Phew.  It has gone by so quickly!  I hope each of you had a blessed and peaceful Christmas as well. 

When Mike was wished Merry Christmas and asked if he had a good Christmas Day, he responded, “Not yet”.  Kind of a shocking response since it was about 8 pm.  What the heck was it going to take to make a good Christmas Day?  As if he could read minds…and in answer to the WHAAAAT?  He said, “Not til January 7”. 

Mike’s family always celebrated Orthodox Christmas on Jan 7.  Only after he and I married did he celebrate 12/25…but we still celebrated Jan 7 and that was Christmas for Mike.  What intrigued me about his response is this.  He has no real short term memory…the same information, repeated over and over escapes him as quickly as a flower petal in the breeze.  He also is not oriented to date.  Sometimes not even to season.  Or Month, let alone day or date.  Certainly not to year.  I had told him in the morning it was Sunday, December 25, Christmas morning…but December 25, “pagan Christmas” as he used to torment me…not January 7, Orthodox Christmas.  At some point during the day he asked (remarked really) that it was Saturday?  No, I explained, Sunday, December 25.  Then hours later…bingo…he knows it is not Jan 7 yet, therefore he has not yet had a good Christmas.  Hmmm.  Makes me wonder how that brain works, what makes it tick, what is the secret to sorting it out???  Do I really need to sort it out…or is this new normal enough?  Seems sometimes, in this case, it might be time for me to forsake my usual requirement for there to be better, more, constant improvement…and simply be grateful for the now and enjoy it, every second, for as long as it lasts…which I hope is a good long while.

I was whining to myself about the (once again) hopelessly mired toilet and the fact that I don’t want to unclog it yet again.  I have told myself repeatedly it’s character building to do so.  And that I have had sufficient character building for a lifetime.  Yet, in a reflective mood, I pondered that for a moment.  And in that moment realized that if my character had been sufficiently built by the toilet unclogging experiences of the last few months, I would not be whining about it or reflecting on it…I would just do it and shut up about it already.  Thus began a contemplation of character.  In general.  And more specifically, mine.  I found some interesting information on the web…and in particular, this page which lists some reflections on the qualities of character.  http://character-training.com/blog/list-of-character-traits-or-qualities/  I plan to work on these qualities in 2012. 

As I reflected, I realized that one of my greatest fears is that something might happen to me…and then who would care for Mike?  The caregiver advisors always tell me I need to take care of me because if something happens to me, Mike can’t take care of me…so who will take care of me?  Shoot.  That has no effect on me…my mind is not wired thusly.  My biggest fear is nobody to care for Mike.  So I need to take care of me for that.  And I need to take care of him so he’s around a lot longer.  Having seen and felt firsthand what being a widow might feel like, I can tell you, I didn’t like it and I’m not ready for it!  So I’ve been researching and researching…something I do exceedingly well.  (Acting on it is not always my strong suit…but researching…now that’s the easy part!). 

Be that as it may.  My research tells me that heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes 2 are all the by-products of an indulgent and unhealthy diet.  I am convinced.  Thus, to start the new year fresh, I am planning to try to embrace the principles Dr. Joel Fuhrman has laid out in his Eat To Live book.   Since, whither I goest, Mike also goest, I reckon he’ll be trying to embrace it as well.  I don’t expect it to be easy.  Even in his current state he will ask…”But what meat are we having” when I do meatless dishes.  But meatless we will endeavor to be…or virtually meatless.  Not sure I can forsake all meat on all days.  Cheese will be another hard one for me.  But, like I stopped smoking 27 years ago…so too shall I embrace this.  (That would be like Sherman marching on Atlanta for the uninitiated…)  I expect my son will be a huge problem…and he will certainly comment on it to Mike and to me routinely.  Hopefully I can enlist his help and get him to keep his comments to himself at least.  Good thing he’s a chef…he can pick and prepare his own poison as it were.   As a Type 1 Diabetic and a very smart guy he should know better, but I am beyond trying to influence grown kids who own charting their own course in life at this point.   Dr. Fuhrman assures us of glowing good health, reduction in cholesterol, reduction of body fat, improved immune systems.  Groovy.  Let’s GO!  I’m IN!!  (oh Lord…what am I getting myself into NOW?)  I am also assured, the Vitamix will get a workout.  

To round out the plan for the new year, Mike and I will be doing some volunteer work at our local community food bank.  Not clear quite yet on what he can do…but I figure it’s good for us to get involved in the community a bit.  It will be good for both of us.

I don’t normally make resolutions.  I don’t view these as resolutions.  I’m making them goals.  And I am very goal oriented.  So let’s get on it with it already!  Wishing you and yours the Happiest of New Years!

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