There isn’t enough time to wait

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Social media has its good and bad points depending on how it is used. Sometimes it brings people together but it also gives of a sense of timelessness.

I have to say that I “hangout” on Facebook and chat with friends and family probably more than I should. I do give it credit for allowing me to keep in touch with people I may not have the ability to see due to distance or circumstances of work and family obligations. People I may not have been friends with in my youth have become more a part of my life now that we have aged and gotten away from the high school mentally of who is popular and who is not part of the in crowd (I was never in the popular group).

However, I think it gives us a feeling of immortality in that there will always be another time to catch up in person. The good intentions are there but somehow life gets in the way and “get togethers” are never made. The time slips by and next thing you know there is no more time left.

I lost a cousin recently. We said at least a half dozen times that we should get together and have a mini reunion but somehow family and work obligations never seemed to work out to do so. And now I can’t. And the regret is a reality.

So how do we as a society get back into a more community based versus virtual based way of communicating?

First of all, don’t give up your social media base. It is a start to keeping in touch with family and friends. It is much better than no involvement at all. I like the quote from this article:

“They’re finding that people communicate more often with family and friends because of technology, but the quality of that communication may be weaker. Kids who spend more time engaging with a screen than with other kids or adults can struggle to understand emotion, create strong relationships or become more dependent on others.”

I have come to enjoy using Skype while my older daughter is in France and now with my younger daughter up at college four hours away. I can try to read body language a bit more than when we text or “Whatapp” where I only have words without inflection or facial feedback. I feel we are communicating better with the visual than by words alone.

“Technology should make communication easier when it’s appropriate,” Roberts said. “But when we have access (to more direct forms of communication), we don’t use it. Part of it is just that it’s human nature to avoid. It’s easier.” (from the same article)


Second– take a chance
and start with one or two friends or family members that you would like a closer relationship with and set up either a recurring breakfast or lunch or even an activity like a walk to develop and build a stronger base to share more deeply.  Granted its much harder to take the time to meet with someone and actually engage in conversations but the benefits out weigh the effort. 

This article  on Social Work Today has many great points including this one:

“According to Paul Booth, PhD, an assistant professor of media and cinema studies in the College of Communication at DePaul University in Chicago, social media certainly affects how we engage with one another across all venues and ages. “There has been a shift in the way we communicate; rather than face-to-face interaction, we’re tending to prefer mediated communication,” he says. “We’d rather e-mail than meet; we’d rather text than talk on the phone.”

According to Booth, studies have shown that people actually are becoming more social and more interactive with others, but the style of that communication has changed so that we’re not meeting face-to-face as often as we used to.

That said, our interactions on social media tend to be weak ties—that is, we don’t feel as personally connected to the people at the other end of our communication as we do when we’re face-to-face. “So while we’re communicating more, we may not necessarily be building relationships as strongly,” Booth says.”

One simple benefit? We actually develop deeper, trusting relationships where we feel more able to share concerns, feelings and disappointments than when we only communicate online. Praise and compliments take on more meaning when given face to face rather than a “like or comment”. This article from Time shares:

“In an age of perpetual digital connectedness, why do people seem so disconnected? In a Duke University study, researchers found that from 1985 to 2004, the percentage of people who said there was no one with whom they discussed important matters tripled, to 25%; the same study found that overall, Americans had one-third fewer friends and confidants than they did two decades ago.”

Another huge benefit? We actually feel better when we meet and greet each other with a hug or similar touch. Touching is one the the most basic human needs but most people don’t get enough human interaction to survive let alone grown and thrive. I’ve been getting together with several ladies on a fairly regular basis and we always share a hug when we leave. It makes a huge difference in our bonding and ability to trust each other with confidences.  This article on World of Psychology touches on that issue:

“Hugging induces oxytocin, the “bonding hormone,” that’s renowned for reducing stress, lowering cortisol levels and increasing a sense of trust and security. According to research conducted at the University of North Carolina, women who receive more hugs from their partners have lower heart rates and blood pressure and higher levels of oxytocin.

So what if someone does not want to be face to face? It is hard when people reject your attempts to be more than a casual relationship. Maybe they are not ready or able to participate in “real time” interaction.  I would say keep trying if it means more to you, otherwise accept them as they are and choose other people to have deeper friendships. Some people just need more space than others and can only handle small amounts of togetherness before it becomes stressful.

Feedback–I would love to hear your thoughts on this conversation going on in my head!!

 

All the best– Janice

 

Links:

Read more at

http://national.deseretnews.com/article/2235/Face-time-vs-screen-time-The-technological-impact-on-communication.html#ZZU1EKgkWEtP0z3T.99

http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/051313p10.shtml

http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1998396,00.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5756/10-Reasons-Why-We-Need-at-Least-8-Hugs-a-Day.html

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/03/10/the-surprising-psychological-value-of-human-touch/

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Well, it could’ve been worse!

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You know what they say about the “Best laid plans”; they only work when you do!  This week was, well not a total bust, but a lesson in what I need to do better to be living a healthy life.

 

I started out on a good foot by doing food prep and thinking about when I could exercise. But, I didn’t write it down and make a commitment to it. That in and of itself would have made a great difference on how the week progressed. Way back when I was doing the Weight Watcher program I wrote down everything I planned to eat, right down to each snack. It didn’t matter if that was what I wanted to eat that day, that was what was planned and that was what I ate. It wasn’t that I had this great source of willpower but I just found it easier to not have to think about food and what I was going to make. It took a level of stress off by planning once a week, buying what I needed and leaving it at that. Now the idea of planning every mouthful gives me more stress than less and I don’t want to be ruled by food choices.

I did exercise but not as consistent as I would have liked.

 

So the things that went well this week?

Water!! I found this great reusable water bottle this week! I usually use the kind of water cup with a straw but they are hard to take places and are just sometimes a pain to deal with. This new one (I actually bought 2) comes apart at the neck to add fruit or ice and then you drink out of it like a traditional water bottle. I adore it! I love that I can bring it in the car or down to exercise. I found myself drinking way more than I thought I could and felt much better and less dry during the day. I even have it by my bedside and start the day off with lemon water, something I would not try with the straw cup.20150311_183631

Salads/ Veggies! As part of my food prep I made a huge bowl of romaine and iceberg lettuces (I was out of spinach) which I put about 2 good handfuls in 6 containers and added shredded carrots and celery. I also had diced up red and green peppers to put in when I was ready. It was so nice to only prep and clean up once but be able to eat some salad every day. My daughter came home from college this week and actually made good use of having them available.

Grains! I had made my oatmeal jars  (see prior post) and I brought these to work as well as having them at lunch for a quick grab and go. Instead of traditional whole wheat bread I got this wonderful rye bread and a rye/pumpernickel mix.  Both are great options when you want to change up your grains in bread products.

Okay, so I need your ideas and success stories on how you made (or are making) living healthy work for you in these areas. These were some of the challenges I dealt with this week.

Fatigue. This is a hard one for me. I work nights (12.5-13 hours) usually 2-3 times a week as a nurse. Staying awake and not eating crap at work has been something I’ve dealt with for many years now. For me its the day after a night shift that I struggle with. The first day I’ve slept a good part of the day but there are days that I am so tired that I give in to the choice of an easy food like a toasted roll rather than make something healthier for breakfast.

Exercise (traditional kinds) also tends to fall by the wayside when I am tired. I am thankful for the days my husband is looking to go downstairs and exercise but if he chooses not to I don’t push myself even though it is planned.

Family. Like many women I tend to put myself last in terms of priority when time is short. I will run errands or go out of my way and cancel my exercises plans if they need me to do something. My husband took a day off this week and we did go and exercise by walking outside for 3.29 miles. It was great being outside and having an exercise companion but then we went shopping and ate out so the rest of my day was taken up instead of doing my core work and weights.

Work and work related. I made a mistake of sorts by scheduling myself to work 3 out of 4 nights and I was wiped by the last night. I try not to schedule 2 in a row but I wanted some time off since my daughter was coming home from college for the week. I also had some education that I did during the week that was a “lunch and learn” which broke up my day but also had me eating out.

I am treating this week as a learning one. Not great, not so bad. I have already started writing down and will be pushing to stick to my exercise commitments this week!!

I look forward to hearing from you!

In good health–Janice

 

 

Excuse me, your roots are showing….the Return of the Vegetable Garden

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Well it seems I have come full circle; I’ve got a garden going again this year. I am turning into my mom even more, its not that bad a thing, really.

I grew up in New York, not the city but a little upstate ” in the country”. When we moved from our house and small yard in NJ it was a little shocking to find we had 4 acres to spread out and make use of.  My parents did a lot of land clearing and made a large pond area with an island, a horse barn and fenced area, a tool shed….and a huge garden!!  I really do mean it was big!  They grew all kinds of vegetables I had never heard of and some I did: zucchini, summer (yellow) squash, broccoli, kohlrabi  tomatoes, peppers, beans, cukes and more.  They either froze, canned, pickled or made jelly with everything they grew.  They were organic before it really was a thing to try to achieve–they fertilized with “chicken manure tea”, the manure being obtained from a local egg farm.  We “composted” the weeds and the stuff we discarded…even though I had no idea what I was doing; we had a pile in the corner and added to it then added it back when they gardened then next year.

I can’t say I ever thought about the garden, it was like church–something we just did. And I can’t say I enjoyed both all the time either. I don’t know where my parents got their recipes for some of the meals but….sometimes I thought we were eating ‘garbage’ by the way it looked (shredded zucchini, peppers, onions and sausage-yuck!). They liked it though and it was either eat it or starve, most times I ate it.  I always wondered why they had the garden, as far as I could see it was just more work to do.

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My tower of beans!

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Roma tomatoes

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Basil….love the smell!

Fast forward a few years. Last year I got a couple of raised bed kits and had some soil delivered and put in a basic garden on what I thought we might eat; tomatoes, peppers, beans, basil, potatoes, pumpkins and strawberries. I can say I enjoyed it and we did eat most of the produce and I froze what I could for the winter.  My daughters even helped out with harvesting now and then.

I wanted to expand this year and have some raised and some traditional planted areas (ie in the ground). Well it did not quite work out that way–I waited too long to get started and had to stop due to the roots I found while roto-tiling and the rain. I still kept the two beds going but with different plants and planting methods (see the next blog for details) and I have plans in place to get the new raised beds built and the other area set up for tilling.

So the point to this rambling tale? I get why they had a garden; its comforting to be working with Nature to produce a harvest. I enjoy puttering around pulling weeds and ‘mothering’ my plants. Its actually rewarding to see things growing and knowing you made it happen. Plus I get to control how my veges are grown; organic seeds and fertilizer, natural pest deterrents.  Plus I get to share them with friends.

 

The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’

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I am learning the art of living in the moment….little by little. I no longer wear a watch but I am rarely late, and actually I am always early. The difference I find is that what is meant to fit in usually is.

 

I found this wonderful reflection this morning…and it has made all the difference in my day!! Enjoy it–take the time to read and reflect, you’ll be glad you did!

The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’.

Really? I don’t have to be responsible for the whole world?

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I hate to admit it but…..I am a control freak!

Ok, maybe freak is too strong a description but I really do feel so much better when I think I am in control of things around me, people included. Realistically I know this is a fantasy but I feel so much less anxious when I think things are going according to plans.

The funny thing is that once you start dealing with other people and outside forces you have to willingly give up control for things to become less anxious and nerve wracking. Sometimes you just need to present the information or opportunity and let it develop on its own. Sometimes it will go the way you hope and other times you are amazed or surprised on how things develop….kinda like the weather.

Example one:

For a long time I actually wrote out a planned menu based on work schedules and activities. When my children were still under my control (well at least in need of chauffeuring) and my husband also worked night shift  I could do it.  Enter driver licenses and job changes and that planner just flew out the window.  Both daughters drive now and the younger one is often out with friends or at the gym. The older one has college related stuff going on. Hubby now works a “Monday to Friday 8-4”  job that often extend to 6 or later and is “on call”  24/7 unless we are out of state.  These days I am happy if I can plan the night before so I can defrost something ahead of time.

Flexibility has a strong learning curve!

Example two:

Exercise and being healthy has been in my life for a very long time. I understand the benefits of being active and eating well and love to share my knowledge.  Its hard when you try to share those things and people just nod their head and do things they way they want to despite agreeing with you.  Sometimes it is even taken to an extreme you had not imagined. My older daughter thrives on information and once convinced of something she is hard to dissuade– she has taken eating better farther than I have and became a vegetarian. Some I think is ethical based but some of it she just finds to be more nutritionally sound based on her own research. Still there are days when she surprises me and I find her eating things I would not normally see her eat like ice cream and oreos.  My younger daughter, hubby (and I) vary in our active/eating  habits but generally we fall back into seeking out the good food I buy and not looking for the junk.

You can fill a pantry with good food, you just can’t make them eat it!

So I guess what I am trying to articulate, and maybe not as well as I can is that “Being in control”  is usually just a figment of our imagination. Even our thoughts take wild trips on their own….but that is what makes Life an adventure.

How old are you…really?

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I’ve always been an old soul.   Even as a child I felt more comfortable with older people than kids my own age. Its gotten better as I’ve grown older but I sometimes feel “out of sync” with the times we live in.

I’m not sure if  it has to do with the fact that my parents were older than most, but my mom was 33 when she had me back in the sixties.   My oldest sister was actually pregnant with her first at the same time so I  grew up with her daughter (my niece) from the age of 8 months of age. My parents also provided childcare and then foster care for children when I was growing  up so there was always someone who needed “mothering” and I guess I stepped up to the task of being a second mother.

I know I am not alone but sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong time period.  I long for a time of simpler lifestyles and a time before “multi-tasking” was considered something to be achieved and praised. I’m not saying I want to give up the personal freedoms and advances that we have fought hard for but I do wish we didn’t feel compelled to ‘be all and do all’ for everyone.

Maybe its an illusion in my mind but it seems to me that people were happier and more satisfied in earlier eras; they seemed to be satisfied with what they had, generally speaking, and not striving to constantly ‘trade-up’ belongings like cars and electronics. You made do with what you had until it no longer worked and then got the new one.

I’m working hard to “reduce, reuse, recycle” things wherever and whenever I can.  We often buy from and donate to consignment and thrift shops.  Someone will always have a use for “hand-me-downs”, it makes no sense to just dump things because it no longer appeals to your style or fit your lifestyle.  This is somewhat hard for me as I did grow up with a ‘save everything because you might need it’ kind of childhood…and many times it was true and that bottle you saved came in handy.

I guess what I am really trying to do is get back to a simple time in my life where I can enjoy the things I like to do such as gardening, sewing/quilting and outdoor exercise and be able to concentrate on that activity in its entirety rather than jumping to the next task on the list. To be able to be satisfied with the things I do have and ignore advertising for something “new and improved”. To live day by day since tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Sorry for the bit of rambling but the thoughts just kind emerged on their own today.

A Broken Heart Healed

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A very touching memory about “broken hearts”…..but not what you think!

 

A Broken Heart Healed.

via A Broken Heart Healed.

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