The days when cookie sheets enjoy much usage are, unfortunately, behind us; I wish this was not the case. If we spent more time baking our own cookies they would have far less preservatives, create less carbon footprint, we likely would not consume as many, and there would be personal love in each one. Sadly, we just don't have the kind of time we once did to bake; our cookie sheets sit idle in our cupboards waiting for their yearly holiday moment of pride.
With the holidays fast approaching, we can be cornered into a frenetic tornado of responsibilities. The connection between added activities, that often involve extended family, and over use of less than healthy coping strategies is not hard to understand. Many of us are already stretched thinly, burning the candle at both ends during our routine lives, and to add present shopping, family get-togethers and traveling can feel like it pushes the edges of our stress threshold. In light of this, a little list of reminders to keep us healthy and well even in the face of added holiday stress.
Finding myself last night, almost by accident, at a dinner party of women from a different generation than myself, I spent significant time just observing and reveling in their more than 20-year-old friendships. There was much warmth and intimacy in the room, the group has been through graduations, losses, births, divorces, addictions, and achievements together. In witnessing each other's experience over many, many years, the group knew each other well.
There is a couple at the pool that have peaked my curiosity, and my respect. Each day at four they arrive, her in a neon pink, flowered, swim cap and him in a speedo; they are definitely more than 80 years old. Holding hands, they gingerly walk into the pool, she lingers behind him whispering to him about the water being too cold. He holds the metal rail and coaxes her in. Their preference is the lane farthest away from the stairs and so together, still holding hands, they dip under each lane marker, waiting with purpose for each swimmer to flip their turn and then ducking under.
As a little girl I remember spending time with my dad in the garage while he tinkered on machinery of all sorts. He had a wall of shelves where his larger tools were kept, several standing toolboxes, and a tool belt. My job was, from his cryptic description, to locate and hand him tools that were not immediately within his reach. He had some new gadgets that my brothers gave him for Christmas, but the majority of his staples were old and worn; the screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches had been with him for years.
Having a history of loving real estate, and recent events where my family is attempting to sell a piece of property, brought me to a metaphor yesterday. If all houses have value based on their structural elements combined with history, wouldn’t the same be true for people? Can we appraise our own value and the value of others based on those criteria? Can we increase our value by addressing those areas in need of renovation? Can we walk away from a purchase (relationship) with someone else if their value is not up to our standards?
The benefits of drinking green tea are well accepted anecdotally, and more recently by research. It is believed that green tea is a helpful agent in preventing cancer, fighting weight gain, regulating circulation and body temperatures, and preventing heart disease. Flavonoids, (the phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables that have antioxidant and anticarcinogenic qualities), are extremely high in green tea.
Watching the documentary, "Absent," last night I was thankful for the opening of a discussion that we must have. Thank you, Justin Hunt, for yet again tackling a complicated and important topic. "Absent" shares the stories of children and adults that have grown up with absent fathers, abusive fathers, and neglectful fathers. The documentary goes on to share the life-long mental, physical, and emotional consequences of being raised without a father.