If it’s Sunday, it’s … no, not Meet The Press. It’s time to revisit this week’s posts and see what’s been happening.
Monday Planning Your Outfits
Wednesday Living Healthy
Thursday What’s the Purpose?
Friday It’s the Write Way
I'm Caryn with a C, and I'm awesome.
I received an unexpected compliment earlier this week: “I see why you blog. You have a way with words.”
I suppose that’s true. I was relaying a story in an email about having a recent medical procedure. It was scheduled to take four hours and, prior to the procedure, I was told to take all my medications for the day. That included taking my water pill, which is taken in the morning. It helps lower your blood pressure because you’re expelling excess fluids in your body. You’re given a potassium pill to take with dinner to help replace whatever is missing.
Bottom line, the water pill makes you pee. A lot. Often. One morning last week, I took it before I left the house for work. On that 12-mile drive (on city streets, it takes about 30 minutes), I had to stop at a McDonald’s and a grocery store to, uh, check on the cleanliness of their public restrooms. So now I take the water pill when I get to my desk and, at a minimum, I’m in the bathroom four times before noon.
You could use the Oxford comma, but I prefer the Shatner comma. It’s where you pepper them in, so, you know where, to add, dramatic pauses.
Looking back, I see that this week’s medical update was written as if I were talking to my friend sitting next to me. I like to write that way, and I’m sure it wasn’t too popular in school when I wrote a paper about The War of 1812 or Picasso’s greatest works. Now that’s funny.
I enjoy writing and sometimes have to really think about a topic. Today, I’m writing about writing. What could be more wordsmith-y?
Continuing from yesterday’s blog post about healthy living and having friends to help you live a health life, today we’ll talk about having a purpose in life. This is also important to health as we get older; it’s a key to aging successfully. A sense of purpose for many is more important than making money, and it’s associated with a wide range of better health outcomes, including reduced risk of mortality, stroke, heart attack, and Alzheimer’s disease.
People with a sense of purpose get better sleep, have fewer nights of hospital admission, and go to the doctor less often. They’re also more likely to take care of their health by eating healthier, exercising more, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and seeking out better preventive health choices.
Evidence also shows that optimism about aging has an impact on our health, adding more than seven years to our life expectancy. Those with an upbeat view of aging are more likely to fully recover from a severe disability, have a larger part of the brain that affects memory, show less anatomical evidence of Alzheimer’s on an MRI, and have up to an 80% lower risk of a cardiovascular event.
Changes in lifestyle and medical advances can increase our life span and shrink the number of years spent with a disability. But it’s also vital that we have something to get us up in the morning and someone to share our lives with—and that we approach each day with a smile.
So now we’re back to having friends and employing a happiness officer to help you (and, in turn, them too!) get through the day. Do you have someone you can call any time to chat, meet for coffee, solve the world’s problems, discuss health issues?
I’m facing a health issue right now and my friends are very supportive. I’m also getting good vibes from coworkers, which is a first for me. I didn’t have that support at my last job, and I truly believe I’m no longer in that toxic situation for a reason.
Jo Ann Jenkins, the CEO of AARP, writes an article in the June issue of AARP Bulletin: The Keys to Healthy Living: Friendship and Purpose. The subtitle, “Changes in Lifestyle and outlook can affect longevity,” enticed me to read on.
We know that we’re living longer, and we’re taking more responsibility for our own health. The choices we make each day are more important than an occasional doctor visit. Logically, I know I need to make better choices, and I do make some okay choices, yet I have a long way to go.
It’s easy for us to digitally obtain more and better information to help us with our food and health choices. We can also easily find tools for changes that will guide us toward physical and emotional well-being. We also must focus on other things, such as building strong social connections and reducing social isolation and loneliness. We need to realize our sense of purpose and develop an optimistic outlook on aging.
Being social is important to your health. If you have close friends, you’re “more likely to get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, maintain peace of mind and have less stress, engage in brain health activities, and take on new challenges and hobbies.” Do you fit this description, at least partially? When you count your blessings, do you include your close friends in the plus column?
Loneliness is the new smoking. According to one researcher, it is equally as bad for you as inhaling 15 cigarettes a day. Studies show that loneliness can shave eight years off life expectancy, that it has a big negative effect on quality of life, and that it’s the single largest predictor of dissatisfaction with health care. The mortality rate for loneliness is greater than that of obesity.
A “Minister of Loneliness” has been appointed in Great Britain to tackle the growing social isolation problem there. In California, CareMore (and its “Chief Togetherness Officer”) became the first U.S. health care provider to address loneliness and its health impact.
Are you ready to tackle your loneliness? Perhaps appoint a Friend-in-Charge to frequently gather your circle of friends for coffee or a quick catch-up on what’s happening. It’ll do you a world of good. Trust me.
We had dinner at our house on Sunday with some friends we’ve known for maybe 20 years. We just recently promised that we would get together as often as we can for girl time, dinner, cards, and maybe some wine. We hadn’t seen one gal since we played cards last month, and that’s just not acceptable.
We typically meet on a Saturday early evening, and this time, we changed it to Sunday. When the girls left, and the dishes were done, Leslie and I sat down and realized it was Sunday at 8:00 on a school night!
This school night anxiety goes back to Leslie’s early childhood. She and I differed when it came to school: I loved it, she tolerated it. Sunday nights were usually knots-in-the-stomach time for Leslie. When the Ed Sullivan Show was over and it was time for her to get to sleep, it was time for a little anxiety to creep in. (I probably was allowed to stay up another hour after that. The benefit of being the older sister!)
And now, all these years later, Leslie and I just prefer to be snug in our own home with the option to finish laundry, go to bed early, and theoretically pick out our clothes for the next day. Does anyone do that anymore?
I worked with a woman about 30 years ago. She was close to retirement age then, so I feel comfortable saying she was “an older woman.” She went by RM (short for Rosemarie) and she was beautiful in every way. Her best feature, in my opinion, was her wardrobe. This was back in the 80s, and you didn’t typically see women wearing pants. RM had beautiful suits and you’d have to wait months before you saw the same outfit again.
RM had a system. Everything in her walk-in closet had a tag on it and when RM wore an outfit, she’d write the date on the tag and, at the end of the day, she’d move that outfit to the end of the line. The likelihood of any outfit coming back around in a few months was very slim. (I had the pleasure of viewing her closet one day. RM invited me and another coworker to her house for lunch during the workday. We probably didn’t have time to eat anything because it took half the lunch hour just to look at her perfect wardrobe system.)
I think of RM often but, rest assured, I never attempted her wardrobe system. My closet is not big enough and I have never made enough money to have 75 or 100 outfits lined up in my closet. But I do spend a few minutes every Sunday night thinking about which of my outfits hasn’t been seen the longest by my coworkers. Do you think they keep track of what I’m wearing? Hell, I don’t keep track of what they wear.