Hi Everyone! I can’t believe I am writing the September newsletter and that fall will soon be here. Summer is waning and it hasn’t felt like summer because we haven’t been together. I miss the picnic, barbecue, the volunteer celebration, ice cream social, the rummage sale, as well as all the classes, groups and the normal everyday things we do together. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s going on 6 months since we had to redesign how we do things, wear masks, practice physical distancing, and not see everyone at the Center every day. This is a tough time for so many. But, I’m one for silver linings and I believe we have learned some things and new ways to connect and many tell me they have never been more organized and decluttered.
But, challenges continue and I read several articles lately on loneliness and on how to find strength during trying times. An article by Dr. Murthy, Surgeon General from 2014 to 2017, says loneliness is not about the number of people around you, but how you feel about the connections in your life and about yourself. Serving others can help. “Service shifts our attention from ourselves to other people”. I think that’s why so many say volunteering has positive aspects on life. Dr. Murthy also says the “absence of physical contact with people shows how essential in person interaction is”. Interactions that we have with family, neighbors, community, and even strangers is important. And, my favorite from Dr. Murthy, “There’s something powerful in receiving a smile from someone. These moments have a significant effect on lifting our mood”.
Then two articles by Paul Schoenfeld caught my eye. He says this pandemic is taking a toll on mental health. How the loneliness and uncertainties of these times can get to us especially since it isn’t getting better very fast. He says it’s time to dig deep within ourselves and find our strength; we need to keep putting one foot in front of another. He suggests “this is a time for us to be at our best, kind, loving, caring, compassionate, community minded, and patient. It’s the time for us to be our greatest selves”. In another article he says to help us nurture inner peace and restore our energy is the ability to take a few minutes and simply do nothing, just be in that moment. What might you hear or what thoughts might come to you? He remembers as a child lying on the grass and looking at the clouds drift by and the thoughts that brought and the connection to nature and inner peace. Maybe we should all go out and sit and look at the sky and clouds.
September brings our very important virtual Al Hovland Memorial $pring for $eniors Auction on Sunday, September 13th. This is vitally important to the Center’s financial position for 2020. The pandemic has caused havoc with our funding ability. We need everyone’s help and support. It will be fun, exciting, and hopefully profitable. See the article on the front page.
I hope fall will bring improvement to the situation and we can safely add more services, but we must continue all the safety measures and protocols for the foreseeable future. I love fall and hope it will be a very good one for all of you. I wish each of you a lovely September.
Love and remember to smile; it makes a difference.