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Team Carpe Diem competes in GISH 2020!

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt 2020

Participating in GISH (the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt) is always fun for me. I love the creativity involved and having fun with teammates scattered around the world.

This year, GISH put on a special 1-day “mini-hunt” and I actually like the 1-day version better than the usual week-long version. Given that we’re all spending more time at home, this was a great reminder that we can bond, have fun, and “Seize the Day” even when we’re not physically together.

Happy National Superhero Day

Hello to Super Carpe Dee!

This video was made as part of the Online Buddy Program for Seniors with Skills.

Here’s how you can help:


Join the Online Buddy ProgramIsolated Seniors:

Do you know anyone who is facing social isolation who might want to join the Online Buddy Program?  Please have them contact SWS at volunteering@seniorswithskills.org.


Senior Facilities:

Do you know of a senior facility that houses seniors who would benefit from receiving video chats and might want to be part of the Online Buddy Program. Please have them contact SWS at volunteering@seniorswithskills.org.


Volunteer:

Do you want to volunteer to be an Online Buddy?  Fill out this form.


Spread the word

Do you know anyone (news, blog, social media?)  who might be interested in featuring this story to raise awareness of this cause, and encourage more seniors living at home who are facing social isolation to join the Online Buddy Program?

Please share this post with your network

Contact volunteering@seniorswithskills.org for a news story or blog post.


Social Media


Donate
GoFundMe to help provide iPads to senior facilities.

Help an Isolated Senior

As a tech-geek, I have been quite enamored with this age of social media and collaborative team tools.  My mother, on the other hand, and many others in her generation have not been so quick to embrace new technologies.


However, due to our current situation, my mother decided to put aside her resistance and give Zoom a try.  The result meant she was able to see all her children and great-grandchildren together for the first time in an extended family Easter party hosted on Zoom.

Jaya Manjunath is helping to make this scenario a reality for seniors everywhere.  She’s the founder of Seniors with Skills , a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the social isolation of senior citizens in North America.

Manjunath, a university student with a passion for helping the elderly, founded her nonprofit in 2018 with various programs including those to teach seniors how to use smartphones, computers, and technologies allowing them to be able to communicate with loved ones even when they aren’t physically present.


With the onset of Covid-19 and physical distancing, Manjunath is focusing on the Online Buddy program allowing seniors to engage in video-chats with volunteers.


The organization has had an influx of volunteers and continues to get more people who are eager to help; however, at this point, there are more volunteers than there are seniors who are signed up for the program.


SWS’s Online Buddy program includes any isolated seniors – whether they are in residential facilities or living on their own. We need your help in spreading the word!

Here’s how you can help:


Join the Online Buddy ProgramIsolated Seniors:

Do you know anyone who is facing social isolation who might want to join the Online Buddy Program?  Please have them contact SWS at volunteering@seniorswithskills.org.


Senior Facilities:

Do you know of a senior facility that houses seniors who would benefit from receiving video chats and might want to be part of the Online Buddy Program. Please have them contact SWS at volunteering@seniorswithskills.org.


Volunteer:

Do you want to volunteer to be an Online Buddy?  Fill out this form.


Spread the word

Do you know anyone (news, blog, social media?)  who might be interested in featuring this story to raise awareness of this cause, and encourage more seniors living at home who are facing social isolation to join the Online Buddy Program?

Please share this post with your network

Contact volunteering@seniorswithskills.org for a news story or blog post.


Donate
GoFundMe to help provide iPads to senior facilities.

My 60 until 60 Project

  1. Keep doing strength building exercises do at least one unassisted pull-up. Accomplished Week 2: 1/11/19. 
  2. Hike in beautiful spots Including Crested Butte during wildflower season Accomplished Week 32 
  3. Participate and dress up in at least one fun race like the Bolder Boulder Accomplished Week 22
  4. Research bone-healthy recipes and make dinner to share with other friends who are working on their bone strength Accomplished Week 6: 2/7/19
  5. Learn a choreographed dance Accomplished Week 21: 5/25/19
  6. Try PickleBall Accomplished Week 34
  7. Call 10 friends and relatives who I haven’t seen in a long time to invite them to my 60-week virtual BD party and get a song for my playlist. – Accomplished Week 1: 1/7/19
  8. Take a work mentor to dinner. – Accomplished Week 37
  9. Every week share a “Cool Thing of the Week” via social media and encourage others to do the same. Accomplished Week 12: 3/24/19
  10. Foster strong and deep communication with everyone I meet. Aim to have at least one positive social connection every day and at least one event every week.  Accomplished Week 30
  11. Write a gratitude letter to the police who helped me during a family emergency Accomplished Week 44
  12. Visit my Mom & brother in Sacramento as well as others in Northern CA who are available: Accomplished Week 50 
  13. Visit my sister in Southern CA and go to this super-cool bookstore (among other things). Accomplished Week 3: 1/18/19
  14. Practice a mindset of kindness and gratitude and journal weekly about reflections Accomplished Week 46
  15. Contribute to any cause that a friend asks me to support Accomplished Week 27
  16. Participate in efforts to help those with ALS and their caregivers Accomplished Week 48
  17. Learn digital photography better with the help of a professional photographer (my sister, Michele) Accomplished Week 4: 1/28/19
  18. Learn how to Meditate Accomplished Week 19: 5/11/19
  19. Learn more about poetry and write a poem Accomplished Week 16: 4/21/19
  20. Practice the piano and be able to play some of the pieces I used to play well along with some new pieces Accomplished Week 38
  21. Experiment learning a new instrument – maybe the ukulele Accomplished Week 18
  22. Sing with a group Accomplished 8/8/19 (Blogged about Week 33)
  23. Explore an acting class or group and try to get a part in a play Accomplished 8/8/19 (Blogged about Week 33)
  24. Get better at a foreign language (Spanish, French, and/or Italian) and practice with a friend Accomplished Week 24
  25. Put together a playlist of at least 60 songs by gathering songs from friends Accomplished Week 58
  26. Plan and host my 60th virtual/real birthday party Accomplished Feb.26, 2020
  27. Create slideshows of the celebrations I have throughout my 60-week ‘party’ Accomplished Week 36
  28. Host a theme party (Flamingo, Carpe Diem, Wine-Tasting, Murder Mystery, Games, Purple,etc.) Accomplished Week 25
  29. Go to a foreign country and practice speaking the native language Accomplished Week 54
  30. Research and explore snowbird locations Accomplished Week 15
  31. Go to Disneyworld with the Tidds Accomplished Week 9: 2/28-3/1
  32. Go to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival with Stella and Matt Walk 2019 miles in 2019 Accomplished Week 49
  33. Go to the Meowolf exhibit in Santa Fe with Stella and Matt Accomplished July 6, 2019 (Week 28 Blog Post)
  34. Visit New England in the Fall with Rebecca R. Accomplished Week 41
  35. Do some TBD adventure with Scotty Accomplished Week 5: 1/30/19-2/1/19 Road Trip to CA
  36. Visit Minnesota friends in August Accomplished Week 33 
  37. Do a roadside altar road trip with Rebecca M. Accomplished Week 39
  38. See all the movies that are up for Best Picture Accomplished Week 8
  39. Dress up and go to a musical at the theater Accomplished Week 29 and Week 31
  40. Read a book that’s on the best seller list Accomplished Week 45
  41. Binge watch a Netflix series with someone Accomplished Week 23
  42. Clean my basement window-wells Accomplished Week 17
  43. Try marble contact paper on an old table Accomplished Week 40
  44. Clean and organize the ‘craft area’ of my basement Create a Girl Cave
  45. Sell, give-away, throwaway and organize what’s left of my games, puzzles, and toys Accomplished Week 29
  46. Sell, give-away, throwaway and organize what’s left of my books Accomplished Week 14
  47. Clean out my wardrobe and get rid of old clothes that I never wear Accomplished Week 10
  48. Put DIY flooring or carpets in basement Accomplished (sort of) Week 47
  49. Put DIY walls in basement that will allow me to hang pictures, etc. Accomplished Week 52
  50. Refurbish window sills and baseboards that are old and chipped Accomplished Week 20
  51. Label and repair my breaker box Accomplished Week 29
  52. Get rid of or repair floor lamps Accomplished Week 29
  53. Hang pretty lights in basement and bedroom Accomplished Week 43
  54. Fix up den as a potential airBnB room for rent Accomplished Week 11
  55. Buy something at a Thrift store and fix it up Accomplished Week 51
  56. Create a course about using Agile in everyday life
  57. Sign up on sites to get freelance Agile coaching / training gigs: Accomplished Week 2: 1/13/19
  58. Update Website with my coaching / training / writing accomplishments Accomplished Week 42
  59. Create outline for book about Agile in everyday life Accomplished Week 26
  60. Continue to write freelance articles Accomplished Week 13

Happy National Healthcare Decisions Day!

As the new recipient of National Carpe Diem Day, I feel it’s my responsibility to properly “seize” and celebrate every day, and that includes today, which is, among other things: National Healthcare Decisions Day! 

NHDD is about being prepared with healthcare decisions and having crucial conversations with your loved ones. You can check out the variety of resources available on the site and check out this blog post for ways to connect and celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day.

I’m inspired to write this blog post because I stumbled upon a Fitbit Community blog today, asking readers to “Share Joy.”  Responses included quotidian things like:

  • Daffodils blooming
  • Clean kitchen drawers
  • Snuggling pups
  • Birds singing

just to name a few. Many of the responses noted (often quite poetically) having more time for creativity,  relaxation, bonding, and connectedness.

Inspired by this blog, I found Fitbit’s Community Blog Program with April’s theme being none other than National Healthcare Decisions Day and “hard healthcare decisions”:

You may know that National Healthcare Decisions Day is in April. We all face tough healthcare decisions in our life, whether it’s for ourselves or someone else we love. What have you faced? How did you make the decision? What data did you use? What support did you need – and how did it change your life? 

My tough decision was this: About a year and a half ago, I was told I had two degenerative back problems (severe scoliosis and osteoporosis). One doctor sounded so dire that it sounded as though I needed to prepare myself for a life of pain.

After talking to my kids about it, my daughter suggested I get a second opinion and that doctor was much more optimistic.

However, given the uncertainty of my future, I decided to retire a bit early, and make my health a priority. Most doctors agreed I should stop running, but, instead I did more weightlifting, walking, and dancing, avoiding anything that would compress my spine.

I’ve never felt healthier and happier since making these changes. I miss my work and running, but giving those things up have allowed me to have more time to travel and pursue other hobbies. I enjoyed a wonderful 60-weeks-until-60 project, having a different adventure every week. 

I know that many people are suffering from hardships associated with the coronavirus, but I’ve been lucky. My friends and family are healthy and most are able to work from home.

So for me, similar to giving up running and my job, the changes due to the coronavirus have brought unexpected benefits. I actually have found more connection than ever with so many opportunities to help, to learn and to connect online. It’s heartwarming to see the world unite and work to collectively and creatively find ways to help one another.

Thinking about a future of pain or even thinking about death is scary, but facing those fears and making some decisions may help us cope better and feel more prepared should our worst fears be realized.

Let’s take today to be grateful for all the joys in our life, with renewed commitment to live each day fully (and at ease with our healthcare decisions)!