Happy Carpe Diem Day! (observed)

Loving my back yard at this time of year

Before my kids and friends gifted me with National Carpe Diem Day on my 60th birthday (February 26, 2020), I had planned on making May 30th the date to celebrate National Carpe Diem Day.

As many people have reminded me, every day should be Carpe Diem Day observed, because the whole point of “Carpe Diem” is to seize every day!

But when you register for a “National Day” you need to pick a specific day, and I think May 30th is a wonderful day to have a party because I love, love, love my Colorado home during this time of year. My lilacs smell like the sweetest perfume, my irises are in bloom, too, so purply and pretty, and my lawn is lovely green (thanks (so much!!) to housemate, John!)

Wish I could capture the perfume of these lilacs

Of course, Corona spoiled my plans for a big 60th birthday bash, but birthday fanatic that I am, I had celebrated for 60 weeks, leading up to the big day! How fortuitous! (Also, rain is in the forecast today, so had I planned a big outdoor party, I’d be stressing about the weather.)

One other stroke of luck for me: Another mini-GISH (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt) is scheduled for today! It is gamified goodness! I love it. (I’ll try and write another quick post for those who might want to join me!)

Besides it being a beautiful time of year, the other reason for this being a personal “Carpe Diem Day” for me is that it’s the day my brother died in a car accident in 1997 and my world changed.

I know we are all experiencing a lot of grief, sadness and loss these days. But grief can also make us realize how much we take for granted. It can make us want to make the most out of our lives and to savor the relationships and love we have. I don’t want to waste a minute with negative feelings.

But, of course, part of life is sadness, pain, and grief, and we can’t help but feel sad when people we love are feeling sad.

I learned a great new word this week from the Word Nerd: Saudade.

I’ve been reading a lot about this Portuguese word and there’s not a direct English translation, but I like this description best:

While the aches may be real for who and what have passed through life, the love that remains is what to truly hold onto.

So today here are ways I hope to observe Carpe Diem Day:

  • I will make an announcement about this new Website (despite my embarrassment at how it’s not really ‘ready’ for prime time).
  • I will enjoy accomplishing some GISH goals
  • I will enjoy the feeling of saudade as I watch the slideshows from my 60-Week party
  • I (am already) enjoying my beautiful surroundings
  • I’ll say a prayer that our world will be united in fighting the virus, ending social injustice, and finding peace and happiness in each day.
  • I’ll plan for some new fun adventures (virtual and otherwise) in the months to come!

Carpe Diem!

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.


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GoFundMe to help provide iPads to senior facilities.

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)!

April Gives Day!

I’m a big prankster so my family is always on guard come April Fool’s Day. This year, I sent them an email, telling them that given the circumstances, I was going to “rebrand” April Fools Day to April Gives Day and send them a gift certificate rather than play a prank. This was the “gift certificate” they got! (Though the certificate was meant to be a joke, I AM an awesome virtual party host and would be willing and happy to help anyone host a virtual celebration! Just ask!)

It is a hard year to be playing our usual pranks and jokes, and I do think Giving might be a better goal thank Fooling, but maybe you can do both if you give people something to smile or laugh about.

I’m excited that this is my first blog post on my new CarpeDiemDay site! Now that deserves a virtual celebration!