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Marching to the Beat of My Own Drum

This picture was posted on the “Conservative Women’s ROCK” Facebook page.

This … THIS is what bugs me about all the news about the Inauguration and about the Women’s March yesterday.

I believe that everyone has the right to express their own opinions and, for the most part, I am open to all ideas and opinions when one brings up valid points. So what I have to say is my personal opinion and it’s something I wish to express and hopefully clarify.

This isn’t a war about who’s right or who’s wrong. It’s not about what one person did or said to another person. To me, it’s about the ability to have grace and humility before demanding respect.

It’s about being able to evolve into a society where opinions do matter. And –quite frankly, how one approaches expressing their opinion is of extreme importance.

If you express your opinions with “guns out, blazing,” you should expect that any rational human being will respond the same. If you express it thoughtfully, carefully and with consideration to other people’s lives and how it affects them, then yes … expect a good hearty debate with someone who is willing to approach it in the same manner.

Yesterday … whether you believe in what the Women’s March stood for, please be aware that it had NOTHING TO DO WITH WHO WON THE ELECTION OR WHO IS CURRENTLY POTUS. While it was certainly influenced why many people came together, the sole reason for the march can only best be described by their  mission statement:

“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

Grace + Humility + Empathy = Respect.

#LoveTrumpsHate

Thirty Days of Thanks, Day Twenty-Eight

You know it’s Christmas when A Charlie Brown Christmas is on TV.

Today I’m doing a Snoopy “Happy Dance” and thinking about how I’m thankful for childhood memories of watching this TV special.

Soup for the Soul

When I was little, I would typically spend “sick days” at home with my Dad. Mom would work the day shift, while Dad would work the off shift. Such was the life of a dual-income family.

During those sick days, I’d typically be relegated to my bedroom to sleep off the illness that would’ve plagued me for a day or two. And if I was lucky, I would be allowed to lie on the family room couch and watch daytime TV.

The thing I remember most about those sick days was the soup my Dad would make for my lunch. He’d make this chicken noodle soup that I absolutely loved. And I knew I’d be feeling better if I’d ask for a second bowl.

It was a soup that only my Dad could replicate, much to my Mom’s chagrin. Eventually it became known as “Daddy Soup,” and I’d always request it whenever I got sick.

It was comfort food for me; the warmth of the broth soothing my sore throat. The chicken bits providing nourishment for an otherwise lackluster appetite. The egg added that made the it taste like egg drop soup with chicken and noodles … The “secret ingredient” that made Dad’s soup unique. All of it just reminded me of home. And of being cared for as a child.

I think about this soup at times when I miss my Dad the most. And I know it’s because I’m missing the comfort of my childhood when things seemed so much simpler.

Nowadays life seems much more complicated; so much more complex. While I know that’s just part of normal life, having this memory helps remind me that I was loved by my Dad and that I am still loved by those people who reach out to me … Especially during this particularly difficult time in my life.

I’ll just refer to these reminders as “Daddy Soup for my soul.”

Mini-Getaway

After a much-needed break, Hubby and I are in Saugatuck, MI for the weekend enjoying our first experience at a bed and breakfast.

It’s off-season here in the “Artist Capitol of Michigan” but it’s still beautiful here. Many of the stores are closed for the season, but one place we found to relax is a coffee house called “Uncommon Grounds.”

So here I sit, typing on my iPad, enjoying my frosted mint coconut latte, ironically called “Snow Day.” Ironic, because it’s 40-some degrees outside with no snow in site. What is with this winter? (Not that i’m complaining …)

Walking around this quaint town has got me missing the various city neighborhoods of Chicago. There are all these unique boutique shops and the streets are filled with people walking leisurely to their destinations. All that’s missing is the hustle and bustle of city-living. And that purposeful gait of pedestrians trying to catch a bus or the El.

I miss walking purposely like we did in Chicago. I miss rushing to the El station or the bus stop to catch it to our next destination. For pete’s sake, I even miss walking the dog through the park just so she could do her business. As it is now, all I have to do is let her out the side door so she can have the run of the yard. And I know our pudgy Kozzy misses it too.

But being here in Saugatuck has been a nice romantic getaway; something Hubby and I needed to recharge our batteries. It’s given us the time (especially here at “Uncommon Grounds”) to do things we both like to do; him = drawing, me = knitting and writing.

That, and fulfilling my dream of staying at a B&B just like the “Dragonfly Inn” from Gilmore Girls.

Delayed

I’m sitting here at Ronald Reagan International Airport, delayed for my return flight back home after a productive work week away from Detroit. What should have been a quick half-hour layover has turned into a nice 2-hour one, thanks to a wonderful winter storm currently hitting the Midwest.

When booking this flight, I didn’t hesitate to pick this airport as a layover since it would have gotten me back at a relatively early time on a Friday evening. However, what I failed to remember was that this airport had played a large part in the circle of my father’s life.

It was at this airport that my Dad had fallen down while rushing to catch a connecting flight … And hit his head. Three weeks — and complaints of a headache the weekend before his hospitalization — later, the whole family found out that the cause of his passing related back to that one fall.

As I sit here at the airport, I can’t help but think of what had happened here in November of 2010. How this one incident had significantly impacted my life. And it makes me sad; so very sad.

It seems so stupid to mourn like this; over a year later. I know that grief has a timeline of its own, yet somehow I feel as if something as simple as a layover shouldn’t affect me so much. A delayed flight shouldn’t cause my eyes to well up.

But it does. And once again, the grief takes over.

Proud to be in Health Care

Given the historic moment last night**, it’s not suprise that work today was … interesting. Oh, did I forget to tell you that I work for a major health insurance company?

We’re a smart bunch, us RN Case Managers. We’re smart enough to know that the landscape of health care will change. However, we’re also smart enough to know that the basic concept of Case Management will remain the same regardless of how health care is financed.

We know that nurses will continue to be needed in whatever setting they’re currently in. We know that hospitals and other extended-care facilities (like nursing homes or rehabs) will continue to need the skills that a Registered Nurse can provide. We know that physician offices will continue to need the assistance and, let’s face it, the compassion that an RN can provide in order to explain certain procedures and condition in layman’s terms.

Specifically as Case Managers, we know how important it is for a person to be aware of their own health. We know that knowledge and education is important in order for a person to be self-directed in their own care. And we know that the average person might not be as knowledgeable on how to navigate the health care system. Which is why, today of all days, that being a health care advocate for a person is important; why being a Case Manager is an incredibly powerful thing.

So despite the fact that health care as we previously knew it will change … and regardless of exactly how this will be carried out within the health insurance company I work for … it’s a good time to be a nurse; a great time to be an RN Case Manager.

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Two weeks and counting until the end of my Lenten journey. So, in Croatian

Dobro djelo za danas: Today’s good deed. Nothing big today … I happened to run into a fellow supervisor walking into our building this morning; her arms full of various things she had to carry in from the train. So being the kind person I am, I lended her a hand. I helped her up the stairs, through the security gate, in the elevator and onto our floor. Whew … I’m tired just thinking about the distance it takes to get from the entrance of our building up to our floor!

Osjećaj zahvalnosti za dan: Today,  I am once again grateful for the awesome husband that I have. Let’s just say that this morning’s walk with Kozzy resulted in a nasty mess … one I didn’t even notice until Hubby and I were in the car driving to work. And even then … it took me a moment to realize that the poo smell was coming from the bottom of my shoe. <blech!> But the good Hubby that he is, he offered to wait in the car once we got to the office so I could change shoes (extra pairs underneath my desk, yo!) and have him take the stinky pair home. (This of course, happened BEFORE I helped out my fellow supervisor!) He’s so incredibly good to me!!

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** If you want to see what *I* had to say about Health Care Reform, take a look at the bottom half of yesterday’s Mish Mosh post.

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