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Finding The Balance And Safety In Routine

This morning I was reflecting on the clarity with which Maria Shriver articulates messages of heartful and courageous wisdom in her online Sunday paper. There are so many voices to be heard in the cacophony that is in our world today. And yet, I am moved to add my own to the mix.

I work in a very special place. A place in which people with lifetimes of lived experience dwell…a place in which family members come and go, begin, grow, depart, and return. It is a place of personal lived experience as well. It is a place of opportunity to share perspective, mixed with the reality of maturing in a shifting world.

As I watch a chipmunk scurry across the patio table and sip water from the birdbath, I smile. Yes, I do work in a very special place.

I believe that many of us take each day for granted. And those of us who don’t, still find ourselves in routine. It is part of being human. Then things change, we change, the world changes and we adjust. We make subtle or big changes to get back to balance, equilibrium, and safety. This process is especially true as we grow older.

I enjoy cheese and a few crackers in the late afternoon, sometimes during supper prep time. If I have too much cheese over a few weeks, I get joint stiffness in my hand. The first time it happened, my right thumb knuckle swelled a bit and ached. I quit cheese in the evening and the arthritis feeling and soreness disappeared. Naturally, I reverted to cheese again after a while.

Recently, I began to experience the finger lock on my right middle finger, so I have reduced my evening cheese again and am happy to report, it is feeling much better. Now, will I completely forego evening cheese? Not likely but I have learned the subtle adjustments and I have control over the decision and the consequences. This is a really small example of the daily decision we make for ourselves and others.

In your own home, are there habits that create an unfavorable reaction? Do you continue to walk on the broken step, maybe over to the side of it? Or do you want around it? Would fixing that step takes a little bit of time, effort, and materials? Would the outcome of fixing the step be subtle or would it be life-changing for a guest who did not fall or a family member who did not slip because you made the repair? In the same way that my knuckles don’t hurt when I ease up on the cheese, there is no fanfare. The “not falling”, “not slipping”, and “not getting hurt on a broken step” does not have fanfare, either but it sure makes a difference!

I would encourage you to begin to look at your home, inside and out. Look at your routines and let us find opportunities to find balance and safety for ourselves and others!

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