Happy 2022 to one and all. I am currently in the middle of my annual winter retreat. Celebrating my birthday (many thanks to all for the sweet wishes); tending to at-home and health projects, planning for the year, writing, and resting. After several days of snow and bluster, the weather here in northern Arizona has become sunny with above average temperatures for January. There is still plenty of the white stuff on the ground for pups to enjoy on daily walks. Robert and I are grateful for the beauty all around us and speak of that every day. Now for the News:
- Visit the Further Shore blog for the latest post, “M” is for Memorializing!
- Program Update: stay tuned in February for details about virtual programs including My Legacy Matters, Passed is Present, and Grief, Gratitude and Grace.
- Pandemic News: The CDC has made a strong recommendation to upgrade mask choices to the N95 or KN95 because cloth masks are not effective to avoid the extremely transmissible omicron variant. I realize the CDC has often failed at clear messaging during the pandemic, so you may not even want to read about new mask recommendations. But very reputable epidemiologists have been hollering about better masks for two years. This is an airborne virus and masks help to curb the spread. This 5th wave is crippling hospitals in several states resulting in poor quality of care for patients and soul crushing situations for medical staff. Note that in late June, 2021 there were 12,470 covid hospitalizations; today there are 156,560. To be clear, most people with omicron just have uncomfortable symptoms for a few days or a week. There is still a risk of long covid that cannot be assessed as omicron has only been around for six weeks. But for the most medically vulnerable, it can cause serious illness, hospitalization, or death. Even with vaccines, some people are still at risk. Proper masks and social distancing are still the best ways to keep vulnerable loved ones safe and support the courageous healthcare workers.
- Winter Travel Tips: The weather across the country has been anything but calm in January. A corridor of interstate 95 was shut down for 27 hours during a recent winter storm, tornados and other extreme wind events have left many people homeless, and currently blizzard conditions and sub-zero temps are making travel literally impossible in some parts of the northeast. Please take care to be aware of weather conditions before you travel. AAA recommends always keeping these items in the car “just in case”. During the winter, including a couple of warm blankets, gloves, and extra hat or scarf make sense.
- Movies that Move Us – my January movie pick is Don’t Look Up (DLU), directed by Adam McKay. I knew from the trailer it would be both funny and sad, outrageous, and clever. Satire is that way. What I didn’t expect was that it would be so thought provoking. McKay intended to draw a connection to the way climate scientists are being ignored for economic gain. He used the metaphor of dropping a large “planet killer” comet on earth. I saw the connection to climate change, but to many other challenges as well: a seemingly unending virus, political, racial, and economic division, a fragile democracy, life itself. Mortality talk is not uncomfortable for me after so many years of Death Café facilitation, so when Robert mentioned that the DLU comet can also represent personal mortality, I said. . . wow, yes true indeed! The conclusion of the movie was very moving; not because the world was ending, but because of the way a few people chose to face it lovingly and consciously with gratitude and forgiveness. Favorite movie quote: “We really had it all didn’t we?” This movie inspires me to be grateful and to pay attention to and not avoid the various “comets” out there including the number of our days. Not a Hollywood ending; not for everyone, but I LOVED it!
- Quote of the Month ~ “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Office hours are Tuesday-Friday from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. by appointment. A note about our 501C3 nonprofit: Our mission remains “to provide resources and education for living well and dying with dignity”. I (Aleia) am now the sole provider of services. It is an honor to continue the mission through writing and virtual programs. Donations support my compensation and various line items that keep the nonprofit going. I do not charge a formal fee for services, so I am compensated based on donations as they are available and with board oversight. We file a report with the IRS annually and if you want information about the budget or direction of funds, please feel free to ask!