Welcome to October, the month of hayrides, corn mazes, riotous fall colors, leaves swirling, and pumpkin spice everything! Fall in the northern hemisphere is a time of beauty and bustle; of bringing in the late harvest, storing away the patio furniture, and preparing for winter. During the Remembrance Holidays in late October and early November we take time to honor and celebrate loved ones who have passed from this life. For sky-watchers, there are two eclipses to keep an eye on. The first is an annular solar eclipse on October 14th that can be viewed in eight states from Oregon to Texas. The partial lunar eclipse takes place on October 28th. That day is also our special day this month with a focus on lending a hand to others to contribute to the greater good in our world).
On a personal note, our Olivia is going for her second knee surgery on October 11th, so we will be back to intensive canine caregiving and rehab for 12 weeks thereafter. We can envision this girl running like the wind when she is fully healed. We are very grateful for your kind thoughts toward that goal. Wishing you a beautiful season of remembering. ❤ Now for the News:
- This Month’s Special Day: is October 28th Make A Difference Day. This happens every year on the 4th Saturday in October and makes a case for the power of individual contribution lending itself to the greater good of all. The day was created in 1992 by USA Today (formerly USA Weekend) to encourage volunteerism. The concept is now echoed in over 30 countries and has inspired more than 30 million hours in volunteerism. The point of this day is to make a positive difference for yourself and your community. You do not have register to participate, just start where you are and use skills that come naturally. Here are some considerations:
- How can I help? There are so many ways to lend our energy to the greater good. When we think about volunteering, the first things that may come to mind are doing so at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or as part of a roadside clean-up. But there are lots of other options for willing volunteers! It can happen via an established group or charity, like Make a Wish, (they grant life changing wishes for children with serious illness). There are also informal ways to volunteer, such as helping a neighbor with chores or yard work, reading stories to a vision-impaired friend, or offering a smile to someone at the grocery store.
- Explore local needs- Do a bit of research in your own community. Animal shelters, hospitals, hospices, community centers or gardens, parks, senior living facilities, libraries, museums, and theaters are some examples of municipalities that may need volunteers.
- Assess your skills and passions- Consider the following to help you decide where and how you might like to volunteer for a few hours on this special day. If you have a good experience, volunteering could become part of your weekly or monthly activities.
- Do you love to garden; or have a passion for recycling, history, poetry, hiking, music, art, politics, or math?
- Are you a horse whisperer; dog or cat lover; fond of prairie dogs, feral cats, or endangered birds?
- Do you enjoy socializing with others or prefer solitude?
- Are you interested in sharing your time with youth, elders, veterans, special needs populations, wildlife preservation, environmental or ecological groups?
- What are your strengths (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) and how can those strengths help others as you volunteer?
- Realistically, how much time do you have to offer?
- Social media sharing- A simple way to volunteer is to create a post on social media about Make a Difference Day. Include a link to your favorite charity. Your post can help to raise awareness about their mission, describe any volunteer needs, and/or encourage contributions in time, goods, or financial donations.
- Benefits to volunteering– These are numerous! One of the most obvious is the opportunity to make an individual contribution to the greater good. This act of generosity results in the increase of happiness hormones (serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins). Volunteering also helps boost self-confidence, improves mental and physical health, and offers an opportunity for social interactions that can result in new or deepening relationships and a stronger sense of community.
- Pandemic Tidbit: This 26-minute YouTube features an interview with Yale’s professor of immunobiology, Akiko Iwasaki, who addresses possible root causes for Long Covid, her concerns about the idea that it is merely psychosomatic, (it most certainly is not), and the importance of learning directly from LC patients. She offers an articulate, compassionate, and clear message of hope for those with this multi-system, chronic illness.
- On the Blog: building on October’s special day, “V” is for Volunteering is coming soon to the Wellness Alphabet. You may also view the current, and all past newsletters here.
- Further Shore Book Nook: This month’s book recommendation is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. When Carnegie Mellon’s Dr. Randy Pausch was asked to give a “last lecture” to reflect on “what remains after my demise” he had already been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His lecture topic was “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” and it was not about dying, but of overcoming obstacles, seizing the moment, and enabling the dreams of others because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”. The book is wonderful, but if you don’t have time to read, watch the YouTube of his lecture. It will not disappoint.
- Quote of the Month: “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” ~ Erma Bombeck
May all beings be safe, well, happy, and content.