2020 Hindsight

Posted by on Jan 4, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2020 Hindsight

Well, here we are, finally at the end of 2020. It’s been quite a year. Some comparisons I have heard include:Roller coaster rideLockdown lifeTrainwreckZoom festHell and back Whatever you have called it, “unprecedented” topped the list on dictionary.com. British slang uses the word omnishambles to describe 2020. For a grin, check out the rest at:https://www.dictionary.com/e/2020-describe-one-word/ What made 2020 so unprecedented? Of course, the pandemic tops the list. But there have been other issues of note that caused this year to be more stressful and more tragic than most any in our collective memories.https://www.visualcapitalist.com/year-review-2020-in-20-visualizations/ So what now? How will we make 2021 a better year? Many of us will make a new year’s resolution. And there is no shortage of suggestions on the internet. Good Housekeeping, In Style, Psychology Today, Reader’s Digest, and People magazine have all weighed in. My favorite was advice from In Style magazine that recommended you ask yourself this question about your resolution: “how will this resolution impact me five, 10, or 15 years from now?”https://www.instyle.com/lifestyle/new-years-resolutions-list What are the things that have made you unhappy in 2020? Will they continue to be a problem after the new year? Are there ways that you can change them, or change your attitude about how they are affecting you? What are the silver linings that you have experienced this year? We have all learned new (and better?) ways to communicate. Perhaps you used zoom for the first time in your life. Perhaps it became your lifeline to family friends and coworkers. This technology has been available for many years (teleconference calls began showing up in the late 50s and early 60s), but it took the pandemic to make us realize what a valuable tool it is. Now, I rarely go a week without more than one Zoom or Facebook call. This holiday season, it became the host for family gatherings as many of my family members live In areas affected by CoVid, not to mention that my home is located in a CoVid hot spot. Sure it is not the same, but so good to see their faces and hear their voices and to know that they are safe and healthy. Internet banking and bill pay has been available for at least the last 10 years, but did it take the closing of bank lobbies to encourage you to take advantage of that service? Telemedicine has seen an epic rise during the pandemic. Working from home has become the norm, rather than the exception. Schools have adopted remote learning strategies, sometimes providing online classes for all their students. This is not new technology either. When I was a 5th grader, we had a remote learner in my class. She was handicapped, and could not always come to the classroom. We had what we called a squawk box that allowed her to listen in and to reply when the teacher directed questions or comments to her. I am sure that technology has been used in some way during the interim since the 1970s, but it’s dominance in 2020 has possibly changed education forever. Was 2020 the year when you finally decided that talking with a counselor would be beneficial? They have been there for years… But have seen a spike in patients this year. This is a good thing. Whatever the year 2020 has brought you, we hope that you have had some moments of pure joy, an opportunity to count your blessings, and development of a positive attitude for 2021. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. And to quote my favorite Christmas song, ” may I suggest the secret of Christmas is not the things you do at Christmas...

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There Art Thou Happy

Posted by on Dec 1, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on There Art Thou Happy

There Art Thou Happy As a preteen growing up I shared a bedroom with my older sister, Lee Anne. She was a fan of Shakespeare. And when the Franco Zeffirelli movie was released, she immediately got the soundtrack and played it every night as we fell asleep. I got to know it well, and could recite most of the scenes by heart. One that especially stuck with me was one where Friar Lawrence admonishes Romeo for being despondent over his exile. The most memorable quote being, “there are thou happy”, repeated several times over in counting Romeo’s blessings of life, love, and breath.As I think about November being a time set aside for the giving of thanks, I encounter, hear of, or read about many people who feel they have nothing to be thankful for in 2020. But this is not true.If you are reading this blog:You have either survived or avoided coronavirus. There art thou happy.You have a device which is connected to the internet and access to Facebook or website. There are thou happy.Hopefully, you have a job or a regular income to maintain your lifestyle. There are thou happy.You can step outside at night and see the same moon and stars that your loved ones see, whether from the next town or a continent away. There art thou happy.In the beauty of nature and the love of animals, there art thou happy.The songs of birds and the frenzy of squirrels. The falling leaves and autumn sun. There art thou happy.In searching for 2020 gratitude lists, I came upon the following:https://www.antimaximalist.com/gratitude-list/https://bucketlistjourney.net/89-things-to-be-grateful-for/https://www.positivityblog.com/grateful-when-times-are-tough/One thing that I am thankful for are the many forms of communication and entertainment available to me. We have certainly learned in this year that even though our society has had access to incredibly abundant forms of communication for many years, we had been slow to adopt them until we really needed to. Virtual school, shopping, television and theatre, Grandpads and Zoom calls have become commonplace. It’s a new normal (overused phrase these days), and we are embracing them in record numbers.Even in this, the worst of the pandemic in our community, we are finding ways to celebrate new traditions. This Saturday the City of Quincy’s downtown District is setting up a Christmas Cruise for families to enjoy. Sixteen blocks of the downtown will feature lighted window displays (watch for the Golden Bridges display featuring repurposed lamp shades as unique Christmas trees). Santa, Mrs. Santa, and our beloved Buddy the Elf will wave at the cars going by their house on the square, and the Fire Station will be a stop for cookies and candy for the kids.There’s no question that this November – this Thanksgiving season is different. Whether sheltering in place or participating in a Zoom family meal, this Thanksgiving is still a time to think of family and tradition, or start a new “normal” for you and your family.Our partner, Nancy, taught her son how to bake her traditional butter rolls, and they filmed it for the rest of the family to enjoy.And Suzanne opened her home for a traditional Thanksgiving feast with both family and friends who would not be having their own family meal.Me, I got to spend some time with faraway family on a safe and sanitary social distancing trip to see my grandkids – and some pretty neat gingerbread houses.Perhaps you are busy this Thanksgiving weekend preparing a place for virtual learning for your student. Or planning to work from home for the rest of 2020. Many of you (I see on Facebook) have bucked tradition and have already...

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Saturday Sisters

Posted by on Oct 22, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Saturday Sisters

Saturday Sisters As the old saying goes, you can’t pick your sisters, but you can pick your… friends. Well, luckily I was born into a family of four girls. So I had built in sisters! Sure, we sometimes argued – over boys, clothes, or music. But we also bonded over boys, clothes… and music. Unfortunately they’re all living in the east now – Buffalo, NY and Fredericksburg, VA, and it’s tough to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine on a regular basis. So… I found a group of what I call my Saturday Sisters. It started with my sorority sister, Jill, when we were both in Weight Watchers a few years ago. After weighing in, we would treat ourselves by going to Panera for coffee and whatever. Usually we shared the egg white and caprese breakfast sandwich, which with black coffee was only four points apiece.Having been close during college, we had drifted apart while raising kids and launching careers. With that behind us, we were ready for some “sister time” and picked up right where we left off. And since we were having so much fun, we started expanding the group. If memory serves, Mary was next. Then GB partner Nancy, Sherry and Carla (who both live in Canton, thirty minutes away) would join us whenever they didn’t have other obligations. Partner Suzanne lives in Palmyra (also a 30 minute drive), but joins us when she can make an excuse to come to town. This year we’ve added Darlene and Angela, and invited Catherine. Pre-pandemic, we could count on the fact that Thursday or Friday one of the Saturday Sisters would send out the group text to decide which local restaurant we would visit on Saturday morning. During the initial COVID shutdown we were not able to get together. But when the weather warmed up, we had had enough of quarantine and started meeting on Jill’s breezeway, with proper precautions and social distancing. She supplied the coffee and we either brought our own breakfast or someone would treat the group. The food really doesn’t matter. Good coffee and good friends are the winning combination. On any given Saturday there might be ten or just two, but some part of the group gets together to mull over the week before or the week to come. To bolster each other or commiserate over the pandemic, the job, the kids, etc. We laugh, we eat, we drink coffee. We relax and we let go.According to www.cdc.gov, US adults reported“considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19.” Therefore, psychologists recommend reaching out to others as a strategy for maintaining your mental health and balance. In this article from Women’s Health Group, it makes the top five in “How to Support your Mental Health during CoVid-19”.CLICK HERE to read moreNow the Saturday Sisters include four more college girlfriends, my partners and a colleague from Golden Bridges, and a friend from the theatre. Recently I hosted the group on my open-air patio (see photo). My husband even cooked for the occasion. Excellent lemon-blueberry bread pudding and marinated orange slices. As usual, we laughed, we talked, and we drank coffee. As the days get shorter and the chill drives us off the breezeway we are searching for a safe meeting place for the winter. Too big a group to socially distance in a restaurant. Too cold blooded to suffer the cold temperatures. Maybe we will all have to chip in for a tent with a heater. Or maybe we will go the route of other sisters and opt for the safety of Zoom or other...

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COVID Homecoming

Posted by on Aug 20, 2020 in Senior Move Managers, Uncategorized | Comments Off on COVID Homecoming

COVID Homecoming Self quarantine and isolation for COVID is recommended as a healthcare strategy to stop the spread of the virus. For some, especially the elderly, this can lead to an unhealthy level of loneliness. According to an article from Barron’s, “Physical distancing is the key that keeps us safe, but we saw residents physically and cognitively declining from two to three weeks of social distancing,” What is COVID doing to impact your relationship with your family… your aging parents? Even when they live nearby, we are encouraged to stay socially distant. Does that mean that you have not seen your parents in weeks or months? Have you had a COVID homecoming? If so, what did you find? Are they getting what they need for proper nutrition and safety? Aging parents are not the only ones affected when we have to stay socially distant. “COVID-19   has robbed grandparents of many experiences… that special moment of meeting a grandbaby for the first time has, for many, been yanked away by the pandemic and been replaced by an agonizing wait.”  But how long do we have to wait when there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight? According to an AARP article, “Experts recommend that if you are preparing to meet a newborn grandchild soon, all parties should quarantine for two weeks before gathering, even if people appear to be asymptomatic.” If you can’t quarantine completely at home, follow health department guidelines of wearing a mask when in groups where social distancing is not possible; staying six feet apart from others; and frequent hand-washing. All these are proven strategies to help stop the spread of the virus. Of course, grandparents – especially new ones – tend to want to make sure that their grandchild is being parented properly. Here are some tips from AARP: WAYS TO HELP NEW PARENTS FROM AFAR           Use video chat technology, such as Zoom and Facetime, to observe                          milestones like smiling and rolling.             Don’t give advice unless asked for it (which can be the tendency when the            only option is chatting over the phone).             Send meals, but don’t forget the impact that snail mail can have. A gift                    package, a letter, a poem, a book or something sentimental that has                        shared family meaning is appreciated.             Try to distract older children with games and stories, via video chat, to                  give parents a break and allow them to focus on the newborn.             Use technology to frequently talk to, sing to and interact with, a                              grandchild.             Provide empathy and support to new parents, and acknowledge the                        sadness they’re likely feeling over the limitations of social distancing and              the pandemic.   Now that we’ve covered the grandchildren… what about the parents and/or grandparents? If your elderly loved ones are in a senior care residential setting, be sure to follow the protocols set by the staff. It may be hard to only be able to see them through the...

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Season of Storms

Posted by on Jul 23, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Season of Storms

Season of Storms The year 2020 has felt like nothing but storms and unusual phenomenon – CoVid, economic uncertainty, civil unrest, Blue Moon, Red Moon, Lunar Eclipse, Murder Hornets and Sahara sandstorms in the Midwest… and a few weeks ago Quincy, IL (where Golden Bridges is based) had a downpour of rain that flooded streets and basements.But lest we forget, we have been through storms before. Facebook reminds me that five years ago our city lost hundreds of trees in a 70mph straight line windstorm…. And we recovered. We got help from volunteers around the country who came with their chainsaws and chippers to help us clean up. We had an active tree planting campaign to Replace the Canopy and today they are growing strong.Three months into pandemic lockdown, partial business openings, drive-by birthday parties and wedding postponements, we are learning to live with the 2020 new normal. During this time of uncertainty and division,you can be a voice for calm in your household. Halfway through the year, it’s time to establish those routines that will enable you to weather any storms that come along in the second half of the year. Back to School will be coming soon, but do any of us know what that will mean? Cloth facemasks? Face shields? No papers to turn in – assignments on an electronic tablet? Zoom classroom? More home schooling? You can plan now to create a set up for your needs, whether that’s a sanitation station for after school or a dedicated space for distance learning.For those working from home will that be over by fall, or will it go past the holiday season? Have you set up the perfect office space, or did you just put your laptop on a bunch of books on top of the coffee table so that it was high enough to capture your face for Zoom meetings? Are you jealous of all those people with the perfect living room, collection of books, children and pets acting like angels in the background?Golden Bridges provides solutions for those in transition. We are all facing “stormy weather” in the form of these 2020 transitions. Need help getting your dining room back after going back to work? Or do you need to hang onto that green screen studio a little longer – but want it gone in time for Thanksgiving dinner? Now is the perfect time to tackle those spaces.It’s your move. Golden Bridges can help! Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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Put your house on a diet

Posted by on Jun 27, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Put your house on a diet

Put your house on a diet How many of us have tried dieting during COVID-19? Maybe you have made some intentional changes to your eating habits, using only fresh ingredients and natural foods. Or perhaps, you have added an exercise routine.Now it’s time to put your house on a diet. During the past few months at home you may have sampled some trendy or crash diets in your house. Is it possible that you went all Marie Kondo on your sock drawer? Or, have you minimalized your kitchen utensils? Did you do the 50-hangers closet purge?If you are like me – on Facebook more than once a day – you’ve seen pictures of your friends’ piles of clothes or decorative items they are either selling or donating to a local charity. But is there a better way? According to the ‘Nesting Place’, there are five things people with tidy homes don’t do:Tidy people don’t act like a slob all day, and then get their house tidy in one fell swoop. Tidy people don’t run out of cleaning supplies. Tidy people don’t let the sun go down on their filth. Tidy people don’t store things on the floor. Tidy people don’t over decorate. CLICK HERE to read more. So, if you accept the comparison that a “tidy” house is like a “fit” body, these tips are similar to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. But what if it’s too late for that? Finding motivation to get your house tidy is a very personal journey, but here is an article with ten “tricks” that I thought just might work for me: Play music – I enjoy classical music, so using a streaming service on TV or Alexa or Spotify I would ask it to play either by composer or genre. For you, it might be rock and roll or even heavy metal to get you going! Set a timer – it doesn’t have to be a long time – twenty minutes can get you through picking up one room! Put just one thing back in its rightful place.  Reward yourself – wine perhaps? Do one small task a day. Have a friend come over to help. (and bring wine?) Acknowledge your weakness. Try a new cleaning product. Use a trigger. The article will help with some suggestions on this. CLICK HERE Invite visitors. This one definitely motivates me. Plan a party, or even coffee with a friend, and you will automatically get into a cleaning mood to show your house at its best!And… if you get stuck, or need some EXTRA help, you can call us at Golden Bridges! Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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