Changing Patterns

I’ve been thinking a lot about personal boundaries and making life changes. I have recently decided to make some different personal choices related to healthy living. It means stopping old behaviors and trying out new ones. I have done many things the same way for a very long time, so it feels very odd to do things another way. It is hard to do anything differently in middle-age, even when it is good for you. Not all the new choices fit well. It is difficult to change habits, but also invigorating to try something new. I have given myself permission to keep what works and throw out the rest. Fortunately, most of the new stuff is worth keeping.

I have also decided to readjust personal boundaries in my relationships with others. This is also part of healthy living but harder to do. I am pushing back on folks that demean or ridicule, and eliminating relationships that are toxic to me. These changes are also difficult, but are critical to taking care of my emotional self and soul space. Sometimes I feel like going back to old behaviors, but the risk is too great. What are you willing to make changes for?

 

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN

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What is Your Limit?

I recently returned from two weeks in Israel and Jordan with a tour group. It was my first time being on an organized traveling tour. I am not good at being herded. However, I met amazing people and did enjoy the trip. It became clear on the second day that I would have to work hard to physically keep up. Part of that is being overweight. But, I also don’t routinely push myself while working out at the gym, which I do regularly. It was also hot and humid in the Middle East so I was challenged!

I struggled to keep up and took a fall that set me back a day. However, I persevered and did not give up! What I learned is that people are very kind. Folks helped me climb up and down stairs, and over rough ground. It killed me to need help, but now I am better at asking for it. Independent middle aged women struggle to ask for help, and I am the worst! What I also my limit is far greater than I thought. I could do more if I try. I can walk farther, move more, and do more sets at the gym. What can you push your limit on?!

 

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN

Trash in My Own Yard

I have recently witnessed a few serious events of friends that make me want to go into other peoples’ lives (yards) and help them clean up their trash. I assume they can’t see it, won’t do it correctly or would do all things differently if they were able. I am such a great codependent, I want to jump in and fix it all, as if I know what they need.

A couple of them are in denial about what they are dealing with. Another is totally clueless. No matter what, it is not my business. I have to firmly RESIST the impulse to get in there and tell them what they are doing wrong. I have tried to rationalize that I am teaching. As an RN, this is a common theme. I call it support, education, helping, or being there. I actually think I know better than they do about their life. It also makes me feel needed and useful.

I figure I have learned to manage some life challenges, so they should do that too. I have also learned that it is not my job to facilitate someone else’s ah-ha’s. “It’s not my journey.” is my new mantra for living. I am not good at moving in and out of the piles, so I am mostly sitting outside the yard. I can support at a distance, instead of sitting with them in their piles of trash. I can provide health information, emotional support and back away. What I need to do is look in my own backyard instead of worrying about everyone else’s. Whose yard are you sitting in?!

 

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN

Progress NOT Perfection

I am pleased to report that the “Fix up Susan” project has closed its’ doors permanently. It has been a work in progress for several decades with discernable improvement but no completion date. While I was busy fixing myself, I forgot to live my life…until a health crisis reminded me that I needed to live in my wholebody, not just my head. I have finally learned at a week shy of 64 years old that I am fine the way I am. I will never be thin, artistic, or fluent in another foreign language. I will continue (likely forever) to be creative, overweight, smart, empathic, sensitive and compassionate, as well as musical.

After reading a million self-help books, Geneen Roth, Brene Brown, Wayne Dyer and many others, I have learned and believe I am good enough. Can you close down yourself-fix it project? Can you actually fathom not working on ANYTHING but rather living your life….? Be who you are…An amazing and important idea!

 

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN

Get Empowered: Ask for Help!

February was not my month! For two weeks, I was flat on my back and sick with something awful…? The flu? Couldn’t eat, take care of my dog or put out the trash. I struggled to keep the basics going, like the heat. I thought I had it handled.

Then I took a fall. Broke my hand in 2 places and couldn’t use it. Of course, these falls only happen when you are buck ass naked and it is Friday at midnight. The good news is I was able to get myself up. The bad news is I couldn’t do much else.

I slept with frozen peas and a splint. The next morning, my friend called. I told her what happened, and she showed up with a goody bag full of crackers, seven up, bananas and Gatorade. She checked in regularly. apparently the word traveled and another neighbor took out my trash. People showed up to feed the dog, water my plants and see if I needed laundry done.

I was lovingly cared for by several folks. Some I didn’t even know that well. A couple still ask if I am doing ok. I was really impressed by how kind they were. I felt empowered and treated kindly.i am usually the one doing the caretaking. It was different to be the one that needed it. As a nurse for over 40 years, I pride myself on taking care of myself without help…except for my golden retriever. I now know that as I age, I may one day again need to ask for help. Next time I will be less judgmental and afraid. How are you at asking for help?!

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN

The Yenta in My Head

I have recently decided my resolution focus for this year is on myself. Being more mindful, taking care of my health, my weight and general wellbeing. Who can argue this isn’t a good thing?! What I didn’t expect to discover while learning to meditate and focus on the present, is that my in my mind is a mean yenta.

The mind stores many negative experiences, and mine in childhood are doozies. I am learning from a master of neuroscience how to manage my mind which never seems to shut up. This skill set is hard for me, and opens up an incredibly new way of living…being mind-neutral. Being mind-neutral forces you to let go of old experiences, pain, anger, fear and sadness-a great concept, but tough to do.

Michael Singer discusses the benefits in several videos, and his book,”The Untethered Soul.” (See link below) I sure wish I learned this stuff decades ago.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa8h0DVBqXE

 

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN

Ordinary Time

Ordinary time is a Catholic and Christian term and concept that relates to the liturgical calendar. There are labeled times, like Advent and Lent, and ordinary time is outside those special days. Many folks believe “ordinary time” means not important time. This is not true for the liturgical calendar, or in living life.

The older I get, the more blessed I feel to be aging. I used to be someone who complained about wrinkles, crow’s feet, and other evidence of my aging. I don’t do that most of the time anymore, as I have learned how lucky I am to be alive and presumably healthy at age 63. I know several folks I have loved that did not get to live until 63 years of age. They died younger.

As we welcome in the New Year and make our plans for the future, remember that all our time on the planet is a blessing. We make not like what is happening in our lives, but we are wired to adapt and change to cope with it.

Don’t take health, family or love for granted. Embrace your life and make your time extra-ordinary. Happy New Year!

 

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN