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Thats How I See It! Vol. #96

I will be emailing you a special Newsletter on Thursday with articles specific to the topic of CAREGIVING. If you find yourself in the role of caregiver, or near to it, I believe you will find this Thursday evening edition most valuable.

Do you like the That's How I See It! newsletter? Then please take the time to share it with friends, colleagues and clients!

Take Care Of Your Self- It Really Pays Off!
Hans Selye (grandfather of this stress movement) once said that, "If you were to take better care of yourself, you and everyone involved with you--your partner, children, friends, family and employer, would be much better off for your efforts. The reason you take care of yourself first, is so that you can take better care of others."
I remember a few years ago, when I was doing a great number of stress-wellness workshops across the province, I would run into many people who couldn't care less about what I said or how long I spoke about wellness. They had a different agenda than a healthier way of life and no amount of informing, coaxing, and warning would have them consider taking better care of themselves. They would not see Quality of Life as a priority over "success". (Success being defined as perfection and rescuing behaviours.) They had no plan for their health in an era where the medical profession is stating that 80% of all illnesses are stress-related and lifestyle driven. Not only was there no individual health plan (to take better care of self), but there was not even an understanding of the need to have such a plan. No plan and no boundaries - definitely a burnout waiting to happen.
I also remember having a conversation with a person who wanted me to "wellnisize" a group of recently retired people who were not doing particularly well with their retirement. In the process of discussing with her what I would do with the group, she became upset with my belief of what success in retirement look liked. I suppose she wanted a quick fix, a snappy 10 Best Things One Can Do To Have a Happy Retirement! My observation has been that a great many people believe that as they enter retirement they will have fun and do all the things they didn't have time for before they retired. However, my belief is that in most cases it is too late, and likely impossible to teach people to be joyous, fun loving and interested in a fulfilling life after they retire. I don't believe we can teach people to want to be joyous, and we certainly can't make people seek out activities, to be curious and want to learn and explore. We have to know about this "stuff" before we retire. We don't suddenly enjoy curling, carving, knitting, travel, music, and crafts (hobbies). (Or for that matter, how to communicate with our partners). We need to cultivate these activities throughout our entire life- okay maybe the last 15 or 20 years before we retire.
Many people have told me they cannot find or make the time for these activities until they retire and by then they haven't acquired a taste for them- like olives, I suppose. Joy, happiness, fun, and satisfaction with one's life should not be the result of having to leave our workplace, but should be part of our daily working life. Oh yes, we need to work hard and keep our workplace productive and healthy, but we also need to work hard at keeping ourselves, and those we care about healthy and fulfilled, or what's it all for?
We need to be very cognizant of a Work-Life Balance. I am aware of a great many people (me into my late 40s) who at the end of a very long work day came home and took off their "work" clothes and put on their "home" work clothes and did another 3 to 4 hours of work. You see, it's not just a paying job that is the culprit that forces us to focus on working all the time; we are often our own worst enemy. Without the conscious decision to work at being in balance- work/play/relax time- we could get sick. Or at the least wake up one day and realize we have not had a very good quality of life.
I love the line: "If I'd known I was going to live so long,
                          I'd have taken better care of myself."
Meaning, I would have worried and worked less, and played more.
To have Quality Of Life you need to be Healthy. To Maintain Health
you need to live a Balanced lifestyle, and to be In Balance you need Boundaries.

  2015 Stella Award
 For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico, where she purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving.

Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? 
That's right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head.  So keep your head scatcher handy.
Here are some of the "Stella's" for 2015:
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own.
Start scratching!
Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbour ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbour's hubcaps.
Scratch some more...
Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just burglarized, by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.
Keep scratching. There will be more next week.

Children in Care

Floyd Perras, Executive Director of Siloam Mission in Winnipeg, points out an interesting observation.

In the last 10 years, the number of children in care in Manitoba has gone from 5,500 to more than 10,000. At the same time the number of people who have become homeless has also doubled.

Perhaps there is a link between those children in care and those who end up homeless! Do you think??

Mr. Perras goes on to share that at Siloam Mission, of the people who come for help, 43% indicate they have been in the childcare system.

Child and Family Services statistics show that of the 10,000 children in care, 87% are of aboriginal descent. I ask not what has been done to these people -there has been enough blame on answering this question- but rather how do we rectify the problem? According to Mr. Parras, in 2014 we spent $455 million on Child and Family Services. We need to spend at least double that to do a good job.

I am sure that it is not just money we need to rectify the problems of aboriginal children in care, and homelessness. We also need to see the humanness in each individual and not continue to perpetuate our biases. We all exist at this moment in time on this plot of land, this place we call Manitoba. It will take all of us, all members of this society to work out our issues so that we all get our fair share of the "good life." It's up to us to find a solution so that all our children have a choice/chance.

Reader Response

     One of my favourite newsletters, Dan.  I enjoyed being reminded of the benefits of laughter. And the story of the little boy who had a teacher that took the time to believe in him.
     I am reminded of my father who continued to see the positive when there wasn't a heck of a lot there at times in life. He saw humankind at its best and worst during WWII but never stopped believing in the goodness and connection of people.  And there was a teacher of mine who saw the positive - when there wasn't a heck of a lot in her students at times. She used to pick me up early, before school began, just to make sure I could understand my mathematics and not be so shy at reciting tables and theorems in front of the class. Never will forget Mrs. Drayton.
     And with love and belief like that - how can we not try to succeed?
     Enjoy your newsletters and hope life is treating you very well.  


See Teddy Stoddard Vol #88     

The Silver Box and the Happily Married Couple

A couple had been married for fifteen years. There was only one thing that Ruthie had forbidden her husband to do. That was to open a small silver box that was kept on her dresser.

One day the husband was cleaning the mirror above Ruthie's dresser and accidentally knocked the silver box to the floor. Out spilled six golf balls and a thick wad of cash. The husband was bemused. He counted the cash, which totaled $25,000. Shocked, but controlled, he put it all back. At dinner he apologized to Ruthie for the accident and asked what it all meant. Ruthie said that each time she cheated on him she put a golf ball into the box.

He thought. Then he said, "We have been through good times and bad, six times you drifted in fifteen years. I can forgive that but why all the cash? Where did the cash come from?"

Ruthie replied, "Oh the cash! You see my dear, each time I had a dozen golf balls, I sold them for $10."

Wayne (edits this newsletter) came up with some interesting statistics on Ruthie:

"At $10/dozen, in order to accumulate $25,000 over their 15 years together, Ruthie would have "drifted" 30,000 (+6) times, or about 5.5 times/day. It's a wonder she had time for dinner."

If anybody ever asks if this newsletter does "do diligence" on what gets printed--this would be a sterling example to show them.  Mm!

Check your email next Thursday for the special edition on how to take care of yourself when in the role of the caregiver.