Archive from November, 2014
Nov 28, 2014 - Running    No Comments

Thinking Like an Athlete

I am an athlete.

I am in training.

 

I am taking care of my vessel.

Image source: http://meggorun.blogspot.com/2014/01/8-things-im-loving-right-now.html

Image source: http://meggorun.blogspot.com/2014/01/8-things-im-loving-right-now.html

I am an athlete, but not Olympic. Not record setting. Not famous or with sponsors. But I am competing. I’m competing against myself. It is Kelly’s feet vs. Kelly’s brain almost every time I run. But I’m leaning to think like an athlete. To know that short term goals turn into long term progress. To realize that every step I take forward is one more that I don’t have to take again. To think of food as fuel to go further instead of pounds to hold me back. To know the magic that happens when I cross the finish line.

I’ve said it before, I run to prove to myself that I can do things I once thought were impossible.

My training extends beyond my weekly runs. It happens everyday when I encounter a problem I thought was unsolvable or a blocked goal which I considered insurmountable, or a task which seemed incompleteable. Because I run, I keep going. Taking one step at a time, sometimes sprinting, sometimes walking toward a solution, a conclusion. Toward the finish line.

Nov 25, 2014 - Devotional    1 Comment

A Spasmodic Hercules

I read a quote this week that was amazing. It taught me a lesson I learned many moons ago with new language. It was affirming and encouraging and provided some much needed perspective.

Are you ready for it?

“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” Anthony Trollope

I love it. I want to read it again. When else in your life have you been able to work in the phrase “spasmodic Hercules” into a conversation. This one I’m sticking in the memory banks.

Mr. Trollope has found a more fanciful way to say, “Slow and steady wins the race.” and “Pace yourself to reach the finish line.” He’s succinctly summarizing the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I love it.

Sometimes I get bogged down in the everyday. I think of the repetition of tasks: laundry, cleaning, evaluations, treatments, or explaining what occupational therapy is for the umpteenth time. I sometimes long for something exciting, for a surge of energy or attention. There is a part of my heart that wants to be Hercules — to save the day, to rescue the damsel, to be the hero, to get the applause. But all too often in life, those who patiently and faithfully labor at important tasks aren’t the attention-getters. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t a hero. Heroic efforts can occur every day. Every time you wake up early to make your kid’s lunch, every time I lovingly care for a patient, every day that you go to work to provide for your family, every time you lovingly and patiently repeat what you said to an elderly family member, you are a hero. And daily heroes, though often unsung, are worth much more than a spasmodic Hercules.

Be faithful. Show perseverance. Be Hercules.

Nov 22, 2014 - Devotional    3 Comments

Delaying Christmas

I try to delay Christmas as long as possible. Or at least until December.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love the decorations and gift giving. In fact, I joke that in Florida we have two seasons: Summer and Christmas. Because our weather is often unhelpful, I need these external markers to show me that the year is indeed moving forward! But, it irks me every year that it seems our retail world has no room for Thanksgiving. October 31st leaves with it’s pumpkin and face painted fanfare and Christmas sneaks in overnight to stock all the shelves for November first.

Am I alone in this?

What happened to Thanksgiving?

Why do we skip it?

Except for your local supermarket, stores don’t seem to cash in on Thanksgiving. And that’s one of the things I love most about it. Thanksgiving to me is Christmas without all the pressure. It’s all the goodness of travel, family time, togetherness and, of course, food without the pressure to mail letters, attend a dozen of parties, go to the post office, buy and wrap gifts, and have the perfect holiday outfit.

Plus it focuses my heart on what I already have, before the frenzy of Christmas urges me to long for more. I’m committed to delaying Christmas, to leave room for the giving of thanks.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!

photo

 

Nov 17, 2014 - Health, Occupational Therapy    2 Comments

World Prematurity Day

I did not write this. But oh how I wish I had! As I celebrate World Prematurity Day today, I see not only my patients but their families struggling so much to deal with an ICU stay for the tiniest member of their family. I too see you.

free-baby-wallpaper-1440x900-1005041

I SEE YOU by Jodi Dolezel:

I have read your blog posts and your Facebook statuses, I have had the honor of getting to know a lot of you through social media, and I have watched and cheered your children on from the NICU days through early childhood. I have had the privilege of meeting some of you in person, and I must say you are an amazing group of people. You have candidly shared your thoughts, your lives, your children, and your heart with me, and I am truly grateful to have this bird’s-eye view of your world.

Being a NICU parent is hard. I know this, not because I am one, but because you have allowed me into your world and have given me a perspective that I would never have been able to have without this gift you have given me. To see through your eyes, to understand what it is like to walk in your shoes, and to really grasp the other end of the spectrum from your point of view. It is a gift, and I am, and will be forever be, grateful for it.

I know I don’t understand, and I will never understand completely what it is like to be you. Nor do I pretend to understand what you are going through. But I do want you to know that I get it. I get that having a child prematurely or spending time in the NICU is not what you had planned, and it is extremely hard watching your child suffer, feeling so helpless and full of fear. Having a medically fragile child is difficult, and you may feel alone, isolated, or invisible. But today, I want you to know that you are not alone, you are not invisible, and that I see you.

I see you rushing into the NICU with your hair pulled back and your sweatpants on. Bending over at the sink scrubbing your hands with intent, hoping and praying that you made it in time for the 8 a.m. feeding. You are beautiful.

I see you sitting at your child’s bedside, journal in hand, writing down your baby’s latest statistics: weight, isolette temperature, amount of oxygen, and ventilator settings. Things that no parent should ever have to think or worry about, but you do it. You are brave.

I see you walking the halls to the maternity ward to get a drink from the vending machine. You pass by a couple taking a stroll with their newborn baby in tow in a bassinet. They look so happy, you smile as they pass. The look on your face is one of admiration, but you march on. You are resilient.

I see you unpacking your never-ending pumping supplies, lining up your bottles, and preparing for your next power session, even though you did this routine just two hours ago. You are dedicated.

I see you standing over your baby’s isolette, counting down the hours until the next “hands on care,” longing to touch and hold your child, and praying you will get to have kangaroo care time today. You are loving.

I see you as other new parents enter the NICU for the first time. They are scared, nervous, and afraid of what the future holds. You too are worried about the future, but I see you approach them and offer a shoulder to lean or cry on. I see you explain to them the ropes, telling them that it won’t be easy, but assuring them that you are there if they need your help. You are compassionate.

I see you as the neonatologist leaves your baby’s bedside after giving you an update and the plan for the day. You look puzzled and somewhat afraid. Confused by the medical terminology, you ask questions, and you begin to research and learn all that you can about your child’s diagnosis and possible future. You are an advocate.

I see you as your family and friends visit your child, who has now been in the NICU for weeks on end. They ask questions, the wonder, and they sometimes make uninformed or even hurtful comments. They may fail to recognize that this journey is long and hard, not just for your baby, but for you, too. You don’t get upset. You answer their questions politely, and educate them as best you can, and then you thank them for their concerns. You are amazing.

I see you as you perform diaper changes through all the wires, tubes, and machines. You look beyond all this medical machinery and smile in admiration of your little fighter. You have been through so much, you have seen so much, and you have loved so deeply and abundantly through it all. You are courageous.

You spend countless hours worrying about, defending, and advocating for your baby. You spend days, weeks, months, and often years beyond the NICU experience learning best therapies and best medical devices, finding the best doctors and the best schools for your child. You may be burdened with huge medical bills. You may feel isolated and alone in this new NICU world and beyond these doors in the years to come. But today, I want you to know that you are not alone and you are not invisible. I can never truly say that I understand everything that you have been through, because I haven’t walked in your shoes. But I hope you can hear my heart when I say I get it. I see you.

I see you when you’re tired and at the end of your rope, but you truck on. I see you when your patience is wearing thin but you continue on with determination. I see the amazing strength you possess for your little one. I see you when you are astonished by the wonder of your tiny brave hero as you celebrate another amazing milestone. I see you when you are left standing between your baby and this sometimes cruel and critical world we live in. I see it all, and I see you.

I acknowledge you.

I admire you.

And

I applaud you.

___________

Jodi Dolezel is a Registered Nurse and currently works in a single room family centered care level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care in the Charlotte, NC area. Jodi is also the founder and facilitator of Peekaboo ICU, where this post first appeared.

Reference: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jodi-dolezel/i-see-you_b_6071208.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

Nov 12, 2014 - Crafting    No Comments

Crafting for a Cause!

Would you like to get delightful, handmade gifts AND help free modern day slaves? Sounds too good to be true, right? Read on. It is very true!

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Forget Black Friday. Waking up at three in the morning just to wait in line and fight over the last widget in the store. Doesn’t sound like a deal to me!

Besides, it’s not even where to find the best stuff this year. I’ll let you in on a little secret – the best stuff for all the loved ones on your Christmas list can be found at the ICS Bizarre Bazaar this Saturday from 10-4! Over 70 vendors will be displaying their wares and you might just complete all your holiday shopping in one trip! Visit www.icsbazaar.com for more details!

ICS Bazaar craft fair

 

 

There will be a wonderful selection, with trinkets and goodies for all ages – Children are welcome. Shop handmade this holiday season. Feel free to bring friends – the more the merrier!

We know with the hustle and bustle of the holidays that each day is packed full of fun things to do. That’s why we’ve taken the initiative and combined two of our favorite things: crafting and worship. The biggest difference between this bazaar and every other sale you’ll attend this year is that we’re crafting for a cause.

crafting jewelry

A portion of the proceeds from Kelly’s table will be donated to help end human trafficking. Human trafficking is modern day slavery – it is an epidemic. I was made aware of the severity and prevalence of human trafficking today at the Passion Conference two years ago. In fact, there are 27 million slaves in the world today. More than at any time in history. I already love crafting and decided to offer it up as an act of worship. I figured – whatever your thing is – do it for the Glory of God. If you babysit or cook or build chairs or clean teeth or balance ledgers or write insurance policies – do it for the Lord. We hope that this not only provides an opportunity to check off many gifts from your list, but that it also encourages others to think creatively in fund raising, and to worship in all of life.

jewelry

Now doesn’t that sound way better than fighting over Black Friday deals? :)

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23

Visit www.icsbazaar.com for more details!

Nov 10, 2014 - Uncategorized    No Comments

My Running Anniversary

I glanced left at my wall of accomplishment and noticed something. It has been exactly two years since my first race ever.

wall of accomplishment, medals, run, running, finish line

Two years.

760 days since that first magical finish line.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I’m hooked. I enjoy training, I look forward to purchasing new gear, and I revel in the finish line. It is a magical place where fears and self doubts are crushed.

I’ll be crossing a few more in the near future.

I’m hooked on running not just because of the physical benefits, but even more because of the mental and emotional benefits. Running has changed my life. I now view it as an analogy for so many things. I don’t want to sprint at the start and exhaust myself. Instead, I want to go at a sustainable pace in life. Running taught me that. I learned about injuries — when to push through and when to listen to my body. Running taught me that. I want to know my goal and keep focused for a sustained period of time. Running taught me that. I want to run alongside others and encourage them to meet their goals. Running taught me that too.

I thought running would be a short-term pasttime. I thought I was taking up running just to drop a few pounds, but instead running changed my perspective on life and two years ago, I didn’t see it coming.

Jingle Jungle 5K

Where have you learned a lesson from an unexpected source?

Nov 8, 2014 - My Story    1 Comment

Creativity Having Fun

My yearly inner debate happened again this year. I don’t want a prepackaged costume for Halloween. And I don’t want to spend much money. I want to make it myself for cheap AND be something awesome and unique. I want it to be just me, my imagination, and whatever Goodwill has to offer.

Costuming, to me, is creativity having fun.

I had so much fun this year, I couldn’t restrain myself to just one costume. So I chose three.

minnie mouse costumeCostume One! Minnie Mouse

Cost – Seventy-five cents. Three pieces of felt and some creative repurposing of an old skirt!

mrs doubtfire costume

mrs doubtfire costume

Costume Two! Mrs. Doubtfire

Cost – $1.84 shirt purchased from Goodwill to burn for good measure. (Pot lids available without purchase!)

carmen sandiego costume

Costume Three! Carmen Sandiego

Cost- $3.99 (big spender here!) for inflatable globe as prop to make sure everyone knew who I was.

I borrowed all other pieces of clothing and make a few accessories from my jewelry stash. What a fun day to be celebrate creativity having fun!

What is your favorite costume ever?

 

 

Nov 1, 2014 - Book Review    2 Comments

MacGyver on Mars

If I had to choose another title for this book, I’d suggest “MacGyver on Mars.”

the martian

This is the story of a regular guy (as much as a regular guy that an astronaut to Mars can be) who accidentally gets left behind on the red planet and is forced to survive using whatever he’s got. He’s part botanist, part engineer, all MacGyver. He finds a way to create water, warmth, food, energy, mobility, communication and even a reason to continue fighting for life all with options and math that actually worked.

It made my nerdy heart happy.

It’s what I love about MacGyver too. The unflustered ingenuity in the face of disaster. I wish I had more of that. I am a planner and want to know three steps in advance instead of “make do” with what I have available to me. But I’m learning to do both and to be okay with things don’t go according to plan.

Although I’m not an abandoned astronaut stuck on a far away planet, I could relate to the main character, Mark Watney. I have many tasks to do each day like Watney did and although mine don’t involve manufacturing water or trying not to explode my only habitat with compressed hydrogen, mine too can be mundane and repetitive. There are times when I feel alone and isolated. Watney knew this to a far greater extent than I ever will and he was able to pursue a noble goal and laugh at himself doing it. I have to keep a wide perspective on life and know that what I am fighting for. Watney was striving to get home.  I am striving to get Home too, I just don’t have to use a jetpack to do it.

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