by Anne Marie Killilea, MSN, RN
It is again a new year, a time when people begin to search for things they need to change. My resolution sheet comes out and I look through the list I made last year. Yes, I did make a list of things I wanted to address: losing a few pounds, getting outside to walk more, and throwing out stuff I have not used nor do I like anymore to name a few. My list was a bit long, but when I read it over this year, it seemed to be a grouping of very selfish things I wanted to change. I did not create a list of things I wanted to change for my friends, my neighbors, community, state, country, or the world. I was so consumed with COVID-19 I was not concerned with seeing “outside the box”, seeing past my nose.
Over a cup of LL Bean Maple flavored coffee, I began to draw up a list of things I wanted to do and change during this new year. I divided up the list into two columns, “being more grateful” headed up one column, and the other was “grateful to whom”? What am I grateful for? I thought about this deeply. How does this relate to others? Ok…. My gratefulness must relate to others.
So my list began……
|What am I grateful for?
|How does this affect others?
I love to cook. I am not afraid to say I look like I do. I have learned to use up all sorts of vegetables to make an awesome vegetable soup.
I love making different types of cookies.
|Even though I cannot have friends over the house to eat, I can bring my soup to my neighbors who are struggling financially so they will have a warm meal. Cookies are always a great way to put a smile on others’ faces.
|Playing in the Handbell choir
I am the only one in my choir who uses bilateral cochlear implants to hear with.
|When others who can hear tell me they can’t play in this choir, I tell them that I cannot hear everything and work hard to be part of this choir every day. I offer them the courage to step out of their comfort zone and do something different.
I love the feel and smell of new yarn. I like to review patterns and make hats and blankets for new little ones.
|There is nothing like seeing the smile on a new mother’s face when they open a gift that I have made. That smile sends me right back to the store to buy more yarn!
|My big feet
I can walk and go outside without assistance to enjoy the world. I used to get upset with my big feet…that was until I realized there were so many others who could not use their feet at all.
|There are people in my neighborhood and community whose use of their feet has been taken away by disease or disability. So, I try to help them (if wanted) as best I can.
Even though she is little, she is at the age where she is learning from me all the time.
|By being goofy, caring, and loving to my little granddaughter I am helping my son to raise a woman who will be careful and try new things. She will learn to question behaviors and seek to do better towards others in our world. She will not look at hearing loss with disgust, but with acceptance.
My education as a nurse has given me the ability to reach and teach others as I wish I could have been.
|To do better towards my patients and clients is optimal for me. So many things about nursing have changed and I can see these changes have given better care to those with whom I interact.
|My hearing loss
When I became deaf in 1999, I was largely in denial. Having hearing loss and relying on technology can be difficult.
|Through my hearing loss, I have taught so many late-deafened people how to communicate with healthcare workers and also taught healthcare workers how to improve their communication with the D/deaf. Had I not become deaf, I would have never taken on this problem. It is my goal in life to help everyone who has hearing loss or is D/deaf to get better healthcare. I will continue to carry on with this project.
Being grateful is a way for all of us to identify those things in our lives that are positive. During this bleak time in our lives, with the COVID virus mutating and causing more havoc within the healthcare system, we must find a way to lift ourselves and others up and continue onward. Finding at least one thing in our lives each day to be grateful for is a method in which to avoid depression. I am not saying that having a “Pollyanna” attitude will always offset depression, but it may help to avoid the deep pitfalls of the disease.
How our gratefulness affects others is another way in which we can make ourselves and the world a better place. To use the simplest of our talents to create a smile or alleviate some sadness in others by far is the most precious gift we can give ourselves. Just look outside, I bet you can find someone who would enjoy something down-to-earth that you can do.
Resolutions are great to make and help to keep us focused on becoming better. Let’s not forget how these resolutions affect others. We have 11 months to do something spectacular, let’s make the most of it and design a list that makes us shine and helps others, too.
Happy 2022! Continue to stay safe and well. ALDA cares about you!