Clinton Seniors’ Centre sign, 2017. Photo credit: Barbara Roden

Clinton Seniors’ Centre sign, 2017. Photo credit: Barbara Roden

Rockin’ and Talkin’ With the Clinton Seniors’ Association

‘Hope, love, peace and joy’ help weather the storm of life

By Zee Chevalier

January dreams its heart in snow,

twirling, swirling. off the flakes go,

powdering the earth in white

on this sparkling winter’s night.

Emma Payne

Our family has had Christmas Day together for 60 years except for the year that Gene and I went to Australia and for this year when COVID-19 determined that I spend the holiday here in Clinton. It was the right, safe and sensible thing to do, the best gift we could give each other.

I was not prepared for the spirit of Christmas, the outpouring of kindness and thoughtfulness and generosity from the people of the village.

A beautifully decorated tree was the first of many gifts which included hot chocolate mix and candies from the Clinton Snow Angels, a bag of beautiful, useful gifts of socks and gloves and other goodies from David Stoddart School, home baking, food, confections, and more.

Thank you all so very much. I have said it many times but it bears repeating. Clinton is a warm, big-hearted, caring community and I feel blessed to live here.

Need a chuckle? Cold facts: Have you heard about the fellow who got to Heaven and was asked by St. Peter how he got there? The newcomer answered: “Flu.” – Martin Buxbaum

Nothing has changed in the way we are facing the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions are still in place – wear masks, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, no meetings or gatherings. We have to continue being patient and tolerant.

The distribution of vaccines has begun and it will be some time before vaccinations are available for the general public but we can be hopeful that the outcome will be positive and we will see an overall reduction of illness and deaths across the country, leading to the eventual elimination of the disease.

Despite a life littered with challenges right now, I see many around me maintaining a positive outlook and showing an amazing capacity to bounce back. Where does this resilience come from? Reading about this I discovered, as with many conditions, having a healthy lifestyle, eating well, exercising and so on lends to stronger resilience to adversities.

Studies have shown that social support was associated with greater levels of resilience. How much contact you have with others and how close your relationships are equally important. Physical activity plays a role in strengthening your resilience as well. It might take the form of walking, Tai Chi or exercising, all of which can offer mental and social benefits.

In order to withstand the storms of life, we need things like hope, love, peace and joy. These deep human needs might be referred to as spiritual resources. For some people, religion is high on the list. It could be your children and grandchildren and seeing hope for the future through them. It might be caring for a pet or even donating money or groceries to the Food Bank or through volunteering although that activity has been somewhat curtailed during this period of COVID-19. It could be whatever makes you feel that your life has meaning and purpose.

Sometimes it helps to look back over your life and recall some pivotal events and think about how you came through them. You might find that the kind of strategies you used to cope with these happenings shows that you were far stronger and more resilient than you ever thought you were. You might apply using some of those coping techniques right now as you struggle through the effects of COVID. It’s better to be proactive rather than reactive. Stress can come on without warning. A misfortune or bad news telephone call or letter can trigger anxiety or depression. We can’t plan for everything that might happen to us in the future but we can plan our response to any eventuality. We can’t let it consume us and take over our lives and spend every waking moment thinking about a possible calamity. We can develop ways to manage the situation and have a plan of action should the need arise.

It’s a year since Coronavirus reared its ugly head. Can we hang in there a little longer? I think we can.

Your hair is golden…

Mine turning gray.

Yet we two are walking

The same highway.

You just beginning…

I, near the end;

But what does age matter,

When choosing a friend?

Happy Birthday to me (Jan. 29) and Happy New Year to my readers. Let’s hope 2021 is a great year.

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