Rockin’ & Talkin’ – Poppies bloom in November with a little help

Zee Chevalier's monthly report on what's happening with the Clinton Senior's Association.

Marigolds clothed in hue of gold and orange, the scent of the orchard, the aroma of burning wood…these are the pleasures that spice up autumn.

–  Diamond Carter

Days to note: Nov. 1 – Daylight Saving Time ends; and Nov. 11 – Remembrance Day.

The poppy has stood as the official symbol of Canada’s Remembrance day since 1921, a visual reminder of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for war.

Poppies and fallen soldiers have a long history together. The origins of the flower can be traced back to the Napoleonic wars in France. Many observers and writers describe how poppies grew so thickly and valiantly over these graves in soil that once could not produce much vegetation.

When John McCrae served in World War I as a Lt. Colonel, he was stationed near Ypres, Belgium, the area traditionally called Flanders. He observed how poppies grew so well among the makeshift graves of the soldiers which were marked by wooden crosses. When McCrae lost a fellow soldier and close friend, he penned a poem called “In Flanders Fields” and portrayed the picture of war and the poppy flower.

To this day McCrae’s poem remains among the most memorable war poems ever written. It also paved the way for the poppy flower to be one of the most recognized symbols of wartime remembrance. Thousands of poppies are placed on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and Remembrance Day participants wear poppies on their lapels.

On Nov. 11 plan to attend Clinton’s Remembrance Day Service to honor the veterans and those lost in wars in the Clinton Memorial Hall at 11am and you’ll no doubt hear the poem In Flanders Fields

Clinton Seniors Association Marketplace is on Nov. 7 at the Clinton Memorial Hall from 10am to 2pm. It is much more than a Flea Market. Many vendors are there for your shopping pleasure offering home baking, new and used items, Christmas decorations and gifts, a food concession, raffles, and more. To book a table call 459-2339.

Colleen Thom, RN, FCN will hold the Foot Clinic on Nov. 13 and 14. To discuss your foot care needs or to book an appointment call her at 250-819-1632.

If you’re reading this, Laurie H., you are missed and we hope that you are enjoying your new surroundings.

This month we’ll talk about Self-Care. What exactly does  self care mean? Self care is care provided “for you, by you”. It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others. It is the act of taking care of yourself and leads to a satisfying, healthy life.

When we care for ourselves consciously and purposefully, we naturally start to care for others in a more effective way. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself but it is also one of the easiest things to forget. Nurturing ourselves requires patience and commitment.

Self care is important for women who spend most of their lives nurturing others. When we find ourselves focusing more on others than on ourselves, we become worn out, stressed out and run down. If you spend time helping and caring for others, it is very easy to neglect your own needs. So much of our time and effort goes to caring for our partners, children, pets, friends, family members, employees, etc. Add to that the many volunteer activities, errands, housework, meetings, family events, etc. and there isn’t much time left over caring for ourselves.

Women need to balance the stress and activity of daily life with activities that that bring a sense of peace and well-being to their minds and bodies. Women who fail to see to their own needs often become unhappy, have low self esteem and feel resentment.

Practicing self care doesn’t have to cost much. In fact there are many things that you can do that are free or very affordable. To start you off – sit outside and listen to the birds. Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet, getting enough sleep and some regular exercise. Listen to music you enjoy. Try journaling, try yoga, read, plant a garden…get the idea?

Self care is about self love. Be present in the moment rather than thinking about what is next. Know your limits. Listen to your body. Take responsibility for your choices. Take on tasks because you want to. Don’t give up – change takes practice!

Zee Chevalier

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