Tag Archives: health

It’s All About the Heart

Literally.

Last night I took my third annual CPR refresher. The protocol has gotten even simpler to remember, and the teaching style has been greatly improved to be much more hands-on than the previous more-informational style.
If you haven’t yet gotten your CPR training, I highly encourage you to do so. Keeping someone’s blood moving through their body is absolutely crucial in case of a heart attack. Our blood has enough oxygen for 10 minutes, yet it won’t do any good if it’s not moving. When CPR is rendered, it’s quite possible that there will be no neurological damage due to hypoxia.
We also learned (again) how to help someone who’s choking, whether they be an adult or a 2-month-old.
In the Taking It Lightly weekend I do a lot of “heart work.” I’m very happy that I know how to do this kind of “heart work” as well.
For information on CPR training, visit www.redcross.org.

Breathe

Last week was a bit  hectic. When I discussed it with my friend, Karen, she sent me this, which I think is very cool. Using it really helped me be more relaxed!

Breathe

Breathing in I know I am breathing in

Breathing out I know I am breathing out

Breathing in I see myself as a flower

Breathing out I feel fresh



Breathing in I see myself as still water

Breathing out I reflect things as they are


Breathing in I see myself as a mountain

Breathing out I feel solid



Breathing in I see myself as space

Breathing out I feel free


Thich Nhat Hanh

Zero Inbox

In a previous post I described the trials and tribulations of floods of email and living in that lake for way too long. I also described slashing and burning and emptying my inbox.

After that entry I was minimally successful at keeping my inbox empty. And I still had one very bad habit: if something arrived in my inbox that needed to be done but couldn’t happen right away, I left it there until I did it. When would I ever learn?
Well, the answer to that is August 22, 2008. I don’t remember where I got the link, and I found this page with a video by Merlin Mann talking about his Zero Inbox philosophy. None of the concepts were rocket science: there are 5 actions you can take on incoming emails:
  • Delete
  • Delegate
  • Respond
  • Defer
  • Do
Delete: I wasn’t deleting enough. Does everything really require a response? No. Delete.
Delegate: I’m a very compliant person. I’m very quick to take on too many responsibilities and say yes. I’m working on this (no, I didn’t buy any magazines for candles to the kid who came to my door yesterday, and I thanked him for offering). So for me, delegation starts with saying, NO I WILL NOT DO THIS–at least internally. Then ASK someone else to do it. I’ve been working on this one over the years and am getting better and better at it.
Respond: This one is not a challenge–I’m pretty quick to respond to people.
Defer: This one I was doing all wrong. I was deferring by letting it sit in my inbox. NO NO NO! I’ll get back to this in a second.
Do: I probably do too much of this. Just take the action now. Touch it once. The problem is that I can so easily get distracted by doing requests that come in that are of low importance or urgency, when there’s other more important and urgent things to do. So don’t do too much doing.
In Mann’s words, the most important thing to do when having an over-full inbox is to “simply stop sucking.” I love this! He suggested creating a DMZ folder (Google DMZ if you don’t know it) and putting all inbox contents there. Deal with that as you go, but don’t leave it in the inbox. Start fresh with the inbox and stop letting them pile up. This works! I stopped sucking immediately, and it felt great.
Getting back to the deferring, the inbox is NOT a successful way to defer. I now spend a bit more energy identifying the things I really want to do and saying no to those that I don’t or won’t. I then defer by putting the item in my calendar on the date I will do it.
If I take an action on an email by sending an inquiry, thus needing to wait for a response before more action, I flag the email as a task to complete, and put it in a new folder I created called “Waiting.”
If something is just kind of there–not really significant but I don’t want to lose it–I’ll flag it and add a reminder date, and stick it in the DMZ folder. Maybe not the best strategy, and at least it’s out of my inbox.
None of these concepts are new or earth-shattering–indeed, I learned most of these concepts from Patricia Clason years ago when I took her time management course. It simply took a decision to be really conscious and disciplined about it. Both of these ingredients are crucial to keeping an empty inbox, which for me means having a much more relaxed and orderly life. I continue to whittle down on the DMZ folder, and will one day perhaps delete it altogether (hopefully it will be empty. ;o}).
I’m practicing the same discipline on my desktop: nothing remains on it for more than a day. The receipts I put on from Home Depot last night I entered into Quicken this morning and filed, except for the return I have to make, so that is going out to be rubber-banded on the item and put into my trunk on the next visit.
I find as I follow these practices life is a lot more enjoyable. While I have experienced many long periods of having a buried desk and a flooded inbox, I know very viscerally that these things drain my energy and put me in a funk. Having clear space helps me feel like I can breathe.
How’s your breathing?

Dad Had a Stroke

Mom called me around Midnight Tuesday to let me know that Dad was on the way to the hospital after experiencing what seemed like a stroke. He was taken to UW Hospital, for which I was very grateful. It wasn’t a dramatic stroke–he was mainly experiencing weakness on one side.

I visited with Josh after work the next day and Julie was there as well. Stroke is something unfamiliar in our family, so she didn’t know what to expect. His writing is not very readable (but he can write!) and his leg and arm are weak (but not paralyzed!). He was able to sit up and eat right-handed, albeit slowly. There appars to be no cognitive damage–he still remembers that McCain and Palin are running mates on the Republican ticket, and he thinks that Palin was an excellent choice (that’s not a sign of new brain damage–he would have thought that anyway. ;o)).
Mom was pretty concerned about how she was going to help him at home, since she’s not strong enough to help him ambulate. Well, I just spoke with her this morning, and she is much relieved. Dad will be staying in the hospital for a week getting rigorous rehabilitation. She was afraid of how she was going to help him when his right side is too weak for him to walk. They’re already having him sit for a couple hours at a time and walk the halls with a walker.
They determined from the CAT Scan that the stroke was caused by a small blood clot, but I think she said they said it was moving or had moved through. His brain would have to heal from that, then his body. A physical therapist suggested he’d be a lot stronger by the time they went home.
Dad really wants to go home. He’s jonesin’ for a cigarette. Mom is overruling him–he’ll be staying for treatment. The doctor talked to Dad about smoking very likely being the cause of the stroke. He doesn’t care. He’s not interested in a program to help him quit. And he won’t be smoking for at least another week.
I’m very grateful for his current state, and that the prognosis looks so good.