Aging in Place November 2017

www. ag ing inpl acede. com Phone : (302) 444-8318 NOVEMBER 2017




Kathryn Cieniewicz


This time of year always sparks a spirit of gratitude in me as I reflect on all the blessings in my life. For one, I have the BEST husband in the world. He is such a wonderful partner in life and a truly one- of-a-kind father to our children. My two boys are forever challenging me to love deeper, play longer, and live life to the fullest. My patients are simply incredible and teach me every day what the fruit of consistency and hard work can look like. They inspire me. During Thanksgiving, we tend to reflect more on gratitude, but I have tried to become intentional about giving thanks daily. Sometimes it’s for really big things that happen in life, but oftentimes its the small stuff, like driving to a patient’s home on a back road and witnessing the most gorgeous fall- colored leaves cascading to the ground with breathtaking grace. What beauty! Even when times are tough, there is always something we can be thankful for. What will fill your heart with gratitude today? –Kathryn

Think of your childhood for a moment. During holidays, your family gathered, cookedmeals that made you hungry hours before they were ready, ate the delicious food together, picked out trees, hung ornaments, dressed in costumes, and created all these customs. Do you still practice some of these pastimes? Have you passed themon to your kids because they were meaningful experiences that still have value for you? Maybe they help you remember a parent who has passed or a grandparent who came to the United States and started over to make your life possible. But really, why do we make Nana’s shortbread cookie recipe year after year when there are somany new (maybe better) recipes out there?We could be making chocolate chunk or Butterfinger snickerdoodles or paleo pistachio cream. Just check out all the other cookie concoctions on Pinterest. Is making Grandma’s cookies every year really important? Do traditions evenmatter? First, let’s get to the root of the question: When you look up the meaning of tradition, you see words like“handed down,”“inherited”“continuing,”and“pattern.”Traditions are the customs we inherit. They can help create our belief system, our values, and even our identity. You probably think of the Thanksgiving feast or opening presents on Christmas morning as your family’s main traditions, but really, there are plenty of traditions we participate in throughout life: celebrating with cake, candles, and friends on our birthday, culminating a high school or bachelor’s or master’s degree with a procession of black capes and hats, gathering around a stone, also dressed in black, to remember the life of someone who has died, giving your daughter something blue on her wedding day, and organizing a group of athletes to compete against one another for accolades. You’ve probably participated in at least one of these ceremonies, because they are part of what connects you to your roots. The overwhelming consensus is yes! But, why?

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