Columbia Memorial Health (1) Careers

Body, Mind & Spirit Connections: One chapter ends… and just maybe a better one begins

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By Pat Larsen

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a female named Pat Larsen
Pat Larsen

Most, if not all of us, take those cues from the classic song’s lyrics, “Auld Lang Syne,” because that’s just what we do on Dec. 31. We begin that auspicious time of reflection yet again as the year ends.

With just the simplest of count downs… 10, 9, 8… hold there for just a moment before you move on any further. 

The year 2022 began as any other year does except for the continuation of the “pandemic” part. We didn’t see that coming until we got hit hard with the kind of life changes that are the makings of scary movies. 

But maybe for you there was a bit of merriment, perhaps a shared few moments with some friends or family or just the sweet reference and brief glance back over the past 365 years while eating some chips and dip in your pajamas before clapping those pan lids together outside your window. (Yes, I have done that, and I’m not uncomfortable sharing that with my readership… well, maybe just a little).

But I began to wonder most recently IF we created a plan as the year ended and it embodied so many unrealized dreams and goals, could we, maybe, realize some of those expectations in 2023? OK, so let’s keep the countdown going… 7,6,5… wait a minute. 

What is it we think we can accomplish in 2023 that we didn’t in this past year?

Maybe we should start with cleaning out the refrigerator of the Christmas leftovers and the half-full container of eggnog. It might even include the turkey dinner in the way back of the fridge that you swore you’d eat but didn’t after Thanksgiving. Waste not, want not, but the mold helped you make that decision to toss it much easier.

Clean the slate…fresh start…hmmm. Maybe. But I think there might be more to planning than we have yet to explore. 

When we were much younger, maybe a minute ago if you ask me, I remember focusing in on making that shift from holiday eating to the latest and greatest diet of the times and then planning on running a marathon by the spring.

NEVER HAPPENED. But I made the plan anyway.

I think, in truth, we should (and I speak for myself but lovingly suggest the same to you) that we throw out all of the promises that we formerly never kept. We focus our attention on living our best lives one blessed day at a time and doing the very best that we can do each day. That includes eating well, getting plenty of sleep and maybe going for a walk around the house if it’s snowy and icy outside. Maybe even attending a fitness class on occasion. 

Back to that count… where were we…4,3…one more thought.

Maybe, just maybe, this year we might choose to be kinder and gentler with ourselves and we focus our attention, on occasion, to those outside of ourselves. I think that definitely should be a part of the overall plan.

And now, here we go… 2,1… HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let’s ring out the old and bring in the new with a touch more self-love than ever before.

Pat Larsen is a licensed dance fitness Instructor who specializes in senior health and wellness. The age range for this program is recent retirees 60’s to 80’s. If you need the support of a chair, this is the program for you. If you’re fine with movement from a standing position, then the modifications in the program will suit you as well. Classes are at The Shamrock House in East Durham, weekdays in the mornings, before lunch and nap times. Most of her students are seeking to build strength by toning their muscles and gaining better balance and posture. This is a program designed to build camaraderie within the group. Isolation is a big factor in depression amo0ng seniors and the elderly. Within a program designed to build trust and compassion, we find that we heal ourselves and enjoy life so much more. Ladies and gents are welcome. It’s the oldies music of the ‘50’s and 60’s that keeps everyone coming  to this class and helps trigger the memories that keep our brains engaged in life. Who cares if we need a cane or the support of a chair… we’re having fun and we’re sharing in life rather than falling into a disease of mind and spirit that creates illness within the body. Please feel free to call Pat to find out if this is the right program for you and a friend or two to join. It’s time to get back into life and stop avoiding it! If fear of participating has been your reason for not joining us, you’re invited by Pat to just try this program once. You just might like it and have fun, too. Contact Pat Larsen by phone, 518-275-8686 or email at pelarsen5@aol.com or follow Pat on Facebook.

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