Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Photo: Word Porn!

Keeping the Thanks in Thanksgiving

What memories do you want your children to take with them as they grow up?  When they think of the holidays, what do you hope they recall?

I know what I don"t want them to remember: a mother so stressed out about the "production" that no one is having fun.  Holidays are the best when I find that balance that creates something special that connects me with my family here and now, and at the same time connects me to my past and to the future where my children have the memories of what we do today.  That feeling of connection is  is the magical part of this season for me.

So I have to let go of a lot of stuff.  Yes, the house needs to be cleaner than normal when Nana comes, but it won't be perfect.  There will be dust bunnies, and the hallway will not be painted.  The kids rooms will be partial disasters, but the bathrooms will be clean, the floors will be mopped, and the kitchen will sparkle.  And guess what, Nana won't really care!

I have to set a budget, and I have to stay within it.  Money is tight, and if I pretend it isn't then the stress of overspending will make me resent the holiday, not embrace it.  I need to focus on what I CAN do and not dwell on the gifts or things I can't have as part of our holiday.  I won't focus on the I Phone my daughter wants but will not get, rather I need to focus on having fun shopping for the stuff she is going to get.

I am "doing" Thanksgiving dinner at our house, only for ten, but it is the first time it is more than just the four of us.  We typically go to Nana or Grandma's house.  My Thanksgiving will be good, we will have fun together.  It will not be perfect.  I work full time.  I need some shortcuts to make it happen. So while the pie crusts will not be homemade, my daughter will be thrilled that the mashed potatoes will be.  The table will be pretty, but not worthy of a magazine.  And as I type this I remind myself that I have little memory of what table settings my mom used, just that we used the nice glasses, and the turkey looked awesome.  My kids will not care that our tablecloth is inexpensive, and that the centerpiece is not a work of art.  They will see family sitting together, and turkey, and feel love and a sense of connection.  We will laugh about who carves the turkey, and debate the merits of candied yams vs mashed potatoes. These are the memories I hope they will carry with them.

It will be good, and it will be best if I am relaxed and enjoying it with everyone, not worrying about how things don't live up to some artificial ideal in my head created from a Norman Rockwell painting or a Martha Stewart magazine.

So I wish you and your families a warm, stress free holiday season full of happy memories of the past, and hopes for the future.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Suicide Prevention: We all can play a role

Both the Towns of Granby and East Granby are proud to announce that they now have a certified QPR instructor on staff.  Question, Pursuade, Refer is a research based, nationally recognized suicide prevention program suitable for older teens and adults.  In a brief hour long session, you learn what to look for and how to respond to someone who may be considereing suicide.

It is an uncomfortable topic, one we may avoid asking about.  Asking someone if they are suicidal means we need to do shomething if they are, and many of us feel unqualified to handle this kind of situation.  QPR gives you the skills you need to ask the right questions and get the person the help they need.

Sucicde is preventable, and the more members of our community who are prepared to respond to the warning signs of depression and suicide, the better we can rotect our friends, families and neigbors from a deadly decision.

If youor anyone you know are interested in taking this free one hour training class, please call AneMare Cax at (8600 844-5355 to schedule a training session.  Small group or larger, here at the YSB or at your office or home, this program is worth your time.  You could help save a life.