Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Tag

SPEAKING OF GRATITUDE – AND HAPPINESS   2 comments

This link takes you to a long, detailed list of happiness helpers. Worth it if you can take the time. And I guess taking the time to read it would sort of be one of the happiness helpers.

 

Posted August 4, 2016 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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MY GRATITUDE DETOUR   7 comments

I have my personal gratitude list ready – well, in progress. I’m not sure it will ever come to an end. But listening to an interview with a woman at the Democratic convention yesterday, I was moved to celebrate the changes that I’ve seen in my lifetime relative to the position of women in the United States. So, here’s a list. (No doubt I’m off on time-line, and I’m open to other comments and corrections.)

First, not in my lifetime, but in my mother’s. She had already given birth to my big brother before she was allowed to vote.

  • When my daughter was 13 in the area of New Haven, Connecticut, she was ready to graduate from her Pediatrician to a “grown-up” doctor. She wanted a woman, but there were no women doctors available. Women were not allowed to do residencies at the hospitals there. In fact, I remember how excited some of my own women clients were when women physicians finally became available.
  • Mail carriers were called “Mailmen” because they were all men.
  • Firefighters were called “Firemen” because they were all men.
  • Police officers were called “Policemen” because they were all men.
  • Lawyers were men. The fear was that women entering the profession would reduce the incomes. I think maybe that was proved true. (Se 58% below)
  • Accountants were men. See above.
  • Nurses were women. Some longed for men to enter the profession to raise incomes. (see 58% below.) I believe that has happened. Some will tell you the profession has changed.
  • Bank tellers were all men, unless they were women training the men for higher positons.
  • One of our SCSU graduates (more than one, I’m sure) had to leave her job as a teacher when her pregnancy began to show.
  • Women newspaper reporters were pretty much confined to the “Women’s Pages.”
  • When I had just received my PhD, I was interviewed for the New Haven Register because I was president of our local Lutheran Church Women. They published a photo of me with something I had cooked. Though I was proud enough of my academic accomplishment to mention it more than once, that fact was not included in the description of my important activities.
  • I believe there were no women TV anchors. If there were, they were so rare that I didn’t see them. Why? Women’s voices were “too weak—wouldn’t represent authenticity and power.”
  • Women radio reporters were extremely rare, if any. Why? See above.
  • Women foreign correspondents were next to none, if any. Why? See above, and below.
  • Then there was Ella Grasso who served as the 83rd Governor of Connecticut from 1975 to 1980. She was the first woman to be elected governor of a U.S. state without having been married to a former governor. Letters to the editor during her campaign were filled with fears that she would be irrational during that “certain time of the month,” or permanently disabled if and when she was menopausal.
  • Women generally could not own property in their own names. When I became single after 20 years of marriage and went looking to buy a house, the gentleman agent took me to a few highly undesirable places, telling me I couldn’t expect much more as an unmarried woman. I changed real estate agents.
  • Most libraries at the time wouldn’t give a married woman a card in her own name, requiring her to have one in her husband’s name.
  • When my marriage ended in 1976, most businesses were willing to give me a credit card in my own name since I was now single, but J.C. Penney refused. I haven’t done much shopping there since.
  • Women’s income was 58% of men’s.
  • There were some interesting side effects as businesses and government acted to bring about some balance. When I was first employed at SCSU there was an imbalance in favor of women who could retire at age 50, while men had to wait until they were 55. Balance was finally achieved when the retirement age for women was raised to 55.
  • And there was the decision by the Southern New England Telephone Company to open all jobs to both men and women. Only a few women immediately applied for the higher-paying pole-climbing jobs, but many were the folks who were surprised to hear a man’s voice saying, “Operator.” (That’s the old days with old fashioned phone service in case you don’t remember.)
  • While office managers struggled to remember that middle-aged women were not “girls,” cigarette makers opined, “You’ve come a long way baby.”
  • I suspect and hope there will be additions in the comments on this posting – as well as corrections.
  • One almost final note: When I had completed everything toward my Ph.D. at Boston University and was working on my dissertation, I moved back to Connecticut with my new husband. One of my professors gave me a letter of introduction to a researcher at Yale. I was granted an interview. Not having heard back from him for a while, I called to inquire and was told the Secretary’s job had been filled.
  • One final note. I wasn’t aware that there was anything wrong with many of these factoids. The fish is the last one to notice she’s swimming in water.
  • The hook in the mouth once one gets to see the water may be painful, but certainly the changes that have been made for women over the span of a few decades are causes for gratitude.
  • p.s. I’m grateful for amazon.com who got a new charger to me by overnight delivery.

FORGOT MY CHARGER   Leave a comment

Away for the weekend, I forgot the charger for my computer, so I’m behind, and squeezing in what I can while I’m still on battery. I’ll be back soon with my gratitude list, and thanks for the ones that have been posted. In the meantime, check out this related link.

Posted July 26, 2016 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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THE SCIENCE OF HUMAN GOODNESS   12 comments

Many years ago now, my friend and colleague Barbara McEwen, a physiological psychologist,  made me aware that I didn’t fully understand the meaning of “The Survival of the Fittest.” Like so many people, I thought it meant that the winners were the ones who managed to beat the competition and pass on their genetic material. Barb pointed out that cooperation is every bit as important as competition, evoking my reaction of “Of course, why didn’t I know that,”

Sadly, Barb is no longer with us to see the influence of people like her. But, fortunately, scientists are now exploring the implications of humanity’s cooperative side, with an emphasis on human goodness. Right now I’m reading a collection of articles by scientists who are exploring this side of humanity. They don’t deny what we can’t avoid seeing — the competitive side of our heritage. But it’s not the only side. (In fact, right now it seems to me that’s the major battle going on politically and throughout the world: selfish competition vs. compassionate cooperation.}

The book to which I am referring is edited by Dacher Keltner and Jason Marsh,”The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness.”It’s a selection of articles from the magazine “The Greater Good.” It’s one of three magazine I need in my life to offer the positives over the noise and stress of today’s communications.

I’m not going to review the book here, or try to summarize the kinds of things that have been studied. I just want to mention two of them: gratitude and forgiveness.

As for gratitude, I’d like, ironically, to start a competition. Who can provide the longest list of things for which one is grateful.

As for forgiveness, I’m going to break down and summarize, bit by bit, the content of my own “Forgiving One Page at a Time.”

So be prepared, I’m about to start compiling my own gratitude list and share the numbers, not necessarily the content.

Forgiveness will be next.

Tell me, does that sound like a good plan?

 

IF YOU’RE LOCAL, PLEASE JOIN ME ON APRIL 14   8 comments

I’m delighted to kick off a series at Auburn Homes and Services here in Chaska at 6:00 p.m on Thursday, April 14. It will be a challenge to do something useful with such a complex topic as forgiveness in such a small amount of time, but I think I’ll provide something worthwhile. And providers can collect CEUs by attending these offerings.

I’d love to see you there.

caregiver_flyer

AND THE TRUTH SETS ONE FREE   9 comments

Yesterday was Xray and talk-to-the-Doctor’s-rep-day. I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear, but I also feel much better because I know precisely where I stand, making it possible to work at solutions.

First off, I had already discovered that health insurance covers treatment requiring care by a licensed professional, including Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. It doesn’t cover things provided by talented aides –all the things that help with the practical aspects of living with this brace, for example.

As for the Xray, things “are looking the way they are supposed to look.”

I also learned that the brace definitely must stay on for a total of three months – two more to go. And it must always be on whenever I am upright. So there’s no license to get up without it in the middle of the night for a pit stop, for example.

Then I was taught how to put it on and remove it myself, with the hope that I can get to the point of doing it quickly when I need to get up. Besides that, it’s clear that I am not the only person experiencing this brace thing and people have learned various ways of living with it. For example, some people choose to sleep in it.

All that information left me feeling good, because problems can be solved when the facts are clear. Since I’m planning to leave rehab on June first, I have this week to practice proficiency in putting it on and off. I’ll have the opportunity to try sleeping in it. And I’ll be able to set up the bed situation to make it all work at home. Plus I’ll call on friends to help me set up my house to deal with these temporary requirements.

As has been the case all along here, I have learned so much more practical understanding of the situation for others, especially for those with long-range problems, so much more serious than mine.

All of which adds to the powerful sense of gratitude I’ve experienced ever since finding myself still alive after the “event” of April 15.

 

 

Posted May 23, 2015 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT   16 comments

Every day I plan to share a bit of an update, and every day gets away from me. I try to get in a lot of sleeping, but sleep is a scarce commodity in rehab. As fast as I doze off, someone else is here to collect me for occupational or physical therapy. I do enjoy the working out, though, and I can see improvement every day. If only it weren’t for this brace that must be worn whenever I’m in an upright position. Actually, It’s not bad while I’m up. It’s the helplessness of lying on my back in bed at night, unable to get up should nature call.

But I wanted to tell you of the nice things that happen. First there are the wonderful folks who go shopping in my closet for things to wear, picking up my mail on the way, and watering my plants. Oh, really, there’s no way to list all the lovely things people have done and the kind torrent of well wishers.

My daughter surprised me by being here from Colorado on Mother’s Day, and I had a great outing with her and my son — brunch at Baccio followed by the matinee at the Guthrie – a super production of “The Crucible.” Tired when I got back to rehab, but well worth it.

If I’d been better about keeping up this report there would be more tales of kindness. Take, for example, my friend who has decided to send me some published jokes every day. Just too many thoughtful gifts to list them all

But one thing I want to be sure to report is the kindness of the fireman who supported my neck and kept me occupied while they worked on getting me out of the car. He actually spent time on saving my earrings. I have an inexpensive pair of little diamond earrings – tiny, not easy for big fireman’s hands. “Do I just pull it out?” he asked. “No, you need to pull out the piece in the back too.” He did, and put them into his plastic glove. Then he went to work on the very slim chain I chose to wear that day – one from my high school days with one pearl drop. In those days the clasps were very, very tiny, but he worked and worked and managed to open and remove it. I am so happy to have that chain, and so grateful to him for saving it. I wish I knew his name so I could thank him for that loving touch, so meaningful at that time.

I feel that I’m just loaded with stories of the beautiful things people have done for me. I hope to share more as time goes on.

But now I’m ready for a nap.

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