November OutreachNC

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Feature Intro: Interview A Veteran Contest Winner!

NOVEMBER 2020 - 1

ONC’s 2nd Annual Interview a Veteran Contest is here! This year’s winning interview is a gem. Southern Pines 5th grader Lucas Nowak interviews his father, COL Jason Nowak. Lucas’ interview is full of interesting questions and wonderful follow-up questions, and we learn about his father’s inspiration to join the military, his service (including the most exciting and most boring assignments), and whether or not COL Nowak actually likes his job. It might seem like an obvious question to ask, but sometimes, the most obvious questions yield the most interesting answers. Many of us can relate to COL Nowak’s sentiment of being part of something bigger than ourselves. Great job, Lucas! Enjoy the interview and join ONC and Aging Outreach Services in thanking COL Nowak, his family and all our veterans for your service: past, present and future! We are grateful and honored.

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CONTENTS

ASK THE EXPERT: TELEHEALTH FEATURE: INTERVIEW A VETERAN WINNER GIFT GUIDE: GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK FAITH: TAKING A BREAK EATING RIGHT: FERMENTED FOODS TRULY THANKFUL: GRATITUDE FOR THE WHOLE OF LIFE


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Amy Phariss, Editor-in-Chief, OutreachNC | editor@outreachnc.com

NOVEMBER 2020 - 2

It’s easy to say those words in a breezy sort of way, almost as a clichéd seasonal sentiment. How often do we talk about gratitude or what we’re thankful for in the same way we ask ‘how are you doing,’ without much depth or expectation?

Age the Way You Choose.

As I put together this month’s collection of articles, each one struck me as a different way of expressing the gratitude we often take for granted throughout the year.

We can help!

This is the month of gratitude, thankfulness and blessings.

The Veterans Day winning interview, submitted by Lucas Nowak, is a reminder of how thankful we are this month for our veterans and for living in a country with an all-volunteer military full of servicemembers ready to protect our freedoms. Colette Bachand reminds us to be blessed in rest, to pause in thanks and gratitude rather than feel as though it must always be an act of fervent busyness. Amy Natt explores the benefits of a telehealth visit in Ask the Expert, which is one of the silver linings of the current COVID situation; we have all learned how to better use technology as a means to avoid exposure to possible risk. Local author Ken Laws’ essay on the meaning of gratitude takes us down the less-traveled path of thankfulness for the challenges and missteps of life. Callie Yakubisin’s piece on the beauty of fermented foods is a reminder to be thankful for the blessings of our bodies and health, recipe included (thanks, Callie!).

• Accredited caregiver registry • Placement and transition • Crisis Intervention • Ongoing dementia care • Assistance with meals & transportation • Coordination of legal, financial & health care professionals • 21 years eldercare experience

Gertrude Stein, probably from her Paris apartment with Alice Toklas in the kitchen whipping up fresh coffee and a baked good, said it best:

Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.

So, when we feel it rising inside of us, let us give thanks with all our hearts this month and beyond. In gratitude,

facebook.com/agingoutreach/ instagram.com/agingoutreachservices/

Contact us today to schedule a consultation! 910.692.0683 www.AOSNC.com


Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA | amyn@agingoutreachservices.com

ASK THE EXPERT: TELEHEALTH

I have my first telehealth appointment set up with my primary care physician next week. I’m not sure what to expect or how to prepare. Do you have any experience with this? One of the positive things that has emerged during this pandemic is increased access to medical providers via technology. Technology can be intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, opportunities open-up. Several of my clients have taken advantage of telehealth or telemedicine in recent weeks. Here is how it worked for us. 1. We called the provider and requested the appointment. My client did not want to risk the exposure of going into the medical clinic, so we requested a telehealth appointment. 2. We were given a time and asked what number they should send a link to for us to connect to the physician. Most providers use a platform that requires a smart phone/device so you can connect. 3. We got together about 15 minutes prior to the appointment, ensured the phone was charged, got paper and pen for notes and created a few bullet point questions we wanted to be sure to ask. 4. Our appointment was for 9:00 am. At about 9:10 am a text came through with a link to click on. We followed the steps (they were simple), and the physician appeared on the phone. We could see him, and he could see us.

NOVEMBER 2020 - 3 5. We reviewed current medications, vitals that had been tracked at home, recent concerns and created a plan of action. Telemedicine has a lot to offer. Yes, there are some limitations too, but in many scenarios, it can accomplish the same results as an in-person visit. This is especially true for well or routine visits. Labs, tests and medications can still be ordered, and results discussed. It is helpful if you keep a journal of data that might be useful to the physician. This might include weight, diet, blood pressure, any symptoms or side effects you might experience. On-line personal portals are another valuable piece to telehealth. Almost all medical providers and hospitals now offer on-line patient portals. You will need an email to set one up and a computer or tablet. These allow you access to your medical record, visit notes, test results and allow direct communication between you and your provider. This is often the fastest and most effective way to communicate. If you do not have the technology needed or are just intimidated by it, I would suggest finding a trusted family member or professional who can help you set everything up and gain a comfort level using it. For those who are skeptical about security or having personal information on-line, remember that a great deal of it is already there, you are simply setting up the access to it. While technology cannot take the place of a good old fashion sit down with your favorite doctor, it can certainly be a valuable tool that provides new opportunities and increased access to health care providers.

We design financial plans with, and around you. With the right financial advice, life can be brilliant. We all lead different lives. Which is why we offer unique financial plans. We’ll help you balance living life today and saving for tomorrow in a way that’s personalized for you.

Call us today for a complimentary initial consultation: 910.692.9014 Send an email to nathan@hicks-associates.com You can also find us online at www.hicks-associates.com We have offices in Southern Pines and Cary.

Investment advisory services are offered through WealthShield Partners, LLC (“WSP”), an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, doing business as Hicks & Associates Wealth Management. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about WSP can be found in Form ADV Part 2 which is available upon request.


NOVEMBER 2020 - 4

ASSIGNMENT

Interview a Veteran

Winner!

LUCAS NOWAK


continued from page 1 I know the veteran because he is my dad. For the last ten years of my life, I have been able to experience moving from place to place. My name is Lucas Nowak, I am ten years old and I recently moved to North Carolina with my family and started the 5th grade at Southern Pines Elementary School. I liked having the experience of moving and making new friends all over the world these past ten years. My dad Jason has served in the U.S. Army for 29 years and is currently a Colonel working on Fort Bragg. Colonel Nowak became an officer through the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program and has deployed 5 times in his career. Here is my interview with my dad: Q1: How old were you when you joined the military and who encouraged you to join? A1: I was 19 years old and a freshman in college when I attended Army basic training. I never considered military service while in high school. In college, I had enrolled in Army ROTC and also in the Army National Guard. Attending Army basic training exposed me first hand to the Army, all of its challenges, and its many tremendous opportunities. A fraternity brother and hometown friend asked me to come to an Army ROTC weekend lab with him to checkout the program on campus. I enjoyed the activities, spending time with a great group of people, and felt good after completing a variety of physical and mental challenges and two years later I was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Q2: Where have you served and what was the most fun? A2: The Army has provided the opportunity to serve and live in Europe, South Korea, and 9 different states along with deployments to Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to live in so many different places and to travel and

NOVEMBER 2020 - 5

Facts about Veterans Day Veterans Day does NOT have an apostrophe

Veterans Day is not the same as Memorial Day, which honors those who gave their lives in battle or in service. Veterans Day honors those who have served. November 11th was chosen as Veterans Day because the fighting of World War I ended roughly in November of 1918. Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day. The name was changed June 1, 1954. Other countries celebrate Nov. 11th as well including Canada, France, Australia and Great Britain. Every Veterans Day and Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetery holds a service. Arlington is home to the graves of over 400,000 people, most of whom are veterans. There are currently over 19 million living veterans in the US. 9% of veterans are women. As of 2017, the states with the highest percentages of veterans were Alaska, Montana and Maine.


NOVEMBER 2020 - 6 explore those places and countless others around the world. I enjoyed living in Germany for almost 9 years and traveling to over 19 different countries. The opportunity to travel was the most fun for me as it provided a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience other cultures, meet and work closely with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and races, explore so many different foods, and most of all provided an opportunity to appreciate our freedom and everything we have here in the United States of America. Q3: What was your favorite time in the military and why? A3: My favorite time in the military was early in my career as a Lieutenant and Captain because I had an opportunity to work very closely with other soldiers, spend more time outside and in the field training, and jump out of airplanes with a parachute. Mia Lorenz is an experienced attorney whose 25-year record of service in the law demonstrates her commitment to her clients and community. She is passionate about assisting clients in their quest to maintain control and dignity as they age and/or experience illness, as well as plan to preserve assets while maintaining care. Active in the community as legal advisor to NAMI Moore County, AOS & Friends Care, Inc. and Linden Lodge.

Q4: What was your most fun deployment and why? A4: I would have to say my most fun deployment was to Afghanistan because, looking back, it proved most worthwhile. I deployed to Afghanistan for a year right after you were born and worked as an executive officer of a logistics battalion. Our unit served in the southern part of Afghanistan in a hot, dangerous, and dusty desert. When I arrived we only had a few tents to work in and most soldiers worked outside in the heat and sun all day. I decided to start some projects to improve various work areas and to create a place where soldiers could rest at the end of a long and hot day. I organized teams of soldiers and we built a place to park all of our trucks for convoys, a large tent to perform maintenance, and a building with air conditioning, televisions, computers, phones, books, and a movie theater for soldiers use during downtime. I was involved building so much during the year that soldiers nick named me “Bob the Builder�. It was hard being away from you and mom during the first year of your life. We accomplished a lot for the people of Afghanistan and the soldiers who deployed that year.


NOVEMBER 2020 - 7 Q5: What was your most scary deployment and why? A5: My deployments to Iraq in 2003 and again to Iraq in 2020 were my most scary deployments but for two different reasons. My 2003 deployment was scary because none of us had ever been to Iraq before and we didn’t know what to expect when we arrived. I had been out of the Army for 4 years before volunteering to rejoin after 9/11. The Army had changed a lot in those 4 years while I was a civilian and Iraq was a dangerous, hot, and dusty place for me and my 120 soldiers. My 2020 deployment to Iraq was scary because we worked and lived right across the street from the U.S. Embassy which was attacked and partially burned by an angry mob of terrorists in January, 2020. I could see the attackers and the fires they set from where I lived and we weren’t sure at the time whether they would turn on and attack the base where we lived. Q6: Do you like the job you have? Why or why not? A6: I love the job I have in the Army where I work in Logistics and help to plan and coordinate the delivery of petroleum products world-wide. My current job provides me with opportunities to work with a wide variety of military and civilian people around the world and the opportunity to travel which I enjoy. I like to serve my country and being a part of a team and something bigger than just myself. The Army provides these opportunities for me and our family which we wouldn’t have otherwise. In conclusion, I learned from interviewing my dad that his friends called him bob the builder because he built a lot of stuff. I also learned that I am very lucky to have an Army dad and that I’ve had the experience to travel and explore many places around the world. Lucas Nowak 5th Grade Southern Pines Elementary School

Enjoy the of Quail Haven Village in the

Discover the value of a continuing care retirement community with No "BUY IN." Call Lynn to schedule a visit of our spacious garden-style ground level apartment homes.

910.295.2294 or visit QuailHavenVillage.com Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 155 Blake Blvd. | PINEHURST A PART OF THE LIBERTY FAMILY OF SERVICES


NOVEMBER 2020 - 8

GIFT GUIDE:

Gifts that Give Back

It’s that time of year, a time of celebrating, decorating and gift giving. As we think about how to share with the people we love, many of us choose to give gifts with meaning, especially for loved ones who don’t necessarily ‘need’ another trinket or bottle of wine. For anyone who wants to give a gift that gives back, these gift giving suggestions are for gifts that pull double duty: they light up your loved one and offer someone else in the world a gift as well. For the person on your list who “has everything” or who will appreciate a gesture of kindness and goodwill for a cause they cherish, here are 5 Gifts that Give Back: 1. Grounds & Hounds (www.groundsandhoundscoffee.com) – “Every cup helps a pup.” For animal lovers, particularly dog lovers, this organization’s commitment to giving 20% of profits back to rescues makes it a great gift that gives back. Add to that the fact that all products are fair-trade and organic, and Grounds and Hounds helps the environment and the lives of coffee growers and workers worldwide. It’s a win-win all around for anyone who loves dogs, coffee and giving back. 2. Bravo Sierra (www.bravosierra.com) – made in the USA, these are grooming products field-tested by active duty military for optimal performance. Minimalist in nature, the products are unisex, utilitarian and get the job done. The hair/body and shave wash, for example, combines shampoo, body wash and shave cream into one sleek product. The company gives back 5% of revenue to military Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) programs, ensuring it keeps things running smoothly both in the board room as well as the community. 3. Purpose Jewelry (www.purposejewelry.org) – supports women and girls who have been victims of human trafficking as they heal from their past and build better, healthier futures. 4. Bombas (www.bombas.com) – socks, socks, socks. People rave about the quality and details of Bombas socks, and for every pair you purchase, a pair is donated to someone affected by homelessness. We can all feel warm about that. 5. Packed with Purpose (www.packedwithpurpose.gifts )– a curated collected of gifts for personal and corporate packages featuring high-quality artisanal products from brands encouraging meaningful social impact. Create a personalized bundle for your family, company or organization today. Also, don’t forget about local organizations, non-profits and charities, many of which have gift giving options including making donations in your loved one’s name, purchasing handmade products or buying local, which supports our communities right here in the Sandhills!

5.

1. 3. Do you love You’ll love our newsletter and online content. Digital subscriptions are FREE! Simply send your name and email address to info@outreachnc.com We’ll get you on the list and deliver OutreachNC right to your inbox.

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Businesses interested in receiving bulk subscriptions for clients may email info@outreachnc.com for more information. We look forward to connecting with readers each month!


NOVEMBER 2020 - 9

FOX HOLLOW SENIOR LIVING

Salutes our Veterans

ENJOY A 5% LIFETIME DISCOUNT, PLUS NO MOVE-IN FEE *

190 Fox Hollow Road Pinehurst, NC 28374

910-695-0011

Our assisted living is more affordable than ever. With 24-hour care, our Five Star Dining Experience, and meaningful Lifestyle360 activities, we salute our veterans every day of the year. WE PROUDLY ACCEPT VETERANS BENEFITS.

CALL 910-695-0011 FOR LUNCH & A TOUR.

*Does not include levels of care services. Normal yearly rent increases will apply. For new Fox Hollow residents only. Must take financial possession of your apartment by November 30, 2020.

www.FoxHollowSeniorLiving.com ASSISTED LIVING • MEMORY CARE • RESPITE/SHORT-TERM STAYS ©2020 Five Star Senior Living


Well, at least it thinks it knows what’s best for me. Last week as I drove to work, a light came on the dashboard that said, “Consider taking a break” and showed a little steaming cup of coffee. On the way home from work the same day, the sign came on again, “Consider taking a break,” with the tantalizing cup of steaming coffee. Apparently, my driving pattern indicated some kind of fatigue. I live only 13 minutes from work, which doesn’t seem like a long enough drive for a car to detect driver fatigue, so how strange, it seemed, that it would send me that message? Strange, or maybe my car knew something my heart wouldn’t admit: I am tired … and could use a break. I could use a break from the worries of late. I’m tired of the COVID virus, tired of politics, tired of not traveling to see family, tired of the uncertainty of what tomorrow might bring. And I’m not sure how my spirits will survive the upcoming season of gratitude and thanksgiving in a year that has stolen so many things from us. So my car is right, it is time for a break. Time to take a break from worrying and holding on tightly to things we can’t control. Time for the type of rest that doesn’t come from a long afternoon nap (though those are good too!) but rather the rest that comes from placing all that is heavy on our hearts into the hands of the Divine, at least for a little while. Faith traditions encourage resting in the Divine and turning our heartaches over to God. The Jewish tradition honors the sacredness of a Sabbath rest; Jesus said, “Come to me you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” Since my car made it clear I need a break, one thing I know is that rest doesn’t find us, we must find it. We don’t wake up one morning and discover the woes of our hearts gone.

Learning to let our souls rest in God’s care is as important to our spiritual grounding as is reading scripture or attending church. In the quietness of rest, our spirits are renewed and fed by a spirit of hope, and boy do we need that! So maybe your car thinks you need a rest too? Are you tired? Every body, and every soul, deserves a break from the worries of the day, if only for a short time. In this season of thankfulness, may we make time to rest our weary souls. In doing so our hearts will remember much more than the struggles of the year and will remember the blessings too. Life is never just all good or just all bad; it is always a mixture of both isn’t it? Rested souls help us do the delicate dance of living between the two. Rested souls give us strength for tomorrow. And, it seems, rested souls also make us better drivers, or at least that’s what my car thinks!

Music

can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable. - LEONARD BERNSTEIN

It has always been universally understood that listening to favorites is enjoyable and can lift one’s mood. However, during the past few years we’ve come to better understand the therapeutic value music can have on those with dementia. For qualified individuals, AOS & Friends Care offers a program which provides a music player loaded with personalized songs. To learn more about the Personal Music Player and other AOS & Friends Care programs/services: Wh

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WE MUST BE ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN THE DECISION TO SEEK REST FOR OUR SOULS… READING A GOOD BOOK, WALKING, WRITING LOVE NOTES, MAKING LISTS OF THINGS THAT ARE GOING WELL, PRAYING, COOKING, OR MERELY CLOSING OUR EYES TO FEEL THE SUNLIGHT ON OUR FACE.

Our souls rest when we tell our granddaughter stories of funny things she did as a toddler or write letters to family about what made us strong during other difficult times. Our souls rest when we decide to turn off the news and instead, listen to crickets at night.

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My car thinks it’s smarter than me.

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FAITH: TAKING A BREAK

The Rev. Colette Bachand | revbachand@gmail.com

NOVEMBER 2020 - 10

o W E Do T

910.585.6757 info@aosfcare.org www.aosfcare.org www.facebook.com/AOSFriendsCare


NOVEMBER 2020 - 11

GRAY MATTER GAMES

ACROSS

1. Small fish that swim upright 10. ___ lawn 15. Robot 16. Certain Arab 17. Traversely 18. Crows’ homes 19. Monetary unit in Russia 20. Deception 21. Con men? 22. Madagascar mammal resembling a hedgehog 24. “... ___ he drove out of sight” 25. Irritate 29. Lots 31. Excessive fullness 35. “At Seventeen” singer Janis 36. Catch a glimpse of 37. Dadaism founder 38. Punish, in a way

39. Bubkes 40. Small pen wells 42. Can’t stand 44. Accumulate 45. ___ grecque (cooked in olive oil, lemon juice, wine and herbs, and served cold) 46. Chemical cousin 50. First of seven canonical hours 52. Voting “nay” 53. Rinse, as with a solvent 58. Inclined 59. One who creates 61. Magical wish granter 62. Normal condition 63. First name in mystery 64. Bring back into use

DOWN

1. Big bag 2. 100 cents 3. Above

4. Cheat, slangily 5. Trans-Siberian Railroad city 6. Cold and wet 7. Attendance counter 8. Red fluorescent dye 9. Contemptuous look 10. Principality ruled by Grimaldi family 11. Black cat, maybe 12. Desolate areas 13. State of being complete 14. Shows disrespect 22. Casual attire

23. Long, long time 25. Notched 26. Wavering 27. Big name in computers 28. Bug out 30. 1957 #1 song by Paul Anka 32. “The Joy Luck Club” author 33. Aggravate 34. Harvest goddess 38. Video maker, for short 40. “___ alive!”

41. Toni Morrison’s “___ Baby” 42. Kind of control 43. Geyser sediment 47. Arise 48. Bullwinkle, e.g. 49. Boredom 51. Hip bones 53. Congers 54. Fluff 55. Eye layer 56. Makeup, e.g. 57. European language 60. Jail, slangily

Open Arms Retirement Center

“Making a Difference in the Lives of Others” Assisted Living | Memory Care | Music & Memory Certified

Let us help you in making a decision about the care you are seeking.

612 Health Drive | Raeford | 910-875-3949 www.openarmsretirement.com


NOVEMBER 2020 - 12

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Gray Matter Games Solutions


Callie Yakubisin, RD, LDN | cyakubisin@thedairyalliance.com

EATING RIGHT: FERMENTED FOODS FOR BETTER HEALTH

The rates of chronic disease, like diabetes and heart disease, are rising in the United States. With an estimated 45 percent of the population suffering from at least one chronic disease, Americans are feverishly exploring nutrition and wellness trends to regain control of their health. Between fad diets, workout routines, and an ever-growing list of supplements, Americans are looking for a quick fix. However, adding certain foods to the diet may help Americans in their health journey. According to registered dietitians surveyed in Today’s Dietitian magazine, fermented foods, which includes fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir (a fermented milk drink), were the number one superfood trend in 2019. But fermented foods are not new; they have been around for centuries. Going back to basics with fermented foods may help contribute to a healthy body. Yogurt, kefir, sourdough bread, buttermilk and kombucha are all examples of fermented foods Americans are incorporating into their diet. These foods are created by tiny, living organisms feeding on an initial food, like milk or sugar. Fermentation can change the taste and texture of the food, along with enhancing it in other ways like improving digestibility.

FOR EXAMPLE, YOGURT AND KEFIR ARE THICKER AND TANGIER THAN MILK DUE TO FERMENTATION, AND MOST PEOPLE WHO ARE LACTOSE INTOLERANT CAN DIGEST THEM BETTER THAN REGULAR DAIRY BECAUSE OF THE CHANGES MADE BY THE BENEFICIAL BACTERIA. Consuming S mcertain o otfermented h i e foods can add beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract. The bacteria and other tiny organisms present in the digestive tract play a role in the immune system. Furthermore, vitamin D plays an important role in a healthy immune system- fortified yogurt and kefir can be a delicious source. Studies also show yogurt consumption may be associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. There are plenty of ways to incorporate fermented foods into your daily routine! Add kefir or yogurt to your morning smoothie, enjoy Bring the flavor of the tropics to a sandwich or taco topped with kimchi, or snack you with this refreshing smoothie. on a hard cheese like aged cheddar. While more Using Kefir and a low-sugar studies are needed to fully realize the impact of coconut flavored Greek yogurt fermented foods on our health, a daily dose may really packs this smoothie full of do a body good. To find the right fermented high-quality protein. Perfectly food fora you, balanced with little work tang with and a registered dietitian and visit thedairyalliance.com for recipes that just a hint of sweetness. include fermented dairy foods.

Hawaiian Harvest

NOVEMBER 2020 - 13

Hawaiian Harvest S m o ot h i e

8 1 1 4

C f w u i Bring the flavor of the tropics to you with this refreshing smoothie. Using Kefir and a low-sugar coconut flavored Greek yogurt really packs this smoothie full of high-quality protein. Perfectly balanced with a little tang and just a hint of sweetness.

For

Yield: 16 ounces Time: 5 minutes Source: The Dairy Chef

Ingredients 8 1 1 4

ounces plain unsweetened Kefir (5.3-ounce) coconut flavored Greek yogurt 1/2 cups frozen tropical fruit blend ounces coconut water

Directions Combine kefir, yogurt, frozen fruit and coconut water in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

For more dairy delicious recipes, visit thedairyalliance.com


NOVEMBER 2020 - 14

Your friends, your neighbors, your cooperative.

We value your trust and loyalty. Our commitment to your safety remains our number ONE priority. We're excited to welcome you back to a safe We are happily accepting new patients!

128 Wilson Road • Sanford, NC 27332 (919) 774-4900 • (800) 446-7752 CEMCPower.com This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

305 Page Road | Pinehurst, NC

Hearing loss shouldn’t keep you from connecting on the phone. With a CapTel phone, it is easy to catch virtually every word. You see captions of your call, so you can always follow what is being said. For more information, contact

• kim.m.calabretta@t-mobile.com • captelnc.com (website) • 844-519-4806 (toll-free)

Veterans with hearing loss receive: • No-cost phone • No-cost captioning service • In-home set up available • No contracts

FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED ON. IP Captioned Telephone Service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund. No cost is passed on to the CapTel user for using the service. CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc. NC Department of Health and Human Services • Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing • ncdhhs.gov/divisions/dsdhh • NCDHHS is an equal opportunity employer and provider.


Kenneth I. Laws II

TRULY THANKFUL: GRATITUDE FOR THE WHOLE OF LIFE

NOVEMBER 2020 - 15 The time of year is upon us where everywhere we look; we are met with signs to be grateful. We have become conditioned to some degree to be grateful for all that we have, for all the good in our lives…but what about our shortcomings, missteps, and perceived failures? What about the journey, in all its twists and turns? YOU MAY BE ASKING YOURSELF WHY IN THE WORLD SHOULD I BE GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE PERCEIVED DISAPPOINTMENTS IN MY LIFE? In my opinion gratitude must encompass the good, the bad, and the ugly. Allow me to explain and take you on a journey, a return to seeing, loving, and living through the eyes of a child. Remember when we were young, and we looked at the world and our surroundings in complete awe? That kind of awe of seeing something for the very first time. In its very essence that is pure gratitude. As we become older, we become conditioned and accustomed to our world and our surroundings. We get used to it, and we begin to take it for granted. The older we get the easier it is to look at things we encounter with such a usualness that we begin to not see them at all. By recognizing this usualness, we can move away from it and towards looking at the things in our daily lives in awe and gratitude. Recall when we were little and we loved those closest to us with unconditional love, no matter what they did or said? This is the purest form of love and gratitude for the people around us. As we age we begin to use external factors to determine who and how we choose to love. So how can we be grateful for all the loves we have in our lives? We need to turn to loving through the eyes of a child, to loving what we have learned from each other. Be genuinely grateful

for all the lessons learned from these. This kind of gratitude becomes possible when we can return to loving like we did as children. Think of when we were young and everything we experienced and encountered was the most amazing thing ever. That kind of wonder and amazement is again pure gratitude. At this age, the experience is not so much about right or wrong as it is learning something new, learning to do something, or not to do something. This is called experiential learning, and it’s one of the best teachers in the world, if you ask me! As we go through the growing up process, our experiential learning changes and becomes taught by our parents, teachers, and society. Our experiential learning becomes clouded by the input of all those we look up to. We begin to put on a mask depending on whom we encounter. OUR MASKS ARE MADE UP OF ALL THE THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED, ALL THE THINGS WE HAVE SEEN AND EXPERIENCED, AND ALL THE PEOPLE WE HAVE LOVED THROUGH THE CONDITIONED LENSES OF OUR EYES AND MIND. With this mask on, people cannot encounter the essence of who we really are, our authentic selves. The most authentic people I know of are children. They can be the sincerest yet brutally honest people in our lives. For us to genuinely be grateful, for all that we are, all that we have learned, for who we have become, we must return to the authenticity of a child, to simply see and experience everything through their eyes. By doing this, all those things that we may perceive as a misstep, a failure, or poor decisions, can truly be a blessing in our lives, especially if we have experientially learned from them all. May we take this time of the year to unlearn all of the things that are not who we really are; may we unlearn all that we need in order to become our most authentic selves and return to seeing the world through the eyes of a child. This is the journey. This is the purest form of gratitude for everything that is.

Local author Kenneth I. Laws II has contributed to several books on topics related to gratitude, inspiration and the power of manifesting beauty in one’s life. Ken’s contribution to The Grateful Soul: The Art and Practice of Gratitude, “Grateful Time,” explores the meaning of time and how we choose to spend it and use it. Other contributors write about gratitude in such hard times as divorce, the beauty of a forgotten calendar, the beauty of practicing gratitude for ourselves and more. For more about Ken’s writing, visit his Amazon author page by searching for Kenneth I. Laws II or simply searching for The Grateful Soul: The Art and Practice of Gratitude.


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