Taking Pause to be Thankful

A Healthier You

Taking Pause to be Thankful

Staci NormanContributor: Dr. Staci-Marie Norman, PharmD, DCES

Hello to November!!! In this month of Thanksgiving, I thought it might be appropriate to reflect on some of the positive things that have come out of this crazy year!

Of course, I know many people have been negatively affected by furloughs or lay-offs due to the shutdown caused by COVID-19. I hope that you are doing okay and that new possibilities are on the horizon. I also hope that amid the craziness, you have found some glimmers of joy.

My 50th birthday was in October, and it really made me pause. Truthfully, I was pretty depressed as my birthday drew close. I started lamenting on all the bad that has happened this year. My kids didn’t get to go through college graduation ceremonies. My sister in London postponed her wedding, and my husband and I canceled our 25th wedding anniversary trip. Now the real tragedy of COVID is hitting home, with many of my sweetest patients succumbing to this awful virus. I had to pull myself out of a funk. But one evening after work, as I talked to my husband about yet another loss at the pharmacy and how unfair this whole year has been, it hit me. There have been a lot of good things that happened this year too. So here are some things to be thankful for:

  • Being forced to slow down: With everything closed, my family has not had all the "activities" that typically fill our evenings and weekends. This has given us more time to spend with each other and enjoying our home.
  • Extra time with loved ones: I've spent more time with my "adult" children before they graduate college and go off to live their lives. And what a blessing it has been to see the type of adults they have grown into over the last four years.
  • Learning how to "Zoom": Even though we cannot physically be with family and friends, we can sit and visit- just like we imagined when we were little watching the Jetson's- over the TV or computer screen! For my family, this has meant getting to see far away relatives and friends more often than we would typically.
  • Learning to Zoom for work: For me, this means not needing to travel for programs and be away from my family for three days at a time. I can sit at my desk, provide the program, and cut the commute down from 2 days to 2 minutes! All the volunteer organizations I work with are Zooming, which shortens the time needed to attend.
  • Eating at home: Yes, this means more work, and coming up with new and exciting meals is the hardest part of adulting. But cooking at home allows us to plan our menu and eat healthier intentionally. Eating meals at home can also be helpful to diabetes management because you know what ingredients were used.
  • Outdoor exercise: We've taken our dog on more walks in the past seven months than she has had in her whole eleven years! Exercise can be helpful in keeping blood sugars on track, and an extra benefit is being out in nature and enjoying the flowers of summer and the changing leaves of fall.
  • Connecting online: I am grateful for online communities, like DiabetesSisters, where we can find others with similar interests and concerns. These communities not only provide information but can be a real place of support.

These days, we all might need help finding the silver lining of this crazy year, so I hope some items on my list resonated with you. Here's to looking for many wonderful things to be thankful for in our lives!

Dr. Staci-Marie Norman, PharmD, DCES received her bachelors from Purdue University (’94) and her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma (’96). In 2000 Dr. Norman added to her credentials by becoming a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She is currently the Clinical Coordinator and staff pharmacist for Martin’s Pharmacy. Dr. Norman is a national faculty member for the American Pharmacist Association, teaching certificate programs in both diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She serves on the advisory board that oversees development and revision of these programs. Along with teaching and development responsibilities for APhA, Dr. Norman serves as a peer reviewer for research grants and publication submission. Dr. Norman has also spoken for Abbott, Bayer, Lilly, Mannkind, and Lifescan as a diabetes specialist.