Wednesday, March 13, 2013

One Take Away from the Past Week

"It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, could you be mine, would you be mine?" Lyrics from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, a children's TV show of the past

If you're a reader from the US, your childhood or that of your children in the '70s and '80s, maybe even longer, couldn't escape Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Fred Rogers was a tall, thin, kind, soft talking man who came into the room, put on a cardigan sweater and comfortable shoes and talked to puppets and more particularly directly to young viewers about being kind and solving problems without anger. My two young boys ran to the television when they heard the theme song and sat quietly soothed. "Won't you be my neighbor?" the song ended.

I began singing the tune this morning, after I read a comment on my last blog from Tracy who lives in Australia. She's in my neighborhood, and it's a beautiful day for a neighbor, and it's only seven in the morning on this fourth day of daylight savings time, which means we have beautiful long and longer evenings to look forward to. My mood soars at the thought of being able to walk and garden and feel alive after dinner. During the winter, when it was cold and dark at 6PM, I found myself going to bed earlier and earlier.

Since you're in my neighborhood and sitting down to be with me a few minutes, I want to share the upshot of the past week, doctorwise. Over a week ago I called my husband's doctor to ask a followup question from our meeting the previous week, when we decided not to do a very unpleasant procedure which involved a two night hospital stay. In response, his office left no answer to my question but instead dates for two appointments, the perfect sequence for a pre procedure visit and a date for  the procedure. For a week I left messages asking to speak with the doctor and seven phone calls later, three yesterday alone, I finally spoke with him for generous amount of his time. We are agreed we are not doing the procedure. Since you don't know exactly what I'm talking about regarding my husband's problem, thanks for following along with all this. The current emergency is over.

So what was this last week about? My take away is that I am now prepared with a neighborhood to support me when another event is not so readily resolved and I am perhaps less able to gather my troops together. What this means for caretakers, whether you are talking about caring for yourself in your day to day life or for someone else, is to not go it alone. We know it takes a village to raise a child, and we need a neighbors when we can barely raise ourselves.

Thanks to the world wide web, even if we've moved far from our base to another part of the world, our old neighbors are as close as Skype, which is a great stand in for hand to hand contact. Messages can pass back and forth instantly even with clunky old fashioned email, which I love. So caretakers, reach out. Establish a base before you need it. Even if you have always been a private person who doesn't share woes, reach out now. Everyone needs a neighbor just like you. I sure do.

Baruch ata adonai...I'm still trying to figure out if I totally lost perspective and made myself and my friends anxious for no good reason. I wish I were the kind of person who moved slower, knew the universe would take care of me, and relaxed more. I know. Dream on. I am thankful I'm the kind of person who moves to solve problems, who reaches out and takes chances. I'm thankful readers in Australia and other places I may never go to are in my life. This morning I am optimistic and happy and looking forward to this sunny day. Thank you. Amen


  1. I grew up in the 80's, and loved watching Mr. Roger's Neighborhood!

    I'm glad the current emergency is over, and that you are feeling more relaxed and supported!

  2. Thank you for bringing calm and sunshine into my hectic day and for reminding me of one of my favorite teachings...Reb Nachman of Bratslav teaches, “Humans reach in three directions. We reach up to God, out to other people, and into our own heart. The secret is that all three directions are really the same.”