Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Quote of the week

Insight: Ways to be grateful when you don’t feel like it by Lorraine Glowczak

Ready or not, the Holiday Season is upon us. As for me, I am ready for the most part. It is fairly easy for me to be ready since my family in Maine consists of my husband and a dog. 
Although we may not be a typical American household and we won’t be sitting around the table with our larger, extended families who live in the Midwest, the three of us are doing good. We are healthy, well-fed, live in a warm home and have many caring and loving friends. We feel grateful, joyful and content. However, this is not always the case for all of us during the holidays.

The celebrations. The bright lights. The carols of good tidings and great joy. The ideal “Norman Rockwell” family gathering can all be overwhelming. The perfection expected of the holiday experience can come crashing down on us and the feeling of gratitude is difficult to muster. In fact, some might have difficulty coughing up a sincere “thank you” no matter how hard they tried.

First - for those of you who have lost someone special, I want to take a moment and recognize your grief. My wish for you is that the pain you may experience will lift sooner rather than later.

For those who may be experiencing challenging circumstance or whose families are either miles away or estranged, being grateful during a time of celebration and thanksgiving can be difficult. 

As a result, I have researched some ways in which we can reach deep into our pockets and pull out a “thank you” when it is not easy to do so. Here are some ways I found that may be helpful, if not to utter the words of gratitude but perhaps shift the feeling of such:

·         The first suggestion I came across was, “stop focusing on the negative and stop complaining for 21 days.” According to psychologist, it takes 21 days to learn a new habit, retraining the brain and the way you approach and view things in the world. I have never tried the 21-day challenge – so I don’t know if it will work. But it wouldn’t hurt to try it if you’re up for it.

·         Upon waking or just prior to going to sleep, think of just one thing you appreciate in your life. During an especially difficult time in my own life, I did this. Some days, the only thank you I could muster was, “I’m thankful for this warm coffee.” It worked for me. Although the difficult circumstance remained for a while, my sadness actually started shifting and I felt better.

·         Being okay with your “non-traditional” life. Most of us don’t live that Norman Rockwell family and existence. Whether you are a single parent, live alone or must dance to a weird family dynamic – remember that you are not alone. In fact, I suspect there are more people like you than you think.

·         If you don’t have family, create a “fremily” (friends who are family). I have hosted these gatherings and thoroughly enjoyed the best of both worlds. In fact, at one fremily get-together, I invited one of my husband’s co-workers who was alone for Thanksgiving. We didn’t know each other that well but enjoyed each other’s company so much that a year later, we travelled to Italy together.

·         My all-time favorite suggestion came from a Real Simple magazine article. It recommended, “For Pete’s sake, stay off Pinterest.” It’s true. Not only for Pinterest but Facebook and other social media connections. These sites give the impression that others live the perfect, happy life with friends galore – most of which does not reflect, with honesty, their personal reality. Don’t compare your life with others’, sometimes misleading, presentations

I hope this small list is helpful in some way as we dive into the holiday season. If not, well, I wish you luck anyway. In little over a month it will be a new year with new possibilities of change ahead. Maybe that’s something to be thankful for.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Quote of the week

Insight: The power of simplicity by Lorraine Glowczak

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am going to mention this one more time. The number of movers and shakers in the small towns of Windham and Raymond never cease to astound me. If there ever was a top-ten list of amazing communities of people coming together to make a difference and shape the world around them in transformative and positive ways - this community is in the top ten.

As I was writing the article, “A village that works together can move mountains” (see front page), I was once again amazed by all the people who collaborate so successfully to make an impact on today’s youth. “They really do move mountains,” I thought.

I also began to think about those who are at some form of disadvantage and can’t serve in big ways due to limited capabilities, certain medical conditions or come from difficult circumstances that prevent them from contributing to the world in a significant way, or at least the appearance of doing so.

It is a known fact that being of service in some way contributes to our emotional health. But in a world where big is better, I would like to serve as a reminder that one doesn’t have to do anything earth shattering to make a positive impact.

There is beauty in simplicity and modest acts can and do have power.

There are many ways in which one can make a difference in small but substantial ways. We all know what a smile can do for others and we’ve all heard the “pay it forward” concept. That, in and of itself, is enough and I could stop there. But, in case you’d like more ideas, here are a few other ways one can help change the world with little random acts:

•    Listen without interruption or giving advice. Very few people offer this type of service.

•    If you are spiritual or religious, pray.

•    Encourage others to follow their dreams. By you having faith in them, they might develop the courage to jump in the direction of their dreams.

•    When speaking to others, choose your words wisely. They have power to make or break one’s soul.

•    Continue to learn and grow, reflecting upon your own biases and ways to increase your knowledge. Positive inner changes can have rippling outward effects.

•    Remember this quote by the Dali Lama: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

There are so many ways to make a positive impact on the world around us. Being an active mover and shaker is one of those ways. But so are the discreet and simple. These acts move mountains, too.

Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor:

Clothes and more clothes!

Presently, there is a resource in town where you can get clothing from infancy to adulthood at NO COST. Where is it?

Well everyone - it is the Clothes Closet which resides downstairs from the Windham Food Pantry. The entrance is in the rear of the building which is on Route 202 next to the Public Safety building. 

I know it is hard to think “winter” with the weather we have had, but it changes in a minute. The Closet is open Monday and Tuesday mornings; but starting in January 2018 the Closet will also be open the second Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the fourth Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. of every month. The hope is that more families will be able to avail themselves of this facility with these additional days and times. These added times and days will only apply to the Clothes Closet.

There are plenty of winter clothing and accessories for children and adults so please consider checking it out now.

Marge Govoni

To the Editor:

If you do not have health care coverage through an employer or a government program, such as Medicare or Medicaid, the time to review and purchase health insurance is here.  

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s Open Enrollment Period is now underway and this is the only time of year when Mainers, who purchase their health insurance on the open market, can make changes to their coverage.  

Mainers from Madawaska to Kittery only have a few weeks to take advantage of this opportunity as ACA Open Enrollment ends on Friday, December 15.  

The cost of available health insurance plans depends on your income. During Open Enrollment, you can explore health plans that offer a variety of options to meet your health needs. After reviewing available plans, there are a few things to consider that can help you select the plan that is best for you.  

For example, most plans fall into four categories with a range of monthly premiums, out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. For those who qualify, the ACA also offers catastrophic care, generally reserved for people under 30, and often including high-deductibles but low monthly premiums. Some individuals may be eligible for federal financial assistance.

If you need help choosing health insurance coverage or if you have questions, free local assistance is available in communities across Maine. To find assistance in your area, contact Consumers for Affordable Health Care (CAHC) or call CAHC’s Consumer Assistance Helpline at 1-800-965-7476 or go to www.mainecahc.org for more information.  

The process can be confusing, but CAHC, along with Maine’s Community Action Centers, are ready to help you.

This is the only time you can make changes to your coverage and we urge Mainers to review their health care options right away so they can get the care they need in 2018.

Japhet Els
AARP Maine Outreach Director

Dear Editor,

The Raymond Beautification Committee and Raymond Vitalization Committee are collaborating to provide 70 Christmas wreaths to be hung on all of the decorative light poles along the 302 Raymond business corridor. Jessica Fay and Maine Lakes Wedding Event Florist, will purchase the wreaths for us at cost, and make the bows for them.

The Walk ‘n Weed Committee, a group from the Beautification Committee, will be making personal visits to 302 businesses beginning the third week of November, to raise money for the wreaths. Our entire community benefits from the visual appeal of the 302 corridor throughout the year. 

Everyone is invited to contribute to this seasonal project along with businesses. To do so, please send donations to the Town or Raymond, Attention, “For Wreaths”, 401 Webbs Mills Road in Raymond, 04071.

Thank you.
Raymond Vitalization Committee