Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aspen-Snowmass 2009 Trip

Family Pic

Boxing day is a public holiday, celebrated by the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and several commonwealth nations such as Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Jamaica. According to Wikipedia: "Boxing Day was traditionally a day on which the servants had a day off from their duties. Because of this the gentry would eat cold cuts and have a buffet-style feast prepared by the servants in advance. In modern times many families will still follow this tradition by eating a family-style buffet lunch, with cold cuts rather than a fully-cooked meal. It is a time for family, parlour games and sports in the UK."

I remember Boxing day as the day I went Skiing in Aspen-Snowmass, Colorado for the first time. I took a 3-day lesson with an instructor who is a fellow Atlantan - Sharon. Sharon taught me how to ski in 3 days and I am very impressed with her patience and persistence. Sharon continuously pointed out my flaws and was determined to make my skiing skills improve - and it did!

Thanks to Aunty Judi, Uncle Godfrey, Graeme, and Jeremy, I had a fantastic time in Aspen-Snowmass and look forward to skiing hopefully every year!

At lunch with the group

We made it to Level 4!

On the chair lift to the top of the slope

Nice view of Aspen-Snowmass

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Engage with Grace

Some conversations are easier than others

Last Thanksgiving weekend, many of us bloggers participated in the first documented “blog rally” to promote Engage With Grace – a movement aimed at having all of us understand and communicate our end-of-life wishes.

It was a great success, with over 100 bloggers in the healthcare space and beyond participating and spreading the word. Plus, it was timed to coincide with a weekend when most of us are with the very people with whom we should be having these tough conversations – our closest friends and family.

Our original mission – to get more and more people talking about their end of life wishes – hasn’t changed. But it’s been quite a year – so we thought this holiday, we’d try something different.

A bit of levity.

At the heart of Engage With Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation started. We’ve included them at the end of this post. They’re not easy questions, but they are important.

To help ease us into these tough questions, and in the spirit of the season, we thought we’d start with five parallel questions that ARE pretty easy to answer:

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Silly? Maybe. But it underscores how having a template like this – just five questions in plain, simple language – can deflate some of the complexity, formality, and even misnomers that have sometimes surrounded the end-of-life discussion.

So with that, we’ve included the five questions from Engage With Grace below. Think about them, document them, share them.

Over the past year there’s been a lot of discussion around end of life. And we’ve been fortunate to hear a lot of the more uplifting stories, as folks have used these five questions to initiate the conversation.

One man shared how surprised he was to learn that his wife’s preferences were not what he expected. Befitting this holiday, The One Slide now stands sentry on their fridge.

Wishing you and yours a holiday that’s fulfilling in all the right ways.