I have heard people exclaim, “Out with the old, and in with the new!” In fact, I hear it in my profession often. Why is it that we think that NEW always means IMPROVED?

We just returned from a two-week stay at the hospital. My husband spent his 3-year anniversary of being identified with dementia, recovering from a stroke. The stroke was not related to the dementia. It was a result of uncontrolled high blood pressure. The front-line staff at the hospital were amazing. We loved the quick wit of a special nurse named Miranda who took her decaf coffee two ways: “never or in the trash.” We thoroughly enjoyed a young nurse named Trecy, who felt that the Universe had introduced her to us. We become attached to a nurse named Jessica, who was excited to reunite with one of our dear friends from church and her instructor in nursing school. My husband giggled when he told others that he “had never showered with other women before,” in order to watch the therapists turn color. We caught up with a young nurse that we mentored at summer camp and had in youth group. It was particularly special to see how successful she’s become after 14 years. Then there was the cute little cafeteria lady, who spoke in a soft squeaky voice with the promise of an extra cookie. She was so excited about everything she offered my husband to eat that he just had to clean his plate. These are the ladies that we will remember: It wasn’t about new practices. It was about human contact. It was about TIME. These people took the time to learn about my husband and to give him personalized care.

I remember when my daughter was in the hospital after falling through the hole in the barn. I was most impressed with our Family Doctor who carried her all over the hospital while he did his rounds. I miss the personalized care and the TIME that doctors offered their patients when hospitalized, even 23 years ago. That doesn’t happen any more. NEW and improved isn’t necessarily BETTER.

Education is in the same camp. I have been teaching since 1988 and over that time, I have seen many changes. I hate to say it, but many aren’t what is best for children, parents, or teachers. A coworker and team teacher of mine always used the phrase, “Don’t Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater,” every time we were introduced to the next new and improved “best practice” and teaching technique. She would encourage staff members to keep those things that worked and only change those things that didn’t.

Do everything in moderation. Using that philosophy, I’m finally having some luck in losing some unwanted weight. I attribute my success to using all the good things that worked from each diet that I’ve tried, to create something that works for me. Perhaps that is what life is all about: Take all the best things that work from our experiences to create an individual plan that works for each one of us. Then, stay the course. Don’t lose sight of the goal and stay focused. We need to make a personal commitment of TIME for ourselves in order to be healthy and strong.

So my thought of the day is this, and it is totally stolen from the movie THE INTERN: “You are never wrong to do the right thing.” To me that means that I need to keep moving forward doing all the things that I know are right and make a plan for me, whether it is in regard to my health, my profession, or the people I love most.


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