Cheers And Jeers

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Why don’t people smile anymore? Walk down any city street and this is what you’ll see:

  • People arguing on their phones
  • People frowning unhappily
  • People rushing and bumping, unapologetically, into one another 

Why bother spending an hour in the morning, getting ready to go out into the world, only to scowl and rant and rave… who’s going to notice all the time you just spent primping?

Did you ever watch or hear someone yawn and (all of a sudden) you yawn, too? It’s oddly contagious. So why doesn’t one smile beget another? You smile if you hear a baby doing that ‘uncontrollable giggle’ thing or when you see ANY animal video on YouTube. But there don’t seem to be that many moments in our own lives where we just LAUGH.

Next time you have a soda or a milkshake, try blowing bubbles through the straw… We used to love doing that as children. Or spontaneously break into a happy dance for no particular reason. If someone happens to catch you, hopefully they’ll laugh along with you. If not, you just bought yourself a one-way ticket to the funny farm!

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At The Mall

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I love going to the mall (except around this time of the year).* There, I’ve said it. The very best time to go is first thing in the morning. There are no teenagers skulking about, no loud music coming from the stores** and no lines. The most you will see are the velour-clad mall walkers and the new moms pushing baby carriages.

But all that changed when I decided to take my Dad along with me. First, we needed to find the bathroom (which we needed to do several more times during our venture). Then we needed to avoid every single crying or whining child. Finally, of all the many and varied types of delicious, multi-cultured food found in the food court, we needed to get… a Nathan’s hot dog. I kid you not.

So, next time I think about going to the mall I will slip out, unnoticed, and bring back some small token as a ‘thank you’ for allowing me to have my day at the mall!

*I try to get all my holiday shopping done before the end of October. No sales? Oh well. It’s worth it to avoid the holiday frenzy.

**I’ll take any other loud music over Xmas music, any day – you know, that stuff that plays on endless loops for months before the actual ‘day’ that it’s supposed to represent. And that’s why you’ll never see me in a store (even the grocery store), from now until the middle of January, without my handy-dandy, sanity-preserving earbuds.

 

Rainy Day Saving

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When I finally convinced my parents that it was time to move out of their 3-leveled townhouse (after both of them had fallen) and into a condo without stairs, the fun had only just begun.

It never occurred to me that this almost 60-years-married couple could not (and would not) part with a single item… many of which had not seen the light of day in more than half a century.

We all love our memorabilia and no one would ever suggest throwing out an original photo or a special letter. But 70+ year old school report cards, brittle clumps of no longer fine, baby hair and (there are no words) what appear to be baby teeth in little plastic treasure chests are NOT items that need to be saved and moved to yet another home.

Sometimes, ‘out with the old and in with the new’ has tremendous merit – especially when not doing so turns a home into a hoarding house!

Running Me Ragged

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Today I saw a young mother outside chasing after her toddler. She said, “stay on the grass,” so, naturally, the child ran toward the street instead. I thought, “well, at least she’ll get that baby weight off faster.”

Now that my own kids are grown, I have no incentive to run around and lose weight. Oh yeah. I forgot. Of course I do. It’s called constantly-running-errands-for-my-parents. Don’t get me wrong… I exercise for a few hours every day anyway. Of my own free will. I always have… (and when I say always, I mean since having children).

If it wasn’t so time consuming I’d say it was almost funny – how, as soon as I return home from running their errands, my parents remember something else I need to get for them. And, for those errands that are so close by that it’s almost easier to not have to drive and then park my car, I generally just walk. So, technically, I’m still being run ragged – although, now, I get to choose when and where I’ll lose those extra few pounds!

*** 3 simple ways to lose weight without really trying:

  1. Eat less (try eating dinner on a dessert plate rather than on a much larger and more gluttonous dinner plate)
  2. Move more (drive less, if possible – the planet will thank you)
  3. Repeat (or, if you’re young and in love, have more children – that’ll keep you on your feet)*

*4 out of 5 dentists recommend it… (and, why wouldn’t they? They stand to make even more money!)

Glass Half Empty

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Optimist VS Pessimist… That’s the question. Why would you assume the worst case scenario in every possible situation when you could just as easily choose to look for the silver lining? It almost seems like a prerequisite condition once you reach maturity. In a community where all the residents are currently in their second half of life, there are a myriad of circumstances that can be viewed from two very different perspectives:

1) The Weather – is that small cloud overhead a sign of impending doom (hurricane, tornado, tsunami)… or is it a passing shower?

2) The Birds – are they circling our terrace looking to attack… or are they on their way back to their nest to check on their baby chicks?

3) The Alarm – is it a code red (terrorist, CDC, nuclear plant)… or did some old fart accidentally hit the wrong button on the lobby intercom, again?

Yes, there are at least two ways to view any situation. And, yes, it’s always best to be prepared for any catastrophe.  But too much time spent seeing that glass as half empty can only result in one outcome… being constantly thirsty!