Just Drink Up

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We’ve known for quite a while that cough medicines don’t work. Sure, they soothe your throat as they’re going down but doctors have always told us they are not a cure for a cough or a sore throat. It’s one of those annoying things that just has to ‘run its course.’

It’s really amazing the number of things consumers are willing to try… just because. We’re in such a rush, all the time, that we can’t even let the most natural occurrence just happen in real time. We convince ourselves that any number of ‘over-the-counter’ miracle cures will lessen our suffering.

So, if you’re one of the millions of people who would rather risk ruining your teeth or ingesting Red #40 (personally, I’ve just always loved the taste of Robitussin) then by all means, just drink up!

Truth Be Told

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As one of our brightest comics, Mr. George Carlin, famously said, “We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch tv too much. We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living but not a life. We’ve added years to life, not life to years.”

This was a man who never shied away from the truth – whether or not you wanted to hear it. He was a pioneer and a philosopher. He could turn a phrase like no one else. Many people disliked him – probably because he spoke the truth. But he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. And his mind, at times, was quite brilliant.

There are all kinds of truths including half-truths. Some are ‘for your own good’ and some (apparently) serve a purpose when lying to young children. But irrefutable truth cannot be argued.

Neil DeGrassi Tyson recently said, “The good thing about science is that it’s true… whether or not you believe in it.” 

I’d say that pretty much sums it up. Believe what you will and, in the end, the truth will set you free!

High Blood Pressure

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Few things in life naturally lower our blood pressure – but plenty can raise it. Between worrying about our health, our families, our pets, our friends, our careers, our finances… there’s little time left over to just ‘chill.’

There are numerous drugs on the market that will help keep BP at an even keel. Doctors tell us to give up almost all of the things that give us the most pleasure. “Everything in moderation,” they tell us. Yeah, and we’re also told to ‘just say no’ and ‘you can’t eat just one…’

But these are, literally, words to live by.

We should eat right, exercise, do yoga and/or meditate and all our troubles will magically disappear. Really? Just like that? Yet we continue to abuse our bodies – putting chemicals and additives and artificial coloring and preservatives into our system on a daily basis. We have little if no self control and, when we feel poorly, we blame everyone else but ourselves.

I, for one, do not have high blood pressure. I’m as stressed as the next person but I don’t keep things bottled up inside. I yell, I complain and… you know what? I feel better.

So, do what your doctor tells you and take meds if they’re recommended but the rest is up to you. Find something that calms you – I knit and I color. It relaxes me at the end of a long and stressful day. So does drinking a cup of hot tea and eating a whole lotta chocolate!

Hurry… Slow Down!

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We’re in such a hurry all the time. We eat fast food, we get instant messages – we place too much emphasis on instant gratification… we do everything at top speeds from driving to speaking to shopping. Why can’t we slow down anymore?

Where’s the fire in our lives?

From the time we’re little we’re in this giant hurry to grow up. Then, when we’re grown, we wonder where all the time went. We have indigestion yet we eat some of our meals while driving to and from work or while standing in line waiting to catch a train.

My mother always used to say: “A watched pot never boils.” Sounds profound but, seriously, it ‘always’ boils. In truth, it only seems to take longer because we’re focused on it and, now that we’re all multi-taskers, who’s sitting around watching water boil?

So, give yourself a break. You don’t have to make every single moment count. Don’t go directly from one activity to another. When eating, don’t forget to chew and (maybe) even savor your meal… There will be plenty of time to rush when you’re done!

Year End Bonus

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With winter just around the corner, it’s that time of year again when some of us make resolutions and others, like myself, just help ourselves to a little extra sweetness (in the form of chocolate).

I don’t smoke or drink so chocolate is my go-to vice. It’s not exactly a habit but I wouldn’t give it up if asked. And the longer I live, the more doctors insist that it’s actually healthy – so I’m good with that.

But, as the calendar is slowly flipped to the last page, there’s something else we need to be aware of – besides soon having to write a different year on our deposit slips. And that is: we’re a year older but are we any wiser? Have we learned from our mistakes and are we better for them?

Some of us might receive a monetary bonus from work while others will not. That’s not a reflection of our worth but, rather, a consequence of our life’s choices. Sure, money is nice – but knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life has its own rewards!

Piece Of Mind

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Did you know that when you live with your parents, later in life, you actually start to lose large pieces of your mind on a daily basis? It’s not like when you temporarily lose your keys or forget someone’s phone number. Or when you sit in traffic because it was decided that rush hour was a convenient time to pave the road or there’s an accident on the other side of the divider and all the drivers in front of you decide to look and take photos and you think, “there are two hours of my life I’ll never get back.”

No, this is something entirely different. 

When my Dad – who has very limited sight and even more limited acceptance of that fact – insists on pouring his own drink and I then spend my few free moments of the day cleaning up the spills that could have been avoided if he would have just allowed me the privilege of doing it for him in the first place… there goes one piece of your mind. 

Then when my Mom thinks she is saving 15 cents (yes, cents) by using a coupon from one particular store that is miles away from where I’m doing their regular shopping – resulting in my having to spend a half hour more of my valuable time, traveling in the car (not to mention about 10x as much in gas as the coupon is worth) – just so I can buy that item that she didn’t really even need but had a coupon for… there goes another piece of mind. 

And, finally, when I spill some yogurt down the front of my new shirt (because I’m so tired from running around doing errands and fixing things around the house) and I realize I’ve witnessed this same scene before but, instead of me, it was with the very people I’m usually helping clean up after – that’s when it occurs to you that it’s not a piece of mind you’ve lost but your peace of mindfulness!*

*Don’t sweat the small stuff… Listen to your heart… Take time for yourself… Set clear boundaries… Give yourself the gift of forgiveness… Go ahead and vent… Remain calm… Make the best of a bad situation… Don’t take it all so seriously… Treasure the journey… And when all else fails – LAUGH!

The Natural Choice

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We all have choices to make in life. Some of us tend to blame anyone and anything else but ourselves for OUR choices. It’s the American way.

If we take a ‘short cut’ home that ends up taking twice as much time, it’s the fault of the poor schmuck who drove into the tree to avoid hitting a deer.

If we smoke cigarettes or over-eat (ignoring all health warnings), it’s the fault of the manufacturers who make the products and force them into our mouths.

If we use artificial preservatives or coloring or anything outside of nature that poisons our insides, it’s the government’s fault for making those items cheaper or more readily available than their natural counterparts.

So, in conclusion, continue to eat, drink, smoke and consume massive amounts of chemically-altered products, of your own free will, knowing full well that there will always be someone, somewhere, that you can place the blame on!