No More Media

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Like many of my readers, I spend quite a lot of time on social media. It’s the quickest way to find out what’s going on around us. The problem is, we tend to express our opinions a little too openly and frequently under that guise. And sometimes that ends badly.

So, I’ve decided to limit my time on social media and, in doing so, hopefully allow my brain and my emotions to take a step back and refresh. That doesn’t mean I’m backing off or shutting down. I’m simply trading in my new phone stylus for my old knitting needles!

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The Hard Lesson

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For most of us, society has always dictated a strict work ethic:

  • “Work, work, work.”
  • “All work and no play.”
  • “Work now… There’ll be plenty of time to rest when you’re dead.”

But somewhere along the way ideals changed. Maybe it was because of poor health or maybe you finally realized what’s really important. Or, possibly, you now fully understand what “you can’t take it with you” means.

The fact that more and more adults now go to yoga classes; join reading or cooking groups and color just for relaxation says a lot about the way we now view our lives. There’s no right or wrong choice but, in the end, it is your choice so choose wisely!

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!

It’s My Turn

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At the end of a hard day, all I want to do is put up my feet, have a hot cup of tea and listen to blissful silence. I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to think, I just want to do… nothing. For a few moments, I just want to be me.

Maybe that’s a little profound for those of you who choose to make every second count. Some people have no idea how to just ‘chill.’ They don’t feel accomplished unless they’re doing something at all times. That’s sad, really, because there is so much more to life – and many people miss out on that.

I’m not knocking a great work ethic but I’ve known people who have slaved at jobs their whole lives – only to die way too young. I truly believe that all work and no play makes a person old before his/her time. And, as my Dad always says about the rich, “you can’t take it with you.”

So, after all my work is done and I’m sure that Mom and Dad have everything they need for the moment, it’s my turn to sit back and just relax!

In Your Dreams

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We all wish for things we know we’ll never have – ‘the grass is always greener…’ However, sometimes our dreams represent not so much our desires as our shortcomings. We may have watched a movie or read a book or heard a tale told to us by a friend. Something as simple as that can trigger our mind in its most relaxed state.

Since losing most of his sight, my Dad often dreams about things that happened a long time ago. It was explained to us that this was most likely due to his inability to create new memories. It’s like he’s stuck in a kind of time warp (his own version of ‘Back to the Future’ where his past and his present have become one).

So next time you wish for something outrageous that you know, deep down, is beyond your reach – wish instead for the fundamental ability to dream of a future that is indeed foreseeable!

Labor Day Lament

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As I was swimming my daily laps in the pool this morning, I was thinking ahead to all the things I planned on doing over this holiday weekend. My first thought was of attending as many street/town/county fairs as humanly possible. I just love those – especially, as a crafter myself, enjoying seeing all the amazing crafts people create.

My second thought was about all the sales there would be in stores. I have no intention of putting myself in the middle of all that craziness – both the traffic and the people who truly believe they will be getting some kind of bargain. But, also, there’s the fact that having all those people working on the holiday kind of defeats the purpose of celebrating the holiday, doesn’t it?

So there’s the real dilemma. To work or not to work. If you need the income or don’t care one way or another then it’s your choice to work. If you feel more strongly about not working, then that is your choice as well. Either way, stores will voluntarily open or close, people will barbecue or shop or just relax and enjoy the last remnants of summer with friends and family.

For my parents, it’ll be just another day following just another weekend. They will most likely keep to their daily routine and maybe, just maybe, think back to their younger, carefree days or to their years of hard work and, hopefully, feel a sense of accomplishment for lives well lived!

Summer Survival Guide

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Summertime… and the livin’ is easy. Oh, Mr. Gershwin sure had it right. That’s how I remember my childhood summers – playing outside in the warm sunshine till it was time to come in for dinner; eating dripping ice cream cones before they melted down my arm; and going to ball games where the sounds and smells were like coming home.

Huh… funny how times change.

Now, as I sit inside my air-conditioned home, I can hear the visiting grandkids of our neighbors running around outside, screaming and having fun. And then I hear my Dad’s voice – yelling at them to be quiet from the comfort of his lounge chair in the living room (“bratty kids”“why can’t you go play somewhere else?”).

Later on, when the sun starts to set, we go out on our terrace to relax and breathe in the cooling air. I look over at my Dad and see him not sitting still but, rather, swatting away at the pollen endlessly blowing from the trees and the bees that have moved on from the flowers to our private domain.

When we finally surrender to the natural order of summer and come inside to watch the ball game on tv, we’re barely into the first inning when I hear Dad yelling at the screen (“you moron” – “I coulda caught that ball” – “are you blind?”).

Ahhh, the sounds of summer. The only thing missing is the smell of stale beer and sauerkraut.

And if you listen really hard, you can almost hear yourself thinking, “how many weeks till fall…?!”