On this New Year’s Eve, the media is full of suggestions for New Year’s resolutions that will make you a happier person. Most of them include diet and exercise. If this doesn’t seem very original or appealing, I’m reviving one of my most popular posts on Blogger with a different headline : One Way to BE HAPPIER in 2019:
Do you make your bed every day? If you don’t you have plenty of company. According to a survey of 68,000 people by Hunch . com, 59 percent of people don’t make their bed; 27 percent do, while 17 percent pay a housekeeper to do the dreaded job. This may be good or bad, but psychologists in that same survey found that 71 percent of bed makers consider themselves happy, while 62 percent of non-bed-makers say they’re unhappy. Bed makers were more apt to like their jobs, own a home, exercise, and feel well rested.
At girl scout camp, they told us to let our beds breathe beforewe had breakfast, then make them after we got back from the cafeteria.Some health advocates say that dust mites live in made beds, so they’re better left unmade.Turns out, this advice only applies to people who live in damp climates.The excuse does not apply to most of us in the USA.
Naval Admiral William Raven explainedin a commencement speech at the University of Texas, Austin,why making your bed each day makes you happy:
. It gives you an accomplished feeling 1st thing in the morning
. It helps with the clutter & visual appeal of your room
.It increases productivity and happiness
Studies prove that people who make their beds are happier, more productive, and successful. And it takes less than 2 minutes! So, whether it rains, sleets or snows–get up, make your bed, and face the day with a smile.😃
Tis the season to socialize at family gatherings, office parties and community events. Each occasion provides fertile soil for those comments that leave us wondering: How to handle backhand compliments?
1. “You’re lucky that your children don’t mind being in daycare, and you can keep such a good job.” This, from a stay at home mom who doesn’t have to work.
2. After hosting a successful family dinner, I’m told, “ you seem so much more relaxed than you were last year.” This leaves me feeling uneasy. Was last year’s dinner a disaster? Was I a nervous wreck?
3. The white haired wife of an executive where I once worked : “Your hair is so pretty. What was the original color?” Okay, I get it. She wouldn’t dream of “dyeing” her hair. She thinks it’s cheap and tacky, but her husband had just given me a raise.
4. Being introduced to a socialite who knew my older sister. “ I can’t believe she was your sister. She was so lovely.” I hear you. I’m not a cross between Ava Gardner & Elizabeth Taylor, and I don’t belong to the country club. I tell myself I’m not too shabby. I’ve got a master’s degree, have a good husband, and really like hanging out at the senior center and swimming at the YMCA.
Other examples are telling someone they look good for their age, or that they’re more attractive now that they’ve lost weight.
Psychologists call such backhanded compliments microaggressions.
Wikipedia defines microaggression as “brief and common daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental communications, whether intentional or unintentional, that transmit hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to a target person…”
My first impulse after a backhanded compliment is to respond in an equally snarky way. But I refuse to let them get me down. Usually , I just smile and say thank you. And then I walk away.
Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings that hung by the chimney were bare, and the whole family was sound asleep, exhausted, not quite ready to face the post holiday clean up.
Holiday eggnog, cookies, rich gravy, and a calorie overload have us afraid to step on the scale, not to mention the need for some antacid to calm an iffy stomach.
Then, there is the prospect of the returns. Sweaters that don’t fit. Duplicate presents. In our case, an enormous walker that was ordered in the wrong size. That was a tough one, since it wouldn’t fit back in the box it came in this morning. Guess I’ll have to run out to UPS and beg for their help.
But then, we settle down with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. We sit back and think about all the family gatherings, the joy of seeing the smile of that first great grandchild, the meals we were still able to host in our own home. Christmas afternoon: skyping or talking on the phone with far away grandchildren. Hearing their sweet young voices. Thankful that they are all healthy and well. And so, we decide it was a pretty good Christmas, after all.
At our age , we realize how fortunate we are to have been around for another Christmas. In spite of the inconveniences of old age—the creaky bones, hearing aids, failing eyesight, and a plethora of prescription drugs, we look to the future with optimism.
We’re not ready to take down the Christmas decorations just yet. In fact we may leave them up for another week or so, as we enjoy all our gift boxes of goodies and other thoughtful presents from the people we love.
Do you always receive a thank you note expressing gratitude for the presents you send to your grandchildren?
If you listen to women at club meetings and bridge parties, you’re apt to hear a lot of grumbling on the subject. Conventional wisdom says you should stop sending gifts to anyone who doesn’t acknowledge receiving them. But hey, wait a minute. Between the two of us, my husband and I have nine grandchildren, Some write lovely thank you notes, some text or email, and a few of them say nothing at all. Are we supposed to stop sending birthday and Christmas checks to the ungrateful ones? We must conclude that those who don’t acknowledge gifts have not been well trained by their parents—who happen to be our very own children.
At our age, we never know when some medical disaster will strike. So, before that happens, we want each and every grandchild to know that we love them.Who knows what troubles they will experienceas they struggle through school, work, marriage and raising children?.Perhaps, at some low moment, they will feel cheered to think they had a grandparent who cared enough to remember themon every single birthday and at Christmas time. As a matter of fact, I went to a funeralyears ago, and the grandson who gave the eulogy mentioned that his grandmother always sent him a birthday card, even though he lived in Japan and only visited her once a year.
Some of our grandchildren live nearby, and we see them often.Naturally, we will form stronger bonds with the ones who live close than with those who are thousands of miles away.Then, too, there are issues like divorce or in-law problems that affect the way our grandchildren feel about us.
But as long as we are able, we’re going to keep sending those cards orchecks to all of them.
The winter solstice will occur at the same time all over the world today, and at 5:23 p.m ET. Why celebrate? It’s the shortest day of the year, the end of darkness and the beginning of light.
The winter solstice has been celebrated from ancient times throughout the world. Why is it a cause for hope in this modern world of ours? For many, it means the end of all the holiday worries and madness. You’ve baked yourself silly making Christmas cookies. You’ve stressed out over pleasing each and everyone on your holiday gift list. The tree is up, and the kids are coming for Christmas. When that’s all over, it’s time to start thinking about #1 again.
You can open your seed catalogs and start thinking about your spring garden. You needn’t feel guilty about getting a massage, a new hairdo, some new clothes, and maybe get started with a fitness/weight loss program. It’s all about you in January and that feels pretty good. You have a few more months to get yourself back in the shape you were before you got so worn out over the holidays.
Now is the time to enjoy indoor activities such as sewing, painting, writing, and crafting. Make a scrapbook. Sew some new slipcovers. Get out those art supplies and paint a picture. Enjoy the peace that comes from sitting in a warm house and watching the snow fall.
You don’t have to worry about last minute meals. There’s nothing so delicious and fragrant as a pot of vegetable soup. Just open a can of V-8, and pour it into a big pot; throw in some beef cubes, dice up a few potatoes, carrots, and whatever vegetables you like—maybe some cabbage. Let it simmer all afternoon, warm up some crusty bread, and you will have a supper that’s low in calories and high in nutrition.
Remember when everyone sent Christmas letters? That probably peaked about 20 or 25 years ago, when we all got desktop computers and printers. Drive to Staples, get a box of Christmas stationery, sit down, compose a letter, and print out a huge batch of your very own, original, newsletter. But now, we are seeing the demise of the Christmas letter.
Some of those letters were irritatingly boastful. Each child’s achievements, trophies, marriages. (Divorces not to be mentioned) . Our own triumphs, job promotions, successful children and grandchildren. . Then, or course, a complete itinerary of every trip we took to the Smokies, Europe, Costa Rica. This was our chance to tell the world that we were doing great. Sometimes the letters went on for two pages.
Then, along came Facebook in 2004. Now, we could share family pictures, births, deaths, and achievements every single day. The sending of the annual Christmas letter was no longer necessary. That is, assuming everyone was into technology and had a Facebook account. Believe it or not, many seniors, don’t use email, & don’t post on Facebook. And Facebook has taken a beating lately, with many people afraid of being hacked and losing their privacy.
I was still in the workforce during the explosion of computer technology, and became comfortable with the internet. Each year, I tried to discourage my husband from composing the annual Christmas letter. But yet, he plowed on. How else could he touch base with all the friends and family from his home state of Nebraska, Air Force buddies, and the students he had known when he was a campus minister at Indiana State University?
And so, he would write the letter for me to edit, and I would dutifully churn out a batch of Christmas letters. We went through this process again this year.
At first I decided not to send one to the people on my list. But as I sat down to write my cards, I looked at that letter again and decided it was a good idea, after all. No bragging, just a casual way of telling people that we weren’t going South this year, and a few things we had been doing.
I realize that Christmas letters are an anachronism., and can’t imagine any of our grandchildren sending out a Christmas letter. Not with Instagram, texting, Facebook, and perhaps some other apps I’ve never even heard about.
But if we’re still around and in good health next year, we will probably write one again.
Wow! What a wonderful night it was on CBS. Friday evenings, we typically watch Public Broadcasting, or our station of choice to catch up on the week’s news. Unfortunately, politics doesn’t make for a very good night’s sleep, so it was a relief last Friday night, when we were treated to reruns of “I Love Lucy,” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
It was great to remember that kind and gentle era when comedians didn’t swear, brag about their sex life, or express their political preferences. Comedy shows were a way to relax , laugh , and get your mind off your troubles. Good comics found it remarkably easy to be funny without ever referencing POTUS, affordable care, immigration, war, climate change and all of the other serious issues that today’s comedians think they need to lecture us about.
And yet, there was plenty to be upset about in the early fifties when ” I Love Lucy” was a popular show. Our boyfriends, husbands and brothers were drafted into the Korean War. Jim Crow laws legitimized segregation. The Cuban revolution brought Communism to our doorstep. Medicare didn’t exist, and few had health insurance.
In the early sixties, while we watched “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” the Berlin Wall was built, and our men were being drafted into the Vietnam War. Mistakes were made by all politicians, but there was a certain civility that kept things on an even keel. News reporters and journalists were no doubt biased, but they tried to be objective and civil. And entertainers simply entertained.
English teachers often advise budding writers not to “mix their metaphors.” I wish performing artists would stick to their knitting and not try to mix their specialties. They’re not political scientists , elected officials, or trained military strategists.
Actors should act, singers should sing, dancers should dance, and comedians should be funny. That’s all we want from you, guys. We don’t want you telling us how to vote or mocking elected officials. When we want entertainment, we’ll watch ” Dancing With the Stars” , or the Hallmark Channel. If we want to hear about politics, we will turn on the news channel of our choice.
So, thanks to Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz , Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke for making us laugh during some tough times.