Red, Green and Holiday Blue(s)

CHRISTMAS ROOMHas it been a year already? Thanksgiving is already gone, and Christmas is quickly approaching. Though they conjure up joy, peace, and good will among men, the reality is that for millions of people, the holidays are welcomed with as much enthusiasm as a root canal. There are ways, however, to make it all far less painful, and possibly rewarding!
First, identify the underlying cause. There is one, and usually they are rooted in loneliness, loss or anxiousness. “Alone” doesn’t have to mean “lonely,” and worrying about the future wastes your present.
Here are some suggestions that have worked for me on those “off” holidays:
  1. Force yourself to go out into the world, and look for someone to help. This can be volunteering at homeless, children’s, women’s or animal shelters, nursing homes and house-bound seniors, Food kitchens, and more. Or start small; all around you there are people that can be helped in small ways on a daily basis,  that will make their days brighter. I am quite tall, for example. When I go to the market, I always offer to help reach an item for a more “vertically-challenged” person who appears to be looking upward on any aisle. They love it, and you will feel great. Remember, the more love you give, the more you get. A link to find where to volunteer: http://www.volunteermatch.org/
  2. Get moving! If you have a piece of exercise equipment at home, use it relentlessly. It will promote endorphins, so you’ll feel better, and while everyone is piling on pounds, you’ll be whittling them off and looking great. If you have no equipment, climbing stairs or even jogging in place will work wonders.
  3. Get busy! What have you been putting off that needs to be done around your house? We all have those “projects” that we put off. No time like the present!
  4. Pamper yourself. Indulge in long hot bubble baths while listening to your favorite music. Keep hydrated, and not by hitting the bottle, unless it’s water! Get plenty of sleep, but as a reward, not an escape. After all that exercise, it shouldn’t be difficult.
  5. Avoid listening to music on the radio and watching television. Oddly, the joyous Christmas music is mostly sad. Avoid cable television from at least Thanksgiving to New Year’s. The shows on every channel will be holiday-themed. Rent your favorite upbeat DVD’s and watch them for entertainment, or find an instructional channel and learn something new.
  6. If none of the above appeal to you: Ignore them altogether. If you are alone and you hate that fact, sometimes it’s just best to make Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s “just another day.” It’s a challenge if you leave your home, but I recommend at least going out to a movie. Pick one that’s not holiday-themed, preferably an action movie. They help to get the adrenaline flowing. No sappy romances!

As a last resort, maybe a chuckle or a smile will be had from listening to my “Helpful Holiday Tips.”

https://www.youtube.com/user/LFAZ/videos

Laughter always was and will be the best medicine! Go find some!

Happy Birthday to me!

 

BIRTHDAY CAKE

It is said that life has seasons.

We are born on the green bud of Spring
to blossom in the summertime of days.
Autumn finds us wiser, older,
certainly more colorful.
Winter is suspended life, frozen,
Serenely waiting to be born again.

I suppose I have entered the Winter season
now, as far as numbers go. But still I have
the wonder and awe of my budding days;
the untamed spirit of my summer,
and the rich changing colors of my autumn.

I am all seasons, wild, unbridled,  opening
growing, ever-changing.

No season can define nor contain me.

And on this, the anniversary of my day of birth,
this is what I celebrate:  I am

Alive.

 

 

Bloom where you’re planted..

BLOOM WHERE YOURE PLANTEDForever is composed of nows.” – Emily Dickinson

I found myself doing something today I rarely do: looking back. Specifically, looking back to times that I was either unbelievably elated or terribly sad. The untimely death of Robin Williams, may he rest in peace, is what got me examining my emotional states-past.

To my complete surprise, this endeavor was quite a challenge!  It astounded me that although I could remember feelings associated with life-changing events, i.e., marriage, birth of my daughter, date of divorce, etc., I could not isolate many individual times of joy or sorrow to reflect on them.

I have the memory of a dolphin (1). I can remember having my tonsils out around the age of two, and in some detail. But try as I might, I could not put myself into individual moments of great happiness or extreme despair.

The fact of the matter is, all we have is this moment. Our entire lives, past, present, and – if we are fortunate enough to have- future exist in this very moment.

Think about it. The past is but memories, good or bad. And even when I, with a really great memory, try to relive the feelings in my mind, I cannot. I can’t foresee the future. I could certainly create an image in my mind of a best/worst case scenarios for any given wish or fear, but if they would ever actually become reality is anybody’s guess.

We rush about with brains that never rest. It is said that we have 70,000 thoughts per day (2). Most of them scattered fragments, but still a good percentage of formed cogent thoughts. The problem is, most of them are related to non-existent situations, events or outcomes, because they are past or future.

Contentment and peace in life comes from inhaling each precious moment, not worrying or wondering or wishing.

Just being right where you are: Present.

If we were able to tally up all of the moments – every single one- that were truly painful (physically or emotionally) and all moments in our lives to date that were just fine, or even fabulous,  I am quite sure that the latter tally would far overshadow the previous.

Message to us all: LIVE in each moment. Take joy from little things.

Bloom exactly where you happen to be planted, no matter how challenging the present moment is.

Look at what happened just now. The present became the past!

Next!

 

(1) http://www.neatorama.com/2013/08/08/Forget-Elephants-Dolphins-Have-the-Longest-Memory/#!bCpGtJ

(2) http://www.loni.usc.edu/about_loni/education/brain_trivia.php