Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm still here

I spent a lot of years growing up and married. During those years I did everything I could to become what my mother and ex wanted me to be. I failed. And now I am being what I was meant to be. It's never too late.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

If you're happy and you know it.....

 Happiness. It makes getting older feel better. And I've found that many of the things that used to make me unhappy just don't matter any more.

Psychology professor Sonja Lyubomirsky is on the forefront of helping everyone find some answers, both through tireless research as well as with her books, like “The How of Happiness” (2007) and its just-published follow-up, “The Myths of Happiness.” 
Lyubomirsky, based at the University of California, Riverside, believes that everyone has his or her own set happiness level, noted the New York Times in a recent profile of the researcher. And the less happy among us tend to share traits like frequently comparing themselves to others (and finding personal disappointment in others’ successes), rationalizing often, and dwelling on unhappy events. Happy folks, meanwhile, have a greater tendency to store up positive moments in their memory.
Perform random acts of kindness
“The generous acts don’t have to be random and they don’t have to be a certain kind (e.g, anonymous or social or big, etc.),” Lyubomirsky told fellow happiness-expert Gretchen Rubin. “We have found that almost any types of acts of kindness boost happiness.” Recent studies have corroborated the findings, she noted, with one showing that when 9- to 11-year old kids were asked to do good deeds for several weeks, they not only got happier, but became more popular with their peers. 

Count your blessings
Learning to practice gratefulness is particularly key to happiness, Lyubomirsky says. And there are many ways to do it: by keeping a gratitude journal, in which you ruminate on 2-3 things for which you’re currently grateful, “from the mundane (your dryer is fixed, your flowers are finally in bloom, your husband remembered to stop by the store) to the magnificent (your child’s first steps, the beauty of the sky at night),” she wrote in a recent blog post. Alternately, you can choose a fixed time that’s set aside for thinking about your blessings, or when you can talk about what’s good in your life with a gratitude partner, or even tell people directly that you’re grateful for them or their actions. Writing one day, and then thinking or discussing the next, is a good way to keep your gratitude practice fresh, she notes.

Be thrifty
Materialism, overconsumption and overspending will ultimately get you down, Lyubomirsky has noted, reiterating the point by using age-old tropes (possessions break, while memories only get better) and quotes (“Our necessities are few, but our wants are endless”). “Promoting sustainable happiness means helping people transcend set points and setbacks to live more rewarding lives,” she writes in one study. “Thrift can complement this endeavor by extending the meaning of sustainability, ensuring that the collective can flourish as well as the individual.” In other words? Greed makes everyone sad.

Learn to savor positive experiences
“The ability to savor the positive experiences in your life is one of the most important ingredients of happiness,” according to Lyubomirsky. How to do it? Put together a small album with happy photos or mementos and carry it around with you. Try to be present and fully appreciate small, happy moments—from taking a shower to eating a meal. And tune in to natural joys, from the sound of a bird singing to the smell of fresh spring blossoms in the air.

Take baby steps toward life goals
Making a list of your big goals in life, and taking baby steps toward them, is very happy-inducing. That’s because a component of happiness is the sense that your life is good, “that you’re progressing towards your goals in life,” Lyubomirsky told Diane Rehm. This is a digestible way to make it possible.

Stay healthy and live long: Happiness peaks at age 65
As she noted in her first book, a 22-year study of about 2,000 healthy veterans of World War II and the Korean War revealed that life satisfaction increased over the course of these men’s lives, peaked at age 65, and didn’t start significantly declining until age 75. Takeaway: Not happy at 30? Don’t give up, and don’t rush it. There’s still time.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oh my, what can the matter be?

I went to the doctor and she told me to go to Weight Watchers. Not so much to lose weight, though that is part of it. I needed to go to connect with people and get out and make myself focus. Focus.

Have you had a hard time with focus? I do. At night when I'm waiting for sleep, I think of the most wonderful things I can do to lose weight, fix up the house, exercise, cook, etc. But by morning I can remember none of them. And I'm not sure if I'm forgetting them on purpose or what. By some miracle I had lost a few pounds when I weighed in this week. And it was not because of the  diet as much as that the fact of joining WW has made me more aware of what I am eating and my activity level. So I suppose the Doc was right. I did need WW.

When I went to the Doc, they took a bunch of my blood and tested it. My A1c level is really low and that is good for a diabetic. I'm anemic and finally found an iron that works for me. So I'm doing better. I had so little faith in myself. I'm still tired but my youngest child said it might be the Spring allergies. Well, that makes sense so today I'm off to the drug store for more allergy meds. I'm so glad Spring is here that I'll embrace the stuffy nose.

One lesson learned-more faith in myself.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Again, with prejudice

I'm diabetic. I'm fighting something that can kill me slowly and make me miserable in the meantime. And I'm mad about it. I suppose my attitude at first was not realistic. I was glad to find out what was wrong with me. I was glad to have something to focus on. So for the first few months I did really well. I ate mostly low carbs and a lot of protein. I went from one easy to grab thing to another. And my first tests were pretty good. But life can conspire to give kicks in the rear whether you want them or not. I know I have never been good at maintaining focus. And I know that I'm quick to go for the easiest out.

This winter was a series of things that I'm sorry to say got in the way. Dark days make for depression. Depression makes for exhaustion. At least with me it does. Cold weather hurts my back and knees. And pain in the back and knees makes for exhaustion and depression. Exhaustion makes for grabbing the easiest things to eat and makes for the least amount of work possible.(read-no cooking) And there are only so many things that one can grab that aren't high in carbs. So the focus on the best diet for me was out  the window. I skipped going to the doctor because I didn't want to admit the screw up that my life had become. Meanwhile, the weight crept up, putting more pressure on the knees and back, and causing more exhaustion and depression. So finally I made an appointment with the doctor. I'm going in on Friday. I'm aware that I should have gone months ago. My reaction to being pushed into doing something is to push back. But in the meantime I'm unhappy. Big time. And exhausted. So by going to the doctor I'm going to make myself look again at the things I need to do.

I'm aware that this post has been depressing. I must face that I'm depressing others. I hope to be more upbeat soon. I'm trying to add more protein sources to my diet because I'm freakin tired of the things I've been eating. I hope it works because I'd love to smile more.