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A Dog’s Tale: Struggling With What’s Right

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Last night I had yet another talk with a friend about my dog Ceanna. My large, quirky, neurotic, stubborn, thoroughly disgusting, bull in a china shop dog. I wanted sympathy for the travails I go through with this dog and I knew my friend would understand. She’s into dog rescue and in addition to sympathy I secretly wanted her to say, “you know, I have a woman that’s always wanted a large, quirky, neurotic, stubborn, thoroughly disgusting, bull in a china shop dog.” I wanted her to give me dispensation to re-home her. She didn’t of course but the talk helped in spite of that and I ended up feeling more generous of spirit toward my neurotic one. That didn’t last long. Only moments later I called Ceanna to come in from the yard. When she finally deigned to listen, she flew through the door, fell making her dramatic entry, hocked up a big unidentified smelly brown object, and as I bent over to get a glimpse of the disgusting blob on the floor she snarfed it up and swallowed. It was poo. Yes, p-o-o-p. It made me want to vomit and reminded me how hard she is to love. Overall I’d say my life with her has been a perpetual poop parade in many ways. Continue reading…

Six strategies to beat the winter blues!

When wished a good morning by Pooh Bear Eeyore responded “Good morning Pooh Bear. If it is a good morning. Which I doubt.”

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

It’s dark. Wet. Cold. The trifecta of winter in my neck of the woods and my bed is where I’m putting down roots. To say I greet the day with enthusiasm would be like saying vampires enjoy sunning themselves. Am I depressed or just a grumpy gal? Continue reading…

Help: My brain was hijacked!

I’m a big fan of retro. I like music from the 60’s, I own a Vintage trailer, my house is circa 1920, and until recently I’ve had a “retro” phone. It wasn’t even a flip phone but just a tiny little phone that I bought at Target, used prepaid minutes and never turned on. Certainly never sent a text. I think that’s the kind of phone criminals use for their nefarious deeds but I never got around to pulling a bank job.

blog.modcloth.com

blog.modcloth.com

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Fatal Distractions

 

knowledge.allianz.com

knowledge.allianz.com

Suppose for a moment you were sick enough to require open heart surgery. Would you want the people monitoring your bypass machine to be paying attention? It is, after all, the little machine that takes over for your heart and is responsible for keeping you alive. You think it’s important they pay attention? Well they might not be. In a 2010 survey of perfusionists, those helpful folk who monitor the bypass machine, 55% of them acknowledged using a cell phone, 49% admitted to texting, and 21% checked email while at the same time 78% of those respondents thought this was a potentially significant risk to patient safety. How a phone even gets into the OR is beyond me, but this is a time I want them paying attention – to ME. Feel the same? So why have you used a phone in your car? Continue reading…

Unbelievable: I found some good news!

 

www.partykrakow.com

www.partykrakow.com

STOP. I just can’t hear any more awful news. I’m desperate for some good news. Awhile back I wrote a post about all the bad news in the world to remind myself that things weren’t really as horrible as they might seem, at least historically. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it but meanwhile I have bad news fatigue. Confirmed ebola deaths are now up to 5,000 but suspected to be much higher. An armed nut bag in Canada killed a soldier and stormed Parliament. There was a school shooting in Seattle.  And it’s not possible to hear news that doesn’t feature the latest ISIS atrocity. The only thing I want to hear about that starts with an “I” is icicles, icing, or ITunes.

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Fandamonium: Is it good for us?

www.southbendtribune.com

www.southbendtribune.com

Fall means football. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but I love it. Especially the Green Bay Packers. Yup, I’m a Cheesehead. I love watching Aaron Rodgers stay cool under pressure and throw a perfectly placed ball to a receiver who manages to hurl his beefy body into space, grab the ball, and come down with his feet in bounds while another equally beefy boy’s only job is to knock him down out of bounds. How can I like this brutal sport? Of course I don’t like the injuries but if I’m going to watch it, along with 64% of Americans I might add, I have to admit that brutality is part of the game. I feel sheepish again and yet I know what I’ll be doing this Sunday. Whether it’s football, baseball, soccer, or any one of many sports, we love our teams. And science shows it’s mostly good for us. Continue reading…

Is Complaining Always Bad?

 

blog.mommycoach.com

blog.mommycoach.com

Nope, it’s not always bad. There may be times when you complain but in reality you have a genuine concern that needs attention. In that case, complaining is more like an appetizer, not the main meal. You may need support, or the listener’s thoughts on the matter, or perhaps even their advice. There are also times when you need to complain in order to get action on something. This is complaining in the service of change.

Other days you may just need to kvetch. Although this has become almost illegal among the super positive, highly motivated crowd, I personally am fine with a little collaborative complaining. It can be fun and cathartic to share the injustices or annoyances of the day with a friend, however, there need to be some guidelines or you risk becoming a grumpy grouser that makes people want to stuff socks in your mouth. Continue reading…

Halloween: Fantasy Fun

www.babble.com

www.babble.com                                                                “lobster and chef”

It’s October and that means Halloween is just a few short weeks away. It falls on a Friday this year which portends more parties than usual so perhaps you’re thinking about costumes. In our consumer culture Halloween has become a massive spending orgy. A survey from 2013 showed that Americans spent $1.04 billion on kids costumes, $1.22 billion on adult costumes, and $330 million on their pets. And that’s just the costumes. In spite of the fact that I think we spend too much money on unnecessary plastic objects and other trendy junk, I’m going to be a total hypocrite in this case because I love Halloween. Who wouldn’t love a holiday that involves play acting, candy and very little family drama? Besides I need a break from ISIS, Ebola, and miscellaneous mayhem.  Continue reading…

Daily Hassles Got You Down? Five Strategies to Reduce Reactivity

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It had been a bad day. Well actually the whole week had sucked. So at the end of a nasty ass day I went home eagerly anticipating some down time – my couch, a movie and a little peace and quiet. I got home, reached for the remote, pressed on, and NO TV. Cable, yes. DVD player, yes. TV? No. I fell apart. Full on fight or flight. Adrenaline and cortisol flooded my system. I felt over-the-top frustrated and started spewing. Dock workers at the shipyard would have covered their ears at the language that was coming out of my mouth. Then I felt like crying.

Over reaction? Well duh, of course. Believe me, I get it. I know that not being able to watch TV is no big deal in the overall scheme of life. But it was the last straw. I couldn’t cope with one more thing. Ironically, if it had been a big crisis I would have been better equipped to deal with it. When faced with a major life event, or urgent situation, everything else comes to a halt. We pull out all the coping resources we have and let everything else go. We take action. But it’s the little things that will bring us to our knees.

www.breatherepeat.com

www.breatherepeat.com

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Listening 101: 5 Simple Skills You Really Need

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

www.teamthinking.co.uk

www.teamthinking.co.uk

What do many dogs and therapists have in common? They listen. They cock their head and look at you when you’re talking. They don’t interrupt. They attend. Hopefully therapists will have a better understanding of your words and dogs will have cuter ears but they both listen which is more than you can say about lots of people.

Are you a good listener? Listening is harder than you think. Many of us listen to persuade or we make it about us in some way. Or we’re not really attentive at all. And it’s especially difficult if you have an emotional reaction to what you’re hearing. Read on for the basic skills of listening 101: Continue reading…