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Reframes: Finding Fun in Flying

 

www.jokebandit.com

www.jokebandit.com

Life is full of surprises and opportunities. Just when I thought flying couldn’t get any worse, I found Silver Airways. Never heard of them? Be very glad. Silver Airways is the little company whose prop plane I recently used to get between Ft. Lauderdale and Key West. A short flight of only 35 minutes if you’re lucky enough to actually get on an airplane and the propellors keep going around. There was much drama involved and I observed many angry folks trying to straighten out one problem or another. I did an informal analysis and concluded there were more upset people per square foot dealing with Silver Airways than I’d ever observed with any other airline. And that’s saying a lot. I know my own blood pressure was soaring and so I had a choice. Did I become a homicidal maniac or did I use the power of cognitive reframing? Continue reading…

Our Nature: We Are Who We Are

www.math.pitt.edu

www.math.pitt.edu

The sun came out the other day. It was such a happy event that thoughts of a lovely walk on the river path with my dogs came to mind. I grabbed the girls, a Gordon Setter and an English Cocker Spaniel, snapped on their leashes and stepped out with a smile on my face. That didn’t last long. I found myself getting increasingly annoyed by their antics. Some dogs may be content to walk placidly along side their human with just a delicate pause to sniff now and then. Not my girls. These dogs have hunting ancestors and so they take the lead and go back and forth, forth and back, with tails wagging and noses on high alert looking for birds. Occasionally a scent grabs them and they turn around and give me a shoulder dislocating yank in the opposite direction. I’m not looking for birds, I’m never going to blast anything, and I haven’t trained them to do this – it’s just their nature. I have trained them to heel but that takes focus and concentration which makes a walk more work than relaxation. So I find myself getting annoyed. But why? After all it’s just their nature. Continue reading…

Friendship: love and loss

lucyinthesky-lucys.blogspot.com

lucyinthesky-lucys.blogspot.com

I thought about calling my friend Sue today. I’m painting my living room and she always loves to talk about decorating. It’s been awhile since I’ve talked to her and I’m pretty sure she’d like this color. I’ve changed it from a Tuscan gold to a much lighter and brighter yellow, really just a hint of lemon. I know for sure she’d love the fabric I’ve found for the drapes. They’re a Hawaiian bark cloth and will complement the walls and the new red couch. I want to call her and share this with her. But then I remember all over again, I can’t call her. My dear friend of 34 years died some months ago and a place in my heart feels empty without her. Continue reading…

Scents and Sensitivities

howtobepleasant.blogspot.com

howtobepleasant.blogspot.com

Last weekend a friend and I went to an event which required sitting in bleachers with other people. We were chatting and enjoying ourselves as people sat down when suddenly I was hit with a tsunami of scent. Not a delicate whiff of cologne, I mean a full on assault on my senses that almost made my eyes water. Obviously the person wearing the cologne wasn’t suffering but I started considering a hazmat suit as a fashion choice. It was irritating to me but my friend suffers with migraines that can be triggered by scents. She considered calling the fire department to hose him down. Instead we moved. Are fragrances really an issue or were we just highly sensitive? And you may feel confident you’re not a scent scofflaw but are you sure? Continue reading…

Not my problem: Know when to let it go.

“And that’s my problem because… Oh, wait. No, it’s not my problem.” ~Nigel in the Devil Wears Prada

I don’t know when my need to take on every problem and make it my responsibility first started. It seems like forever ago but it’s as natural as breathing. It could be something as small as picking up a piece of trash or more ambitious like soothing the feelings of every human being I ever met. I worry about the grocery store cashier when it looks like she’s having a bad day. I walk quickly across the street so that I don’t delay the drivers that are waiting. I feel anxious when a friend makes choices that I know are going to bite her in the butt. I’m not sure when it started but it often leaves me totally exhausted or worse, silently stewing in  resentment. Continue reading…

To Sleep, perchance to . . .sleep damn it all.

northtexaskids.com

northtexaskids.com

I envy the sleep of children who can flop over the shoulder of a parent and stay in dreamland in spite of what’s going on around them. And what’s up with those teenagers who can stay in bed until 3:00 p.m. Alas, then comes middle age when sleep becomes a ritualized and tortured affair often involving appliances and special pillows. I have a dental appliance to prevent teeth grinding, a wrist brace for carpal tunnel, and a body pillow for back strain. Oh yeah, I’m a sexy gal when I hit the bed. And now I have to protect my night time ritual like the Secret Service protect the President. Oh wait, that’s not that great. I do better. I can’t have too much mental stimulation prior to bed so that means no computer or other electronic devices and no phone calls, texts, or tweets. It’s imperative I get my system to slow down in order to fall asleep. As a friend once said “if the sleep train leaves the station and I’m not on it, there’s not another one all night.” Continue reading…

New Year’s Resolutions: What are they good for?

“My New Year’s Resolution List usually starts with the desire to lose between ten and three thousand pounds.” Nia Vardalos

www.kitschy-kitschy-coo.com

www.kitschy-kitschy-coo.com

Here we are again – a new year. I have a long standing tradition on New Year’s Day which, surprisingly, doesn’t involve football or frenzied feeding. I like to spend the day in contemplation of the year just passed and the one looming ahead. I consider my physical health, financial status and life in general and yes, I make resolutions. About 45% of Americans do this so I’m in good company. Know what’s the number one resolution? To lose weight. But given that 69% of adults in America are overweight, which includes the 35% who are considered obese, looks like we’re not doing too well with that one. In fact, in the long run only 8% of us keep any of our resolutions. So should we even bother with resolutions?

Continue reading…

Naughty or Nice? I made a list and checked it twice.

www.giantbomb.com

www.giantbomb.com

It’ll soon be time to put out the milk and cookies for Santa. I’ve tried to be good this year so I’m feeling hopeful but in case he doesn’t show up I plan on eating those goodies myself. In the mean time I’ve made my own naughty and nice list. There were so many naughty possibilities I hardly knew where to start so I picked the top two most naughty heinous.

Continue reading…

Five Ways to Make Your Holidays Hellish

northdelawhere.happeningmag.com

northdelawhere.happeningmag.com

Turkey day is in the rear view mirror and you know what that means. We’ve entered the holiday zone. A surplus of shopping, sales, and Santas await. Time is moving at warp speed. Gifts need to be bought, cookies baked, cards mailed. But wait just a minute, does this make you happy? Do you enjoy this? If so, fabulous, tell the rest of us how you do it. But I can take a perfectly lovely holiday and make it hellish and I know there are others out there like me. In fact, over the years I’ve listened to many people describe their mistletoe misery and have distilled the most common reasons why the holidays become hellish. Continue reading…