Monday, December 31, 2012

Expect More In 2013

Yes, let's expect more from others and more of ourselves. Those people we elected to office? I expect them to stop creating false crises. You know, the "cliffs" we're gonna "fall off" of. The "debt ceilings" the media goes nuts about.  Only to resolve it, and move on to the next crisis. Stop it! Or next time your going to be out of office. I've already started changing the TV channel when they go overboard with this.  I'm going to expect more.

Also people that I pay.  I need to get the service, the courtesy, and dang it, I'm also looking for a smile.  Or else you're not getting my money.  I'm done.  If your partner is being mean, your kids are being rude, or your neighbor (or coworker) is not being nice.  Don't talk to them.  See if that makes a difference. Let them know you expect more from them.

And let's expect more of ourselves in 2013.  More patience. More tolerance. More compassion. Expect more happiness. Don't settle for less than you deserve. You do deserve more than you usually get.  Expect more.

Expect that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.  Don't limit yourself, nor allow others to limit you.  Expect 2013 to be a happier, more fun, more peaceful, and more productive year.  It will likely take more work on our part.  But what do you expect?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I talk (and write) a lot about managing stress. And by now you know the reason for that, which is that it can contribute to problems with health, relationships, and just about any other aspect of your life. I think that a lot of people are not as prepared as they should be for the stress that comes with the holidays. I want to help with that. I do love these holidays for a lot of reasons, mainly because it's an opportunity to celebrate. But we are all affected by the stress that can accompany the "good time." Thanksgiving for example. A time for us to "give thanks". If you are unhappy in your life, the holiday can tend to emphasize that there seems to be very little to be thankful for. Christmas too. Everyone's supposed to be happy, sing songs, and give gifts. Aside from the annoying over-commercialization of the holiday, if things are not going your way its hard to feel the Spirit. So, the answer is to take these holidays as an opportunity to escape reality (which I rarely suggest), and enjoy.

I know, easier said than done. Let me talk more about some of the specific stresses of the holidays, and make some suggestions about how to handle them. For example, a big issue for some people is getting together with family to "celebrate." Somehow these gatherings become a time to relive some of the old family drama. Not fun to look forward to, and not fun to live through. You've got to have some kind of family truce for the holiday. Plan this before hand, because once in action, the family "forces" are sometimes too strong to resist. Just be aware if the conversation starts heading towards a sensitive topic, change the subject; or take that time to go get yourself some cider. All you can really do is control your role in it.

You may not have the opportunity to avoid holiday family scuffles because you don't have any family around. Find friends to spend the time with. Do something fun! Another stressful situation that some people deal with is spending these holidays without a loved one who's been lost. Holiday times tend to trigger memories of family celebrations, and emphasize the absence of someone you spent past holidays with. Try not to focus on their absence (though it makes sense to acknowledge the sadness, but not to dwell on it), but focus more on the enjoyable memory. Use old photos to stir up those memories. Smile. The idea is to take these opportunities to be happy about family and friends. Give Thanks even.... 

Take this time to be more tolerant of people, more forgiving, less angry. Stress tends to make people less patient and tolerant.  Be mindful of this, and actively work to maintain your inner peace.  This will help relieve your stress in a big way. Whatever your religious or non-religious persuasion this is a good time to focus on the positive aspects of the Season, and live the Spirit.