Potty Singing and Happiness

One of the most powerful forces in human nature is our belief
that change is possible. ~ Shawn Achor

thThe Happiness Series

     I am limping into 2016 determined to make the year less crappy. We retired in 2007 and every year after has had a good deal of crappiness. This year I said, “Enough is enough!” and have declared this year, one of happiness.

     I started by watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday television program, hoping to be inspired and I was. The show is a mixture of interviews with and lectures by Spiritual Gurus designed to improve your life. It airs Sundays, on OWN.

     I was most taken by Shawn Achor who along with Elizabeth Gilbert author of “Eat Pray Love” has admitted to crying on the bathroom floor. Shawn has studied the Science of Happiness since his days at Harvard and talks about Positive Psychology and redefining Happiness. I was unaware that Happiness is a science, but what he said makes sense.

     The traditional formula, Hard Work = Success = Happiness, does not work because happiness is on the backside of success. We are always chasing the carrot because it is moved continually . Since 90% of happiness is derived from how the brain processes the world, we can train our brain to be happy just as we train our body to be strong, with exercise. The train your brain exercises he recommends are; a gratitude list, journal about what makes you happy, exercise, meditation, and random acts of kindness.

     You can watch his lecture on Super Soul Sunday or visit his website for particulars.

     While we have heard some of this before, Shawn supports the “Happiness Advantage” theory with findings. He found that people engaging in any of the activities for 21 consecutive days, were happier. In other words, happiness is a habit and good habits, like smiling, make a difference.

     Since writing make me happy, and writing about what makes you happy is on the list, I am introducing the Happiness Series, with “Striped Sweater.”

 

Striped Sweater

      Snow falls throughout the night into the early morning. Soft sugar like flakes that tickle your face then flutter gently to the ground, remind me of creating angels in the snow. We are snowbound. The roads are driveable but it is safer not to. The accumulation is six to seven inches and the air crisp.

     Our eleven-year-old granddaughter is playing computer games with Aunt Janine and doing handstands on the living room floor. The Christmas tree is still standing with scattered presents beneath the artificial branches.

     Alexandria Antonia resembles my side of the family: fair skin, freckles, hazel blue eyes, and her dad’s auburn brown hair. She will more than likely be tall.

     Alex, as she prefers to be called, sings throughout the day, off tune. Her voice is wonderful to hear. She sings, “Striped Sweater, a sweater with a stripe” a song she wrote. There are no other words just this simple refrain. Papa wears an old green sweater that inspired the catchy tune. She denies liking to sing and in between handstands excuses herself to use the potty.

      We then listen to her joyful rendition of Jingle Bells from behind a closed door.

      This is happiness.

. . . . just saying

 

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1984 Vs 2035

 259/365 Clock Work by martinak15 (CC BY 2.0)clockwork

Aging & Attitude

Happy New Year!

It is hard to believe it is 2015 but it is.

Mr. Wonderful* and I celebrated by eating at McDonald’s on the way home from Orlando International. We were hungry. We were away for sixteen days and that return flight was our best choice, besides New Year’s is not about fun; we are retired and have fun all the time. New Year’s is about making changes, anyway; it was a direct flight.

One of life’s challenges is change or to move forward, because there is no standing still and consequently we will go backwards or decline. This is evident with aging, and the realization none of us will escape wearing diapers and eating soft food. We can only hope to keep up with the changing world around us. Perhaps these thoughts are the cause of my recent dwelling on the novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell. You must recall the terms it made famous; Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2+2=5, and memory hole.

Reading the book as a sixteen year old scared the crap out of me. I could not imagine the year 1984, and doubted I would be alive to have Big Brother watch me. And if I were, would insist 2+2 equaled four and be convicted of thoughtcrimes .

It was 1964 and 1984 was twenty years away.

In 2015, I have the same predicament. I cannot imagine the world twenty years from now, and doubt I will be alive.

Not true! Senior Journal reports, “– Happy New Year! If you are age 65, and pretty much average, you should expect to live another 19.3 years, according to new life expectancy projections.”

Well I am pretty much average. In twenty years I will be eighty-seven and Mr. Wonderful eighty-six. Yes, I married a younger man. Our son will be sixty; daughter, fifty-eight and grandchildren in their thirties.

I am considering going vegan or at least eating blueberries for breakfast.

What will the world be like in twenty years? Will we get flying cars, personal robots and travel in space? Some people predict a Utopia existence free of pollution and poor health. Mandatory ID chips inserted in our brains will provide education and track our location so there will be no forgetting where you parked or left your keys. Right, we won’t need keys, nor be parking.

So now I am rethinking my New Year resolutions and changing my expectations. How important is losing five pounds?

 

. . . . just saying

*Mr. Wonderful aka, Bob, my husband

2014 Weight Loss Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

Polar Bear Plunge