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Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Maybe you read my post on the importance of shifting perspective for happiness. I experienced the happiness that the shift provides last week while traveling in Costa Rica with my 7-year-old daughter.

2018-07-19 10.06.32

Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica

One day, we went to a beautiful beach. The water was a clear blue, the sand was soft, the waves were gentle enough for relaxing but also strong enough for a little low-key body surfing. It was a perfect beach, in my opinion.

The next day, we went to a different beach. The water was murky, and the beach had lots of broken shells and rocks. Under the water – where we were trying to swim and enjoy the waves — they sand was littered with rough lava rocks that were scratching my feet knees. And the waves were not at all gentle. I said to my daughter that I didn’t like this beach as much as the other beach for all these reasons. She said, “Yeah, it’s not as good, but let’s make the best of it.” Oh, the wisdom of a child!

So we did. And it was really fun! We couldn’t body surf without fear of being driven into the under water rocks, but we could dive into and jump over the big waves. We had to be careful not to hurt our feet walking on the sharp broken rocks and shells on the beach, but we found several little hermit crabs among all those shells.

I am happy someone is listening to the things I say — my 7-year-old. Thanks, sweetie!

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I have a seven-year-old daughter. And while she is quite joyful, she’s also has a “glass half empty” personality. She could play 8 hours all day with her friends having the best time EVER, yet when it’s time to go home, she forgets all of it and it’s suddenly to worst day of her life!

I’m helping her learn to focus on the good, to shift her perspective. I have experience with this shift because I had to learn it myself. I tell her that her life will be much better, more enjoyable, and much less difficult if she can learn to switch her perspective.

I had to listen to my own advice today. It rained today, for a total of about 30 minutes. That’s all the rain forecasted for the entire day, and the sun is coming out as I write. I went for a run today, which took me 23 minutes. My 23 minute run was smack dab in the middle of the 30 minutes of rain.

So I DECIDED to look at it from a positive perspective. I could hcomplained. I could have decided not to run. But instead, I said: this is the reality. And I can do this even though this is not the reality I thought I wanted. So I ran in the pouring rain. And it was lovely. Seriously. It has been so hot and humid. The rain was like a cool shower for my entire run. Who knew I would enjoy running in the rain.

So I learned something by accepting reality. I experienced something new and I enjoyed it. It was a little thing today, but if I can take this knowledge with me when I face a bigger and more serious challenge, I might have a bigger positive experience and learn something even bigger!

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I was sitting down to write and a friend’s Instragram post popped up. It read:

LOG OUT

SHUT DOWN

DO YOGA

So I am. Maybe you can do the same. And I’ll be back here soon with more to say.

Take care of yourself! Xo

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My dad sent me a quote in a note in the mail. It read “Time that you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” I like that. I often,have a hars time taking the time to do things that aren’t “productive,” like watching a movie. Two hours of time, I think. What else could I do with that time. But my dad makea a great point: it’s okay to take time to do things simply because we enjoy them.

What will you do with your time today?

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NOTE: I am adding one new item to this list every day (so far) rather than creating a new post for each item. Check back daily if you are interested in my list!

My friends are I were out for our New Year’s Eve celebration and were discussing how important it is to be grateful. Actually, studies have shown that people who are grateful are much happier. Our discussion reminded me of my days in college when my friend Vanessa and I would send our grateful thoughts to each other via a daily email. So I thought I would do that again, except here at my blog. And I thought I would do one per day. Maybe it will inspire you to think about what you are grateful for. Here goes:

Cup of Coffee18. I am grateful for coffee — again. I know, I’ve said this before — two or three times, actually. But with a toddler and all her different sleep pattern “phases,” I continue to be grateful for this periodically. Teething is making things more difficult these days. One thing I have learned over the last 16+ months; everything is a phase. The difficult times pass. So do the good times, unfortunately. The circle — or cycle — of life, I suppose.

17. I am grateful for NPR. Without it, I feel like I would never know what is going on in the world!

16. I am grateful for my dogs who are learning patience for a toddler even though they would rather not learn that lesson.

15. I am grateful for the opportunity to read my author friend’s new novel-in-progress. It is such an amazing experience to see a work of art as it is being created and to — maybe — help with the process.

14. I am grateful for the pitter-patter of little bare feet running around the house on a nice, warm winter day in Connecticut. Music to my ears!

Infant Grasping Mother's Finger13. I am grateful for little hands that pat me on the back.

12. I am grateful for Tylenol to help a baby who is getting four teeth at the same time.

11. I am grateful that spring is right around the corner. Our winter has been very mild, but I am still looking forward to spring, and then summer!

10. I am grateful for our heat as it is getting cold again outside.

9. I am grateful for bubbles; they provide much entertainment for a toddler.

8. I am grateful that my daughter wants to kick a soccer ballwhilewearing a hot pink tutu! Girls rock!

7. I am grateful for the organizations that are here to help lawyers.

6. I am grateful for old friends.

5. I am grateful for the sunshine.

4. I am grateful for all the hand-me-down toys that we get. All in good condition and Sarah loves them all! So nice. Thank you!

Sherman Library3. I am grateful that Shermanites voted down the move in Town to rescind the money for the library to expand. Moving forward as promised was the right thing to do, and I am grateful that a large majority of citizen who voted recognized this.

2. I am grateful that my back is not bothering me these days. It is easy to take it for granted — even when it was horrible when it was a problem — when you don’t have to deal with it anymore.

March 1. I am grateful for opportunities. Sometimes it stresses me out because I feel like there are so many great opportunities that I’d like to take advantage of, but I just don’t have enough time to take them all. Still, I’d rather have more than enough than not enough.

29. I am grateful my husband was home for our snow storm. Even though it was only 3-4 inches, it meant I didn’t need to shovel! Thanks, honey.

28. I am grateful that my husband finally painted our guest bedroom. One more thing to check off on the looooong list of things to do for the house to be complete (which it never will be, I realize).

27. I am grateful for all the hand-me-down clothes that we routinely get from our friends. They are all so nice! Thank you!

26. I am grateful for all the words that my daughter is learning to say: mama, daddy, Eh-dee (for Emily, our dog), Antha (for Samantha, our other dog), hi, huh (for hug), dye (for bye), da (for dog), mow (for cat), el-t (for elephant), jus (for juice), bo (for snow), moon, heh (for head), oh-hay (for okay), no (that one is particularly clear), jes (for yes), apple, bubble, ball, duck, Elmo, Da-ou (for Caillou), book, eye, nose, Eye-t (for Violet), Hop (for Hop on Pop), I id it (for I did it), I id (for I do), ick (for kick), and a bunch more! She is so awesome!

25. I am grateful for my many good friends who are excellent cooks (thanks Jen and Ellen!) and invite us to dinner at their houses.

24. I am grateful that I have good teeth (so far, in part because I FLOSS) so my visit to the dentist is almost always short and not painful (knock on wood).

23. I am grateful Sarah has some nice, little friends already that she can play with at the park.

22. I am grateful that we have health insurance. I am not sick, but I do need to go to the doctor periodically. Our insurance is expensive, but I am glad that we have it. Not everyone is so fortunate. Not everyone is able to go to the doctor when sick. Not everyone is able to get check-ups and other preventive care. I am grateful that I am able to do all those things.

Green Granary logo21. I am grateful that I get to eat lunch out at yummy places like The Green Granary in New Milford, CT. Locally-sourced, mostly organic food that is always delicious.

20. I am grateful for a really comfy bed.

19. I am grateful for massage. I had an hour long massage today; much needed after too many nights sleeping in the glider in the nursery.

18. I am grateful for my writers’ group. It is so great to meet with everyone and see what everyone is working on and have the opportunity to have my worked critiqued. Word Weavers Rocks!

17. I am grateful that we are having a “southern winter” here in the Northeast! I grew up in Mississippi and this winter is like the ones we have there. Much better, as far as I am concerned.

16. I am grateful for an IT person’s ability to remotely access my computer so we don’t need to go through the talk-the-lay-person-through-IT-issues over the phone and my computer just works like it is supposed to work.

15. I am grateful for our IGA, our local grocery store. We live in a rural community, at least 15 minutes from everywhere. Without the IGA, running out to get a few things would be a much bigger deal.

chocolate chips14. I AM GRATEFUL FOR CHOCOLATE, particularly because it pairs so well with one of my other loves: coffee.

13. I am grateful for my daughter’s hugs. Sometimes, out of nowhere, she’ll just say “huh?” and walk over to me with little outstretched arms. And give me the most wonderful hug for no reason other than she wanted a hug with her mommy. I love those precious hugs from my 16-month-old sweetie!

12. I am grateful for my and my daughter’s healthy immune systems. We had a nasty stomach virus for the last four days and I am so glad that we are on the mend. Not everyone is so lucky to be able to fight off viruses and other sickness.

11. I am grateful that my parents treat me like an adult and not a child. It makes my life much easier.

10. I am grateful to have wonderful mommy-friends who have toddlers around the same age as my daughter.

9. I am grateful for ginger ale and cold water and tylenol. Yucky stomach virus is making me feel so crappy. And little Sarah too. Poor little girl.

8. I am grateful my husband is home from work tonight in time to help take care of the baby while she and I are sick with this yucky stomach virus.

6. I am grateful that I have a wonderful daughter who makes every day better and more fun!

5. I am grateful for Eli Manning! Hotty Totty! Go Giants!

4. I am grateful that the people around me who are suffering such tremendous losses right now have inner strength and outer support systems.

3. I am grateful for Girls’ Night Out with my awesome, fun, and funny girlfriends!

2. I am grateful for smart phones. Really, I would be lost without my Droid, and I wouldn’t get nearly as much accomplished.

Feb. 1. I am grateful for 60 degree winter days in CT this year. Very different than this time last year. At least this year I don’t feel like I must move to FL asap!

31. I am grateful for chocolate chip cookies. Do I need to say anything else?! Everything in moderation.

My dogs30. I am grateful for dogs (mine in particular, but dogs in general). I was sitting in the park today watching a man and his dog play – fetch, chase, heel, sit, stay. They were both having a great time. So simple, so sweet, so nice.

29. I am grateful for violins. I love the music made with that instrument. It can be lively and fun or sorrowful. I took my baby girl to her first symphony today and was reminded of how much I love violins.

28. I am grateful that it did not rain again today. We needed something a little less dreary today. It was nice to see the sun peaking through; it looked like hope.

27. See my post, A very sad day, for this day’s list.

26. I am grateful that the Danbury Fair Mall has a carousel and indoor play area where we can go to have some fun when it is cold and rainy here.

25. I am grateful for Rraci’s restaurant in Brewster, NY. If you live in the area, it is the best Italian food around and the service is excellent. We celebrated my husband’s birthday there today. Lobster ravioli was delicious!

24. I am grateful for the wireless Sony headphones that I got my husband for Christmas for the TV. Now he can watch “shoot-em-up” movies while I tap-tap-away at my computer and the baby sleeps. I can concentrate, the baby can continue sleeping, and John can hear the guns and the dialogue. Happy family.

23. I am grateful for indoor plumbing. Simple but true. Thinking back to our hurricane and early winter storm and remembering not having running water, not being able to shower or wash hands, or even flush the toilet. My parents grew up without indoor plumbing. I cannot imagine what it was like to have to get up in the middle of the night and go down the hill to the outhouse in the dark in the middle of winter! So, I am grateful for indoor plumbing!

Sarah & Me22. I am grateful that my daughter is 15 months old today and continues to amaze me. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to see her learn and grow and become a confident little being. It is one of my favorite parts of mothering: seeing Sarah learn new things and how excited she gets when she accomplishes something new.  If we could all remember to be so excited about such “little” things in our lives!

21. I am grateful for wi-fi and a laptop. I really enjoy being able to sit wherever I like while I work at my computer and being able to move about as well.

20. I am grateful that the people that work in the childcare at the gym are actually really great!

19. I am grateful for our propane fireplace that turns on with a remote control and has a blower to help heat things up during a cold CT winter.

18. I am grateful for WordPress. I am happy that I am able to share knowledge, stories, anecdotes, and hopefully helpful information with so many people at one time. Thanks WordPress for making it simple and effective!

17. I am grateful for a boatload of resources available to new solo practice attorneys. I am not new to the law, but I am new to the practice as a solo, so lots of great resources are very important.

Mommy & Me Yoga

16. I am grateful for my mommy & me yoga class every Monday. It helps keep me healthy and somewhat relaxed (for a person who is not good at relaxing). Because the class is with the babies, I cannot totally focus on yoga and breath like my pre-baby yoga classes, but it is still a wonderful (and necessary) class that I enjoy with my fellow yogi’s and yogini’s.

15. I am grateful for my baby girl’s mostly happy personality. She is a joy every day, and almost all the time. She has her moments, like everyone, but overwhelmingly, she is happy and curious and fun!

14. I am grateful for good friends and great laughs with them.

13. I am grateful for coffee. I know I already said I was grateful for coffee a few days ago, but today it is really just being grateful for the caffeine. Two nights in a row with very little sleep and the caffeine makes me human notwithstanding the lack of sleep so that I can have a somewhat productive day.

12. I am grateful that I no longer commute into NYC every day. I enjoyed my time there today, but I am happy I am not there 5 days a week.

11. I am grateful for our little town’s walking track and park. It makes it so much easier to get outside, get some exercise, and have fun as a family!

10. I am grateful for sunny days. They are motivating!

9. I am grateful for a helpful husband.

8. I am grateful that we have the means to have healthy and delicious food in our home at all times. Not everyone is so fortunate.

7. I am grateful for coffee, particularly good coffee, though I will drink bad coffee too. I actually love coffee. I keep my daily consumption reasonable (no more than 24 ounces) so the caffeine makes my day much better.

6. I am grateful for my parents who raised me to be strong and believe in myself, that if I want to do something, then just figure out how and then do it.

5. I am grateful for a warm house on a cold night with hot water for a lovely shower.

4. I am grateful for my babysitter Ashley who is reliable, calm, sweet, and available. And she cleans house too! Most importantly, Sarah has fun with her and feels safe.

3. I am grateful for hair color; I may have a few (0r more) gray hairs, but I’ll never have to know it!

image

2. I am grateful that I am able to stay home with my precious baby girl. She is the most interesting person I know and I don’t want to miss any moments with her.

Jan. 1. I am grateful that my husband, daughter, and I are healthy.

For what are you grateful?

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I planned to post about stress management today, but nothing inspirational was coming to me and I couldn’t find anything particularly interesting on the subject that I wanted to share with you. Fortunately, as I was looking for good information for a post about stress management, I visited An Associate’s Mind (on my blogroll) and saw a post entitled “Perfection is an Illusion, There is Only Process.” This caught my attention.

perfect blocksI tend toward perfectionism, and many of the people in my daily life are more perfectionistic (is that a word?) than I am. Since having a baby about a year and a half ago, my perfection attitude has slowly diminished as I realize — sometimes to my dismay and disappointment — that I cannot achieve the perfection that I once thought was possible. So I thought I would share this post with you. Keith Lee, the blogger at An Associate’s Mind, writes the following:

I noticed a post over at Bnet recently entitled “Perfectionism is a Disease.” It offers three tips to ward off Perfectionism:

1. Allow yourself to be wrong in front of others.

We learn by making mistakes. The only way we understand ourselves is to test our limits. If we don’t want anyone to know we make mistakes, which is how perfectionists tend to behave, we are actually hiding our true selves.

2. Be a hard worker rather than a perfectionist.

Smart people cut corners. The art of being a star performer is knowing which corners to cut. Focus on your goals, and be honest with yourself about whether your goals require perfectionism along the way. A lot of times perfectionism is a way to avoid focusing on goals. Real goals, after all, almost always require a little bit of luck and assistance along the way — factors the perfectionists tend to dismiss.

3. Spend your energy making yourself likable.

Tiziana Casciaro reports in the Harvard Business Review that people are not all that interested in you being super-good at your job. They care if they like you. And, Casciaro found that if someone does not like you, he or she will decide you’re incompetent whether you are or not.

Read the full post here.

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Time and money balanceIf you are like me, you are constantly trying to find that ever elusive BALANCE in your life. That (apparently unattainable) place where you are able to spread your time and talents across all parts of your life and take care of yourself, eveyone you love, be a great person, and never feel like your TO-DO list is longer than a piece of paper stretching around the world four times! One thing I have learned — especially since becoming a mother — is this: if I want to get closer to balance (and not feel overwhelmed), then I need help.

Of course, asking for help is not part of my DNA. I have to work at it. Sometimes it doesn’t even occur to me that I could ask for help. I could spend lots of time trying to figure out a way to fit just 30 more minutes of productive time into my day, rearranging my schedule, staying up later, skipping the gym, or many other unfruitful ways to make 24 hours into 24.5 hours. But how about this?

Instead of trying to figure out how you can do even more, how about trying to figure out who can help you so that you don’t need to do more?!

For example, who can I ask (or pay) to:

  • clean the house
  • do my shopping
  • watch the baby
  • do my administrative tasks
  • organize my closet
  • cook dinners
  • pick up dry cleaning
  • walk the dogs

These are just some of the things that I could use help with. I could ask my husband, babysitter, friends, and neighbors to help. I could pay them, or barter. Or I could hire someone who does these things for a living, like  a cook or virtual secretary or dog walker. Get creative!

What can you use help with, and who can help you?

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