Creating Happiness

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.jpg

Believe it or not, material possessions and other people do not make us happy.  Sure, buying something new can give you a little “lift” in spirits, if that’s the way you think you should be happy.  However, that lift never lasts, and then you’ve got to go out and get something new again.  It’s a never-ending proposition and one that certainly will not bring you lasting happiness.  The same holds true with collecting new people.  When you look outside yourself for happiness, you will always be disappointed.  Whatever lift you feel initially, will not last, and will often leave you feeling even more empty inside.

315143c05ca7d2ce9991436f5f6358a1

However, when we realize that the only happiness that lasts is the one we make ourselves, that is when we will truly be happy.  Happiness really is an inside event.  Only we can create our own happiness.  How can this be done?  First of all, you have to really know yourself.  You need to spend some quiet time with yourself, and find out what might make you happy.  Many times, unhappiness stems from not pursuing those things that really give meaning to our lives.  If you want to change your life, what’s stopping you?  Can you start small, and build from there?  We have an unlimited capacity to improve our own lives, even in just the tiniest ways, and happiness will stem from there, if only we try.

finding-your-happiness123

By working on ourselves we can create our own happiness, and from there, we can change the world.  How can our own happiness change the world?  By bringing happiness into the world, we bring kindness to others, creating a new compassion for others.  Your changes help transform the world you live in.  It’s a pond with ripples radiating out into the rest of the pond where it eventually hits the shore and continues on from there.

 

The Benefits of Walking

benefits of walking

While we all know that we should walk more, there are now even more reasons to do so.  In a study published one year ago in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2047487316655466  low aerobic capacity was associated with increased mortality rates.  In other words, if you don’t walk, you will die.  Of course, this study was conducted on middle aged men, however, as with other studies, one can assume that it will hold true for women as well, since other scientific studies do show corresponding factors for women.  To back this assumption, there is another study http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288042.php  completed with 340,000 male and female participants showing that 20 minutes of brisk walking per day was enough to decrease the chance of early death by 16% to 30%.

coolnsmart-373

However, there are benefits other than fitness and lower early mortality rates to consider when a person walks.  For one thing, anyone can go take a walk.  We don’t need fancy shoes, we can walk no matter what our fitness level is, and we can control how long and how difficult our walk is.  Just the very fact of getting outside does wonders for our mental health.  We can get some sun (not too much), breathe fresh air, and enjoy nature.  All these factors are a mental health boost.  Not only that, walking in our neighborhoods gives us a chance to interact with our neighbors, boosting our sense of community.

19f38df974160771f69ac9be78609c11--the-great-outdoors-walk-in

I go for a daily walk, and I find that it really helps me to be outside and getting some much needed exercise.  I love the boost walking gives me, and of course being in nature is so important to my own mental health.  Do you go for a daily walk?  Where are your favorite walks?  Do you prefer your own neighborhood or do you go to a park or a walking trail?  Have you felt the benefits of walking in your own life?  Let me know in the comments below.

ministry_silly_walks

And of course, don’t forget to perfect your silly walk!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp-2017-Participant-Profile-Photo

This month, I’m going to be attempting the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m trying, once again, to finish my short chapter book for a little boy I know.  It feels like I’ve been working on this forever (mostly because I have).  But, I really want to get this done and move onto other projects.

234d4f21e48da0a047062556c3f2bee2

Writing can often be the most difficult thing to do.  There are so many things that sound great in my head, but once I get them down on paper I find that they’re not that great at all.  Also, it’s so easy to be distracted.  Ever since I stopped going to the library to write, my progress has slowed down to – no progress.  I’d like to go back to the library; however, I don’t feel that I should leave my elderly dog on her own.  There would be no one here if she needs help, and of course I just can’t do that to her.  I just have to learn how to not get distracted by things.

a55e5a4274c1cd4f1bb81025dd95b2a1

Is anyone else attempting Camp NaNoWriMo?  Let me know how it’s going for you.  Maybe we can  commiserate – or more hopefully, celebrate together.

An Empty Nest

My contemporaries often talk about their grown children moving back home after college due to the job market and low pay.  However, I’ve never had an “empty nest”.  My son chose to work instead of going to college, and now he has a great career where he actually earns quite a bit of money.  He however, has told us that he plans to never move out.  But, at the ripe old age of twenty-six, it’s more than time for him to leave.  Make no mistake, I love him dearly, however, he really needs to get out and live life on his own.

Ah, what a rant!  Our daughter is another story.  She’s stayed at home to go to college on-line, and will be graduating in August.  She helps with the housework, cooks dinner sometimes, and is usually quite sweet.  We have no drama, etc. with her.  She works by babysitting, dog-walking and creates content for a web-site related to her area of studies. Her plan is to stay at home for a year after graduation, and then hopefully go to graduate school in the U.K.   She would love to move out, but needs to save as much money as she can.

With all this, I must admit that I’m dreaming of a house of my own.  A little french country cottage or a hobbit house would be just wonderful.  Think of all the peace and quiet!  Family, you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them!

 

Parenting manual.

‘Twas the Day After Christmas

 41383-original-3492

I don’t know about you, but I seem to simply wear myself out over Christmas.  First of all, I worry mightily over the gifts that I’ve bought.  Will they be “good” enough?  Did I spend fairly?  How will they like them?  Were they the “right” thing?  The list goes on and on.  Can I afford all the gifts that I bought?

08398aad0b7098ac5ab261be86b1c465

Not only did I have all the gift worries this year, but I also had the most difficult time making the pie.  I always make the pie and the sweet potatoes the day before, since there is all the gift opening, breakfast making and wrapping paper cleaning to do on Christmas, not to mention the three different dinners I had to make this year.  My pie crust rolled out exceedingly dry – I had no idea how it would bake.  However, that worked out well, and it ended up being quite flaky – which is how we all like it.  This of course, just added to my list of worries until we finally ate it last night (in lieu of supper).  It turned out fine, of course.

stylowi_pl_wnetrza_pierwsza-gwiazdka_28668838

So, on to today, the “day after”.  I’m exhausted, emotionally depleted, and in need of a vacation.  Is this how you feel?  I tell you, thank goodness Christmas is only once a year.  I don’t think I’d survive more than one day.  I hope that you had a wonderful day with your loved ones.  All in all, it’s more than worth the emotional aftermath.  Don’t you think so?

Breaking my Schedule

5693690

I’ve been going to the library every Saturday for a while now.  It’s been great.  I get there at 10 and leave at 5 when they tell me I have to.  I’ve been thrilled with the amount of writing that has been going on during these highly productive Saturdays.

img_2699

So pretty, that snow!

But then, along came the snow, sleet and rain this past Saturday, and my productivity went completely down the drain, since my precious library was closed.  I only wrote two posts, and didn’t get any other writing done.  I had to deal with my family, my dogs and everything else that doesn’t fit into the library equation.  It sucked, and so did I.  My mood plummeted from mere annoyance into downright grumpiness.  It didn’t help that my husband was watching Netflix at top volume in the living room, which is right under my bedroom where I write, either.  Even with my earbuds in, and listening to music for writing and concentration, I could still hear every word said.  Since he gets angry if someone says anything to him about the volume, I had to just suck it up and deal with it.

1087845

I hadn’t realized how essential these Saturdays were to my mental health, writing and overall well-being until I was unable to go.  I look forward to them every week.  I love to have a quiet day to myself, and I really rely on the productivity of the day.  This coming Saturday I’ll be home, baking a pie and getting ready for all the festivities of the season.  I’m looking forward to going back to my Saturdays at the library once 2017 is here!

Winning NaNoWriMo & Goal Setting

img_2626

I know I’m a little late to the party (what else is new), but I wanted to share that I won NaNoWriMo this year.  Yes, in my own little way I wrote over 50,000 words last month.  I didn’t finish everything that I wanted to, but such is life.  I did however, get down things that had been rattling around in my brain for quite a while.

shutterstock_130119419-1200x630

When I finished this goal a few days early, I thought that this is what I need to do to keep on writing.  So, I’ve come up with a new, more achievable goal for every new month to come.  I’ve decided to write 5.000 words per week.  I’m not going to state that those words must be on just one project, because frankly, sometimes I tend to get stuck on one thing, but still have ideas on something else.  So, I will just include all the words that I write, whether it’s a Haiku, short story, editing, posts, or my children’s book, I’m going to count all of those words.   Writing is writing is writing.

1e79dc738cd17cf2dc344e26e75c2b19