Wednesday, December 29, 2010

After you make those New Year's resolutions

If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run. John Bingham, Runner & author

I love this quote. It speaks to how I feel about running and about so many other things. Which diet plan to choose? Which running shoes should I wear? Which health club do I join? Should I take a dance class or a yoga class? Is it better to tell my kid I love him or spend more time doing things with him? We’re often so caught up in doing the right thing, making the best choice or having the right clothes and equipment that we’re paralyzed and do nothing.

So when you make your New Year’s resolutions keep this secret in mind; it doesn’t matter. That’s right. All you have to do is make a change. No rules.  It doesn't have to be the best.  Just do something (or stop doing something).  Stop drinking soda. Stop having dessert. Cut out whites (that’s foods, not t-shirts). Walk 15 minutes a day. Take a yoga class. Run a mile 3 times a week. Tell your kid you love them once a day. Call your mom once a week. Start writing in your journal.

Whatever your resolution, work on making small changes, or one small change. If you forget to do it one day, just do it the next. Keep building on the small changes you’ve made and, before you know it, you’re a runner, yogi, writer or better parent.

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. Ansel Adams

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reduce Holiday Stress. Re-gift

I am surrounded by people stressing about the holidays. At the office, at the mall (where I went mistakenly thinking picking up a few items was going to be a slam dunk), in restaurants, everywhere. Never one to stand on ceremony, I’m going full disclosure; I have taken some of these suggestions from a recently penned post-divorce blog. It’s kind of like re-gifting, which is a perfectly acceptable stress reducer as long as it’s done unobtrusively. Manage holiday stress with a few changes.

*Acceptance is golden. Last year things didn’t go perfectly well, and they won’t this year. Accept that truth. Aunt Sally didn’t like her sweater (next time get her a gift card) and your dad complained about the turkey. It’s okay to do the best you can. It’s good enough because it has to be. If you and your brother didn’t get along well before, you’re not going to get along better now just because another year has passed. If the kids argue normally, they’re going to argue even though it’s the holidays.

*Money can’t buy you love. In the present economy, most of us just don’t have as much as before. The kids can do with less. Either they’re old enough to understand or too young to care about exactly how much money you spent. Your friends will understand if you don’t have as much to give as you did before.

*Be helpful. Volunteering to serve a holiday dinner to people in need is a fulfilling experience and one that can make even the most stressful holiday warmer and more upbeat. If you can’t serve, considering giving food or money.

*Be thankful. It’s the end of a year and the beginning of another, so be thankful for what you do have. What a great time to start a gratitude journal or a gratitude book for the whole family. And speaking of gifts, gratitude letters are great gifts. So are personalized cards expressing thanks to friends and family for specific things. And so are photo books and other handmade or made-to-order personalized gifts that are not too expensive.

*Be social. Although we don’t always get along with our loved ones, even for the most diehard introverts, holidays are tough alone. If need be, invite yourself someplace. Friends and colleagues are usually more than happy to make room for one or two more.

Happy holidays! Thanks for reading my blog, and feel free to re-gift me anytime.

Say you don't need no diamond ring and I'll be satisfied
Tell me that you want the kind of thing that money just can't buy
I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love.
The Beatles. Can’t Buy Me Love.