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Archive for August, 2007

Life is good because you don’t have a toothache. (At least I sure hope you don’t.) My husband has been in agonizing, foot-stomping, pull-your-hair-out-by-the-roots pain since around 1:00 am last night. Right now I’m EXCEEDINGLY GRATEFUL that I’m not him. He woke me up so I could try to find some remedy, of any sort, that could numb or at least dim the shockwaves of white-hot pain in his mouth. After about 2 hours of trial and error, failure and tears, the pain subsided enough for him to at least lie still and rest.

This morning we have been searching in desperation for an emergency appointment. I finally got one for 2pm today – praise God! It’s a holiday weekend you know – the most terror-inducing and horrifying idea someone with severe tooth pain could imagine. So keep your fingers crossed for him, and count your blessings, because life could be WAY worse for you today, WAY, WAY worse.

At least it’s not snowing!

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It seems like there are so many people that say “I don’t have time for fun, I have work to do.” Or, “Why worry about having fun? I have too many other things to worry about.” The reason you need to have more fun in your life should be obvious, but to many it’s not. Fun means letting your hair down, relaxing. It means letting go of your problems and worries for a short time. It means healing.

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It might seem scary at first, but when you let go of your problems, even for a short while, they will seem less intense. If while you stop worrying you also take time to have a good laugh – maybe playing with your dog, reading a story to your child, reading a book, or heck even eating some potato chips. (Ok, potato chips may not be most people’s idea of a good time, but sometimes when you’re really stressed that comfort food really helps.)

Playtime (or relaxation) gives you time to adjust, time for contemplation. For the same reason that so many people get their best ideas in the shower – when your brain is not focused on one thing in particular it’s free to wander where it will, sometimes bringing new insight and understanding with it.

Even if you don’t get any sudden awareness or your problems don’t magically go away, it’ll give you perspective. Sometimes, on a really bad problem, the perspective may be “Hey, I’m still alive,” or “At least I still have a job to pay those car repair bills.” Little things yes, but when problems seem enormous the little things can help make them seem more manageable.

The easiest way to do this is to make a list. Write down at least 30 things you enjoy. Shoot for 100 things, anything at all, but try to at least get 30. Then put the list somewhere you can see it, and give yourself a month to do at least one of those things every day. If you’re not used to having fun, it may seem like yet another chore, something else you HAVE to do. It should be enjoyable from the first time you try it.

If going to see a new movie is too time-consuming for you now, try calling a friend, signing up for a daily joke email, or even eating an ice cream cone. If you can’t read a whole book, get a daily quote book or just read the comics in the newspaper. Start small, but make sure it’s something you enjoy doing. That will help you stick to it more often.

As a last encouragement, recognize it does take time. I’m still far from my own goal, but for at least the past 5-6 years I’ve been learning and growing. I recover more quickly from emotional upset, I laugh more often, and I notice things that make me happy more than I used to, which lets me repeat them again and again. So go have a little fun today!

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Who doesn’t need help with getting rid bad feelings like resentment, anger, guilt or just feeling blue? Check out these 7 pointers to lift a bad mood or blast away bad moods ideas for help.

If you need more ideas, here are some unique techniques; defacing pictures of the week’s worst political screw-up, hiding your dog’s favorite toy under an upside-down laundry hamper and watching while she circles, sniffs and whines until you give in. Tying your husband’s shoes together, adding a funky temporary tattoo somewhere (use your imagination), and sending junk mail you’ve received to a business that gave you terrible service. Let me know your suggestions.

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I just read some great articles about loosening up and living a more relaxed life at a fabulous web site Escape Adulthood. In one of the articles – 8 ways to prevent a cardiac event they talk about the cost in dollars and health care of dealing with a cardiac event. What better reason to laugh, play, and have fun than for your health? We can all need to put fun and laughter at the top of our to-do list.

If you don’t believe that laughter helps your heart, here’s a look at another article can a laugh a day keep the hear attack away. Lastly here’s some technical mumbo-jumbo about the effects of laughter and humor on your health in therapeutic benefits of laughter. I don’t know what it all means, but it sure sounds impressive.

Also, check out this funny video by Mike Kerr to see just how you may look and act when you get too stressed out. If this doesn’t help you to change I don’t know what will. Now go have some fun!

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Too many people say TV is bad for you, that it leads to inactivity and encourages obesity. Some say that it rots the mind of young and old alike. I disagree. I love TV! I’m sure many of you do as well. Although your reasons for liking TV may be different from mine, I’ll give you just a few examples of why I believe TV is good for you.

  1. Family issues. Some of the reality shows I enjoy watching teach peace and tranquility in the home and help address relationship issues with your spouse and children. Two of my favorites in this area are Shalom in the Home and Nanny 911. As a bonus, even if the shows don’t teach you anything specific, it’ll make you feel better that your family isn’t all that bad!
  2. Crazy jobs. I enjoy shows that have unusual jobs and make my dull or boring job seem much more tolerable than usual. Favorites are Ice Road Truckers, Deadliest Catch and Dirty Jobs. If you haven’t seen any of these check them out, and then let me know if it doesn’t make your job seem like a cake-walk. (At least for the next week or so.)
  3. Stress relief. No matter what shows you like; cartoons, sitcoms, or even laughing at the fools on Jackass, watching shows that you find funny helps you relieve tension. One benefit is that when you laugh your muscles relax making you feel less stiff and sore. Some of my favorites are Spongebob Squarepants, The Office, My Name is Earl and Ninja Warrior.
  4. Home Improvement. Still need a reason to watch TV? How about watching some of the popular home improvement shows. Whether you need organization, decorating tips, or a fix for a leaking faucet, these shows will help guide you into improving your home and putting more order into your life. Who couldn’t use that? Try Decorating Cents, Sell This House, and Flip This House.

So just remember this the next time someone nags you about watching too much TV. Let them know you’re not loafing – you’re improving your life! You can tell them I said so.

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In light of recent news that Owen Wilson, the Hollywood actor/comedian who allegedly attempted suicide, I began to wonder about depression and how to spot it in friends or family. I’d like to use this as an opportunity to be more aware of those around us, and to motivate us all to give an extra hug or smile. To do some small thing to let those we care about know we love them.

It seems that not all depression may be recognized through classic symptoms like withdrawal, fatigue or heightened emotional levels of sadness and anxiety. It’s interesting to note that former comedians like John Belushi, Phil Hartman, and Chris Farley had problems in life that some believe were linked to their depression. At the same time it seemed that friends and family felt that because their loved ones were so happy and playful that nothing was wrong.

I’ve been surprised in the past that many former comedians have suffered from drug and alcohol abuse, suicide attempts and other problems. I think many people, including myself, see these people as funny, smiling and always happy. If we have friends and family that are this way, we may miss signs that something is wrong. Perhaps we will brush off our uneasiness by thinking that they are having a bad day, maybe they are tired or overworked.

Here is a web site with a list of comedians that suffer or have suffered from depression. I was surprised by the list. http://depression.about.com/od/famous/Famous_People_With_Depression.htm

Even if everyone you know seems fine, you may want to reach out to someone to let them know you love them. There’s no time like the present! I’ve hardly ever regretted sharing a kindness or doing something for a friend, but there have been many times I have regretted NOT doing it. Let’s take some hope from a possible tragic event and turn it into a positive. To help you get started here are some great web sites with tips on just that. Now go give your loved one a hug!
http://www.unt.edu/recsports/pdf/star_chart/steps_to_compliment.pdf
70 simple ways to brighten someone’s day.

http://www.funpages.com/101ways/
101 ways to ways to make someone smile and make yourself feel good.

http://www.helpothers.org/ideas.php
Ideas and stories of how kindness touched the lives of both receiver and giver.

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Great funny pictures!

Thanks to my good friend Pat who sent me these great pictures. (I really love the captions). Enjoy!

Fish kiss

Fish kiss.

Dog house
They didn’t have dog houses like this when I was a kid.

Cat house
Haven’t EVER seen a cat house.

House on hill
How about a house on the hill?

Grocery house
Imagine carrying groceries all the way to this house!

Picture house
Where Michelangelo lived as a teen.

Upside down house
Any bets on when the next hurricane will turn this right-side up?

Tree house
I said “free house”, not tree house.


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