Posts Tagged ‘home’

This morning I come across an interesting article while surfing the web and drinking coffee. The article is titled ten things you can do to make you happier. The article is really great and if you have the chance you should read it. The article goes into the science behind why these things make you happy. Happiness really is a choice and my doing these ten simple things we can choose to be happy.

1. Exercise more

2. Sleep more

3. Move closer to work

4. Spend times with Family

5. Go outside

6. Help others

7. Practice Smiling

8. Plan a trip

9. Meditate

10. Practice Gratitude

I am not sure about you but I was raised by a mom who suggested all these things to me as a child and even now when I call as an adult. Cut away to a call between my mother and myself…

mom: So good to hear from you. How are you?

me: I am ok…

mom: oh are you taking care of yourself I just finished Pilates you would like that (exercise more).

me: I run every day mom. I never really got into Pilates

mom: ok that’s good I never really liked running.  Are you getting enough sleep (sleep more)? Have you spoke with your sisters lately (time with family)?

me: I am sleeping fine. I spoke with Ashley last week. It is hard to get a hold of them.

mom: Oh she is going on vacation. Are you taking a vacation (plan a trip)? Are you still volunteering at church (help others)? Are you still going to church (meditate)?

me: yes to all it is all going ok too.

mom: well that is great it is so good to hear from you. Thanks for calling (gratitude)?

The call goes on but, you have suffered enough. I really enjoy my calls with my mom and most do not include that many questions. She does not make it a habit to nag me, but she does offer this type of advice. Mom is grown up and she loves me and so does your mom or mother figure. She has a desire to see you be happy and it seems for the most part that she is dead on about how to be happy.

So next time we think we are being mothered, maybe we can practice gratitude, say thank you and follow the sound scientific advice.

peace

john3c

 

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On my way in to work this morning there was an interview with a man who gives employees advice. Today’s advice was on how to call in sick. He mentioned that normally we feel ill roll over call our employer tell him we are sick and will not make it in then roll back over. He said we should stop doing this. What we should do is call co-workers, make arrangements for the days meetings and work prior to calling in sick. That way when we do call in sick we can let the boss know that we will not be there but it is ok because we still took care of all the work we needed to get done.
This got me to thinking about life and how often times we get more caught up in the how instead of the what. Sometimes we need to get things done. I think about family and the changing face of it. I am divorced from my children’s mother and I know that is important for a father and mother to love and support their children. Being divorced and not in the home adds an extra layer to that. This extra layer makes it harder and less orthodox than a family in which both parents live together but it can still be done. The family is changing at a very rapid rate there are families with one parent at home and another away, some families only one parent is there at all, but what matters is that the children are loved and supported. That is important.
I think a good exercise for all of us when we start to feel ourselves getting caught up in the how can I is to breath and ask ourselves what do I need to get done. My dad used to tell me the secret to any maze is to work backwards. Dad is a pretty smart guy
Happy Friday
Peace
John3c

imagesCAFOI7YEChristmas was two days ago, I was with family and we were walking through a department store in the local mall. The store decor was changed, gone were the Christmas trees, jingle bells and holly, in there place there are now, hearts and pictures of chocolate and cupids. Yes the department store was decorated and selling wares for Valentines day which was over a month away.

I immediately remembered as a child hearing my mother, father, aunts and uncles commenting on this exact thing. “Let us recuperate from Christmas first. We haven’t even taken down the tree yet. It isn’t even new year.” I didn’t understand then were my parents and other authority figures feelings of being overwhelmed came from but I most certainly do now. The holidays bring to children togetherness and joy for the most part but for the ones putting together the holidays the joy and togetherness can also bring stress. Some of the stress is unavoidable, but some is very avoidable. One type of stress that is avoidable is the stress which comes from struggling to meet the high expectations we set for ourselves when putting together holidays. Some handle this by lowering their expectation others handle it by working towards their expectation and purchasing valentines merchandise in November.
Holidays are here and sitting out on them because of stress is not always ideal. We should learn to enjoy the holiday in our own way.

peace
john3c

Earlier this morning I was listening to an interview with a United States Congress man. He was answering questions about immigration in the United States of America and ways to address all the men and women living and working in the United States that are not citizens and therefore breaking the law. In an attempt at political hyperbole that made me kind of chuckle the man said “I do not think we should award law breakers with the greatest gift we can offer which is United States citizenship.”  I laughed not because being a citizen isn’t a great gift, or because being an illegal immigrant is funny but because to hear him speak you would think the illegal immigrant was a heinous criminal.

However the statement the greatest gift got me to thinking about of course the holiday season. There is in the United States at least a lot of pressure to get all our family members the perfect Christmas gift. Kids pack the mall and sit on Santa’s lap, they let him know they have been good all year and as their reward they want their lists fulfilled. Parents put away and save all year to help Santa out. We dust off the charge cards and hit the stores, this year thanksgiving day even! But I ask you what would be the greatest gift of all for our family and friends and I am pretty sure it is not something you will find in the store.

So what then should we quit buying gifts for family and friends? No gift giving is  a great tradition. Everyone loves getting a gift, just do yourself a favor this holiday season and take it easy. If you don’t get everything on the list it will be fine. The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful stress free holiday

 

imagesCAVP3JSD

peace

john3c

 

I walked into the grocery store the other day and the bin at the front of the store was full of pumpkins. The sight of the pumpkins made me think about one of my most favorite time and holiday of the year. Fall and Halloween.

I think about Fred Flintstone too. Fred comes to mind because that was the earliest Halloween costume I could remember. every year mom and dad would dress me and my three sisters on Halloween in K-marts finest costumes (Fred Flintstone) and we would go from house to house begging for candy.

Halloween origins can be traced back to the early inhabitants of Ireland. A society like many others at the time whose survival was intrinsic to that of their crops and lands believed that the veil between the living and dead was thinnest at the end of the year (which was Halloween), so to protect family and land. Everyone in a village would dress as ghosts and roam the streets keeping the evil spirits scarred away.

This year families will get together and scare the living with costume and jack o lantern (carved pumpkins) and while we may not be doing this to keep the ghosts from taking us or our land. I can’t help but think the dressing up and trick or treating and jack o  lantern creation generates priceless bonding with family and friends. So what started as a holiday for survival well seems to still be one for that.

 

peace

john3c

Johnathan my middle child was ten years and at home with his sister, brothers and mom. I was a little older than ten and at the Atlanta International Airport. I was on a layover which I usually don’t mind in Atlanta. The airport is nice, it is one of the largest in the nation I think maybe world, but the layout isn’t confusing and there is an underground train which will quickly take you between terminals and each terminal has, nice shops and pretty good places to eat. One of these nice shops is where I usually find trinkets to bring home to the kids. It was one of these shops where I found, a book for Johnathan. Yes you guessed it, the book was “Diary of a Wimpy kid, Rodrick Rules“.

Johnathan has an older brother (by about a year) named Kyle who loves to read. When Kyle first learned to read he became this unstoppable force. Deciphering and uncovering secrets about the english language every day. Kyle read billboards during car rides, cereal boxes and newspapers in the morning every book on the bookshelves at his moms, my and his grand parents house. It was fun to watch Kyle read as much as he could. Johnathan was not exactly the same way. “Reading is boring!” That was Johnathans mantra. Johnathan is a brilliant boy (yes I am biased just like any parent would be) and didn’t have a problem reading he has always read at a higher level than his grade but he didn’t show the same interest in it as his older brother did. While in the gift shop looking at all the overpriced gear I imagined Johnathan thanking me for the book and immediately retreating to a quiet place to engage his mind. Read is very important, empowering and freeing. If you have a moment take a chance to follow this link; 

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/06/how-good-books-can-change-you/259169/ 

It is a story about the amazing thing that happens when we read. 

Well that was my vision for what would happen, however as it often does, reality was far from my vision. Johnathan thanked me for the book and placed it on his bedroom nightstand the book stayed there untouched for at least a week. Kyle found the book and devoured it. Johnathan wanting to emulate his older brother followed suite. He read the book and loved it. “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is actually a series of great books and Johnathan, despite his hate for reading, read all of them!

Johnathan is now 12 years old and he still hates reading however he has read a good deal of books. He loves the Young adult books that have seemed to flood the market. I am so thankful for the flood. Johnathan has realized that by reading he can experience something that is wonderful and amazing. Reading is powerful through reading we can become educated, employ empathy and really become a better person and society. So today I am grateful for “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and Kyle. If you know anyone who hasn’t learned to read no matter what age please help them http://www.literacyconnections.com/AdultLiteracy.php

peace

john3c

 

This is a good one. Driving home Sunday I was listening to the radio when a song came on,  the singer was singing about the end of a date and regret he had for not kissing the girl. The crooner went on and on in a great voice, that my girlfriend might describe as sexy,  about how he would’ve and should have kissed this girl. You know what hang on because this really is a great song, It is called “Kissed You” and is performed by a group called Glorianna. This is definitely worth an i tunes download and more than one listen.

and here it is:

I dropped you off
Just a little after midnight
Sat in my car
Till you turned off your porch light
I should have kissed you
I should have pushed you up against the wall
I should have kissed you
Just like I wasn’t scared at all

I turned off the car
Ran through the yard
Back to your front door
Before I could knock
You turned the lock
And met me on the front porch

And I kissed you
Goodnight
And now that I’ve kissed you
It’s a good night good night baby goodnight

You couldn’t see me
Watching through the window
Wondering what went wrong
Praying that you wouldn’t go
You should have kissed me
You should have pushed me up against the wall
You should have kissed me
I was right on the edge and ready to fall

So I turned off the car
Ran through the yard
Back to your front door
Before I could knock
You turned the lock
And met me on the front porch

And I kissed you
Goodnight
And now that I’ve kissed you
It’s a good night good night baby goodnight

I turned off the car
ran through the yard
back to your front door
Half scared to death can’t catch my breath
Aren’t these the moments we live for

And I kissed you
Goodnight
And now that I’ve kissed you
It’s a good night good night baby goodnight
It’s a good night good night baby goodnight
It’s a good night good night baby goodnight
It’s a good night good night baby goodnight

 

See? You liked the words didn’t you? Well these words got me to thinking about what is worse a missed opportunity or a oppurunity in which you missed? I have to say that when you do something and fail at it you leave all questions and almost all regret with that action and moment, but when you do not make the moment happen there is regret for the lack of an outcome coupled with questions of what the outcome would’ve been.

People say “try to live a life without regret”, I say live life without question because of different things the regret will be there, I mean hey , life is not perfect, but if you try there is no question that what happened was meant to be.”

peace

john3c