Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Moving Forward

Recently, in our lives there have been many things to grieve, divorce, death, relationships, world problems and the current state of America.

We aren’t going to offer an opinion on the world’s problems or America; politics or otherwise. We’ll leave it to the media and the internet to misinform you.

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It seems as we age that sorrow comes into our lives more often. We shed more tears, reminisce more often, sit alone in silence. It may seem odd to find joy in grief, but it is usually there nonetheless.

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Both Sherry and I have lost both parents; we both took care of our aging parents at one point. If at first this seemed somewhat of a burden, in the end in it was a blessing. It allowed them to stay in their homes surrounded by the things and people they loved, letting them be at peace.

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For us, the gift was the ability to move forward in our relationships with them, seeing them not so much as a parent but as a friend. I’ve always felt that it helped me to repay the years that they devoted to me even though they did not expect any payment.

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In divorce, after grieving your loss, there is a sense of freedom, a re-bonding with yourself and friends that may have been neglected along the way.  Your bond with your children changes as they see you in a different light.

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There is pain in loss and we are all entitled to experience it. Feel, bemoan, embrace your grief and when you are ready actively seek out the joy that your loved one, your ex-spouse, or ex-friend left in you. Rejoice in your memories and get out there and make more!

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Here’s to a happy life! 🍾

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MaryBeth & Sherry

 

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How To Be Interesting?

I recently came across a book titled “How To Be Interesting” or something to that effect. I only vaguely remember the cover and title, I have no idea who the actual author is.

I thumbed through the book quickly to get an idea of its contents and/or ideas. Some of the suggestions were eavesdrop, maintain eye contact, smile or laugh easily and often.

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Smile More wallpaper by Roman Atwood and Brittney Smith

There are whole blogs to be written on just those 3 suggestions, so just a quick note. While eavesdropping is considered to be rude, often in tightly packed places, it is unavoidable. The author’s point was that you can learn a lot about someone this way and then engage them in conversation based on what you overheard. I’d proceed cautiously with this one.

Maintaining eye contact is consider rude in some cultures and is known to make some people very uncomfortable. However, in a one on one conversation with someone you know this would definitely indicate that you are actively engaged.

As to smile or laugh easily and often, it may well make you interesting as people will wonder what you are up to! They may even be inclined to come over to you and ask. That would be interesting.

In my opinion one of the best way to be interesting is quite simple – Be a Listener. When someone talks to you, LISTEN. If you truly listen to what someone is saying to you, then you can respond appropriately and start a good give and take. Now you are both involved and interested!

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It seems obvious to me that most of us want someone to listen to us. Obvious because isn’t the dominance social media the perfect indicator of this need?

We strive through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Whisper among others to voice our opinions, our emotions, our concerns. Likes, comments, re-tweets, etc are indicators of our success in being heard. Social Media is here to stay, but it’s impersonal for the most part.

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Social media means I can’t watch your facial expressions or catch you at an unguarded moment. I can’t feel your energy nor hear your laughter. Do you need a hug? I’d rather do that in person not by liking and sharing. Wouldn’t my being there in person to interact with you make both of us much more interesting?

What do you think makes others interesting? Let us know in the comments, we’d truly like to know.

 

Here’s to a happy life!

MaryBeth & Sherry

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Yoga’na Laugh, OM sure of it.

Laughing Yoga

Hmmmm – Laughing Yoga? Ok, let’s give it a shot, I tell MaryBeth. I’ll pick you up. She gets in the car and I start to laugh. Got to love it when you look like the Bobbsey twins and you really didn’t plan it! Turquoise shirt and black yoga pants – we were ready to go and already had our first laugh!

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It was interesting and different. I guess there is a yogi who started this and there really was a lot of laughing and silliness. Had to look it up after class to find out more – Laughter Yoga (Hasyayoga) is a practice involving prolonged voluntary laughter, it is based on the belief that forced laughing leads to contagious laughter and that it has the same physiological and psychological benefits.

We totally get that – it does help your mental state. MaryBeth and I can start to laugh about something stupid and silly to the point of tears rolling down our faces. Usually it’s an inside joke that just keeps snowballing. You know the feeling, afterward, you think, that was really dumb. Funny but dumb.

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Anyway, we get the concept and think it’s great, but, If we are going to get all dressed to go to yoga – matching and all, we want to break a sweat or stretch something that needs to be stretched.

For us, it’s more stress-reducing to go out with people we know and laugh; the sharing of stories we all know and embellish on, the good-natured teasing, and the unexpected snort while laughing that evokes even more hilarity.

The people in the class have been going every week were very nice and like it; we say “good for them”! We don’t have to like everything we try. We just have to try it!

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Here’s to a happy life!

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The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 9 1/2

We often wish that our parents and grandparents had kept a written account of their childhood for future generations.

Day 9 1/2 – Write – Our 12 Days of Christmas are written to help you find serenity during this hectic holiday season. Keeping a diary is a wonderful way to not only reflect back on your day and express gratitude but to preserve your history for future generations.

Our advice would be to keep a separate piece of paper nearby if you feel the need to vent, then destroy it just as soon as you’re done. No need to save that for prosperity’s sake.

The journal should include names, whether they are a friend or a relative, dates and the experiences you shared.

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We’d love to know how our childhood Christmases were different from our grandmothers.

I know that my parents grew up during the Great Depression so they usually received a hand-carved toy, rarely was it painted. On really good years they also received an orange. I don’t know if anyone came to visit, what they had for Christmas dinner, if Santa Claus was a fixture in their childhood.

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Writing about everything you are grateful for helps improve your attitude.

Purchase a beautifully bound journal, have everyone in the family write a memory in it, add a few pictures, pass it down through the generations. Or start a private family blog where everyone can add their memories. Family members can read it anytime they like.

Documenting your family history is a truly a gift that keeps on giving.

 

 

 

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 8 1/2

It’s a time of holiday cheer and partying with those you hold near and dear, noise is all around us. As we head down the home stretch, take a little time to enjoy the silence.

Day 8 1/2 – Silence – Silence is a gift we rarely get to enjoy at any time of the year. During the holidays, finding time for a little silence seems crucial.

Silence gives us an opportunity to unwind, to de-stress. Turning off the TV, stereo and phone, blocking out outside noise is a blessing we should all give to ourselves.

When my children were younger we would gather in the living room with only the lights of the Christmas tree on, find a comfortable place to sit or lay down, relax and contemplate.

Being silent doesn’t actually have to be meditation, it can be prayer, reflection, or simply breathing.  Practicing yoga in silence is lovely.

Sitting in silence, holding the hand of a loved one is not only soothing but healing. It creates a strong bond between you. It transmits the energy of love.

One of our favorite ways to sit in silence is around a campfire, the crackle of the fire keeps us aware, the dancing flames keep our eyes focused but relaxed. The smell of the campfire can conjure up old memories, the warmth calms us.

There is a full moon on Christmas Day, if it’s not too chilly, try sitting outside in silence, bathed in its light.

Try silence if you can, for us it brings a more individualized meaning to peace on earth.

 

 

 

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 6 1/2

As is usually the case during the holiday season, I got so busy yesterday with my day jobs, shuttling back and forth to the airport and celebrating my birthday that Day 6’s blog got lost in the shuffle. So welcome to Day 6 and 1/2!

Day 6 1/2 – Game Night – This has long been a tradition in my family although we don’t limit it to Christmas. We starting having game night when I was just a child. My mother bought a game called Tripoley, popped up a big batch of popcorn, and taught us to play.

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Game night has evolved through the years, we have had marathon nights of Risk where the last 2 players were still competing the next morning while everyone else had fallen asleep. We have tried quite a few new games and added a few to the regular mix.  Two of our current favorites are Telestrations and Camel Up Supercup.  Telestrations had us laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes.

Telestrations Camel Up

Game night is a great way to de-tress, stop focusing on the things that need to be done during the holidays and reconnect with loved ones. Enjoy those fresh-baked Christmas cookies from The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 3  while engaging in some friendly competition. Be ready to laugh, tease and create some great memories.

We are always open to new ideas, what board games do you recommend?

Let the games begin!

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 3

Today there is an emphasis on eating healthy including your holiday treats. I’m more than willing to give it a try.

Day 3 – Baking – Baking during the holidays for me is about the camaraderie and family bonding during our annual bake day. While I love using the cookie recipes that have been passed down through the generations, I also get that Crisco shortening is not all that good for my general well-being. Yes, the traditional sugar cookie recipe we use calls for Crisco. This year, I’ve been researching healthier recipes for baking day.

Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, honestly, I’m not likely to hit all those milestones. Organic, real butter not margarine, almonds, and honey I can do.

Shortbread cookies are a holiday favorite in our family. This year we’ll try these gluten-free, almond flour shortbread cookies. I found this recipe and several other gluten-free cookies on the King Arthur Flour blog.

We choose a day, a few recipes and  do our grocery shopping.

Baking day starts with breakfast and a bit of discussion, we get organized; which recipe needs the hottest oven, which cookie do we want to taste first, are we frosting any cookies this year?

Once all the cooks are present and accounted for, the teasing begins, for while baking day does involve some actual baking,  it’s more about revisiting the great family moments throughout the year and holidays past.

We reminisce about our mother/grandmother, who taught us all we know about proper baking and our father/grandfather who taught us all we know about eating all those wonderful baked goods and showing appreciation for them. Always kiss the cook!

And the end of the day, we’ve shared many laughs, made new memories , consumed a few calories and stored dozens of cookies for our Christmas Eve celebration.