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Acceptance Is Power March 26, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
21 comments

I read an interesting article yesterday in the Harvard Business Review about the “grief” we’re feeling as a result of CoVid-19 and its inherent uncertainty:

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief 

The article is worth a read.  Here’s a brief excerpt:

You said we’re feeling more than one kind of grief?

Yes, we’re also feeling anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is that feeling we get about what the future holds when we’re uncertain. Usually it centers on death. We feel it when someone gets a dire diagnosis or when we have the normal thought that we’ll lose a parent someday. Anticipatory grief is also more broadly imagined futures. There is a storm coming. There’s something bad out there. With a virus, this kind of grief is so confusing for people. Our primitive mind knows something bad is happening, but you can’t see it. This breaks our sense of safety. We’re feeling that loss of safety. I don’t think we’ve collectively lost our sense of general safety like this. Individually or as smaller groups, people have felt this. But all together, this is new. We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.

What can individuals do to manage all this grief?

Understanding the stages of grief is a start. But whenever I talk about the stages of grief, I have to remind people that the stages aren’t linear and may not happen in this order. It’s not a map but it provides some scaffolding for this unknown world. There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: This virus won’t affect us. There’s anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities. There’s bargaining: Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right? There’s sadness: I don’t know when this will end. And finally there’s acceptance. This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed.

Acceptance, as you might imagine, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance. I can wash my hands. I can keep a safe distance. I can learn how to work virtually.

I can accept the what is.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Clearing The Path February 23, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
26 comments

Not all storms come to disrupt your life.

Some come to clear your path.

Artwork by Carole A. V. Dougherty ~ available at Island Gallery West

True for you?

The Best & The Worst February 7, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Life Balance.
36 comments

Before we enter the “real world,” many of us join the labor force on a part-time basis to earn spending money to supplement the meagre allowances doled out by parents on Saturday mornings . . .

In our family, the four of us each got $1 a week, but only after we’d weeded the gardens, mowed the yard, and slopped the hogs.

Or scooped up dog poop from the dog’s run.  Or washed the cars.  Or emptied the dishwasher.  Or shoveled the driveway.  Or cleaned the bathrooms.  Or completed any other onerous chores dreamed up and assigned to us.

Realizing that I needed more than $1 a week in spending money caused me to look beyond the confines of my parents’ home and garden.

My first part-time gig in high school involved “babysitting” for neighbor kids.  I loved it!

They played or watched TV while I did homework. After finishing my homework, I played or watched TV with them, supervised dinner and bath time, readied them for bed, and then read to them.  Fun and easy.

Plus, I loved being in charge!

Eventually, my desire for cash caused me to look outside the neighborhood for supplemental income.  And boy did I luck out!  My 3 favorite part-time jobs included:

1.  Test Monkey at Bell Laboratories (testing phone reception).  I sat in a booth, listening.  And making notations on a sheet of paper.  No manual labor involved.  Nice!

2.  Beertender at the Hoi Polloi (college bar) ~ listening to local bands (and drinking beer) for free while serving up draft beer (for $0.50) to fellow students, including crushes.  The tips were great AND we got a meal ticket to use at the Wigwam.  Each golden ticket covered ALL the food we could fit on the tray ~ a huge club sandwich, fries, drink, dessert, etc.  Enough for me and a few friends!  The only downside of the job was mopping up the ankle-deep spilled beer at 1 am.  *YAWN*

3.  Working in a snack hut at the Garden State Arts Center ~ listening to rock concerts for free.  After intermission, we inventoried our sales, closed the snack huts, and sat on the lawn to listen to the main acts, which included Stephen Stills, Dave Mason, ELO, Chicago, the Moody Blues, Seals & Croft, Loggins & Messina, the Eagles, Hall & Oates, etc..  If we didn’t get scheduled to work on the night of a good concert, we got into the venue for free by telling the ushers (our friendly co-workers) that we were picking up our checks.  The fact that we had 2-3 friends with us never seemed to faze them.

But life is not always a bowl of cherries, ripe for the picking.  I also got hired for two part-time jobs I hated.  Both involved selling on commission.

1. Distributor of Exam Survival Kits on campus ~ the kit included candy, snacks, and a Crammer Hammer (an inflatable hammer that stressed students could smack against the side of their head to relieve stress and cram knowledge into over-stuffed brains).  My job was to distribute kits around campus during final exams, receiving a solid $0.10 for each!  After receiving $400 for distributing 4,000 kits, I resigned.  In comparison, selling Girl Scout Cookies could be viewed as a get-rich-quick scheme.

“Here! Let me hit you with my Crammer Hammer!”

2.  Still worse was my short stint as a Fire Safety Consultant ~ selling fire safety equipment door-to-door.  I made a total of two presentations.  The first to parents of my best friend who declined to order safety ladders for their bedroom windows for one good reason ~> they lived in a single-story ranch.   My second (and last) presentation, to a neighbor who had been a volunteer firefighter for years, convinced me to quit.  Half-way through my preamble, he asked to see the stats/hype I’d been “sold” by the company.  As we went over them together, he demonstrated to me that I’d been brain-washed by the “party line.”  With that, my consulting days were done.

But all’s well that ends well.

Needing something to do for the rest of the summer, I got a job as a cashier at Becker’s Hardware . . . where I met BFF.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s the best part-time gig you ever had?  Or the worst?  Do tell.

Thoughts To Ponder January 23, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
21 comments

1. Jokes, like life, don’t benefit from over analysis.

2. Just ask:  Will this make my life Simpler?  Happier?  More Joyful?

3. Inhale/Exhale ~> where does a circle start?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Cat & The Caterpillar January 19, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

When I got to the fork, I saw a giant mushroom.  On it perched a Hookah Smoking Caterpillar.

“Hmm . . . curious and curiouser.”

From a floating smile, the Cheshire Cat emerged.

I asked the Cat and the Caterpillar, “Which way should I go?”

The Cat just grinned.

With that, the Caterpillar sat and started to chat, rather randomly at first and then with increasing clarity and wisdom:

Happiness is not waiting for us at the end of the road ~ it’s found here and now, by enjoying each step along the way!

“A good traveler has no set plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

I decided I was already exactly where I needed to be . . . so I sat to chat.

With the Cat and the Caterpillar.

And that was that.

I never reached the bend in the road.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Here’s To The Roaring Twenties! December 27, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People.
20 comments

The 1920’s brought in a decade of change, known as the Roaring Twenties:

The Roaring Twenties got their name from the exuberant, freewheeling popular culture that defines the decade. The most obvious examples of this are jazz bands and flappers.

It was the decade that bought dramatic social and political change, flare and freedom to women, and advances in science and technology.

Also known as the Jazz Age, the decade of the 1920s featured economic prosperity and carefree living for many. The 1920s was a decade of change that began with a roar and ended with a crash.

Maybe the 2020’s will be a reprise!

Let’s hope the decade doesn’t end with a *CRASH*

Happy New Year . . . and Decade!

Life Continues After Death December 19, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People.
23 comments

An Iowa convict convicted of murder in 1997 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole filed his third petition for post-conviction relief on his own behalf, without counsel.

He claimed that, during a 2015 hospitalization, he was legally dead for a period of time before he was revived by the doctors’ efforts.

Therefore, he argued, his “death” completed his life sentence, and he should be free to go.

The courts did not buy his argument:

The district court granted the state’s motion to dismiss the petition without an evidentiary hearing, and refused to appoint counsel for him. On appeal, the Court of Appeals of Iowa, in an opinion by Judge Amanda Potterfield, affirmed the lower court’s decision.

She wrote, “Schreiber is either still alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is actually dead, in which case this appeal is moot.”  She further noted that since Schreiber had signed the PCR application and his motion for reconsideration, the latter did not seem likely.

Aah . . . poetic justice!

Source: Disciplinary Board, PA Supreme Court, December 2019 Newsletter

Yes, I Am Postive! December 5, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
19 comments

Want to be a more positive person . . . along with all the perky perks that entails?

Here are 6 tips:

Reframe or Divert ~ Accept what you cannot change. You can shake your fist at the sky all you want, but it won’t stop the rain from falling.  Look for opportunities among the obstacles.  Find the silver lining.

Savor the Good ~ Focus on the positives.  Enjoy the luxury of a sunny day. Relish your meal.  Enjoy the tastes, sights, and sounds around you.  Be Mindful of the present of the present.

Set Reminders ~ Flexing your positivity muscle is a habit-in-the-making. Posting post-its around to remind yourself to see the good is a good way to shift your focus from “what’s wrong” to “what’s right.”

Do Something Nice for Someone Else ~ Sometimes the best way to improve our day is to improve someone else’s day.  So be kind to others and enjoy the boomerang effect of those positive feelings.

Phone A Friend ~ Knowing that someone has your back can be an automatic mood booster.  When you’re down in the dumps, don’t dump a pile on negativity of your friend’s shoulder.  Instead, boost your view by piggy-backing on his or her positivity for a while until your own resilience returns.

Say Thanks ~ An attitude of gratitude improves our aptitude and altitude in life.  When we shift our perspective from “what’s wrong” to “what’s right,” we feel an immediate shift from negative to positive.  It’s not what happens that determines our mood, it’s how we CHOOSE to view what’s happened.  Developing an attitude of gratitude pays BIG dividends.

Aah . . . that’s better!

To read more:  How To Be A More Positive Person (TIME)

Another Birthday Bites The Dust! November 25, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Life Balance, People.
24 comments

Each year for his birthday, BFF receives a Gift Certificate from the Landry Select Club.  This year, as soon as the temps tempered a bit, we headed to the Chart House on Longboat Key to enjoy Happy Hour on the deck.

IMGP3186b

Perfect temps.

Delicious food.

Cold drinks.

Aah . . . that’s Birthday Bliss!

Strolling On Pine Avenue November 21, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Life Balance, Nature.
20 comments

Last week, when we went to the Farmer’s Market on Pine Avenue, we parked at the far end of the street and strolled the length.

We enjoyed the signage outside the Pineapple Junktion Co-op.

We had to STOP to check out the Waffle Bar (with made to order waffles ~ a/k/a “sugar delivery devices”).

After visiting the market, we checked out AMI’s pier which is being rebuilt after being damaged during Hurricane Irma two years ago.  It’s getting there but it’ll be a few more months before we can walk the planks.

Since it was a gorgeous day, we continued our walk up Bay Boulevard to enjoy the views.

On the return trip, we stopped in the Olive Oil Outpost to get some fresh-from-the-oven baked bread.

Just outside, this rusty truck with a cargo of “empties” caught my eye.

Aah . . . what a trusty rusty recycling bin!