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Not My Monkey, Not My Circus! March 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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61 comments

monkeysSometimes the illusion of peace in relationships stems from allowing someone else to call ALL the shots while we bite our tongues.

Even then determined drama queens find ways to stir up the dust.

Over time, I’ve gotten better at shrugging off the weight of their disapproval, side-stepping unnecessary conflict, and ignoring de bait.

If necessary, I repeat the mantra:

Not my monkey, not my circus!

Aah . . . that’s better!

How are you at side-stepping determined drama queens?

Related post:  Taming The Mammoth ~ Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think (Wait But Why)

Goals: Life Preserver? Or Straight Jacket? March 11, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
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60 comments

Pluto-RollerskatingSometimes life seems messy, disorganized, and chaotic.  We get busy tidying it up by setting self-improvement goals for ourselves.

That’s good, right?

To always be striving to be better than our previous selves?

We may believe that goals help us reach out and become more than we already are . . . but sometimes they do just the opposite.

Instead of encouraging us to explore possibilities in the here and now, they act as straight-jackets, tethering us to what we wanted yesterday.

Who you are now is a product of what you once wanted.

TiggerFor example, what if we set the goal to do more writing and then stumble across a bunch of overripe bananas sitting on the counter?

We want to make banana bread, but we don’t have time because we haven’t met our self-imposed arbitrary word count for the day.

So we let the bananas rot, instead of pursuing their possibilities.

No wonder the cat looks at us askance.

Do goals keep us afloat . . . or drag us down?

Perhaps it depends on the goal.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related link:  Helicone ~ Incredible Science

And The Oscar Goes To . . . Coral Reef! February 23, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor, Joke.
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36 comments

This video landed in my mailbox last week and made me laugh out loud.

If we are to believe Jackie Jordan . . . Coral Reef is a true Renaissance Color!

It’s vibrant, uplifting, buoyant, spirited, and joyful . . . with botanical notes . . . and a vintage spirit . . . “something we are truly craving today.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t need someone else telling me what color to paint my living room.

Aah . . . that’s better!

I Want To DO Less . . . And BE More February 17, 2015

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

IMGP1800bOne of the best tricks I’ve found to discern whether I’m on the right path for me is to envision this as the last year of my life ~ to question whether I would regret spending the next 12 months engaged in similar endeavors.

At this point, I’m happy with the flow of my days and nights, but in earlier years this simple exercise inspired big changes:

In 1997, it led to my decision to leave the practice of law, take a sabbatical, and re-enter the work force as the director of a Crisis Intervention Team, assisting victims of domestic violence to evaluate options.

In 1999, it encouraged us to shed possessions, down-size, and move out of New Jersey to a home on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay ~ still close enough to visit family while being far enough away to live our own quiet lives.

In 2008, it freed us to leave winters behind for good and move to Florida.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

What would you do if your “final curtain call” lay around the next bend?

Virtual Reality: Fame & Fortune February 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Joke, People.
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44 comments

I’m not a paranoid, deranged millionaire. I’m a billionaire. – Howard Hughes

Having more money doesn’t make you happier. I have 50 million dollars but I’m just as happy as when I had 48 million. – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Wood burns faster when you have to cut and chop it yourself. – Harrison Ford

Donald-DirectorHollywood must be the only place on earth where you can be fired by a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a baseball cap. – Steve Martin

I don’t believe in astrology. I am a Sagittarius and we’re very skeptical. – Arthur C Clarke

If life were fair, Elvis would still be alive today and all the impersonators would be dead. – Johnny Carson

No man is a failure who is enjoying life. ~ William Feather

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from unknown author (sent by Granny1947)

Coasting Downhill January 9, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
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39 comments

It’s great when we reach the point that we can say with confidence: “Who I am is who I want to be.”

Then we can coast downhill to the finish line.

Mountain-Biking

Aah . . . that’s better!

Does Santa Make Kids Selfish? December 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
46 comments

Xmas-CatThe training of new consumers begins on Santa’s lap. Ho~Ho~Ho!

And continues in front of the TV as animated ads from Toys ‘R Us ask . . . “What’re ya gonna get? What’re ya gonna get? What’re ya gonna get?”

We are programming kids to become greedy meanies.

For an eye opening look at how Santa’s questions frame responses and keep the materialistic spiral going:

But all is not lost.

Once Santa shifts his script from getting to giving . . . the kids opt to give the larger piece of chocolate away.

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Bolt of Lightning December 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance.
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88 comments

2014-11-30 13-50-44_0013Joan flipped through sales flyers for the mall, planning her attack for Black Friday.  The front door slammed with insistence.

“M-O-M!  Christmas is ruined!”

“What?”

“The mall exploded!  It got hit by lightning and a generator blew up. It’s closed until January.”

“January?”

“Yes!  Christmas is ruined!”

“Calm down . . . there’s always Cyber Monday.”

“Ugh.  I hate on-line shopping.  No pushing.  No shoving.  No lines.”

Joan smiled at her daughter.  “And worst of all . . . no food court!”

Cathy collapsed into a chair.  “I’m going to go into serious sugar withdrawal without my weekly Cinnabon!”

Tossing the flyers into recycling, Joan stood.  “Don’t worry.  We’ll think of something.”

Joan found her husband tinkering at his workbench. “Paul, the mall has closed in a puff of smoke.”

“So I heard.”

“You did?”

“Yup.  I heard Cathy’s concerns about Christmas and Cinnabons loud and clear.”

santa0001

“What are we going to do?”

“About?”

“Are you daft?  Shopping.  Gifts. Christmas.  Ringing any bells?”

Paul caught Joan’s gaze. “Let’s make hand-made gifts.”

“You have sawdust for brains.”

“Hear me out.  Instead of poring over flyers, hunting for parking spots, and lugging piles of stuff home, let’s create gifts from the heart.  I’ll make wooden trains, planes, and puzzles for the kids. And a pipe rack for your dad.”

“What about me?”

“Your friends would love your homemade fudge or toffee . . . or one of your famous Grand Marnier cakes. You could make your mom that wreath she’s wanted.”

Warming to the idea, Joan returned to the kitchen and grabbed her recipe file.

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Soon delicious aromas circulated, mingling with carols.  As fragrant cakes baked, Joan created a starfish and sand dollar wreath for her mom, scented candles for her sister, and an afghan for Cathy.

Paul spent hours in his workshop emulating Santa’s elves.  Sawdust flying.

Cathy mastered the art of the Cinnabon.

Instead of waiting for the Big Day, Joan, Paul, and Cathy delivered treats to delighted friends throughout December.

Christmas morning, Cathy served fresh home-baked Cinnabons to her parents and grandparents.

Between bites, Joan grinned at Paul, “Hey, sawdust for brains! That was some bolt of lightning.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Written for Susanna’s 4th Annual Holiday Contest.  Entries accepted through 12/12.  Complete rules and other Merry & Bright Submissions ~> HERE.

2014-12-01 14-10-09_0014

Joan’s famous Grand Marnier Bundt Cake:

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine all ingredients and mix well, about 5 minutes, with an electric mixer or whisk.  Pour into a well-greased and floured fluted Bundt pan (or 10-inch tube pan).  Bake in pre-heated 325 degree oven for about 50 minutes.  

OPTIONAL: Drizzle with Grand Marnier glaze or sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.  NOTE:  Cake Freezes well before topping.

I Am December 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Life Balance.
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46 comments

Tom Shadyak, director of Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, Liar Liar, Patch Adams, and other films sustained a broken arm and a concussion in a biking accident in 2007.

Despondent over the side effects of the concussion, he thought about death and, from there, began to ask what he wanted to share with the world before he died.

From those questions, he chose his next project.

In I AM, Shadyac asks some of today’s most profound thinkers, two questions:

* What’s wrong with our world?
* What can we do about it?

Several interviews touched upon the view that excess consumption and consumerism is a form of mental illness resulting from social conditioning which values competition more than cooperation.

In order to simplify his life, Tom sold his 17,000 square foot mansion and moved to a mobile home park in Malibu.

He rides a bike to work.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Speaking of I Am ~> today I Am over at Lively Twist as part of Timi’s series Did We Do Any Learning [3].

You may also be interested in Learning [1] and/or Learning [2].

How We Plan To Spend The Holidays November 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Special Events.
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32 comments

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Aah . . . that’s better!

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