IT’S A NEW YEAR

Fuzzy Armed HugHappy New Year to all of you. Yeah, it’s getting that time of year  when we look back and think about the ‘IF ONLY’ parts of our lives. To be honest, that is exactly what they are, the past thoughts we did not complete. Ahead of us are the new avenues of a New Year, and we start making our lists or resolutions. These will soon turn into the ‘IF ONLY’ parts again and again.

Let’s do something different this year and look at all the opportunities we have each day to enjoy. Resolutions can make us feel like failures, when we do not accomplish each one we write down. Opportunities are spontaneity reactions, unplanned surprises, accidental choices, and make us feel alive.

A walk in the sunshine is an opportunity to view our neighborhood, wave at neighbors, and walk with a friend. Helping someone get something from a high shelf in a store is a great opportunity to realize we all need assistance at one time or another. Opportunities include smiles to a stranger, a good belly laugh between friends, a good book to share and look forward to discussions about the story. This is your year not to make  a list of resolutions and become an active person, not just an observer of life.

Bucket lists are great for the soul, mind, and fun. These are things you’d like to do, places you’d love to visit, new adventures to think about, and opportunities to learn something new. The list here can come from pictures in magazines where you visit in your mind and enjoy the adventures. All you have to do is look around your own city and find out what is happening. A trip to a museum, taking your lunch to a park and eating on a picnic bench. People watching at an ice cream parlor, outdoor restaurant, or the local coffee shop. Who knows, maybe this is the year you take your pen and tablet with you and jot down your own thoughts.

Remember to enjoy life, be active share and you will be happier this coming year. AND, do not forget to give a big hug to someone, no not the bear squeeze, but the fuzzy-armed hugs that make you feel warm inside. Look at the picture and you will have a hug from me.

HAPPY HUGS. HAPPY NEW YEAR. HAPPY WRITING.

I REMEMBER WHEN

images_271This is the season of holiday music, bright lights, and bottled memories. I do not know why the Holiday Season brings out recollections of great times of the past, but it does. We are in a more festive mood, a few days off from work, and watch crowds of people running in and out of stores. Advertisements for “THE” holiday dinner and preparations made for a whole generation or maybe just a few.

Of course, we hear the tinkle of bells and see the big kettle waiting for a few spare coins to share with the unlucky people and children. Coat drives collect warm clothing for the unprepared, and Toys for Tots give children a gift they never suspected. This is the season for sharing and includes memories.

This takes me back to Florida and my bottled memories. I remember when we picked out our TREE early to get a good one, and then had to keep it outside until the last-minute for decorating or all the needles would be on the floor. Sometimes, we even strung lights on the wall behind the tree as it could be a fire danger. But one thing I remember with a big smile, were the ‘bubble lights.’ I even found them again for my own tree to share the joy with my son.

I remember going to services at our church on Christmas Eve, a tradition not to be ignored. Playing a part in the story or singing, I waved at my parents. Then the same thing happened when my son had parts to play and I received the wave. Today, I prefer the early service with the kids in sheep costumes and the ‘baahing,’ the Wise men stumbling over their long outfits and songs sung by children of all ages. And yes, the kids still wave without embarrassment to their parents and friends.

As a child, there were grandparents, parents, friends to share the festivities. Then, when I had a child of my own, we spent the ‘night before’ at my parents so we could be home and wait for the big man in the red suit. No chimney, but the back door was left unlocked, just in case.

I remember water-skiing on a lake by our house on Christmas Day. Why? No snow in Florida. I remember when we ate the Big Dinner, on the porch as it was to hot in the house to enjoy all the trimmings.

This is YOUR time to let the memories from your bottled jar out and have your own ‘I Remember When.’ How about a short story or the plot for a new novel on some of these memories for your characters? Excitement occurs when you least expect it, and who knows, love is just around the corner for the character who never thought it could happen.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS. HAPPY WRITING.

EXERCISE IS FUN

Yes, this should be about fun, parties, and everything that goes along with the Holiday Season, but it is. The exercise I’m talking about comes with the fabulous group of Silver Sneakers I have the honor of being their instructor.

Yes, we work hard every time we come into class. We stretch and stretch with the Yoga Stretch classes. We learn how to balance so our bodies can experience new poses and the stress of the day, time, month slide off the top. Then we learn how to combine the workout to strengthen our muscles, and put the balance to work as we squat, and squat, and squat. Never, do we go overboard. We work hard to make our muscles work for us. Like lifting weights and the ugh bicep curls. We use these muscles every day: picking up groceries, putting the clothes in the washer, shaking them into the dryer, and the important one – picking up the grand-kids.

We also work on the Cardio end of the scale to give our hearts the ability to help us each day. The rule is to do what you can and not push yourselves over your limit. Cardio can be doing a little more than we thought we could, but never over the limit.

We have a great room to workout in and welcome everyone; newbies, seasoned, and always have some oldies come back and surprise us with visits. We also combine fun with our exercises and our program. You never know what will pop up and give all of us a great laugh.

We do know how to party and express our new-found energy with different avenues. This is a set-up for the following pictures – our Holiday Luncheon. If you are new to Atlanta, been afraid to venture out to a ‘gym,’ fear not. We will welcome you, add you to our group, and begin exercising and having fun. You can find us at AGX, in the Blee Shopping Center in Chamblee, Georgia. No special clothes, just come and be with us as we go forward in to the new year.

Here are the pics to show our fun at the Hudson Grille in Brookhaven. I am fortunate, no Blessed, to have all the group at our SS program. Come be part of our group and learn how to exercise and have fun.

No, this is not my usual writing theme, but what stories can be written by the successes of our group.

Happy Holidays and see you in 2015 for your Good Health.

Patricia

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STUCK IN THE BLACK HOLE?

Two friends“Here we go again, Ethel. What does she know about black holes? Aren’t they the things that will gobble up the earth?”

“I’m sure she won’t let us fall into nothingness. And no matter what, we will still be together. But, before we get excited, let’s check this out.” Ethel smiled. “She has something to share, I think.”

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” If you believe this then you will never get out of the black hole. But, Aristotle did not go far enough and let you know how to break this chain. I call it a chain, as it has a way of hand-cuffing us to our present lives. Why? Because it is comfortable. What would happen if we decided to change our habits, our lives, our minds? Yes, a lot of chaos would happen, and it could be the change we need to pull us up from the BLACK HOLE.
Stop and think for just a moment and ask yourselves, “What do I do over and over each day that I could change?” Here are some things I thought about:
1. Checking email over and over.
2. Re-organizing files, which don’t need it, but might look neater.
3. Checking online banking balances.
These are daily moves we make without thinking. Just something we’ve done forever and have not made a move to change. No, we can check email twice a day and still not miss anything. Why reorganize the files in the middle of the year. The New Year may make changes for us and then we can decide what to do. If you have an idea of your bank balances and there has been no HUGE expenditure, why look every day.
If you always start out your day with the same chore, do something different. Does your floors need vacuuming every day? Not unless you are a day care center for foster animals. Besides, dust bunnies are company and can inspire your writing. Okay, take the time and watch them hide on a cloudy day and spring to life as the sun shines.
Do you always have to cook a big dinner at night? What about breakfast at dinner? Kids would love this and sometimes I think scrambled eggs or an omelet taste better in the evening than the first thing I see in the morning. Or, what about cleaning out the fridge with the left-over food, mix and match, and surprise even Aristotle.
Okay you do have writing and research to do, but always at the same time? If you need to do research, hit the internet and get most of this done. Don’t flip-flop from research to writing. Do one or the other with concentration and persistence. You’ll accomplish more and feel less overwhelmed.
Switch day for chores. If you always do laundry on Monday, switch to another day. If you get groceries on Wednesday, when the prices change and new ads are printed, why fight the crowds. Go on Thursday when there is fewer people, shorter lines, and more parking. Saturday and Sunday are so different for everyone. Still, experience these two days as usual, and see what you do over and over that you could change.
Have you ever walked through your home, looked at your small book library, and shook your head. “No, I can’t stop and read. My writing comes first.” What if you changed this to, “I think that new book would be a jump-start on my writing,” and sit down and read a few chapters right smack in the middle of the day. You get involved with the characters and feel energized.What happened? You relaxed, enjoyed reading, and now your fingers are ready to hit the keyboard with gusto.

What about the BLACK HOLE? If you make small changes and do something different each and every day, it will fill up with your excitement, your new choices, and disappear.
Happy Changes. Happy Surprises. Happy Writing.

What Does Your Coffee Mug Say About You?

coffee_and_coffee_beans_highdefinition_pictures_a_167340Okay, an off-beat question, but one I bet you never think about. I realized this one day, when at a meeting, there were a zillion coffee mugs. You get the idea. I laughed as people made their way to the huge coffee urn amidst all the mugs. No one grabbed the first mug they saw. No, they stood around and checked out as many mugs as they could without being yelled at, to get moving. Some people were anxious to put the hot black liquid in a cup and sit down.

During the meeting I looked around the different tables and tried to put a person with the mug. Now, there are females and males at this meeting, so I’m not picking on anyone in particular. One guy sipped his java from a Disney World Cartoon mug. Maybe, this is as close to getting there as possible. Another lady had a mug with a specific city name written in bold, red letters. She could be from there, want to go there, but I do know she loves red. Still, a different female had a mug with cartoon faces of little kids all over the outside. My mind wondered if she had kids at home and this felt comfortable for her. As one guy went back for a coffee refill, I noticed he did a small tap dance, and then looked at the small flowers all over the cup. This is one guy not intimidated by life. Reminded me of Tiny Tim’s song, Tiptoe Through The Tulips. This guy got a lot of hands clapping and big smiles on a lot of faces.

In many places, we grab our paper container and never think about coffee mug. In fact, the places we dine at have their own insignia on the mugs. Better yet, no mugs, but coffee cups. Still, people do carry their own coffee mug with them. How about looking at their coffee mugs and see if you can align the person with their choice.
Tea drinkers are notorious for their choice of mugs, whoops, cups. They like their drink in a more delicate type of holder. One person told me, “Tea tastes best when sipped from China.” Hey, I have no idea. Now, I’m beginning to wonder about beer drinkers and their mugs. Then what about other mugs and cups. Guess I’ll have to watch closer for a good comparison of drinker and container.

Have fun this week and see if you can pick out the correct mug for the drinkers of coffee, tea, and yes beer. Of course, the bottle for them will give away their choice.
Mine, you ask? I have an old, chipped, red, thick mug, which I’ve used for over a decade. I saw it in a Pier One store around the holidays, checked it out, and decided this was mine. Still holds the bold, black coffee and has many years of ‘seasoning’ inside. No, I do wash the mug, but the chips and memories keep the mug in perfect condition.

Happy Writing. Happy Mugs.