The Unlocked Life

Last week I took my 16 month old daughter to a local indoor amusement park with a few of my cousins who also have young children. We had a great time doing all the “kiddie” rides like the carousel and train. My daughter has never been a picky eater and everyone knows that food is the way to her little heart. So what do most people like to do when they are trying to befriend her? Feed her. She’ll waddle right up to anyone who is eating something with a twinkle in her eyes and her mouth open like a baby bird.
Are we too busy to truly enjoy the great little things about life? What’s the harm in slowing down and doing nothing once in awhile? Those are my thoughts in my video, The Sweetness of Doing Nothing, which is based on a quote from the movie Eat, Pray, Love.
Most people have the same or similar resolutions for the New Year: lose weight, save money, and, [insert your romantic objective here]. Those are all good resolutions (if you can keep them past January), but this year I’ve decided that I’m going to keep it simple, and just focus on one main objective: to think positive.
As families grow larger and loved ones move away, traditions help to bind family members together and strengthen ties. A ritual or family tradition can be the one constant among an ever-evolving group of related people. Creating new traditions as old ones become stale or have lost their relevance is also a good idea, especially for families with young kids, blended-marriage families, and multi-cultural families.
Every year when the last leaf falls of the tree and the gusting wind blows her chilly breath, dread develops in my heart. It means that winter is just around the corner. Oh sure, winter has its charms: freshly fallen snow, hot chocolate, and the anticipation or anxiety of the holidays. But what about the daily winter burdens like trying to start your freezing car, the shorter daylight hours, and the strong desire to act like a bear and hibernate? Most winter headaches can be remedied with a positive attitude and a few helpful winter survival tips.
The holidays are the perfect time to instill a sense of appreciation in your kids for the blessings they have in life. I was out shopping recently for gifts, and ran into some friends who were having a hard time finding a gift for a particularly spoiled niece. This particular young teenage girl they were grumbling about had all the latest gadgets, $200 jeans, and her own horse. Now what on earth could they get her (that wouldn’t break their wallets) that she didn’t already have?
Although the holidays are here and it’s meant to be a joyous time with family and friends, not everyone is happy this time of year. In fact, many people dread the holidays as all the parties, people, cooking and cleaning, and shopping increase our holiday stress levels and mess with our regular schedules. So if you are one of those people that would rather hibernate during the holidays and skip out on the festivities, here are a few pointers that might help you actually enjoy some eggnog in the company of family and friends.
A mother I know has a baby girl who was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. Sometimes it takes something horrible to make us realize how lucky we are and how we often take things for granted. Check out my video on being thankful for the good things in our life, and keeping our priorities and problems in perspective.
As a kid, a friend was that special someone who shared her lunch with you, passed you top-secret notes and played with you at recess. In high school, a friend was that shoulder to cry on, to share laughs, and to get into trouble with. As adults, friends are those people that we play phone tag with and see a few times a year. The sad thing about adults is that we become so consumed with our own lives that friendships often get neglected and become a mere afterthought only once we have finished with our work and family obligations.
Most of us have been programmed to say ‘yes’ since childhood. When someone asked you to do something, especially a grown-up, you knew you had better do it or there would be serious consequences, mister. That same frame of mind has carried over into adulthood with many people dreading the word ‘no’ because we want to please people, be polite, and be seen in a positive light.