Monthly Archives: December 2015

Promises to myself for New Year’s

As I’ve said, I don’t believe in – or practice – New Year’s resolutions. But it struck me this morning that that being said, Friday might be as good a time as any to start anew and to promise myself more of what brings me joy.

There are so many things that bring me joy, when I take the time to notice them, and so many ways I can bring more joy into my life (and hopefully into the lives of those around me).

So, for the upcoming year, I promise myself I will:

  • Meditate more
  • Laugh more
  • Play more
  • Rest more
  • Bask more
  • Relax more
  • Practice yoga more
  • Lift more
  • Goof off more
  • Enjoy more
  • Love more
  • Hug more
  • Smile more
  • Watch Dr. Who more
  • Joke more
  • Notice more
  • Appreciate more
  • Snuggle more
  • Hardwire my happiness more
  • Love more (again)

I was reading Hardwiring Happiness again today, and I took note of the Good Year box. “On New Year’s Day, I started a Good Year box. Each day I put a note inside about something good that happened. I will read them all on New Year’s Eve. Now when a little something good happens in my day, I feel it instead of glossing over it.”

I think it’s serendipitous that I read about the Good Year box two days before New Year’s Day. The timing is perfect. I’m going to start my box on Friday. I invite you to join me.

Happy New Year!

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Which wine, what that?

Our trip to Spain was wonderful. How could it be other than that?

For those of you who know that I left with my right leg in a boot because of a stress fracture, the boot came off. In fact it came off practically the minute we got to our apartment in Madrid, and they offered to show us the terrace…on the roof…up the tiny spiral staircase.

It never went back on.

We went in every cathedral and church we could find, spent hours in museums, and browsed (and bought) in every store that caught our fancy – all things we couldn’t do if we’d had my understandably reluctant teenage son in tow. We walked. And walked. And walked. Up hills, over cobblestones, through side streets and too many plazas to count. I spent most of those walking hours reveling in the fact that I wasn’t in a boot.

We had more ham (jamón ibérico) and cheese and wine than we could imagine. Each day had four meals – the third being our “pre-dinner” meal of jamón ibérico, cheese, and wine.

I learned to ask for the type of wine I like (heavy, full-bodied red – always). “Muy fuerte” I learned to request. “Muy robusto.” “Con mucho cuerpo.” I ended up with many wines I liked, and even loved.

And I had fun asking.

Right or wrong, the way I like to travel is to at least try to speak the native language wherever I am. One of my pet peeves is the American habit of speaking English to everyone, everywhere (and if that doesn’t work, simply speaking English even louder, with more emphasis). I like to learn what I can, and attempt to connect with people in their land, in their language.

But I’m not very good at it – even in Spanish, which I studied “hace muchos años, en la escuela” (many years ago, in school).

So I try, and I make a fool of myself, and then I – and the people I’m with and the people I’m trying to communicate with – laugh. That’s what I like. I like the trying and the laughter, and the connection of the laughter.

That’s how I learned to ask for my desired type of wine, in fact. “Quiero un vino tinto, muy fuerte,” I said to the waitress at our first pre-dinner, with a number of hand gestures and weird, hilarious sounds to accentuate the “muy fuerte” part, because what I like is very, very, very full-bodied, intense red wine.

With these efforts, I got a great wine one night, one I loved. I wanted to order another glass, and to remember what I’d ordered for our next night out, so I reached into my remembered Spanish and asked, “Cual vino que eso?”

The waiter smiled and my daughter cracked up. Apparently my remembered Spanish was poor. Instead of “Which wine is this?” I asked something like, “Which wine, what that?”

Ah well. I had fun. (And I had good wine.) I laughed. My daughter laughed. The (Spanish) waiter laughed. We laughed at my trying and failing, and had a moment of human connection – and faulty communication.

And I got another glass of great wine.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Joy to the world

It is that time of year. A time of year I love.

I am a mix of religions and outlooks. I have an upbringing that includes a lot – a lot of weird maybe, but definitely a lot. And so I look at this season and celebrate much and most of it.

We light the menorah and sing the prayers. I pause on the winter solstice and honor the earth and life. I gather with my father’s family – whom I see once a year – on Christmas, and eat bagels and lox for breakfast and homemade brownies for dessert.

The twinkling lights. The fact that the days will soon be getting longer. The sense of cheer and love and good will that many people have.

It is, for me, a season of joy. Of joy to and for the whole world.

And joy to all of you!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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