Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today's Inspiration

I love tulips! Not sure whether I've mentioned it before, but Matias' school often sells flowers to raise money for the school. I'm not too sure whether the flowers are donated or sold to the school at wholesale. Anyway, they keep them in the office and you can pick some up if and when you feel like it. I often feel like it since it's for a good cause, and they are usually quite a good deal. Besides, Pentti can't say anything because of the two aforementioned reasons...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Trouble With Diets

So, in appreciating my health this month, I am trying to eat better. Truth be told, I am on a diet. I also joined a gym!! The trouble is that the weight that I have gained over years, doesn't melt off right away. I had been on my new diet for two days when I decided to weigh myself. I wasn't deluded in thinking that two days of dieting makes for major weight loss. However, two days of dieting seemed like such a long time that I figured it had been a week because that's what it felt like. So, I pulled out the scale and the number was EXACTLY the same; down to the nearest tenth of a pound. What?? How was that possibble?? Then, I realized, oh yeah, I had only eaten healthy for two days and laughed at myself.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Glass Half-Full

I mentioned in a previous post that The Happiness Project was life-changing for me in 2010. It’s hard to explain why exactly. But one of the reasons is that the book made me think and re-evaluate things. One of the things I had to actually change was my attitude toward optimistic, cheery people. I used to think that those really bubbly, always positive people were shallow, dumb and downright annoying. (I’m being honest). But then I read the following: “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” (G. K. Chesterton) In my effort to be a happier, more accepting, appreciative person, I realized that it is actually harder to be positive than negative. Cheerful optimists are not actually dumb; they just work harder to find the good in every situation. It turns out that to be negative and pessimistic is the easy road. In fact, I recently heard one of those perpetually positive people (who used to annoy me to no end) confess that she found herself in circumstances this past year where it was really hard for her to remain positive; she had to really work at it. Hmmm, who’d have thought?!

However, I do still maintain that there are oblivious people out there who always smile and think that things will work out. But why should I stress about them? Things usually DO work out for them just by dumb luck.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Books 2010

Here’s a list of the books that I read last year. There may be some that I have missed since it’s hard to keep track. Without a doubt, the best read of the year goes to The Happiness Project. I strongly believe that whether a particular book “moves” you depends on where you are in your life and what your interests are at that moment. For me, in 2010, The Happiness Project was life-changing. I will probably write about it in a later post. It’s one of those books that left me with lots of things to think about and mull over.

-The Happiness Project

-Shadow of the Wind

-Happily Ever After

-Minding Frankie

-Time is a River

-Literacy and Longing in LA

-Nurture Shock

-Love and Logic

-The Spellmans Strike Again

-Ei Kiitos

-Secret Daughter

-The Girl Who Chased the Moon

-Is That A Fact?

-Savor the Moment

-The Red Tent

-A Fine Balance

-The Help

-The Book of Negroes

-Knit the Season

-Three Day Road

-The Lost Symbol

Friday, January 7, 2011


Today's inspiration and a sure sign that spring is coming: pussywillows.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 6

I have actually had the word appreciate in my mind every single day. I'm hoping that it really is making me slow down and reflect on what's important. No, I haven't met all my goals every day. Exercise, for example, is a tough one. That's why I am glad I am giving myself a month to focus on health and wellness. No guilt for the odd day when I forget/miss something.
Today I appreciate the following things that contributed to my health and wellness:
-swim and sauna
-a great cup of coffee
-an aunt who watches the boys and always cleans a little while doing so
-roasted yams
PS. No, I won't always be posting about appreciating things. I'm still snarky, sarcastic me after all...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Appreciate Health

As I mentioned in my previous post, my word of the year is APPRECIATE. I have decided to choose one area for each month on which I would like to focus. It’s too overwhelming to think about appreciating everything in every area of my life. I think that the whole idea just gets lost. So, in choosing specific areas, I am hoping to focus my efforts. Of course a lot of the areas overlap. In focusing first on health and wellness, I am hoping that I am actually able to appreciate everything else on my list since I expect to be more engaged, alert and patient, less tired etc. However, I tried to pick logical times of year for certain areas. The boys are out of school in August, so that is a good time to focus on appreciating them (it’s not because they are my eighth priority). Anyway, here’s my list:

January: health and wellness

February: family

March: organization

April: church/spirituality

May: others/neighbours

June: intellect/education

July: marriage

August: children

September: job

October: money

November: leisure

December: creativity

I’m not sure how much I will be sharing in my blog, but at least for January, I’ll share that I am also making a list of specific ways that I want to appreciate wellness and health. This may sound onerous to some, but I want my efforts to be somewhat measurable, even if only to myself. So, in order to achieve wellness and health in January, my goals are:

-watch less tv (no surfing channels for something to watch; recorded programs only)

-get enough sleep (absolute bedtime by 11:30)

-limit internet use (esp. facebook)

-eat more healthily (specifically cut down on butter use and baking)

-exercise of some form every day

-read at least three books

-drink more water

-no night snacking after dinner (other than fruit or decaf tea/coffee)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!!

A blog that I follow had an interesting idea. The author chooses one word each year to be her "word of the year". I kind of like that better than having a list of resolutions, which inevitably get broken. After giving it some thought, I think my word of the year will be APPRECIATE.
This evening as I was driving to the grocery store, I saw the most stunning sunset I have seen in years. I had to pull over and take a couple pictures and just stop to stare and appreciate.