Monthly Archives: January 2013

Choose Not to Be Afraid

At 4:45am each morning I take the dogs outside for their first potty beak and to pick up our local paper off the front driveway. As our  golden retriever and westie (Snowball & Dooley) are rolling in the snow making snow angels, I am glancing at the paper’s headlines under the garage lights.

Almost without fail, the front page stories shout at me about something that is going to immediately endanger myself or my family.  It can be anything from global terrorism; the national economy, our local unemployment statistics; home foreclosure rates or a whole array of looming health disasters that will kill me off before the day is done.  I’m surprised I can stagger back into the house for my first cup of coffee.

Fear, worry and anxiety are epidemic in our world today.  The media, our politicians and even our family & friends are telling us constantly to “be afraid” of everything and anything.  Yes, there are some very real things in 2013 that we need to be concerned about but do we really have to be worried 24/7?  No, we don’t!

It’s our choice – what are we going to be concerned about (in a healthy way) and what are we going to let go.  It takes practice but over time each of us develops an inner “check list” of what is worth getting our “knickers in a twist” (as the Brits say) and what needs to go on the back burner.  That’s when our inner voice – the language – we use in speaking to ourselves becomes critical.

My challenge to you, is to pay attention to what media generated “fear” can hook you and then be touch with yourself in choosing your response.  It’s your choice.  Do I retreat to my comfort zone?  Second guess myself constantly? Become critical of others?  Cynical of the world around me?  Think about it . . . and I hope you choose to put fear in its proper place.  You are in control . . . not it.

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Three Steps to Add More Happiness to Your Life

I’m on a roll now . . . thinking about the little things that make me happy. A hot cup of McDonald’s coffee, a tidy closet, a sleeping dog at my feet and the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains under bright blue skies just outside my front door. But we are all unique. What makes me smile may be very different for you. The challenge is to figure it out for ourselves. Here’s how to get started.

  • First, watch yourself for a couple of days. Pay attention to what you enjoy, what makes you smile, what gives you a sense of contentment. Not the big “Wows” – those exciting events or moments are great but temporary by nature. The question we really want to answer for ourselves is “What are the simple sustainable things that I do regularly that contribute to my sense of positive well-being?”
  • Second, look for the themes. These things will naturally fall into some general groupings. Using me as an example, I quickly noticed that my physical environment is key to my happiness; my personal relationships are very important; my health & wellness can make or break a day and the icing on the cake is always professional and personal growth. That’s just for starters. Now for you (because we’re all different), what themes or groupings are you noticing?
  • Third, now come up with some action steps for yourself. I got wonderfully inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project (2009). She works on one theme per month and in a funny but practical and realistic way she moves herself forward toward a bit more happiness each and every month. So, start right now in January. Keep it simple by just working on one theme per month. You know what works for you – just do more of it.
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The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, Harper Collins Publishers, 2009.

I seem to find the best books in airports, and once again I picked up this gem while racing through Denver on the way to Philadelphia for the Army Navy BIG football game. Rubin captures what many of us are thinking about and striving toward – bringing another layer of joy, contentment and happiness into our personal and professional lives. She has a wonderful humorous style that engages you from the first page and has you both thinking and smiling throughout.

But most importantly, you find yourself making some resolutions for yourself all with the goal of making 2013 the best year yet!

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When Blogging Grinds to a Halt!

Despite my best intentions, my weekly blog ground to a halt over the last two months.  And it wasn’t even for something terribly exciting.  It was rather due to the sudden onset of severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my hands.  It started late July and really set me back in many ways.  I’ve always been blessed with excellent health so I was a bit grumpy to be dealing with this unexpected health challenge.

But after two surgeries (Oct & Nov) I am back to writing, working out in the gym and generally getting into mischief – the spice of life!  I was able to continue getting out my monthly e-newsletter Kit’s Monday Tip but it is only now (early January) that the hands are ready for my weekly blog to all of you.

And I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling guilty about slowing down or even stopping blogging on a regular basis.  Have you ever felt that way?  Life does get in the way for us.  We may get pulled away by a family member’s pressing needs or by our own.  The lesson I’ve learned is that it’s okay – I’ll get back to it as soon as I can.  We’re just doing the best we can.  So be kind to yourself if you’ve had to take a break – you will be back as I am now.  More to come next week . . . Warmly, Kit





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