A New Beginning!

Shrug it off & start anew!

I’m not a big fan of new year resolutions but, after 2020, I find myself making a lot of them this morning. For starters, I haven’t had any weight-loss benefits from blogging about my dietary screw-ups over the past two & a bit years. So I’m writing that off as a failed effort now. Time to wipe the slate clean & begin anew. Starting with a new way of reporting progress, or lack thereof, at the beginning of each month. The pic above is my shiny new weight-loss goal in 2021. This new “reporting” format is just a sneaky way of disguising how much weight I regained towards the end of 2020! But cut me some slack here, please. It’s a little embarrassing & 2020 wasn’t easy, you know! 😜

I weighed in this morning. I have a new tracking app & I logged my weight. The new 50lb target is dialled in. I’m ready to go. Wish me luck. And if you’re starting a new weight-control program, I wish you every success too. Let’s see what we can do before 2022 sneaks up on us! 😜😁

Last year brought pain & despair to many families. But as miserable as it was, 2020 wasn’t all bad. And not for everyone. I’m grateful for the positives too. It threw up a few epiphanies. Only little ones, but these minor events sometimes make little shifts in the direction of our lives. Such tweaks can have a compounding effect that matters. I hope it’s not one of those too-little, too-late things, but I’m now just over two months a non-smoker, for example. Though I’d still kill for a couple of cigarettes with my morning coffee! 🀭

Last year was pretty rough for some of our neighbours. Fortunately, most of us have a little store of kindness on the inside. Sometimes, when we remember that, we can start to make a difference in the lives of others. A lot of us, making tiny positive ripples, can create waves that wash some of the bad stuff away. I’m not preaching at you here, I’m trying to encourage myself to make ripples in this new year. Especially on a beautiful sunny morning like this morning.

To kick off the new year, I think I’ll swing by the ocean today. For a little water-therapy. Maybe I can support a local business on the way back. I just need to make sure that I choose something that doesn’t have me gaining weight the very first day! LOL

I wish you, & those you care for, the very best for the New Year.

May 2021 treat us all kindly!

12 Things About Christmas

Once upon a time …

Though it’s not really that long ago, it’s amazing how much the things & the work surrounding the Christmas festivities have changed.

Can you add to this list?

  1. Where did we find the time to write 50, 60, maybe even closer to 100 Christmas cards? By hand even? And we had to lick the stamps! Yuck!
  2. There was a time when the Amazon was only a river & a rainforest. Now we don’t even have to leave home to shop.
  3. Expecting a CD or vinyl under the tree? Now we get an email with a gift subscription link to a streaming music service.
  4. We had no other choice but to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Christmas Day.
  5. Remember how long it took to find that one dead bulb that kept the tree lights dark?
  6. On Christmas morning, we had to light the fire with paper, kindling & matches. That sounds so Dickensian! LOL
  7. We got up at 5am to start preparing the Christmas dinner. Now we slap the pre-cooked turkey & ham into the oven 45 minutes before eating.
  8. Our local church streams its services. Is that okay, do you think!?! Unless the kids are young, of course, then there’s no choice but to go to the crowded children’s mass. And yeah, that takes about two hours!
  9. Hey priest & choir master … we used to know the words to those old “greatest hits” Christmas hymns!
  10. Used to be that I’d go through the entire festive season without even thinking about the bathroom scale!
  11. Can’t believe there was a time I was disgusted by the thought of having Christmas dinner on the beach!
  12. Imagine there was a time when Christmas was all about God ‘n’ love for each other ‘n’ mushy stuff like that?

Fortunately, it still is. I still see it everywhere, when I take the time to look. In the faces of family & friends when we shake hands & hug, exchanging the spirit of the season. In the local supermarket, when people drop a bag of groceries into the donation bin for those in greater need. In the Salvation Army baubles, bulging with cash donations at this time of year. In a million little ways, so many, regardless of religious beliefs, do a little more. We seems to find a little more of our humanity around this time of year.

There ought to be an app for that!

I may occasionally look back, with nostalgia, on the good old days but, to be honest, I like all the new stuff. And the new ways. I’m just grateful that we seem to have managed to preserve the spirit of, & that’s the best of, the old ways too.

I would like to wish you, & all those you hold dear, a very Merry Christmas. May whatever light that’s lights your way, shine brighter throughout this holiday.

Thank you for reading my stuff throughout 2019. I promise I’ll diet better in 2020. But forgive me if I overindulge during the holidays!

Merry Christmas to all! πŸ™πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ

Current of Kindness

Spread Some Love Today

A little busy at the moment (& my diet is going sooo well too … NOT!) but I just feel compelled to reach out to the void sometimes so here’s a quick scribble. Not at all related to weight loss.

I’ve just discovered that going down for a cup of coffee & a cigarette is not a cure for insomnia. Going down for a second round just means you’re up & at it early today.

Woohoo! 😭😜😁

Here are few things I’ve learned, or relearned, this week, mainly about myself, but see if you can relate …

If you want me to say nice things about you behind your back, then try being nicer to me when we’re face to face. Of course, if I’m just saying things behind your back, you’ll never know, so who cares, right? Next time I see you, I’ll tell you what I really think of you, right to your face. I really think a lot of you, however, so you’ll probably regret not being nicer to me. Sorry!

I’m sometimes inclined to feel sad about things & I’ll think of someone else’s even bigger misfortune by way of leveraging comparitive positivity. Then I’ll feel guilty for doing that & wind up feeling even worse. Today, I think I’ll punish myself by putting a coffee & a sandwich in a coffee shop till for someone who needs it. And then I can spend the rest of the day wondering if that’s just more of the same!?!

Civilisation is but a fragile veneer, easily scratched. It’s sometimes little more than a slender facade covering what lies beneath. Its polish, thankfully, is nothing more than kindness. It only takes a positive bias towards kindness to steer us towards being a little more civil, being a little nicer to each other. I think we probably all have the responsibility to spread a little niceness around every day. I really don’t feel up to it today, however, so I’m hoping you can take on my burden, for me, just for today. Thanks, I really appreciate it.

Good grief, I can hardly believe this but I think I am going to have another coffee!

Is it Friday yet?

Have a good day, all.

And yes, I really mean it!

PS … Sometimes I write drivel & I pause a while before posting. When I reread the above, it sounded like so much drivel that I went down for another coffee & cigarette. Outside, I met a young lad who came down from Canada’s far north for medical treatment. He has broken bones & one eye is black & blue, swollen to the size of a baseball. He is soft spoken, pleasant, & he just feels like a nice human being. He was minding his own business, walking along the street, when he was set upon by two guys with hockey sticks.

I’ve changed my mind & will take back my responsibility for spreading some good today. If enough of us drop kindness pebbles in the pond, maybe we can can create a little current of kindness that will help overcome some of our more terrible inclinations. If you do anything nice today, please let me know. I would like to be re-reminded to keep it up.

Trying to be Kind in an era of Anti-Social Media

Trying to be Kind in an era of Anti-Social MediaAntiSocial Mediea

If you’re thinking I’m avoiding talking about my diet because I’m not doing so well at the moment … you’d be right! πŸ™‚

For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to blame my current, & hopefully temporary, lack of dietary success on the stresses of social media. Some folk are posting & sharing thoughts & beliefs that I could never have imagined coming out of their mouths. These are nice, kind, feeling, thinking people. I’ve spent time with them, eaten dinner with them, had a beer with them, & I can absolutely say that they are nice people. So why would such nice people flip out every now & again, to spread unkind thoughts, memes & tropes?

We seem to be pretty tribal by nature. We prioritize our family, our friends, our neighborhood, our city, state & country, over those of others. Maybe that’s okay up to a point. But it’s not so okay when we start belittling or taking action to lower the “others” position. If, without changing our own position or circumstance, we somehow feel elevated when we take down another, we are in a bad place.

Today’s social media platforms are an amazing way to stay in touch with family & friends around the world. They can be used to spread fun, joy & happiness. They can also be used as tools to denigrate each other, with the safety of that digital distance & anonymity between us. I have been so surprised by some of the posts & comments in recent times, that I renamed my social media app folder “AntiSocial”. Each time I open a social media app, it’s a quick reminder for me to think before I post.

Remember that old saying: if you don’t have something good to say, say nothing. It’s probably still sound advice, isn’t it? Now, I wish I could claim the high moral ground here & say that I am that kind of person. I wasn’t always & indeed, I’m sometimes not. But I think it’s worth trying to be that guy. And I am occasionally reminded of that, most often when someone has higher expectations of me, than I have of myself. We all have the capability of being good people.

This is a great day to remember all this because today, March 20th, is the International Day of Happiness. And spring arrives today!

Now that sounds like a great day to share a little of the good stuff on social media, doesn’t it!

Peace, love, happiness & all that sloppy, mushy stuff (Cut me some slack, I have to preserve some of my bad boy image here! ) to all of you. I hope each & every one of you finds an extra ration of happiness today, tomorrow, & beyond.

PS … I will get back to the diet talk, please bear with me while I battle my demons! πŸ™‚