Last week, we talked about holiday traditions. This week, I wanted to talk about some holiday favorites of mine, and hear about yours. I also needed a good excuse to share this photo of Ruby in front of our now fully decorated Christmas tree. Much to my surprise, neither Ruby nor Allegra have shown much interest in the tree, so I got daring and hung the rest of the ornaments. So far so good!
Here are some of my holiday favorites:
Favorite song:Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid (I’m really dating myself with this one!)
Favorite movie: Bill Murray’s Scrooged
Favorite cd:Christmas Eve and Other Stories by Trans-Siberian OrchestraContinue Reading
It’s hard to believe Christmas is only three weeks away. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hannukah, are you caught up in pre-holiday stress, or are you taking the time to savor the season? In these stress-filled times, making time for holiday traditions is more important than ever.
Holiday traditions are a way to mark the passage of the season. They give us the comfort of knowing that in this world of constant change, some things don’t have to change.
Most of my holiday traditions date back to my childhood, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. And of course, a lot of my holiday traditions revolve around my cats. Here are some of my favorites:Continue Reading
There is more to life than increasing its speed. – Gandhi
Do you feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done? You’re definitely not alone. And now that we’re on the verge of heading into the holiday season, many people go from simply being busy to feeling overwhelmed.
Even though it may not seem that way, you have more control over your to do list than you think. In order to stop feeling overwhelmed, you need to be willing to make a conscious choice to cut back, do less, and simplify. The following tips can help you do that:Continue Reading
You will find something more in woods than in books.
Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters. – St. Bernard
I previously introduced you to the maple tree outside my bedroom and explained its significance in my life in My Cats and The Maple Tree. Each fall, it’s one of the last trees to turn, and when it does, it turns the most incredibly bright, vibrant red. When the light is just right, my entire bedroom is infused with a red glow from the tree. The glory only lasts for a few days, and each year, I look forward to it.Continue Reading
Show me a good mouser, and I’ll show you a cat with bad breath. – Garfield
We take about 20,000 breaths a day. It’s such a natural thing that most of the time, we don’t give much thought to it – we just do it. And yet, many of us don’t know how to breathe properly.
Incorrect breathing can cause tension, exhaustion, and vocal strain. Most people are shallow breathers, using only the top portion of their lungs, thus causing the body to miss out on the full benefits of a deep breath. Deep breathing raises levels of blood oxygen and promotes health in ways ranging from stimulating the digestive process to improving fitness and mental performance.
Many of us are woken by our cats each day, begging to be fed. I happen to think that’s a great way to start the day, but I’m an early bird. While you may not be able to stop a hungry cat from waking you, you can control other aspects of how you start off your day – after you feed the cats, of course!
What you do first thing in the morning can have a profound influence on the rest of your day. Start things off right by consciously choosing positive rituals. And you don’t have to take a lot of time to do it.
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. ~Leo Buscaglia
I’m a recovering worrier. I have a long history of worrying, and I learned from the master. My dad had elevated worrying to an artform. It wasn’t until the final months of his life when he truly learned to live in the moment. During my last visit with him, when he was already very ill, he told me how he’d learned to “appreciate every flower, and every butterfly.” It sounds trite, but it resonated deeply with me, coming from a man who had spent so much of his life doing the exact opposite.Continue Reading
Routines are human nature. Why not create some that will mint gold? – Hafiz
Last Sunday, I wrote about the value of embracing change, rather than resisting it. This may lead you to wonder why on earth I would now tell you that routines are the key to a happy life. No, I’m not contradicting myself. I’m not talking about the kinds of routines that keep us stuck in a rut. I’m talking about positive routines.Continue Reading
Let go of fear, embrace change, and move toward joy. – Buckley
How do you feel about change? I have a love/hate relationship with it. I often think that one of the many reasons why I love cats is that they are creatures of habit who don’t like having their routines disrupted. I like my life, and I like my routines. At the same time, most, if not all, change in my life has always been for the better.
The reality is that, as the saying goes, the only constant in life is change. Ironically, most of us don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about change, but we sure react to it.Continue Reading
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 25% of Americans feel rushed all the time, and 50% do some of the time. What category do you fall in?
The times when we need to rush are actually a lot less frequent than we think. Rushing has simply become a habit for many of us, and many people even derive a (somewhat warped, in my opinion) sense of accomplishment from being able to say “I’m just so busy all the time!” When you are always rushing, your body is in a constant state of panic, which, in turn, has a detrimental effect on your mental, physical and spiritual health.Continue Reading
Then followed that beautiful season – summer. Filled was the air with a dreamy and
magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
How is it possible that it’s Labor Day weekend and summer is officially coming to an end? Even though we have warm and beautiful weather in my part of the world until well into October, there’s just something about Labor Day weekend that marks a passage. Temperatures may still be summery, but the quality of the light, and the feel of the air, are starting to subtly change and take on a hint of fall.Continue Reading