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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year Resolutions Time January 1, 2014

Most everyone I know sets herself a goal of less food and more exercise "eat healthy" every January which gets abandoned by March if not sooner. With all good intentions, just deciding to do something, doesn't succeed in changing lifelong behaviors for a lifetime. Behavior modification is a process that is based mostly on reward and punishment. We do what gets rewarded and we shy away from what doesn't and food is a great reward itself. It is so hard but in order to change patterns of behavior that concern food , we need to find rewards that are not food related or, that are taste related. I felt rewarded this morning when I bit into a perfectly prepared omelet and ate  a sweet grapefruit I just picked from my backyard tree.

So a cousin of mine in Portland, Oregon has suggested we choose a different resolution this year. Heidi posted on Facebook that we choose to do Random Acts of Kindness each day throughout the year.

Say or do something kind for someone each day. In college we called these acts of anonymous kindness sharing "warm fuzzies" and refraining from giving anyone "cold pricklies." which were acidic comments, exclusion and inattention. I know it sounds tacky from the olden days 55 years ago from my graduation!!

The smiles I get and the pleasure the residents of the memory care unit receive when I simply say hello to them, when I fix a blanket or bring a magazine for one of them to peruse warm my heart. 

There are those of us to whom it comes easily, to recognize something in the person to whom they speak that they can admire--and they comment on it almost automatically, but genunely. Compliments feel as warm as hugs when they are generously bestowed. For most of the rest of us, this awareness of the other person gets lost. We concentrate on the business at hand-at the market, at the post office, even scheduling a lunch date. We have so much to say, we forget not only to listen, but to gauge how our comments are effecting the listener. 

Be kind, be aware, be less in a hurry. Each time another year passes we get a glimpse that life is short.


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