Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New decade, new attitude.

There, it's in black and white...if not in paper. Attitude is everything, I believe. Not in the way most people take this: sort of challenging, edgy, in your face...NO, I mean positive attitude! That is my goal in this new decade I have just started.

Since I decided to go on this gossip and negativity fast, this have moved fast. I feel energized. You have to put an effort, of course, but the rewards are great. Relaxation will come as well....or not since I am a worrier by nature. BUT this is so worth trying!

My big birthday came and went. I was surprised how many people remembered, how many others actually paid attention to the Facebook reminder and posted something, how many called, emailed and showed they care. It was a realization, since I usually think the worse first... called me skeptic. This year, and maybe because of my positive attitude, things went differently!!! One more reason to continue with the fast.

I have stayed away from gossip, most of the time. I have reigned in my desire to have an opinion on everyone I get in touch with, or give a report on people I meet. I have decided that time could be better used in pointing out the fun I had, the good news that person shared. Not easy sometimes, I tell you. Most people want to talk about....well, other people! Stirring the conversation away from that is a challenge at times. One doesn't want to offend anyone. So trying has been, well, trying.

Then there is negativity. You know that not everyone has the ability to be positive and sometimes your encounters are a bit drab. Tell me bout it, I have been a recurrent pessimist. You know exactly what I mean: there is not a silver lining in your dark cloud and you tend to see the bad first. In the real world, sometimes you need to console and to reassure, or simply you cannot avoid bad news. This is different from just complaining and dragging everyone down with you. Again, not easy, but I have managed with some success.......so far!

So here's to changing attitudes, to starting a new decade with a new outlook, to have something better to do with your time and to enjoy life to its fullest!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Birthday Week!

A week you'd say...I can hear it now. There she goes again, unpredictable. You might be right, but why not? My birthday is on Friday....I'll be older than I would like to admit, but feel better than I thought I would at this time....so I'm celebrating!!! Not with a big party, that involves work and little enjoyment, not with any of the rituals we tend to have on these occasions, NEEE! I plan to do things for me, because I like them, because I enjoy them, because I feel like it!!! A bit of selfishness is in order, I think.

Women tend to try to hard on themselves, trying to be everything to everyone in their lives.....it's an ingrained mechanism we don't know how to shake off. Well, I am trying to be positive, remember? trying to "dish the bitching".... This includes being nice to myself. Someone said, I believe it was Dr. Christiane Northrup, "Women are here to serve, but they are NOT the main course"!!! Couldn't have said it better myself. So, I would go on with my home routine this week, but :

I will laugh more often
Keep up my negativity and gossip fast

Move to the music whenever I hear it

Start my day with a moment of gratitude

Go walking as meditation

Keep in touch with friends

Pamper myself

Have to remember that I cannot control the lives of my loved ones, consequently, I have to accept that there is more than one way to live a life! That will bring some serenity to my days, I hope, because it means I shall have the freedom to live my own as I please.....What a great birthday this will be!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Moving On......

Yes, this positivity thing is catchy. I have received responses from family and friends, no idea yet how is it going for them. For me, it's keeping me focused and that in itself is a great thing!

This week I have been in touch with friends from Curaçao. Called Laurita first. She is 91 and very active. One of the local newspapers ran a story about her last week. After 60 plus years living on the island, she is a celebrity of sorts and she is so sharp and with it! Told her that since I am planning a trip sometime in July, I want to hear everything that is going on: from political news, to celebrations, to the real estate market to the power outages. Sort of an scout mission. Haven't been there for about a year, a lot can happen even in our small island.

Read some of my friends' Facebook pages, to see what is new in their lives. Emailed others and asked about their plans, making sure they will be there when I come. Simple straight forward queries, it was so much easier and felt great. Moving on, don't need details of things I cannot change or information that is not useful......

Anyway, I am being positive and keeping away from gossip. So if I am missing some of the information in this deal, I really don't care! All I need to know is that the beach is still beautiful, the days are warm enough to spend them outdoors, my friends are celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, going out on Thursdays for a drink and there is power at night to sleep in the airco (AC for you in the States!). I want to see as many of my friends as I can, spend time just driving around, eat and drink well, play bridge and walk in Jan Thiel at sunset.

I want to meet the new additions to friends' families, enjoy the laid-back lifestyle and recharge my batteries. It will be just wonderful and it can come soon enough.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Challenge

Well, I have gone and done something I thought I was not going to: start something personal on Facebook. Yes, yes, I remember saying to myself: Keep it light, keep it mostly impersonal, share few things. As it happens, things have changed since I read that inspiring post about the fast on gossip and negativity. I went on Facebook and posted it there and then asked my friends to joined me.

Can't take all the credit for the second part, my friend and fellow blogger, Prati, gave me the idea. It was a bit of a challenge and I decided, why not? We all need to take small risks in life, do some things not everyone would approve of, or simply things that sound a bit strange.....what to do? I think my real friends would expect anything from me. Mercedes, they'd say, can be so unpredictable! So there it is: I have embarked in this fast and are doing my darnest to keep it up. Not easy, I tell you.....especially the gossip thing. The negativity has been, so far, less of a challenge, a bit easier to handle. That can change, I know!

I wish I had discovered this years ago, when I was in my negative period back in Curaçao. Before I discovered Life in the Tropics is fabulous, that I was very lucky indeed to have landed there. Youth! what do we know in our 30s or 40s for that matter......it took me so long. Never mind, new page!

So how about it? are you ready to do this? could a bit less negativity make us happier? I am sure. Could a bit less gossip make a difference in our relationships with family and friends? You bet. Could we use those hours we spend in these useless endeavours for something more constructive? absolutely!!! This is sounding better already so I hope you all join me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Solitude and Gratitude!

A few months ago, I gave into the age thing and joined Vibrant Nation "where smart, successful women 50+ connect with others to make the most out of life every day". It has been such a positive experience so far! Members come from all over the US and Canada.....with a sprinkle of expats. I am sure at some point it would develop into something more encompassing. For now, there are plenty of women sharing everything from how to go gray to how to look younger without surgery, from traveling solo to girls nights out, from divorce to widowhood to relationships with younger men. A veritable spectrum of experience and advise. Great reads at the very least! Enjoyable for sure.

Today I discovered a new thread about how to really get more of what you want, it goes something along these lines: I know many (maybe most) of us have an ingrained habit pattern that focuses us on what we don’t want. Changing this pattern can be challenging. And I've seen with myself and my clients that it’s definitely worth doing! Says the author, Bonnie McFarland. It is inspirational and the comments that followed can take you in all directions. What I like most, is the openness of the discussion and the heartfelt advise. One really made me stop and think: "....it helps to start and end the day (most days) in silence and gratitude. Today I decided to go on a 90 day fast of gossip and negativity". What a concept!!!

I am adopting this! Have no idea how hard it would be, but I am willing to try. It goes splendidly with my new resolve of buying only when replacing...a whole new attitude in life that can only enrich my life. As with this latter mantra, I am sure it will all depend on my behavior, on the way I see things and react to them, on the level of involvement with myself, in the way I meet challenges and work with them. Also goes well, with change is good!