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Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season

Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? A full-on Parrothead? Or maybe you’re someone who never understood the appeal of a man who wore loud shirts, shorts, and performed barefoot in front of thousands of adoring fans?

It doesn’t matter where you land on the Beach Balladeer’s spectrum of fandom, you’ve probably lived through a figurative hurricane season or two in your life, and maybe even been in the path of one or two literal hurricanes. It’s Hurricane Season 2024 from now through the end of October, and again this year, there will be people who will try to reason with hurricane season. Literal hurricanes, yes – and figurative ones, too.

Let’s use this Jimmy Buffett song as a springboard to talk about the very human trait of trying to control things that are completely uncontrollable. When a particularly stubborn person realizes their attempts at control have failed, they often try their hand at bargaining or even digging in their heels, adamantly...

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Freedom for Working Moms

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. It’s a lovely holiday designed to let moms relax for one day of the year while being appreciated and pampered. It’s a day that features flowers, favorite foods, gifts, and maybe even a macaroni necklace designed by a 3-year-old. Can AI ever replace those? (Please don’t answer that!)

What about the other 364 days? Most moms are working moms, not stay-at-home moms, who were the norm when Mother’s Day came into being. Working moms have two careers – their job and their child or children – and neither one can be back-burnered.

So, if one person has two careers, neither of which can be neglected, what lands at the bottom of the to-do list?

  • Self-care.
  • Hobbies.
  • Passion projects.

The very things that feed the soul of the working mom get neglected due to lack of time and energy. During the pandemic shutdown, many or maybe most working moms found a way to better balance their various responsibilities, and some were...

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Are You Celebrating Today?

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, which can only mean one thing – today is Galentine’s Day! What? You’ve never heard of it? Read on…

Galentine’s Day became a thing in 2010, when an episode of the television series Parks and Recreation centered around the deputy director, Leslie Knope, throwing a Galentine’s Day celebration for her girlfriends. The party featured waffles, laughter, and an abundance of gift-giving, and suddenly women all over America and around the world were planning their own Galentine’s Day celebrations. A quick search of “Galentine’s Day” on your favorite search engine returns hundreds of branded gifts, games, clothing, accessories, party favors, spa package deals – well, you get the idea, right? You know that when we spend a bunch of time, energy, and money on it, Galentine’s Day is real. It’s a real celebration of just how important female friendships are.

In her documentary, Life is...

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Do You Need Further Proof of the Power of Pets?

Do you have a pet? Do you know how influential you are, you pet-owner, you?

As people spent more time with their pets during the pandemic lockdown, and as those without pets realized the value of non-human companionship, all categories of pet purchases – food, veterinary care, training, boarding, you name it – have had booming bottom-line increases. The pet industry, which encompasses all things that pets need, is exploding financially. What is now a nearly $250 billion industry is projected to be pushing $370 billion in just six years.

You, with your care and concern for your pet or maybe multiple pets, are driving that. Meanwhile, your unsuspecting pet is doing what pets have always done – providing companionship to the extent you allow, being as good as you’ve helped them learn how to be (at least they’re good most of the time) and becoming a bigger line-item in your monthly budget as prices of everything goes up. While some people are making the...

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Do Your Words Really Matter?

In the United States, Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. In the early 1600’s, when the first Thanksgiving celebration featuring Englishmen in the New World happened, “giving thanks” was how people expressed their gratitude for surviving a tough year, or for bringing in a bountiful harvest.

The tradition of “giving thanks” was, and still is, a big part of the Wampanoag tribe, who were part of the early celebrations, though not quite as the story is told now. In the middle 1800’s, when the Civil War had ended and President Lincoln was looking for a way to bring the nation back together, Thanksgiving was cemented as a national celebration designed to reflect, gather, and share a communal, traditional meal. The “traditional” meal itself was made up at the time, as was the pastoral story of the early dinners with Pilgrims and tribesmen.

It was called Thanksgiving. Would we still celebrate it if it had been called Gratitude Day or Appreciation...

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How to Keep from Being a Casualty in This War

Our lives are filled with war. War in the mainstream media, war in the social media, and war in the everyday conversations. We don’t have to live in the war zone to be profoundly mentally affected by war.

The social-mediazation of war began with the war in the Ukraine and shows no signs of stopping in this new conflict. From the first attack at the music festival to right now, social media accounts have been showing pictures of things no one should ever see, spreading fake news, and passing off old videos as proof of their version of current events, creating confusion, fear, and despair.

All of this takes a toll on everyone. Everyone, not just Israelis, Pakistanis, Jews, Muslims, innocent people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, as well as combatants. Everyone, no matter how far away or how distantly aware of the events, is affected.

In the Time Before Social Media, the mainstream media had rules that were mostly upheld, and they existed for the physical and mental...

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The Art of Juggling Happiness

Let’s talk about happiness today, and how difficult it is for scientists to even define it, much less quantify it for us. A focus on happiness has been in the news so much that now its shadow twin, toxic positivity, is making headlines. In this post, happiness is being discussed as one of the large range of emotions that humans feel. It’s nice to feel happy, and not mandatory nor even possible to feel happy all the time. That’s a completely unrealistic goal. What is realistic is for you to learn how to soothe yourself so you can make yourself happier when you choose.  

 

First, what’s the official working scientific definition of happiness? 

 

According to Sigmund Freud, happiness has two components: “the absence of pain and unpleasure,” and “the experience of strong feelings of pleasure.” Not much to argue with there, and yet it’s not a satisfying definition, because that definition chases its own tail....

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Do Your To-Do's Include You?

Caution: cliché alert!!!

  • You can’t pour from an empty vessel.
  • Almost everything will work if you unplug it for a few minutes – even you.
  • We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.

Yes, you’re right – this edition of the newsletter is about self-care. July is Self-Care month and yesterday was International Self-Care Day. And if you’re like nearly everyone else, me included, self-care isn’t at the top of your to-do list each day, and it needs to be, for both of us.

Why? Don’t make me point you back up to those cliches, ok? The reason phrases become repeated so often that they become trite and clichéd is because – drum roll please – they’re true. They resonate, and have resonated for decades, if not hundreds of years. And yet here we are, talking about how we neglect our own self-care.

How can we make our own care a priority? First, give yourself credit for the things you already do for yourself:

    ...
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Welcome to the Last Day to Party - Sort Of

Today is the day when Louisiana blooms, not with bougainvillea's riotous blossoms, but with partying people, parades and portable adult beverages. Today is the last day before Lent begins, the final day of the Mardi Gras season, and it’s traditionally a day for gluttony of all sorts before the Christian season of atonement and deprivation starts. Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Carnival Tuesday and Pancake Tuesday are some of the names this day gets called.

  • Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday in French.
  • Carnival Tuesday is a pretty good description of life in the over 50 countries where the weeks before Lent are a big, decadent blow-out of a public party.
  • Pancake Tuesday is the day people prepared for Lent by cooking and eating all the things they couldn’t have during lent. Things like butter, eggs, milk …mmmmmmmm, pancakes…
  • Shrove Tuesday is a day of repentance before the Lenten season begins. From the looks of the parties being held in celebration of Mardi Gras,...
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Why Yes, Today IS Valentine's Day - How Could You Tell?

If you’ve seen a billboard, heard a radio or TV commercial, been inside a store or even just poked your nose outside your front door in the last week, then you already know what today is. Did you know that, in addition to Valentine’s Day, it’s Galentine’s Day, Madly in Love with Me Day, International Flirting Week and National Week of Chastity? Heck, I’m feeling a bit whiplashed with those last two happening at the same time, aren’t you?

This day is fraught with so many emotions and expectations. For happy couples, it’s a celebration of their connection and commitment to each other, wrapped in feelings of love and joy. For unhappy couples, it’s a reminder of what they once had and don’t have now, and that can bring with it sadness, despair and a feeling of letting loved ones down. For those who aren’t part of a couple, it can feel like they’re an outcast in a sea of togetherness and aren’t living up to societal...

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