Happiness is achieved by taking the first stepsPublished 4:44pm Saturday, January 19, 2013
A new year, a new promise for sanity and a new frontier stretching wide in front of us. What do you want to cultivate in your life this year? Ultimately most of us, more than anything else, want to be happy. We can clean up our shower curtains, we can tidy up the book cases, and we can finally move the clutter out of the garage, yes.
But happiness is truly an inside job. There is a Tibetan saying that says: “Seeking happiness outside ourselves is like waiting for the sunshine in a cave facing north.”
To make the new year truly happy, we might consider doing things that move the opening of our cave in the right direction — things that cultivate the internal (and therefore eternal) light. Here are four things (that have been researched and proven to boost the mood) that you might consider doing on a regular basis in the new year:
1. Do one totally unexpected nice thing for someone else each day. If you have housemates, do it for someone that you live with. (Note: totally unexpected. Paying your share of the rent does not count.)
2. Every night, briefly write down three things that went well and why. This is called the “what-went-well exercise” and has been scientifically proven to boost mood even for the clinically depressed. This activity may feel odd at first, but it’s like anything that is new; you have to practice it before it becomes second nature. But by doing so you can learn to re-focus on the positive, to reflect on what went well rather than what went badly.
3. Make regular gratitude dates. Choose a friend or acquaintance who has helped you or positively influenced you in some way. Ask that person to meet you and tell them, in person, why you are so thankful for them. Notice how this affects your mood and theirs, as well as the relationship. (Relationships, after all, are what scientists tell us are the key to a fulfilled life.) Note: It has to be in person, and it is best if it is a surprise.
4. Set a goal for the new year. But, here’s what most people don’t do: break this big goal down into smaller goals. Research shows that goal-setting is associated with happiness.
We hope your 2013 is all you hope for and a Very Happy Year. You are always welcome at the Senior Center.
Monday: Blood pressure, 9 a.m.; cards (Pinochle, Bridge), 12:30 p.m.; movie, 6 p.m.
Tuesday: SilverSneakers, 8:30 a.m.; Exercise with Evie, 9 a.m.; cards (Pinochle, Bridge), 12:30 p.m.; Zumba, 4:05 p.m.; SilverSneakers, 4:30 p.m.; Zumba 5:35 and 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Tai Chi, 9:30 a.m.; cards (Pinochle, Duplicate Bridge), 12:30 p.m.; Stitching Bees, 1 p.m.; Open chess, 1 p.m.; Zumba Toning 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Silver Sneakers, 8:30 a.m.; Exercise with Evie, 9 a.m.; cards (Pinochle, Duplicate Bridge), 12:30 p.m.; Bingo and open chess, 1 p.m.; Zumba 4:05 p.m.; Silver Sneakers, 4:30 p.m.; Zumba, 5:35 p.m.; Zumba, 7 p.m.
Friday: Tai Chi, 9:30 a.m.; cards (Pinochle, Duplicate Bridge, Cribbage), 12:30 p.m.
Weekly Card Results
Jan. 7, three tables
1st Arnie Lang, 2nd Mary Johnsen, 3rd Jim Fisher, 4th Ron Peters, 5th Dave Solomonson
Tuesday Duplicate Bridge Jan. 8, four tables
1st Bud Higgins, 1st Jim Fisher; 2nd Marge Blaser, 2nd Joyce Crowe; 3rd John Allen, 3rd Jaynard Johnson; 4th Russ Vaale, 4th Mabel Vaale; 5th Ron Peters, 5th Gene Muchow
Jan.8, four tables
1st Willard Ballantyne, 2nd Paula Davies, 3rd Eddie Hall, 4th Wayne Chilson
Jan. 11, three tables
1st Dave Ring, 2nd Arnie Lang, 3rd Dave Solomonson, 4th Mary Johnson, 5th Betty Jorgenson, 6th Mabel Vaale
Jan. 9, two and 3/4 tables
1st Barb Dickman, 2nd Jaynard Johnson, 3rd John Karnes
Jan. 11, four tables
1st Eddie Hall, 2nd Beulah Luthe, 3rd Dorothy Stern, 4th Jerry Downing
Semcac Daily Meals
Wednesday: Sweet’ n sour pork
Thursday: Meat lasagna
Friday: Hamburger on bun