Count to Ten!

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How many of us remember hearing one or both of our parents use the expression “Count to Ten” whenever they got angry? Back in the day, this was supposedly the sure-fire way to cool down when one was on the verge of becoming angry.

Today we are usually told to breathe – take a long breath – hold it in while saying one – exhale and then take another – hold it in and say the number two – and so on until you reach the number ten. Naturally if it is something that really has you frustrated and angrier than usual, you should probably do this until you reach the number twenty. Those of us who have meditated on occasion, might recognize that this is a form of meditation.  It is the systematic rhythm of counting and breathing that relaxes the mind so much so that it is almost impossible to remain angry once you have finished.

It is the oxygen intake you are getting due to the breathing in and out while counting that enables our brain to sort of relax by the time the entire counting process of one to ten or one to twenty is over enabling us to increase our perspective of the whole picture subsequently making the so-called “big stuff“ that created the problem or dispute in the first place to look like “little stuff.” Believe it or not, this little exercise works well whenever we get frustrated too. So, next time you find yourself – how shall I say – a little out of sorts with yourself or a project you are working on – try this counting exercise.

Actually, one could perform the exercise anytime during the day or week if for no other reason than to keep us calm and prepared for whatever might come next in our daily list of things to do. One doesn’t have to be angry to do it as it has a great calming effect and keeps us focused. Once you try it, you might just enjoy it as I do and sometimes just practicing it daily keeps me from losing my cool in the first place.

 

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Opinions

I Don’t Know Much About Anything,

But I Have An Opinion About Everything

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The above statement can be said about many people today not to mention those individuals with political aspirations. But, putting political aspirations aside, one thing that should be considered when discussing a subject such as this is that instead of paying so much attention to the actual measure of qualifying, more attention should be directed towards those doing the measuring. Back in the day when I was still working, there were many a time that I questioned whether my boss was qualified to do his or her job. But in all fairness to this last statement, I would also have to ask myself (which I did on many occasion) am I qualified to do mine? Did you ever stop and think: what qualifications did they use as a measuring stick to determine what qualifications to even look for in those candidates for the job? Which also begs the question – who made up this measuring stick and what qualified those individuals to be able to do so. Seem like a Catch 22 to you – it does me!

Case in point, many years ago when I first started my insurance career, I remember having to go on an interview wherein I was given an aptitude test to see if I had what it took to make a career in the insurance field. After taking the test and being escorted into the room with the person whose role it was to discuss the results of the test with me, the individual proceeded to inform me that I should look for another line of work as I would never make it in the insurance industry. That was back in the late 1960’s. My career in insurance consisted of twenty-eight years of actual working in the insurance industry and then another ten years of writing and teaching those desiring to make insurance their career.

Now, what was that question again?

 

Addiction – No, not that type!

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When I woke this morning, I said to myself: “Self, you need to be more assertive in what you do in any given day.” You are never going to get another book written if you keep putting off starting it. You have to become an addict.

No, not the person who is addicted to a particular substance, typically an illegal drug. The other type of addict, the one who is an enthusiastic devotee of a specified thing or activity.

Let’s talk about this for a moment. As human beings, we are all addicted to something. Some of our addictions are good for us while others we would be better off without. Take coffee addiction for an example:

I cannot call myself addicted to coffee – what coffee addict stops after his second cup of coffee? Besides coffee makes me pee which means I have to stop what I am doing and run …not walk…to the bathroom because when sitting at my desk attempting to write my 200 words a day or create a post such as this one, I usually get so wrapped up in what I am doing, I forget how old I am and that any small amount of liquid ingested into this old body causes it to immediately turn it into water.

Sitting at my desk writing sort of puts a crink ….is that even a word….in my writing style. you know what I mean. It’s when I remember after sitting at my desk for about an hour , that hey – you had two cups of coffee this morning and I think of that old saying: “what goes up – must come down. Well,  same holds true about the intake of fluid “what goes in – must come out.”  This takes time away from writing not to mention that at my age, it doesn’t take much to interrupt my train of thought which interrupts my writing. But I repeat myself.

Speaking of train of thought – where was I – no not the bathroom, I left there to head back to my desk to continue writing this piece. Oh, I know, addiction – another addiction I have is my feeble attempt to walk so many thousand steps per day. At one point, I was doing a minimum of 6000 steps a day. Could I call that an addiction? Works for me. One of the nice things about having a step counter in that expensive cell phone we carry with us everywhere we go is the app contained therein that tells you at the end of the day (and sometimes during the day when you least expect it) how well you are doing with your daily steps. I used to be addicted to walking five days a week first thing in the morning.

I would pop out of bed, do fifteen minutes of stretching exercises, put on my sneakers and walk for at least thirty to forty-five minutes. That is addiction. Rolling over and saying it is too cold outside to walk – well, that is just plain laziness. But, at times it feels so good to just roll over and go back to sleep. If there were two addictions I would like to continue with – they would be writing and walking.

Why is it that we can easily break the addiction of doing something that is good for us but continue doing the things that are bad for us? Take sweets for instance – how many of us love desserts? I cannot tell you how many times we have been to buffets and I eat what I think are healthy foods – you know salad, meat (grilled not fried), and fruit – passing on the rolls only to wander over to the dessert table and ruin what I just accomplished by eating healthy. That is addiction. But, one could write forever about the subject of addiction.  What is good for us and what is bad for us.  And let’s face it – that is not my style. My style is to write something – anything – that will bring a smile to the faces of those reading my rants and raves.

So, let me just say this: During our retirement years, if there is one thing we should become addicted to it is “Fun.”  We all worked long and hard to get to this point in our lives and while there are some things we should do and some things we should not do, once we reach a certain age, I am of the old school of thought that most things are good for us if taken in moderation. Take fun for instance, I could become addicted to having fun 24/7. After all, what is fun: Taken as a noun – Fun is enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure. Looked upon as an adjective – Fun is amusing, entertaining, and enjoyable. Getting back to the word addiction, at this point in our lives, best thing we could do is to become addicted to those things that provide us with days of fun.

I will end this with a quote (author unknown) that seems appropriate for the gist of this post:

“A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home.”

Now go out there and have FUN!