Skating Uphill - December 16

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Are sweaters, perfume, the box of candy routine and so forth haunting your gift giving and receiving? If so, try the gift of free advice. All right, I know it is the gift that in all honesty no one wants, but sometimes they really need it. Am I right? Well yes, I am. So, here is some advice that will keep you through the whole year and be usable on literally any occasion.

Let’s look in the mirror right at YOU. What drains your mental energy? Stop and really give this some thought. What brings you down? Well, here are some thoughts. Too much TV news for a start. Actually, too much TV, in general, really can be a real downer. Mindless TV watching is a huge drainer of good feelings.

Speaking of energy suckers, don’t spend your valuable time around negative and demanding people. Often they create unresolved conflicts—another huge energy zapper. This brings something else to mind, which is worry. We often create our own worry patterns when we have financial issues, unfinished projects, or hanging issues of any kind. Talk about draining!

I think we all know that physical energy drainers are personal choices. I’m talking about alcohol, drugs, smoking, weight, poor diet and so forth. These are tough to get past. Bad habits are exactly that—habits. Breaking a bad habit requires motivation and desire. Often it takes something dramatic to give us that motivational kick in the ass to cause us to want to change. For example, a friend of mine just got a DUI and has not had a drink since. That pre-diabetic caution from the doctor can be a diet motivator. A friend dying of lung cancer makes us rethink how much we really need to smoke. Sometimes, there is what I call “the bolt from the blue” moment. One night it hit me that I did not want to be fat any more. It took me a year to lose 40 pounds, but that was three years ago and I have kept it off. Why then and not before? I simply do not know, but that’s what happened. Think about a bad habit that is making you less than you know you can be. Why not dump it NOW?

My last thought about what is bad for us is something that every woman I have ever known will do at least once a day. Yes, we put ourselves down. Some of us more than others, but we do it regularly. Don’t deny it. Compliments are answered with minimizers. We complain about being fat, skinny, wrinkled, hair challenged, and on and on. Try this instead: Get up in the morning and tell yourself three good things about yourself. I am here. I am healthy. I am pretty. I am capable. I am unique. I am necessary to someone else. If you are with someone who makes you feel that there are no good things about you, ask yourself if that is the person you really need to be with.

So, we have done the bad things, now let’s hear the good news. I have several really easy suggestions: First of all, I said that it is draining to be around negative people. Turn it around and spend your time around happy, positive people instead. Get organized. Finish projects and put stuff away. Many magazines this time of year will be featuring articles about how to get organized. This is a really good idea. You will feel better not to be surrounded by clutter and things you have not completed. Another turn around is what you do with your time. Instead of watching mindless TV, read an uplifting book and take a walk. There is much more good news out there than bad. Take a little time and seek it out. Speaking of time, budget it like you do your money. Don’t over spend—time or money— and don’t over schedule. Save a little money for an unexpected expense, and save a little time for when you need a rest.

Perhaps free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it, but it can be valuable, too. Sometimes advice is based on lessons people have learned the hard way, which means you can choose to listen and not have to learn these lessons the hard way yourself. People are always there to tell you what to do, but you have the power to separate what is meaningful, possible and useful to you. I don’t want to say that life is always about YOU, because of course that is not totally true. But the face you show to others is equally important as the face you see in the mirror of your own heart. Have a wonderful holiday season. Love, Judith


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