I am enormously proud and thankful to all who have served our Country and all who currently serve our Country in the military. My grandfather is buried in Arlington Cemetary, a decorated WWII hero, and my uncle Dick Crook has more than a fist full of medals for his service in Vietnam. Neither talked much about their service, and I never even knew about their medals and honors until I was an adult. They both saw combat. I think of them on Veteran’s Day and remember that it isn’t a day for shopping and sales, but to reflect upon and thank the men and women who have given (and continue to give) their time, energy, emotions, and too often their lives to protect us and our Country. Thank you!
Here is what Veteran’s Day means to a Vietnam Veteran…
What Vietnam Means….To a Vietnam Vet
by Dick Crook
Veteran’s Day is special special to me again this year. Not just because of some coincidence of the date being 11-11-11… But because it’s a somber time when men & women in uniform representing the USA throughout the world are “in harm’s way” and they ask so little in return. Your respect, and your support are appreciated, but they do it willingly even with or without those…!
I’m thankful that there are those who have served or are currently serving our country in a time of need. They wrote a blank check which they signed as a promise to allow YOU to fill in the amount with “whatever it takes” without restrictions up to and including their lives and made it payable to the USA…!
I turned 20 years old in a bunker on an observation post in Viet Nam. My birthday candles were “incoming” mortars and small arms fire. My cake was a cookie in a box of C-Rations. I’m a 3rd generation combat veteran and I have a LOT for which to be thankful. I’m here today to tell you that it was an HONOR to have served with the men & women of the US Armed Forces. All gave some and some gave all…! AND they keep doing it EVERY DAY…!
Many years ago, for his 8th Grade class trip, my son, Doug, was planning to go to Washington, DC with the rest of his 8th Grade class. The kids were asked to write a paper explaining what it would mean if they were chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Many of the girls wrote papers and so did Doug. He explained that he was at Arlington National Cemetery when his Grandfather had been laid to rest and that his Dad is a Viet Nam Veteran. He would be proud to be chosen to lay that wreath because his Grandfather would be proudly watching over him…! As you might imagine, Doug was chosen and fulfilled his wish to participate in that high honor on his 8th grade class trip. After which some of his classmates joined him in some quiet reflection at his Grand Dad’s graveside. It was something that affected his whole class and they will always remember Veterans with respect.
Veteran’s Day means EVERYTHING to those who serve. It’s NOT just another day to put up the flag and salute. It’s the day that our nation can enjoy a REAL Thanksgiving, thanks to veterans throughout the world who CHOOSE to write that blank check AND they make it payable to the USA…! Veteran’s Day is MY real Thanksgiving…! THANK YOU to Veterans near and far from long ago and from this moment forward… Thank YOU for your service and you are always, “Welcome Home…”
“I’m gonna be a grandfather.” No pronouncement has a bigger “Awwww” factor. These five words come with an absolute guarantee of warm, sincere hugs, overly enthused back pats, and bone-crushing handshakes — often from perfect strangers. However, this exact declaration, nearly always spoken with smug pride and joy, can also convey a less-than-jubilant sentiment.
According to Grandparents.com, a contrary brand of baby-boomer granddad is not as uncommon as one might think: the “Reluctant (Peter Pan) Grandpa.” This cat clings to his vanishing youth with all ten claws. He insists that his grandkids call him by his first name. (Fond, grand-paternal appellations have been declared taboo, as they are reminders of the man’s advancing age.) He smells of Axe Body Spray, remains undefeated at Guitar Hero, camps out and smokes dope at Bonnaroo, adores Las Vegas, and only visits his children’s offspring on major holidays.
Now, let’s imagine Reluctant Gramps as a real-life guitar hero, the guy who actually struts across that Bonnaroo stage in tight, torn pants, sporting garish jewelry dangling on his exposed, tattooed chest, screeching lyrics of teenage defiance over power guitars, bowel-stirring bass, and monster drums. His post-concert date is an angular, Vicoria’s Secret supermodel, a waif who is actually younger than his own children. This arrested adolescent’s entire career depends on maintaining that sexually charged, bad-boy image — preserved carefully, of course, with hair dye, botox, Max Factor, and lighting trickery. He has already turned more than enough calendar pages to put his rebel cred in serious jeopardy. No wonder this multi-pierced Peter Pan drags his grampa shoes.
Why? Because our culture worships youth. The press can be brutally unkind to those whom Reuters unaffectionately calls “wrinkly rockers.” European journalists are especially mean spirited. Wrote German critic Sebastian Gierke of a “farcical” Ozzy Osbourne concert: “He kept screaming ‘I can’t f—ing hear you!’ over and over again. You felt like shouting back, ‘Buy a —damn hearing aid and maybe you’ll realize you’re singing everything off key.” Ouch! Unfortunately for poor ol’ Oz, he can’t jump into a time machine and erase all those years of hard-rock self-abuse. Ironically, his initial infamy had everything to do with all those crazy stunts he somehow survived way back then; the unending drug and booze binge that eventually reduced today’s geezer/rocker to such an incomprehensible self-parody.
It’s easy to see how a middle-aged rocker parading his kids’ kids around publicly might be exhibiting a career death wish. That’s probably why, when I googled “Grandpa Rockers,” I got more links to Amish furniture makers than articles on hard-rockin’ grand-paters. Even though there’s an ever-growing contingent of vibrant, still-creative, 50- and 60-something rock gods, from Petty to Bon Jovi, Springsteen to Tyler, these cats (along with their savvy publicists) tend to keep their grandparental status hush-hush — either that, or the press and the unwashed masses just don’t care.
It’s public knowledge that Alice Cooper and longtime spouse Sheryl Goddard have two grown children and one on the cusp of adulthood. However, the long-in-the-tooth shock-rocker/Republican golf enthusiast’s Wikipedia “personal life” mentions nothing whatsoever about grandkids. Whether the macabre metal maven is a granddad yet or not, I can’t help but imagine a family Thanksgiving at the Coopers. “No, Max,” Cooper and Goddard’s daughter Calico might correct her confused toddler, “Alice is your grandfather!”
Rand Bishop is a Grammy Nominated, BMI Award-winning songwriter, and the author of Grand Pop, a darkly comic novel/mock-memoir written from the point of view a fictional, reluctant-grandpa/rock star. Other Bishop books include Makin’ Stuff Up, “a songwriting course wrapped in a memoir.” A former major-label recording artist himself, Bishop will become a first-time grandfather in November, 2010. For more information go to:http://www.randbishop.com
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DHeiser shared how she originally wanted to be a nun, but over time she decided the social science field was the best fit for her. Her children Liam and Aiden also weigh in on what their dream jobs are.
- Asiegel1202, CNN iReport producer
A few years ago I came across a worksheet I’d completed in early elementary school – probably first grade. One of the questions asked was “what do you want to be when you grow up?”My answer was “a nun”.
Things didn’t work out exactly as I planned. I didn’t become a nun after all. Instead, I got a PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology and have worked in the field of research for many years.
When I asked my 2 boys a couple of years ago, when they were 3 and 4, what they want to be when they grow up, my older son said“ a doctor who takes care of older people”. He received a lot of praise, which fueled this goal (until this year when he turned 6 and decided to tweak his goal and become a doctor who takes care of bugs). We now have a slew of ants, beetles and caterpillars in plastic containers being “cured” of their ailments.
My younger son told everyone he also wants to be a doctor. Apparently he loved basking in the praise too. However, one day he confided to me that he in fact wants to be a Jungle Man. He didn’t want me to tell anyone because he was afraid they would think it was funny. So, he and I talked all about his becoming a Jungle Man, and during the course of our conversations, he wrote a book about it. You can find it on http://whenigrowupiwanttoliveinthejungle.wordpress.com/about/
I’m looking forward to seeing what they do when they grow up.
George Steinbrenner’s Split Personality: A Psychological Analysis
BLOGGER: JOEL WEINBERGER, PHD
As anyone who is even remotely interested in sports knows, George Steinbrenner, larger than life owner of the New York Yankees, has passed away at age 80. We are inundated with interviews of those who knew him, specials on his network YES, major newspaper articles, and even commentaries on news and talk shows. His appeal has reached well beyond the world of sports. One theme that keeps appearing is what everyone refers to as a contradiction in his personality. Mr. Steinbrenner was famously tough, impulsive, and bombastic. He would fire employees at a whim, berate them, come close to harassing them with phone calls at all hours of the day and night, demand perfection, and ruled by fear. At the same time, he was involved in many charitable causes, would help out those he had cruelly fired, and remain interested in the lives of his ex-employees. So the question became, how could he be this cruel unfeeling person and, at the same time, this caring philanthropic person. He was a walking contradiction.
This so-called paradox is more apparent than real. The same personality characteristics that led to his angry, firing behavior led to his kindly, charitable acts. In fact, Mr. Steinbrenner was completely consistent in his behavior. Before I go on, let me state my biases up front. I am a rabid Yankee fan and I loved reading about Mr. Steinbrenner. I am absorbed in watching these tributes to him and would have loved to thank him personally for bringing the Yankees back to greatness. My bottom line feeling towards him is a very positive one. I also never did meet him so this is all based on known psychological principles but not on any personal knowledge of the man.
There are three characteristics that probably explain Mr. Steinbrenner’s apparently inconsistent behavior. First, he was a passionately emotional person. Although highly intelligent and even calculating, he was often ruled by his emotions and easily emotionally aroused. Emotions came before reason for this man. Second, he was impulsive. He was a man of action and often acted without reflection. That means his actions were often emotionally based. Third, he was The Boss. He needed to be in charge and he was in charge. There was a paternalistic aspect to this. He could be a caring or an unforgiving father but he was always the father. That means the other person was always a subordinate, a son or a daughter. Now let’s put this together.
As do all of us, Mr. Steinbrenner experienced a myriad of emotions that changed powerfully over time, sometimes over short periods of time. We all love and hate the important people in our lives at different times, sometimes at the same time. Unlike many of us, he was very comfortable having these emotions so that he did not question or deny them. They ruled to the point that his behavior was often more driven by these emotions than by his rational reason. Although this is generally true of people it was especially so for Mr. Steinbrenner. He didn’t have the filters that most of us develop to consider what we should do when a thought occurs to us or an impulse to action is felt. Mr. Steinbrenner was impulsive. That meant that when an emotion hit him, he acted on it. And he often did so without thinking much about it. So when he felt angry, he acted angrily. He fired people; he berated them. When he had a question or a thought or an idea, he didn’t wait to think it through, he called the person at any hour and talked to him or her about it or he acted on it. He was impulsive. He was impulsive in what he said and impulsive in what he did. And he was comfortable being this way. This was behind his apparently uncaring and cruel actions. It was also behind some of the lame brained things he did like hire a con man to get dirt on a player. And it was behind some of his ill-considered quotes. But when Mr. Steinbrenner had a positive emotion or a charitable impulse, he acted on that too and did so just as comfortably and easily. So he rehired people. He heard of a cause that moved him and immediately acted to help that cause. He heard of an employee experiencing hard times and his feelings were stirred. He acted and reached out to help that person. As his emotions shifted and his impulses changed, he behaved differently. The behavior looked inconsistent but was always consistent with the emotion de jure. Look for emotional, not cognitive, triggers and you’ll see the consistency.
Finally, George Steinbrenner was The Boss. No matter what he did, it had to reflect his status as the father figure, as the one in charge. When he berated, or fired, or demanded an answer to something that had occurred to him in the last few minutes, or reacted to an event and offered the quotes that made the back page so often, he did so as the one in charge. He was never a supplicant, a subordinate, or even an equal. He was The Boss; the father. This was true of his kind behaviors as well. Whenever he helped someone, he did not have a back and forth. He came from on high and bestowed his largesse. He was still in charge. He offered advice; he gave help. Even when he took advice, it was from subordinates, not equals. He was always the father and he retained the right to override and to second-guess his people.
So again, how could he be cruel and caring? Because his emotions like the emotions of all of us shifted. He just acted on all of them and he did so quickly. He was impulsive. And he was comfortable with it all. How did he have the nerve to push people around, fire Yogi Berra, demand accounting from his subordinates at odd hours? He was the boss, the father running the show as he saw fit. How could the same man treat these people so well? He was the boss, the father, providing them with his largesse.
In his case, it all worked. Why? Because he was extraordinarily intelligent, he was a talented executive, and because he had the carrots people wanted as well as the sticks they feared. This style leads to mistakes and broken relationships but he was able to override those pitfalls because of his talent, charisma, and ultimately because winning was so important to him that he would back down if he saw that winning was in the offing. Winning settled all scores and forgave all transgressions. That is, whether you agree with it or not, he had a value that gave all of his actions meaning.
Joel Weinberger is Professor of Psychology at Adelphi University. He is also co-founder of Implicit Strategies. You can find out more about Joel at www.implicitstrategies.com.
Midlife begins at 40.But what does MIDLIFE really mean? Does it mean an end to youth, a beginning of a new chapter in life?Is life half over by 40, or is 40 really the new 30?The answer? It’s all true.But…that isn’t all bad.We have a lot to look forward to!For example, did you know that in their 40s, most people become more intimate?Hmmm…I’ll talk more about that in a minute…And in your 50s you are likely to become more generative?This doesn’t mean that you become more productive; it means that you become more giving of yourself, which turns out to be a good thing not just for you, but also for all of those around you.Your 60s are likely to get even better, because by this time, you are likely to experience deeper intimacy and generativity.Wow.Chances are you’ll feel more fulfilled; have stronger relationships and just feel better about life.In other words, you are moving toward the feeling of a life well lived.And isn’t that what most of us aspire to?
So, come along and find out what is in store for midlife, beginning with the 40s.
·We know ourselves better than we ever have once we reach our 40s.
·We are more likely to have reached a level of “intimacy” rather than “isolation”
·We have fewer but better friends than in our 20s and 30s
Twenty years ago, most people in their 40s were in an established career, relationship or marriage, and parents of children in their teens or beyond.When someone pictured a 40 year old, it was pretty different from the nearly impossible snapshot of what life looks like for people in their 40s today.The lifestyle has changed so that today, there are lots of people in their 40s getting married for the first time, having their first child and/or starting new careers.In this way, the 40s are like the new 30s.We’ve essentially, extended our youth (and that isn’t such a bad thing).There are some in their 40s who are sending their kids off to college, enjoying more free time and maybe even pondering retirement.But there are some defining features for our 40s.For one, most people know themselves better, and thus, are more comfortable with who they are.That inner voice becomes louder and demands we pay attention!Decisions tend to be made based on who you know yourself to be rather than who we think we should be (pleasing mom, friends, significant others).
This gives the 40-somethings the ability to:
·Speak frankly and openly
·Not take things so personally
·Be less superficial
·Expect to be listened to
·Be more resourceful
·Appreciate what makes people different (become less judgmental)
In essence, as the great psychologist Erik Erikson wrote over a half century ago, this boils down to a stronger self-identity, making the 40-somethings more secure, independent, and able to form closer relationships with others.Being less guarded and more self-assured opens us up for better, more meaningful interactions with others.—-This is intimacy. —- So, intimacy isn’t just found between the bed sheets.It isn’t just referring to relationships with a spouse or significant other.It is the relationship we have with our children, family and friends too.In our 40s, we hope to achieve a healthy level of intimacy.The alternative to intimacy, what we are fighting to overcome, is isolation.What this really means is:
Retain a sense of selfNot achieving a sense of reciprocity from others
Isolation likely is due to a lack of sense of self or insecurity, making it difficult to form secure relationships with others.We can see, when people go through “blips” in life, where external forces affect our lives, that our sense of self can be “rocked” which can make a strong relationship go through an unstable or less stable period.We can also see that some people who don’t know themselves, or are insecure about themselves start to find themselves, or become more in tune with their identity, and that can create difficulties in achieving or maintaining intimacy.
So to sum up the 40s, something changes as we age.Over time, we begin to become choosier about who we want to spend our spare time with.We have confidence in ourselves and don’t need friends around to simply tell us, “wow, cute hair…great handbag…cool boyfriend” like when we were in our 20s.It isn’t about the external stuff so much anymore.For the most part, we know what looks good on us, we know what we want to buy, and how we want to present ourselves.We aren’t buying new Prada shoes because a girlfriend has a pair or a new Iphone to be important (well, maybe that is stretching it).
So, tell us, have you reached the level of Intimacy in your 40s? – Simply leave a message in the comment box and it will be posted!
There are some people in this world that approach every birthday in their later years with a sense of dread; an unwelcome, God-forsaken, doomsday event.
One of those people is my mother. Every year I try to remind her of the level of self possession and appreciation for life that she has now, that continues to grow as she gets older, and that she never had when she was young. Every year I point to her the strength, the beauty and the wisdom with which she perceives life now, that defines her day to day experience, and that only came with age. Every year, she admits I am right. My mother is an extraordinary woman with extraordinary depth, and a capacity for love and sheer delight that most people can only dream about. And yet despite her treasures; despite her sanctuary of a home and her beloved cat creatures and her rich social life and her back yard of magical forest fauna, every year, she fights me. Every year, as I implore her to remember who she is and how she inspires me, she clings to her disgust about age, insisting that I won’t understand until I reach her age.
Perhaps she is right. Except that I believe we all have, to some extent, a hand in how we experience, or respond to, the inevitabilities of life – and our emotional responses are shaped, in part, by our attitudes. And I don’t want to dread growing older. Maybe I can’t control that. Maybe there is some genetically-pre-disposed, universal experience to getting older that I’m oblivious to. Or maybe we’ve all been sold a bill of goods; an ideology so utterly devoid of virtue or any morsel of humanity – that to age is to become undesirable, impotent, irrelevant and disposable.
There it is. The elephant in the room. Well, hardly. Common attitudes about aging in North America are nothing short of pathological, and yet somehow, they make up most of the propaganda we all willingly participate in every day. My mother is one of many victims of a mass media marketing machine, peddling warped ideals of an age phobic culture. How will I fare? Will I succumb to mainstream dictum?
Not if I can help it.
Jesse Mendes is a writer, editor and journalist who is deeply committed to helping to change how older women are perceived in North America, and to dispeling the stigma around aging. Her blog can be found on the Blogroll on this web site, and on the link on her Twitter page, where she goes by the name SeptemberMay.
We are always thinking of ways in which we can lose weight, eat better, exercise more, and so on.
How often do we think outside of that box? Here are some ideas for making our lives and the planet healthier!
1.Change the Way You Eat
Idea #1 – Make it a point to sit down with friends and family for at least three meals per week.
With the change in schedules and the availability of fast food, our society has moved far away from the relaxing social meals of the past.When eating with friends and family, we eat slower because we are talking and enjoying the conversation.Not only will we feel better physically but we will be filled much more emotionally.
Unfortunately it is not only our country that is compromising the way we eat.In John Robbins book, Healthy at 100 he notes the following:
“In almost every culture in the world, eating dinner together has been a place for families tostrengthen bonds.The French in particular have long cherished mealtime as a family ritual, so much so that children have traditionally not been allowed to open the refrigerator between meals.But the days of sitting for hours around the table savoring small portions of several courses and relishing each other’s company seem to have passed.Instead, it has become commonplace for the French to eat in front of their television sets, while talking on the telephone, and even alone.As McDonald’s has become more popular in France than anywhere else in Europe, the average French meal, which twenty-five years ago lasted 88 minutes, has been reduced to only 38 minutes today.”
Idea #2 – Stop eating in the car, in front of the television, or standing at the counter.
Our digestive system is not meant to adapt under any of these circumstances!When we sit down, relax, focus on our food, and breathe, our bodies are prepared to produce the appropriate amount of digestive enzymes and we get the most benefit (nutrients) out of our food.Part of the reason we overeat is due to these unconscious methods of eating.We hardly chew our food and inhale it at such a rate that our brains have yet received signals that we are actually full.Consequently we overeat and feel bloated and gain weight.The crazy part about the whole process is we have no idea just how much this type of eating has compromised our health.
If this is you, maybe one of your resolutions is to make the time to sit down, relax, and take afew deep breaths before taking your first bite.Appreciate the amazing fact that food is our lifeline to health.Enjoy it fully.
Although this has sounded crazy to most people that know me, even if I am alone at home for dinner, I actually prepare a delicious nutritious meal, pour a nice glass of wine, set the table, light a candle or two and really enjoy the time of eating a wonderful meal in a relaxed setting.I am sure this sounds off the charts for many of you but I encourage you to try it once or twice.It is a great experience!
Idea #3 – Learn about Slow Food
Slow Food is a movement that counters fast food.It is about creating a way of eating and living that associates the pleasure of food with community and the environment.There are many Slow Food movements throughout the world.Here a some sites to learn more: http://slowfoodcu.wordpress.com/about/
Idea #1 – Stay out of the middle of the grocery store!
The most natural and healthy foods are found around the periphery of the store.You will find the most nutritious and least processed foods in this area.Not only is the food more processed as you wander down the aisles but can be more expensive.Plus the amount of packaging adds to the increase in waste products in our landfills.
Idea #2 – Take a list and Do NOT go when you are hungry!
I realize that neither of these ideas are new yet can save you a lot of money and keep you on a healthier track of food.Think about what you would like to make and jot down the ingredients you need.Make it an intention to get only those ingredients.Of course if you see some great sale on fruit or vegetables you might want to get extra while you are there.The main thing you want to avoid is picking up that junk snack food that you know isn’t good for you and yet is so tempting when you are hungry and just mindlessly wandering the aisles of the store.
Idea #3 – Change one/two buying habits into healthier choices.
Although eating organic and antibiotic free meats can be expensive, in the long run it is cheaper than eating a bunch of junk and ending up sick!Besides, by watching for specials in the produce, meat and fish section of the stores, you can find deals that are worth the purchase.For example, not too long ago the Whole Foods in Boulder had grass fed ground beef on sale at an amazingly cheap price.Now I don’t often eat ground beef but at that price it was worth purchasing it and keeping it in my freezer for that unexpected time I might want to make something with it.
The same goes for produce.Although you can’t necessarily store it, there are certain foods that I (now) only buy organic.The reason being is that certain plants are sprayed much more with pesticides and the produce absorbs more of it.Two examples are strawberries and spinach.I only buy these if they’re organic!
So start with one or two things that (you feel) are easy to change in your diet.Maybe it is organic produce or antibiotic free chicken, whatever it is, it will have a positive impact on your overall health over time.
3.Become a Part-Time or Full-Time Locavore!
What is that you ask?The term Locavore started in the San Francisco area not too many years ago.The premise was to encourage people to only purchase food that has been grown within a 100 mile radius of where you live.
Eating local foods is a great step towards saving our planet and increasing our health.When you purchase food that is grown within 100 miles of home, you are helping the environment.It requires much less fossil fuel to get it to the store!In addition, the food is much fresher as it is picked when ripe, thus allowing time for all the nutrients to get into the food.You are also eating foods that are in season; something we are designed to do.
Although this might not always be easy, start with your local Farmer’s Market.You will meet some great people – the farmers and ranchers.You will find you have a much greater connection to the person growing your food, the food will taste amazingly so much better, and you will feel a greater part of the whole food chain.If you are in a cold climate where this is only available in the summer, start there and get to talking to the farmers.Chances are that many of them will be able to provide you with food in the winter months as well.
I have found a local organic farmer, Jay Hill Farm that grows greens and various other produce all winter long.I just have to email her and it will be picked the following morning and ready for pick up after 11am.I have made salads with her mixed greens and arugula for many friends and family.I always get the same reaction, ‘wow this is the best salad I’ve ever had!’In so much as I would like to think it is my amazing ability to make a salad, I know better.The main difference is the fresh and vibrant taste of the greens!
Want to learn more about the ‘locavore’ movement?Here is a link and quote:
“The “locavore” movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to grow or pick their own food, arguing that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Locavores also shun supermarket offerings as an environmentally friendly measure, since shipping food over long distances often requires more fuel for transportation.”
Idea #1 – Purchase water in larger quantities and fill your own bottles.
To begin, water is life.Without it we will die and yet we don’t drink enough.Many people are walking around dehydrated and don’t even know it.For more details on signs of dehydration and more on the benefits of drinking water, read this article.
Meanwhile there are many more people drinking water-like products than ever before.First, many of those are processed and have various types of sugar and more.Rather than purchase these expensive products drink good water!Second, realize the environmental consequence of using all those bottles!
Last, if you do not have good water available in your area, purchase a water filter.There are many types on the market and are worth the cost.
Idea #2 – Purchase a healthy reusable bottle for your water.
BPA is a chemical that is found in hard plastic.It is very toxic and has been proven to cause cancer.Although more companies are aware of this and changing their bottles, not all are there yet.If using a plastic bottle, look for one that says, “BPA Free.”
One of the companies that have taken on this change is Nalgene.I really like their bottles as they have a variety of designs to meet everyone’s needs.If you cannot find them locally, here is their website.http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com/store/
The second option is to use one of the Swiss made bottles.They are stainless steel on the inside so no worries about the plastic.Again you might be able to find these locally but if not, here is their website.http://mysigg.com/index.asp
5.Find Ways to Help Sustainability and Decrease your Carbon Footprint
In addition to the aforementioned, here are some relatively easy things you can do that have a positive effect on our environment.
Idea #1 – Decrease the amount of animal products you eat.
One of the ways we can have the greatest impact on our planet is to change our diet towards a vegetarian one.Now I am not proposing that we all give up animal products.I personally cannot imagine doing this and yet I am very impressed by those that have.
What I do realize is that even with eating grass fed and antibiotic free beef, cage free and natural chicken, and non-farmed fish, we are still using a great deal of the resources available on our planet.According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, “Livestock production is responsible for more climate change gasses than all the motor vehicles in the world. In total, it is responsible for 18 percent of human induced greenhouse gas emissions. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.”
So what do we do about this?Well, my goal is to start by having one day a week that I eat no animal products.I will then work towards two days.If each of us gave up one or two days a week, we would have a huge impact on our planet.With this being said, I intend to put more vegetarian recipes on my website!
Idea #2 – Start unplugging what you are not using!
Unplug lights, stereos, printers, heaters, and anything else when not in use.Even if the units are turned off, many of them continue to use energy.The only way you can be assured they are not is to unplug them from the wall.It only takes an extra second but can have a huge impact on our energy output.
Idea #3 – Recycle!!!
Make it a goal to have a minimal amount of non-recyclable trash.Last year I made my goal to not have more than one (kitchen) bag of trash for two weeks.So far I am there all but those times that I have a big party.Once you get in the habit it is really easy.If you have a local recycling program, learn about all that you can recycle.If you are lucky enough to live in a place like Boulder, then you also have compostable recycling.If not, get a bin and start composting.Here is some information on how:
Idea #4 – Buy products with the least amount of packaging.
As mentioned earlier, if you stay along the periphery of the store, you will find the packaging to be at a minimum.Even at this however you need to think!I do see these plastic containers for spinach and mixed greens.Don’t buy them!Instead buy in the bulk.
To support this concept even more, I just purchased some reusable vegetable bags.I haven’t tried them yet but am excited to decrease the amount of plastic bags I accumulate.Check out their website!http://www.3bbags.com/
Idea #5 – Use less paper products.
Two ways that are extremely easy is in the kitchen.Rather than purchasing paper napkins, get some really nice cloth ones.It is a much nicer feel on your mouth and hands and they last forever!I still have the original ones I bought about 25 years ago!(I use them for outside picnics and camping.)
The other easy change is in using dish towels rather than paper towels.Dish towels or sponges are great and can be reused for a long time.Of course we do still need some paper towels but not so many.
Idea #6 – When Purchasing Paper Products, Get Recyclable Products
If you have information or ideas that are along these thoughts, please share them!I look forward to hearing from you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
ulie Webster is a Certified Massage Therapist and Certified Health Counselor. She provides health education online and through seminars. In addition she has written a book titled “Regaining Good Posture” which is available as an ebook, with videos performing each of the stretches, through her website: www.julie-webster.com Julie is also available for presentations on posture and various health topics to corporations. To reach her visit her website or email her at email@example.com
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Does happiness change with age? Although the difficulties of the aging process coupled with negative stereotypes about the elderly lead many to think that a decline in happiness is inevitable, in my first post I argued that some research contradicts this popular belief. A number of studies find that those who are 64 are more likely to report higher levels of happiness than those who are 34 or 44. These findings are revealing, and certainly they point to reasons why we should be somewhat optimistic about our “golden years.” But in this post I would like to add a note of caution. Although some have used these compelling findings to definitively conclude that happiness increases with age, I think this general conclusion is problematic for two primary reasons. After discussing these problems, I will try to keep the reader happy—especially the baby boomers–by nonetheless arguing that there are still considerable reasons to be optimistic about getting older, even if the future of aging presents a number of pressing issues for society as a whole.
The first problem with concluding that happiness increases with age is that findings on this subject vary according to how happiness is measured. This brings us to an issue that has perplexed greater thinkers throughout the ages: What is happiness? On the surface, this is a rather basic question that could be answered by most anyone. We have all experienced happiness, and, therefore, we all believe we know what it is.Yet because happiness is a subjective experience, a standard definition remains elusive. We all come to our own definitions of what happiness is, and subsequently use this definition to answer the question, Am I happy? Therefore, even with the understanding that people can be wrong about their own emotional states, most research on happiness is based on directly asking the people being studied to provide the answers themselves. The most basic way of doing this would be by asking a single global question like the following: “Taken all together, how would you say things are these days—would you say very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy.”
Some—particularly in psychology– approach the question of happiness a little deeper by more precisely trying to define the components of happiness. Since they often still take a subjective approach to answering the question, the term that is often used interchangeably with happiness is “subjective well-being” (SWB). Fancy terms for common words are often a part of academic disciplines, and it might be true that in many cases such substitutions are a way for people with PhDs to feel a wee bit smarter (and, thus, a bit happier). In this case, however, I think the use of the term SWB is way to arrive at a more precise definition of happiness. The three broad components that make up people who are high in SWB are characteristics typically associated with happiness: high life satisfaction, high positive affect (more likely to experience positive emotional states), and low negative affect (less likely to experience negative emotional states). Reliable multiple-item questionnaires have been created for all three components and used in hundreds of studies.
Now what is interesting is that when you take a close look at the research on aging and happiness, you find certain differences depending on how and what component of happiness/SWB is being measured.For instance, the single item question described above (“Taken all together..”) has been used in a number of large studies comparing thousands of people of different ages. Some research of this types indicates that happiness is high in people in young adulthood—in their 20s—and then shows a decline until one reaches their late 40s to early 50s, whereupon we once again see increases. Other research, using components of SWB, finds other results.For instance, considerable amount of research on life satisfaction does not often show the early dip in middle-age, but rather a gradual rise from individuals in their 30s to the early 70s. Also, research on negative affect often indicates significant declines in the experience of negative emotions as we move from young to older adulthood, but the research on positive affect is less conclusive, with some research indicating no change with age, other findings pointing to small increases, and yet other research finding gradual declines.Please note that even when these mixed results are considered, it still does not suggest that happiness is highest in young adulthood.
I will try to make sense of these discrepancies in a moment.But let’s take up the second problem, which is that a considerable amount of the age and happiness research is composed of populations that often do not include many people in their 80s and beyond. Not including such age groups might have made sense several decades ago, when they made up smaller amounts of the elderly population. But that is not the case today, and it is likely that “late life” for increasing number of people in the future will not mean late 60s or 70s, but the decades beyond. Therefore, this is an important population to consider, and when we begin to expand our research pool to include these age groups, the picture of happiness and aging becomes more complicated.For instance, while SWB research comparing samples of people in young adulthood and middle-age (30 to 50) to older adulthood (60 and 70s) often indicate higher SWB in the older populations, when we look at groups beyond their 70s, declines are more pronounced. My own longitudinal research with a sample of 1500 men found that while negative affect showed a significant decline between middle to older adulthood (from 40 to 70 years), these declines began to flatten when they reached their early 70s, and then the experience of negative emotions showed a gradual increase as men moved into their 80s. Therefore, while it is true that a number of studies do find increases in happiness with old age, many of these studies fail to define “old age” with individuals beyond their late 70s. Studies that do focus on the very old (>80) often find reductions in SWB with age.
What are we to make of all of these discrepancies? First, it seems that if we want to get a more defined picture of how happiness changes across the lifespan, we need to fully consider what aspects of happiness are being measured. When we consider the different components of SWB and how they show different changes across the lifespan, rather than think of these findings as inconsistencies we might instead want to consider how they reveal the different ways that aspects of the happy life manifest themselves across the lifespan. A more complete picture of happiness requires us to move away from a global and singular answer to this question. Different changes in different indicators of SWB might point to the varied ways we adjust to the aging process.
Second, recent research that finds declines in happiness in very late life make it clear that we should be careful about coming to any general conclusions about the direction of SWB across the lifespan. Although it is now more common to find headlines—in both academic and popular outlets—claiming that happiness is highest in later life, I think this optimistic picture of aging is incomplete. Yes, there is considerable amount of research that indicates that people are quite happy at 64, but we know considerably less about this question when we ask those who are 84. And while 64 years of age might have once produced the iconic image of the later years of life in a song written several decades ago, this picture of late life has shifted and thus must our conceptions of what it means to get old. Recent research indicating declines in happiness in the very old (>80 years) should be reason for concern. They probably point to the many stressors of the aging process as increasing difficulties accumulate.
Yet before you say I don’t want to be 80, consider a couple of points. Several longitudinal studies on SWB find a significant degree of variability in how people change across the lifespan, even in these later years. This is another way of saying that while a considerable number of people might show decreases in happiness in very late adulthood, a considerable number do not. Yes, people are still flourishing, even in their 80s and 90s. Why? What predicts differences in the ways we cope with the aging process? This is an essential question that I will address in a future post. The important point to consider now is that there is no reason to believe that such declines are inevitable. This leads me to my next point, which is that not so long ago our perceptions of aging and what was to be expected of those in later life were considerably different from today. Ageism and common negative stereotypes of the elderly remain, but consider the more sedentary lives of those in their 60s and 70s a half century ago, and compare that with the active lifestyle many in this same age group are practicing today.This profound cultural shift can be attributed to a variety of factors, including greater amounts of social capital, better health, and expanded life expectancies.
One of the most influential researchers in gerontology and positive aging, Paul Baltes, once wrote, “The greatest invention of the 20th century is old age.” In saying this, Baltes was saying how none of the changes we described were inevitable. If people live longer and in some cases better at later ages, it is because of the significant contributions made by society to cause these changes.But Baltes’ comment also points to the tremendous strain that such an invention places on society and individuals. If getting older is to continue to mean getting better for a significant portion of the population, it will also require considerable effort and sacrifice. When you consider that whatever the age of the person reading this post, it is now more likely than ever before in human history that he or she will spend more years at advanced ages of life, such commitment and sacrifice will be an essential part of ensuring a happy populace now and in the future.
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