April 17th, 2010 jeniii
Smile: [smahyl] verb – to express amusement, pleasure, moderate joy or love and kindness, by the features of the face; to laugh silently.
Why is it so hard for people to smile? Even if it’s a fake smile, researchers have proven that a smile, fake or not, will automatically boost your mood. Why? Humans associate emotions with phyiscal activity or contact. If you are walking around sluggish and angry, you emit a negative energy around you. So what do you think would happen if, let’s just say, you smile? Duh! Positive energy all around.
So, I have a social experiment for everyone this month: smile at a stranger. Scenario: you’re taking your dog for his morning walk. You are about to cross paths with a someone you don’t know who is also walking their dog. For some people this is awkward so they look away, or may even whip out their cell phone to pretend to look busy (I may be guilty of this one). Try and fight these urges and just offer a quick and harmless smile. Chances are you will receive a smile back. Now was that so hard? Smiling is contagious, it takes little effort and it’s free! What’s better than a free gesture? A smile can turn someone’s bad day into a slightly happier one.
Don’t just think of this as helping others. Think of this as helping yourself. By smiling you are sending yourself the message that you are a positive individual. And remember, “smile and the whole world smiles with you.” You can thank me later.
July 23rd, 2009 cate
“1. He makes snide jokes at your expense. Although boorish and rude, the occasional zinger isn’t an automatic ticket to the Abusers Hall of Fame.
But aiming poison barbs in your direction and then brushing it off – like “Can’t you take a joke?” – shows a lack of respect. “It’s a sign of emotional distancing, which can very quickly turn into abuse,” says Gilda Carle, Ph.D., (aka Dr. Gilda), an advice columnist on Match.com and author of He’s Not All That (Collins).
Emotional abuse can become physical with very little notice. Just ask Aimee, 41, of San Francisco, who was in an abusive relationship for eight years – while working at a battered women’s shelter! It was so subtle, says Aimee (whose name was changed to protect her privacy). “It went from unhealthy to pathological in such tiny increments that I accepted every little increment completely.”
By the time it crossed over into physical abuse, “I couldn’t name it. I was in absolute denial,” she says.
2. The relationship is on the fast track. He’s infatuated with you and is already talking commitment. But slow down. A light-speed lothario often has something to hide, says relationship therapist Joyce Morley-Ball, Ed.D. (aka Dr. Joyce).
If he’s quick to say “I love you” and soon makes plans for moving in, getting married and having a baby, he may be trying to lock up the relationship before you can see what he’s really about.
He knows you’re less likely to leave him after you get involved, she says.
3. Nothing is ever his fault. That speeding ticket? The cop had it in for him. The job he lost? The boss had a grudge against him. The promotion he didn’t get? The woman who did must have been sleeping with the boss. Maybe your guy has the worst luck ever. Or consider this: The man who never takes responsibility for any of his actions may be quick to blame you when he ultimately loses control of his temper – and his fists. “If you hadn’t done _____, I wouldn’t have hit you.”
If he can get you to believe it’s your fault, he’s off the hook in his mind. So take notice of his blame list – you could be next.
4. You’re always making excuses for his behavior. He’s tired. He had a hard week. He’s under a lot of pressure. He’s only like that when he’s had too much to drink. Sure, these excuses may explain the rare social gaffe and could, in fact, be true. But if you’re regularly trying to explain away rude, violent or disrespectful behavior, you could be emotionally abused.
“There’s this wall of denial that we put up when we’re in a relationship, and we all do it to some extent,” Sugg says. “But you shouldn’t have to explain away someone else’s behavior.”
It’s just like a slap in the face, she says. “How many of those slaps would you take?”
5. You bend over backward so he doesn’t get upset.
Are you walking on eggshells because of his hair-trigger temper that erupts for everything big (a blown deal) to small (his beer warm)?
See the other signs of abuse
February 27th, 2009 cate
There’s a wonderful post over at The Traveler’s Notebook about looking at the world where ever you happen to be, as if you’re traveling. It’s inspiring and encourages you to see things with a sense of hopeful awe.
“You know the feeling. You’re walking to the market, to the store, to meet a friend, all caught up in the plodding forward of your day…and then suddenly, you take notice of where you are. The light on a wall, the expressions on people’s faces, the feeling of the weather. A distinct sense of place creeps over you, and for a moment you feel like a traveler.
I love this feeling. It is a relief to me; ah, I haven’t forgotten what I learned on the road. How to be fully present in a place.
But it’s rare at home. We tend to get used to our surroundings pretty quickly, especially if they’re surroundings we’ve grown up in or lived in for years. And this familiarity isn’t all bad—our brains, freed up from paying acute attention to the unknown, can focus on other things—writing, school, relationships, work, projects.
And yet sometimes, the desire (Overwhelming! Insatiable! Get me on a freaking bus to Belize!) for that novelty and spark of travel is overwhelming. Sometimes a sense of …” Continue reading
January 24th, 2009 cate
“So you lost your job. Now what? As an employee, you had a daily routine, health insurance coverage, and a regular paycheck. You liked the security—while it lasted. And if you sometimes daydreamed about the freedom of working for yourself, leaving a full-time job never seemed worth the risk.
But now, laid off into a recession and the worst job market in decades—2.6 million Americans lost jobs in 2008, with 524,000 eliminated in December alone—you may be thinking self-employment sounds like the best path out of unemployment. Rather than try to land one of the few open jobs out there, maybe you could work as a freelancer or consultant, at least until the job market recovers. You’re in good company: There were nearly 9 million self-employed workers in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But if you’re among the thousands of unemployed now trying to go it alone, where do you start?
First, step back. Decide what your goals are and how freelancing will help you achieve them, says Pamela Slim, author of the Escape From Cubicle Nation blog and a forthcoming book of the same name. “It’s obviously very easy at the point of being laid off to really come from a position of fear and desperation,” she says. Thinking about long-term goals from the start will keep you grounded and help you determine how to proceed. Once you’re clear on your goals, Slim says, you should ask: “What are the specific skills, knowledge, money, resources, information, and contacts [you] need to bring that picture to life?”
There are plenty of nuts-and-bolts concerns that can overwhelm first-time freelancers, especially those who suddenly lost steady jobs. Chief among them is health care. The health insurance system does not accommodate… “ continue reading
January 12th, 2009 cate
I just finished watching Weeds – Season Two, which is so excellent, by the way, and I noticed that in many scenes where people are reading books, you’ll see a book called, “Rejuvenile” by Christopher Noxon. It turns out that he is the husband of Weeds’ creator, Jenji Kohan.
Without a doubt, I am rejuvenile, not to mention too, that I have some weird connection with Weeds. There are just so many references that I can relate to, or that I already know about like the game “Carcassone,” which was incorporated into an episode. How many people even know or CARE about that? I know about it! And Dinah? They have free internet so I go there when I’m in town. Not too crazy about the food, however. Anyway, maybe it’s because I’m originally from L.A. that I simply see all of the stuff I grew up around. I haven’t lived in L.A. for a long time but it’s always fun to see my home town, a crazy wacko kooky village as it may be.
Back to Rejuvenile. Here’s an excerpt from Publishers Weekly: According to journalist Noxon, rejuveniles-adults who use childhood past-times as “a way of maintaining wonder, trust, and silliness in a world where these qualities are often in short supply”-are proliferating, and unlike other books on the topic of “kidults” (aka “twixters,” “boomerangers,” and “generation debt”), his book says this is largely good. Viewing the bright side of oft-bemoaned evidence showing increasing numbers of young adults living with parents and postponing marriage, Noxon has made an entertaining but incomplete read. In appropriately playful prose, he considers successful adults who play in rock n’ roll nursery rhyme cover bands, attend Disney World without kids, and happily plunk down 10 bucks to see Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie. Avoiding “The Downside of Now” until the end, Noxon almost admits that he isn’t telling the whole story of the rejuveniles: although it’s “nice to think of rejuveniles as freethinking romantics,” which he theretofore does, “it’s clear that outside forces also have a hand in shaping who rejuveniles are.” Those outside forces? Not crushing student loans, a stagnant job market or political age-bias, but “the media.” Of course, Noxon would probably just as soon leave worrying to grown-ups of the old school-he’ll be on the kickball field instead.
Want to get the book? Click the link below.
Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grown-up