Happy New Year!

Today I'm beginning a daily post called Thirty Days, Thirty Simple Ways to a Happier You. Please take a look and comment. I'd love to hear your ideas. I'll be adding a comment each day through the month.

This past year I’ve found myself dragging through the days and exhausted by the time evening rolls around. I teach middle school full-time and write fiction part-time. I wanted more energy and enthusiasm to write for an hour or so evenings and not have it feel like another job. 
As a teacher I’m always giving out tasks. It dawned on me that I should be taking on some assignments too. The following is my opportunity to help myself. Perhaps some of these ideas may benefit you. I’m not talking about major, too over-whelming-to-even-consider tasks. No, these are easy things that won’t cost a lot of money, time or effort but added together I hope will really make a difference in my life and yours too. I plan to keep a simple journal (read spiral notebook) as I go through this process to reflect on each day’s task. You might want to as well.These notes are directed to myself and you if you want.
My inspiration : I saw a recent photo of myself and barely recognized my own face. I looked tired, puffy and middle-aged. Okay, I am middle-aged but I don’t want to look it! I’d settle for me minus five years.

No, these won’t be graded!
Day One –Be kind to yourself.
Decide today to be kind to yourself. Be gentle, forgiving .Acknowledge that you are human, we are human and when we make mistakes, and we will, we must forgive ourselves. Learn from it and MOVE ON.
A few months ago, while driving to Okaboji (a vacation area in northern Iowa) I became impatient with a slow motorcycle ahead of me. I followed him for several miles on a highway just itching for a chance to pass him. I was fifteen miles from my destination and I wanted to be there. Now.
I passed him going 80. As soon as I did I started berating myself. You know the dialogue.“What if you hadn’t made it…and that was really stupid and you could have killed yourself.” I came up to a stop sign and the cyclist pulled up behind me. I hadn’t saved any time at all.    
I resolved right there to stop calling myself stupid. My internal dialogue went something like this “Okay, that wasn’t a good idea. Thankfully no one was harmed. Next time don’t be in such a hurry. Pass when there are better conditions.”
When you find yourself being negative-stop. Talk to yourself and others kindly and gently.


  1. Nice idea! I like it! I too will be kinder to myself starting this week. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. What a great idea for the new year. Thanks for sharing. I hope 2014 is happier and less stressful for all.

  3. Very neat idea. I need to try your suggestions.

  4. I like it, Jewell. Great idea. I'm going to try and keep up.

  5. Yes. Yes. and YES. I totally needed this! I have been beating myself for...beating myself up, lately. I've been asking myself why every mistake has to come with a big bitter spoonful of self-depreciation. Thank you for this reminder that everyone makes mistakes--and that I'm not the only one giving myself black eyes.


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