Come on, Get Happy!

Come on, Get Happy!

A Positive Attitude Can Change Your Life

Everywhere we look today, advertisements promise that once we are “successful enough”, we will “arrive” and finally experience true happiness.

Many of us are led to believe that once we get the perfect house, job or when we retire,  we will finally reach a place of happiness. But what if happiness isn’t a place that we arrive, at all? What if instead, real happiness—the kind that brings peace and gratitude along for the ride– is a choice?

The truth is that to a large degree we can choose to be happy, and much of this choice has to do with the small decisions we make each day.  In many ways, happiness is a state of mind–and we control our mind, our thoughts, and our outlook.

Positivity pitfalls
Some people seem to be natural-born optimists. For them, the glass is always half full. But for those who are tempted to see their glass as half empty (and full of mud), read on for ideas to navigate your way out of the most common positivity pitfalls.

1. Molehills and mountains.
“Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” We’ve probably all heard that expression directed at us at some point. But sometimes, it’s hard not to over-react when bad things happen.

2. Avoid the discontentment trap
Keeping up with The Jones’ is as American as apple pie. But in the last twenty years, the Jones family has stockpiled a lot more stuff to keep up with.

3. Stay connected
We humans are social creatures. Even the most introverted people need some form of connection to thrive. And that can be a real challenge for those who are advancing in years (especially if you do not have family who live close to you.)
Positively happy
Remember, happiness is a choice. So the next time you catch yourself feeling down, ask yourself if you’ve fallen into a positivity pitfall, and consider changing your perspective. With practice, being positive will become your new habit, and you’ll soon discover that glass is, after all, half full.

Continue reading 
Marty’s Musings on positive thinking.

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ABQ BioPark Aquarium
Under the sea! Sharks, Jellyfish, and Sea Turtles await you, along with lunch at the café.
Saturday, Feb. 8
$55, includes lunch
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Arte en la Charreria:
The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture

The Albuquerque Museum of Art and Culture
This exhibition emphasizes the rich legacy of tradition and valor, honor and custom and war and peace that surrounds the Mexican charro; the life of revered horsemen.
Saturday, Feb. 15
1-4pm, $55
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My Favorite Year (the musical) and Dinner
El Pinto and Adobe Theatre

Benjy Stone is a 1950’s sketch writer for a live television variety show. The task of keeping the show’s celebrities sober and celibate until airtime falls to Benjy, who soon finds himself involved in a series of shenanigans.
Friday, Feb. 21
$150, cost does not include dinner
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The Loretto Chapel
and Lunch at The Shed, Santa Fe

The sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph to help find a solution to the seating problem. A man appeared on the ninth day with a donkey and a toolbox, looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. Some people concluded that he was St. Joseph himself!
Sunday, March, 1
$100, cost of lunch not included
Register by: Feb. 22

Marty’s Musings on Positive Thinking

There has been a lot of talk lately about how a positive attitude can influence business success, but our February e-newsletter will focus more on what a positive attitude can do to improve quality of life.

When I think about this topic, I’m reminded of the time when I was the Director of a Foster Grandparent program many years ago. Many of the older people who had applied were required to have 40 hours of training before they could be assigned to work 20 hours per week with special needs children. They would often tell me they did not think they could make the commitment because they had so much chronic pain due to arthritis or knee or hip pain.

Many talked about how they were often immobilized due to weather, waiting for medications to take effect, and the inordinate amount of time and struggle just to get dressed. But in every case, once they started working one-on-one with their assigned special needs child, they told me the time flew by and they couldn’t believe when their four hour volunteer work with the child was over. They were so focused on providing love and encouragement to their child that they totally forgot about their own pain and discomfort.

They were amazed that their chronic disease or their constant worries and anxieties had somehow fallen into the background of their being. Many older people are isolated, living alone in their homes or apartments, happy to have some of their most meaningful possessions with them, but far from family. And due to mobility and/or transportation problems, don’t see others to interact with or actively participate in watching activities.

My own mother-in-law is just an amazing example of a positive attitude improving quality of life. At age 99, she is blind in one eye and walks very slowly with stand-by assistance only, has difficulty hearing, and has no teeth. Yet she says she’s grateful for what she has.  She can still eat; she can see well out of one eye to watch sports on TV, watch her great grandchildren, feel the sunshine, walk and climb stairs, and talk a little on the phone.  She says, “What good would it do to complain.

It wouldn’t change anything, except to make me feel bad and prevent me from enjoying what I have, while I still have it.”  “If I can go up the stairs now only once to the bedroom at night and come down and spend the day downstairs, at least I can still do that.”

Doing things we enjoy, while it may be difficult, gives us another outlook, another perspective.

Just making the effort can make all the difference.  For example, going to a museum, an art gallery, a concert or a musical, or even to have someone take you for a drive and coffee out in a cafe can change one’s attitude not just for that hour or two but sometimes, for the whole week.