Living a Healthy Lifestyle
“Is 2021 going to be the year of substitutes?
No, No, a Thousand Times NO!”
– The Uphill Skater –
My first job when I went to back to work after 11 years home with my two children was as a substitute teacher. I lasted about three months and hated it. It was the worst thing I had ever done. There are some things you just can’t substitute and teachers are one of them. Either I fell in love with the class and then had to leave right away, or I really did not like the class and the teacher was out for weeks. I couldn’t win. I feel the same about many things we call substitutes. It’s not the real thing, and that’s a fact. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it just doesn’t.
In these days of Covid restrictions we are substituting going out to the movies with staying home watching Netflix. I guess we have to do this, but let’s take a shower first and get dressed. We shouldn’t be sitting in our jammies with popcorn butter dripping all over the blanket we are wrapped in and our house a mess. Take out and delivery are also big, and I get it that it is necessary, but again, are we eating out of the carton or pizza box in a sweat suit with bare feet and unwashed hair? And speaking of our living space, Covid experts say that dust and germs go hand-in-hand. Clean your house and put up some decor. Have a life.
Last year I reused old New Year’s resolutions, and it worked out pretty well. Not this year. I am going for a big upgrade on the resolution front. I am thinking like this: Be Good; Do Good; Feel Good; and Project it
Pay It Forward: I have already started paying it forward in a big way, but believe me, it is not easy. I have paid for the groceries of the lady behind me in line, bought coffee for the next person in the McDonald’s drive up, and given up a parking space that was clearly mine! Not easy, but boy, it was actually evoked quite a feel good rush. I plan to continue to do this. Obviously I can’t buy everybody’s groceries, but I can always say a kind word, give a compliment, do a favor, call someone and so on. I know you understand this, so get started yourself. Honestly, I can’t tell you how much of a morale booster it is.
Next let’s trade in grumpiness for kindness with some emotional substitutions. How does that work, you may ask? Well, how about this: Smile when you really don’s feel like it. Try to interact with others in a positive way by stopping the negative talk that is so prevalent these days. Don’t watch things on television that make you mad unless you are prepared to do something about it. (My husband saw something on the news the other day that made him furious, and he started to tell me about it in a furious way. No, NO, NO! I’m not having it. I told him to write a letter, and I’ll be darned if he didn’t do so. We both felt better for days.
Being downhearted is a bummer. Some days we can’t help it, but we can head it off at the pass if we have a plan. Then on those days we can have a quick “go to” happy place? Have a good book or a happy movie lined up. Know where to go for a lovely walk. Give your dog a bath. Have a music playlist filled with music that makes you want to dance. I can’t believe I am saying this, but eat something! Often nothing else will do. Don’t substitute a piece of broccoli for a brownie either! It doesn’t work like that.
Finally, even in these times, do not substitute mediocre for great. Keep your chins up, all of them! Be your best self. Inside of us all is a truly kind and lovely person which is our true core self. If that is not your case, fake it and feel your spirit soften! We all need to be as good to each other every chance we get. Now that’s a New Year’s resolution worth keeping!
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Judith Lawrenson is a former Hilton Head Island resident who has a huge heart and is loved by all who meet her. She has served and volunteered with numerous charitable organizations while living in the Lowcontry making an impact wherever she went. She and her husband recently moved to the wild hills of West Virginia to be closer to grandchildren. Judith is an avid sailor, a retired reading resource specialist, and a children's TV host whose local show originated from the Boys and girls Club. Judith is also a long time seeker of healthy, happy living and a lifestyle dedicated to service to others balanced with love of God and love of self. Check out her BLOG www.skatinguphill.com for fun info, recipes and nutrition ideas, current updates on nearly everything in the world, and lots of comments and opinions.