Tag Archives: new year

For 2016, Shut Up and Dance

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Happy New Year!  The last few years I’ve written well-meaning posts along the lines of New Year’s resolutions, mostly about being better and kinder to yourself, which will result in your being better and kinder to others.

For 2016, my motto which I also recommend to you is going to be Shut Up and Dance.  This of course is the title of Walk the Moon’s extreeeeemely addictive pop song.  The official music video on YouTube has something like ten trillion gazillion views.

Direct link if the embed does not show up:  http://youtu.be/6JCLY0Rlx6Q

This video is so retro.  Besides a cute lead singer, it was shot with a total nod to the 1980s — the hair, the clothes, the makeup, and especially the video style of clunky, computer-generated special effects.  Remember those early CG efforts?  Funny to watch now.

So what does this have to do with a new year?  I don’t mean that you or anyone should literally shut up and not say anything, but I will recommend to stop complaining.  I do it, you do it, we all do it.  What really bugs me is that I find we tend to do more of it as we get older, and it’s a major downer.  A turn-off.  A party pooper.  A wet blanket.

I hang around very few older people, meaning my age (57) and older, because they do so much **** constant complaining.  Bitch, bitch, bitch.  It’s wearing and draining and a huge negative weight that I neither want nor need.  Sadly, the stereotype of the crabby old man/woman can be true.  Don’t be that stereotype; be upbeat.  And if you can’t be upbeat, be quiet.

Weeellllll…. good in theory, right?  I know it’s impossible.  We don’t want to be insufferable Pollyannas either.  And sometimes we do want or need to vent.  But maybe tone it down?  One thing I hope to do is stop harping on negative personal things.  For example, I have a minor foot issue that’s sometimes painful.  My family and close friends know about it, so there is absolutely no need for me to keep bringing it up.  They know.  It hasn’t changed.  So drop it.

Now the more fun part of my recommendation — dance.  Either literally dance, or at least get moving.  The sedentary lifestyle — says me, the mouse potato — is a killer and we need to move our bodies.  Dancing is more entertaining than walking on a treadmill, which I find boring as hell.  If an exercise is boring, you won’t stick to it, or you’ll hate it every second.

Maybe you have an issue with your knees or whatever and cannot actually dance.  You can still move to music.  A very fun video game is Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, in which you “conduct” music to various trippy special effects.  It can be a ton of arm exercise, and face it, haven’t we all wanted to conduct an orchestra like Mickey Mouse in the movie Fantasia?  I like rocking out to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody or Bruno Mars’s Locked Out of Heaven.  I bought the game when it was new, a little over a year ago, and the price has come down a lot since.

Here’s a video of how the game works, with the song Let It Go by Demi Lovato from the movie Frozen:

Direct link:  http://youtu.be/D7Xr_4ePyD8

Don’t know about you, but I would 1000 times rather do this than lift free weights.  You can play in “Party Mode” like I do (going directly to the songs) or go through the child-appropriate Story Mode, which unlocks more content.  Btw, Let It Go is another good resolution — let go of stuff that holds you down or holds you back or otherwise clutters up your mind.  But maybe I’ll hold that thought ’til next New Year’s Day!

Happy New Year! What are you waiting for?

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Happy New Year to one and all.   I hope my long-time readers will remember the post I had one year ago in which I said my byword for 2014 was going to be “play.”

And more or less, I did.  I don’t mean I skipped along merrily through each and every day like a manic Easter Bunny, scattering flowers and candy while ignoring chores and duties.  But I did try to take advantage of more opportunities to have fun.  I think even Mr. Silver Nail appreciated it; for example, in the fall I kept urging him to go on walks with me in the gorgeous autumn weather, kicking through fallen leaves like kids, before winter descended.  In the summer I urged more picnics and hikes.  Here’s where we went on the 4th of July:

Strawberry Lake

For 2015, I want to STOP WAITING, and I’ll suggest the same for others.  I am just terrible about putting things off, big and small, using the “when-then” excuse.  Maybe you’ve heard some of these excuses.

“When I lose weight then I’ll buy myself some nice clothes.”

“When I have a trip to Italy planned then I’ll learn Italian,” which is negated by “When I learn Italian then I’ll plan a trip to Italy.”

“When the weather is sunnier/cloudier/warmer/cooler/breezier/less breezy then I’ll go for a walk every morning.”

“When all my nails are grown out then I’ll get some pretty polish.”  (Note:  at least one nail is always broken.)

“When I have more energy I’ll go to the free concerts in the park every week.”  (Hint:  going to the concerts would give you more energy.)

“When the kids are older then I’ll go back to college,” which becomes “When the kids are on their own then I’ll go back to college,” which becomes “I can’t go back to college because now I’m too old.”

“When no one will laugh at me then I’m going to learn to play the bagpipes.”  (Good luck with the no laughing part.)

“When I have more time then I’ll take better care of my skin,” which becomes “Now that I’m retired and have time to take better care of myself, what’s the use.”

See what I mean?  Do you do this too?  You wait and wait and wait for things that never come or happen because you have essentially sabotaged yourself.

Let me tell you about a really silly example, but one that’s been bothering me.  When we were first married, almost 34 years ago, my new in-laws gave us a set of good china.  It’s lovely.  I kept it carefully displayed in a corner cabinet but could never quite bring myself to get it out and use it.  No occasion seemed special enough.  Then when the kids came along, heaven forbid we should actually use the dishes and risk any of them getting broken.

So year after year, decade after decade, they have sat in the cabinet.  I’m sure my grown kids will have absolutely no interest in inheriting the set some day because the china means nothing to them.  Because I never used it.  Because I waited.  And waited.  What was I waiting for, a visit from the Queen?  I should have realized that a simple meal with my family was the most special thing of all.  Better the dishes should have been used and broken (which they probably wouldn’t have been anyway) than never used at all.

What’s something you’ve really wanted to do or try that you’ve been waiting on?  Learning a new language?  If you have a tablet there’s a free app called Duolingo that’s awesome.  Have you been wanting to play a musical instrument or sing or take up ballroom dancing?  Stop waiting.  Just do it (apologies to Nike).

And now a random contest.  Tell me, in the comments section, what you’re going to stop waiting on and start doing, or what you want to do.  Proof is not required.  I’ll pick some random names and send some random stuff.  EDIT:  1/5/15 — I have picked two names and will be emailing the winners soon.  Thanks for all the great comments!

What’s your New Year’s revolution?

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Yeah, you read that right.  Resolutions are so blasé; let’s have a revolution instead.

Admittedly, I got the idea from this AT&T commercial:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5Ifd4j81OM  I love that “What in the world are you talking about?” look that the twin girls give the boy.

Eating more jellybeans would be fun yet not particularly revolutionary, wouldn’t you say?  What would be revolutionary for you in this new year?  Last year I had some resolution suggestions and I think they’re still good ones.  Read them here.

Maybe it would be a minor revolution for you to wear some glitter.  Do it, do it, do it < crowd chants >.  Maybe your family would drop their collective jaws if you had your hair cut short and you donated it to charity.

Or you could look inward for your revolution.  Perhaps stop visiting web sites and message boards that bring you down instead of lift you up.  That’s one thing that I’m going to do.  Everybody’s mighty brave with the slurs and insults when they can hide behind “Anonymous” or a made-up name.  Face it, online comments rarely add to the discussion on the news and current event sites that I read.  Blogs like this, you bet they do, but not news sites.  I’m going to get my W/W/W/W/W (who, what, when, where, why) news basics and leave all the posturing and blaming behind.  It’s exhausting, depressing, and draining.

Finally, speaking of news and so forth, let me leave you with one of my absolute favorite music videos of 2013, “Odds Are,” by Canada’s Barenaked Ladies, aka BNL.  I love the words in the bridge (the part of a song that is neither verse nor chorus):

Sure, things go wrong
But I’ll take my chances,
Odds are long,
So why not play?

If the embed doesn’t work:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Sw9Fh6uk4Q

I challenge you to notice new things in this crazy video every time you watch it.  “Play” is going to be my byword for the new year and for this blog.  And so, in 2014 — let’s play!

Resolve to….

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…. be good to yourself.  Just as you can’t pour sugar into your car’s gas tank and expect it to run well (or at all), you can’t pour sugar into your body and expect it to grow healthy skin, hair, and nails.  You need high-quality protein, healthy fats, and the right vitamins and minerals.  Think of food as fuel and also as something you enjoy, but try not to start each day thinking, “What will I eat today?”  Instead, think, “What will I do today?” or “What will I learn today?”

…. be kind to yourself.  We often say things to ourselves that we would never, ever say to a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger.  You’re stupid.  You’re such a pig.  You’ll never learn.  Be better than that; be as kind to yourself as you would be to someone you love.  Hopefully you do love yourself, because you are going to be hanging out with you for a long time!

…. try something new.  We keep our brains sharp by doing new things, not by walking the same treadmill — literally or figuratively — over and over.  Do you usually do crossword puzzles?  Try Ken-Ken.  Do you read nothing but fiction?  Try a thriller-like history book (author Erik Larson comes to mind).

Do you find yourself reaching for the same nail polish colors over and over?  Here’s an exercise for you:  go to a drugstore or department store and stand in front of a large, varied display of nail polish.  I’d recommend an inexpensive brand, but if you want to splurge, find a Chanel or Dior counter.  Close your eyes, move around just a bit so you don’t know what’s right in front of you, then reach out carefully and grab a bottle.  Try not to send the display crashing to the floor as you do this, although it would make a good story.  Whatever you just picked, buy it and wear it, whether it’s pink or chartreuse or black or little pink hearts.  The next time I go to Walgreens or CVS or Sally Beauty, I plan to do this.  Will let you know what beauty or beast I choose.  😀

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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