Tuesday, August 20, 2013

10 Things Guarenteed To Make You Smile

Those of us who have Fibromyalgia know that sometimes it is nearly impossible to be positive.  Some days we hurt too much to want to smile.  Some days we face depression.  Some days we face an inability to do anything.  Some days we face all of the above and then some.  On those days, I like to use a few tricks to help turn my frown upside down.  Why?  Because a good spirit and attitude are key to pain management.  If you can't figure out how to smile despite the pain and hardships they will always control you, and that's not what I want for my life, and I don't think you do either.
Today I want to share with you some of my tricks.  They always make me smile, and I can guarantee they will work for you, too.
1. Cuddle with your kids, grandbabies, spouse or your fur babies.  This always makes me feel better and so very loved.  They say physical touch heals, and I couldn't agree more!
2. Count your blessings.  When everything is going wrong, take a minute to be grateful for what you do have.  You may have to start small and/or basic (i.e. I am glad that I breathing), depending on the day, but I guarantee that you will find that your list grows as you start looking and soon you will start seeing things brighten around you.
3. Do something nice for someone else.  This can be anything from writing a note to or calling a friend and letting someone know you're thinking of them and praying for them or how much they mean to you to making cookies or a meal for them or even doing something nice for a complete stranger, etc.  It doesn't matter what it is as long as it is for someone else and to be a blessing.  I always find that taking a moment to get my mind off myself and onto someone else and their needs is the surest way to turn my day around.
4. Do something silly!  This doesn't have to be anything public, it can be in your own home, but doing something just outright crazy can take away the blues.  This can be telling jokes with your kids, having a pillow, water or shaving cream fight or going out with a friend and playing on the playground equipment and acting like you're a kid again.  If you're really bold, you can dress up like a pirate or something and go around talking the part! LOL :)  I've seen grown men in tutus on a dare, so I totally think anything is possible...and worth it if it brightens your day!
5. Have some quality time with a good friend or with family.  Once a week at least we have some family time.  It can be watching a movie, going to the beach, going out to eat or playing a game as a family.  Sometimes I go for walks with just one member of my family to talk with them about any old thing.  It's bonding time and it makes me feel better.  Sometimes it's nice to get away mentally even when you can't get away physically.
7. Play the "It Could Be Worse!" game.  This is a game I came up with when I was a teenager when I volunteered at a camp.  One of the women I worked with would get very stressed out and find herself a little frazzled and to help her out of her funk, I would give her the "It could be worse!" talk.  It was things like, "It could be worse!  You could be in jail for ripping off the 'do not remove' tag from a pillow!" or "It could be worse!  You could be lost in mall with rats chasing you because they think you're made of cheese!"  It didn't have to make sense or even be plausible, in fact, the more outrageous the better!  It didn't take long for her to start laughing and the whole atmosphere to change.  It's a lot of fun!  You should totally try it!  Just go back and forth and see who can come up with the wildest "It Could Be Worse!" scenario.  I promise you, you won't regret this! :)
8. Play the "mirrored name/words" game.  This one is a ton of fun.  You start off with your name and write it backwards and then say it out loud (The out loud part is 100% necessary for maximum smile-age!).  For example, my name is Eiluj, pronounce Ill-uj.  My oldest's name is Nehpets, pronounced Neh-pets.  LOL  Come on!  That's hilarious, right?  After you do your names, you can do objects or pets or even come up with sentences or try to write a story/poem/song mirrored.  Here.  I'll give you a sentence to say to start you off: Ti si os hcum nuf ot daer sgniht sdrawkcab!  (In case you couldn't guess, that says, "It is so much fun to read things backwards!")  If nothing else, you will get a laugh out of trying to say the words! :D  Makes you sound like you're speaking some foreign language!  I guess you could do it to fake out friends and family by telling them you know Russian or something and look uber smart. ;)
9. Make up a silly song to a familiar tune.  I had a friend in high school that I used to do this with all the time.  It was hilarious and always a hit with our friends...even if they did pretend not to know us when we did it! LOL :)  Here's an example of one of our songs:
This is all that I can remember of a song we wrote called, "Leo The Red Beaked Pelican"
(This part goes to the tune of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer")
Leo, the red beaked pelican
Had a very shiny beak!
And if you ever saw it
You'd be blinded for a week!
All of the other pelicans
Wouldn't loan him any fish.
But the one thing they didn't know about Leo
Was that he only had one wish!
Then one misty Saturday morn
Noah built the ark
And when Leo heard he needed a girl
He began to outright bark!
(Tune change to "Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland")
Oh Oh Oh Oh
On the boat
He met Eliza!
She was cute
And just the right size-a!
While watching her he broke his leg
A week later
They laid an egg
Walkin' on the boat to Santa Fe!
(Tune change to "Deck The Halls")
They got lost in the Mississippi!
Mrs. Leo said Noah was drippy!
So she hit him with her wing!
And he got her with silly string!
(Tune change to "Silent Night")
They started anew
In Kalamazoo!
They built a home
From Styrofoam!
A week later their egg hatched
And they named their baby Patch!
As you can see, we were quite nuts! LOL :)  I am pretty sure, though, that you are smiling!  See?!?!?  Works like a charm! :D
10. Listen to a song or watch a video that makes you smile.  I have a few go-to movies and TV shows that make me smile: Despicable Me, Emperor's New Groove, Hitch, Monk.  I also have a few songs that make me laugh or just make me happy in general, like this:

Or this:
Or this:

Or even this:
The point is, everyone has something that makes them smile or laugh when it comes to movies or songs.  Have yours and keep them close...Just in case!
I hope this list of tips and tricks have made you smile a little bit today or inspired you to come up with your own list of things in case of an "I need to smile" emergency!
What makes you smile when you're down?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Back-To-School...Ready Or Not!

Look what came to my house last week:
I'll let you guess what was inside.
What do you think?
Mega amounts of chocolate?  Nope.
Tons of cookies?  Nope.
Good-for-you fruits and veggies?  Nope.
Care packages with miscellaneous odds and ends to make one feel special?  Nope.
Clothes?  Nope.
Toys?  Much to my kids' chagrin, no.
So, what was in the boxes?
Let's take a look and see, shall we?
What is that I see?
Yep, folks, that's right.  I got my first round of school supplies from my boys' new online school.
School doesn't start for a few weeks, but the supplies come now to make sure that you have everything and so you can get all your questions answered and set up the "classroom" space and all that.  I was surprised at the amount of stuff that came, but was thrilled to see that I could fit all the books, CDs, etc. (including my teacher's manuals - seen on the right on both shelves below) on 2 shelves, excluding some of the more awkward shaped and bulky gadgets and gizmos that came like gram cubes, magnifying glasses, sand (Yes, there was sand!).

That's a lot of books for 2 kids, huh?
Note the games.  Those weren't sent by the school; we had those already.
Can't be all work and no play, right? :D

I will readily admit that I am not ready for back-to-school.  Getting these boxes gave me a lot of instant nerves.  I had a lot of thoughts like this:
"I can't do this."
"Yes, you can.  You have a teaching degree!  It will be fine!"
"I know but..."
"No, buts.  You know what to do.  You'll do great!"
"I dunno...I'm terrified!"
Yes, even those with "experience" go through periods of self-doubt and give self pep talks.
In the end, though, excitement (mostly the boys) about this new venture won out.  Honestly, I am looking forward to the upcoming school year, so I won't let the fear and worry win.  I know it will be ok.  I have personal experience and I will have back-up via the online staff.  I know there will be days that won't go so well, but all in all, I'm as ready as I can be and finding that I feel more confident and positive about it all than the other way around.
So, I take a deep breath, do a little more research where I need to, make sure everything is set up where and how I want it and march on.  Why?  Because there is no other choice.  Ready or not, here school comes!  Wish me luck (and prayers welcome, too!)!
Are you ready for back-to-school?
Do you homeschool or do your kids go to school outside the home?
What is your best back-to-school advice?
What is your best advice to a first time homeschool mom?