These are 3 of my favorite blog posts of 2015

The big season of gift giving is winding down and giving way to the season of returns and re-gifting, so I’m re-gifting blogger-style. Every time a writer shares good information or prompts an emotional response, he or she gives us a gift, so I’m featuring posts from other writers as gifts to my readers.

I’ve chosen three posts from other BDN bloggers in case you have idle moments between celebrations or waiting for loved ones or wishing you weren’t at work  or trying to fall asleep after too much fun.

The first is the gift of laughter in the form of a post by Hunter Smith who is HIL-LAR-EE-US! I haven’t seen any recent posts from him lately, so I’ll have to check in with the folks up at BDN to see if he’s still blogging. If not, it’s truly our loss.

This particular post by Hunter Smith is my favorite post of the year, if not of all time. It’s about parenting when you happen to be a parent who has a long history of swearing, so it’s especially funny to anyone who may have struggled with verbiage choices around small children. Like me.

One day I’ll do my own post about the extensive history behind my personal penchant for assembling long strings of vulgarities to punctuate my thoughts, but this is about Smith’s hilarity. He breaks the swearing/parenting relationship down to three phases, and my favorite is the second one because he talks about slipping up while driving with a small child in the back seat.

My children, nieces, and nephews are all older now, so I had re-adjusted to having more latitude when it comes to swearing behind the wheel. Recently though, I’ve been spending some extra time with my great niece, who is 3. More than once as I’ve navigated our dreaded rotaries, I’ve heard a small voice behind me say, “Auntie, that’s a bad word!”

I always think of Smith’s post in those moments and try not to laugh as I apologize profusely for my mistake. To laugh a little yourself, click here.

The second is the gift of mindfulness in the form of a post hosted by Diane Atwood on her Catching Health Blog. Mindfulness is an ancient practice that emphasizes living a given moment to its fullest, which means focusing on it fully. The post is actually authored by John Turrell from the YMCA of Southern Maine, and his description of mindfulness and its applications are very accessible to readers who may not be familiar with the practice.

I know, I know, some readers are going to be thinking I’m going all hippy-dippy, but I take mindfulness quite seriously.

I first became aware of mindfulness as a therapeutic technique to manage my more severe trauma-based symptoms and behaviors. But its applications and potential for health and well-being are profound. More recently, I’ve been learning about its physical healing potential through Tai Chi while trying to stay ahead of my arthritis. Being mindful about how I am using my energy to heal my body through exercise seems to improve my ability to stay ahead of the degeneration.

Now all I need is a mindfulness technique to remind me to be mindful. Ever since I started blogging 8 months ago, my daily exercise routine has days when it’s shorter than it should be. Some days, I’m embarrassed to admit, there’s no exercise at all! Readers interested in learning about the practice can click here.

The third is the gift of imperfection in the form of a post by Jim LaPierre, whose blog is called Recovery Rocks. This is the holiday-themed one, and it’s all about surviving the holidays if you are one of those folks who struggle at this time of year. I like it because it’s also all about letting go and letting yourself be imperfect.

There are lots of reasons some people struggle emotionally this time of year. Memories of lost loved ones, memories of bad memories, even the weather. LaPierre reminds us all that this joyous season isn’t always perfect every second for every person and that’s okay.

And, like Smith’s post, LaPierre’s advice involves swearing. If it involves swearing and freeing me from unnecessary expectations of perfection, I’m on board. Even though some of the advice is pre-Christmas themed, the thoughts are good to reflect on in the aftermath of the holidays and throughout the year.

My favorite recommendation is the third one and a great one to be thinking about this week:

Stop making New Year’s resolutions. Like, what? You haven’t had enough empty promises and disappointments in your life? Make plans and get someone to hold you accountable for them but stop bullshitting yourself with nice ideas you aren’t going to follow through on.

True that. Readers interested in his other four recommendations can find them by clicking here.

Happy New Year!

 

A previous version of this post, intended to be Christmas-themed has been altered to be New Year’s themed.  My apologies to readers for my holiday issues!

Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.