StampWithMe in Flagstaff, Arizona

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Home, finally!

I am home, but my luggage is not. Let me back up a few weeks.

Business trip to Phoenix - home 2 days - business trip to Dallas - 4 day weekend in Oklahoma City visiting my brother and his family again (this time I took my husband and kids to meet them all for the first time). I arrived on Thursday and had dinner with them. Friday he said his back was still hurting (had been for a couple of days). He says he was coughing too hard and couldn't catch his breath. Saturday - more of the same. Sunday we ended up in the ER and determined he had several heart attacks over the weekend.

My family boarded airplanes on Monday to return home - of course all different airlines and times. I went to Denver and they went to Houston. They made their connection to Phoenix, but my connection was cancelled. After multiple attempts to get on another flight (they are always overbooked) I arrive in Phoenix and my connection to Flagtaff is cancelled. Fortunately, my family had already arrived, retrieved the car and we all drove up the hill together. I still had to go to the Flagstaff airport to make a lost luggage report since I was told I couldn't do that in Phoenix because that wasn't my final destination. Whatever.

So I am off to work - still no luggage, but grateful that I didn't pack my laptop in my luggage like I usually do.

And, brother has 2 new stents, lots of new medications, and should be going home today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Science of Gratitude

Did you read this on yahoo? It's food for thought...

The science of feeling good
Positive emotions are challenging to study, because they are difficult to define, "and anything that is hard to define is hard to study," said Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director at the University of California, Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.

In spite of the challenges, psychologists have begun collecting evidence of the benefits of positive emotions, including gratitude. Psychologist Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, has studied gratitude and defines it in two parts: First, gratitude is an affirmation of goodness in the world, and second, gratitude requires the recognition that the sources of this goodness exists outside of individuals.

Emmons' work suggests not only that gratitude is associated with greater well-being, but that the sentiment and those benefits can be cultivated. For instance, a study he and a colleague published in 2003 showed that those who recorded things that had made them grateful had an improved sense of well-being, slept better and more, felt a greater sense of optimism and connectedness to others.

"Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits," Emmons and colleague Michael McCullough wrote in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. They noted that the benefits are most pronounced when compared to a focus on complaints and hassles.
In general, research has associated the regular practice of gratitude with physical benefits, such a stronger immune system, and higher levels of broad positive emotions as well as social benefits, such as being more forgiving, outgoing and feeling less lonely and isolated, Emmons writes. (The list of benefits compiled by the center is long.)

Sharing with others is an important aspect of gratitude, other research indicates. Sonja Lyubomirsky, of the University of California, Riverside, had people write letters expressing thanks to someone who had a positive impact on them. Some sent their letters to the person; others kept their letters. Those who shared their letters experienced stronger mental-health benefits than those who just wrote the letter, Simon-Thomas said.

Happy New Year!

How did you spend the first few moments of the new year?

I can't say that I was all dressed up on the balcony overlooking Times Square. I can't say that I was watching fireworks over the water. I can't even say that I was hanging out with friends.

Honestly, I was sound asleep and had been for a few hours when the clock welcomed midnight. My body was still on east coast time and I had spent nearly 12 hours in transit from Cleveland to Flagstaff. Every few minutes during that long journey I was sneezing and popping immodium like candy. Fun huh?

Oh well. I got to kiss my honey, see my kids, pet the dogs, and slide into clean sheets for a long winter's nap. I'm not complaining at all!

I do, however, have 1 very critical new year's resolution. No more onions! Seriously!!!