Happy Valentines Day!
I’m so glad to have the week off school and spend some time here with you today. Surprise! I am NOT going to give you a list on the top 10 ways to love yourself this Valentines day. Instead I am going to ask you a question.
How important is happiness to you?
I’ve spent a lot of time over the years reading about longevity, fitness and mental health. Want in on a secret? You will be happier if you buy less stuff, keep less stuff and do less stuff trying to ‘get ahead’. You will be much happier if you spend more time with other people, spend more money on savings, and spend more energy laughing than looking for the ‘missing something’.
Exercise is really only a key to happiness in as much as it involves other people. Unless you’re one of the (very) few who enjoy running marathons, use exercise as an excuse to visit. The gym is overrated. You’re better off to walk with friends at lunch hour, join a fitness class with people you like or garden with your kids.
When I was 20 years old I went to Israel for about 6 months one year. If you spent time in the side streets, all the little shops would shut down over the afternoon. There wasn’t a closing or opening time. It seemed that they would just decide, one by one, to take a nap. The awnings would close and the streets would become quiet. Around dinner time they would all start opening up again, and there was an air of community in the alleys. Shop owners would pull chairs out into the streets to laugh and chat with each other. Kids would be laughing and playing in the street. They didn’t look wealthy, but they looked healthy enough, and they certainly seemed happy.
Today’s assignment is to do something fun. Enjoy the activities you have planned for tonight and clear your calender of the things that make you feel rushed. Take a few minutes on either side of your appointments and activities…engage in converstations without worry about what comes next.
No activities planned for tonight? Feeling lonely? Don’t get a gym membership so you can feel lonely on a treadmill. Lonliness will take years off your life. It’s worse than Cheetos. ;o) And no feeling sorry for yourself either – get out the yellow pages and join something that will get you sweating and smiling with other people!
Have a wonderful Valentines Day!