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Chinese New Year – Year of the Tiger

china-year-of-the-tiger

Photo By: Yang Yi, in China Hejin, Shanxi Province

I am not superstitious; yet, I will admit I get a little nervous when salt is spilt. I do not believe in horoscopes; however, they really have my personality pegged. The Chinese baby gender calendar called the gender of each of my three children. The “Chinese Day Of” calendar that reveals the major personality trait based on the day you were born is surprisingly accurate as well. So don’t call me foolish when I realized that this year, 2010 is the year of the tiger. That is me. And I admit there was a second of hopefulness that this year would bring us some luck.

I started this year two weeks behind on everything. News Years Day had me sitting at my desk pondering if I should go ahead and mail out my Christmas cards. I didn’t. I hated starting the year in such disarray. But… it is a new year and I was not about to dwell on the negative. It was after all the first day of the year. Hey, I started the day off right. I ran that morning and we went out on a family outing and later that day I bravely took the kids on a bike ride. There was much to rejoice over. So I cleared my desk and began writing thank you cards. I am THE worst at remembering to write thank you cards. If I do write them I forget to mail them. I decided if I did not master anything else this year I am going to be the best at writing thank you notes.

I am pledging to forgo one larger New Years resolution in favor of smaller monthly goals that are more attainable for my ADD brain. For one month I am going to focus on one goal. If at the end of the month I am a complete failure I will not beat myself up and melt into a year long depression. I will arm myself to work even harder the following month on a new daunting task.

First up is laughter. This year I vow to laugh more. Yes, this was my New Year’s resolution last year and I think I did fairly well. Laughter, as the saying goes, is the best medicine. The tricky part is learning to laugh in the face of adversity. I think we could all use a lesson in putting our best face forward. The point is, I want to teach my kids that life is full of spills and falls and embarrassments and it is ok. If we want to find happiness we need to discover laughter first.

A good hearty laugh can:

  • Lighten our mood.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Boost our immune system.
  • Stimulate the brain.
  • Reduce anxiety, depression and aggression.
  • Produce endorphins that stop pain.
  • Is a great abdominal workout.
  • Increases our energy level.
  • Breaks down barriers.
  • Help us cope.

Learn to Laugh by:

  • Being silly with the kids.
  • Being adorable with the significant other.
  • Hanging out with people who are genuinely happy. Laughter is contagious.
  • Quit trying to act so grown up. (Who made the rule that grownups have to be stiff?)
  • Find a reason to celebrate.
  • Abandon the negativity.

Laughter, of course, won’t make our problems go away, but it can help us get through them gracefully. How do we pick our way through the briar patch? We slow down. We take the time to enjoy a cup of laughter.