Archive for December, 2015

On this New Year’s Eve, I hope you are spending time with people you enjoy, thinking about the year that’s passed, and making plans for the year to come!

My first resolution is to remember my favorite line from this song – because anything is better than lying in some comfortable deathbed, staring into the abyss, as afraid of living as I am of not living.

What song are you making your theme song this year?  Leave it in the comments, and Happy 2017!

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Cat'S Eye Nebula, Ngc 6543, Cosmos, Space, Stars

Each 15 years, the United Nations sets sustainable development goals, priorities for development, to improve our world and human quality of life worldwide.

Until last year, no one looked at the actual effectiveness of the work being done.  A ROI analysis (that’s Return on Investment for those new to the idea) hadn’t been conducted.  Cost/Benefit analysis hadn’t been done, or if they had, it hadn’t been publicized or used to make smarter goals.

Nonprofits often suffer from their very idealism.  Working toward a good cause makes us feel warm and fuzzy.  Often, the causes we support are close to our hearts because of personal experiences.

I once heard nonprofits, and those who work in nonprofits, and those who support them, are terminally optimistic.  We think we can do a lot more than we actually can, make a bigger impact than we can, change more systems than we can.  And these are good causes we’re talking about; regardless of your personal cause, you can agree that having clean air and water, having healthy food, reducing rates of violence…these are good things, things we want.

The trouble is, without those cost/benefit analyses, we aren’t going to be able to do much.

To save the world, we need to prioritize.

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For those of you who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas!  Happy Chanukah!  Happy Kwanzaa!

I am choosing a Christmas carol for this week’s song, not due to my religious orientation, but because it’s a family favorite and signals that it’s the holiday season.  Plus…it’s the Pointer Sisters!  I mean…come on!

Enjoy your week, no matter your beliefs!

…but not because of what you think.

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In our endless election cycle, the one that seems increasingly like a joke, every GOP candidate keeps talking about how this country has lost it’s way, it’s greatness, because of being “politically correct.”  In their understanding, speech has to be limited because somebody might be offended, and that’s NOT FAIR, damn it.

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#TBT Song’O’The Week

Posted: December 17, 2015 in #TBT Song'O'The Week

It wouldn’t truly be winter without a little bit of metal in here.  When I first started listening to metal(core) my favorite band was Parkway Drive.  Though I’m not a big fan of their newer work, their classics still stand.  Enjoy this cut from their first effort, Killing With a Smile, called “Romance is Dead.”

Ideal for all post-breakup needs!  Have a great week!

It seems every blog, newspaper, magazine and morning TV time waster is very concerned about the holiday blues, the magical time of year when people get depressed when surrounded by lights, bells, Christmas carols, family, friends, and food.

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How Depressing!

 

Christmas is less a religious holiday than a cultural holiday in the states.  Although we’re a country founded on freedom of religion, our government offices close for this holiday.  We hear Christmas carols, but not Seder songs or the call to prayer during Ramadan.  I know many folks, like myself, who are not practicing (or believing) Christians who celebrate Christmas regardless.  And much of our celebration has a non-religious focus; Santa Claus, presents, reindeer?  Not mentioned in any Christian texts I’m familiar with.

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Luke 50:10: And so he arm wrestled the Claus for gift wrap greatness.

 

Depression is a loaded word, one frequently misunderstood.  Feeling “depressed” and suffering from clinical depression are basically third cousins – they talk sometimes, but don’t remember each other’s middle names.  When folks talk about the holiday blues, they are likely NOT talking about clinical depression, but rather dysthymia, feeling slightly down, slightly less energy, but still able to function.

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It’s getting colder, and some of my friends and colleagues insist they simply LOVE warm weather and can’t stand these Michigan winters.  That’s never been my attitude, but in honor of those stalwart whiners, here’s an anthem for the vacation they wish they could take – “Going to Mexico” by Steve Miller Band.

This is the only album by Steve Miller that I could stand (it’s a great one – it may be a featured album sometime in the future, so stay tuned).  It’s also the album my dad would blast at top volume to end my middle school sleepovers.  Ah, good times.

Have a great week!

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America is a place where your job determines your worth.  It is shorthand for your personality, your motivation, your education, your skills.  What you do equals your values, your interests, and your plans.  In America, you are what you do.

We are one of the only places on earth where “what do you do” comes up in the first 30 seconds of almost any conversation.

Part of my passion is rehabilitation of people with disabilities.  Jobs are an extraordinarily helpful part of recovery from mental health concerns.  Working decreases hospital stays, increases medication compliance, increases community inclusion, and increases self-esteem while reducing acute mental health symptoms.

Working saves all of us money – it’s less people on disability, welfare and food stamps.  It’s less people in the emergency room.  It’s fewer police calls to deal with suicidal behavior.  It’s fewer beds in the psych ward because people didn’t take their medication.  Working is the key.

Working is super important.  If you’re not working, you don’t have a purpose, don’t have a strong self-concept.  You’re not contributing anything, you have little to do on a daily basis.  Is it any wonder that retirees maintain their mental and physical health better if they’re doing some sort of work, even volunteer work?  It is fundamental to our functioning as human beings.

People with disabilities have it especially tough, for three major reasons that all go together.  We’ll list them, then discuss how they interact.

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#TBT Song’O’The Week

Posted: December 3, 2015 in #TBT Song'O'The Week

December is upon us, and much to my delight, it is sweater weather.  It’s only fitting, then, that our song this week be “The Sweater” by Meryn Cadell.  This song never got much traction that I can remember, but it’s been a family favorite for years, and it’s an amazing tune.  I highly recommend listening to it at top volume throughout all your dating encounters.

Have a great weekend!

missdaisyI fully understand the irony of what I’m about to do here.  Most of my practice and almost all of my writing tackles expectations – negative emotions come when our expectations don’t match up with reality.  The catchier way to say this – the tyranny of the should.

Things should be a certain way.  People should act like this.  I shouldn’t have to feel this/deal with this.

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Me, driving.

One of my guiltier pleasures is mild road rage.  Though it has never escalated (due, no doubt, to my excellent grasp of anger management) I tend to talk to other drivers on the road almost constantly.  And although this is a lot of “should”, I believe if we all followed these simple rules, the road would be a happier place.

 

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