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New New Year’s Resolution: No More New Year’s Resolutions

Liz L

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“New Year, New Me”

Every year, people take time to plan a special resolution they only intend to turn into effect at the beginning of the next year. Most of the resolutions are positive, so it doesn’t seem like an inherently bad thing.

Many of the resolutions are focused on health. Every year, people promised themselves they will lose a certain amount of weight or institute new practices. They join gyms, start new diets, sign up for classes, and spend a lot of money on other new improvements. Some of them enter into contracts that will last the entire year.

When the New Year Actually Rolls Around…

Some people are great, for at least a while, in keeping to their resolutions. They get up early and head to the gym before work, getting in those reps. They say no to second helpings and stick to a restrictive diet. 

It’s easy to see how many people have made resolutions by simply watching how many new people are now going to gyms. At the beginning of the year, many gyms are full of people who are enthusiastically exercising. Gym owners are grateful for the new business.

New Year, New Failure?

It doesn’t take long for gym participation to drop off. People stop following new diets, which were often too restrictive to stay on for long without support. They find that they don’t have the motivation to keep getting up so early, or that other commitments are starting to interfere. 

The same reasons it was so hard to participate in your new resolutions in the first place will start to keep you from doing them all the time. Once you miss one time where you really meant to go, or cheat on your diet once, you might experience a sense of failure.

Why Let the Calendar Control Your Life?

People were the ones who invented calendars and time management, so why do we let it control us? The calendar should be a reminder of the passage of time, not something we use to beat ourselves up. Deciding to change your life every year makes sure that you miss all the other opportunities before the new year happens.

One Day at a Time

Living one day at a time isn’t just a strategy for dealing with stress or problems. It’s a great strategy for wringing the most happiness and success out of every single day. When you try to control the future, you lose the present.

Every moment that passes is a new opportunity. You can start your day over and improve your mood any time you choose. When you feel disappointed because you don’t think you were good enough in the past, you lose your joy for today.

The Future Is Just Another Time on the Calendar

Don’t be frightened of the future or what it can bring. New Year’s is a great time to reset yourself, but so is every other day. Take every opportunity you get to make improvements. Don’t make your happiness dependent on goals that may not even be reasonable. 

When you watch the ball drop, or kiss your significant other, or however else you may celebrate the new year, think about how happy you are in the moment. Your only goal is to be as happy as possible in the moment where you exist.

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Living

Talking with Animals: Psychic Communication with an Unexpected House Guest

Sarrah M

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Have you ever noticed that animals seem to be able to notice subtle changes in the energy of a room? Have you ever seen a cat slowly raise their dander for something that you are not even able to see? This is because animals have evolved to be able to sense different forms of energies that humans cannot, such as the magnetic and electrical fields that exist out in the world. This esoteric knowledge may have saved Ashland, Oregon local Lauren Taylor’s life as on a July morning in 2018 she found a mountain lion had taken residence in her living room. The creature had apparently wandered into her backyard from the surrounding hills after spotting her pond and deciding it was time for an early morning drink. After this, it continued to wander up her stairs and into the open backdoor of her home before it decided to lay down for a catnap.

However, it was not long before it was discovered taking. Now, the first reaction to finding a large cat in your home might be to freak out and panic; this is exactly the reaction Taylor’s roommate had as she discovered the visitor to their home. She screamed, slammed the door, and ran for help. While this is all a very understandable reaction, it still managed to put the wild animal on edge, a very dangerous prospect if they wanted to get it out of their home. However, Lauren Taylor knew exactly how to calm her guest down. Taylor has “extensive experience working with animals” and as such knew the kind of body language to adapt to show the creature, she meant no harm. In addition, she knew that cats were perceptive of energies and intent by nature. As such, she raised her personal brain frequency to a higher level to radiate a calming aura and began a slow blinking pattern combined with a soft gaze to translate her trust and goodwill toward the cougar. As a result, the cougar responded in kind, it repeated the blinking pattern back to her and rolled over to continue its nap.

In her Facebook post about the issue, Taylor stated that “she seemed to feel safe, was relaxed, and showed no inclination [of leaving].” This was a major step toward avoiding potential disasters, but the situation was still far from over. After the mountain lion woke up, Taylor re-introduced her roommate to the large cat being careful to repeat the same calming energy that had comforted the beast before and telling her roommate to do the same. The mountain lion, again, responded in kind; she slow blinked at the roommate to express her goodwill and rolled over for yet another nap.

The two decided that the best course of action would be to leave the cougar be and open the doors in the room so that she could escape when she woke up. However, when they returned, their guest had still not left. Taylor, seeing the success of her telepathic attempt before, began to send psychic images to the creature of the way out of the house and back to its home. At her roommate’s suggestion, they also channeled their native ancestors for support and started a rhythmic drumbeat to rouse the creature and further translate their feelings. The mountain lion guest stirred and immediately began to take the route they had set for her out of their home. The cougar found its way back to the hills outside and set out for home.

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Understanding the Power of Love Languages

Sarrah M

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What is a love language? The classicists would think of the fictional Cyrano de Bergerac and his love for Roxanne. Modernists might look in a dictionary to search for a definition. However, in reality a true love language is a combination of words, actions, behavior and omissions. It is a sense of purpose and being that culminates in bringing two people closer together with each other. And it evolves over time. What starts as a love of the moment and infatuation transforms eventually to a love of the mind and a fundamental bond one is willing to sacrifice for, even one’s life if necessary.

Simplifying the Concept a Bit

But to make it easier to understand and apply, a love language falls into five common categories people practice all the time. They can be acted on independently or, more likely, together and in different combinations at different times. The key point to remember is that regardless of which one is chosen to act on, it’s about communicating love from one to another. The act itself is simply a tool of that messaging. Gary Chapman defined these categories in a concise approach in his book, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.

Specifically, the five main love languages include the following:

  • Acts of service
  • Gifts
  • Physical touch
  • Quality time, and
  • Words of affirmation

The category names might sound a bit ambiguous but, in detail, they are very straightforward. For example, speaking in affirmation means literally just that, giving words of affection, compliments and praising your partner on a regular basis. It’s extremely easy to do and has a powerful effect on the recipient. Gifts are pretty obvious as well, but they don’t need to be bank-busters. A small candy, or a treat in one’s lunch gets noticed just as much. Contact is absolutely an essential love language. One can’t feel close without it. And dedicated time giving one attention makes them realize they are the focus of your love versus just alone and generic like anyone else.

Practice Makes Perfect, So Practice a Lot

Keep in mind, just as there are different love language categories, people favor some over others too. Some folks really like to express themselves with physical touch and physical gifts. Others are verbal-oriented and may seem reserved but a few words can convey powerful love messages. Still others like to bounce back and forth irregularly. The point that they all have in common, however, is that each type of person using a love language uses it repeatedly and a lot. And they shake things up too. They don’t just keep doing the same thing over and over again, like a broken record. They incorporate surprise and randomness frequently to maintain that in the moment alive feeling that makes a love language so emotional versus logical.

Finally, love languages are not a one-way street. You and your partner evolve and change constantly over time. So will your love language. Learn each other’s style and build on it. Share ideas from outside the relationship and play with variety to find a better understanding of what really works for your own communication and expression. Gary Chapman’s book and categories are just tools to get the conversation going. The actual love language that works for you will be what you put into action and make happen again and again with your partner.

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Saying Thank You For Saving His Dog

Danielle S

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Veterinarians are normally seen at one of two different situations: when an animal needs medical care, or when a pet needs to be put down. They provide just as much an impact as a regular human doctor, being able to guide people on their pet’s diet, health and maintenance as well keeping them happy and content. However, again, because they don’t treat humans, veterinarians frequently don’t receive the connection to our entire lives as other roles in society. Their care is to our pets, not us, so it’s a service once removed, so to speak.

However, for one fellow, veterinarians are the reason his best friend, a gold retriever, got a new lease on life. The fact is, his dog was dying. David MacNeil’s seven-year-old friend was dying from cancer. However, David was typical dog-owner; he is the CEO of an amazingly successful company, WeatherTech. So, when his furry best friend suddenly fall down and couldn’t get back up on a warm summer day in 2019, David wasn’t just going to accept the situation after the cancer diagnosis.

The challenge wasn’t easy by any means, even for someone with means like MacNeil. That was because his dog, Scout, was given one month to survive; the dog was well in advanced stages of cancer. The dog had a generic 1 percent chance of reversing the situation. But that was enough for David to keep fighting anyways. It was an easy decision for MacNeil, even when despite the animal’s condition, he looked up at David and Scout just kept wagging his tail in the clinic. So, David got a second opinion, specifically from the Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Wisconsin. With the latest technology the tumor was identified, the dog was given chemotherapy as well as radiation treatment, and everything seemed to unbelievably work.

Months after the fact Scout’s tumor hasn’t manifested again. And, like a patient who just keeps quietly fighting on, the dog dealt with all the tests and treatment without anxiety or aggression. That seemed to go just right with everything else that seemed to be working in Scout’s favor, including the tumor’s positive response to the treatment provided.

In response to the literal miracle work the University’s staff provided for David and Scout, MacNeil has expressed an amazing thank you in the form of a $6 million commercial during the NFL’s Super Bowl game. The marketing spot provides a simple but powerful message; donate to the University’s program so that their veterinarians can help other pet owners as well. Dubbed “Lucky Dog,” the commercial is designed to highlight the capability of the University in animal medicine as well as increasing awareness on the latest vet technology now available.

The University is quite pleased with the attention. It’s a huge market awareness booster for the Veterinary Medicine program as well as highlight how significant the work of a veterinarian can be to a pet as well as the pet owner’s life. It also shatters the myth that the only time one sees the vet with their dog is when bad things are unfortunately going to occur. Yes, it was expensive, but for David the cost pales compared to how much love he has for being able to have more time with Scout versus being cut short prematurely. Scout’s cancer fundamentally rocked MacNeil’s world. And he had to respond to it to save Scout, or at least try as much as possible. Interestingly, for a fully recovered patient Scout is pretty modest about the whole affair, still just panting and wagging his tail at the sight of David.

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Say Hello to the Ultimate Palindrome Baby, Born 02/02/2020 at 20:02

Danielle S

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People are always looking for signs. They are looking for evidence of a higher power because this provides them with comfort that someone more intelligent is in control of the crazy thing we called life. Perhaps no greater sign is present in the world than that of a baby. A baby is a blessing. People work hard to have babies. Some people try and try, yet never give birth to a healthy child. For those who have a baby following a miscarriage, this is an even greater blessing. 

Miscarriages are tough and they are not discussed often enough. They get lost somewhere between the discussions of healthy births and the loss of loved ones. Miscarriages make people feel broken. They often feel that their body somehow wasn’t good enough. They think that this is a message that they just aren’t meant to have children. This is sad and depressing; however, this is often how people feel. In reality, there are lots of reasons why someone might suffer a miscarriage. Having a new, healthy baby does a lot to ease the pain. The term used to describe this is typically a rainbow baby. A rainbow baby is a child that is born to parents who had a miscarriage or infant loss in the past. A rainbow is universally seen as a sign of happiness. That is why the term is appropriate.

For one couple, they gave birth to a baby that was much more than a rainbow baby. In reality, it was a palindrome baby. For those who might not know, a palindrome is typically a term that is used to describe a word that looks the same both forward and backward. In this case, the term is applied to the baby’s birthday. This child was born on Feb 2, 2020, at 20:02 (8:02 PM). 

 The family was clued into what was happening. They took a picture of the clock, hoping that there was a way that the clock would sync up to make this happen. Sure enough, that is exactly what happened. 

The story of this baby is even more interesting. This child’s birth comes on the back of what happened to the child’s sister. The birth was happening during the halftime show of the super bowl. This is a game that typically brings a tremendous amount of joy to people all over the world. Sadly, this isn’t what happened during the halftime show two years ago. In 2017, this new child’s sister was killed during a terrible car accident. This car accident took place during the super bowl halftime show. Typically, most people look at the halftime show as something to look forward to. Now, the halftime show is a reminder to this family of what happened to their child. Now, the halftime show is going to be even sweeter. Finally, the halftime show will be remembered for the birth of a child. Even the name of this child is an homage to ancestry. This child’s name is a blend of family members who passed away.

A palindrome baby is unique. It does not happen very often. A palindrome is even easy to remember. It is happened in the past, so many people think that having a baby in this manner is a sign of good luck. Regardless, this baby is still a blessing to a family that certainly needed one. It is nice that this child has family members who love and care for her. It will be exciting to see what other heartwarming stories develop this year.

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Culture

Alec Baldwin and Ireland Baldwin Are Mending the Rift

Amanda J

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Alec and Ireland Baldwin have always had a tumultuous relationship. Ireland commented on the supportiveness of her family and friends in 2015 when she voluntarily checked herself into rehab for stress and emotional trauma. She didn’t share many details of her stay but did include that it was not related to drugs or alcohol. However, we can glean that some of her trauma was likely related to her relationship with her father. Some of that trauma was brought to light in 2007 when Alec Baldwin left a nasty voicemail on her phone after she didn’t answer a scheduled phone call. In the voicemail, he called her a “rude, thoughtless little pig” among other insults. In 2019, Ireland went on to roast her father on Comedy Central saying that she knew as much about him as the audience did, alluding to their distant relationship. While that was her chance for a little revenge, it was also a moment for her to share some biting truths about the toxicity shared between them. 

Recently, Ireland talked in an interview about how she is repairing her relationship with her father. She described going to therapy with Alec and the long process of unpacking years of verbal abuse, teenage acting out and the toll that the media took on their already rocky dynamic. She described that the media often inflated any tensions between them, putting a spotlight on their troubles. This made any kind of healing nearly impossible when their worst moments were publicized. She also emphasized the importance of sharing bonding experiences and traveling together. This seems like a real change of heart from what we’ve seen in the past. She mentioned that Kobe Bryant’s death was a profound wake-up call for her about the fragility of life and the importance of forgiving and staying in the present. His death caused her to introspect about what might happen if she lost her Dad. After reflecting, she felt that it was important to repair that relationship and live in the present instead of the past. She was quoted saying that “family is everything” and she is living those words while mending the rift with Alec.

Publicly, both of them have admitted that there was blame to share for their dysfunctional relationship. After his nasty divorce with Kim Basinger, Alec felt that it was difficult to stay in Ireland’s life based on the custody agreement. These tensions likely lead to the anger and frustration when Ireland missed his call. Ireland herself admits that she was rebellious and she naturally sided with her mom through the divorce proceedings which made things difficult for Alec. Kim has said that she has no problems with Alec anymore and that they’re amicable. With Ireland and Alec working on their relationship and Kim at least in neutral territory, the Baldwin family is off the battleground and working towards a better family future.

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