Treat yourself

Thoughts to Ponder – February 10, 2016

“Every day, give yourself at least three really good treats.
One for every risk you take, and two because you’re you.
No exceptions. No excuses”

Martha Beck*

Oh boy! I can have three desserts every day. I’m heading for the grocery store to buy something yummy. My waistline is grateful that Beck was probably not referring to desserts, though an occasional dessert is good for our souls too. Beck is referring to things that make our souls feel happy.

There are so many ways we can treat ourselves. Treating ourselves regenerates our brains and bodies so we can work more efficiently. Perhaps we could tell ourselves, “Way to go! You did a good job!” We could do a happy dance. (Hopefully, the boss isn’t watching.) We could go for a walk and enjoy the sun warming our bodies. We could give ourselves a few minutes to play ONE game of Solitaire on our Kindles or work ONE crossword puzzle to get our minds off the project. Gratitude for ourselves also makes us aware of reasons to appreciate other people and the many wonderful ways they contribute to our happiness.

Regrettably, our society tends to consider treating ourselves as wasting time. Many of us were taught that to succeed we must “keep our noses to the grindstone.” Perhaps we were told that good grades and hard work are the stepping stones on the path to success. It is, but we owe it to ourselves to take a break, or three, every day. Otherwise, we are not on the path to success, but the road to a heart attack or mental collapse. Many employers offer their employees two 15 minute breaks and a lunch period. In the past I either worked through those breaks and ate at my desk or spent the time complaining about the boss, coworkers and the work load. Spending free time like that can add to the level of anger floating around the world.

Fortunately, my current employer believes in another axiom, “All work and no play make Jack/Jill a dull boy/girl.” For that reason they schedule several team events throughout the year. They may be just for fun, to showcase a new event or to support a good cause. These team events give employees time to relax and get to know their team mates personally. It also reminds them that their company appreciates their efforts and makes this a great place to work.

So take a few minutes to relax and show yourself some appreciation. You deserve it.

Spirit,

Thank you for this reminder to take a few moments several times a day to express gratitude for ourselves and our work. By being thankful for our own efforts we are thanking you for giving us life, love and even things we don’t like very much, but make us better people.

And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Daily Inspiration, info@marthabeck.com, February 3, 2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 10, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com.

Dragon Herding

I have one of the toughest jobs around. I herd dragons. Believe me that is one tough job. If you ever watched “How to Train your Dragon” or a Harry Potter movie, you know what I’m talking about.

Dragons are naturally rambunctious critters. They fly around when you want them to stay put, sort of like three-year-old children. They fight over who has the shiniest coat and who has the biggest fangs. When they start flame-throwing contests, you’d better hide or at least run for your flame-retardant suit. NASCAR doesn’t own enough suits to keep me supplied. Have you ever tried to lift a fire extinguisher large enough to douse a dragon’s belch? Not easy, I tell you.

If you think that’s bad, you should see them when they begin imbibing. They don’t care whose beer they steal as long as there is plenty of it. If there aren’t enough beer barrels to go around, the dragons begin rioting. They’re fussing and fighting and throwing flames all over the place. That’s when you have to try to herd them back to their gigantic dragon corrals. Herding sober dragons is hard enough, but when they’re drunk. . . . They fall all over the place, singe each other’s wings, and roar loud enough to be heard across the ocean.

On top of that they don’t like to sort themselves out by type and color. That’s something I must do because dragon aficionados, just like horse owners, have their favorite breeds and colors. One problem is that big black dragons don’t want to associate with small green ones or middle size blue ones, but at the same time they don’t want to be separated. They want to mingle so they can fight when they feel like it. One dragon has been in so many fights that he no longer has any hide left. However, that hasn’t stopped him. He’s still in there biting, kicking, snarling and throwing flames.

Thankfully, I have assistants that help. Fairies fly around the rowdy dragons and attempt magic spells to calm them. Sometimes it works, but occasionally even fairy magic isn’t enough. Unicorns assist with round-ups to prepare the dragons for sale. The unicorns surround the dragons, separate them by breed and color, then escort them into their separate corrals. These magical creatures do their best, but even when the dragons are compliant, unicorn magic doesn’t always work. It only takes one hyper-active dragon who skipped his tranquilizer hay to start a ruckus. Then away we go again.

This is a never ending job. Talk about stressful. My doctor keeps telling me to get a quieter job. I suppose she’s right. But – believe me dragon herders are paid extremely well and get excellent benefits. For example, no other company can touch our medical and life insurance plans.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my flight of fancy. In reality I work in the Pot o’ Gold Magic Shop at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Working with magical creatures all day can stimulate fanciful ideas.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, June 8, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com