CAN YOU really HAVE a happy new year?
By Mark Ortiz, Stone Restoration Specialist and novice blogger
It’s January 2023 and here I am writing my 24th newsletter since April 2018. So that means I only write approximately 4-5 newsletters a year for your education and enjoyment. I write both stone education and opinion newsletters to help you with your stone and quartz in your home and also to stimulate your thoughts regarding the, um, the realities all around us? I truly thank approximately three thousand of you who still receive them, and if you have no interest in my newsletters, please unsubscribe, but keep our number just in case you have questions or need our services. Sincerely, Mark.
This newsletter is my first for the year and it’s food for thought. I’m a self proclaimed expert stone specialist, a novice blogger and even lower on my field of expertise, a wanna-be counselor. Today I want to give you my “counseling tips” as you enter into the new year. Please check with your certified life coach or psychologist before following my sage advise.
2022 "The year we could have done without"
I'm not sure what all of you have been doing or watching this last year, but "What the hell?" Sometimes I sit back and ask myself, "Where did this last month go?" but this time around, I said, "What happened in the year 2022?" I can document all kinds of situations, but it was strange. It was all the conspiracy theories , political theater, slapping funny people, the bouncing stock market, the corruption, deflation or inflation, and that "flu"pandemic, that consumed most of our thoughts. Does this affect your life?
I am determined to not let the consumption of bad news rule my time and thoughts. "Mark, You mean, this is actually possible?" I think so...let's see what I come up with.
Being honest with the obvious
We need to be honest with our inward desire for bad news and listening to the shallowness of people that have absolutely no direct impact in our personal lives. We watch and listen to the lives of people that seem to be just a bit better than ours and we wonder why our lives are not as "special" as theirs. Guess what? Their lives are not any better than yours.
Have you ever noticed that people only have smiling faces and pretty clothes on in pictures hanging on their walls? That moment is one in a hundred. If we were to take honest pictures of our families, it would be rolling eyeballs, quenched fists, and cursing text bubbles over our heads. Because that's life and that's real.
So, my recommendation is to NOT spend our valuable time soaking up the lives of people who don't care about you and do not have any meaningful positive effect on your life. Most likely it's causing unrealistic expectations for you and those around you. Unfortunately, our youth know little else.
Time alone, not a time out…well maybe for some of us
I know getting that alone time is not easy for many of you. I mean…you are pretty important and the world cannot function without you, even for 30 minutes or less. You are a CEO, a single father, a mother of toddlers, you are juggling two jobs, you’re getting a divorce, your teenager is going through a lot, you’re sick, your child is sick, you’re old, you’re hungry….. so many reasons to NOT get time alone. After 30 years of marriage, raising 4 kids, starting new businesses over 3 times, family struggles and don’t forget going through a world wide pandemic for the last 2 years, I get being distracted, but I never forgot about getting alone to “think” clearly and honestly with the circumstances around me. What do we do in that alone time?
What do I do first in that alone time?
Leave your phone far away and turn it off. This suggestion alone is giving some of you anxiety! For many of us, our thoughts are dictated by the images and comments on that phone. That $100 month lease which is the tool at the source of so much negative talk and thought. Free counsel tip #1 - Turn the phone off from 8pm-7am. And turn off all notifications except from family and the ringer. I'm doing it and It’s a game changer. (For mature audiences only) Did you forget that before 1994, we didn’t have the present day “smart phone” with all its techy know everything all the time, stuff?
Whenever I get alone, my mind immediately turns to my to do list. Or getting on this I pad and writing long-winded newsletters. RESIST!
For me, I begin by saying all the things I am thankful for, listing them in my mind and sometimes challengkng myself, asking why I am thankful for them? Here's a way to take a time out. Imagine being at your family gatherings and the conversations are going south. You kindly excuse yourself, (turn off your phone), go for a walk to get some time alone. First think about how thankful you are for your annoying siblings and your judgmental parent. Tell your self “why” you appreciate them. Even the worst situation has a place in it that we can be thankful for. I remember a little magnate on our late moms fridge that said, “Have an attitude of gratitude.” Thanks mom.
2023 - Prioritizing not Pleasurizing (I know that's not a word)
A new start means to start prioritizing your life and not just looking for new ways to numb the reality around you and seek different means of temporary pleasure. Pleasure is good too, but it you put it too high on your priority list, you may hinder the meaning and productivity in your life.
I know this seems to be going towards a dose of self help, and I'm not trying to do that, I'm really hoping we all take a close look at the deceiving world stage entertaining us and switch channels or better, turn it off. Stay informed, but if we keep swiping right in hopes we will be more stimulated, or more wise, then we are not much more mature than our teenagers. Ouch!
New Year Resolutions are not a good idea
Think of how many resolutions are made in January and by March they are history. What do you think the most common New Years resolution made is? Yup...lose weight.
It's obvious that's a broken resolution for most people. I'm not a health coach, but something tells me to just exercise more and eat less, I'm sure that will help the majority of us. My point is that you can make great changes without starting in January. Start when you know you'll commit to it.
One of my commitments: I'm really listening less to the life of famous peoples opinions, and more on truth and things that get me closer to my life goals. It's not easy, because I like the feel of sugary soft glazed donuts in my mouth instead of something edifying. I like to hear about the life of insignificant people on my instagram, Facebook and YouTube instead of people who are wise that keep me centered and full of hope in my soul. I don't need January to start anything, I need to decide in my mind to change in all seasons.
If you have read this whole newsletter, then thank you. If it has given you some encouragement, or maybe something to think about in your personal life, then I accomplished my goal. It’s going to be a challenging next few years for many of us and I wanted to sprinkle some beneficial fertilizer out there at the start of this year, hoping something good will grow.
Reject all thoughts that are not true or maybe that you relied on without enough evidence. These thoughts can rob you of peace and joy, the very thing most of us want to have. Don’t let others ‘stupid’ comments dictate your behavior, and don’t spread your negative opinions to others you claim to care about. Sometimes keeping our mouth shut is the most respectful thing we can do.
I WISH YOU ALL A BLESSING IN YOUR QUIET TIME(S). GIVE THANKS AND BE A WARM FLAME FOR OTHERS THIS NEW YEAR.
Drop a reply on the bottom of this newsletter or a private email. I would like to hear from you. See you soon.
Your free of charge counselor,
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