Posts filed under ‘51 Things to Do In 365 Days’

Surprising Reasons We Shouldn’t Complain



Do you think that complaining, moaning, and grumbling is a harmless past time? Or do you think it can really stink up our lives and the lives of those around us? I belong to the second camp of thinkers.

Studies have shown that even a few days of stress [negativity and complaining are stressful] damages the neurons in the hippocampus (the part of the brain used for problem solving and cognitive functioning), and impairs its ability to create new neurons.

Over time this can result in the hippocampus shrinking, which can cause a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and the ability to adapt to new situations. – By Jessica Stillman

Read the rest of the article By Jessica Stillman: Complaining Is Terrible for You, According to Science.

Any repeatedly exercised muscle gets faster and stronger. As we repeatedly complain, this link in the brain gets faster and stronger making it easier to complain.  Complaining really does become an automatic response to life. We become a more and more negative person.

Here are some other reasons why we shouldn’t complain.

  • It is a bad example.
  • It reflects poorly on me.
  • It shows I am not a grateful person.
  • God says to not complain.
  • In truth when I am complaining, I am complaining against God.
  • It is contagious.
  • People rarely listen and reflect, instead they complain, too.
  • People won’t want to be around me. Or I will attract negative people.
  • I am showing an entitled attitude, my ideas ARE always the best ones.
  • I let impatience and pessimism rule my heart. This makes me feel depressed.
  • Complaining drains my energy.
  • My focus is on the problem and not the answer, therefore, nothing changes.
  • I feel badly about myself.
  • Complaining makes me feel impotent and angry.
  • I lose my inner peace and perspective.
  • My body gets flooded with cortisol, a stress hormone. This negatively impacts my physical and mental health.
  • I let lies rule my thinking.
  • I act like I can’t handle issues and people. I am in victim-mode.
  • This destroys communication and healthy bonding.

Update on the No Complaining Challenge: I complained! Back to Day 1.

Your Turn . . . 

  1. I was surprised at how BAD complaining is for your brain. What do you think about that?
  2. Which of the ideas resonated? Why?
  3. What would you add to the above list?
  4. Join me in my No Complaining Challenge.

Related Resources . . . 

Today is Day 3 of the #Write31Days online writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Reviewing Educational Goals Before Making New Ones

School is done. So is the licensing interview.  The move is finished. Now I have time, time, time to devote to new life goals.

Before I decide upon new goals and habits for 2010, I need to see how well I’ve done these past 2 years. Therefore between now and January 1, 2010, I am going back over my 51 Things to Do in 365 Days List I made for my 50th birthday. Click here to read the original idea. Click here to read about my goals and click here for the habits I hoped to meet and acquire during my 50th year of life (2008).

Let’s start by reviewing my Educational Goals.

  1. Complete 1/4th consecration requirements. Before I could work on consecration (ordination for men) requirements, I needed to become licensed with the C&MA first. Getting ready for the licensing interview was bigger than I thought and so I postponed that until I completed all my MA coursework. On November 12, 2009, I had that interview. I had a few bumps, but passed! Now I am working on consecration requirements. I hope to be done with all this in 2012.
  2. Vote intelligently for presidential election. Done
  3. Read 2 books for fun. I read The 21 Balloons by William Pene Dubois. Click here for the review. The second book was The Secret of the Old Clock – the first of the Nancy Drew mystery series. While attending seminary I didn’t have time to read for fun, so these quick-to-read youth books were what I had time for.
  4. Figure out what’s wrong with my camera. Couldn’t figure it out. So it was tossed. But my sista and her family bought me a camera for my graduation (June 2009). I LOVE this camera. And it loves me back by rewarding me with GREAT photos.
  5.  Learn to do one thing on my blog.  My sista introduced me to stockxpert – the leading free stock photo site. So I have been able to include pictures on my posts. It is quick to sign up for a free account. Nice choices. Easy to use. And if I can use it, anyone can.
  6. Finish courses for masters degree from Western Seminary. DONE as of September 1, 2009!!! 

My score is a low B (83%) with 5/6 of my goals accomplished. I am happy with this especially since I decided to wisen up and postpone Goal #1.

 When you look back over the past year or two, what educational goals have you achieved?

Related Posts

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Rethinking 51 Things TO DO List

Yikes! Week 13 means I am 1/4th of the way through my 50th year. Time to do a little rethinking about my list. Just because I wrote it up doesn’t mean I HAVE to accomplish it. I ‘d like to rethink the following . . . .

Go on a bus tour of SF with my kiddos. My kiddos don’t want to do this. I do. But is it more important to spend time with the kiddos or to go on the tour either by myself or find someone else to go with me? No right or wrong answer here. I just need to figure out the main desire behind this goal.  

Pay off 1/4th of my student loans. Since I am using my “available ” money to pay for my current tuition, I don’t see how this will happen. I think this goal should be postponed until AFTER I am done with seminary.

Go ice-blocking. Obviously my 18 year-old brain was making THAT goal. Really, should my 50 year-old body with a BAD back chance accomplishing this goal? I’m thinking “No!” So what else could I do that involves ice, motion, people, and the outdoors? If you come up with any answers, tell me.

Vote intelligently. I really need to figure out exactly what that means – for me. Some would think voting a straight Republican or Democrat ticket is the “intelligent” thing to do. I do listen to talk radio, but I need to do some more investigating.  

Figure out what’s wrong with my camera. Since a camera was given to me (Thanks, friend!), do I really need to spend time on this item? Other than, I hate to get rid of things, especially if it’s fixable.


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Week 13 Summary for 51 Things List

Here’s a quick review of what happened last week on my 51 Things To-do List.

  • Wrote a letter to a friend list
  • Got a pedicure.
  • Reading thru the Bible in 90 days with sm.
  • Sorting out stuff in my bedroom: I’ve gone through all the clothes in one closet and all the dresser drawers. I have one more closet to go.


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Week 11-12 Summaries of 51 Things List

Women’s Retreat (last weekend) and finals (done on the June 25th) have taken more of my time than I realized. More energy too. I am grateful that I have some women who surround me in prayer, good advice, and godly examples. It’s hard to get away with much with them around. Thank you, God. 🙂

listI’ve crossed off a few more items from the list I made in honor of my 50th birthday.

From the Events List I’ve done the following:

  • Found out my FICO score. Go here to see what this all about. There is a house for sale right on the corner of LG’s street. I said to myself, “I could see me living here.” It’s a good price and thought I’d best check out my FICO score – which is good. After checking with a friend who is a mortgage broker, I decided now is not the time as income (too little) is a factor.
  • Told one joke publicly – at retreat last week. In fact, I rigged the Getting To Know You Bingo game. I put Willing to tell a joke now as one of the squares. That way if it came up, I’d be “forced” to tell it, if I wanted the square. Since I am competitive, I wanted the square.
  • Checked out language schools abroad. I might do this instead of going on a Missions trip next year. I want to become fluent in Spanish and think that such a program would be helpful and fun and nerve-wracking. 4-5 hours a day of Spanish instruction and living with a Spanish-speaking host family will definitely sharpern my skills. Some of the programs also offer lessons in other things like, history, literature, sailing, surfing, scuba, and flamenco dancing. Scuba is so been-there-done that, BUT flamenco dancing or sailing has an appeal. Can you just imagine ME, who can’t clap and sing at the same time or or walk-and-talk without injury doing either one of these things?

Now on to the Habits list:

  • Chip is so perky these days regular walks are a must. He demands them, sometimes several times a day. His dental appointment cleared up his teeth issues and pain meds are taking care of the arthritis in his hips. It does my heart good to see “my old man” doing so well.
  • Crafty thing for June was doing the finish work on the bed treats for retreat. To those of you who went to retreat, aren’t they the cutest things you’ve ever seen? Maybe I’ll get someone to show me how to put a picture of them here. Or maybe Lynette or TJKnits will post of picture on their blogs and I’ll link to them.
  • Bedtime is still about 11 pm instead of 10 pm.

I guess this isn’t too bad of a list. How’s it going with you?

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I Almost Missed “First Hot Air Balloon Day”

hot-air-balloonI just visited and do you know what day it is today (for another 45 minutes anyway)? First Hot Air Balloon Day!!!

My sista took the above shot. Go here to see more.

Edited to add: I was wrong. The day is today, June 4. HItSearch wrote this,

“A man-made craft flew for the first time on June 4, 1783. Invented by the Montgolfier brothers, this aérostat was a huge hot-air balloon made of paper and cloth that drifted for more than a mile and landed after 10 minutes.” Go here to for the rest of the blurb about hot air balloons.

There are only 2,780,000 hits for first hot air balloon. 🙂

I wish I had time to read even some of these entries, but I truly need to get to bed. Maybe I’ll be able to do some research for next year. And as part of that research I’ll just have to go on another hot air balloon ride. Wanna come?

Guess what book I found last week while weeding out some books? The Mystery Of The Hot Air Balloon by Gertrude Chandler Warner. (There are some for sale for as little as one penny.) This is a Boxcar Children book. Of course I sneaked in the time to read this quick-read book.

I even learned two things from the book about hot air balloons.

  • One competitive race is called, Hare and Hounds. One balloon is chosen (by lottery) to be the “hare;” it takes off first and then lands. The “hounds” follow. Whoever lands closest to the hare wins.
  • Soo Lee, the cousin of the Boxcar children asked, “Why do the balloonists like to fly so early?’ She was told that “dawn and sunset are the best times {because} the sun has an effect on the wind…During the middle of the day, the breezes are usually too strong” (p. 115).

My own hot air balloon ride did not involve a mystery or surprise landing (as found in The 21 Balloons). But it did involve a love story, generosity, and sacrifice. That makes for a good read (and life) – don’t you think?

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Week 10 Summary of 51 Things List

Life is whirlwind busy – I missed posting summaries for Weeks 8 & 9.

During these weeks I did the following:calendar

  • Downloaded the doctrinal questionnaire to become a licensed CM&A worker. This questionnaire IS A long and hairy beast to complete. I have sent out requests for transcripts and recommendations. I still need to complete the doctrinal questions.
  • Scheduled an appointment with my seminary advisory. We figured out the classes (about 11) that I need to complete in order to graduate June 20th, 2009!!!
  • Planned a camping trip for July 27-30th at Lake Tahoe with some of mi familia.
  • Did 4 Random Acts of Kindness: (1) Did someone’s job before he could – cleaned up the Sunday coffee area (2) Did a friend’s dishes when she was gone from the house (3) Gave $20 to a friend so she could buy a birthday gift for someone. (4) Sent a funny get well card to a child I do not know. I am not telling you these things to brag, but so that it could spark some ideas for you, in case you want to do your own RAK’s. Go here for more ideas.
  • Spent several hours at Ocean Beach with my daughter. It was overcast and cold. First time I ever walked on the beach with my shoes on. We collected dozens of sand dollars.
  • Special time with my daughter – spent the evening at the opening of her first juried art show. Lots of great student art to appreciate. The best part of the evening was that my daughter won “Best Installation.” Go here to read her post titled, “I Won.”
  • Crafty thing for May was making corsage pens for women at church for Mother’s Day. We made corsages with silk flowers that were red, pink and white and then attached them to pens Go here for instructions to make a pen with a sunflower.
  • Chip and I picked up trash. Plus we went on many walks together.
  • God sent extra money so I could tithe to the Building Fund and Missions general budget or special projects.
  • Joined Facebook and Twitter – both of these are outside my “internet” comfort zone.

What have you been busy with that will make 2008 a year to remember?

Go here to read about the history of my 51 Things List.

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Week 7 Summary of 51 Things List

woman on phoneHabits and Events from my 51 Things List didn’t get much attention last week. The first excitement of engaging in a new project has passed. I need to be more intentional about what I’ll be doing week to week.

So this week I’ll do the following . . . .

  • Download and complete the doctrinal questionnaire to become a licensed CM&A worker. I hear this questionnaire is a long and hairy beast to complete.
  • Schedule an appointment with my seminary advisory to officially figure out what classes I need to take to graduate in May 2009.
  • Plan my summer camping trip. PEI or Hawaii are probably too far to go for a weekend, eh?
  • Continue working on a 10 p.m. bed time.
  • Tell my three jokes to 2 people. Find another joke and memorize.
  • Install a clothesline.
  • Finish transcribing my notes from the John Wesley prayer book so I can start a new book on prayer.

Okay – looks like this might take two weeks, but at least I have a plan.

Come on, don’t be shy. How’s it going with your own list of yearly to-dos?

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April Hot Air Balloon Ride Is Perfect 50th Birthday Present


Waiting in the early hours, cold and excited in Napa Valley, CA, for the balloon to fill up.

See how tall the basket is? I won’t be falling out. I’m between my son and daughter. A nice place to be when celebrating a 50th birthday.

Some people are just natural show-offs! See that guy in the background getting into the basket? He had NO trouble getting in or out.

Bye! See you later: 7 miles south and 1 hour, 20 minutes later.

To read about my trip, go here. To see pictures that my sista took, go here. To read why I went on this trip, go here.

Thank you, family, for spoiling me again. 🙂

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Week 6 Summary for 51 Things To-do List

check listI’ve done 3 new things from my 51 Things To-do-List:

  1. I learned to do one new thing on my blog. You might have noticed: PICTURES! My sista showed me stockxpert – the leading free stock photo site. It is quick to sign up for a free account. Nice choices. Easy to use. And if I can use it, anyone can.
  2. I read my second just for fun book: The Secret of the Old Clock – the first of the Nancy Drew mystery series. I read all these books as a child. My niece, Es, is reading these now and lent me her copy. It was a fun read – good junk food is the category I’d place it in. I’ll give a recap later.
  3. moneyBecause of extra money coming in, I’ve been able to tithe extra. I put the money towards the Building fund and the Missions fund. Of course it was tempting to keep it all for my needs. But I’ve been trying to practice what Pastor Mike has been teaching us in his last series on “God’s Remedy for Financial Worries.”

Hmmm. Maybe the extra money was a quiz from God to see what it is I’ve been learning. Keep reading for what I’ve been learning from Pastor Mike.

  • Keep your priorities straight. Desire what God desires. God’s will be done in heaven and earth.
  • Continue to be generous. Don’t let fear affect my heart. Don’t let fear stop me from helping those around me.
  • Make God’s kingdom & righteousness my first ambition.
  • Take one day at a time. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get hurdlesworked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes,” Matthew 6:34. The Message

Go here for information on how to contact the church office and get your OWN copy of this sermon series.

What quizzes have been coming your way? How are your goals coming along? What new things have you learned? Do share here in the comments or at your blog.

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Hot Air Balloon Pictures That Sista Took

Sista said I could show her pictures from our hot air balloon flight in Napa, CA. If you haven’t read about the trip yet, go here. You’ll read about my 11 observations.

balloon 3

Aren’t we up so high? 1000 feet was our highest flight. Amazingly my son saw a deer from up there. The white tail gave him away. He also spotted a rabbit!

balloon 4

Can you believe that we flew over this gorgeous country? Initially there was a bit of fog – which flowed along underneath us.

balloon 1

What a huge shadow. We are coming in for our landing . . . . and for our champagne breakfast. There were lots of food choices so that even my daughter was able to get filled up.

This trip doesn’t compare to the one taken by the Professor in The 21 Balloons book. But I am quite content with the lack of adventure. Plus, how cool to make the memories with my kiddos and sista. How fun to be able to cross off something from my 51 Things To-Do list.

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11 Hot Air Balloon Observations

11 observations while in my 5oth birthday present – a hot air balloon ride on Saturday, April 19, 2008, Napa Valley, CA.

  1. I’m terrified of heights. When walking across the highest suspension bridge in the world located in Canon City, Colorado . . . . atop an aqua duct in France . . . . while navigating the catwalk in many castles in England, I was sacred white and legless. BUT NOT in a hot air balloon at 1000 feet. My son was sure I’d claw gouges into his arm from fear.
  2. Obey the signs. Except when following the instructions are not in our best interest. There was a HUGE Land Here sign carved into a grassy field. It was tempting to land there. But the pilot wasn’t able to navigate the air currents just right so that we could land safely. He assessed the situation and decided to make a new plan. We liked that better because we got to fly 20-30 minutes longer.
  3. Unseen air currents do the unexpected. So it was necessary for the pilot to carefully watch how the balloons in front and behind him were flying. He also asked for help from those on the ground. Our pilot was surrounded with help before, behind, and underneath. And of course in the basket with us was a simple instrument panel.
  4. My glasses stayed on my face. For some reason I thought my glasses would have this urge to leap off my face. Never happened.
  5. It was noisier in the balloon than I thought. The release of the gas made for a noisy, heated time. The taller people were advised to wear a hat in order to protect their head from the heat.
  6. It was colder than I expected. The guide told us to NOT over-dress because the heat from the balloon would be sufficient. At the last minute I decided to grab my gloves and winter jacket. Good move – I used both as it was still nippy even with the heat descending upon our heads.
  7. Our pilot was a pro. Evidently Bob is one of the best pilots around. In the winter, Bob flies air balloons in Switzerland. A lot of those trips are 2-3 hours and come with food and wine to consume during the ride. We had our champagne breakfast after the ride. I was glad of this – that way my sista could join us.
  8. The time zoomed by. We were in the air for 1 hr 20 minutes and flew 7 miles. The mileage was a personal record for Bob. It didn’t seem like I was standing for that long of a time.
  9. Trouble in, trouble out. I am not the most elegant, graceful or limber of people. I had to have a huge push from behind in order to get over the side of the basket. The side came to the top of my ribcage. I wasn’t too embarrassed – I am getting used to it by now.
  10. Doing something new is a bonding experience. This flight and the rest of the day (thanks to my daughter’s ideas) will rank as one of the best birthday presents. Now whenever I see/hear/think about a hot air balloon, I will always think about that day. There will not be any competing memories.
  11. Hurray for my 51 Things List. I’ve wanted to go on a hot air balloon for awhile, but I don’t always remember what I want to do. This list is a great way to remember and then to decide which things in life I’ll do during this year I turned 50. This list includes Habits and Events.

I am very grateful to my sista, son and daughter for their respective parts in making this day so special. It was WORTH the wait.

Have you ever been in a hot air balloon? Tell us about your experience.

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