…by Karna Small Bodman
Here we are in the first week of the New Year when TV commercials are all touting the wonders of health clubs, diet plans and articles revealing the secrets of losing 20 pounds in 20 days….or whatever the promise. Sure, many of us make resolutions about improving our appearance or being more healthy, although a very small percentage of us ever carry through (I read that somewhere). But instead of resolving to do the same things again this year, I decided to ask for a new list. And since we are blessed to have a house full of family members visiting over the Holidays, I decided to raise the subject with the Millennials gathered around the breakfast table. They all quickly got into the spirit of suggesting great things they could resolve to do — and really carry them out throughout the year. Our graduate student grabbed a tablet and pen and recorded the discussion. Here’s their list:
–Be technology free for 30 minutes a day. Remember, no iPhones at meal time – don’t even bring
them to the table. Enjoy the conversation, ask questions, contribute a new fact or observation instead of staring at a screen or texting or tweeting or even thinking about face time. And hopefully that 30 minute time frame will lengthen as the year goes on.
—Sit with someone who is sitting alone. Look around the cafeteria, park or most any secluded place on campus. Check out the person sitting by themselves at the table in the lunch room, go over, ask if you can join them. You may brighten that kid’s day and even make a new friend.
—Volunteer your time with an organization or charity. Opportunities are everywhere. You can go on a regular schedule or just once in a while. If you have a special skill (like hammering nails) you might think about heading out to a Habitat for Humanity location where they are building houses for families who never had a home. Or maybe spend an hour or two at an assisted living place and tell stories to the elderly residents. Every church needs volunteers to handle the flowers or the coffee service on Sundays. There are opportunities in every community of every kind.
—Rescue an animal in a shelter. It might be tough for a student living on campus to rescue a dog or a cat, but they can implore their folks to visit the Human Society or animal shelter in their home town. There are always dozens of dogs, cats, even birds and other varieties begging for a home. You can find a list of “adoptable” pets on tons of websites. Besides, they make wonderful
—There were several short suggestions: smile every day, take the stairs drink more water, try a new recipe, discover a new author (I suggested they first check out all of the Rogue Women Writers, of course) and I loved it when one came up with this one: Appreciate each individual’s various abilities instead of concentrating on their disabilities.
And how about this last one they suggested:
—Tell your family you love them at least once a week! And we certainly did that when we all gathered to celebrate the New Year.
|Celebrating with our “Millennials”
There you have it — great ideas from all these “kids” about things they (and the rest of us) can do during the next 12 months and beyond. A very productive and joyous 2017 to you all. Do leave a comment below if the spirit moves you — I’m sure this gang will be checking them out.
…Submitted by Karna Small Bodman