by Daria James — Greetings and Happy New Year! Although, same old bologna on the papers and social media, the gym is going to be packed all month, new me empty promises from some people. Bleh! Just be the change already. We all have defects of character, once we identify them in ourselves, either we take steps to minimize and correct them, thus we become more pleasant to be around and not total a**holes, or we do not. It is that easy. Suffering is optional, you see. Life is limited, why begrudge it?
I will give you a little example. I used to drink too much soda. Vanilla coke was my drug of choice… some afternoons I would spice it up with some vodka or rum. I realized that if I did not drink my daily dose of soda (I still drink vodka and rum, do not get it twisted), I would become irritable. One day I decided to free myself from their delicious fizzy prison. I cannot remember last time I drank any type of soda. I know I did not wait for a Monday, or the beginning of a new year, I just stopped. I have never indulged in recreational drugs or any other addictive controlled substances, so I cannot speak about quitting said vices. I am simply sharing an unhealthy habit I used to revel in. Subsequently, I have freed myself from caffeine, which was a struggle, it was a slower process, but my body finally stopped yearning for it. Again, just sharing my personal experience, sounds braggadocios, it is not. I am not a Vegan cross-fitter, which a person can totally be. It is the holier than thou attitude attached to said life choices some adopt that becomes bothersome in my eyes. However, I continue to live my life, as do they.
People’s keys to happiness differ. I used to think what I was doing to improve myself and achieve happiness is what everyone should be doing. In my journey I comprehended that is not how it works. What has been successful for me might not work for someone else. We all have different necessities; we have different backgrounds. Sometimes I will share similarities with another individual, but that does not make us the same. We share our experiences, and we take what we need then disregard the rest. For instance, I have taken some advice from Oprah, but I know not everything she lived can apply to me. It is ok to disagree with Oprah now and then. Keep her humble.
That is how I achieve happiness. Sure, there are times when dark memories make an appearance, but there is no point dwelling in the past. It happened, I suffered, I learned from it and I moved on.
I am not perfect, and how far I am from it is all about perspective, really. Like a Russian nesting doll, there is a doll inside a doll, inside a doll. I still have some vices. Too few to mention. Some of them are technically hobbies, mere pursuit of leisureliness. Nothing wrong with that.
To conclude, I will not ask you to be the best you can be. Just be less of the worst, drink more water and go for a walk occasionally. Carmel, Pacific Grove and the Wharf area were some of my favorite places to walk back in the day. Moreover, if you are a grown-up, please do not ruin a fine steak with ketchup. The cow is already dead; you do not need to insult it.
Lastly, I decided to learn more Russian this year, so you can google stuff. Toodles!