Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are You Ready to Take the Plunge?

Many years back, when I was a young girl, I was blown away by an iced tea TV commercial that left my mouth agape every time it got flashed on TV. It didn't matter then how many times this commercial hit the airwaves – its euphoric appeal got me thunderstruck and wowed me endlessly like I've seen it the first time.

Picture this: a young teenage girl drinks a glass of fresh iced tea and quenches her thirst on a hot summer day then suddenly makes an unexpected backward fall into the pool- aaahhh….feeling the freshness of cool water as she splashes away.

Now tell me, who wouldn't want to be in her place? If I were her, I'd do back flips, backward takeoffs, springboard dives, or side flips or swan dives- Ok …Ok…. I don't really know how to do any of those. I was just showing off.

But I still wish I could really venture into a free fall one time in my life. Who cares about a bad fall as long as I get the best time splashing all over and getting out of the water with a big grin on my face.

I may sound a bit of a ballsy adventurer. True. Probably because I'm the type who'd like to embark on a certain level of excitement in my life- not necessarily adrenalin- pumping and hair- raising excitement but I'm talking about everyday life adventures. Although giving adrenalin pumping and hair raising adventure-a try is not a bad idea at all.

Sometimes we don't realize that every single day is an adventure itself. Just think about this, you start your day making an insignificant decision such as how you like your eggs cooked for breakfast- will it be fried? boiled? over easy? or scrambled? Will you wear a green shirt? or a brown one? Will you wear your hair down or curl it a little?

You pick your choice. You decide.

Then you end up your day in bed racking your brains about heavy-weight decision whether to take better job offer or not or whether to marry your boyfriend or stay single. You cull and then you decide.

Whatever we do everyday, we're always left with choices. To risk or not to risk. Accept it or not, it always demands a great deal of audacity to be a risk taker- would you like to have your breasts augmented? or climb Himalayas, meet your Facebook friend in person, break up your relationship in favor of a new one, emigrate to another country or simply decide whether to sit next to a dubious looking character on the plane or not.

These will absolutely require you to come up with a snap or a well thought about decisions that could make you feel better at the end of the day.
If you come to think of it, what are you really looking for? I know. It's the inner joy the certain level of happiness is what you're aiming for like a pot of gold sitting at the end of the rainbow for your prize.

The pursuit for the elusive happiness is the driving force can make you take a giant leap of faith- that no one else can do. The search for the elusive happiness is the one that can make you do what you don't normally do. Seeking for the elusive happiness is the one that can make you suddenly become a different person.

Some may frown or raise eyebrows, purse their lips or downright put two thumbs down on your decisions but who cares? The strength that you mustered going out of your comfort zone to find the indefinable happiness is way admirable.Give yourself a reward for that since not everyone has the temerity to move heaven and earth just to seek his own happiness.

Packing your bags and living in an exotic country or trekking the Himalayas or starting a life with a new person in your life is not as easy and fun as shopping downtown. Not even close. (I wish they were- so I'd be in the Himalayas every weekend.)

Taking chances to experience something new in your life doesn't give out promises that will be followed by a happy ending. But expecting for happiness to fall on your lap while sitting down and watching six o clock news is not going to happen either. Sometimes, it's worth to take boulder sized risks to be able to feel the glory. No guts, no glory as they say. The odd side of chances is that- once you let it go, it may never come back again in the same form.

The line "Life is too short" has been overused (and abused several times.)But it's true. Life is too short. You got to make the most out of it while you still can. Whenever I make decision, I only think about Mark Twain's words, "Twenty years from now, you'll be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did."

And I hope I won't come to a point when I'm old and gray,as I sit on a rocking chair, pondering, that I'd regret why I didn't do what I had to do before. The truth is, life is teemed with risks and decisions. That's why don't be afraid to up your ante a little. Because life is a game of chance. One can never be sure of what life will bring you.

Like the back fall into the pool or skydiving, I'm doing a full gear check, strapping and buckling up tightly to make sure my parachute is going to open up in mid-air.

Because soon, I'm about to embark on a big sky dive of my life and when I jump, I intend to glide gracefully wherever the wind takes me and enjoy one hell of a ride.-J.A.S.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning: If You Can Do It-Your Kids Can Do It Too!

Need help with your Spring Cleaning? You don't have to do it alone. Your kids can join you too in cleaning up the clutter, dusting off furniture and tossing old worn- out stuff that you haven’t used up for ages.

Teaching kids to get involved with household chores prepare them for their responsibility in the future. According to Marty Rossman, a researcher and an Emeritus Associate Professor of Family Education, "Teaching kids at an early age to take part in the household tasks will enable them to develop sense of responsibility, competence self-reliance and self-worth."

So before you rack your brains in figuring out how to complete your Spring Cleaning adventure, here's how you will do it in 5 easy ways.

1.Make Spring Cleaning a Fun Activity:
Just like kite flying, swimming and other fun activities, spring cleaning should be considered as an enjoyable activity too. However, that depends on how you present the idea to your kids. If you want to make them join you, put a little excitement in your tone. Hype up spring cleaning activity few days before you do the actual work. And when you start, play some games as such sorting, classifying, counting, identifying colors and beginning sounds of words among others to make it real fun.

2.Give Special Rewards:
Helping you with gardening, cleaning the closet, or sorting broken toys could be quite a challenge for young kids. So to increase their motivation, give special incentives like stickers, ice cream, a trip to the park, arranged play dates with friends among others. You don't have to spend a lot of money for rewards. Remember that children love simple joys in life.

3.Use the Opportunity to Teach:
If you're encouraging your kids to learn how to do household chores, make use of this chance to teach values, learning concepts or basic ideas so learning would not only be confined in the four corners of the classroom. Share the goals and objectives of your spring cleaning task. Let them know that they are already growing so fast. And it's time for them to do what big boys and girls do.

4. If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It:
An old saying that means if everything is alright, then don't do something about it. With regard to the kids' spring cleaning exploration, this means the other way around. I'm sure you know that kids will never clean up the way adults do. It will always turn out that the finished job would be needing some polishing somehow- you know how kids are! However, if your child's completed job is far from your neatness standards, then leave it at that. It will add to your child’s self-confidence to see that you appreciate their efforts even if the job needs a lot of tweaking in the end. By recognizing his efforts, chances are, you'll get a help again from your children with your Spring Cleaning next year. But ofcourse, nobody stops you from fine tuning their finished job when they're away or asleep. Just don't make it too noticeable, they'll surely spot it.

5. Be Proud of Your Child:

Tell other moms and dads, your friends, family, relatives and colleagues at work what you turned your child into. Flaunt his small but meaningful accomplishments. When he hears you're proud of him, he develops his self-esteem and self- worth subsequently.

By getting your child involved with tasks like Spring Cleaning, you consequently, make your child become responsible, caring, competent and more matured for his age.

So what are you waiting for? Ask your child to help you now before he changes his mind.

Enjoy your Spring Cleaning!