You Must Have a Happy New Year, and Other Unsolicited Advice

The official time has arrived – to reflect, review, re-ponder and beat ourselves into the ground about the past year. Often we focus more on what went wrong, what we did wrong, than what went really well for us and because of us. When I say we, I mean me, of course. At least that’s what I’ve done for as long as I care to remember. Unfortunately I do this every day, but I’m trying to be better. Really.

I do not want to come off all preachy, but what better time of year to bestow advice onto people whether they want it or not? Here goes.

As 2014 draws to a close, I am aware that I have things to work on, just like last year, and most likely just like next year and every other year I live on this planet. My emotional maturity needs to expand and evolve; I need to get better at confrontation and emotional regulation so that I can get through those awkward moments that leave me sleepless at night with worry, or in perpetual replay in my OCD brain, saying ‘Why did I do that? Why did I let that happen? Why didn’t I fill in the blank?’

I’m also aware of what I want to accomplish. I want to do well at my new job and make real contributions to the new team. I want to eliminate the drama from my life, and learn to be a better mother, daughter, wife, sister and friend. It would be awful nice if book 2 finally got drafted in 2015. And there’s a little matter of weight, which has been on my To Do list for almost 50 years. I’ve gotten close at times, and at others just moved so far away from having a healthy body that I didn’t even recognize myself.

This year I hope to keep it simple. No I don’t mean throwing out everything I haven’t used in a year, although that’s an awesome idea for someday. I’m not going to live in a thatched hut and eat nuts and berries while crafting the Great American Novel of the 21st century. Lonely and way too much in terms of dietary fiber for this old gut.

I’m letting go of the extreme expectations I have for myself that I try to use as a means of controlling my less than positive behaviors. After many years of trying to plan out my perfect life only to fall short on day 2 and give up, I believe the best course for me is to take it slow. Plan each day once it gets here instead of planning weeks and months of my life that just aren’t going to happen. For example, many is the time that I’ve started a new diet, for example, and forecasted how long it would take me to lose the desired amount of weight, to the week, and the day sometimes, only to fall off the wagon and abandon all plans and all goals to get healthy. Or I’ve put together an impossible to keep writing schedule over three months, only to miss the first scheduled time period out of sheer procrastination and obsession with keeping structured.

Structure is awesome; it keeps me focused and moving in some kind of direction, and decreases those feelings of total overwhelming chaos that I fight more and more as I age. But structure for structure’s sake is a sure way to kill creativity and motivation. Working to make the plan work just doesn’t work.

I recently came across a newsletter from a self help guy out there that many of you may be familiar with, Dr. Wayne Dyer. He is world renowned for his practice of positive affirmations, practicing selflessness, and internal introspection.   He has had a profound effect on my life through his Power of Intention series, which helped me stop being so negative and start being open all kinds of possibilities. I admire his method of effectively communicating complex spiritual and reflective concepts so that they are understandable and tangible to people like me. This week’s topic in Wayne’s Weekly Wisdom: For 2015, Let’s Live in the Now. This is something that anxious and obsessive people like me are very bad at. We are always worrying about the dangers of the future, steaming about the mistakes of the past, and left in a state of static limbo and inaction. I’m not that horrible these days, but there was a time in my life when I could not enjoy the present moment and was always anticipating the next move. Job-wise, family-wise, everything-wise.

This is my preachy advice and wish for all of you – live in the moment. The moment is all that we can control, it’s all that we can influence. We certainly reflect on the past, but it doesn’t exist. We possess the power to remove past negative remnants and feelings from our day to day lives. You can prepare for the future versus not sitting on your bum waiting for things to come to you, but you don’t have to sacrifice being engaged in the present moments of life. That is my hope for me, and for anyone else that sometimes feels lost, or failing, or unable to get his or her arms around the huge complexities and changes which life constantly provides. Not an easy thing to do, especially letting go of the pain and disappointment of the past. But it can become a good healthy habit that you do have control over.

Check all of this out for yourself if you like:

With this link you can enter the Hay House Newsletter page and subscribe to Dr. Dyer, or any number of other Hay House authors who provide positive, reflective advice to those who choose to use it.

Have a wonderful, safe and satisfying 2015. Amen.


Special Offer buy 4 get a 5th Free ends Friday May 3rd

25th Anniversary 4

Thank you all for the kind and generous response!  PayPal should be up and running tomorrow for those that would like to pre-order an autograph copy of A Girl From the Hill.  Or Email me at and I will provide instructions on how to make a payment by check.

Apparently Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Balboa Press are all offering the book now too, but you’ll save shipping costs and get an autograph copy if you buy through me.

The positive response from you all overwhelms me! Thank  you with all my heart.  My Mom is quite excited too by the way.  A nice dividend …

By the way, the folks will be celebrating their 67th anniversary on Monday May 6th.  The picture here is from their 25th Anniversary party in 1971.  My mother always loved her Gardenia’s.

Today my Dad had to go to the hospital.  He’s home safe and sound, but he fell early this morning trying to get out of bed.  My parents worked together to get him up, him crawling on the floor and my mother sitting in a bedroom chair to weigh it down so he could use it to climb up.  I wonder if in their wildest dreams in 1971 if they ever imagined they’d have to endure such struggles as they did today.  At least they work well together as a team – they have certainly had enough practice.  Love you both.

A Girl From the Hill – Coming to a Book Store and Web Site Near You– Soon!

cover pic.jpegI am very excited to have just put the finishing touches on A Girl From the Hill: My Mother’s Journey from Italian Girl to American Woman. I will be sending my final galley signoff tomorrow morning and the book will officially be going “to print.”

Even though I’m a bit sick of looking at it, I hope you all won’t be. More details to follow, but if I use the great service and productivity of Balboa Press to date, I hope that we’ll be launching by the end of May/beginning of June. Oh yes, of course I will keep you all posted!

A huge huge thanks to everyone who has helped me get this far, including my parents, who are doing much better health-wise, and are slowly trying to exert some level of independence. Even though I get frustrated when my father decides to drive to the barbershop in the rain, I am so relieved to see a smile on his face, and to hear his corny jokes. I am so blessed.