New Year, New Link Love (Vol. IV)

January 26, 2024

Tank on left enjoying his first day home

First off, I’m happy to say that Tank is doing well at home, and I’m much relieved that he seems to be continuing to recover (and he’s enjoying the extra feed as we try to put some of the weight he lost back on him).

This is 2024’s addition to my tradition of “New Year, New Link Love,” even though it’s almost the end of the month. January has gotten away from me in a number of ways, but hey, here we are. Grab a cup of something warm to drink and enjoy these links:

In “How to Cheer Yourself Up on a Hard Day,” Ingrid Fetell Lee shows us how we can create and embrace small moments of joy even in the midst of frustration and struggle.  (Check out the “Joy Break Generator” at the bottom of the post.)

I’m not the only one who was happy to leave 2023 behind. But it’s not enough just to leave the year itself behind if we continue to carry things that weigh us down into 2024. In “7 Heavy Things to Leave Behind In 2023,” Courtney Carver gently urges us to leave those heavy things in the past and walk forward feeling lighter, and with room in our lives to allow in more good things. 

In “Can little actions bring big joy? Researchers find ‘micro-acts’can boost well-being,” NPR reported that scientists behind the BIG JOY Project found that those who commit daily “micro acts” of joy—such as making a gratitude list or doing something nice for someone else—“experience about a 25% increase in emotional well-being over the course of a week.” These acts “led to increased feelings of hope, optimism, as well as moments of fun or silliness.” These findings don’t surprise me, but it’s always nice to be reminded that in a world where so much is beyond our control, small positive acts can make a difference.

How good are you at loving yourself? If you could be better, here are “99 Ways to Love Yourself A Little Better.” 

Click here to see a baby wolf learning to howl! 

I found this discussion of “How to Think About Politics Without Going Insane,” interesting. I really do think most issues are more nuanced than we realize. David writes: “If you can achieve a multi-viewpoint understanding of the debates over gun ownership, law enforcement, socialism, capitalism, transgenderism, housing policy — even if you still adamantly favor one position afterward — the conflict no longer needs to be attributed to malice or stupidity on the part of half the population. There’s a better explanation, which is that contentious issues tend to be multi-faceted and morally complex, and people fixate on the first facet of an issue that makes them feel something. To make it worse, our culture incentivizes the denial of moral complexity. Simply put, it’s easy to motivate people with simple moral stories (those guys are bad) and hard to motivate them otherwise.” 

I enjoyed Maira Kalman’s TED talk, “How to find humor in life’s absurdity.”  (I am down for her “murder and mint chip portion of the day”!)

This weekend we will host out-of-town family as well as continue to monitor Tank’s progress and give him his medication and extra calories. How about you? Any fun plans for the weekend and beyond? How is 2024 going for you so far?

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  1. Sketchbook Wandering here...There's some tech thing I need to do to log in, but I have no clue..Tank looks beautiful!!! I love how you research & share resources...will go to them. I LOVE Maira Kalman, just saw some of her illustrations in a magazine on Mental Health. Mentioned on the site of Draw with Wendy Mac who combines her interests in mental health & drawing. Finding Humor, that IS a huge key for me!!!! I loved the little wolfie, learning to do what he's meant to do, but not there yet...Hmm....I can relate!

    1. Hi, Rita--I love Maira Kalman, too. After her talk, I borrowed Women Holding Things from the library! Looking for humor is so necessary--sometimes if I don't laugh, I'll cry. I'm going to look up Draw with Wendy Mac--thanks for sharing.