14 Secret Life Habits That Bring Happiness

14 Secret Life Habits That Bring Happiness

While some will seem obvious, others may not. . .

Happiness comes from staying vital and engaged

14 Secret Life Habits That Bring Happiness

By D. S. Mitchell

Your Future 

Psychologists and life coaches make it clear that some behaviors will lead to a productive and happy life, while others can potentially lead to prison.  Seriously, if you stopped reading at 12, drink to excess, drive recklessly, and bully your family, you are likely to come in contact with law enforcement and a whole lot of unhappiness. Conversely, there are habits and actions that are positive, rewarding, and fulfilling. Positive, rewarded and fulfilled; that sounds like the definition of happiness to me.

1.) Keep to a Schedule. This one can be hard, as we juggle work and life, but this is a biggie; one of the most important on this list. Just remember the goal and not the means. The goal is to bring organization out of chaos, NOT following the schedule stupidly.  Don’t let the schedule become the religion, but let it help you live a more comfortable life. Organization starts with a schedule. Staying on track is one of the best ways to get needed daily, weekly, and monthly tasks accomplished. And who doesn’t like to get things done? There is a satisfaction in a job done, especially if it is well-done.

2.) Adapt and Evolve. Change is a constant, once you accept that fact the happier you will be. Be flexible. Remember, “each moment is a new beginning.” As you get older, accepting change is often hard, but it is worth the effort. Stay relevant. Stay involved.

3.) The U-bend of Life. Science has told us that the happiest folks are those in their 80’s and beyond. I love a quote from Cousin Lucille, “Let my last days be my best days.” So if you are having a mid-life crisis and feel your life is on a downward trajectory be assured a turn around is in your future.

4.) Talk Kindly to Yourself. We all self-talk. If you talk doom and gloom, you will be repaid with doom and gloom. If you dial down the negative brain chatter you will be happier for it. Buddha said, “You are what you think,” suggesting you have an option to choose negative or positive. Like so many things in life there is an option.

5.) Don’t Let Vanity Stop You. If you are grossly overweight, pitifully thin, physically disabled, or disfigured; you may feel shy or uncomfortable about showing your body at the swimming pool, jogging down the roadway, or shaking your booty on the dance floor, but don’t let vanity get in the way of enjoying every moment of your life. Poor self-esteem and self criticism can deny you so much. Who cares what someone else thinks? Join the party.  Join life. Love life; it will love you back.

6.) Exercise. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week. Move more, sit less. Both your butt and your attitude will thank you. The World Health Organization has declared sitting to be the new smoking.

7.) Make Sure You Never Stop Playing. Taking childhood games into adulthood will keep you smiling. “Playing” suspends the brain in a unique and youthful flexible state. Go horseback riding. Play golf with a couple friends. Or, maybe you’d prefer a game of tennis? Chess or checkers can be fun. A card game will keep you competitive. Dungeons and Dragons anyone? How about a Renaissance Fair? I got it, let’s go fishing.  Never stop having fun.

8.) Write About It. Take a few minutes every evening to write about your day. Journaling, or diary keeping, is time well spent. The time you take to write about your day and its events allows you time to put everything into perspective, to calm your busy mind. It is enlightening to see back over decades of your life, one page at a time.

9.) Find Your Purpose. Most people describe it as “something larger than myself.” Engaging in a “cause” can actually raise your immunity levels and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, this need can be manipulated and twisted. In search of ‘your purpose’ stay away from radicalization. I’m not joking folks, careful what master you follow.

10.) Service. Volunteer your time, give your money. Service to others, to your family, your community, your nation is physically good for you. Your service will be rewarded with an infusion of an anti-inflammatory hormones.

11.) Take Time To Recharge. Take a break. Get a cup of coffee or tea and put your feet up. Give yourself permission to take time for yourself. We all need a quiet time to relax and recharge. Find what works best for you, since this is all about you, indulge. Remember, it takes time to replenish your inner core. It may just be a peaceful hot tub time-out or a glass of wine, just do it.

12.) Never Stop Reading. With the internet there are literally thousands of free book downloads at your  fingertips. When you are a child, books transport you to new and exciting worlds, places far from our everyday existence. I promise you they can do that at any time in our lives-keep reading.

13.) Stay Connected. It is so easy to let friendships and relationships die from lack of tending. Tend  doggedly to your relationships. Lifetime friendships and newly made ones deserve serious attention. Major life events, such as loss of a partner, retirement, a serious health condition often result in a pulling away. It is vital to stay connected; pick up the phone, write an email, send a card. It is important to continually be reaching out and embracing others.

14.) Be Inquisitive. Keep asking questions. Keep exploring. The goal is to learn something new everyday, or at least try. Be the forever curious child. Always be open to new feelings, emotions, thoughts, and experiences.

Internet Resources

The pandemic has made isolation and loneliness a centerpiece of our lives.   Making connections outside the usual peer group is more important today than ever before. If you are older, your peer group conversations likely revolve around pain, the obituaries, and your new blood pressure medication. If you are younger your conversations likely revolve around the new guy in the upstairs apartment, the high cost of concert tickets, Connie’s pregnancy, or the latest Marvel movie. Science shows that bringing two different generations together results in a different dialogue.  Turn your device to a hip hop station, use the internet to connect with programs that promote intergenerational interaction.

Intergenerational connection programs:

Check out Big & Mini (bigandmini.org), Sageconnect (sageusa.org/sageconnect) and Dorot (dorotusa.org) or Eldera (eldera.ai). These websites are free and welcoming.

Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Kyrsten Sinema is taking lots of money from big pharma


Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Are There Moles Within The Democratic Party?

By William Jones

A Minority of Two

Senator Kyrsten Sinema has emerged as one of the two biggest roadblocks to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.  She left D. C.  recently for a fundraising trip to Europe. Sinema’s trip came amid ongoing negotiations over the bill and was a slap in the face to Democrats. Senators Sinema and Joe Manchin, are the lone Democratic senate holdouts blocking the President’s proposal. These two holding out against the majority of their party, is a big deal.

Just Tell Us What You Want

Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, recently criticized Sinema. Sanders just wants to know what she would support. Other senators have similarly accused Sinema of stonewalling her own party, refusing to define a position. President Biden is said to be “exasperated” after hours of talks with her. He and others have complained that Sinema doesn’t “move” from her position in negotiations and show so little respect, she often fails to  “return calls from the White House.”

Looking Across The Pond

Lawmakers are barred from raising money from foreign sources. However,  members of Congress occasionally travel overseas to solicit donations from Americans living abroad. Those overseas donors tend to be affluent and well-connected. Ms. Sinema’s office declined to tell reporters how long she would be abroad. They also declined to disclose what countries she was visiting, or how the trip was being paid for. No further information was provided regarding additional fund-raising for her campaign.

Big Pharma

Aside from looking for off shore money the Arizona senator has been soaking up donations from the pharmaceutical industry and other corporate groups who want to kill key parts of the bill. I am here to report she has continued to make time to meet with those donors.

$5,800 Per Seat

Last month, Sinema held a fundraiser with five business groups that oppose President Biden’s bill, charging attendees up to $5,800 to attend a 45-minute event. Earlier this month, Sinema left Washington to go to Arizona, where she attended a ritzy donor “retreat” at a high-end resort and spa, with no small donors in sight.

Refuses to Meet Constituents

Sinema’s refusal to engage elected members of her own party has extended to her constituents. Numerous constituents have complained that Sinema will not meet with them, either in her office or at a town hall. She has steadfastly refused to hold a single town hall since her election. Multiple groups within the sate of Arizona have already launched efforts to raise money in support of a Democratic primary challenger in 2024.

Hecklers Chase Sinema

Tensions have continued to rise between Sinema and her own constituents.  Arizona protesters repeatedly confronted the senator at several locations this month. Some even heckled her during a class presentation at Arizona State University and  then followed  her into a campus restroom. The Intercept reported that Sinema teaches an ASU class on fundraising, including topics like “how to cultivate large individual donors,” “opportunistic fundraising” and “corporate giving.” The topics alone leave little doubt as to her priorities.

Mounting Pressure Campaign

Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the ‘moderate’ Arizona Democrat who has objected to the size and scope of President Biden’s sweeping legislative agenda, has been trailed all over the country by progressive activists in an effort to intensify public pressure on her.  Besides the bathroom incident, activists have followed her onto an airplane and even to the Boston Marathon.

Deeply Disappointing

The United States Senate is split 50 Democratic senators and 50 Republican senators. V.P. Harris is then available to provide the tie breaking vote. Democrats need every Democrat to stand united to pass any bill. These facts have greatly empowered both Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema as the party’s vocal holdouts. Ms. Sinema has pushed for the House to adopt a separate, bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill while the larger budget package is being negotiated. She called the delay in voting on the infrastructure package “inexcusable” and “deeply disappointing” in early October.


Kyrsten Sinema is on rocky ground with her electorate. Angry constituents are confronting her, she is pissing off the crowd in the White House, and she has angered nearly all of her fellow senate Democrats. Sometimes there isn’t enough money to save your reputation.  Sinema was sent to the Senate to work for her constituents not the drug companies. Wake up Senator Sinema. The country is begging for what is in this bill, do your part to make it happen.




Plastic Waste, A Global Concern

Plastic Waste, A Global Concern

Plastic pollution is a world catastrophe

Plastic Waste, A Global Concern

By William Jones

What is Plastic?

Plastic is a synthetic organic polymer made from petroleum.  Plastic is ideally suited for a wide variety of applications. Packaging, building and construction, household and sports equipment, vehicles, electronics, and agriculture; the uses are endless. It is cheap, lightweight, strong and malleable. Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year. Half of plastic products are designed for single-use; such as shopping bags, cups, and straws. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic — with severe environmental consequences.

Oil, Natural Gas and Coal

More than 99% of plastics are produced from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas, and coal — all of which are dirty, non-renewable resources. If current trends continue, by 2050 the plastic industry could account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption.

Worrying Trends

We produce about 300 million tonnes (metric tons) of plastic waste each year. That’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. We’re seeing  worrying trends. Since the 1950s, the rate of plastic production has grown faster than that of any other material. We’ve also seen a shift away from the production of durable plastic, and towards plastics that are meant to be thrown away after a single use. These single-use plastic products are everywhere. For many of us, they’ve become integral to our daily lives.

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Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Stay active as you age for a longer, happier life

Advice for the 65-Plus Crowd

Twenty-Three Tips for the Silver Sneakers Crew

By D. S. Mitchell

A friend of mine since high school sent me the following advice on aging.  I looked on the internet to find the source of the article and I was directed to a cemetery/mortuary site in California as the origin of the text.  For some reason I found that extremely funny. Post-Internment is not the time to worry about such things, I said to myself. Despite those feelings I did feel that there was some good information and thought it was worth passing on.  Although the following is not in quotes it has been authored by some unknown person other than me and I would gladly credit their work if I knew their name.

Twenty-Three Tips for the Over 65 Crowd

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*uck The Tuck

*uck The Tuck

Tucker Carlson started out as a bowtie preppie pundit on CNN

*uck The Tuck

By D. S. Mitchell

Remember When

I remember when Tucker Carlson was a bowtie preppie pundit on CNN and then later on MSNBC. This was when he was at least a semi-accurate, semi-reputable, semi-serious, semi-cautious journalist, that appeared to crave authenticity and most of all respectability. Truthfully since his move to Fox News(sic) I feel as though I have been watching the making of the Republican Darth Vader.  Anakin Skywalker, lured to the dark side, is now in his full power bending the minds of Americans and directing the guns of his Death Star at the foundations of American democratic thought every night at 8 pm.

Outrage-Driven Commentary

The Tuckster has turned deranged populism, hate spewing madness, irreverent contempt for decency, white outrage, racial grievance, and aggressive nastiness, into a combustive cocktail for his audience of over 3 million devoted followers. Whatever the topic may be-crime, ‘defund the police’, BLM, immigration, race, vaccines, education, health care, or the Democrats, Carlson uses it as fuel for his outrage-driven commentary. Red meat to the masses. Fox News is the Roman Coliseum of today.

Red Meat Culture

Carlson is a product of wealth and privilege. Some might call him a boarding school elitist. His racism and homophobia near legendary. He has always been a bomb thrower and a pompous ass, but over the last decade at Fox he has given up any pretense of journalism and his schtick has devolved into open senseless cruelty. After a visit to Iraq Carlson is reputed to have said, “it’s a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you known, semi-illiterate monkeys.” He has famously called women both “whores” and “pigs.”

A Change Overcomes Him

Tucker Carlson is now approaching five years as host of his hugely popular nightly political talk show, ‘Tucker Carlson, Tonight.’  His stint of peddling bullshit on Fox seems to have self-radicalized the man.  Whatever the topic he offers, he’s pissed off about it, and so should you be, he tells his audience.

Strongman Support

Whether it is vaccine skepticism, white nationalism, or his increased support of anti-democratic right-wing regimes around the world, Carlson is all about being an entitled white man. He recently wasted a week embracing and promoting Hungarian strongman, Viktor Orban. Even I have been amazed at Tuck’s open love affair with authoritarianism.  Of course it is white male authoritarianism he likes and supports, certainly not black,  brown, or female (ha, ha) dictators.

Are Tuck’s Questions Really Legitimate?

Carlson uses his platform to portray his bad faith attacks as honest, good faith inquiries. He sounds alarm bells over issues of fact under the guise of asking legitimate questions. There are answers to his questions, but Carlson suggests there are not. Conspiracy theories fill the ether as well as outright lies. Tucker, like Hannity has grown fat and bloated, continually sneering at liberal democracy as the seed of our destruction. He focuses on culture war stories that fuel the Republican base. Tucker Carlson is certainly the best the extremist right has to fan the fires of Trumpism and righteous Americana outrage.

Carlson’s Message

Tucker Carlson’s message is simple and he does not hesitate to play it over and over. The existential future of America is at stake. At the heart of the matter is the doomsday scenario painted by the right wing media.  Tucker Carlson believes America is on the verge of being lost, because old white men might lose political power in the United States. I’d say to Tucker, “about time.”


Kaill McNeil: Alter-Narratives 9/12/2021

Kaill McNeil: ALTER-NARRATIVES 9/12/2021


BAD Company

By Kaill McNeil


If you want to know what someone is going to do tomorrow, look at what they did yesterday. Same with corporations, which are really just collections of people. Don’t stop there;  the same goes for nations. Although the term nation no longer applies, the state of Texas thinks it is a nation independent of the federal government.

Once a Nation

Texas was for a time an independent republic after it gained independence from Mexico in 1839. Immediately Texas began clamoring to join the United States. On 12/29/1845 Texas gave up its independent republic status and became the 28th state of the United States of America. Sadly, on 03/02/1861 Texas after 15 years in the union decided it would join in armed rebellion against the United States of America.  As part of the Confederacy, Texas attempted to secede from the union for the purpose of perpetuating slavery within its borders.

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Cori Bush: The Face of Perseverance

Cori Bush: The Face of Perseverance

Tenacity, Perseverance and Determination, all in one woman, Cori Bush

On Friday 7/30/2021  First term Congresswoman Cori Bush sat down on the steps of the U.S. House of Representatives with a camping chair, a sleeping bag, and a commitment to stop the potential eviction of millions of Americans from their homes.

By William Jones and D. S. Mitchell

Those At Risk

When it became clear that neither Congress nor the White House was going to act to stop a pandemic-era federal eviction moratorium from expiring, leaving hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of low-income Americans at risk for eviction from their homes Cori Bush stepped up.  Ms. Bush — now 45 and a first-term Democratic congresswoman from St. Louis — felt a familiar flood of anxiety and a flash of purpose in the face of the pending crisis.

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OPINION: Retire Justice Breyer

Supreme Court needs term limits

OPINION: Retire Justice Breyer

By William Jones

Consistent Defender

Stephen Breyer was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994.  Breyer has been a consistent defender of liberal priorities in cases involving abortion, marriage equality, voting rights, and other issues. There’s growing urgency on the left to see Justice Breyer step down from the court to be replaced by a younger liberal justice. This is only possible while Democrats are the majority party in Washington.

A Billboard Truck

In early April, the progressive group Demand Justice ordered a billboard truck to be driven around the Supreme Court building featuring the words “Breyer, retire.” The message was directed at Breyer, one of three remaining Democratic appointees on a court that has become increasingly dominated by conservative justices in recent years.  Much of that anxiety is informed by recent history. Liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not retire when Democrats controlled the Senate during the Obama administration. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from cancer at age 87, shortly before the 2020 presidential race. Republicans moved swiftly to fill her seat with Amy Coney Barrett. This cemented a 6-3 conservative majority on the court that legal experts say may soon undo many rulings that defined Ginsburg’s judicial career.

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