A Concerned Author by Mona Risk

Do you think I will talk about politics? WRONG

About economy? WRONG

Writing, formatting, publishing, marketing? Wrong, wrong, wrong.

What concerns me is that I spend eight hours a day, sitting in my chair,
albeit a comfortable one, typing on my computer those delightful stories my
readers love.

Dear Readers, I love you so much. For you, I sacrifice my time and my
health. Seriously, as comfortable as my chair is, at the end of the day my back is killing me, although I always extend my feet on a stool under my desk.

Other than the backache, writing has generated a few nasty problems. I don’t know how and why, I woke up one day with big pouches of fat on my belly and hips. I swear I didn’t have them fifteen years ago before I started to write.

Problem number three is my most valuable asset: my eyes. I will spare you a detailed description of the eye problems I developed while sitting at my desk. Years ago people used to stare with a smile of appreciation, “Oh how nice, you have differently colored eyes, a green and a hazel.” Now all I hear is, “Do you wear glasses constantly? Do you see black spots or floaters? Did you have the cataract removed.”–No I didn’t!

Do I need to mention the thirty pounds I added since I started writing? I
have no idea how they perfidiously wormed their way onto my once slim silhouette.

But at least I produced over thirty books and contributed to
dozens of anthologies with new books.

UNFORGETTABLE CHARMERS

NOT READY YET is a a brand new book, not published individually, a delightful romance that will warm your heart and help you believe in the power of love.

High school sweethearts separated by life… They meet years later, successful but different, each with a heavy baggage. 

SWEET and SASSY BABY LOVE

Sweet and Sassy Baby Love – Babies and toddlers bring great joy, love, humor, and even conflict into our lives. But first, we need a passionate encounter, a romance that transcends time.

Christmas Babies is my contribution to Sweet and Sassy Baby Love: ER and Grey’s Anatomy in the NICU.

Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr. Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem makes her realize that there’s more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of love. But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr. Nick Preston who carries his own package of disillusions? Can she allow two newborn twins to worm their way into her heart?

If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Happy People

If you’re over 50—or if you’re currently enrolled in kindergarten—you’ll  know the title is from a song. Although whether we’re really happy or not may not be a simple thing to know, we all clap our hands anyway.

But how do we know if we’re happy, technically speaking? Well that’s a matter for experts to examine, including Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and bestselling author on the subject of living long, healthy & happy. I’ve read Buettner’s articles and many others about happiness—took a whole college course in psychology focusing on what makes happiness tick—and I’ve come up with my personal best list.

Top 7 ways you know if you’re happy:

  1. You laugh a lot. Like every day. Multiple times a day. Sounds simple, right? But really think about this one before you answer it for yourself. How often do you laugh? (Also, how often do you cry?)
  2. You like going to work every day. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s no surprise that a long commute can be a big negative in people’s lives according to Buettner. It’s also no surprise that liking your job can make you happy.

    But did you know that you don’t even have to like your job to be happy  if you like the people you work with? 

    In fact, according to Buetner and others, liking your fellow employees and having friends at work is more important than making more money. I can personally attest to the truth of this!

  3. You have a great social network and get together with friends/family often. Everyone agrees about how important the people in your life are to your happiness, right? Maybe it’s hard to put this into practice in  every day life, but those who do are happiest.
  4. You are healthy. While it’s not something we think about, according to statistics, it is harder to be happy when you’re unhealthy. So don’t take this one for granted.
  5. You make a decent living. No need for riches. But just in case, I did buy a Powerball ticket when the jackpot went to $625 million yesterday. It would be a kick to play Santa Claus with all that money. Which brings me to the next tell for happiness.
  6. You focus on others with acts of kindness, helpfulness, care, donating and/or volunteering. Or maybe you’re there for someone with a shoulder to cry on in a tragedy. Of course, you probably already know how these things can make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
  7. Life Balance. You have the right amount of work, socializing and sleep—and all those other personal care things to keep you healthy, like staying active. This is no news for anyone who spends too much time at work, or too much time sitting around. Or not enough time sleeping!

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

I’m going to work on getting more sleep!

Tell me what you’re going to do to improve your happiness.

 

How to Become a Superager

Face it, getting older is a fact of life. But how sharp you are as you age is not a slam dunk. Think about the 65 year old and older people you know. Do they all joke about “senior” moments? Seem to accept that dwindling attention and forgetfulness are a necessary part of getting older?

Not so! In a recent article in the New York Times, Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, describes the phenomenon that brain researchers are calling Superaging. I don’t know about you but if there is such a thing, I’m all over it. So, what the heck is Superaging, and how can you become a Superager?

First a little about the brain and how it works. What are commonly thought of as the “emotional” areas of the brain are now known to be major hubs for general communication throughout the brain. Research indicates the thicker these regions of the cortex are, the better a person’s performance on tests of memory and attention.

The big question is how do you become a Superager? Which activities, if any, can increase your chances of remaining sharp into old age? Believe it or not the answer seems to be that you need to work hard at something. Researchers have concluded that you can keep these critical regions thick and healthy through vigorous mental and physical exercise.

Before you conclude, heck I can do that, at least occasionally—you need to know the road to Superaging is difficult. Make that darned hard. It appears that exercising these brain regions requires focused, intense effort which leaves you tired and often frustrated. But Superagers are like Marines. They—and their brains—thrive on challenging physical and mental exertion. Think about the Marine Corp motto: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

Forget about those funky puzzles like Suduko and various other brain game websites. Nope, like any other muscle the only way you can keep the brain in shape is through strenuous, demanding physical and mental exercise. The old adage is as true for brains as it is for flabby butt muscles or a flat-tire waistline. If you don’t use it, and use it hard, you lose it.

I’m encouraged. Like other full-time authors, I know it takes mental energy and hard work to write a book–and continue to do it every day of the year! I know how difficult and often frustrating it is to put those 2000 words a day on the page. So I have the mental activity covered. I also am a committed fitness enthusiast (make that addict?). I run at least six miles a day and lift weights. I’m seventy-two years old and now that I know what it takes, I might actually be working my way to Superaging. I sure hope so. Now if I can just remember where I put my car keys!