Modern musings by Trishna Buch
Well, here we are three months into 2017 and maybe it’s time to do a reality check on all those new-year resolutions we made. You do remember yours, don’t you?
It should be no surprise that most resolutions involve kicking a bad habit, so how are we doing? Have we won ourselves a wonderful habit-free status, are we still struggling to make it over the hill or have we given up altogether?
We all know that, when it comes to kicking a bad habit, you first have to admit you have one. Once you admit you have a bad habit, you can work on solving it.
It’s often difficult – sometimes too hard – to make that admission, but one way of doing so is to write it down. Let me set an example by writing an outline of my own worst habit, failing to get a good night’s sleep.
For a few years, I have had trouble falling asleep before midnight – something much more interesting always comes up. That’s because, after working seven to eight hours a day, doing two to three hours of school assignments and taking care of household responsibilities, I barely have time to read a good book or watch my favorite TV shows. So I make up for it when I finally settle down for the night and, before I know it, two hours have passed while I spend my precious sleep time watching YouTube videos instead.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. Even if I have to get up at 8:00am, sleeping at midnight gives me eight hours of sleep but, for several years, I have never received more than seven hours of sleep each night.
There. I’ve written it down, openly admitting that I willingly deprive myself of sleep – a terrible habit and, ultimately, a huge problem. Can you do the same for your worst habit? I’ll wait while you give it a go.
Right, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now, the question is what to do to resolve your particular issue. Kicking a bad habit comes in small steps. If, like me, you’re in sleep-deprivation mode, you could start by going to bed 30 minutes earlier each night until you achieve an adequate amount of sleep.
For example, if you currently receive six hours of sleep and want eight, start sleeping half an hour earlier than the night before, doing so each night for four nights until you hit the time at which you can sleep for eight hours and wake up at your chosen alarm time.
Once you reach that stage, remain strict with yourself to make sure you do not fall back you’re your bad habit.
Now, these methods work for me and I would like to put out a disclaimer. You don’t have to follow these particular steps. Please disregard any tip that is not relevant to you.
Kicking a bad habit takes hard work. It is not something that will happen overnight. It’s probably been instilled in you for several years, so it will take several months of practice and setbacks to kick it.
One thing, though –never give up! If you ever feel discouraged by the time taken or the difficulty of improving a habit, focus on the end result. Once you have kicked your bad habit, I guarantee you will feel much happier than you do now.
No limits to our capital city
We’re number one! Well, not us but, apparently, we have the best state capital in which to live.
That’s the conclusion of a national study conducted by financial-advice website WalletHub.
This is a study I can definitely get behind. I have visited Austin a few times and the city has a life of its own. The exciting and vibrant metropolis and its diverse population always compel me to want to visit again and again.
Austin beat out Boise, Idaho, and Bismarck, North Dakota, which respectively earned the study’s second and third places, for its coveted top spot.
WalletHub says it conducted the study because, although many state capitals have now become livable “hubs of activity”, as cities, they are not equal. According to the study, “the biggest population doesn’t always represent the best quality of life”.
So the study’s analysts measured the 50 states for affordability, economic wellbeing, the quality of their education and health and the quality of life within their environs.
They had to measure up in 42 aspects of city life including their cost of living, unemployment rate, K-12 school system quality, share of the adult population in good health, infant mortality and traffic congestion.
Austin won after finishing ninth in affordability, second in economic wellbeing, seventh in quality of education and health and 16th in quality of life. Taking the respective top spots in each of these categories were Cheyenne in Wyoming, Bismarck, Pierre in South Dakota and Honolulu in Hawaii.
So what does all that mean for we Texans? Well, we can bask in the glory that, overall, ours is the nation’s best state-capital city in which to live but, if we’re looking for one aspect of city life in particular, there’s a wonderful exponent of each elsewhere in the country.
Whatever you do, however, do not move to Trenton, New Jersey, Hartford, Connecticut, or Jackson, Mississippi, as they took the bottom three positions in the study.
On a personal note, I am even more pleased that Austin earned the study’s top spot as my younger sister has been accepted by the city’s University Of Texas campus. Now, I just have to convince her to choose UT over the other colleges that have accepted her!
Photo: James Martin
Good news for diabetics
More than 29 million Americans are affected by diabetes, according to American Diabetes Association. Furthermore, 208,000 people younger than 20 have been diagnosed with type-one or type-two diabetes and 86 million people older than 20 have pre-diabetes.
Many of us are familiar with the disorder. Several of my own family members and a few friends deal with it on a daily basis. I see firsthand the amount of trouble they have to go through to make sure they remain healthy.
Dealing with diabetes, especially if you are a young person who has recently been diagnosed, is not an easy matter. Fortunately, then, there’s a local diabetes self-management program hosted by the county health district and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Under the seven-week program, type-two diabetes patients age 18 and older are invited to the health district every Wednesday afternoon for a two-hour seminar.
The program, titled Wisdom, Power, Control, will arm them with life skills to better control and handle the disorder including physical activity, using a glucometer and even dealing with diabetes myths.
Eileen Dawley, the health district’s chief nursing officer, describes the program content as “potentially life-saving diabetes management information” not only for diabetes sufferers but also for their families.
I will certainly be telling my friends and family affected by the disease about the program and I hope you take advantage of it as well.
The program will take place in the health district’s training room from 2:00-4:00pm every Wednesday from April 5 to May 17 at 9850B Emmett Lowry Expressway.
To take part, you must register before April 5 by e-mailing Kelly Kanon at email@example.com or Claudina Prince at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And look back at The Post’s Coming Soon listing on March 19 for full address and registration details.
Spin a pinwheel for abused children
More than 300 children are in foster care in our county, according to the nonprofit organization that represents their interests in court in these parts.
CASA Of Galveston County says several of the children have been placed in care by the state’s child protective services agency after being abused and neglected and that many do not have “the specialized voice” of one of its volunteer court-appointed special advocates.
Because of its limited resources, CASA currently serves less than 25 per cent of these voiceless children and the organization is keen to take advantage of April’s Child Abuse Awareness And Prevention Month to raise much-needed funds so it can increase that number.
It will be doing so by displaying more than 300 pinwheels outside the county courthouse in Galveston during the month and is asking folks to sponsor them at a cost of $10 each.
By sponsoring a $10 pinwheel, you will be contributing towards the “recruitment, screening and training” of advocates, whose primary role is to help the children.
Every child deserves to live in a home where they are safe, loved and taken care of. They are not always given a voice, so sponsoring a pinwheel is just one small way in which we can each help our county take care of those in need of CASA’s services.
To sponsor a pinwheel, go online to casagalveston.org/sponsor-a-pinwheel/.