Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Happy New Year everybody! We are back from our whirlwind trip to NYC, and back in school, back at work, and back to working on cards. So, basically, back to the grind. It was a nice holiday and a wonderful trip while it lasted though! Now it's 2011. Holy moly, that is so weird.  I'm been feeling lately like time is flying by a little too fast for my comprehension, and my munchkin is growing up exponentially before my eyes. Slow down everyone!! Seriously.

I read an article the other day that made me feel more optimistic about 2011, and certainly for the future of our country. I'm going to share it here, so maybe you can share some of my optimism as well :)


1) Crime is down. It's true! Decreasing as we speak, actually...the nightly news might convince you otherwise, however.

2) We use less energy. The avg. per person consumption of energy in the U.S. has fallen about 9% from it's peak during the oil crisis. Hallelujah!

3) We give and give. More than a quarter of U.S. adults volunteered last year with nonprofits, contributing more than 8 trillion total hours of service...and there was a 5% increase in young adult volunteers. Americans gave $300 billion to charities in 2009 as well. This blows me away.

4) We conserve fuel. The use of public mass transit is on the rise, growing 38% in the last 15 years.

5) We live longer and feel better. People today are living about 10 years longer than their parents did. And a survey by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that once people reached 50 years of age, feelings of happiness and enjoyment increase....ok, wish we could bring that age down just a bit!

6)Young people make smarter decisions about their well-being. For the last 10 years, the percent of highschoolers that smoke has fallen steadily. Fewer teenagers are using alcohol and hard drugs as well.

7) We network with wonderful results. Research from the Univ. of Calif. reports that within a social network, happiness is contagious :) Also, for 1 out of every 6 marriages, the newly engaged parties met via online dating. That's amazing!!

8) We can connect easier. Electronically, that is. There are more than 10.5 billion WiFi users in the U.S. each month. We can connect almost anytime, anywhere...and internet access on flights is expected to become free sometime in the next year. Woohoo!

9) Our bonds are stronger. The divorce rate continues to fall, from 4 per every 1000 people back in 2000 to currently 3.5. Hey, at least it's something!!

10) We give away before we throw away. Have any of you tried freecycle.org yet? I discovered this site when I lived in NYC and didn't have a lot of money to spare. You are saving items from landfills and helping a neighbor out! The amount "freecycled" currently equals 800 tons of stuff every-single-day that isn't thrown away. Unbelievable.

11) Our forests are growing. Despite the perception that suburban sprawl is eating up unused land, the total acreage of forested land in U.S. has increased  during the last 30 years. Thank goodness!!

12) We breathe cleaner air. OK, so this one I was pretty doubtful, but it's true that the levels of 6 common air pollutants have fallen since 1990! So it's a positive.

13) We drive more carefully. Last year, 8.9% fewer people died in car accidents than 2008, and the lowest number since 1954, when they began record keeping.

14) We grow more of our own food and enjoy the benefits. Wish I had a garden to participate in this one! Seed sales have increased and so have canning equipment sales.

15) Our hearts love anti-smoking laws. According to a study of Medicare patients, the amount of hospital admissions for heart attacks has dropped 23% in 5 years. Perhaps it's the public smoking bans now law in 32 states and many cities....

16) We buckle up. Seat belt use is rising, jumping at least 3% in each age category.

17) Bees making a sweet comeback. Although bees have been disappearing in the U.S., more than 100,000 beekeepers are fighting back by helping farmers pollinate their crops. Save the bees, y'all.

18) Women are healthier. Incidences of breast cancer in the U.S. have decreased 2% per year since '96. Deaths from breast cancer have decreased 1.9% per year. Amazing news!

19) We move more. Average marathon times indicate exercise among the general population is on the rise. They are actually slower than they were in 1980, which means more people are logging miles for health and enjoyment....interesting.

20) We know the poswer of positive. A study by the American Heart Association showed that women who expected good, rather than bad, lived longer. Another study of law students found a bright outlook didn't just affect performance, but the immune system too. It's the true power of positive thinking.

Here's to a POSITIVE 2011!!!


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