Last month witnessed my initiation into the 36th Annual Penguin Plunge for the benefit of Rhode Island Special Olympics in South County. Brrrr… I never imagined what an incredibly invigorating experience it could be to dive into 43 degree water from an air temperature of 50. I admit to some initial trepidation, but had little choice in joining other hearty souls after my brother, Rick’s loving granddaughters, Emily and Payton, gave me “the look.” I couldn’t say no to these intrepid fund-raisers and now look forward to participating annually with many other family members in memory of Rick, a veteran Penguin for 34 years. I’ll take less convincing next year; I’ll just pray for temps of 50 again next New Year’s Day!
The unseasonably warm weather has likewise brought out some fat squirrels to play. They have the chubbiest cheeks I’ve ever seen, with dragging bellies to match as they scamper along our backyard fence. Meanwhile, I’m viewing photos shared by friends on Facebook showing budding trees, convertibles on road trips with tops down and joggers decked out in shorts and t-shirts. It appears everyone is taking full advantage of the warm weather and sunshine. Perhaps the grey skies of Old Man Winter will have caught up with us by the time you read this, but you won’t catch me complaining.
This month we bring attention to practical habits that work to keep our minds healthy and functioning well. I am particularly fascinated by what Diane White of Boston Brain Works has to say about a new scientific approach using Brain Wave Optimization (BWO). In “Want a Better Brain?: Balance Your Alphas and Betas,” by Kim Childs, she explains how the therapy can help people that have a difficult time attempting to relax and meditate.
In “How a Brain Grows,” by Lisa Marshall, we learn five ways to help foster the healthy development of young brains without subscribing to the myths set forth by certain marketing campaigns. Like me, you may be both surprised and encouraged by the simple things that parents can do to foster healthy brain development in children.
May we all make the most of every season and live it to the fullest. Before we know it, the shiny-faced daffodils will be breaking through the inevitable snows ahead.
Feel good, live simply, laugh more always,
Maisie Raftery, Publisher