Past meets present at Genesee Country Village & Museum
shops that are worth the sip ALSO • • Coffee High Falls Film Festival - Nov. 2-6 INSIDE • Meet Margaret from the Public Market RocParent.com
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WRITERS IN THIS ISSUE BREANNA BANFORD is the Yelp Rochester community director. She brings the online community offline, connecting people to great local businesses through collaborative events and marketing partnerships. As a Rochester native, Breanna lives, breathes, and eats for this city. When she’s not hosting events for the Yelp community, you’ll almost always find her with rosé in one hand and french fries in the other. MEAMI CRAIG, PH.D, holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and human development from Harvard University and a doctorate in psychology. A long-time media personality, she gave advice for 20 years on WARM 101.3 and was a popular columnist and blogger with weekly newspapers and Democrat and Chronicle, focusing on relationships and family. You may ask Meami questions for her She Rocs column at (585) 432-1010 or changeyourlifeservices.com. KATE HERMANN is executive director of High Falls Film Festival, for which she leads fundraising initiatives and manages marketing and administrative activities.
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Cover Story Past meets present at Genesee Country Village & Museum Girls on Film High Falls Film Festival takes to screens Nov. 2-6 Meet Margaret from the Market The City of Rochester Public Market has a lot of friends
7 The Audacious Believer Tips on thriving through the holidays 9 Help from Yelp Shopping for indie coffee shops 12 Ask Dr. Meami Take control when life messes with you
NOVEMB ER/DECEM BER 2017
DANTE WORTH is a success mentor and author based in Rochester who released his book Free to Be Me in 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree in PR and communications from SUNY Brockport. In the community he has organized and hosted motivational seminars, the Black Authors Expo, and three installments of ROC Mastery Writing Seminars. Each spring he hosts the Audacious Believer’s Ultimate Women’s Conference, where he brings together women and men to enable, empower, and inspire them to live life with a victorious freedom.
After a more than 30-year career in community journalism, LINDA QUINLAN likes to say she is “semi”retired. She is now a freelance writer, serves more than one cause as a volunteer, is a caregiver for her mother, and a proud grandmother. She is married, has three grown children, a granddaughter, a cat, and a dog. When not writing, she likes to read and garden.
ON THE COVER
Becky Wehle continues her family’s legacy at Genesee Country Village & Museum, which was founded by her grandfather. PHOTO BY PAUL OLCOTT
Past m ee Countr ts present at y Villa ge & M Genesee useum
ALSO • Coffe INSIDE • High FaellsshopFilsmthat are worth th e sip • Fest
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Becky Wehle fosters family legacy at the museum ‘everyone loves’
As CEO she’s finding new ways for visitors to connect the past and present at Genesee Country Village & Museum By DRESDEN ENGLE
As Genesee Country Village & Museum wraps up its 42nd season in December, it will be season for the history books — the year when the founder’s granddaughter officially took over as director. Becky Wehle, 45, was just three-yearsold when the museum opened. Grandfather John Wehle invested his funds from running Genesee Brewing Company into a dream, one that he conceived in 1966 and became a reality in 1976. Today Genesee Country Village & Museum (GCVM) is the largest livinghistoric museum in New York state and
maintains the third largest collection of history buildings in the United States. The 600-acre complex hosts 68 historic structures furnished with 15,000 artifacts, interpreted by staff in period-appropriate dress. GCVM is a major tourist attraction for our region. Among the dozens of buildings preserved in the historic village are George Eastman’s childhood home, the house of Col. Nathaniel Rochester, mansions of the era, an opera house, a working farm with animals, a mercantile, a schoolhouse, a town hall, plus two churches. Wehle started her career in the museum world, working in public relations for
Wehle enjoys working alongside the staff in the village, including the two working oxen, Buck and Dan (two of her favorites). PHOTO BY PAUL OLCOTT November/December 2017 She Rocs Magazine 4
George Eastman Museum right out of college and now, after many years with the University of Rochester working in advancement, she has returned to her museum roots. It’s in her blood and she has served on the GCVM board for 19 years and even had her wedding in the historic village. Appointed interim director on July 1, 2016, the job became official in 2017. Wehle already is expanding educational programs and this year the museum welcomed a website and its first guide book in 25 years. She Rocs magazine sat down with Becky recently and here’s a bit of our chat:
THE FOURTH GENERATION Wehle’s children are big fans of GCVM
Young Becky poses on the steps of the Livingston-Backus House shortly after Genesee Country Village opened to the public in the 1970s. This remains her favorite house of the dozens on site, and as CEO she was photographed again on those steps in 2017. PHOTOS PROVIDED BY BECKY WEHLE AND GENESEE COUNTRY VILLAGE & MUSEUM
You have been a trustee of GCVM since 1997, and now, you are the president and CEO. Is there anything you are now seeing through new eyes? Yes, the magnitude of what it takes to get the place running and the work that goes literally 24 hours a day, from taking care of the animals and making sure the buildings are safe and staff are welcoming visitors in a friendly and helpful way. There’s a lot that goes on. I had some of appreciation for that as a board member but the most interesting part has been digging in and seeing this all firsthand as a staff member. You have been associated with the museum your entire life. What is the response you get when you tell people where you work? Almost everyone has a story. It’s amazing the positive responses I get from pretty much everywhere, from people who love this museum and want to talk about it.
Have you ever had anyone say, “I don’t like it there”? I have never. Have you?
As a mom as well as a museum CEO, do you see the need for more educational programs? We certainly are making ourselves more relevant to kids today. Sure, the 19th century is pretty far into the past for them, but there are a lot of connections between then and now. And there are lessons in looking at what kids their age did in the 19th century, how their clothes were made or where their food came from. We are integrating educational and cultural experiences more, field studies and also STEM experiences. Over the past year we’ve made a concerted effort focused on four buildings: our carpentry shop, tailor shop, drug store, and print shop. In the tailor shop we can show how two-dimensional objects become 3D objects and in the drug store we explore
See GCVM on page 6 November/December 2017
Henry, age 15, and Eliza, 13, have been coming to GCVM since they were days old. We asked them their thoughts on mom’s new job and their family legacy “I think the first thing I said when I heard about her new job was “Congratulations” and then I asked how many weekends she was going to be gone,” Henry said, noting that his mom traveled a lot for her UR job. She now is only a few miles away from their Scottsville home. “It’s better to work because it’s a place close to your heart,” he said. “Our family cares about the museum and we want to keep it going.” “We were very happy for her,” Eliza added. “We know how much she loves it here.” He and his sister enjoy walking around the village with their mom and on their own. “The special events days are when I’m there the most, and I love it because you feel like you are actually back in time,” he said. Both Henry and Eliza said Yuletide in the Country, which takes place most weekends in December, is their favorite event each year. “The candles are pretty with the snow and all the buildings,” Eliza said. “I like hearing all the stories about how Christmas evolved over time.” Come summertime, it’s summer camp at the village, and this year they enjoyed cooking old-fashioned recipes over the fire. Eliza’s faves? Hand pies and coconut bread. Eliza’s favorite building is the log house. “I love the barn and animals and oxen and trundle beds.” What would she have enjoyed the least in the 1800s? Her answer: The outhouses and the chores. Henry’s favorite building at the village is the same as his mom’s — the Livingston-Backus House. So, do either of Wehle’s kids want to the run the place some day? Both quickly and passionately replied, “Yes!” “People think it’s so cool here, it’s so visual and hands-on,” Eliza said. “People who don’t find museums interesting adore this museum.”
GCVM, from page 5 chemistry. We are moving our print shop down the hill three houses to make more room so visitors can see a printing press at work. In spring 2018 we will have a telegraph set-up spanning two rooms, so students can experience technology used during the Civil War, which was essentially 19th century texting.
What do you want fellow parents to know about Genesee Country Village & Museum? You can have experiences here that you could never have in a classroom. We say we bring history to life and I believe we really do that. You can see oxen working or look at a bed to understand how and where a kid slept more than 100 years ago, or how laundry got done. And you can keep coming back, year after year or month after month, because every day could be a different experience. In fact we are offering more interpreted talks and guided tours with staff members, so you can see what you haven’t seen before or find a new way to look at it. Kids today are complaining about mowing the lawn, kids in the past had to keep the farm working. They also had to make hundreds of candles every fall and spring. Are there other programming plans you can share with us? We use our village for interpretation and we can add more experiences, since we focus on the 19th century, which was such a rich time period. We plan to add more programs related to woman’s suffrage as well as slavery and abolition. These subjects are so ripe for historical experiences and we are always working to do more to tell these stories and give people hands-on fun experience. Was GCVM a focal point of your life while you were growing up? We came here all the time, every summer of my life, anytime anything significant was going on. It was important for us to be here as a family, to see how the attendance was and if the visitors were having a good time. And it’s funny because now my kids ask me these same questions: “Was it a good weekend?” “Did a lot of people come out.” It’s now come full circle. 6
The magic of winter and holidays past await you at Genesee Country Village & Museum in November and December. PROVIDED PHOTO
Genesee Country Village & Museum Our editor selected our “Roc Parent Pick” for this issue — Genesee Country Village and Museum. While this blast-into-the-past is a favorite for audiences in the warm months, magical experiences await you in November and December. Genesee Country Village & Museum is located 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford, which is about 30 minutes form the city of Rochester. Tickets and more info for these fun family events can be found online at gcv.org.
PREPARING FOR THE HOLIDAYS When: Saturday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets: $10 adults/free children under 18. Additional fees for DIY crafts on site. About: Interact with the villagers as they demonstrate a variety of activities, including soap making, candle making, wool spinning, and meat preserving. You may also try your hand at making Christmas crafts you can take home, including crafting Victorian holiday cards in the town square with the folks from Roc Parent magazine. Plus, enjoy some Christmas shopping at the Flint Hill Store.
BREAKFAST WITH ST. NICK When: Saturday, Nov. 25 at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Tickets: $7.50 general admission /$30 family pass (families with 5 or more members). Children 2 and under free. Tickets available online, at the door, and all area Wegmans. About: Sit down in the beautiful holiday-decorated Meeting Center for a delicious breakfast with pancakes and all the toppings, sausage, juice, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. St. Nick will be available to meet with children, take photos, and give them a special 19th-century treat! Reservations are required.
YULETIDE IN THE COUNTRY When: December 1-3, 8-10, and 15-17 Tickets: $10 for adults and children for tour only; buffet optional and an additional $30 for adults and $16 for children (ages under 2 free). Advance reservations required for both tour and buffet. About: Journey through the snowy historic village visiting the homes and businesses of the villagers — they are celebrating the news that Christmas has been declared an official holiday in New York! Singing, dancing, music, and other festivities will surround you during these enchanting Christmas tours. You can also enjoy a delicious Yuletide-themed buffet dinner (on its own or in conjunction with your tour), catered by the Caledonia Village Inn. Please note: This is a 90-minute guided walking tour (rain or shine), and as such it is not recommended for people with walking difficulties or infants (strollers are not allowed). Advanced reservations are required.
Peace from broken pieces Three helpful ways to thrive through the holidays The holidays aren’t as joyful for some as they are for others. While some families are snagging eccentric projects off Pinterest, taking funny selfies, and enjoying the traditional holiday festivities, there are many others suffering from situational depression. “Situational depression is usually considered an adjustment disorder rather than true depression … but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored,” said Chris Iliades, MD, in Everyday Health. If you’re struggling with depression this holiday season, you are not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in 20 Americans aged 12 and older suffer from some form of depression. The holiday season can be an extremely difficult time not to fall victim to the holiday blues as you reflect on the pain of not being able to connect with loved ones near and far. What I know for sure is that when you feel broken, it presents an incredible opportunity to rebuild yourself stronger than ever before. You truly have the power to get through what you’re going through. Here are three helpful ways you can pick up the broken pieces and thrive — not just survive — this holiday season.
Whether you have recently lost a loved one or the holidays simply trigger the pain of their absence, give yourself permission
to practice the lost art of grieving. Honor your loved one in a special way, such as creating a picture collage that expresses your best memories together; writing a letter to your loved one in a journal; or playing music while allowing yourself to cry, remember, and heal.
Release pain through the power of forgiveness. Silent frustration causes us to shrink back rather than enjoy our loved ones. Free yourself this holiday season and forgive people in every area of your life — your family, co-workers, and those who have harmed you in someway.
Say this out loud and then repeat: I AM PERFECT FOR THE HEARTS THAT ARE MEANT TO LOVE ME. The holidays may cause us to reflect on our shortcomings in regard to what we don’t have, what we can’t buy, and who we can’t make happy. Remember that those who truly love you, including your children, will continue to love you if they don’t receive that overpriced gift from you. Your time, your presence, and your genuine love is more valuable than anything else — so be sure to give love and be present this holiday season.
PROJECTING EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES The festival hits screen Nov. 2-6 By KATE HERRMANN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HIGH FALLS FILM FESTIVAL
In favor of gender balance in films, a study conducted by The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media found that films promoting gender balance are more socially accepted and consistently make more money at the box office. Producers and studio heads take note: Equality makes better business sense.
Progress. This has been a remarkable year of progress for women in diverse roles in the film industry, both in front of and behind the camera. Since 2001, Rochester’s High Falls Film Festival has showcased women who contribute to the art and business of film. From the success of Wonder Woman — a Because Rochester was female-driven action the home to women’s rights movie directed by Patty pioneer Susan B. Anthony Jenkins that broke box-office records — to and father-of-film George more evidence of equal Eastman, this is the only pay among actors, women have made town that can rightfully claim strides towards gender having a festival like ours. equality in the movie — KATE HERRMANN, business. Executive Director, High Falls Film Festival Yet, despite the progress, here are Now in the 17th year of the High recent statistics from a study from the USC Falls Film Festival, it is possible that our Linguistics Lab that examined nearly 1,000 mission and our programming have never modern movie scripts: been more relevant. While strides have been • Female characters are invariably made, it remains obvious that we have far younger, speak less, and if removed to go in leveling the balance of gender roles from the plot, usually make no differin filmmaking. As an example, New York ence when compared to the roles of State has introduced legislation that would their male counterparts. encourage the hiring of female and minority • Women have less than half the lines writers and directors. men do — 37,000 male lines vs. It is important that our audiences realize 15,000 for women. • There are 12 times more male directors it is not always about advancing a social position, but also the enjoyment of great and seven times more male writers.
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art. A festival like ours is truly a celebration that gives people direct access to filmmakers, actors, directors, producers, and writers. We screen narrative feature films as well as documentaries and short films in celebration of visual storytelling. And because Rochester was the home to pioneers like Susan B. Anthony and George Eastman, this is the only town that can rightfully claim having a festival like ours. There are many things that make our festival unique, but certainly near the top of the list is the diversity of our programming. Each year the festival provides film lovers the opportunity to see the finest independent films made by women, from high drama narratives to romantic comedies, fascinating documentaries and insightful short films. Director Q&As, panels, and workshops offer access to top film industry professionals. From Nov. 2 to 6, we celebrate women in film and the art they make for everyone. The full slate of films for 2017 is online at HighFallsFilmFestival.com.
But first, coffee Eight indie coffee shops worth the sip Just when you were thinking you knew all the coffee shops in town, you stumble on a few cool new kids on the block. No matter how you take your coffee, you’ll want to make sure to try these hotspots for a caffeinated perk-me-up, personally pressed for you by Breanna Banford, Yelp Rochester’s community director.
Ugly Duck Coffee
New Roots Coffee House
89 Charlotte Street, Rochester uglyduckcoffee.com
1273 Long Pond Road, Greece (585) 453-8228 newrootscoffeehouse.com
“I love the space, very minimalistic and modern... Rory makes a great latte as well. Check it out, grab a coffee and take some cool pictures.”
“Every nook and surface had something artsy or handmade to look at. Signs announcing classes and upcoming events. There was a band harmonizing quietly on the other side of the house. ... They carry Finger Lakes coffee for sipping and for sale.”
— Adriana M.
Stir Coffee I-Square, 400 Bakers Park, Irondequoit (585) 266-1111 | i-square.us
— Ebbie P.
The Daily Grind Coffeeshop
Ugly Duck Coffee. YELP PHOTO BY EMILY H.
“They serve Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters coffee — yay! My husband and I both ordered iced coffees and they were rich and delicious.”
— Mary P.
2 State Street, Rochester (585) 623-1759 thedailygrindcoffeeshop.com
616A Pittsford-Victor Road, Pittsford (Bushnell’s Basin) (585) 249-9310 | mellowmug.co
Glen Edith Coffee Roasters
“Absolutely love this place as a quick stop in Crossroads. … Normally very quick service depending on the fancy drinks … always with a positive attitude and smile. They have also extended their menu vastly.”
“They have good Wi-Fi and the tables are spacious enough for me to spread out with some work. … I came in for a drink, London Fog latte ... and grabbed a sandwich.”
23 Somerton Street. (off Park Avenue), Rochester | (585) 209-3633 44 Elton Street (off Atlantic Avenue), Rochester | (585) 441-9196 glenedithcoffee.com
“They roast their own single origin beans in house. ... The baristas excel at crafting pour overs and this really brings out the unique tasting notes they list.”
— Matthew R.
739 Park Avenue, Rochester (585) 697-0235
602 South Avenue, Rochester (pop-up at Cheesy Eddie’s Bakery) (585) 371-8993 merakicoffeeroc.com
“Ambiance is European and cozy, and I love that I can come here at any point in the day and get what I am craving. Whether it is wine time or coffee time.”
“While inside the established Cheesy Eddie’s bake shop I noticed the little counter space where Ryan was stationed to serve me an excellent cup of cortado.”
— Megan C.
— Andrew P.
— Mike I.
Running the A ‘Friend’ makes the City of Rochester landmark her retirement gig By LINDA QUINLAN
Margaret O’Neill has been a devoted volunteer with the Friends of the Rochester Public Market for nine years. She calls it her “retirement gig.” You might also say O’Neill is a champion for the 112-year-old market, one of the community’s most beloved landmarks, at 280 N. Union Street, Rochester. The “Friends” is a volunteer organization that was founded in 2003 to help celebrate the market’s 100th Anniversary celebration. Their purpose is simply to support the market, which is operated by the City of Rochester. Today, the Friends not only organize some events, provide guided tours and order and sell market-branded merchandise, but also run the market token program, sponsor monthly healthy eating programs and food
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tastings, and more. “I love working on programs and with the market audience,” O’Neill said. She explained that she just didn’t want an “office job” in retirement. Formerly of Rochester and Henrietta and now a Honeoye Falls resident, she previously had a 30-year career with Cornell Cooperative Extension, the last five-plus as executive director. Since Jim Farr, the Public Market’s director, was on her board, he suggested she help start the token program when she retired, and maybe do some grant writing. O’Neill now does both. One of the grants received supported the purchase of the tram that shuttles market shoppers to and from more distant parking lots. “There will never be enough parking,” O’Neill said with a smile, “but we do try really hard to make shopping at the market as convenient as possible.” She spends three days a week at the market. Her tasks include coordinating volunteers and leading tours. The wife, mother of one, and relatively “new” grandmother also does her shopping at the market. “I rarely shop at the grocery store anymore,” she confessed. “I can buy just about everything I need here.” She admitted, like many a market shopper, “You have to pace yourself. … It’s so easy to buy more than you can use!” O’Neill helped develop the market’s popular cookbook program. In fact, the first cookbook is already out of print, O’Neill
“I think fall, though, is the most wonderful time of year to shop at the market.” said, but the second is still available. “It is a veritable feast of favorite recipes shared by farmers, vendors, shoppers, and renowned local chefs,” O’Neill said. “And all recipes feature food from the market.” Proceeds from the sale of the books directly supports the operation of the market token program. O’Neill often can be found at the new “token center,” built out of a onetime shipping container, much like four of the market’s most popular food vendors. It is located behind the market office near the center of the market. The Friends’ willingness to run the token program makes it very viable, said market supervisor Cindy DeCoste. There are two kinds of market tokens: Ones that can be purchased with food stamp EBT benefits and used to purchase fresh produce at market vendors, or “gift tokens, which are $5 gift certificates accepted by vendors at the market throughout the year. It costs about $50,000 a year to administer the token program, O’Neill said, but notes that $1 million dollars worth of tokens were sold last year alone. “And that goes directly to farmers, families, and the local economy,” she pointed out. “It’s a win-win for everyone.” “I think fall, though, is the most wonderful time of year to shop at the market,” O’Neill said. “Where we live has some of the most fertile farmland in the country, and at the market, you get bargain prices, since you’re buying direct from the farmers.”
Food and history
There’s so much to learn at the market — not only about food, but also about history. Among the facts O’Neill provides to tour-goers, often school groups, are that since the Rochester Public Market has been operating continuously for 112 years, it makes it the thirdoldest such market in the country. In fact,
the brick streets are original. She also explains that since Rochester’s is a “public” market, its vendors have always been a combination of local farmers and wholesalers who buy from around the country and world. She likes to ask tour-goers what they think is the most expensive food at the market. (It turns out it’s a spice, saffron, which costs $12 a gram or $4,000 a pound, since it takes 47 acres to produce just one pound, according to O’Neill.) With recent major renovations, the market is also a wonderful blend of old and new, O’Neill said, pointing to new solar panels in roofs, and the new enclosed shed with new restrooms and areas for cooking demonstrations. DeCoste called the renovations “incredible, state-of-the-art.” The latest cold-storage technology also means you get really fresh, local produce — especially apples and root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, squash, turnips — year-round, O’Neill said. While permanent storefronts at the market — bakeries, cheese vendors, a florist, and more and more restaurants — are open seven days a week, farmers and wholesalers are on hand with their offerings on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The only time the market is closed is on Thanksgiving, which always falls on a Thursday, or if Christmas falls on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. “Or unless there’s a blizzard,” added Mike Mizerny of Greece, who has been a market volunteer for three years now. He is now in charge of the Friends’ market T-shirt and sweatshirt sales. His daughter Lauren has also joined him as a volunteer and works part-time for one of the vendors. The market can be “a crazy place to be” on Saturdays, Mizerny said with a smile, noting that one Saturday a couple of weeks ago, just the token program alone processed 826 transactions. “But the market is fun,” O’Neill said. “There are food demonstrations, music, places where you can pick up coffee and breakfast … It can be a great, social and relaxing outing — a good time for the entire family.”
Holidays at the Market
There are special events at the Rochester Public Market year-round. One of my family’s (many) favorites is Holidays at the Market. If you’re looking for unique ways to help prepare for the holidays, there’s no need to look further than the market. This year’s three Sundays of holiday events and unique shopping opportunities are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 3, 10, and 17. Admission is free. One of the event’s “treats” is a free horse-drawn carriage ride around the market — with Santa. While families wait for their rides, there are activities like cookie decorating. For shoppers, the market is filled with the scent of evergreen — trees, wreaths, table centerpieces, roping — plus produce, prepared foods, and gifts.
Give a gift of the market
You can support the Rochester Public Market by simply visiting, but you can also put a piece of the market under the tree. For instance: • The Friends of the Rochester Public Market sell a variety of market branded merchandise, from hoodies and T-shirts to coffee mugs, tote bags, a market history book, posters of historic scenes, and more. • The Friends’ second cookbook: “Bringing the Market Home; Savoring the Seasons from the Rochester Public Market,” a fullcolor, 84-page cookbook that celebrates the joy that is the shopping — and eating — experience at the market. The gorgeous pictures are worth the price ($25) alone. Cookbooks can be purchased at the market, but may also be ordered online at www.marketfriends.org and can be shipped anywhere in the country. • One of my favorite “stocking stuffer” ideas is market gift tokens, which can be purchased in $5 increments and work like gift certificates at any market vendor or food stand. For more information, check out the market’s website at www.cityofrochester.gov/ publicmarket/, or call the market office at (585) 428-6907. RocParent.com
KEEP CALM and CALL
Take control when life is messing with you DEAR DR. MEAMI: I am a
Sort it out
housekeeping and financial mess ... literally! My bills are never paid on time because they are strewn all over the place. This month I found my RGE bill balled up in the corner of my TV room, stuck inside an empty Mars bar wrapper. HELP! Signed, Hapless in Henrietta
DEAR HAPLESS: The only way
out of all this is to make a personal plan for immediate change, and then work it, girl — work it right away. Make a big, visible checklist and post it in a spot where you look directly several times a day. As you make your visual plan, take heart, be hopeful, shut your phone off to avoid all distractions, and put on music to energize you. Or maybe put on a happy Hallmark movie in the background, one where everything goes all wrong but then, 92 minutes later, all ends up being so perfectly right ... kind of like your life will begin to be as of right now. Now, here’s how to get your “mess” under control:
From room to room
Arm yourself with a big garbage bag and three empty laundry baskets or big boxes, plus a dozen blank folders, and start in the messiest room first. Go room to room and get everything off the floor and up onto one flat surface. For example, pick up all stray items and put them on your kitchen table, sofa, or bed. 12
Throw away all obvious garbage into the bag (note: this includes half-eaten bags of candy). Be ruthless and throw away everything not of value and enjoy the feeling of power you get from purging the past mess while creating a new life for the new you. Put away all that is out of place in each room — neatly, no shoving items randomly into already messy drawers. Items that belong elsewhere go into one laundry basket or box, while papers go into the second one. Finally put items you plan to donate to Goodwill or sell at a garage sale into third laundry bin. Then, triumphantly, move on to the next room. Don’t rush but go at a brisk clip so you don’t get tired or discouraged as you move from room to room … and be sure to hit every room.
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Return the items in basket number 1 to their proper locations and neatly put in your garage the laundry basket with items to be donated or sold (with a plan to attend to this basket in the next day or two). You are now ready for a break before you tackle the basket with the papers. Have no guilt as you sit in front of the TV with a drink and a snack (and by drink, remember that this is a workday, girlfriend!). The TV surfing can travel from the Hallmark Channel to other guilty pleasures, like The Real Housewives (where the women never have days like yours). Now sort each piece of paper you collected into folders. Label the folders with headers like, To Do Now, To Do Long Term, Outgoing Mail, Bills to Pay, and (my personal favorite) Reasons I Deserve a Personal Chef and Trainer Like Oprah Has.
A satisfying sense of control
As you revel in the satisfying sense of control you have gotten from organizing your living space, you may be able to translate that into organizing and preparing the food items you put into your mouth.
My next column will focus exclusively on answering the many questions I have gotten on weight loss, including its link to calming the chaos around you into an orderly life full of what I call “thinner peace.” Until then, you may call Dr. Meami’s Happiness Hotline at (585) 432-1010.
Published on Oct 25, 2017