Jonah and Addy at Spooktacular

For the last few years, I have taken my two grandchildren who live with me to the Queens Museum for its annual “Spooktacular,” a belated, spectacular Halloween celebration.

Addy and Jonah flew up the glass, see-through circular stairway to begin their adventure through the creative activities prepared by the talented museum staff.

We laughed as they played tic tac toe with enormous skull-shaped Xs and Os, visited the face painter, enjoyed a the puppet show and then ate my favorite treat, big hot pretzels dipped in salt.

There were treats for their stomachs and their souls that were enriched by the experience.

Special thanks to Deborah Westheimer, who has been the museum’s talented acting director for a year, as we await the spring arrival of the museum’s new director, Sally Tallant.

365 ways to improve this year

From The Morning Juice newsletter, presented by Investors Bank

Humans usually mark the passage of time by their own growth. As children, it’s physical growth, like the markings etched into the wall of your childhood home indicating your height from one year to another.

As adults, our growth is less guaranteed but just as important. We go into each new year hoping to grow in a way that betters our physical and mental states of being, our relationships, our careers, and the lives of the people around us. We just want to improve.

What follows is a list of ideas to help you get better and feel better as long as the number of days in a year. Your future, your health, your work life and your contributions to your fellow humans are all covered. But some of the most impactful ones are the small, simple things you can add or cut from your daily life. Growth can be subtle in that way: You might not notice it, but you can improve every day.

Make sure you have an office chair that’s built for ergonomics and ask if your company will provide you with a standing desk. Don’t sit at a computer for consecutive hours without standing up. Replace your work shoes once a year to avoid plantar fasciitis.

Seek out a professional mentor. If no one volunteers mentorship, remember that you can have numerous mentors if you treat your interactions with more established colleagues as lessons. Be a mentor to others. And follow your own advice to them.

Bring donuts or bagels to your first day at a new job and bring donuts or bagels to your last day at a job. Arrive to work 15 minutes early on busy days.

Respond to emails immediately: If you wait, you’re only adding to your to-do list. But put restrictions on when you are allowed to check your emails. If you don’t have time to respond then don’t waste energy checking your inbox. Resist checking emails in the first hour you’re awake. Proofread your emails.

Close out the unnecessary tabs on your computer. Take advantage of alternative workplaces besides your desk so you don’t feel so confined. Do something you enjoy for the last 10 or 15 minutes of your lunch break.

Stay ahead of deadlines. Never stop asking questions: People who think they’re experts never become experts.

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