Sometimes the best advice is the kind you find along the way while out roaming. This picture was snapped while out roving the mean streets of New York. Be nice to cashiers. Smile at strangers. Help an elderly person with that case of water they’re trying to wrestle into their cart.
Treat yourself kindly, take a walk, pick up some litter and do what you can to leave the world a better place than you found it.
This hat and scarf were souvenirs from my New York City trip. I’m still surprised at the quality given they were cheap and came from an outdoor Christmas market. I found the hat first and appreciated both the style and the unusual silvery pink color. When I located the scarf in the same booth, I knew the duo needed to come home with me.
So I brought them home and left them on my dresser to admire as I pass by. That was about six weeks ago but I didn’t wear them until yesterday.
I’m not sure but I think I was waiting for a good occasion and the occasion never came.
So I popped them on yesterday when heading out on my walk. The occasion was that I hadn’t showered and had bed head to disguise.
Seemed like a good enough reason to me.
What do you have that you’re holding onto for a special occasion? Pretty dishes? A favorite necklace? New tools?
What are you waiting for?
Life is too short. Eat your frozen dinners from the fancy dishes and wear the thing you love even if it’s just to the store. Time waits for no one. Use the things that make you happy.
Anticipation is one of my personal keys to happiness. No matter what, it’s important to always have something to look forward to. Luckily, that something doesn’t have to be big.
Sure, it’s amazing having an exciting trip to anticipate. Yet, it’s just as effective to look forward to browsing at the library or settling in on the couch with some popcorn and a movie this weekend.
I suppose this is why I like to plan as much as I do. I looked forward to my trip to see the Franklin Park lights starting the minute we scheduled it. Today I’m looking forward to a much needed tune up at the chiropractor. I lead such a glamorous life!
It is much healthier to dwell on the good in life so I’m always looking for ways to be more satisfied with what I have and to be generally more happy.
I’m also anticipating the start of my No Spend Challenge. Officially, it begins on New Year’s Day but I’m thinking Friday would be a great kick off day.
I have enjoyed months of excess – holiday shopping, eating out, travel and fun have again defined this year. At least the good has tied with the bad – the thyroid issue – for top billing.
I crave the quiet of winter and the calm that comes from a No Spend Challenge. Consequently, I’m excited to get started.
When I do this, I focus more on self care and relaxation. I go to bed early and cook nourishing foods. I read more and cozy up with a soft blanket more often. I am kinder to myself during a No Spend Month than any other time of the year. That doesn’t mean I don’t do anything. Part of this month involves decluttering, getting organized, picking up old hobbies or even trying something new.
If I adventure out of the house, it will likely be a cold Saturday hike on the way to the grocery store or maybe a morning getting lost at the library. But don’t worry. Adventure season will be here in a few months and I’ll be back at it sooner than you think!
It is incredible how full and beautiful life can be when you focus on appreciating what’s before you at home rather than constantly running around seeking more.
Stay tuned. I’ll write another day about my own No Spend Challenge rules and my perspective on what it really means. I was kind of surprised that this will be my sixth year in a row and I’ll tell you about how it all has evolved since that first year.
It wasn’t always so easy and I have never before anticipated January so eagerly as I do now. Just a couple more days of commitments and vacation fun and I’ll get started!
A man I know passed away last week after bravely battling a terrible illness. I met Tom in 2020 when I joined the local Educational Service Center board and we became colleagues.
He was always quick with a joke, eager to put a newcomer at ease, and a smart man who was respectful of others. He liked to travel and learn. His wife Fannie also attends our meetings and is a kind soul. The two seemed perfectly matched.
But that’s the end of what I knew about Tom till I read his obituary and learned things that made me wish I had asked more questions while he was living.
Tom was a fan of lifelong learning, a Scout leader and a Sunday school teacher. He was a longtime Civil War reenactor and lifelong history buff. He enjoyed the outdoors, gardening and yard sales. Tom was an inventor who made an ice cream machine that operated by pedaling a bicycle. He even built a 1965 Plymouth from the frame up.
I always liked Tom but had no idea he was such a character. Old photos in a slideshow projected on the wall played while we waited in line. If I didn’t know it by then, it was clear that Tom packed as much living into his life as he possibly could.
I had a newfound appreciation for Tom’s zest for life.
It made me a little sad to think of all the great learning I missed out on because I knew none of this. Of course, when getting to know someone, you don’t know what you don’t know and have to rely on them to give you some clues. I suppose that’s why we often learn so much about people from their obituaries.
As I looked at Tom’s wife and son, their family and so many friends lined up to say farewell, I started thinking about how Tom left a mark on us all. Every person there knew Tom for a different reason and everyone had different stories to share. Every one of us is richer for knowing him.
Later in the evening I strolled through the holiday lights at the Gallipolis City Park and stopped to visit the war memorial. I’m typically so taken with the statue above me that I fail to notice much else.
But on this night I saw the face of the soldier reflected in the marble wall of names below. It made me pause.
It occurred to me that something of Tom is reflected in everyone fortunate to know him. It’s nice to think that humans can live on through the influences we have on others. I won’t soon forget Tom or the lessons learned during the brief time we knew each other.
One of those lessons is to do a better job listening and paying attention so I can learn something I never knew I wanted to know.