Are you, like me, someone who tends to save the good dishes, save a favorite sweater, piece of jewelry, a ‘lucky’ jersey or baseball glove, etc. for a special occasion? When you get to a certain age, you suddenly realize that maybe there won’t be as many days ahead to use or wear those things. Every day that we wake up already makes the day special. So, why not affirm each day as special and do something accordingly. We could get out the good dishes and make a fine dinner with candles and favorite music. Wearing that silk blouse on an ordinary day can lift the spirits. Why let it just hang in the closet? Why not wear the lucky jersey on a non game day? Maybe it will bring luck to your day.
Another thing we save that we may not think much about is our words. “Words can be used as gifts and words can be used as weapons. Just like the good dishes rarely used, we often save our best words. Why not jump in today and tell those people in your life what you love and admire about them, while you still can, and while they are still around to hear your words.
We all need encouraging words from time to time. Let’s be generous and send out our word gifts to those we love and admire. The great thing about word gifts is that we never run out. We can afford to be generous.”
We also want to be generous with our word gifts to those with whom we come in contact throughout the day – a sales clerk, a checkout person, a wait person, the postal worker, a health care person. The list goes on. Everyone needs a kind word now and then.
“When you have things you want to do, have fun doing, including learning something . . . jump right in and do it. We have restrictions due to Covid but working with that understanding, don’t just wait to do some of the things you can do and want to do. You too are unique in all the world. Use your gifts. Have fun. Contribute to making the lives of others joyful and meaningful. Create wonderful memories.
“The joy of living is knowing how precious and tenuous it really is to be part of the full human experience. And what an amazing gift we have been given to fully participate in a plethora of capacities. Let’s do what we can do, while we are able.”
Alright. The waiting is over. I’m going through my apartment, taking note of what I’ve save for a ‘special occasion.’ Now I will begin unsaving all those things I have been saving and don’t even know what some have been saved for. I invite you to join me in using those ‘good dishes.’ Don’t forget to have fun as you go.
“…” Trudy Boyle in a ToDo Institute newsletter
The fishing expedition is over. Lunch is done. How apropos to begin again on Labor Day. There’s something a little oxymoronish about Labor Day being a day of no labor. Over the centuries this day of no labor includes some fun facts.
Labor Day was said to have first been celebrated in Toronto, Canada in 1872. It spread to the U.S. and was first celebrated in New York City in 1882. It became an national holiday in Canada in 1894 and in the U. S. in 1892.
Over the decades Labor Day has marked the end of summer and day before the start of school.
Football season has started around the Labor Day weekend.
This next one is a real thing. Honest. Labor Day is declared the end of hot dog season by the National Council of Hot Dogs and Sausages. According to this council hot dog season begins Memorial Day and ends Labor Day. So, are people eating contraband hot dogs the remaining months of the year? BTW, Joey Chestnut, did you make the deadline?
Memo to fashionistas: White is no longer taboo after labor Day. It is now all colors any time, all the time.
A final yummy fact is that on Labor Day in 1955 the first waffle house opened it’s doors to the public in Avondale Estates, Georgia.
The day after Labor Day has been a new beginning in many areas of life. However, like everything else over the past 6 months, the day after will not be quite the same.
Psychologist and author, Angela Duckworth explains how research shows that human beings are built for fresh starts. We are sensitive to cues that prompt us to change our routines. And we capitalize on them by setting new goals, disrupting bad habits, and with optimism and energy, moving forward.
Her advice in this strange and challenging time is to repeat rituals, even when they aren’t strictly necessary. The idea is to do what it takes to maintain a semblance of normalcy the best we can. Okay, now let’s have some waffles. Or, if you prefer, a black market hot dog.
Gone Fishing. Out to lunch. Take your pick. The latter is a double entendre in this case. I am taking the week off as I’m feeling like all cylinders are not fully functioning. Consequently, I am giving myself a brain break. We all need a break or breather periodically. It seems that my muses have gone on holiday. So why not me, right? All being well, as the song says, I’ll see you in September. Be well and stay safe.
How often do you say to someone or someone says to you, “Have a good day?” How often do you actually consider what that entails beyond a conversational courtesy? Whether it is in the middle of a pandemic or normal times having a good day can affect our happiness. Following is an exercise, should you choose to try it out, that can boost your happiness, increase the good days and improve overall well being.
For example, days when I have conversations with family and/or friends, get out for my morning walk, get to do a kindness for another, get chores done in a timely fashion, having opportunities for spontaneity, are components for a good day. All of these don’t need to happen each day for it to be a good day, but you get the idea. I can say that days when I do not have any of those conversations with others, are on the crummy side. Each of you will have your own unique activities that make for your good days.
The first part of the exercise is to evaluate what makes up your positive days. You might make some notes on what activities, what events, what interactions with others were parts of a good day. You might also want to assess what did or did not happen that made for bad days. This exercise should be done for at least two weeks, preferably a month. Use the following scale each day as a gauge:
10 = it was one of the best days of my life
9 = it was an outstanding day
8 = it was an excellent day
7 = it was a very good day
6 = it was a good day
5 = it was an average or typical day
4 = it was a sub par day
3 = it was a bad day
2 = it was a terrible day
1 = it was one of the worst days of my life
Do not review your record until you are done, but then go back and look for the pattern across the days and weeks. Compare the good days with the bad days in terms of what you were doing (or not) on these days. Everyone who has done this exercise reports that a pattern is readily apparent, and in some cases, it was one that surprised them.
The point of this exercise, to find your own formula and to devise your own strategy based on it. Once you find these, change your typical day, tempered of course by common sense. A glass of wine with dinner may contribute positively to your assessment of a good day, but there is no reason to think that two bottles in one sitting will make future days proportionately better. Similarly, a good night’s sleep might make for a good day, but that does not mean you should resolve to sleep your life away.
Now, you all have a good day!
*Based on a strategy found in A Primer In Positive Psychology by Christopher Peterson
Comments are welcomed.