mental health

Kindness

In the past week I have seen kindness in many shapes and forms. Each instance was in plain sight. Could everyone see the kindness? Would anyone react and create their own kindness towards others?

Some interesting questions I asked myself. Instead of wondering about the potential domino effect of kindness that could happen, I decided I should write a blog about kindness hoping kindness would be multiplied around the world.

Today some friends went caroling for the holidays. They visited a few sweet elderly ladies. One was struggling after the loss of a spouse of a lifetime. The other battles dementia. The music lifted their spirits. No matter if it was lifted for seconds, minutes or hours. The kindness lifted spirits of those who needed it most. Examples like this show me that hope is still alive today. 

Last week I witnessed an elementary-age school girl who wanted to raise money to buy kids toys for Christmas who were less fortunate. She drew hundreds of pictures and her parents helped her sell a digital copy of her art to buy the toys. So many toys were bought. This little girl’s kindness will make the holidays extra special for so many children. In addition she restored hope in many via the internet of goodness in the air. What an amazing story to share. 

Then there is the kindness in friendships. I am so lucky to have friends who are always there to support you when you need them most. The friends who help you in tough times but also celebrate with you in good times. Kindness and friendship work together in unison. 

In a world of chaos why not be kind? Kindness matters. Please read this short post and think of how you can offer kindness in your area. How can you support the elderly? How can you volunteer at a food pantry? How can you help guide somebody who is struggling? Think kindness today. Set a resolution for kindness in 2021 and every year thereafter.  

Be purposeful. Be intentional. Spread kindness like you would spread butter on bread. Offering kindness is free!

friendship

PJs on the Farm

One year ago I was on an adventure. Competing in a 1/2 marathon with my gal pals. It was an experience none of us will ever forget. We all bunked in a spacious house at the beach and made memories.

We ended up having a PJ party. Or should I say onesies party? Yes, grown adults in onesies. All different designs. We even had a photo shoot on the beach in them. Fast forward to now and we planned a new event. A weekend away in the mountains. Of course it was going to require a PJ party.

Of course we recreated some past photo ops and made some new ones. We built a pyramid and this time we didn’t collapse. We must have matured. We played games, danced, and chatted away. A girls weekend is definitely refreshing in more ways than one.

Relax-reunite-restore. Balance is always a good option during today’s challenging times. Sharing time away with your golden gal pals is priceless. Have you had an escape lately that was rewarding?

Luckily we have a weekend escape place available close by. If you don’t have a space get creative. Maybe it’s a day away instead. Maybe it’s a hotel party. Maybe it’s an even event or picnic. Find ways to connect and strengthen relationships. 

True friendships are invaluable.

family, friendship

Memory Chest

I recently wrote about what I missed due to the pandemic state we will live in currently. What I neglected to mention is that my memory chest had grown immensely during the same time. An irony of sorts.

A kind soul said to me one day: I hope your memory chest becomes as full as mine one day. Those words rang true to me in many ways. Many years separate us in age but quality memories ring true with both of us.

Sharing is caring and building memories involves sharing. Sharing of good times, great times, sad times, trying times and oh so many adventures. Here’s a virtual toast to your memory bank. Building the best of the best memories.

For today I am reliving my memories in photos, journal entries, blog posts, adventures and so on. Below is the blossoming of a lifelong friendship. From teammates to besties to barn buddies. Their shiny smiles can light up a room.

And then there is ageless beauty of a mother, wife, caregiver learning to soar on her own in a complex world. As you recall In my last post I said I missed smiles. The smiles hid behind masks. These two photos alone show what I wrote about. In nature, away from crowds, in the fresh air, less populated areas you are not looked upon with disgust for no mask. It’s a glorious feeling. A sense of freedom among the chaos.

Onto lazy day snuggles with your puppy. Who says you can’t grab a blanket and snuggle away. It’s never too hot to grab a blanket and pile it for a snuggle sesh.

And who can forget backyard bbqs and all the fun they bring. Memories fill the the chest. The hand written notes saved have a spot in the chest. The memorable cards saved have a secret compartment, too. The newspaper clippings from back in the day have a place as well. The trophies and other keepsakes are all part of the memory collection. The memory chest. They all make the memory chest plentiful and unique to you. Keep building yours, like I am mine.

Share the memories. Share the smiles. Make others smile. When creating this post I didn’t look for smiling pictures they were just the ones that seemed to fit. Ironically there are full smiles.

Unfortunately there are some corona memories in the bank. Hopefully they will be covered with dust soon. Until then I will escape the ordinary to find my peace and make additions to my memory bank. My words to pass on to you will be the same as the ones given to me: May your memory bank be as full as mine one day.

How amazing is it that when I wrote this post that the cup above was on my daily tea from a local vendor. How did they know a smile was on my mind? Enjoy the journey. The escape. The process in general. Pay attention to the little signs around a you.

Teddie Aspen

Where is Teddie?

Most of you have read about the adventures of Teddie in the past. The awesomely adorable and super snuggly Teddie. The cute little mini Golden Doodle who lives a spoiled companion life.

Well Teddie went for a long overdue grooming appointment. Teddie is still super soft but got all her baby hair cut or buzzed off. She has ears! I mean we knew she had ears but you can see them now. They were so cute before but now they are even cuter.

She loves having her ears massaged. It’s a calming tool for her crazy. Now the stroking of her ears feels different. In a good way of course. Look at those tiny little baby ears. All nice and freshly groomed.

From floppy moppy looking hair to bold buzzed cut. Is she looking fancy or homely? I happen to like the new do because her hair beard no longer gets caught in her water bowl but on the other hand I miss her curls.

So much change in such a short time. Do our dogs look at humans the same way when we come home from a haircut?

For now she is a little less heavy on the fur so hopefully she will stay cool on these hot summer days. Her coloring seems to have lightened up as well.

Her fur is still super soft and one of my favorite things about this breed. You can see her eyes. Her curious eyes. The groomer left some longer hairs by her nose. They are funny and crazy after a drive in the car. She gets the wind blown look that is similar to met head for humans. The wired, crazy look.

She had some ice cream to celebrate the day of her cut so I think she could care less about what she looks like. She was just happy to be spoiled with a treat. If every human just looked in the mirror and didn’t care about their image, we may live in a better society.

Today’s lesson from Teddie. Staying well groomed is good but overall appearance doesn’t indicate happiness. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. The observer in the distance. No matter the observer’s opinion. Teddie is happy just being Teddie.

Be happy with your image. No matter what your appearance is be content. But be a groomed content. Fresh and clean is always preferred. Don’t we all wish we lived a Teddie life?

 

 

adventure

Short Chapter, Long Story

Little known fact about me as a reader: I LOVE short chapters.

When I start a chapter, I often (ahem, always) find myself flipping forward, scanning to see how long the chapter is.  If it’s short, I am much more motivated to keep reading with interest.  Long chapters bog me down.  Ever since my third grade teacher read Sideways Stories from Wayside School aloud, each chapter just a handful of punchy, memorable pages, I’ve been a short chapter fan.  I like to see the story move.  I like to see progress.

By contrast, many chapters in my life tend to be on the long side.  I’m a slow thinker, a slow decision maker.  Not many cliffhangers.  Relatively few unexpected turns.  Pretty predictable.  Not really the stuff of a best seller.

Every once in a while, though, life takes a truly unexpected turn.  Things that I thought were fated or immovable turn out to be flexible.  Something that was maybe just a glimmer on a far off horizon explodes into the sky at staggering speed. An opportunity brought into my story by one of its most adventurous characters. A plot twist even I didn’t see coming.

And, in a surprising move, instead of watching the story fly by, this time I actually grabbed onto the streaking star and decided to ride along.  Instead of watching stories happen for others, I jumped in, embraced the promising unknown, and decided to start a chapter that is entirely new.  For many, it will be a jaw dropper, a head scratcher, even a whisper-behind-the-back moment.  Let them watch, confusion to amazement.

Sunsets and sunrises somewhere different.  Dramatic changes in just a handful of punchy, memorable pages.

A short chapter, yes.  A beautiful, breathtaking plot twist in a long, long story.