04 December 2013
A few nights ago I watched Super Soul Sunday, Oprah's interview with Sandy Hook parents David and Francine Wheeler, whose son Ben was killed in the attack last December. They talked about having a tool box they can turn to on the hard days or the days where they can't quite see their way forward.
I loved that description, our own personal tool box, filled with things we've learned and that have inspired us that can once again help us forward. I have again and again seen that things I've studied and skills I've worked to gain, places in my life where I've tried to grow, are often just what's needed when new life challenges come.
Here are a few of my favorite tools in my tool box:
1) A Prayer Jar or A Wish Jar: Sending out positive hopes.
2) A To Do List: Some days a good list gets me going and accomplishing things
3) A List OF Things That Energize Me: Good reminders of things that will perk up my spirits!
4) A List Of Things That Make Life Great: A simple list of lovely things I can choose from each day.
5) 11 Touches A Day & Vitamin D: We all need more hugs and a little sun on our cheeks.
6) Time With Wise And Inspiring People: Great in book form, from blogs or even better in person.
7) Wonderful Friends: They know us better than anyone.
8) Quiet Time: It's always good to stop and listen for a bit.
9) Morning Rituals: A great start makes for a great day.
10) Journaling: Saved me tens of thousands in therapy bills, I joke but it's true.
11) A Warm Bath: I love Sarah Ban Breathnach's thoughts on this.
12) Simple Pleasures: Doing kind things for self delight the soul.
13) Pretty Distractions and Inspirations: Sometimes a good escape is just what's needed.
14) A Vision Board: Seeing the life you want on paper helps.
15) An Inspiring Class: Joining a group or class brings new energy
16) Gratitude List: Every day is better when we see the good in it.
There are so many more but these are a few of my favorites. They are always there when I need them and having a good long lists means there is always something that will fit the bill when I need a little inspiration, pick me up or cool down. Do you have any favorite tools to add to the list? Are there any here that are particularly special for you in your life?
03 December 2013
image via mca
It's a great time to look for lists of community events and find fun things to do with friends and family this holiday season. I just went through and updated our holiday calendar with concerts in our local area for us to attend this month and it's nice to have things to look forward to each week.
To find events you can search for holiday event calendars on community, church or temple, city government, shopping center, your local newspaper and other websites. I would love to attend a Christmas lights boat parade this year and maybe try a Messiah Sing-a-long. I'm also planning in a few holiday movies for the family. We just bought Family Man and The Sound of Music at the thrift store last week.
I might even host a little something this year. Maybe a pancake breakfast, baked potato or soup or taco bar with a few friends. Each year I hope we can hit our favorite traditions and then try to add one or two new traditions into the mix.
One of the new traditions I wanted to incorporate this year is celebrating The Advent. Sunday was the first Sunday of of Advent and despite a few wild interruptions by a certain little person who could not sit still and needed to belt out Jingle Bells at the top of her lungs, I'd say it went well. I introduced The Advent concept and some of it's history and then we talked about Hope. We read a few scriptures and then sang O Come, O Come Emmanuel -- and of course, most importantly we lit our candle to welcome in the Light of Christ.
Since I was the only person who knew the song we practiced it a few times and by the end it was sounding pretty good once everyone got the tune down. Then we sang a few other favorites. I think our all time favorite is Angels We Have Heard On High, based on the wild enjoyment of everyone as they sang "Gloooo-o-o-o-o-ria" at the top of their lungs. Hopefully this year we'll have many nights of singing in the living room for a few minutes before bedtime. That is a favorite tradition in this home and does bring a calm and fresh spirit of Christmas into the house.
Over the weekend we decorated the mantle and I am still trying to figure out where we will put a small tree this year. My parents gave us their tree when the moved away last summer, so we just need to find a place where it will fit in the very compact living room. We are missing a good number of our ornaments & all our garlands and wreaths this year for the mantle, windows and front door. They didn't make it from storage. So, I spent part of the weekend making paper chains and hopefully we will make do with what we have this year. I'm all for keeping it simple anyway.
It's so nice to have The Man here this year. Last night I was trying to remember why I don't remember singing carols together last year and then remembered it was because he was not here but somewhere very far away. So we will especially enjoy this holiday season having him here with us. Hope your holiday plannings and celebrating are already in full force.