#319 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Each time I sat in that room I could hear a faint rendition of Helen Reddy’s “I am woman, hear me Roar” and smiled a grin of pure satisfaction. I built something I wanted …

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#319

Build something

If fixing something offers a sense of accomplishment, then building something magnifies that tenfold. Starting from scratch is satisfying in so many arenas and construction is no exception. I’m not suggesting that you get all motivated and decide to build yourself a house – you may want to try something basic like a birdhouse – to make sure that something you build is inhabitable. Frankly, even birds wouldn’t nest in the first birdhouse I attempted; but it looked cute and rustic in my flower garden.

I was fortunate enough to have a dad that could fix almost anything and allowed me to get comfortable with a hammer at a young age. My little brother was so good, he took out part of a wall with nothing more than a Fisher Price plastic one. It made caused Dad to be more discerning about what he was teaching us!

As a joke, I received a tool belt one Christmas because I was apt to place a nail with my shoe or a stapler; whatever hard object was close at hand. It worked – but no doubt, jobs are easier when you have the proper tools. A tool belt kept everything I needed reasonably handy.

Once I was comfortable, I decided on a big project – a wall of built-in bookcases. I wasn’t overly anal about how square they were but at least I made sure they were level!  A talented carpenter I know once told me that “a little caulk and a little paint – make a carpenter what he ain’t” – so I knew that the imperfections of those shelves would be hidden away; mostly.

Each time I sat in that room I could hear a faint rendition of Helen Reddy’s “I am woman, hear me Roar” and smiled a grin of pure satisfaction. I built something I wanted and it looked and performed the way I hoped it would. I haven’t been as successful with other projects, but more than anything I have the sense of accomplishment that comes from trying.

What would you build if you were to …

Build something?

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#320 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

The sense of satisfaction that comes from fixing something yourself runs deep. Becoming your own handyman for those little things that are more nuisance than not is empowering …

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#320

Fix something

As you look around your house, do you see something that needs fixed? Are you frustrated that it doesn’t work? Is it more of a hassle to think about fixing it than the actual ‘doing’ of fixing it?

A few years ago I got tired of not being able to drain my bathroom sink – the sink stopper had broken months before and it was that kind of thing that you completely forgot about until you needed it. I opened YouTube.com and searched ‘fix broken sink stopper’ – which, is actually called a ‘Pop-up Drain Assembly’ and found a dozen explanations – with videos – on how to repair it. After a quick trip to Home Depot for the part – it literally took 5 minutes!! I must have complained about it being broken for more than 5 months and it was a really super easy and quick fix.

My neighbor fixed her leaky toilet ‘innards’ in a similar manner without any significant effort. It seems that almost anything you need fixing has a tutorial available online. It may take rewinding and repeating a few times as we ‘catch on’ but technology makes that super simple and no matter what you want to repair… there’s a video to guide you through.

The sense of satisfaction that comes from fixing something yourself runs deep. Becoming your own handyman for those little things that are more nuisance than not is empowering – especially for us women who are sometimes less exposed to ‘repair’ experience than our brothers. Certainly – sexism in NOT intended here – only demonstration of typical norms; which, are definitely changing as years go by. Thanks perhaps, to those videos that offer teaching moments for those of us who didn’t get it by way of life. The point is – regardless of gender or experience, YouTube offers a tutorial so that you can …

Fix something.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#321 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

A poem is YOUR heart… YOUR voice… and may promote freedom of expression and emotions where they might otherwise not work. You can use metaphors or describe literally… grab a notebook

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#321

Write a poem

Poems stand alone in a variety of forms and sometimes, they are set to music and become song. They rhyme or not… they are rhythmic or not… they are short or not.  They cite heartache, fear, joy, and hope. They are stories and parables.

How would a poem about you begin? What about a poem of your life? Would it be silly and childish like those of Shel Silverstein? Would it be inspiring like Maya Angelou? Would it be tragic or hilarious?

Poetry can be as simple as a collection of your visions and/or inner thoughts, strung together with or without subjects and verbs or punctuation and grammar.

Photograph

I see it there, moving

Me

Reflecting time, gone now-

You

Captured e-lec-tricity,

Us

Colored memory.

Ghost

 

Or they can be more vividly representative…

 

The ONE

The day you left me long ago

The angels came to say

They would take you home to rest

You wouldn’t be far away.

 

I listened to their wisdom

I tried to let it be

And I was looking for the day

When they returned for me.

 

The days and nights are lonely

Now that we’re apart

But I have always saved for you

A piece of my heart.

 

The rest has gone to one so small

You hardly knew

He’s the apple of my eye

He has the best of you.

 

We will live without you now

And try to go on

But rest assured my dear sweet love

You’ll always be my ONE.

A poem is YOUR heart… YOUR voice… and may promote freedom of expression and emotions where they might otherwise not work. You can use metaphors or describe literally… grab a notebook or open a document and give it a try…

Write a poem.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

** both of the poems written above were written by me – the first recently as I observed a photograph of my partner and I kissing the day of his cancer telling PET scan and the second is a poem I wrote more than 30 years ago after the death of my son’s father.

#322 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

They can offer a needed diversion from stress, an opportunity to relax and unwind, and the potential for humor and camaraderie.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#322

Host a party

When was the last time you entertained for no particular reason?? We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, promotions and retirements, and weddings and babies. We come together for Tupperware, candles, baskets, kitchen knives, bake ware, leggings, and lingerie but when was the last time you had a party for no reason other than you wanted to party with a few of your friends?

We don’t ‘need’ a reason to celebrate friendship or to get to know acquaintances better. It’s as easy as setting a time and date; run the vacuum and swipe a dust rag (if you must); and pick out a great playlist. It can a BYO beverage, chip, app, chair, etc., or whatever you want it to be. It can be themed (think s’mores and a backyard fire), adults only, or a girls night out. I’m sure some of us can even make it totally impromptu – making a same day invitation.

Parties – or lessor defined ‘gatherings – can remind us that we belong; that we have a tribe, that people care. They can offer a needed diversion from stress, an opportunity to relax and unwind, and the potential for humor and camaraderie. If formality is more your thing… send invites, polish the silver, and pull out your most elaborate serving dishes.

Either way, the value is in assembling your peeps, winding down, and engaging in the social interactions that are a deeply rooted in our humanity when you…

Host a party.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#323 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

I’ve never known someone who was sorry they took a yoga class. It’s a generally affordable way (there’s always a Groupon for Yoga classes) to get in shape, relax, mange breath, strengthen cardio, and improve flexibility.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#323

Try Yoga

Unless you’ve been under a rock or tucked away in a cave for the last several decades, you’ve heard – ad nauseum probably – about the benefits of practicing yoga. Kudos if you practice a form of yoga on a regular basis… pass this post along to someone you know who doesn’t and come back tomorrow. If you have wanted to or have been confused about it – read on.

Yoga is one of those things that you have to try a few different times to find the kind you like, the teacher you prefer, and the environment that is conducive to something you want to do regularly. How do you choose between the 11 different types? Try ‘em all and keep doing the one you like the best. Here are a few of the most popular and easy to find…

Hatha yoga – generally refers to any yoga practice based on the practice of physical movement. It’s generally where people start.

Iyengar yoga – Here the focus is on alignment and precision. A teacher is a necessity for this type of yoga because the workout is in the precise pose with controlled breath.

Kundalini yoga  – combines spirituality with your workout. It’s fast paced and may include meditation.

Vinyasa yoga – Known as the most athletic form of yoga, movement is deeply coordinated with breath and movement is designed to flow from one pose into another.

Bikram yoga – If you like to sweat, this ‘hot’ yoga may be for you. There are 26 poses, performed sequentially in a room that is 105 degrees with low humidity.

I’ve never known someone who was sorry they took a yoga class. It’s a generally affordable way (there’s always a Groupon for Yoga classes) to get in shape, relax, mange breath, strengthen cardio, and improve flexibility. Once you’ve learned the poses and develop good form, participating in a yoga class is as easy as opening a YouTube page or tuning your TV one of the many channels offering a selection of classes.

Why not take the time to treat your body and your spirit to one of the world’s oldest and most helpful forms of exercise…

Try yoga.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#324 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

If it is not life changing, a national security issue, or harming anyone – why not just … let it go? How many ego wins does one person need to feel big or secure?

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#324

Let someone else be right

Or, I could say… let go of trying to prove your point. I know for some people – this will be a big challenge. You know – our ego simply gets in the way at times. Ok, maybe more than ‘at times’… and it’s necessary to realize that’s all it is – an ego.

I’m not sure the proportion, but a HUGE percentage of arguments escalate simply because someone is determined to be – right. We need to win. When both (or all) parties in the conversation determine that ‘they’ must prevail, it is likely that someone will eventually be verbally beaten into submission; ending the exchange with feelings of defeat and a sense of failure because they were unsuccessful proving their position.

I ask … “why?”

If we have the knowledge, or perhaps proof to substantiate our point… why must we shove it down the proverbial throat of those who don’t know? Or, perhaps have a valid – but different – perspective? Why is it so necessary to demonstrate the lack of knowledge in someone we converse with?

If it is not life changing, a national security issue, or harming anyone – why not just … let it go? How many ego wins does one person need to feel big or secure? If absolutely necessary… Google it and quietly validate the question/answer for yourself but keep it close… allowing someone else to believe what they believe; assuming it doesn’t overstep the above referenced boundaries.

I wonder how many challenges you’ll save yourself from if you were to …

Let someone else be right.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#325 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

It’s often served with olive oil and pita, which is the middle eastern equivalent of garlic and spice with hot Italian rolls – really anything that you can dip in flavorful olive oil has me sitting quickly down at the table.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#325

Try Za’atar

I mean… we all have to eat – so why not make eating adventurous and tasty all at the same time? While some of my readers may already know and love za’atar – I’m rather new to this lovely concoction and I thought it necessary to encourage ya’ll to try it.

Za’atar is a blend of spices with a middle eastern origin, popular throughout the Mediterranean. As a spice blend, it is a mixture of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seed, salt, and sumac – some or all in various percentages depending on which part of that region you come from. In fact, families often had their own recipes and handed them down through generations; keeping it a secret. I didn’t have any trouble finding a recipe for it on the internet and a bottle was quickly found in the Mediterranean section of my local specialty grocer.

It’s often served with olive oil and pita, which is the middle eastern equivalent of garlic and spice with hot Italian rolls – really anything that you can dip in flavorful olive oil has me sitting quickly down at the table. My ah-ha yum yum moment came with za’atar smothered all over a roasted chicken. Just thinking about it now – my mouth is watering.

I would be ever-so-happy to hear of your special recipe or standard inclusions for this lovely new addition to my flavor cabinet; or even a quick story of how and when you decided to…

Try Za’atar

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.