#186 Sleep on the Beach

No matter how you do it or when, there’s a magical element of being able to drift off to the sound of ocean currents embracing the beach.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#186

Sleep on the beach

In the spirit of Labor Day weekend, I thought it best to remind you how amazing it is to fall asleep on the beach. Maybe not on a hot sunny day when the beach is crowded as you may expose your skin too long and/or awake with each passerby kicking sand across your back. It is amazing however, to sleep on the beach overnight – allowing the thunder of consistent wave action to lull you into a deep slumber.

These days isn’t almost impossible to pitch a tent in the dunes as they are protected along almost every coastline in the USA but… there are dozens if not hundreds of public and private campgrounds that border ocean beaches. If you’re planning well enough in advance and with a little research, you can pick a spot as close to the wave action as possible. In some areas, tying a hammock between a couple of trees may even give you a sunrise view over the top of any dunes. As an avid camper, the only drawback I’ve ever noticed about beach side camping is the amount of sand that I end up bringing home.

Perhaps the best spot in the Mid-Atlantic is Assateague State Park. It’s a bit of a pain to get to and the flies can be atrocious at times but you just can’t beat the location!  California has tons of locations as well as Florida. (I guess the more coastline you have, the better the opportunities!) The Travel Channel did a piece and after seeing the options, my bucket list just got a bit longer.

Now, this suggestion is to actually get down in the sand… form it to your body and sleep there – preferably under the stars but I’m aware that might be simply too much to ask of some people. So… with a bigger budget you can go all fancied out and rent a beachside bungalow in almost any beach community. Certainly, around the globe there are thousands of options and perhaps the only reason that people go to places like the Seychelles islands where the beach and luxury go hand and hand; where almost every sleeping option is either over sand or surf.

No matter how you do it or when, there’s a magical element of being able to drift off to the sound of ocean currents embracing the beach. Treat yourself with the experience as often as you can…

Sleep on a beach.

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

#193 Be Curious

I knew some friends in high school that were curious about their ability to ignite the gas they personally produced. Yes… they tried to light their farts …

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#193

Be Curious

Have you heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat?” I actually grew up hearing that quite often and never paid much heed to it but I find that many people are hesitant to be curious. The  phrase is credited to an English comedy play from 1598 and I can’t help but wonder if it propagated with the simple intent of keeping wandering children or nosy neighbors in line.

New Things

What we know today is that curiosity is one of the fundamental attributes of happy people in part, because when we wonder, we are apt to try new things and when we try new things, there is more novelty in our lives. Novelty keeps things  new and fresh – boredom is rare in curios people. People who are curious are constantly learning, exploring, or trying new things; expanding knowledge and boundaries.

Empathy

When we are curious about people or perspectives, we ask more questions. People who are curious tend to have more friends and deeper relationships because they have – in their curiosity – developed an ability to delve deeper into the conversations that build emotional intimacy even in platonic relationships. As their perspective expands, they are able to have more empathy; a trait that also leads to more consistent reports of well-being.

Personal Growth

Your talent for and desire for curiosity may determine your capacity for personal growth. Researchers have identified a correlation between the two. It seems like a no-brainer because if we don’t ever wonder who we are, why we are, or how to change – then growth simply won’t happen.

Many of the ideas I’ve written about to make your life happier and more productive have been identified as a result of people being curious… “I wonder what would happen if I….” and then a sense of satisfaction, comfort, and/or peace sets in and you feel happy. Trial and error… not everything we are curious about will be something that we really wanted to know. I knew some friends in high school that were curious about their ability to ignite the gas they personally produced. Yes… they tried to light their farts … it didn’t go well.

Other than that… maybe you don’t need to know that… in most other things, your life will be enriched if you find the energy to …

Be Curious.

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

#219 Drive a Road You’ve Never Driven

It seems as if we rarely take time to wander. We are so often in a hurry to get from point A to point B that we fail to discover variations in our routes.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#219

Drive a road you’ve never driven

Untapped curiosity

How many times have you wondered where a road leads? Perhaps it’s a road you pass every day on your way to work, or one close by home that you’ve never had the need to drive. If you’ve lived in the same place for a very long time it’s plausible that you know all the local routes and yet personally, there are still spots I’ve not discovered after 25 years of living in the same location.

Wander

It seems as if we rarely take time to wander. We are so often in a hurry to get from point A to point B that we fail to discover variations in our routes. We develop habits that apply to our driving so much that even that becomes a rote behavior. Consequently, we deny ourselves opportunities to experience our home regions completely.

Great finds

I recently found a great little farm stand that is new to me after driving a ‘new’ road that was always a ‘wonder where that leads’ street. There are times I ‘think’ I know where a road leads but discovered other things there that I didn’t know existed. There’s a road by my home that is one way to get to a nearby town but I typically go there a different way. Recently I took the ‘near my home’ route and found two trailheads to a walking trail that I’ve always been curious about.

There’s an experience of delight with each resounding “oh… that’s where that is…” sentiment when you…

Drive a road you’ve never driven.

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

#246 Do Something Unexpected

The term ‘go big or go home’ is novel and sounds brave but could be financially or emotionally expensive and perhaps not a good way to get your feet wet with the experience of variety.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#246

Do something unexpected

Are you predictable?

Is there someone in your life that finishes your sentences? Do people make decisions for you based on historical data? Are you in a stagnant place; doing the same thing day in and day out? When life becomes too certain or too predictable, it can become boring. While we all need certainty to some extent, too much of it is not a good thing. Stability is a great thing but it needs to occasionally be sprinkled with variety with the understanding that tolerance for the unexpected is totally personal.

Take Control

For those of us who covet certainty, it’s a good idea to take some control of the variety we need and the best way to do this is to get up and do something unexpected. Make sure you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to experiencing any change up in routine. I’m not suggesting any wild or crazy things necessarily although if you’ve always been skittish about heights and suddenly express an urge to go bungee jumping, that may make sense. However, leaving a job that sustains your livelihood without another way to meet your obligations probably won’t be in your best interest overall.

Take a Risk

In order to step out of your comfort zone and do the unexpected – you must assume some amount of risk. For this reason, it is suggested that you start small – especially if you are just now stepping out. The term ‘go big or go home’ is novel and sounds brave but could be financially or emotionally expensive and perhaps not a good way to get your feet wet with the experience of variety. Be responsible and take calculated risks or the whole ‘certainty’ issue becomes more cemented.

Benefits

Doing the unexpected builds confidence both in yourself and in you for those around you. It requires courage and bravery to step out into the unknown. Even if you are certain of the results, doing something that no one would anticipate can be a recipe for surprise and entertainment; both of which contribute significantly to feelings of happiness.

Do yourself a favor and keep life interesting by making a commitment to …

Do something unexpected.

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

#350 Go to an Auction

An auction can be great fun. It’s bargain shopping at it finest. Generally speaking you get there a little early and browse through the items to see if there is anything that you want.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#250

Go to an Auction

Have you ever been to an auction? You’ve probably at least seen a dramatic version on television. Someone unintentionally raises a hand and winds up having purchased an expensive, unwanted item. In reality, that doesn’t happen – at least not in an average auction. It may be that way at Christie’s in New York with items that cost tens of thousands of dollars but not at your typical local auction house.

An auction can be great fun. It’s bargain shopping at it finest. Generally speaking you get there a little early and browse through the items to see if there is anything that you want. Once you decide you’ll bid on something, check it out. Usually, when you buy something at auction – you buy it ‘as is’. Consider a top range budget for your item but always, always start as low as possible. In a lot of local auctions that means $1.00. I can’t tell you how many chairs I’ve bought over time for a single dollar because they were basically ugly and no one else wanted them. They were great additions to my basement teen den and a simple slipcover handled the ugly.

Perhaps the most important note about bidding on items at an auction is to honor your top price limit. From time to time you may find yourself in a bidding war with someone else who has decided to take home the one thing you wanted. Since you don’t know their limit – honor yours. It’s super frustrating to get home and realize you completely overpaid for something just because you wanted to ‘win’. A little internet research prior to the bidding for your item is helpful.

Sometimes, time is an drawback at auctions. You may get there in time to browse the offering but then wait all morning for the item you want to come up for bid. Take a book and settle in. Most of the time there are dining areas or at least coffee and donuts so that you’ve not starve.

My favorite auctions are estate sales on premises. An auctioneer moves around the property selling boxes of items collected from the home. You bid on the entire box of ‘smalls’ even though you may only want one thing in the box. You take it all if you win. Many of my yard sales were for the ‘other things’ that I inadvertently obtained by bidding on a box lot. It may be everything that came out from under the kitchen sink – a box filled with cleaning supplies and I start the bidding at $1. Most people are not there for the cleaning supplies and so I win the box… grab a bargain… and end up with random items that may or may not end up in the trash.

Auction house also sell box lots. They tend to be more organized and related, meaning that there are less ‘random’ elements. If you are bidding on a box because there is a vase you like… chances are the whole box is related to flowers or decorating. Prices may go higher at auction houses as well because resale dealers ten to get merchandise there. If there are antiques, you can be sure people with retail space are there supplying their inventory.

It’s an experience though and can be an adventure that reaps rewards. Hop online and find out when and where an estate sale is being conducted to you and…

Go to an auction.

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

 

#252 Be Adventurous

Adventure helps us grow. When we experiment a little (or a lot), we will have successes and successes grow confidence.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#252

Be adventurous

Are you willing to take risks? Try new things? Test new ideas?  Enjoy new experiences? If so… congrats, you are adventurous and I suspect your happiness level reflects as much.

Adventure is about curiosity. Happiness research indicates that when we are curious in our daily life, it may elevate our happy base line. This is great news for people who tend to be glass half empty type of people. Many of us operate from a state of fear and it keeps us locked into familiar positions. When we are curious… i.e., adventurous… we step out of that comfort zone and – in many cases – are pleasantly surprised.

Adventure is personal. For some, it may be bungee jumping. For others, it may be getting on an airplane. It’s the unknown, the uncertain, maybe even the mysterious which, of course is different for us all based on experience.

Taking risks is difficult for some. Start close to your comfort level. Increase by degrees and pay attention to your body which, is uniquely designed to warn you when you are approaching the boundary of risk tolerance. Push lightly – a little at a time – and before you know it, the benefits of being adventurous will be felt.

Adventure helps us grow. When we experiment a little (or a lot), we will have successes and successes grow confidence. Yes, some of those trials will not be as successful as we hope but trying again is being adventurous and each time we try, we open the door to success and the elation that comes with it. There’s a great surge of dopamine that travels with the words “I did it!”.

Stop for a minute and think of something that would feel just a little outside of your comfort zone, or a place you’ve never gone, or a thing you’ve always wanted to do and make plans to…

Be adventurous.

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.