#89 Host a Game Night

Game nights can be several people playing the same game at different tables competing for a final spot (Bunko) or just a couple of people vying to be the champ (Monopoly).

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.

#89

Host a Game Night

Do you or your friends get together for Poker, Bunko, Caton, or D&D? Have you spent any time at a board game cafe? Are you a Monopoly fanatic? Board games are making a comeback and Game Night is a ‘thing’ in many twenty-something circles. What is your favorite game?

Family

Gathering the family for a night of gaming can be a great break from electronics and television. New York Magazine recently published a great list of popular board games – among them, several of our favorites; Codenames, Sequence, Ticket to Ride, and Telestrations. Telestrations in particular is great for a crowd and we are always left belly laughing the night away. When the kids are gathered (adults now), they love Ticket to Ride and have lovingly called it the ‘train game’.

 It can be serious and committed or routy, fun, and lighthearted.

By planning and arranging a game night, you’ll be connecting with like-minded people. You’ll be creating opportunities for belonging and laughter, and you’ll be making memories. All of these things lead to feelings of happiness and well-being.

If you don’t have a favorite game, experiment a bit or visit a local game store to get recommendations, or ask friends for their suggestions. Get your family together and involved with one another more often by …

Hosting a game night.

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

#113 Play a Practical Joke

Because the goal is to create amusement and for everyone involved to have fun, there are particular limits that must be respected in the pursuit of practical joking.

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.

#113

Play a practical joke

Life is just better when there’s laughter, isn’t it? I know I am guilty of getting locked into a serious mood from time to time and a practical joke is just the thing to bring me out of it. Before we go much further though – perhaps we can take a moment to define ‘practical’ in the interest of keeping it funny.

Clarity on Intent

The literal definition of a practical joke is to “trick someone in order to make them look foolish or amuse them”. I strongly suggest we avoid the ‘looking foolish’ element and strive for amusement. Here, it may be important to understand how the person  you want to ‘trick’ – is amused. While some slight forms of discomfort or embarrassment can be funny – there is great variability on our perspectives of this. For the sake of this suggestion, the intent of a practical joke is to promote laughter and levity.

Candid Camera

Perhaps the epitome of the kind of stunts that may be considered ‘harmless’ are the kind used by the famed television show Candid Camera. The tricks of mind and eye – the ones that leave us wondering about our sanity; tricks of the mind.

Limitations

Because the goal is to create amusement and for everyone involved to have fun, there are particular limits that must be respected in the pursuit of practical joking. In particular, no physical harm. No property damage. No significant inconvenience (i.e., creating situations that may make someone late for work – their boss may not think your joke is funny). And remember, what you’re willing to tolerate may not be the same as your target so – keep it light.

Suggestions

I’ve included a bunch of photos that I, personally find funny and harmless for your enjoyment and thought stimulation.

boots in concrete prank looks like dead body

Laughter elevates the most necessary chemicals in our body required for a sense of well-being. It provides a dopamine rush and helps us feel better by pulling us into the present moment. Remember, have fun but be thoughtful as you …

Play a practical joke.

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

#136 Eat Dessert First

There’s a sense of defiance associated with the idea of reversing the order of what is considered the norm.

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.

#136

Eat dessert first

This suggestion is the reason that my mother’s mother was by far – the best grandparent in the universe. Most of the days that I was there for dinner – days that were not family events – I was encouraged to have dessert before dinner was placed on the table. She used to preface it that we had to eat what we could before ‘Granddad’ got a hold of any available sweets. It was also her strategy to defy my parents in a small way – maybe giving them a taste of their own adolescent medicine.

Occasional treats are necessary for our sense of well-being – to prevent a sense of deprivation. If dessert fits that bill – why not? There’s a sense of defiance associated with the idea of reversing the order of what is considered the norm. If this is the depth of one’s rebellion, it’s more than manageable. It’s also just downright fun. It’s a harmless deviation from typically acceptable behavior and yet it is completely innocent. It’s a great treat for kids especially.

It’s a simple thought but stimulating nonetheless. Go ahead and treat yourself tonight…

Eat dessert first.

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

#159 Have Your Palm Read

Supposedly, this ancient method of predicting has some merit. Recent science has correlated greater athletic talent in men whose ring finger is longer than his index finger.

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.

#159

Have your palm read

Even if you don’t believe in someone’s ability to ‘see’ into your hand; because … you there is NO way to definitively know for sure! So… just in case there IS something to it… find a palm reader with good reviews and take the plunge – it’s fun!

Palmistry has been practiced for thousands of years and some individuals are very talented in their ability to describe the characteristics about your life and personality based on the composition of your hand. First they look that the fingers and there are assumptions made depending on

The length of your various fingers

The space between your fingers

The thinness of your fingers

The shape of your fingernail

The state of your fingernail

Additionally, the lines in your palm represent a variety of areas; marriage, head, heart, fate, sun, children, money, and health. More information is contributed based on moles, the way lines cross, and shapes that they make. Even the size of your hand matters. The left hand speaks your potential, the right hand about what you’ve done with that potential.

Supposedly, this ancient method of predicting has some merit. Recent science has correlated greater athletic talent in men whose ring finger is longer than his index finger. (I’m so curious to know how many of you just looked at your fingers!). Those men are more apt to be well-endowed and have more children. Those with longer index fingers are more prone to heart disease. Scientists think these elements have something to do with the prenatal testosterone exposure. Go figure!

These ‘palm readers’ are versed in the thousands of years of similarities and perhaps even the results of modern research so they notice and comment on those things that are common across individuals with similar characteristics. They may tell you something that you don’t know… not that it is ‘carved in stone’ but that you may be more prone to something that is indicated across the population with similar individuals.

Having your palm read is just a fun… not too serious activity that you can do with friends, sisters, bridesmaids, a partner, or colleagues. It’s harmless unless you make more of it than is intended. Take it with a grain of salt… kind of like… Blondes have more fun. For some it’s true – for others, not so much.

The next time you want something fun and crazy to do, consider…

Having your palm read.

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

#179 Learn Sign Language

How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) speak but needed to send a message across the room?

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.

#179

Learn sign language

When I was in high school, I played the part of Annie Sullivan in our school play production of The Miracle Worker. She was the woman who taught Helen Keller as a child, how to communicate with the world. As a result of that experience, I learned the sign language alphabet and at that time, became rather proficient at spelling out words. Since I was the only one in my environment who had the skill – it didn’t do me much good. At least until my sisters learned it and then – we had fun discussing things secretly even in a crowded n those skills.

I didn’t have much motivation to broaden my knowledge until I was babysitting him one evening. He kept trying to get out of bed and even though he was trying to signal something to me, I was being quite stern. He wasn’t old enough to write things down and I was tired. Eventually, his persistence wore me down and I indicated that he could get up and do whatever it was he wanted so badly. The poor kid ran as fast as he could into the bathroom and I felt like a rotten Aunt. It was motivation.

Eventually I was in a position to learn American Sign Language (ASL)- the most common type of ‘signing’ in the Deaf community. I was known to be theatrical and so it was a good fit because a lot of the communication is via inference of facial expressions and body movement. By then, my nephew was much older and although I didn’t see him often, it was nice to be able to ‘converse’ and I could comprehend most of what he was conveying to me. Over time and without practice, my ‘signing’ became majorly rusty and barely discernible.

Sign language isn’t just for deaf people. There are lots of occasions where interpreters are needed as the American Disabilities Act requires public and certain private organizations to provide assistance so that the hearing impaired can receive the same information that hearing individuals have access to. How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) speak but needed to send a message across the room? I know many of us use texting for this purpose! People who know sign language enjoy an alternative mode of transporting messages.

ASL is widely becoming accepted as a ‘second language’ in the public education space. It is an option now in many foreign language departments across the USA. Some organizations offer classes and many of the people who act as interpreters in churches and synagogues also teach small groups locally. Generally, it’s easy to find an inexpensive and convenient forum to learn.

Earlier this year one of the suggestions I made was to both learn something new and to take a class. This suggestion encompasses both! I hope you’ll consider the overall benefits of creating new neural pathways, setting and reaching a goal, as well as having a little fun as you look for a class and make the decision to …

Learn sign language.

 

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

#184 Carve Something

This is also one of those little thought of talents that can come in really handy when you need something unique and custom…

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.

#184

Carve something

This suggestion is entirely recommended for the creative side of you. It’s something that is probably off your radar and yet it’s fun, challenging, and possible for even the most basic beginner.

To start you need a small knife; preferably a handy-dandy pocket knife with a selection of blades but a small paring knife will also suffice in these early stages. The only other requirement is a bar of Ivory soap or a piece of Balsa wood; either choice is soft and easy to carve with little pressure.

This creative option is often taught to children in scouting programs which, may be the last time any of us made an effort to try this activity. Yet, today your dexterity is far more developed and with a little patience your imagination can transform the soap or wood into an entirely different shape and/or a functional item.

I can imagine a few of you wondering “why?” – thinking that I am stretching this ‘creativity’ piece a little far and yet I’ll reiterate that just ‘trying’ new things is good for your soul. It’s great for building your imagination, your confidence, and your curiosity. It’s a wonderful way to foster creativity and wonder.

Soap carvings make great gifts! Even if you carve small hearts and put them in a box with a little essential oil… what a nice gift for a guest bathroom! Carving little figurines, small toys, or an ink stamps from balsa wood can also make great gifts. This is also one of those little thought of talents that can come in really handy when you need something unique and custom – as in an ink stamp or a unique name.

Try a Google search of ‘beginner wood carver’. Hop on YouTube to watch a demo. Both will get you the basics and begin to satisfy, challenge, or develop a number of little personality characteristics that get stimulated with creative energy! Find an easy project and challenge yourself to …

Carve something.

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

#185 Play a Card Game

The comradery you experience will help increase endorphins that increase feelings of happiness.

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.

#185

Play a card game

In my mother’s generation, it seemed that everyone – really, everyone – played cards. If it wasn’t Bridge or Poker, it was Spades and Canasta. People often had a deck of cards in their purse or glove compartment and it was a great way to whittle away time or get together with friends. Now we have smartphones and video games. Consequently, I’ve noticed that a lot of young people don’t know how to play even the basic card games like Rummy.

Card games are a great way to bring people together for conversation, entertainment, and a little competition. Many of them are quite strategic and like some board games, generate great worldwide contests. Yes, there’s a bit of luck involved insomuch as the draw or deal of your cards but ‘how’ you play them… that takes some finesse.

Grab a friend, family member, or grandchild and encourage them to hang out with you for the mere purpose of playing a card game. Perhaps one of you can teach the other or dust off a deck of cards and search the internet for the rules to your favorite game from childhood like Spit or Euchre. Bicycle – the dominant and market King of all card companies – even has an app that allows you to pull up the rules for almost any game you can think of!  Remember ‘I doubt it’ and ‘Hearts’? The rules are there too!

It’s one of those simple things that keeps us humble, connected, and present. The comradery you experience will help increase endorphins that increase feelings of happiness. Using strategy will help keep your mind clear and sharp. Learning and or laughter will also improve your overall mood so make an effort to step out of your routine, clear your schedule, invite some friends over, and do something fun the old-fashioned way…

Play a card game.

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