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

If you are thinking about someone – phone them; say hello and let them know you’re thinking about them or leave a message.

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.

#295

Phone a friend

This suggestion works nicely if you are playing a television game for a million dollars but it’s also important if you are interested in maintaining friendships. With our evolving habit of texting conversations – some of us have all but eliminated vocal interacting. Why not phone a friend?

Think of someone you haven’t spoken with in a while. What has prevented you from chatting? I occasionally hear that a friend hasn’t called because “I didn’t know if you were busy”. Frankly – that’s why voicemail was invented, wasn’t it? If I am busy, I will let the call go to message but I’ll know that you were thinking about me.

I’m miffed when someone says “I’ve been thinking about you forever…” but I have no way of knowing it because there’s been NO communication to that extent. If you are thinking about someone – phone them; say hello and let them know you’re thinking about them or leave a message. It’s simple really.

I realize that we all have busy lives and it takes time to maintain friendships. I find that most of us don’t need extended conversations and deep, meaningful interactions to sustain an existing friendship but we do need contact – real – live – connection. So, think of someone you haven’t heard from in a while and …

Phone a friend.

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

 

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

The accessory combination was more pricey than that designer dress I’ve worn dozens of times but my confidence that day was out the door and the belt was the icing on the cake.

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.

#315

Splurge on an outfit

If you’re on a tight budget, a mom, a dad, tightly focused on the future, or following a similar trajectory, there is a good chance that you fail to treat yourself once in a while. And, while I am the champion of practicality and budget focused financial achievement, there is a time that splurging on an outfit that helps you feels strong, beautiful (or handsome), and confident – is totally warranted.

Do it for your next job interview, or the next wedding you attend. Imagine the sensation of standing a little straighter or smiling a little brighter because you feel empowered by attire that is flattering, well constructed, and in fashion.

It doesn’t matter your budget. At one time, buying a pair of sandals that weren’t rubber was an upgrade for me and I felt confident in my stride. I splurged on a classic black dress by a well known designer at another point in my life and it was my ‘uniform’ whenever I had a cocktail event to attend for years (It’s still a classic and dresses up or down with jewelry accessories).

While classic purchases are the more practical consideration, an occasional splurge on something you may never wear again can be an uplifting accomplice for a very special occasion. When I finally earned my B.A. in midlife, I treated myself to a bright red patent leather belt and matching shoes. They were the perfect compliment to my black and white outfit and I just never had another occasion to for that combination. The accessory combination was more pricey than that designer dress I’ve worn dozens of times but my confidence that day was out the door and the belt was the icing on the cake.

This is not to say that what we wear is how we construct our personality or the basis of our identity but psychologically speaking, what we wear affects our mood. When we wear quality clothing that fits well, we feel better so treat yourself and …

Splurge on an outfit.

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

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

Of course, there are some people who don’t want their feet touched… I simply cannot understand denying yourself that pleasure as it can be almost orgasmic with the right massage – but o.k…

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.

#316

Get a pedicure

From the top of your head to the tip of your toes, life is better when things are put together. No, that’s not really the kind of poetry I referenced a few days ago. I’m talking about making your toes – and your heels – pretty. Even the funkiest feet are prettier with clean, trimmed nails and soft, smooth heels. This includes – YOU, gentlemen.

Admittedly, I was well into adulthood before I had my first pedicure but quickly understood it was such a simple pleasure that I added $25 to my monthly budget from anywhere I could in order to treat myself. I love to go barefoot and so – no visual needed – my feet were in constant need of TLC and I was slow to respond personally. The fact that there are people in the world willing to take on that task blows my mind but I try never to look a gift-horse in the mouth (sorry – for all my non-american or much younger readers, I’m not sure of a good substitute for that idiom). I graciously accept the loving care that anyone is willing to commit to my feet.

Our feet are important! They carry us where we want to go. They hold us in position. They are abused, squished, tormented, and only sometimes – temperature regulated. They deserve any extra attention they can get!! Additionally, when ‘professionals’ are regularly assessing a body part, they are more apt to discover early warning signs of potential problems (i.e., bunions, corns, fungus). Pedicures most often include a brief foot massage – improving circulation. And, if absolutely nothing else – taking 30 min. – give or take – out of your daily routine to completely relax has its own specific health benefits.

Of course, there are some people who don’t want their feet touched… I simply cannot understand denying yourself that pleasure as it can be almost orgasmic with the right massage – but o.k., I respect that a few will protest this suggestion. Winter, spring, summer, and fall… once a month and just because …

Get a pedicure.

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

 

 

 

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

Bad posture is the culprit for more than back pain. There is evidence that it promotes Asthma (restricted breathing), heart disease, joint degeneration, and higher levels of stress.

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.

#318

Stand up straight

At the risk of sounding like your mother, I think we can all use the reminder to ‘stand up straight’. The number of Americans who complain about back pain at some point in their life has crested over 80% and it is suggested that poor posture is to blame for a significant percentage. Since we’ve transitioned to desk jobs and electronic browsing – our shoulders curve and our heads are bent – throwing the natural alignment of our spines out of whack.

Bad posture is the culprit for more than back pain. There is evidence that it promotes Asthma (restricted breathing), heart disease, joint degeneration, and higher levels of stress. It is a leading cause of missed work and worldwide – back pain is the leading cause of disability. Improving posture strengthens the musculature surrounding the spine, keeping aligned properly.

I am particularly mindful of my own posture when I see a television news anchor or an interviewer sitting in perfect alignment (how long so they practice that so that it appears naturally?) It’s a reminder for me to square my shoulders and pull in my abdomen while simultaneously raising my chin Aligning myself perpendicular to the floor.

There are a number of products marketed to help you remember and/or strengthen the back muscles but in a recent review, the writer declared that they were mostly annoying and that the only significant solution was to pay attention and practice. Essentially – include it in your mindfulness regiment. It’s a little thing that can make a world of difference. Remember…

Stand up straight

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

#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.