#57 Visit a Zoo

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.

#57

Visit a Zoo

I was able to walk through the Central Park Zoo on a warm spring day last year and really loved being there. The last Zoo I had visited was when the kids were young and we had an annual pass to the Philadelphia Zoo which, after falling in love with the San Diego Zoo… was a disappointment. We bought the annual passes because I am a big believer in educating children about animals, especially those that aren’t house pets.

Controversy

Zoo’s have had a difficult time in recent years. There was a lot of publicity about the mistreatment of animals, poor conditions, and lack of funding for several zoos across the country – leading a lot of people to abandon the idea of visiting animals there. It was a difficult decision to support an endeavor that wasn’t meeting minimum standards versus being there to send loving energy their way and introducing a younger generation to the benefits of saving endangered species.

Benefits

When a zoo is managed and funded efficiently, it offers a plethora of benefits both to the animals there and to the surrounding society.

Zoos connect animals to people in a way that is no longer viable in most urban cultures. We simply don’t get the opportunity to see Buffalo, Elk, or Giraffes running across our sight line. Indeed, we barely see turtles and fox unless you live close to farms and water. Visiting a zoo offers you an opportunity to experience this life form no matter your environment.

Zoos fight against wildlife extinction. They are staffed by professionals committed to the survival and propagation of species. They often collaborate with one another to solve urbanization issues that prevent the animals from organically sustaining their population.

Zoos educate the public and seek to attract benefactors that are committed to helping and sponsoring continued advocacy. The inspire children, teach differences, and motivate respect for animals in general.

Time spent

Of course, spending time at a zoo is a great family activity. There are usually wonderful programs to take advantage of and it just nice to stroll through the property to see something new and different than before. Being in a zoo can be a ‘getting back to nature’ in an odd sort of way; there’s always a little dichotomy to this as you walk from one kind of habitat to another. It may challenge your senses.

Being in a zoo as a single individual may offer you some great ‘me time’… time away from civilization but inside the energy of living beings. It can provide an opportunity to sit back and savor the simplicity of a lions walk across the stone or to observe the complicated maneuvers of barn swallows as they nest in the rafters of an Avian center.

Modern Energy

After the horrific zoo experiences identified in the past, I believe we’ve come to a better place and the zoo’s of America are a thoughtful, instructional, and compassionate playground for animals that people get to enjoy. If you haven’t been in a while, go ahead and treat yourself – if not your entire family and …

Visit a Zoo.

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

 

#62 Make a Collage

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.

#62

Make a Collage

As I organized the last of the holiday ‘piles’ I noticed that I have quite the collection of Christmas cards – some of which are quite beautiful. Normally, I cut them up to make gift tags but either I am getting a lot of cards lately or I am giving less gifts because they are starting to pile up.

It made me think of a craft project that I had my girls do one year – in an effort to keep them busy while I was sidetracked with executor responsibilities after the death of my grandparents. I gave them a pile of  condolence cards and asked them each to make a collage from the cards. They turned out to be a beautiful collection and ultimately, a keepsake of the sentiments from people who had once known them.

Style

A collage is cleaner and less complicated than a scrapbook as it is usually just one page or piece – as big or as small as you choose. It can be neatly organized into squares, rectangles, or circles or it can be haphazard and random.

It can be a kind of word cloud – cut outs of sentiments or words grouped together in a way that has meaning or conveys a meaning.

Mixed Media

A collage can be made from most anything or a combination of several things. I’ve seen beautiful picture collages that have included brooches and hatpins as well as a more simple design using only white paper with black text in a variety of fonts and sizes. It can be decoupaged, glued, or epoxied. It can be under or on top of glass; in a frame or not.

Gift Giving

Along the lines of memory boxes; those deep frames that contain a collection of mementos from a specific year or occasion, a collage makes a wonderful gift. It can be comprised of all the little yellow sticky notes that helped you reach a goal. Or, perhaps it is a collection of the poetry that your father wrote your mother while you were dating – a phenomenal gift for a significant wedding anniversary or commemorating a life well lived.

Yes, a collage with take a little time and perhaps a lot of thought as you move through the memories and decide what goes where… remember there are no rules and creativity is not that important. It’s more about composing something meaningful in the way that you give it value. Others opinions are unimportant.

As you move through your year cleaning out drawers, purses, and pockets – consider items that may be memorable in some way and put them in a jar for that rainy day when you can finally sit down and…

Make a collage.

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

#80 Take the Long Road

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.

#80

Take the Long Road

While this advice may not always be in your best interest, sometimes taking the long road offers a range of opportunities.

Taking the long road home allows you to gather your thoughts and partition work related stressors away from the energy you want to greet your family with.

Taking the long road on vacation allows you to experience the culture and ambiance of the location you are visiting in a vastly different way than a freeway or interstate does.

Taking the [figurative] long road in responding to a hurtful remark will allow you to make sure that your return comments aren’t ugly and spiteful.

Taking the [figurative] long road to consider ethical challenges will most often allow you to feel confident that your considerations were well thought out.

Taking the long road may help you bypass the frustration of traffic congestion.

Taking the long road may allow you to explore a conversation that may otherwise get interrupted. Some of the best conversations happen in a car when parties are somewhat captive.

Taking the long road may allow you to contemplate a problem or run through solutions because driving and heading home are such rote activities

Of course, taking the long road may also use more gas, put more miles on your automobile (except when using the figurative sense) and ultimately cost more money. Yet, there are times when it’s a clear advantage to…

Take the long road.

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

 

#261 Remember When…

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.

#261

Remember when…

This recommendation might sound a bit like the idea of savoring that I presented earlier but it’s a bit different in its goal. The idea here is to recall random shared memories of minor debacles when you are with another person with whom you have some history. Ideally, you’re thinking of a time that you can laugh about now. A time when you had solved a problem, survived a hazard, or preserved through a challenge.

The goal is laughter or at the very least, an appreciation for the lesson learned. It’s an opportunity to review a moment in time from another perspective and share a sense of satisfaction of a previous experience.

‘Remember when we got that flat tire and…’

‘Remember when I left the cake in the oven for an hour…’

‘Remember when we took the wrong bus…’

We all have countless recollections of mishaps and momentary errors in judgment that are retrospectively funny or immensely satisfying. Sometimes, just recalling the collection of awkward moments we shared with another strengthens our appreciation of their role in our life. It’s another type of walk down memory lane that can have you rolling on the floor laughing or being grateful that it is over now.

Pick up the phone today and share a blast from the past with an old friend or randomly bring it up at the dinner table tonight… “Hey honey…”

Remember when…

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