Saturday, November 30, 2013


This is a happy season--or at least it's supposed to be. There's food and family and Christmas is less than a month away. These things can all mean stress along with happiness, so it's nice to have a list of ways to stay chipper. With Thanksgiving just two days ago, recalling happy moments should be easy to do.

  1. Visit a retreat center. I consider my parents’ house a retreat. First, it’s in Wisconsin. Second, the food rocks. Third, there’s no traffic. Fourth, sweatpants all dayyyyyyyyy.
  2. Write out your holiday shopping list. Done-ish. I wrote down who I need to buy for and some preliminary ideas for them.
  3. Use only reusable things - don't throw anything away. Pretty much my life. Paper products are used sparingly at the Naw. We throw out banana peels and tea bags (after steeping them several times).
  4. Organize a family reunion. Hmmmm...can't say I'm organizing one, but I attended Thanksgiving dinner and have a reunion in my tentative summer plans.
  5. Vote. I exercised my right to vote for my favorite dancer on Dancing With the Stars this month...and she won!
  6. Get a psychic reading. Instead of paying someone to tell me vague things about myself, I instead read several self-reflection books on birth order, creativity, and financial personalities this month.
  7. Visit a nursery of newborns. OH HOW I WISH. Teenagers are great and all, but sometimes I want to work with someone a little cuter who doesn’t sass back.
  8. Update your knowledge of your chosen field. Check. I read about writing and reading all the time. I even get in a little human services reading every now and then.
  9. Have a brainstorming session. Check. Brainstormed blog ideas for the next year, ways to use pureed pumpkin, and dinner ideas.
  10. Support a local artist. I consider myself lucky to be friends with several self-identified artists and they always have my support. Someday it might be monetary (like when I commission a family portrait), but for now they'll have to be happy with emotional support.
  11. Think about the nature of war and warriors. This is kind of second nature to humans in 2013, so much that we don't really think about war. War just is. And then there’s Storage Wars.
  12. Bake a cake. I baked a cinnamon roll cake a few weekends ago, then ate basically the entire thing.
  13. Winterize your home. Candles: check. Blankets: check. Doubling up on socks: check. Flannel sheets: check.
  14. Play the blindfold smell game. I play the What Are the Downstairs Neighbors Cooking Tonight game whenever I get home from work. Usually I like that game, unless it turns into the When is the Last Time the Neighbors and/or We Took Out the Garbage game.
  15. Get dressed up and go out. I wore nice jeans to my anniversary dinner and to a MercyWorks event. More likely I will get dressed down and stay in with a bottle of wine.
  16. Sell something in your house. I have little to nothing that anyone would want to pay money for. I donate or recycle.
  17. Have a slumber party. With the amount of houseguests we get, it’s always a slumber party at the Naw. This week was slumber party time at my parents' house.
  18. Subscribe to a magazine. I tried to do this. I looked up a few magazines that I thought I would be interested in, but mostly I just want magazines with great pictures that I can use for arts and crafts, and I can't justify a subscription for that. Then I found Byliner. It’s online, which means better environmentally, and the price is right.
  19. Make a fool of yourself. Daily.
  20. Attend a play or musical. Jesus and I wanted to see Wicked, but both of us are unwilling to pay $100+ for the ticket. Maybe next time it’s in town.
  21. Hangout in an airport. Check. Spent time there waiting for my Van Galder bus before Thanksgiving.
  22. Look through a book of photos on one subject. When I do this it’s usually photos of Rome or food or babies.
  23. Go house hunting. Ha. Like I want to hunt out someplace better than the Naw? Trick question, there is no better place.
  24. Take a siesta. I am an awful napper, but if an afternoon break of several hours was culturally a thing, I think I could learn how.
  25. Enjoy each and every morsel of food. On the whole I do this.
  26. Start reading a long novel. Ok.
  27. Eat salad with chopsticks. I can’t even eat Asian food with chopsticks.
  28. Listen to music using headphones. A requirement on the bus. I’d rather not hear all the ringtones, phone conversations, and snoring.
  29. Don’t kill anything (animals, ideas…). I don't? I guess for one day I'm supposed to allow myself all the crazy ideas I can think of. I'm not an idea squelcher by nature, so this is easy.
  30. Know when to quit. According to Epstein, sometimes you can’t stay happy doing what you are doing--and that’s when it’s time to quit. When things aren't fun anymore, when they are more stressful that what they are worth, it's time to try something different.

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