Enjoying Life

Let’s step back and take a moment away from all the serious stuff. We spend plenty of time working, worrying, and whatnot. It’s okay to take a breather. In fact, it’s healthy to do so. Take a deep breath.

So, today let’s talk about fun stuff. What do you do for fun? What’s your favorite form of entertainment? What do you do to relax and unwind?

I have always loved reading a good book. I like to get lost in one. I do lose track of time doing that, so I have to make sure I have the time available or make sure there is a set place to stop. I also learn a lot from reading.

On the other hand, watching TV is good sometimes as well, but it’s more of a non-thinking activity for me. I’m not really into watching educational stuff that much. Usually, if I’m watching TV, it’s because I’m looking for kick-back, relaxed, mindless entertainment.

Another restful thing to do is just sit outside. I love to observe nature at its finest, enjoying a beautiful sunset on a warm evening, complete with a gentle breeze. Ahhh.

Of course, you can always head to the lake for a nice swim as well. I love to swim.

What about gaming? What kinds of games do you like to play?

I like everything from card games and board games to online games. I prefer the MMORPG style. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, especially in a fantasy setting, are just plain fun.

World of Warcraft used to be my favorite game, and if they bring back legacy servers, it will be once again.

Gaming is good because it’s interactive. I definitely prefer to mindless stuff. I also like the social aspect. You can meet people from all over the world and have fun with them. That’s what used to make WoW so great (now it’s all but single player, but hopefully they will do something about that soon).

What do you like to do when you take a break from the hustle and bustle?

 

 

Do you spend your Life waiting?

There have been songs written about it. We shouldn’t waste our lives waiting, waiting, waiting, but it’s an easy trap to fall into. We’re always waiting for just the right moment to do or say something. We’re waiting for tomorrow (or next week or next month) to start a diet or exercise program. We’re waiting until we are more financially stable or until we feel more confident or until we get some validation before attempting to start a new business. We wait for just the right time to have a child.

So much of our lives are spent waiting for numerous things. The truth is, there is almost never going to be a “perfect” time to do all the above or to do anything else. If we really want something, we have to stop waiting around for the stars to align and just get after it.

Time is something that is limited. Each of us has a certain amount of time on this planet, so spending that valuable time waiting for the perfect time seems like a waste of time. Do you agree?

This is not to say that we should jump into things head first without thought, research, or planning. It’s just to say that we should stop coming up with so many excuses, stop waiting around for things to fall into our laps. We need to get busy. We need to use the time that we do have, wisely.

One of the biggest problems with putting things on hold is that sometimes, actually often, the perfect time just never comes. Have you thought about seeking a higher education? I spent years thinking about it. That’s as far as I got too, just thinking about it. I never did anything about it.

Now, twenty-five years have gone by, and I’m wondering where the time went.

What have you been putting off? Better yet, what are you waiting for?

Life’s too short for… Road Rage

Life is too short to let the little things completely ruin your day. Having someone pass you or drive too slow in front of you, just isn’t worth getting so upset about. I’m sure we’ve all been a bit exasperated by other drivers at times, but in most cases (like when you’re not put in danger by their actions), it’s just not worth getting all bent out of shape about.

Why do so many people freak out then? You see people all the time throwing fits at other drivers. In my opinion, that’s often just what it is. Throwing a fit. Having a tantrum. It’s like a child wailing and stomping his feet, only in adult form.

It happened to me yesterday. I waved someone by, because they seemed hesitant. My objective was to let them know that I would wait until they cleared. My hand sign indicated that they should go ahead. She took it all wrong apparently, and seemed to think I was trying to rush her, because when she drove by she cursed me. She rolled down the window, slowed down, and yelled, “I’m going, b*tch!!”

I hope she feels better now.

Sorry, honey, you’re not the only one on the road, and the world doesn’t revolve around you.

Were her actions really necessary? She was a young person, and if it were one of my kids, she would have gotten an earful. The thing is that it isn’t just young people and some people do much worse. I’ve seen plenty of older (and even really old) people do similar things and then some. In some cases, they practically try to run the other person off the road. Ridiculous.

Okay, I’m not going to lie, I have lost my cool a time or two as well. Mine usually amounts to me sassing my windshield though, ha ha.

Have you ever had a fit of road rage? Did you ever scream and swear at another driver (or worse)?

Beyond Life

Do you believe in the afterlife? What does that look like for you?

Whether or not you think there is something after this life, please, feel free to respond.

I understand that spiritual matters can be delicate, but that doesn’t mean we can’t ever bring them up. I would ask that if anyone does respond, that we all try to be careful to respect other people’s beliefs, please.

Disagreeing is okay. We’re all allowed to have our own opinions, but we can still be nice about it. Right? We may even have to agree to disagree, but that’s fine.

I don’t think it’s necessary to avoid such subjects. I like to learn why other people feel the way they do and believe the things they do. I learn a lot from hearing the perspective others.

Some people think that when we die, that’s it. Done. Nothing comes after. You just cease being.

I believe in a “higher power.” I know there is something bigger than me. I believe that this higher power is God. Believing that God is real and that He is perfect, I can’t conclude that this imperfect world is all there is.

I’m also told in the Bible that there is a place for me. I’m saved by grace, through faith, so when I die I’ll reside in Heaven with God. Jesus went to prepare a place for me, so I need not fear death. I’m still not in any big hurry to die, but when I do, I have faith that I’ll be at peace.

If you believe that there is something more, once we’re done with this body, what do you believe is next? I’d enjoy learning more about what you believe and why you believe it.

Do you believe that when you die you’ll go to a better place? What does that place look like?

 

 

Two simple Ways to change your Life

If you could make your life a little better by doing two simple things, would you be willing to give them a try? I mean, they are really, really simple. Almost anyone can do them.

If you have a writing instrument and some paper, and you are capable of writing, you are golden.

There is a positive version and a negative version. Well, actually, there are two of the former.

First, write down every good thing that happens to you. Keep each slip of paper in a container. It can be a jar or box or anything really that has enough space to hold all of your slips of paper for a year (or a month, or six months, whatever… it’s really up to you). At the end of the time period, read them all.

You will begin to see that good things really do happen to you.

The other option is to count your blessings on a regular basis. Write down every positive thing, not just events. Even the smallest good thing, is something worth writing. Store these papers for a set amount of time, like above. I’d suggest a week or a month. Read them all.

See, you’re much better off than you might have thought.

The “negative” option is actually to help get rid of negativity. For this exercise, write down anything bad or negative, including negative thoughts. This time, you aren’t going to save any of those slips of paper.

You are going to throw every single one of them away immediately after writing them down. This is a symbolic gesture for the most part, one that helps rid your life of negativity. While it is mostly symbolic, people say that it actually helps.

It can’t hurt, right?

So, why not give it a try? Write down the good, save to read later, be happy. Write down the bad, toss it in the trash, and be happy.

Life Hacks

I’m all for some good life hacks. Anything that is simple and inexpensive but makes my life easier or helps me save time, is generally a welcome thing. So, all those little tips and tricks that fall under the label “life hack” are interesting to me.

Of course, they aren’t all do-able or even useful. Some work better than others, or work better for some people than they do for other people. That’s okay. There are tons of them out there, so if you go looking for them, you are bound to find at least a few that will work.

Well, you will probably at least find some that you think are cool or that give you inspiration for coming up with your own ideas. One good life hack often leads to another.

I’ll be sharing some here on this blog from time to time, because I see so many great, clever, ideas that are just begging to be shared.

Not everyone agrees that life hacking is a good thing though. I can see the point that some folks are making, and in some areas, I think they are correct. When I see people working harder at finding ways not to do any work, I think they have taken things a bit too far. Still, I don’t think that’s a reason to discount life hacking altogether.

I’ve just seen and heard way to many creative ideas to think that the overall premise is a bad one. I mean, how can keeping your laptop cool with a free and easy trick be a bad thing? Those cardboard cup holders that come from fast food shops, work perfectly and don’t cost a thing (if you were going to buy drinks anyway). All you have to do is turn them upside down. Bam! Done.

So yeah, that’s not “working hard at not working” in my opinion, that’s just a good idea.

What do you think of life hacks?

Life Lesson: When you don’t know what to say

Most of us have heard the saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Well, I think that is good advice too, but there is a little more to it than that.

There are times when we want to say something nice, to make someone feel better, but we really can’t find the words. This is especially true when someone is facing serious issues such as illness or the death of a loved one. Loss and grief touch us all. I have learned over the years that it’s better to say very little or nothing at all than to say the wrong thing.

We mean well, but whether or not our intentions are good, we can still hurt people with our words. It may not even be the exact words that are the problem but that they don’t fit the situation, or they come off sounding glib.

One example is when someone feels bad and we say something to the effect of, ‘I know how you feel.’ Well, unless you actually do know how they feel, because you have experienced something the same or similar, it’s typically not the right thing to say.

Don’t be surprised if such a comment is met with, ‘No! You don’t!’

Again, we’re usually trying to be nice, but the hurting person may feel that their feelings are being minimized or that they are alone in their pain and that no one really understands what they are going through.

For me, the best thing to say in delicate situations is a simple, ‘I’m sorry,’ or ‘I’m sorry to hear that,’ or ‘I’m sorry that happened to you.” Short and to the point. I’m sorry you are pain. I usually then try to let them know that I’m here for them if they need me.

That’s another one of those touchy statements. My mother always says, ‘I’m here when you need me.’ The *when* instead of *if* gives me more comfort. It makes it sound as if a request for help is expected rather than the statement being one of those off-the-cuff things we say just to have something to say.

What do you think? Have you found yourself in the situation of not knowing what to say? Have you ever put your foot in your mouth? I sure have. Now, I try to keep it short and simple.

Holidays: Valentine’s Day

Our lifestyles vary, but most people are aware of holidays. How we celebrate them often differs too. In some cases, holidays tend to have very traditional elements, such as religious elements as well as the iconic, like Christmas trees for Christmas, turkey for Thanksgiving, eggs for Easter, and flowers and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

There are many more occasions, and there’s a lot more to it than that simple list. The point is that there are certain things that most of us tend to relate to certain occasions.

It is fun to come up with your own ideas and even start new traditions for holidays and special occasions. Do you ever try unconventional things for your celebrations?

One thing I have noticed is that Valentine’s Day has changed a lot over the years. It used to be more about romance. These days, it seems to me that people spend more money on their kids at this time of year than they do on their significant others.

How did a romantic day end up being about kids? Let’s face it, every day is kid’s day. Every holiday and special occasion tends to revolve around kids. I’m not saying that we should ignore the kids on February 14th, but I don’t think the day should revolve around them. I don’t think we do them any favors by giving them so many gifts, so much candy, and just spoiling them all the time.

There. I said it. Many kids are spoiled.

I like spoiling them as much as the next person does, but shouldn’t we draw the line somewhere? I’ve seen people spend hundreds of dollars on… junk… to send to school for Valentine’s parties. I think it’s all a bit much. What do you think?

I’m all for a little treat, but I feel like we’ve lost perspective. I give my kids and grandkids a bit of a treat, but my focus is on my husband. He’s my “real” Valentine.

Life Tips: Hold on!

So, I really don’t like being put on hold. I mean, I get that it’s a necessity from time to time, and I really don’t mind waiting for a minute or two.

It’s the lengthy waits that get on my nerves. It’s one thing if it’s an automated system that warns you that you’ll be waiting for X number of minutes, because you have the opportunity to decide if you are able and willing to wait that long. When someone puts you on hold and forgets about you that’s another story.

True story: once, I was on hold trying to pay my phone bill over the phone. I was placed on hold and waited for about 15 minutes. I needed to get the bill paid, or else I wouldn’t have waited that long.

I finally gave up and decided to call back. The person I had been waiting for had left for the day! How does that work? How do you put someone on hold and then just go home? I was not happy.

I don’t have a telephone bill any more. I use Net Talk now.

Okay, so this might not technically qualify as a “life hack” per se, but it is a good tip. If you’re like me, and you hate wasting time being on hold forever when you call a company, this is the tip for you.

When you do finally get a chance to speak to someone after waiting on hold, ask for their direct extension. If they don’t have a personal extension, try to at least get one for the department. This way, you can avoid the awful music and wasted time in the future.

If there is not extension system, get a name, so you can ask for the person by name in the future. It’s generally a good idea to ask for a name anyway. This way, if there are any concerns or issues in the future, you can refer to the person who assisted you. Asking for a name usually encourages service people to be more polite and helpful to begin with as well.

You’ll also have their name in the event that a complaint needs to be filed for any reason, such as having them put you on hold and leave the office for the day!

Laundry Life Hacks and other Tips

When it comes to washing and drying clothes, there is no need to spend a fortune on laundry products. There are simple, money saving, methods for getting the job done. By taking a little extra time every so often, you can make your life easier (and cheaper) in the long run.

You won’t have to run to the store for laundry detergent, fabric softener, or dryer sheets and you won’t have to pay a lot for them either. We’ll get to these in a minute, but let’s start with the quickest, easiest tips.

1).  The first tip is to make sure you change the setting on your washing machine according to the size of your load. Most people set for the largest possible load and then forget about it. If you’re doing a small load from time to time without changing the setting, you’re wasting water.

2).  Next, make sure you only run the washing machine as much as necessary. If there is a shorter setting, use it as frequently as possible to save electricity.

3).  Finally, use cold water whenever possible. If you don’t feel comfortable using cold for the wash cycle, consider using it for the rinse cycle, at least with some loads. Your water heater will work less and use less energy.

Now, onto those recipes and other ideas. There are numerous recipes online to make your own laundry soap. Which one you choose depends on several variables such as how strong you need it to be (if you have heavily soiled work clothes, etc.) or how sensitive your skin is. There are many different things to consider, just like when you choose laundry detergent at the store.

You might want to start with some basic recipes for homemade laundry soap and do a little comparison.

You can make homemade fabric softener as well, or use a store bought product to make re-usable dry sheets.