Monday, November 29, 2010

Tip of the Week, November 28, 2010

During the holidays we often experience a high level of stress. Sometimes it brings excitement and fun and sometimes sadness and disappointment.

Find time to slow down and pay attention to the good things in your life right now. Try to think about which things are important to be doing, spending time, money and energy on … and which ones are you doing to impress or please another.

This time in your life, and in the lives of your relationships, will never come again.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tip of the Week, Thanksgiving Week, 2010

This week of Thanksgiving, take the time to sincerely and truly thank those in your life. Be specific about what you are giving thanks for … and , if possible, give them an example of how that characteristic operates in your lives together.

Some examples are:

“I am so thankful that you are my friend. You are always there for me. Last month, when I was feeling overwhelmed, you appeared with a pot of soup and said that you did it … just because.”

“I am so thankful that you are my spouse. Your sense of humor and playfulness really brings joy to my life. I especially like the silly notes that you leave on my bathroom mirror. You just bring a smile to my lips .. even early in the morning!”

“I am so thankful that you are my child. Your hugs and kisses make me feel loved … and I will never get tired of them.”

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Learn to Enjoy Life‘s Simple Pleasures

John and I just returned from a trip to the Amalfi Coast where we spent 8 days traveling through the towns of Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Sorrento and Naples. Our “home base” there was the small fishing village of Minori.

What a great time we had … so what does this have to do with the title of the blog entry “learn to enjoy life‘s simpler pleasures”!?!

Actually, traveling through this beautiful area caused us to slow down and really appreciate the many things along the way.

Some of our simple pleasures involved food. How wonderful to be able to slowly eat a slice of pizza and taste the fresh cheese and herbs or a fresh salad made with just picked lettuce and vegetables and marinated perfectly with a nice blend of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Some of our simple pleasures involved the water. We were able to sit at a seaside café for a couple of hours and watch the waves splash against the rocks. Some days they were smooth and playful, other days, affected by a weather front, they were so vigorous that they hit the rocks with splashes 30 feet high.

Some of our simple pleasures involved sound. We were fortunate enough to be in Minori, Italy for the Feast Day of their patron saint and found a traveling concert band marching right in front of our hotel. We attended Mass at the cathedral the next day and were mesmerized by the voices of the combined choirs of the area churches bouncing around this marvelous church over 500 years old. We had nowhere else to be and could just sit and enjoy the wonderful sounds.

Some of our simple pleasures involved watching the people. We would stroll down the boardwalk at night and watch the citizens spending time together playing ball, leaning against the fishing boats and talking or sitting on a bench enjoying gelato.

We rode the buses for destinations between towns … or just because we wanted to ride and see some of the sites. How wonderful to listen to the Italian voices as they hurried home during their lunch break or at the beginning or end of their work day.

What simple pleasures have you noticed lately? We would love to read about your experiences.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tip of the Week, November 19, 2010

Here are the words of a grandfather talking at his granddaughter’s wedding about the experience of losing a spouse, someone he loved dearly.

“People imagine that losing a loved one works kind of like missing cigarettes.
The first day is really hard and the next day is less hard and so forth, easier and
easier the longer you go on. But instead it’s like missing water. Every day, you notice  the person’s absence more.”

~ Anne Tyler, Back When We Were Grownups