A Thoughtful Graduation Gift

 

Just in time! I think this is a thoughtful gift to give to high school graduates. There are so many benefits to writing in a journal. From stretching your IQ to sparking your creativity. See this article from the Huffington Post: 10 Surprising Benefits You’ll Get From Keeping a Journal.

Starting college starts a new chapter in a young person’s life. There will be all kinds of new experiences. This journal can capture thoughts, goals, dreams, achievements, hopes, etc.

What a wonderful gift that is fun to receive now and even better in the future when one can look back and read all that he or she experienced that first year of college.

You can find this journal on Amazon.

Try It, You Might Like It!

I love having teenage daughters for a lot of reasons. For one, they are great help with technology. Last week I noticed that some people on Snapchat had animated characters as their profile pictures. I thought that was cool. I asked one of my daughters about it, and she told me there was an app and she would help me.

We had so much fun! We laughed a lot. She took me to the app store on my phone. (You just type in Bitmoji.) Of course the first thing I asked was, “Does it cost?” It does not. So, I proceeded.:)

By the way (BTW), you can get this app at the App Store or Google play.

It’s very easy. You just go through each step. You choose the shape of your face, skin color, eyes, nose, lips, hair style, etc. You even get to pick out an outfit!

I ended up having both teenage daughters help. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of their comments and questions:

We need to add the crow’s feet.

Do you have lines on your forehead?

I know you have the line between your eyebrows.

There isn’t a skin color that’s tan. It looks white or brown.

This isn’t the right color of green for your eyes. They don’t have a “:dirty” green.

Medium build? Broad or regular shoulders?

That’s not the right nose. Choose the one I chose.

Wavy or straight hair? Medium? There’s not medium hair pulled back….

We did our best creating my personal emoji. Now, I have to face the temptation of using it too much.

There are all kinds of expressions, stickers, sayings, etc. It’s a lot of fun!

I hope you try it!

Below are a few more examples.

And, last but not least, I compared my actual photo to my Bigmoji.

 

What I Damn Well Please

It’s human nature to ask others what they do. Often when my dad was asked this question he would respond, “Whatever I damn well please.” Which, quite frankly, was kind of true. He owned his own business, his own plane, and he was kind of a renegade.

I’d love to answer the way he did. I’m not that bold (yet).

Recently I ran into someone I use to work with. I asked her how she was enjoying retirement. She responded by saying how much she had to do and not knowing where the time goes every day. She didn’t mention one fun thing she was doing. She didn’t even give the impression that she was enjoying herself at all.

It’s not that I thought she would be happy just because she was retired, but I hoped she was enjoying herself. After all, that is a goal for a lot of people: work hard, retire, enjoy yourself.

After I walked away, it really made me think about how we spend our days. How much say do we have in how our days unfold? Are we using our time wisely? Are we having fun? Enjoying ourselves?

I certainly hope so.

The weather has been beautiful in Kansas this week. I hope you are enjoying spring as much as I am.

Have a terrific week!

 

Lessons of the Turtle – Book Review

lessons-of-the-turtle

“Turtle slips and slides and finally ends upside-down, certain he will die. But while on his back, he learns valuable lessons about how to manage his life. He learns that things really can be different.”

What a delightful book! A friend of mine donated a box of books to our local library and said I could read any before they were donated. Lessons of the Turtle: Living Right Side Up is one of the books I chose to read. I am glad I did.

The book is of course based on a parable but the story teaches us, “our lives do matter. We can be truly happy. We can make needed changes. And we can live fully – when we decide to live right side up.”

The book has six lessons illustrating the acronym C-H-A-N-G-E. The letters stand for:

* Choice

*Honor

*Affirmations

*Now

* Goals

* Energy.

This is a sweet, uplifting book that reminds us that we make choices every day that affect the lives we live. It also reminded me that often if we take small steps every day, we will eventually reach our goals.

Another thing I enjoyed was writing down my aspirations. The author lists 8 life areas and then invites the reader to write an affirmation (a dream or wish of what you want for that topic).

Here is the list:

*Intimacy/Family

*Work & Finance

*Spiritual Life

*Service to Others

*Mind & Body

*Attitudes

*Emotions

*Relationships

If you have the time today or this week, try it. Write down what you wish for each topic. Just write down what you dream of.

So many times in my life I have written down things, forgotten about them, and then later realized what I had dreamed of became a reality.

Have a wonderful week!

Too Much Pressure

Just a girl, sitting with her dog on the back steps, soaking up the sun. Feeling like it was the best part of the whole day.

This was me a few weeks ago. As I sat there, the thought came to me clearly You put enough pressure on something and it will crack.

Several years ago I worked with a horse trainer who told me this. It was one of those sayings that stuck with me. First of all, the moment I heard it, I felt the truth of it. I quickly understood that this idea wasn’t only in regards to working with horses. This truth applied to all kinds of aspects of life.

On this particular day, I was trying to juggle too much. I had my usual daily goals but I also had research, class work, accounts to balance, tax prep work, groceries to pick up, writing, editing, family/home needs, etc.

When I opened the door to the backyard to let my dog out, I could feel the sun kissing my face. I just paused with the door wide open and thought about how I wanted to bask in that sunshine. So, I did.

I just sat right down on the steps. I took a deep breath and I realized that I could change the plan I had in my mind. Some of the things I was working on could be done tomorrow, some things could be made easier, and some things I enjoyed so that part didn’t feel like work at all.

Soon I felt something touch my foot. I opened my eyes and saw my sweet dog resting right beside me. He was the picture of love, calmness, and assurance. I sat awhile longer taking in this very happy moment.

After awhile I felt a sense of contentment and peace I hadn’t felt all day. I got up and went inside feeling thankful and balanced.

I am thankful this thought came to me right when I needed it, and I hope it helps you the next time you feel pressure or stress or simply that life just feels like too much in that moment.

Take a breath,

lighten up,

change your plan.

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself.