Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Friend to the End?

Our family dealt with a malfunctioning cell phone this week. You know it feels awful to leave your phone at home—double that feeling when it’s broken. It’s only when we can’t use our phones that we realize how often we rely on them for music, weather, games, videos, and whichever version of the truth we want to read. Some of us even have Siri, a customizable friend who spits out snappy comebacks to outrageous questions. Cell phones fill so many needs, it’s no wonder we develop phone addictions. Watch how several people react to a phone challenge:


The video’s funny, but it’s not intended to endorse a product. Consider the challenge. Could you pass it? Track the amount of time you spend on your phone. Is your cell phone your everything, and if not, what is?  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Where’s Home?

They say you can’t go home again. Our family still owns and rents  my childhood home. During the past thirty years, I’ve visited about three times and had an opportunity to roam the rooms again this week. It still amazes me how small everything looks compared to how I thought of it as a child.

                                      This is me in our kitchen at around age 6. 

While touring my former home, I recalled the places where our furniture sat, where my chalkboard stood when I played school, the heating vent I huddled beside after an afternoon of playing in the snow, and the dining room alcove where I played receptionist, taking phone messages for the family. I guess I had an active imagination, and so does this guy:    



It's funny how we see things as adults compared to when we were children. This week, I saw that the flooring, paint, and wallpaper I grew up with had disappeared, but the fireplace, iron railing, and built-in kitchen counter remained. My childhood house will never look exactly like my old home, but my feelings about it are the same. When you think of your home, what comes to mind?     

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Path to Peace

 After pulling a solitary stick of gum from its package, I heard a young person sigh and say, “Last piece of happiness.”  If happiness came in a stick of gum, we’d grab onto it and never let go. How different life would be if we only needed a simple stick of gum to make us happy. Some people think happiness is just that easy to obtain. Take a look:


Searching for what makes us happy sometimes leads to everything except happiness. So many people want the easiest path. As the rate of heroine usage climbs, we see the problems with quick-fix tactics. Closing the door on short-term fixes forces us to focus time and money in healthier experiences that bring long-term contentment. They say happiness is fleeting, but joy is eternal. What are you willing to invest in to gain long-term peace and joy?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Perfect Perspective

Ever notice how gloomy days affect our moods? Since the weather forecast calls for a few more days of rain, we’ll may see a lot more frowns this weekend, and the early setting sun might mean gloomy faces for the next six months. Even if the weather outside is frightful, we know it’s not likely to get this bad:


As cooler weather moves in, let’s look forward to steamy bowls of chili, mugs of sweet hot chocolate, and evenings huddled around a fireplace. We’ll make the most our gloomy skies. Everything depends on perspective, for instance, despite reports of terrorism and the divisive political climate, what’s the good news?       

Friday, September 23, 2016

Can’t Stop the Feeling

This is exciting. What a night to be alive. That comment came from a young relative celebrating the Survivor season premiere and the Big Brother finale airing on the same evening. Although I enjoy the shows, I can think of at least several more exciting scenarios. I’m sure you can, too. Maybe they include one of these suggestions: 


 A castle, a digger, a dragon… The wish lists go on and on. Christmas is still a couple of months away, so I hesitate to mention it so early, but there’s no time like the present to begin thinking about how to make the season extra special. Your giving doesn’t have to be limited to friends and family, offering charitable assistance to any one of the many organizations that do good work will cause you to celebrate simply because you’re healthy and alive. What type of charitable organization would you consider supporting?   

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Person of Interest

There’s something about a neat space that creates a sense of serenity in me. I wonder if that’s true for people who can sit among scattered papers and cluttered-filled areas. Maybe they’re comfortable surrounded by a mass of stuff. I’m okay with some clutter as long as it’s arranged or stacked, but every so often it’s time to fill up the trash bags and toss things out. I can stand so much ‘til I can’t stands no more (a la Popeye). They say creative types work well in messy spaces, and at least several times a year someone publishes a study to try and prove that theory. Whether you’re neat or messy, this video has something to say about you. Have a listen:


Neat or messy, both sides earned points, and except for the comment about being boring, it’s okay to be either one. The degree to which you’re neat or messy depends on the measuring stick you use. So, are you neat or messy and who are you measuring yourself against?   

Saturday, September 3, 2016

On a Renovation Ride

It feels like it’s Gas Station Renovation month since at least two main stations in our area decided to improve their facilities. They’re still selling gas, so we’re not in crisis mode yet as long as we can figure out how to navigate around the orange construction cones to reach the pumps.  

Maybe you’d like to renovate a room to prepare for guests arriving during the holiday season. We appreciate home renovations, but some turn ugly when we dive in alone or too fast. Take a look:


Since no one cheered, I suspect the big drop probably wasn’t part of the plan. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help or bringing in a more experienced person who might have used a different technique. If you’ve got a lifestyle change in mind, whose help will you request to help you make that renovation?