Things to make your life better.
Buy a sponge holder.
I got tired of the sponges dripping on the counter or floating in trays full of water, so Jerry and I bought a sponge holder. It comes with suction cups so you can stick it on the side of your sink and it clings there like Spiderman gripping the side of a skyscraper. Our sponge holder wouldn’t stick and it kept popping off like it wanted to escape. Jerry decided to fix the sponge holder once and for all and cemented it to the sink using silicone. Now the sponge holder never pops off. It’s there forever. And the great thing about this is no more puddles on our counter. Plus the sponge holder allows the sponge to air dry. I wonder why songs aren’t dedicated to the sponge holder?
Grate your butter.
Julia Child said herself, “With enough butter anything is good.” My doctor told me I needed to get my cholesterol levels down. She gave me a list of foods to avoid, with the word “butter” glaring at me among words like shellfish and eggs. One tablespoon of luscious butter has thirty grams of cholesterol. How bad could it be, however, if I get the cold stick of butter from the fridge and grate a few shavings on my toast? I’d have maybe only five grams of cholesterol and still have the buttery taste. If your doctor didn’t happen to tell you to avoid butter, grate away until it looks like a mountain. Julia knows what’s good.
Say “tah-dah” after each accomplishment.
Celebrate your accomplishments rather than wait for someone else to notice, which might be a long wait. I weeded the yard. “Tah-dah!” Well I haven’t yet weeded the yard, but when I do I’ll say “tah-dah.” I’ll say it as I twirl in the front yard and then bow.
Buy sheets and pajamas at Costco.
They’re affordable and very comfortable and high quality. I’m not getting a commission from Costco, I just happen to believe they have the best sheets and pajamas for the money. I recently bought some striped blue pajamas and Jerry calls them my Jailhouse Jammies. Which makes me feel like dancing to the Jailhouse Rock. But dancing is another thing that makes your life better and I’ll mention later.
- Live your life without regrets.
I recently asked a friend if she’s happy she made the move from her apartment to sharing a house with a friend. She said, “I have a policy to never have regrets.” I mentioned her comment to Jerry and he said, “She means she misses her apartment.” Maybe so. But I got something more out of her reply. When you make a decision, go with it. Don’t look back with regret.
Read the book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.
It’s a book that makes you see everyday things in a whole new and beautiful way. That can only make your life better. Read it in your Costco pajamas.
Play music and dance when no one is around. That’s what I like to do. Sometimes when Jerry leaves the house, I crank up the music and dance. One day, I asked my neighbor, “Do you hear my music?” Her house is about two-inches from our house. We live in a snug neighborhood. We’re so close together Jerry hears the neighbor’s alarm clock chime every morning. My neighbor said to me, “No. Do you hear my K.D. Lang music?” I had to smile. We both crank our music so loud we don’t hear each other. Music and dancing are good for the soul. An author recently suggested in her book that if you’re on a deserted island and can only take one piece of music with you~ she recommended Handel’s Messiah, first performed in the mid-1700s and still popular to this day. However, if I’m on a deserted island, I might want to have the Beatle’s Help…Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone with a boat…
Invest in joy.
Years ago, I had a part-time job as a barista in an espresso bar. Paintings for sale adorned the wall behind the espresso machine. One day a customer commented on one of the paintings. I glanced at the artwork featuring flowers in pastel colors. One of my fellow- baristas said to the customer, “I’d love to have that painting but I can’t afford it.” The customer replied, “Think of it as an investment in joy. Whatever brings you joy is worth investing in.” I never forgot that. That’s why I have paintings and pictures that bring me joy. Picasso’s Weeping Woman might be the picture that gives you joy. You may love her contorted, abstract head. I, on the other hand, wonder what Picasso had in his coffee the day he painted it. Personally, my favorite paintings are the ones that help me to not only look at life in a different way, but to see it through a kaleidoscopic lens of beauty. One of my favorite artists, and I only have three, is my friend Alison Farmer. Alison’s art opens a shutter to the beauty around us and inspires thinking in creative ways.
Look at life and it’s everyday moments as an adventure.
My sister Jodee, Jerry and I had lunch in a quaint cafe in Gilbert, Arizona. Rain suddenly began gushing down outside. Through the window I watched rain on steroids pummel Arizona sidewalks. Since I now live in Arizona, I usually don’t think to take an umbrella with me when going out to lunch. I said to Jodee when we finished our lunch, “I don’t want to go to the car yet since it’s raining so hard. I don’t want to get my hair wet.” Jodee said, “Think of it as an adventure.” We ran in the rain.
Travel when you can.
In travel you meet new people (usually the person sitting next to you on the airplane who rambles on about her husband who works in the oil fields in Alaska and has back trouble and must ride in first class and makes her sit in coach). Travel provides the opportunity to visit museums, hear beautiful music, try out new toilets without toilet paper, sample different foods (except if you don’t want to try the fried jellyfish in Asia, that’s okay by me) and ogle the architecture of different lands. Travel, I’ve discovered, does more than broaden your horizon and knowledge of other cultures. It changes you. It opens a universe of wonder. You can also read about the wonder of travel in my book Five Minutes For France.
Get an aromatherapy heat pack.
I couldn’t live without mine. I heat it for two minutes in the microwave and it brings me immense comfort to whatever ache or pain I might have. The lavender scent has a calming effect which is good for me in addition to the moist heat. When I have a headache or pain in my stomach or I’m just feeling in a blue mood, I can hug my hot pack and feel soothing warmth and peace. Otherwise, without it, I would have to resort to less-calming methods to cope with the pain, such as, “Oops, did I just slam that door through the wall?” You see? A lavender-scented heat pack works so much better than asking Jerry to get some new drywall.
That’s it for now. Tah-dah!