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Quality Across Time

1 Jun

Material possessions are not on my list of What is Important in Life. However, I like things made with care and quality, things that last.

There have been times in my life when I have bought “disposable” clothing or furniture, and I have always regretted it.

Thrifty as I am, I need to know that what I buy will continue to serve its purpose for many years, and hopefully look beautiful doing it.

NOTE:  I wrote these words many months ago and saved the draft, waiting until I had more to say. I have not been writing on this site, due to having less time and energy to write the kind of posts I want to write. I have decided to go ahead and post my occasional thoughts, however brief they may be.

In this case, I am writing about things made with care and quality and then telling you that I will publish writing with a little bit less care and quality. I do see the irony.

I think, right now, it is more important to bring some care and quality into my Real Life. I care about writing…and so, actually doing it– even in smaller pieces– improves the quality of my Life, if not my Blog.

 

 

 

 

 

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On the Subject of Gifts

2 Jan

I am reflecting on the nature of gifts.

I favor practical gifts, both for myself and others. Give me something I can use and I am happy. Children generally do not favor practical gifts.

My theory about children’s negative view of “needed” items: they view “needed” items as things they receive outside of gift giving, and therefore feel they have been cheated out of a “real” gift.

On the other hand, as adults, we buy our own needed items and it can be a bothersome errand. As I do most of the shopping for the family, I view a practical gift as a time saver (no shopping!) and money saver (I don’t need to buy it myself), plus a space saver (it will very likely already have a place in the home, especially if it is replacing an old item of the same type). That is a lot of saving! What could be better?

When it comes to children’s gifts on a budget, need can intersect with fun if one thinks creatively.

For example, if my kids need shirts because they grow like weeds, I give them gifts of shirts representing their special interests (Star Wars, for example) and these shirts become favorite shirts instead of rejected “needed” items.

Some of my favorite practical gifts I have received in my life include: soft socks for sleeping in, moisturizing cream and bath products, a GPS, cookware and recipes, blankets and bed sheets, Christmas tree ornaments, a CD of “calming” music, storage containers, a leather change purse, hand knit scarves and gloves and hats, and baskets with favorite food items.

I recently received a creative “family” gift from my sister-in-law: a “movie night” kit, with a movie rental card, popcorn, soda, candy and so on. Great idea, right?

I recently read about some special quilts given by a widowed father to his daughters, crafted from portions of selected clothing belonging to their late mother, so that they may feel close to her and remember her every time they use them. Sentimental and practical all at once.

My best gift giving advice: think of what will be meaningful and useful to the recipient. Don’t try to impress. Small and sincere does the job. We can all tell the difference between a gift that expresses the care of the giver and a gift that expresses, “Look at this flashy item I found on sale!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Worth It?

21 Mar

“Let it go. Whatever it is — It’s not worth it.
Focus on your goal. Whatever it is — It IS worth it.
Your mind can only process either one or the other — now, you tell me, which one’s worthy?”Jared Blake DiCroce

I like the way Jared summed up this simple philosophy. (To read more advice from Jared, click on his name)

After so many recent changes in my life, I have come to realize that very little matters to me anymore — or rather, the way I view the things that DO matter has changed dramatically.

People matter.

Health matters.

Freedom and independence matter.

Joy matters.

Doing what is right matters.

… Frankly, anything that does not contribute to the above list is worthless to me now!

New Adventures

29 Jan

Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

— Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency)

wide open spaces

This year I am trying new things, taking more risks, and worrying less.

I am driving in snow storms.

I am taking photographs of sunsets through dirty car windows.

I am thinking a little bit less.

I am taking more action.

Life seems simpler.

What Did You Learn in 2011?

30 Dec

I would like to share this wonderful post from Susan, author of the blog The Great Balancing Act.

The Great Balancing Act: “Things I Learned In 2011”

As you all reflect on the year’s end, I hope that you find some meaningful perspective.

I know that a few of Susan’s personal lessons rang true for me, although my struggles have certainly been different from hers. It has been one of the worst years of my life, but I have learned so much that I can carry forward with me into the new year, whatever happens.

Oh Magic 8 Ball, will 2012 be a better year?

I would love to hear some of the lessons you have learned in 2011, and I hope you will share.

Your Clutter Just Wants You to Be Happy

7 Dec

“Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.”—Unknown

Could some of your clothes make you happy by leaving your closet? Would the disappearance of that pile of papers put a spring in your step?

If the glass hummingbird figurine your grandmother gave you when you were in grade school suddenly took flight through an open window, would you breathe a sigh of relief?

Imagine that your clutter wants what is best for you.

If only the expired coupons had hands, they would toss themselves right into the waste basket. If the shoes that hurt your feet could walk on their own, they would have shuffled off to the thrift store ages ago.

Those old VHS tapes regret taking up your shelf space. They don’t want to stand in your way. They want you to be fulfilled, to live the life you have always dreamed of.

Make it an amicable parting of ways.

Letting Go

30 Nov

Let go of your past (what was and what wasn’t)

Let go of those years of clutter

Let your fears fly away

Live your life as if it were new

Be free