A Few Favorite Things Improves the Outlook

Do you remember the movie, THE SOUND OF MUSIC? Maybe it was Julie Andrews, but I loved that movie.

What I remember most about it is, first, my mom took me to see it. She didn’t take me to many movies so it stands out. Second, the movie was in Technicolor, do  you remember when it first came out. It was a  big deal, they splashed the word in colors across the screen and the narrator announced the movie reminding us it was in Technicolor. Today, with everything in color it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

One of the songs from the movie, A Few of My Favorite Things is also one of my favorite songs. What are some of your favorite things? Mine are: freshly mowed grass, the smell after a rain, watching children play, babies, cuddly blankets, . . .

What are a few of your favorite things?

Do you have a favorite movie from your childhood?

What’s the first movie you remember seeing?

What is your favorite memory about a movie?

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Give Yourself a Compliment

When was the last time you  complimented yourself? You compliment others don’t  you? Tell someone they look nice.  Someone has a good idea and you comment on it, or does something nice and you compliment them for their manners, both are a form of complimenting. But you? When was the last time you complimented you?

When did you last tell yourself you looked nice, hot even, in that favorite outfit? You prepare a meal for one, and enjoy it, did you compliment the chef? You get the bills all paid, on time or even early, did  you compliment yourself on a job well done? So many opportunities during the day to compliment ourselves and we let them slide by.

In fact, instead of complimenting we often put ourselves down. We don’t acknowledge how nice we look, just remind ourselves we’re too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too, too, too. When in fact, we look great.

Other opportunities often  also ignored. For today, whenever today is, how about making a pact to give yourself a compliment at least three times just because. Also, vow to give yourself a compliment every time you catch yourself being negative to you.

In case you need some help with compliments for you, here are a few that spell W-I-D-O-W

W – WISE

You didn’t get to the age you are without learning a few things. Wisdom you are willing to impart to others as well as knowledge you use each day. Knowledge that helps you complete your day and reach your goal. You are wise, acknowledge and embrace that aspect of you.

I – IMPRESSIVE

Are you aware how you impress others with your skills and talents? Do you garden, sew, paint, write, clean house, do floral arrangements, listen, babysit, take photos, care for dogs, visit shut-ins, volunteer? Whatever you do is impressive. Not only to those who watch and are in awe, but those who are affected by your talents. They enjoy the fruits of your labor. Compliment yourself of your impressiveness instead of finding fault with your endeavor.

D – Daring

 

 

Women in general are daring, not walk on an airplane daring. Although there have been women wing walkers, as well as women pursuing other bold feats. No, simpler actions can be just as daring. Walking into the boss’s office and asking for a raise is not for the weak. Pointing out an error on a bill takes courage. Stepping outside when all you want to do is crawl back in bed is daring. What daring action are  you taking today? Don’t forget to compliment yourself on following through.

 

 

 

 

O – Opinionated/Original

 

Yes we have opinions. From breast feeding in public to gun control, and everything in between, we have an opinion. We share our opinions in many ways, speaking out to family, friends, strangers, writing our views in letters to the editor, to our legislature, or in our journal.  We are also original, a one-of-a-kind work of art. No one sees anything quite like we do. Celebrate your originality and opinions.

W – WHIMSICAL

 

While we are serious wise women, with strong opinions, we are also whimsical. We build fairy gardens, and create wonderland yards for holidays. We color our hair green or purple. We wear our favorite jewelry while doing housework. When you find yourself being whimsical, congratulate and compliment yourself.

 

 

Giving yourself a compliment is good for your mental health. Try it.

 

When was the last time you complimented yourself?

Will you find a reason to compliment yourself today?

What is your favorite compliment, to give or receive?

Thanks for the Memories

The ghosts, goblins, witches, and skeletons have all been taken down and stored away for another year. They left their hay bales, pumpkins, and scarecrows for our fall decorating.

Here comes Autumn

Here in the United States that means Thanksgiving is a mere, twenty-three days away. Christmas will be right behind. One holiday at a time though please.

A sampling of a Thanksgiving feast.
A sampling of a Thanksgiving feast.

All across cyberland people are participating in “thankful” challenges. Facebook, Twitter, and bloggers all have people posting daily, or weekly about their thanks.

What if you don’t feel thankful? What if your world has been turned upside down, inside out, shaken and beaten?

Guess what? Now is when acknowledging our blessing is a blessing to us. It’s not necessary to feel thankful to voice our thanks. Click to tweet.

How do you acknowledge thanks when you don’t feel thankful?

That was my question a couple of years after my husband died. Before that I don’t think I even considered being thankful, I was in too much pain.

However, as November approached I wanted to be thankful.The question was, how could I be thankful when I wanted things they way they were.

Expressing gratitude is a grief healing tool. As I found reasons to be thankful  my mood lightened and my outlook on life improved.

Other reasons to be grateful occurred. It was like a snowball, one idea led to another, and then another. Click to tweet. Until finally I realized I had a lot of reasons to be grateful and express my gratitude.

A New Twist on Thanks.

As my gratitude list grew I noticed that many of them were a result of knowing, loving, and being married to David. What if I used my November Thankfulness to focus on those gifts from him?

Not just physical items, like the cedar chest he bought me, or the complete set of dishes, or the myriad of other items he presented to me. Although, there is reason to be thankful for those gifts too.

However, less about money and more about people, feelings, and emotions.

I’ve repeated that twist every year since. Yes, sometimes the thanks are repeated each year, but that’s okay, I’m thankful or them each year.

The People

I start with people he brought into our lives, my life. Our children and grandchildren. Not only would I not know them, they wouldn’t exist. I’m glad they do and am grateful they are all in my life.

Other people too are a reason for thanks.

My children’s significant others, My husband’s siblings, friends we made over the years, his colleagues, all are people worth knowing. People who enriched my life.

Places 

I Never would have seen the inside of a livestock barn if it hadn’t been for my husband. Can’t imagine stepping on Oklahoma State University Campus if it weren’t for him. Towns we drove through, or stopped and lived in for a while. All are reasons to give thanks.

Experiences

Attending  livestock show was a new adventure for me, one he made enjoyable. There were the births of our children, and grandchildren, events I was privileged to enjoy. Over the years there were so many experiences I could probably spend the whole month on them.

 

Are you doing a ‘thankful challenge’ anywhere? Online, in your journal? In your thoughts?

What gifts did your husband leave you with that you are thankful to have?

Join me on Facebook at:  Follow Your Rainbow

For more ideas on surviving widowhood check out my book

BEYOND THE GRIEF-A WIDOWS SURVIVAL GUIDE

 

 

Treat Yourself to a Helping of Laughter

Today is “I Love Lucy” Day and National Cake Decorating day.

cake image via beavertonbakery.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makes sense. While I don’t think Lucy ever tried to decorate a cake, although she did try her hand at baking bread. We can eat a pretty decorated cake and watch an eposide (or two) of I Love Lucy to celebrate Cake Decorating and I Love Lucy Day.

 

Of course it is also National fossil and National Grouch day.  Are grouches old fossils and that’s why they share a day?

Now, are you asking, what does I Love Lucy, cake decorating and grouches have to do with being nice to us, treating ourselves like queens?

Not sure what fossils have to do with anything. However, enjoying an I Love Lucy episode, or two, and/or the movie Grouchy Old Men will make us laugh. Laughter keeps lifts our spirits, and feeling good is a treat we all deserve.

The cake? Everyone likes cake. Cake makes us smile too.

What makes you smile?

What is your favorite show from the past?

What  was the last movie that made you laugh out loud?

Joining the Ultimate Blog Challenge and blogging on one subject, treating yourself nice, throughout October.

Musical Memory Lane

Musical Monday

Have you been down memory lane lately? It’s true, some memories can make us sad and we don’t want to live in the past. However, there are memories that make us smile, or make us think of the good times. Musical memories are good at helping us smile.

How about a musical memory trip?

I grew up in an era when the kids listened to the music their parents wanted to hear and watched the television shows of their parents. My dad was a country-western fan. In truth, I still enjoy country music, although it has changed a little from my dad’s music.

He listened to people like Hank Snow and Hank Williams Senior. He also watched the Lawrence Welk show. Yeah, as a kid, if I’d known the phrase, “gag me with a spoon,” I’d probably have used it. At least when my parents weren’t around.

The Lawrence Welk show did have a couple of bright spots for me though. Bobby Burgess and his dance partner, he had three before the show ended, although I only remember Barbara Boylan and Cissy King.  The routines varied from tap to ballroom and were beautiful and always fun to watch. I’d sit through most anything to watch them dance.  

The other bright spot on the  Lawrence Welk show, was a faster pace music. My kind of music. It was the piano playing of Joann Castle, playing ragtime music. 

Moving on down the musical memory lane, about the time I started to have a say-so in the music I listened to the Beatles were becoming a sensation. I’m not sure if it was my natural rebellious attitude (if everyone else is doing it I wasn’t going to follow along), whatever the reason, I didn’t like the Beatles.

Which meant, of course, when the Monkees came along I almost had to like them in self-defense. Good thing they could actually sing. While most girls were in love with short Davy Jones and his English accent (a little like them Beatle guys) Michael Nesmith was my favorite.

So what do you think? Any of this music ring a bell for you? Did the music make you smile?

What music did you listen to in your youth?

What is your favorite musical memory?

What’s your favorite song, from your youth, early married life, or current?

Five Ideas for Being Nice to YOU

“Be nice.” Ever heard that? Ever said that? Ever said that to yourself?

Of course, you probably said “yes”  to all of the above. We hear it as children, “be nice to our siblings, be nice to our friends, be nice in general.” We are.  I mean, we don’t go around choking people, even if we think they deserve it.

BE NICE POSTER

 

We do nice actions for others, we open the door for the person behind us, or in front of us if their hands are full. We hand items to those who can’t reach them, maybe they’re too short and the item is too high or they can’t bend and the item is too low, we can reach the item, so we do. We are courteous to others, we’re nice.

What about you? When was the last time you were nice to you?  It might sound selfish to think of yourself, but it’s not. After all, if you feel good, those who care about you feel good. Here are five ways to be nice to you.

1. Forgive yourself.  Today is global forgiveness day. Sure we can forgive others. How about us? Do you feel guilty because of, well anything really? I do. Every time I hear about a new, or different cancer treatment,  I feel guilty that we didn’t try the treatment. We did the best we could with the information we had at the time. The truth is the new treatment I’m learning about wasn’t available when my husband was sick. At least it was available to us, we didn’t know about it. I have to forgive myself for not knowing everything about cancer and it’s treatment. Almost daily in fact. I do by reminding myself, we did the best we could with the knowledge we had, and the treatments available then.

forgiveness flower cropped

 

 

2. Treat  yourself. We do it for our kids and grandkids, we buy them that special toy or gift they want. Yet, we don’t do it for us. True, we may have to save the money for the treat we want. I love to be in the water, large bodies of water, not a bathtub. After several summers of not going to the lake for a swim because it was too much trouble, I saved the money and bought a pool. It’s what others would call a cheap above-ground pool. It wasn’t inexpensive, I had to save the money, remember? However, it cost less than one that had to be installed by experts. I bought this one, brought it home in my pickup, and set it up myself.

3. Let others help you. The above mentioned pool? I didn’t set it up alone. I tried, but the Oklahoma wind made it difficult. Another set of hands were needed. Not only did I let my son help set up the pool, I called and asked for help. Letting others help you is being nice to them, it makes them feel good. It is also being nice to you, you’re making life a little easier for yourself. Go you.

4.  Make an effort for you. This is similar to treating yourself, except it involves using your energy. Like cooking. I don’t cook often. When I do it’s either just food to eat, I like it, but it’s nothing special and I have to eat so I cook. I also prepare special dishes for my children when they visit, or if I go see them. Recently, however,  I wanted a brownie. Not a store-bought brownie, although those are good. I wanted a warm-from-the-oven, nut-filled, brownie, and I wanted to be able to eat a cooled one with a glass of milk, or topped with ice-cream. Except, making my brownies takes time and effort. Not to mention I don’t need to eat a whole pan of brownies. After several days I decided to be nice and bake the brownies. Yep, that first one was WONDERFUL.  After they cooled, I left one out to eat later for dessert, wrapped the others up and froze them. Next time I want one of my brownies, I only have to wait for one to thaw, or I can stick it in the microwave for a moment.

 

5.  Do something for someone else. I know. That doesn’t sound selfish doe it?  The feel-good feeling that comes from doing something for others lasts long past the event. Recently the actor Mark Harmon participated in a couple of charity events in my area. My friend wanted to go see him. I found the dates, and venues and we went. We even got a picture of him and her, although he was standing on a baseball field, and she was standing in the bleacher area it looks like he’s much shorter than her. In reality, she is about a foot shorter.

 Mark Harmon and Teresa June 2014 cropped

What have you done nice for you lately?

Do you have another idea for being nice to you?

Have you forgiven yourself for something that you felt guilty about?

For more suggestions on living and widowhood check out my book, BEYOND THE GRIEF, A WIDOW’S SURVIVAL GUIDE.

BEYOND THE GRIEF-A WIDOWS SURVIVAL GUIDE

 

Breathing in the Good

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Inhale Exhale. Take in the good. Exhale the bad.” Ever hear those words, or words similar?

I have. Every time I watch (and sometimes follow) an exercise video. Those are popular words for fitness gurus.

Except, it’s not just during exercise that I need to breathe in the good stuff and breathe out the bad stuff.

The memories of good food furnished, and all the people I met  at a blood drive, are memories that make me smile.

food at blood drive

 

If the blood drive day isn’t enough to banish sad thoughts, I can turn to evenings with my quilt group. Sharing quilts in progress, quilts finished, even found quilts, and of course, food, are a sure mood lifter.

photos dec. 2013 086

 

 

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If food and quilts aren’t enough to lift my spirits there’s family time and God’s Life is full of good times and bad. Breathing in the wonderful days and times helps to expel the dark, gloomy, and sad thoughts.

 

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Linking up with LisaJo Baker and her Five Minute Friday Friends. Five Minute Fridays are when we:

Write for five minutes flat (okay, maybe a couple of minutes longer sometimes, and adding pictures takes me a few more minutes.) We all write on the same prompt which LisaJo posts on her blog late Thursday nights.

There is no extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Which is good for me since grammar and I aren’t always on friendly terms.

We post our words unedited, unscripted. Real.

Check out what others had to say about “exhale” on Lisa’s blog.

What do you do when sad thoughts threaten to overtake you?

What makes you smile every time?

BEYOND THE GRIEF-A WIDOWS SURVIVAL GUIDE