I follow the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama) and every once and awhile one of his tweets really hits home. These last few months have been challenging in so many ways. For me – it is a constant struggle between the known, the unknown and the interpretations of everything in between.
Then things get crazy – I read/re-read this to help bring some introspection:
The very purpose of spirituality is self-discipline. Rather than criticizing others, we should evaluate and criticize ourselves. Ask yourself, what am I doing about my anger, my attachment, my pride, my jealousy? These are the things we should check in our day to day lives.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) May 8, 2020
At the end of the day – I may not be able to make you a better person – but I can make myself a better person and that is what I am certainly working on that today.
Yesterday we finally had a nice day to get our vegetable garden in order. This year Evan helped me build some support for our sugar snap peas and really enjoyed the process. We got everything prepared, planted, and ready to go for another year of gardening. In other areas of our yard we also have asparagus (already coming up), sun flowers, blackberries, and raspberries growing.
The past few years I have not been able to tend to our gardens as I wanted to because of constantly running to baseball, gymnastics, etc – but this year since we are in the “shelter in place” mode for the next month (at least) – I look forward to making this the best gardening year ever.
We planted sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, big boy tomatoes, jalepano peppers, banana peppers, bell peppers, tomatillos, squash, zucchini, beets, and radishes.
I look forward to seeing my kids standing in the backyard snacking on the peas/tomatoes vs. coming in for chips, etc.
This is exactly what we need so thank you very much John Krasinski!
With extra time on our hands during the “shelter in home” times – I have been trying to keep my mind off all the uncertainties by doing tasks around the house. If you find yourself with a wandering mind and increased anxiety – try doing one or some of the following. You will feel a sense of accomplishment as well as have a break from the anxiety and/or boredom.
- Devices: Go through all your photos on your photos on your phone and remove any that you do not need (for me – this includes mistakes, pictures of shopping lists, etc). This will free up memory on your phone and make finding photos you actually want to see easier.
- Inside: Go through your media in your house (old DVDs, CDs, etc). Do you even own something that these can be played on? If the answer is no – donate or throw them away. If you do still have a device that they work on – try and eliminate ones you know you have not and will not watch within the next year. Let’s face it – by that time there is a good chance you will not have the device or will have something better. (Example – I own the Sopranos full series on DVD but I also have a HBO subscription which has all of them available on demand. Why am I holding on to these? Repeat this task for clothing, shoes, and anything else you “should go through but never seem to have the time to do”
- Outside: As we get closer to nicer weather consider starting a garden or even a pot of herbs. Figure out what you love fresh and try and plant it. This will also go a long way with less trips to and relying on the grocery store.
- For Others: Each day – pick up the phone and instead of typing – put it up to your ear and actually call/talk to someone you “should call” or “wonder how they are doing”. Have older relatives? Write them an actual letter.
- For You: Being able to control something in these uncertain times can go a long way. Do yourself a favor and get on the scale (just do it!) and use these few weeks to get control of your health by eating better and moving more. Time spent running to the stores should now turn into time walking (inside or out), doing simple body weight exercises/stretches and anything to make you physically and emotionally stronger.
All in all – not being able to see friends/loved ones is tough, but we can use this time to focus on a number of “I/we should” things we have putting off. Put that worry energy into something positive and improve your life!
We had a great summer filled with trips, fun with friends, and good memories but it is officially the first day of school today!
That is a sign from San Francisco and here is a sign from my home town…
Spring cleaning is not only for your home and garage. Every once and awhile I try and do some tech spring cleaning in order to keep things as organized and simple as possible. I highly recommend you do the same.
So what all goes into my spring cleaning?
- Applications: There was that one application you needed to open that one file from your friend…now that you have not touched it in months or years – get rid of it.
- Email: Do you hang on to all those flyers that show up in your physical mailbox? Exactly. Make searching easier by getting rid of these sorts of email messages. The chances of you caring about the big sale at Old Navy 3 months ago is slim to none. At the end of the day – I try and go back to my mantra – do, delegate, or delete.
- Accounts: I use 1Password to manage all my accounts (user names/passwords). At least once – go through and delete any old or unused.
- Photos: Let’s face it – we all take photos of the floor, blurry images, or something we only needed to reference once. Keep your image library trim by only saving the photos that are good and have meaning.
- Text Messages: Here is another place we tend to hoard information for no real reason. There is no reason to hold onto all those “ok” or “thanks” text messages. Delete them and save yourself the space.
Don’t be a tech hoarder – take some time to save what is important and get rid of the rest. You will be surprised what you find (I just found a recipe I completely forgot I asked for), hw much more efficient your searches will be, and how much more room you will have on your phone/computer and not to mention – more peace of mind.
As a Penn Stater who loves ice cream – I pay attention when the Penn State Creamery introduces a new flavor especially on April 2 when the new flavor is called “Grilled Stickies”.
cinnamon bun flavored ice cream with sticky bun dough pieces and a cinnamon streusel swirl
If that description did not sell it – the photo did:
With that – I put my order in yesterday and look forward to getting that package in the mail.
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”
– Winnie the Pooh
“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”
– Kahlil Gibran
We have had Jack for over two years and training him was long overdue. Overall he is a good dog, but he definitely needs to go through some training to be a better listener and to make sure he knows where he stands in the pack. Earlier this week we started training and for the first week he has to be tethered to me for most of the day and then keep the leash on for the remainder of the time until I can tether him to me again.
I came home from a meeting and found Pepper – the born again sheep dog that herded cattle in his previous life – holding on to Jack’s leash. The picture captures the order in the pack between them perfectly. Pepper is constantly watching Jack, drinking his water, and near by almost all day.
Even though Jack is my third dog – it is nice to be working with someone so that Jack and our family have the best relationship possible. I just wish I would have done this when we first got him. Greyhounds can be pretty stubborn…but there is no one that can be more stubborn than me so he does not have a chance.