I have just three things to teach: Simplicity, Patience, Compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
There was a song written in 1945 titled, Give Me the Simple Life. It was recorded by many, including Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney and used in the soundtrack for many movies.
The message is that happiness can be found in living a simple life.
“A cottage small is all I’m after,
not one that’s spacious and wide
A house that rings with joy and laughter
And the ones you love inside”
These days we are all discovering a simpler life; spending time at home alone or with family, not going to work as much and hopefully re-examining priorities.
It’s all about attitude…for some being inside is confinement, for others, heaven.
Take this time to discover things you love and people you appreciate.
Here are a few tips:
- Write a bunch of thank you notes, by hand and on paper. For what? It feels good to be appreciated. Let someone know. Someone you care about…family, friend, teacher, artist, the barista that makes you laugh, the grocer who always knows your name… those people who are special to you. Tell them and why. Write to one each day. Imagine the powerful message you convey when you actually write out your thoughts and feelings or love for that person in your own handwriting.
It might not be something you would ever think of doing, but now, it just seems right…and you have the time. Make it count. You will bring joy to many and to yourself.
There is nothing that compares like the personal touch of a handwritten letter. We save letters because they are so treasured. Far after we are gone, no one will care about the million texts we may have sent or received, but somewhere, sometime when a family member is cleaning out the old desk or boxes…all that is left of that relative or loved one, they will find that letter…your letter… that you wrote during this time period to that special person you love and it will mean the world. Leave that legacy.
- Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while…high school or college friend you used to be close with. We all have them – what a great opportunity to reconnect.
- Work out like crazy. Face it, we all had a New Year’s resolution to work out and lose weight. It’s a good way to reduce stress too.
- Say a prayer for the people who are hurting. Many of us might feel like being inside is an inconvenience. Still many have been hit much harder in terms of health and lost income. Say a prayer for peace and comfort for those who need it.
- Watch a new movie. Have you watched the Oscar Best Picture Nominees? Rank them and determine your own winner. Or take a family vote.
- Play board games with the whole family. Monopoly, Scrabble (Scarabeo in Italian). Teach your kids how to play Chess or Backgammon. New skills foster self-esteem.
- Cook. We eat out a lot. Hang around the house and YouTube a great recipe. Then make a fun dinner that you’ve never made before. Share the recipe on social media so someone else can try it too.
- Make a list of the top 10 things you need to fix around the house. Then call a handyman and schedule him for the late summer when things get back to normal.
- Read a good book. There are a lot of free downloads through public libraries or other websites. Challenge yourself to read outside your typical genre.
- Walk outside. Everyday. For a long time. Fresh air is good for the body and soul. Take the dog who will be thrilled to be with you. Or start a family habit of long walks and no cell phones. Watch the birds and listen to them sing.
- Sketch/Draw, paint, or write a poem…even start a novel. You don’t have to show it to anyone. You might even discover a talent that you never had the time to cultivate.
- Write in a journal. Your thoughts, your ideas or words you want to pass on to your kids someday. Keep a gratitude journal of all that you are thankful for. It will put a wonderful perspective on your life.
When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things – not the great occasions – that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness.