In the wake of the horror that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, I’d like to remind myself of the good in the world. As my heart aches for the unimaginable loss suffered by the families in Newtown, I would like to share some moments that restore my faith in humanity. While it may only be a temporary fix, at least it transforms my sadness to joy. Happy New Year everybody
Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed.com unless otherwise stated.
The parents who made their son’s wheelchair into the best Halloween costume ever
The doctor who offered free medical care after Hurricane Sandy
The police officer who bought shoes for a barefoot homeless man
The famous rugby player who visited his biggest fan in the hospital
The man who soothes his arthritic dog that saved his life
Source: johnschoep.zenfolio.com / via: buzzfeed.com
These candidates for Parents of the Year award
And for every single moment anything like this happened.
While I sit in my home office and watch the last of the leaves cling to the bare branches, cold air blowing and not a reprieve in sight of the endless grey clouds, I contemplate the November blah’s. Here is a piece of advice that is surely written more for myself than anyone. GET OUTSIDE!
There I said it. Now, I have to do it. When the weather turns, the first thing I want to do is crank up the heat and stay cuddled in blankets drinking camomile tea. No I’m not sick, just reacting to this grey, cold weather.
Get out and run, my mind says. An avid outdoors-woman, I know the fresh air will cure whatever ails me. It always has, it always will. Why is it that the one thing I should do is also the last thing I want to do? Catch-22 indeed.
Here is a very real picture of the doom that awaits outside my front door. No filters, no PhotoShop people. This is November in all her gloom.
In my ongoing quest to organize my apartment, I have found great storage use from old crates. While this is not a new concept (and reminise of many college dorms!) – my take on plastic crates is to PAINT THEM!
Spray paint works best. Which is unfortunate because I try to avoid the spray paints. Bad for the environment and expensive ($5 for only 16 oz of paint). However the coverage is great! You can see in the photo below how ordinary plastic crates can become extraordinary for your storage uses with just a simple spray of paint!
Old milk crates make great storage units. Now you can bring them back to life with a simple spray of paint!
To be creative is a task worthy of mastery. How does one become creative? I spend more time reading about how to be creative, and watching You Tube and TED videos on creative people than being creative myself. There are a heck of a lot of creative people out there.
Take Halla Tomasdottir for example, the Icelandic entrepreneur who started a financial services company in the midst of the greatest financial hardships Iceland has ever seen. Click here to watch how and why she is doing it.
Another creative genius lies in Elizabeth Gilbert’s address (watch here) on the intricacies of finding creativity and how to keep it; and most of all, whether it even belongs to us at all.
And I could not list my favorite creators these days without mentioning Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits. Besides advocating a simple, minimalist lifestyle Leo taps the creativity keg by believing the merits of creativity can be summoned by doing fun things you love every day. Shake your creativity tree! – Leo says. Blog! Listen to good music! Dance! Cook!
And go easy on yourself when your creativity is not flourishing. To live a creative life is to find fun when things start to feel stale. Finding new ways of doing things when the same ‘ol becomes routine and monotonous.
Creativity is not a spectator sport, it’s time to join the game. If only I could stop sticking inspiring notes and quotes on my fridge and actually do something creative… that would be something original!
I set out in the blistering winter to run an errand. An avid walker I did not let the snow dissuade me from my walk. The weather was harsh with blowing wind and accumulating snow. As I trudged on, I caught sight of a gaunt elderly man. Sheltering himself from the elements, he sat shivering with a miserable look on his face. I thought about how difficult it must be – to be outside at this very moment. With the darkness pending and the cold unrelenting. I decided the very least I could do is bring this man a hot cup of coffee.
When I purchased the coffee, however, I could no longer find him. I searched along the street but alas he was nowhere to be found. In an attempt to salvage my good deed, I proceeded to offer the hot coffee to an outdoor construction worker, who politely declined. Plodding on toward home I made another attempt. Seeing a well-dressed, older man at the bus stop I asked if he’d like a warm cup of coffee while he waited. He also declined my “kind offer” and I begun to wonder if I looked like a nutcase, rather than a do-gooder.
My final attempt came when I fell into step with a nice, older man. We exchanged pleasantries at which time, before parting, I offered him the warm cup. What the heck!
Although the goal of this mission may have failed, it also served as a reminder of the importance of taking care of each other. If nothing else, than to remind the people who really need our help that we really do care.
In the spirit of the new year, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on all that we have. It is far too easy to become mired in the illusions of want and need, so I’ve listed a few things I’m grateful for…
I am grateful for disappointment and consequences. For without these we cannot learn and grow.
I am grateful for the chance to enjoy moments when we are at our most vulnerable. Realizing the importance of living through these moments so we can push ourselves to become stronger.
I am grateful to be cognizant. To be aware of myself and my thoughts, however unsettling, intense or afflicted as they may be.
I’m grateful to be here, to be living this life. If we allow it, life has many lessons to teach us each day.
And I’m grateful for personal absolution. For the ability to release myself from past mistakes and move forward into the future with hope and optimism.
Happy new year everybody..