a little list

Each time this year I have to fight the blahs that creep in when daily life resumes after the holidays.  I have a hard time with the abrupt ending of the magical feeling – one minute you’re listening to Christmas music and admiring the twinkly lights on the tree, the next minute it’s all gone.  All of that infectious wonder and cheer seems to fade away far too quickly.  I’ve always thought that towns and homes should keep their white lights up through the month of January for a smoother transition.  

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This week has been filled with the expected busyness we all face after weeks of merriment and time with loved ones.  So I made myself a little list to stay focused and inspired – thought I’d share.  Note:  this list isn’t meant to sound preachy, it all started as notes to myself, ha!  

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1.  Be kind.  This tip has hardly ever failed me.  I’m reminded of one particular time at a busy Starbucks – it was the week before Christmas last year and our car literally went up in smoke on our way to the airport for our Colorado vacation.  We had to stop and wait for a tow truck along the outskirts of Atlanta – thankfully a Starbucks was within walking distance.  We had all four kids and were super stressed about missing our flight and having an expensive problem with our car.  Not an awesome combination.

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After bundling up and braving a chilly walk with our kiddos, we made it to Starbucks.  It was freezing outside!  When placing our order, I asked the Starbucks Barista if she could pour any extra froth from my latte into a small cup for our six-year-old.  She glared at me, shook her head and said “No.”  I took a deep breath and decided to say something nice to her – because I figured she was probably pretty stressed herself.  I said, “okay, no problem.”  As she was making my latte I watched and made a point to thank her for doing such a nice job.  After taking a sip I said “you  know, I have to tell you this is the best latte I’ve ever had a Starbucks.  You have quite the a skill – thanks for making this extra delish.”  She smiled at me and said “here’s that extra cup of milk you asked for.”  Sometimes you just need someone to be kind to you.  We all do.

2.  Write more letters.  They are happiness wrapped in pretty paper.

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3.  Live in the moment.  There is no better gift than the present.  One idea: try doing something very basic in an unexpected environment.  It really inspires living in the moment.

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4.  Enjoy the simple things…truly savor them.  Sometimes I need help with this.  May sound strange, but the way I learn is by taking cues from nature; such as watching birds at a feeder in the midst of a cold or rainy day.  They are really enjoying the moment – not fretting about yesterday or tomorrow.  Think about it – there is no anxiety in nature.  There is simply order and peace.

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5.  Have patience.  Ahem, also not one of my strong points.  This can be a doozy, but I find is doable with effort.  I have to practice this one day at a time.  For instance, this particular blog post has taken me an entire week to write because our crazy busy life – had to write it in bits and pieces.  And I’m trying to have patience.

6.  Make pretty things.  Even if it’s something little.  I’d like to make some of these.  Saw them on pinterest and the description said to draw dots with a gold sharpie then bake for 10 minutes to set the color.

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7.  Be spontaneous.   Husband and I love spontaneous road trips.  As a result, our children do too!  I recently asked each of them what their favorite memory was so far and all chimed in “our roadtrips!”  It really surprised me.  If you can’t get away, a good picnic in a neighboring town is also a great plan.  There are so many beautiful parks to visit.  I always say a set of pretty dishes and anything bubbly in a bottle are the makings for a perfect picnic.

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8.  Roast marshmallows in the fireplace.  My children taught me this simple little activity…it really is fun!  Don’t have a fireplace?  A mason jar and candle can do the trick ; )

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9.  Keep a journal of gratitude.  This one I’ve never done, only made lists, but think it could be a wonderful thing.  Nothing puts life into perspective more than feeling grateful for the simple gifts surrounding you.  Whenever I’ve made a gratitude list, I’ve always been surprised how many wonderful people and circumstances are in my life!  This could be cute printed on the front of a gratitude journal…

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10.  Make something special and share.  I would like to make a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup and give to others as gifts…that is my goal this month! I have lots of extra mason jars and plenty of pretty ribbon, so this WILL happen : )

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Now I feel much better about January.  And I think I’m going to try and sneak in some twinkly white lights somewhere in our home.

[photos sources here + here]

By Seleta | 18 Comments

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  1. 1
    Susan January 11, 2013

    It’s a great list, Seleta!
    I just read a really wonderful idea about the gratitude thing. At the beginning of the year, get out a big glass jar (or whatever) and keep it someplace easily accessible for everyone in the family. Every time something happens that is extra-good or something one feels grateful for, it gets written on a slip of paper and put into the jar. At the end of the year the jar gets opened and the slips of paper reviewed as a family so everyone can remember all of the wonderful things that happened in the year gone by. Isn’t that a great idea? We’re going to do it at my house. Your post reminded me to get my jar out today! :)

  2. 2
    jana January 11, 2013

    The Xmas to “real life” transition can be a harsh one. Sparkly white lights get my vote to soften the blow. Your list is right on. Kindness is so underrated yet has the power to change the world. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. 3
    Tazas y Cuentos January 11, 2013

    Great list Seleta!
    I agree with all, and personally have to improve number 4!
    I like Susan’s idea -first comment- and will try it with my family.
    Besos!
    Silvina

  4. 4
    Lori H January 11, 2013

    I love your list! After I put Christmas away this year, I left the icicle lights up in the reading room (along the top of the bookcase). It is magical and I hate to give it up!

  5. 5
    Chelsea January 11, 2013

    I love your comment about enjoying the simple things, and that there is no anxiety in nature. That truly spoke to me. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and savor the moment :)

    xoxo
    Chels

  6. 6
    Sarah's Fab Day January 11, 2013

    I think this is a great list and doesn’t sound preachy at all. After the rushing of the holidays sometimes it’s good to check yourself and make sure you’re hitting all the important things. So ditto this list for me!

  7. 7
    Colette January 11, 2013

    I am grateful for my spouse and your blog…..in that order:) You are so right about the moods which the seasons cycle one through. Your ideas and your list are most inspiring. Thank you Seleta.

  8. 8
    elizabeth January 11, 2013

    Seleta, your words about there being no anxiety in nature, simply order and peace, truly spoke to me today. My husband and I recently found out we’re expecting our first child, and this is a great reminder to trust my body and allow this process to unfold. Thank you!

  9. 9
    Danielle January 11, 2013

    I adore your list! I found myself nodding in agreement with everything on your list. You inspired me to write a similar post today. Thanks for your encouraging words!

  10. 10
    LindsB January 11, 2013

    I love this!! I feel exactly the same way right now, the month after Christmas is always so depressing for me. I’m going to try to be extra nice to people this weekend, make something pretty and do something spontaneous. If only I could light a fire in my fireplace i could roast some marshmallow. Guess a mason jar will have to do this weekend.

  11. 11
    Marisa January 11, 2013

    This is so random, but I LOVE the suv in pictures no. 7. Do you know what kind of car it is?

  12. 12
    JuliaW January 11, 2013

    Thanks, Seleta! Loved your list and will think of it often during these dreary days — to me it was way more inspiring than the list of resolutions I try to come up with each year :)

  13. 13
    Kendra January 11, 2013

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I was just feeling a bit if the winter blahs myself and this really motivated me!

  14. 14
    Crissy January 12, 2013

    A beautiful list. Thank you for sharing.

  15. 15
    Hope January 12, 2013

    Great list and good reminders. As far as the lights and decorations go, Fairhope keeps their thousands of twinkling lights up in the trees downtown through the Arts Festival in March, so the entire wintertime is magical!

  16. 16
    Aunt Kathi January 13, 2013

    Such a great post, Seleta. I had never thought of the candle in a mason jar. That and your others are great ideas to help us all make the transition!

  17. 17
    Kim January 17, 2013

    Happy Post and so uplifting. Great ideas!
    Happy New Year to you.

    Kim :)

  18. 18
    Melissa February 19, 2013

    Love this post! Thank you so much for sharing! Your blog always adds glitz to my day! :)

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  • Simply Me

    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my husband, fabulous four offspring, happy horses and frisky fur babies. A former TV personality turned Designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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