friday’s “secret” – there aren’t secrets

When I do post on the third Friday of every month, I like to post about the “secret” to enjoying life.  First I hope you will note the tongue-in-cheek use of the quotation marks around the word, secret.  That’s because the truth is that there are no secrets to enjoying your life. 

I think most of us have an idea of what we like to do and what we could do to enjoy our lives. If you don’t know, you should definitely make it your mission to find out what those things are. But once you do know what they are, if anything, the “secret” or “trick” or the thing is that you have to actually do those things that you enjoy. Without guilt and without excuses.

That’s harder to do than it was for me to type. I struggle with this constantly.  I really enjoy playing the Sims 4, a life simulation computer game where you build homes, create characters (or sims) and have them live their lives.  Correction, I LOVE playing the Sims. It is one of the only things that I can do where I lose all sense of time and space.  My life challenges slip away and I forget about them as I redesign a house or build a studio for my artist sim, Grace Coddington. I have so much fun!

But somehow, through life experiences, books I’ve read stressing the importance of productivity and efficiency, and maybe a false sense of my own importance, I find myself feeling guilty about playing.  Shouldn’t I be doing something else that’s more important? Like reading? Maybe. But if the Buddy Man is fed, the house is humming along, and work commitments have been met, I’m learning it’s OK to stop and play the Sims 4.

So do the things that are enjoyable to you. That’s the “secret” to enjoying your life. I’ve got to go. Grace has another masterpiece to paint.

…enjoy life

PS. If any out there also plays the Sims, I’m MyCuratedSims.

fourth friday’s “secret”: #buytheflowers

This Friday’s “secret” is courtesy of Anne Bogel’s upcoming book, Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decision, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life. You can listen to Anne read Chapter 13: “Small Shifts toward Simple Abundance” here. Or you can catch me talking to Anne about this very thing (and some other stuff) on Anne’s podcast What Should I Read Next Episode 222.  In fact, you should probably do one or both of those things before reading on for context. Or maybe it’s not necessary. Don’t overthink it. LOL. I’m thrilled to have my mommy here to guest post about what she did after listening to the first half of Episode 222.


I stop and put the baby’s breath in my grocery cart! But before that….

I’m on my way to the grocery store (not Trader Joe’s) listening to the podcast What Should I Read Next, Episode 222. My daughter, Shannan, had shared it with me. As I’m pulling into the parking lot, the part about Anne shopping at  Trader Joe’s is finishing up.

 I walk into the store get the shopping cart and, as always, to the right are the flowers.

 I like cut flowers. And I’m blessed to have a husband that brings them home quite often (he’s a really great husband and dad).  I really like the inexpensive ones, like carnations, because they last so much longer.

I also really like baby’s breath, which I later learned are in the carnation family.  I’ve only remembered seeing them added to other arrangements, not necessarily in a vase by themselves. So, most of the time, I pass them with my grocery cart thinking, “I really like these,  I want to get these, I wonder how they will look by themselves in a vase, one day I’m going to buy some, I’m going to buy these the next time.”

 I had prevented myself from doing so because I didn’t want to deter my husband from continuing to bring flowers home. LOL

 But after listening to Anne’s dialogue with herself on Tuesday mornings in Trader Joe’s, I reached for the flowers. 

Guys, it is absolutely ridiculous the way that we talk ourselves out of the simplest pleasures in life: a bubble bath, a cup of tea, a nice pen, a glass of lemonade instead of water with lunch, lighting the scented candle that we already own! As Anne says, “we think our way out of happiness, over and over…It doesn’t have to be this way….We can give ourselves permission to enjoy something that exceeds the minimum we need to get by. We can appreciate the good things in front of us without feeling guilty about them.”

So buy the flowers, Guys.  And if you are not into flowers, find your equivalent.  And if you haven’t a clue about what that is (and there is no shame in that, I didn’t know for the longest; all it means is that you’ve got a lot of fun exploration to do) there are loads of ideas in the comments of Anne’s blog post here.

#buytheflowers and enjoylife…

P.S. And yes, I realized, today, that this is not the fourth Friday, it’s actually the fifth.  Oh well, LOL, the “secret” applies any day of the week.

fourth friday “secret”: get something green in your space

In the past, I have done these Friday “secret” posts – posts about things or “secrets” that I have found help me enjoy life. Please note that quotation marks around the word secret.  It’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek.  Most of these things are things that I have known for a long time, in fact, I would say, we all know them. And more often than not, they are not complicated at all and cost little to no money.  The problem is that we just don’t actually do them. Me, included.  The trick is going to be my incorporating these ideas into my daily life and an understanding that these are the things that will help me to be happy. With my new plan to post weekly (again, ARGH!!!!!), I think I am going to make the fourth Friday of every month be about a secret. You can check more of my “secrets” by scrolling down to the bottom of this post and clicking on the tag “secrets”.

Plant LadyThe first “secret” of the year is to get something green in your space.  And by green, I mean something that’s alive like a plant or flower. It is amazing how a little greenery instantly perks up a space and makes it look and feel a lot happier.  And in turn, I feel happier also.

Now, I know some of you are going to say, “I don’t have a green thumb; I have a black thumb.” And believe you me, I had one also.  But over time, I took my mom’s advice to try a plant and if it dies, so what? You can always get another one and try again. And eventually, you get better and better.  Five years ago, I probably had three or four plants.  Now, I have three or four around this window alone. And I want more.  I am basically turning into a plant lady.

The benefits of house plants are well-known but I will recap of few of them for you. They act as an air filter, cleaning out pollutants and changing the carbon dioxide that we exhale into fresh oxygen that we can breathe. The humidity that they emit can help reduce the effects of dry air we often have during the winter.  And there is a reason plants and flowers are the first things that people take to recovering patients in hospitals. A study done by two professors at Kansas State University, has shown that patients with plants and flowers in their room had lower blood pressure, lower ratings of pain, stress, anxiety, and fatigue, and higher satisfaction with their rooms AND the hospitals employees than those in similar rooms with the same care. Wow!

So, get some plants in your home, your work space, wherever.  You may be surprised at the results.

enjoy life…