Posts filed under ‘goals’

Musicals Bucket List – My 59th Year Challenge

In these last few years, I’ve often done a yearlong challenge that commemorates how old I am. And there is the added bonus that the challenge helps me remember how old I am.

  • One year I collected that number of Operation Christmas Child boxes.
  • Twice I read that number of books.
  • And this year, my 59th year, I am going to watch musicals. Between March 2017-March 2018, I will watch 59 musicals.

Yes, believe it or not, there are THAT many musicals. In fact there are 100’s of them. TRULY.

So just between these two sources there are about 100 musicals.

And stars such as Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, and Fred Astaire (to name a few) have starred in many musicals as well.

I found several links that pointed me in the right direction:

And I asked my friends on Facebook to recommend their favorite musicals. They gave me 78 ideas.

I picked this challenge because I thought I hadn’t seen very many musicals. Boy was I wrong. On most lists I’ve seen about 50% of the titles. Yet, there are huge gaps in my viewing history. And there are more than 59 musicals I could see.

I made up a list of potentials musical dates. I will see what I can see through Amazon streaming videos, Netflix, the library, thrift store, friends’ collections, and the stage. Since I might not be able to find each one, this list will most likely change.

Which ones on my to-watch list have you seen?

  1. 1776
  2. 42nd Stree
  3. Across the Universe
  4. An American in Paris
  5. Anchors Aweigh
  6. Babes in Arms
  7. Babes in Toyland
  8. Barefoot in the Park
  9. Burlesque
  10. Calamity Jane
  11. Camelot
  12. Carousel
  13. Chicago
  14.  Chorus Line
  15. Christmas Carol with Kelsey Grammer
  16. Dreamgirls
  17. Duck Soup
  18. Easter Parade
  19. Evita
  20. Finian’s Rainbow
  21. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  22. Gigi
  23. Guys and Dolls
  24. Gypsy
  25. Hair
  26. Hairspray
  27. Happy Go Lovely
  28. Hello Dolly
  29. High School Musical
  30. High Society
  31. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  32. Into the Woods
  33. Jersey Boys
  34. The Last Five Years
  35. The Lego Movie
  36. Little Shop of Horrors
  37. Lili
  38. Man of La Mancha
  39. Meet Me in St Louis
  40. The Mikado
  41. Moulin Rouge!
  42. Newsies
  43. Oliver!
  44. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
  45. On The Town
  46. Otello
  47. The Pajama Game
  48. Princess and the Frog
  49. The Producers
  50. Rent!
  51. Robin and the 7 Hoods
  52. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  53. Second Chorus
  54. Showboat
  55. A Star is Born
  56. State Fair 
  57. Sweeney Todd
  58. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  59. Viva Las Vegas

Your Turn . . . 

  • Do you do anything special to commemorate your own birthday? If yes, what?
  • Do you do yearlong challenges? If yes, how has that gone and what do you do?
  • Are there any musicals I should add to my list?

Related Resources . . .

. at . 1 comment

Did I Read 58 Books Last Year? Summary of My 58th Year Challenge


I recently had a birthday, so it is time to evaluate how well I did on my birthday challenge.
I challenged myself to read 58 books because I was 58 years old last year. Did I meet that goal?

Turns out I was a reading fool! I read 111 books.

I’ve always loved books and last year I read differently.

  • I read series. In fact I read books from 8 series. The first series I’ve read to completion as an adult is The Mitford series by Jan Karon. Then I discovered Louise Penny, Shannon Stoker, Douglas Preston and James Patterson (to name a few). I don’t know why I went on a series binge, but it certainly was fun.
  • I finished some unfinished titles. I was able to read to completion four books that have been languishing in my to-finish pile. I am most proud of finishing Moby Dick. I really s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e-d with the first part of that book. Then when I picked it again last year, I LOVED reading it.  And I wondered why it took me so long to finish. The Imitation of Christ was such a deep read, I just couldn’t rush through it.
  • I discovered the Gilmore Girls reading list. I read 8 books from that diverse list last year. I plan on reading the 339 books that Rory read. So far I’ve read 82 books.
  • I am obsessed with yearlong quests. Several years ago I read Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Live as TV’s Most Influential Guru Advises. And I was hooked on this genre. This year I read three such books. The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life was my FAVE book in this category. And it is one I will reread so I can re-immerse myself in its helpful ideas.  This link has 12 ideas and I plan on reading from this list this 59th year.

Read the rest of the post to see the 111 titles and other categories.

Assorted Titles

  1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – I read and did the assignments with my daughter.
  2. Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude: 101 Stories about How Being Thankful Can Change Your Life by Amy Newmark and Deborah Norville
  3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  4. Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews – I read this as an e-book while traveling in Taiwan.
  5. The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello – New author to me which I enjoyed a lot.
  6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  7. The Good Life Lab: Radical experiments in Hands-On Living  by Wendy Tremayne
  8. Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee – I want to read more books by this author.
  9. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones – This book has beautiful pictures and words
  10. Long Way Gone by Charles Martin – This is a title for the reread list.
  11. Miss Julia Inherits a Mess by Ann B. Ross (published this year-2016)
  12. One Memory At A Time: Inspiration & Advice for Writing Your Famiy History by D.G. Fulford
  13. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
  14. The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
  15. A Paris Apartment: A Novel by Michelle Gable – While reading this book I kept Googling historical events and people.
  16. Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint by Maura O’Halloran
  17. Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation by Gabriele Oettingen
  18. The Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
  19. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher – This is also a must reread. 
  20. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller – I confess, this is not the fist time I’ve read this book.
  21. A Spy’s Guide to Thinking by John Braddock
  22. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
  23. Still Alice by Lisa Genova – Tears, and more tears as I read this book about Alice, a 50-year-old Harvard professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
  24. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
  25. Thinner in 30: small changes that add up to big weight loss in just 30 days by Jenna Wolfe
  26. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield

Audio – I am not usually one who listens to books on tape. And I enjoyed doing this while walking or driving.

  1. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  3. Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel by Arthur Golden
  4. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spears

Austen in August – This is the second time I participated in this yearly internet challenge.

  1. Emma: a Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
  2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

Book to Movie – So far, I’ve only seen one of these books as a movie. If you’ve seen these movies, which one(s) do you recommend?

  1. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  2. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  3. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
  4. A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ramsom Riggs
  6. Silence by Shusaku Endo

Gilmore Girls Book List – There are 339 books on this list. I read 8 of them this past year. Now the total # I’ve read is 82.

  1. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  2. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  3. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
  4. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  5. Deenie by Judy Blume
  6. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
  7. S is for Silence by Sue Grafton
  8. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett

Recommended – I got these ideas from friends, blogs, and Facebook.

  1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilber
  2. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr
  3. The Chocolate Snowman Murders: A Chocoholic Mystery by JoAnna Carl
  4. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
  5. Lying Awake by Mark Salzman ]
  6. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  7. The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith H. Beer and Susan Dworkin
  8. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  9. We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

SERIES – I read books in EIGHT series this year 

One. Alexander McCall Smith: Isabel Dalhousie Series – I plan on reading all the books in this series. I started reading this because I found books #57 & 58 at the dollar store and loved them.

  1. The Careful Use of Compliments (book 4/11)
  2. The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (book 9/11)

Two. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: Gideon Crew Series – Completed the series.

  1. The Ice Limit
  2. Gideon’s Sword
  3. Gideon’s  Corpse
  4. The Lost Island
  5. Beyond the Ice Limit

Three. James Patterson: Women’s Murder Club (books 1-9) – I plan on reading all the books in this series.

  1. 1st to Die
  2. 2nd Chance
  3. 3rd Degree
  4. 4th of July
  5. The 5th Horseman
  6. 6th Target
  7. 7th Heaven
  8. 8th Confession
  9. 9th Judgement

Four. Jan Karon: The Mitford Series (books 3-10) – This is the first series I read to completion as an adult. There are only two book series I read when younger (and again as an adult): Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables.

  1. These High, Green Hills
  2. Out to Canaan
  3. A New Song
  4. A Common Life: the Wedding Story
  5. In This Mountain
  6. Fluke Light from Heaven
  7. Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good
  8. Come Rain or Come Shine

Five. Joanne Fluke: Hannah Swenson Mysteries with Recipes

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (book 1/21)
  2. Strawberry Shortcake Murder (book 2/21)
  3. Blueberry Muffin Murder (book 3/21_
  4. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (book 4/21)
  5. Blackberry Pie Murder (book 17/21)
  6. Double Fudge Brownie Murder (book 18/21)
  7. Wedding Cake Murder (book 19/21)
  8. Christmas Caramel Murder (book 20/21)

Six. Justin Cronin: The Passage Trilogy

  1. The Passage (1/3)

Seven. Louise Penny: Chief Inspector Gamache Novels (books 1-11) – Completed the series and I wish there were more!

  1. Still Life
  2. A Fatal Grace
  3. The Cruelest Month
  4. A Rule Against Murder
  5. The Brutal Telling
  6. Bury Your Dead
  7. The Hangman
  8. A Trick of the Light
  9. The Beautiful Mystery
  10. How the Light Gets In
  11. The Long Way Home
  12. The Nature of the Beast
  13. A Great Reckoning

Eight. Shannon Stoker: The Registry (books 2-3) – Completed the series.

  1. The Collection
  2. The Alliance

Unfinished: Books that took me several years to finish reading

  1. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
  2. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  3. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
  4. Umapped Darkness: Finding God’s Path Through Suffering by Thomas Finch

Yearlong Theme – I am captivated by books in this genre

  1. The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan
  2. My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife: a One-Year Experiment and Its Surprising Results by Sara Horn
  3. Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong quest to Bring Calm to My Life by Priscilla Warner

Your Turn . . . 

  • Did you make any reading goals last year? Did you meet them?
  • Did you read “differently” this year? If yes, how so?
  • Were any books a surprise?
  • Which one(s) would you recommend that I read?

Related Resources . . .

. at . 3 comments

My 2016 BINGO Reading Challenge

My 2016 Reading BINGO List. The first of many for this year.

My 2016 Reading BINGO List.

Are you competitive?

I am. I am even competitive in my reading. Therefore reading challenges spur me on to read more consistently. Last year my goal was to read 57 books.

Did I make that goal? YES! And I did so with 30 books to spare!!!

This year, (starting in my birth month) I want to read 58 books. I will use various “techniques” to get there. One such technique is using BINGO.

In past years I have used other people’s BINGO lists. This year I came up with one of my own. I picked categories because I like to read a bunch of books from the same author, from a series, etc. In other words, I LIKE to batch read from categories.

Below are the 5 categories I finally settled on

  • 5 Books by the Author Charles Dickens
  • 5 Books I’ve Never Finished
  • 5 Books from the Gilmore Girls Books List
  • 5 Books from the The Mitford Series by Jan Karon
  • 5 Books That Have Been Recommended
  • . My list of books is at the very end of this post.

You can go here to fill out and then print your own BINGO Reading List card.

Each time I make a BINGO, I will allow myself a treat. As I am not so good in the reward department, I am not sure what that will be. I would like it to be book related.

  •  I don’t want to buy another book as there are TONS of choices on my Kindle and bookshelves and from the library.
  • Maybe read a book not ON THE LIST?
  • Give me some ideas, please!
  • And when I get a BLACKOUT, at that time I will BUY a book from my Amazon Wish List. I have hundreds to choose from. Seriously.

Your Turn . . . 

  • Are you competitive – even in reading?
  • Do you ever do BINGO Reading Challenges? Why? And how do you reward yourself for completing a BINGO? A blackout?
  • Have you ever made up your own BINGO list? If yes, how about linking it?
  • If you were to design one similar to mine, what categories would you include?
  • How many of the books on my list have you already read? The list is at the end of this post.
  • It would be so fun if you’d read along with me. Let me know if you decide to.

Related Posts . . . 

Below are the books in each category. Of course I reserve the right to make changes at any time!

5 Dickens Books

  1. Oliver Twist
  2. The Old Curiosity Shop
  3. Our Mutual Friend
  4. David Copperfield
  5. The Pickwick Papers‎

5 Unfinished Books

  1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
  3. Simply Christian by NT Wright
  4. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
  5. Unmapped Darkness by Thomas Finch

5 Gilmore Girls Books

  1. S is for Silence by Sue Grafton
  2. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  3. Elle Minnow Pea by
  4. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  5. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

5 Mitford Books

  1. These High, Green Hills
  2. Out to Canaan
  3. A New Song
  4. A Common Life: the Wedding Story
  5. In This Mountain

5 Recommended Books

  1. The Passage by Justin Cronin (Barb)
  2. Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl
  3. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Elizabeth)
  4. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr
  5. The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (book 3/4)

 

. at . Leave a comment

I Read 87 Books in 2015

My goal is to read and reread all the books I own. Then I will purge the shelves.

My goal is to read and reread all the books I own. Then I will purge the shelves.

One of my goals for my 57th year of life, was to read 57 books. To help me accomplish that goal I signed up for reading challenges. I am competitive and I even like to compete against myself!

I signed up for the following challenges . . .

The rest of the titles I read came from recommendations, gifts, and from my bookshelves.

I met my challenge of 57 books and raised it by 30!!!

Your Turn . . .

  • Did you make a reading goal for 2015? Did you meet it?
  • How do you motivate yourself to read?
  • What are some books you’d recommend that I read?
  • Have you read all 87 books on my list?

Below is the list of books I read in 2015.

  1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (audio)
  3. A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
  4. A Light in the Window (book 2) by Jan Karon
  5. A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
  6. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  7. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
  8. An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle
  9. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louise May Alcott
  10. At Home in Mitford (book 1) by Jan Karon
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  12. Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life you Have by James A Autry
  13. Christmas Day in the Morning By Pearl S Buck
  14. Dawn’s Light by Terri Blackstock
  15. Emma by Jane Austen
  16. Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World by Douglas Wood
  17. Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day by Sam Bennett and Keegan-Michael Key
  18. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  19. Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConraD
  20. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  21. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
  22. I’m Glad I’m a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
  23. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK
  24. Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
  25. Laddie; a true blue story, by Gene Stratton Porter
  26. Last Light by Terri Blackstock
  27. Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
  28. Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist by Larry Burk
  29. Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
  30. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  31. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  32. Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross
  33. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
  34. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
  35. Night by Elie Wiesel
  36. Night Light by Terri Blackstock
  37. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  38. On The Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill
  39. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Todd by Jim Fergus
  40. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  41. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
  42. Prayer: Life’s Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
  43. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  44. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
  45. Seasons in Rome: on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world by Anthony Doer
  46. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  47. Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
  48. Skipping Christmas: A Novel by John Grisham
  49. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  50. Still Life by Louise Penny
  51. The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg
  52. The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
  53. The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
  54. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
  55. The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn
  56. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  57. The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
  58. The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein
  59. The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson
  60. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  61. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
  62. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  63. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  64. The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
  65. The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
  66. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  67. The Registry (Book 1/3) by Shannon Stoker
  68. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
  69. The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
  70. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
  71. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  72. The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
  73. The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Grove at Home and Work by Christine Carter
  74. The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James
  75. The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
  76. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  77. Thrush Green by Miss Read
  78. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
  79. Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels
  80. True Light by Terri Blackstock
  81. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  82. Walking the Road to Bethlehem: Your Journey to Christmas by Adam Hamilton
  83. We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
  84. What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
  85. Wide My World Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life By Luci Swindoll
  86. Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor
  87. Zero Belly Diet: Lose Up to 16 lbs. in 14 Days! By David Zinczenko

. at . Leave a comment

Ideas from this Date Over the Years

A cool feature (I think) from Facebook is that you can see what you’ve posted in years past on the same date. On today’s date (November 4th) I posted (among other others) about my health, politics, and Christmas. One reason I post these things is so that I’ll remember them for future use.

Only thing is, I hardly ever go back and do anything with the posted ideas. Or even if I wanted to, I have a hard time refinding them. So I am going to share some of these ideas that I don’t want to lose track of a 2nd time.

Christmas – Because it’s never too early for Christmas ideas, Plus Christmas is only 7 weekends away.

Politics – A friend posted this and I had to steal. This is wise advice.

Wise politcal advice

Another “P” word – Poetry – I am not a natural poetry reader. I have read 5 poems (all from my school years) that I still remember.

  1. The Raven – I am not sure why this Edgar Allan Poe poem has stayed with me all these years. But I usually read it once a year around Halloween. It seems a fitting, eerie poem.
  2. The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere – The exciting pulse and rendering of a historical event kept my attention and imagination captive. This link takes you to the poem in music form.
  3. The Children’s Hour – which I had to memorize and recite in front of the class. This is also a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; the Paul Revere poem was, too. I wonder if I heard them the same year from the same teacher?
  4. If – I kept a cheesy scrapbook in high school. I put in the obvious photos but also things of an inspirational nature. This poem by Rudyard Kipling was one of them.
  5. The 23rd Psalm – I learned this as a child. And I remember teaching it to my sister when she was a child. (I am the much, much older sister as she would say). I didn’t understand all the theological implications then, but it brought me peace.

This post, How to Read Poetry, a Step-by-Step Guide, gives 20 ideas on, well, how to read poetry. Since I’d like to better educate myself in this area, I a going to try these ideas. And I will look for 5 new poems to chew on. Any suggestions?

Tiny House inspiration – Someday I’d like to live in a tiny house in a beautiful setting.

My Health.

  • A friend tagged me to share this post about what beneficial things can happen when you drink water on an empty stomach.
  • I wrote this post(which links to Twitter and FB) on 3 Ways to Get More Gratitude in Your Life. What would you add to this list?
  • On this date in 2008 I evidently didn’t feel well as someone wished me success in getting better soon. Oddly enough. TODAY I woke up with a COLD complete with the constant drip- like so drippy you put toilet paper in your nose. Oh, you don’t do that.

If you are on Facebook, what did you post in your years past? 

. at . Leave a comment

Finding Laughter: The Habit of Cheerfulness (Day 27)

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingHealthy laughter, especially regular and copious amounts of laughter, requires a cheerful heart. This bookI’d Rather Be Laughing: Finding Cheer in Every Circumstance by Marilyn Meberg, tells how to develop a cheerful heart.

I will list some of the points that Meberg makes about establishing a foundation of cheer. Be sure to read the book in order to get the back-stories and all of her ideas.

Recognize Life Is Not Meant To Be Perfect

“Of course we all know nothing is perfect-don’t we? Yet why do we continue to feel restless and on a quest for perfection? What makes us think it is attainable? And how can we find cheer when we’re muddling about looking for perfection?” ~ Marilyn Meberg

We look for this perfection in our marriages, children, and in fact in all relationships. We look for perfection in the service industry, in those we deal with at work (whether a co-worker, boss, client, or assistant). We look for perfection in ourselves: how we look, talk, and perform in all areas of life. We look for perfection from our machinery: cars, air conditioners, computers, and this list goes on and on. And when perfection is not attained we get depressed, angry, GROUCHY or feel picked upon.

But anyone can . . .

Develop A Habit Of Cheerfulness

By developing the HABIT of cheerfulness, we can live with an ATTITUDE of cheerfulness. We acquire certain behavior patterns [aka habits] by frequent repetition.”[1]   These frequent repetitions of behavior affect our thinking and feeling. [2] What do we need to repeat and repeat? Two things: what we think and recalling the past.

Make A Choice On How To Think

Our attitude is directly impacted by what we think. Taking a cue from Philippians 4:8, let’s think on these things throughout our days.

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:8, MSG)

Until I read this version of the verse (The Message) I would have said I was fine, that I have gracious thoughts and words. But this past weekend I was complaining (cursing really but without bad words) about service that we received at a famous coffee shop. I really do want to concentrate more on praising and stop with the complaining.

So I want  to CHOOSE to think upon the “true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Bring Up The Past

“I am convinced that one of life’s most easily accessible sources of cheer is to remember some of the off-the-wall, crazy things that happen to us. . . The original cheerful feeling will always remain attached to that memory. . . . Seeing and reliving those good memories can give me a giggle as well as a break from the circumstances that threaten to overwhelm me during a difficult time.” ~ Marilyn Meberg

I have already started a laughter journal because of this #write31days commitment. I am writing down things that made me laugh from my childhood, but that has been HARD to remember that far back. I think I need to include more current things like I did laugh at Retreat a LOT:

  • A bathroom conversation where Bip misunderstood what I said
  • Mary told stories that were startling and so were FUNNY
  • Seeing LaRee so excited about singing Jabba the Hut

These are just a few things that will go into my journal. It is true, thinking about them now gives me a giggle.

There are more points from this book. I will share a couple more in a future post. But you’ll have to read the book to really know them. This book is WORTH the read.

Your Turn . . . Do you already have the habit of cheerfulness? . . . . Did you know another way we can develop this cheerful habit is by “indulging” in more fun. What do you do at home, work, or in the neighborhood that fosters the atmosphere of fun? I NEED ideas.

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habit

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attitude

. at . 4 comments

Best Things To Do This Fall – My Fall Bucket List 2015

Photo by Severin Winkler

Photo by Severin Winkler

Fall starts this year September 23 and ends December 21. I haven’t done a Fall Bucket List  in a while and so I am going to do one this year. This time I am going to put most of my list into one of the months. Maybe that way, I will get more done.

Why do I write Bucket Lists? I want to live more intentionally . . I want to spend more FUN time with friends and family. And sometimes my experiences take me out of my comfort zone which always cause me to grow!

September 23-30

  1. Watch a movie with friends. I will watch Les Mis with the PEP group from church. This movie is part of our 5th Tuesday Movie Night series.
  2. Fall Drink – Have a pumpkin spiced latte with a friend. Or make this one at home.
  3. Decorate – Put up one Fall decoration in my home or office. I normally only decorate for Christmas. But I am trying something new this year. Maybe this burlap wreath? This felt flower wreath is also cute.
  4. Create – Make Bed Treats for Women’s Retreat. I will do this with the Women’s Ministry team.
  5. Read –  As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

UPDATE – – – Fall Bucket List Update – September 2015

OCTOBER 1-31

  1. Plan my weekend with Sofia. Her parents are gone one weekend and I get to have her.
  2. Autumn Field Trip. See if anyone wants to go to a corn maze, cemetery tour, or pumpkin patch with me.
  3. Refresh – Go to Women’s Retreat at Zephyr Point
  4. Create – a pumpkin masterpiece (carve, paint, glitter, or use stickers for a subway art pumpkin). Maybe create this sunflower mural with our Sunday School classes.
  5. Watch a movie with friends: He Named Me Malala. Here is the Official Trailer. This will be advertised as a women’s event for our church. Have you read the book?
  6. Read  – a scary book: The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fictionby Henry James or The ghost stories of Edith Wharton. Here is a list of more scary books. Have you read any of these?
  7. Participate in Nester’s 31 Days of Writing. I am studying and writing about laughter. There are 100’s who do this every year. Why don’t you join us?

UPDATE – – – 

NOVEMBER 1-30

  1. Read – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens before seeing the play.
  2. Field Trip – Go see A Christmas Carol: The Musical with the PEP group at Folsom Lake College.
  3. Another Bucket List – Write a Thanksgiving Bucket List and do at least a few of the items.
  4. Celebrate Thanksgiving in a new way – We probably won’t be going to the beach this year
  5. Make grown up Advent calendar. See this online Advent calendar. Here is an advent chain to make. Advent November 29 (ends December 24).
  6. Donate something extra. Operation Christmas Child is always something I do. Here are some posts about Operation Christmas Child . . . Everyone Can Help One Child . . . Grateful I am Able to Help  . . . I Help Because I am a Parent, Auntie, and Missionary . . . Love in a Box . . . My Plan to Collect 55 OCC Boxes 

UPDATE – – – Fall Bucket List Update – November

DECEMBER 1-21

  1. Celebrate advent some more. Pick one/more of the following: wear purple, make a wreath, read an advent devotional, Read this. Or read this. This site has Advent ideas.
  2. Make snowman Christmas ornaments. I do this yearly with my nieces and daughter. Here are some past examples. Snowman Ornaments Made of Foam & Some Made with Eyeglasses . . . From Eyeglasses to Snowman Ornament (tutorial) . . .  4 Types of Home-Made Ornaments Using Decoupage, Dough, Clay, & Fabric
  3. Watch a movie with friends: The 33. Here is a trailer.
  4. More movies. I LOVE watching Christmas movies. Before Christmas, I want to watch 4 of them. Here are some posts I written about them. 3 Reasons to Watch Christmas Movies . . .  Christmas Movies I Watched in 2011 . . .  A Charlie Brown Christmas Quiz . . . The Nativity Filled Our Time and Minds

UPDATE – – –

GRATITUDE

  1. Write in notebook daily.
  2. Write at least 3 letters of gratitude.
  3. Read one book on gratitude: Living life as a thank you : the transformative power of daily gratitude by Nina Lesowitz
  4. Memorize 2 hymns
  5. Take gratitude photos (at least 7)

FOOD

  1. Try 2 new pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin toffee tarts, anyone? Here is a pumpkin spice latte recipe. And here are 50 pumpkin recipes. Here are 45 paleo pumpkin recipes.
  2. Try 2 new apple recipes
  3. Make my first ever cake roll
  4. Make pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats
  5. Try 2 new soup recipes. How about this mushroom cheeseburger soup?

READ (at least 3 of these)

  1. Night (Elie Wiesel)
  2. The Godly Grandparent (Dennis Ellingson)
  3. War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
  4. The Imitation of Christ (Thomas a Kempis)
  5. 1984 (George Orwell)
  6. The Sherwood Ring (Elizabeth Marie Pope)
  7. Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales.
  8. The Magicians Nephew (CS Lewis)
  9. A Journal of the Plague Year (Daniel Defoe)

Your Turn . . . What things would you put on your Fall Bucket list? . . . Will you do any of the above mentioned things these next 3 months? . . . What is something I could do this Fall that would take me out of my comfort zone?

Related Posts . . . 

. at . Leave a comment

Older Posts


Join Me For Write31Days 2016

59 Musicals to Watch During my 59th year

The Finish DateApril 1st, 2018
11 months to go.

Latest Tweets

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 648 other followers

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Categories


%d bloggers like this: