I’ve always had a thing for dreary days. I blame it on my optimistically melancholic spirit.
I imagine that I was probably born on a rainy, dreary day (do not be alarmed, this does not mean I don’t like sunny days- who doesn’t love a sunny afternoon in a hammock?). Unfortunately my image of a poetic entrance into the world has been ruined, my mother tells me the day I was born was a sunny one… snowy, but sunny. Probably because I’m the light of her life, but that’s just my estimation. Now, apparently my mother was trying to run around in the dead of New York’s January winter, riding on horse sleighs into the woods while in labor. The two of us have always been a bit over-ambitious. This leads me to my point…. in my 25 years some may say (in their list of 25 things, see below) that I haven’t been very ambitious, but I would submit that they are wrong.
I recently typed this search into google… don’t laugh…
I’m turning 25, what do I do?
I came upon this little gem, a list of 25 things to do- before you turn 25. I remember thinking the grand sum of my life could be determined by this man’s idea of an adolescence fully-lived. That’s when the nausea rolled in.
I tallied up my points on his little life scale and I have accomplished a grand total of: 15
I feel as though that is not such a bad number- not the best mind you, but not tragic. Which I have concluded is just fine. Because I’m making my own list… my list of 25 before 25. Now.. I’ve cheated, I have done all of these things already (but it’s my list so it’s my prerogative) but take this as advice all ye who are younger than me!
- Own a fish– I have had one or two in my life. But I just got one this weekend… Clive.
- Travel to a foreign country with your best friend– check and check
- Start a blog.. done.
- Smoke a pipe… or don’t… (Mom, you don’t see this.)
- Spend an evening in a Thai Hippie joint where the band only plays reggae
- Go spelunking
- Find an antique and bring it back to life
- Go on at least 15 photo shoots with your best friends
- Attempt to ride a long-board. You may not succeed… but that’s fine.
- Get a tattoo… or 3.
- Meet the Lord in a real and powerful way
- Learn how to paint (“paint” is a term I use loosely…)
- Meet an earthly hero. James MacDonald- check.
- Get a degree– even if it is just in life experience
- Learn how to cook one good meal– I guarantee it will come in handy someday
- Teach someone something– passing on knowledge= legit.
- Develop some immediate, near future and lifetime goals
- Take at least one great, long road trip with your best friends
- Dance in public– it does wonders for your insecurity
- Take a philosophy class
- Learn how to check your oil, air pressure and how to drive in snow
- Play a prank that has potential for serious trouble
- Ride an elephant
- Drive through the night and watch the sunrise
- Do something you once thought was impossible
I’m certain that each of these experiences in my 25 years has factored into who I am today and who I intend to be in the future. So, Happy Birthday to me and good luck to all of you who have yet to complete some of these milestones!
With the Christmas season just winding down and my birthday 3 days away (instant wave of nausea), I’ve received a number gifts from my brilliant friends and family. While many of them have been wonderful and very appropriate for my likes and dislikes.. there may have been one or two that didn’t make the cut… we won’t mention that it was a jewelry holder resembling a belly dancer…
This brings me to what I consider a very valid topic with highly researched material. Actually, I just really like giving gifts and these are my thoughts on it all… take it or leave it.
Here they are, the top 10 tips of gift giving-
- Give yourself more than just a few minutes to figure it out– giving a great gift that the other person will love takes a little thought, most of the time an idea does not just come out of nowhere. Do a little brainstorming, in the long run it’s worth it.
- Don’t blind shop, you’ll end up with a mistake– if you just walk into the mall and expect an item to simply call out to you with a bright shining light pointing in the correct direction, it probably means you did not listen to point number one and therefore you will eventually just give up and grab something off the discount shelf at TJ Maxx. Mistake.
- Find out what that person loves most in life– do not. ignore. this. point. It will do you wonders. My roommate has a dog, and she loves him as if she in fact gave him life. So, rather than buying her a scarf or a mug- I bought her a coat for her dog. Needless to say, it was a great gift because it related to something of importance to her.
- More money does not always make it a better gift– go to a thrift store or an antique store, make something… it does not need to cost an arm and a leg to give a great gift. I know my best friends would be just as thrilled with a flannel from goodwill as they would be with clothes that cost much more from fashion stores.
- Let the wrapping and presentation be part of the gift– I made my own bows this year. I took strips of paper from an old book and buttons and glued them into little bows that were a great addition to all of my gifts! It just took an extra few minutes and that is always appreciated! Go the extra mile, it makes it special.
- Find a way to personalize the gift– get an old hand me down book by their favorite author and get their name engraved on it, get your gift embroidered with their initials. Think outside the box on this one. Take something simple and turn it into something a little more fabulous by adding some personalization to it.
- Get them something they wouldn’t get themselves– I want a Teavana travel mug some tea cups and some blooming tea for my birthday. I however don’t want to get them for myself since it may cost me my electricity for a month. Luckily though, Mom was paying attention to number 10 a few weeks ago and is a step ahead of me. My Mom is rockstar.
- Use your talents– My favorite thing I gifted this year was a little Moleskine notebook that I painted. I gave one to my friend Suzanne that I did a little fall scene on and throughout it I wrote quotes from one of her favorite authors. I enjoyed it so much because I got to spend time working on a hobby, I was able to make it special and I KNEW she would love it!
- Give things that you are not your “average”gifts– give someone a month of housecleaning service, give someone who deserves a little pampering a gift of their next haircut, tell your friends with kids that you will watch the little monsters for a weekend so they can take a weekend trip- this has so much room for creativity.
- Listen to what they say- This is a great help! Pick up on things they want even if there isn’t an upcoming occasion. It’s great to have those little ideas, it will help the brainstorming process in the future.
These are just my thoughts on what it takes to make gift giving a great experience on all sides. You will have fun with it and the gifts will always be well received.
Love to my guys and love to my girls.
That’s exactly what I said to Mr. Daly when I met him today. In my head at least… I think I’ll say it out loud to him tomorrow.
Hello Mr. Daly. Also, I love you.
There is this theory running amuck out there, that states if you whisper sweet nothings, play classical music and affectionately use their given names– plants will live long and prosper.
I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Daly–
My friend Bekah; whom I learned today has a knack for giving gifts, presented me with this wonderful treasure as a late Christmas/ early birthday gift! And I love it. My plan, at the mercy of my fabulous coworkers is to nurture this little guy into a blooming frenzy! He is a succulent plant and while he won’t ever have any flowers, I’m sure he will outgrow his little mug in just a hot second.
I researched this- I’m not crazy.
Talk… just talk loud.