20 Things to Do…

…once a month.

1. Write a letter.

Whether it is to a long lost friend you haven’t seen in ten years, your neighbor about a tree that hasn’t been chopped down, or your spouse telling them how much you love them.  Just sit down when a pen, piece of paper, and write a letter.  The contents would be strictly up to you.

2. Open the door for a stranger.

We all watch those black and white movies where a tall, good-looking male stranger holds the door open for a short, thin, beautiful long haired blond female – she smiles, thanks him, and at the end of the movie it shows their wedding and birth announcements.  I’m not saying holding a door open for a stranger will bring love, nor am I saying it “has to be a male for a female”, anyone, should hold a door open for a stranger.  If you’re entering or exiting a store and you see a stranger approaching, pause, and hold the door open for them.

3. Smile and say hi to a complete stranger.

Little things honestly mean the world to people.  A small smile, whether it’s timid or a large, face covering smile, just smile and follow it up by a simple hi.  Strangers remember gestures like that all day – possibly passing it on to someone they find further into the day.

4.  Dance around your house in your underwear.

Male.  Female.  Adult.  Teenager.  Human.  Witch.  Mutant.  Horse.  The next time you’re home alone, turn on your favorite song, and dance in your underwear.  Dance, honestly, as if no one is watching. (Even if you choose to dance with someone there.)

5.  Give someone a dollar.

I don’t mean tip a waitress a dollar.  (I hope you tip more than a dollar.)  Walking down the street, into a store, or at a cafe – see a stranger?  Hand them a dollar.  Smile.  And walk away.  Maybe somewhere down the road you will receive that dollar back from a complete stranger.

6. Take a walk.

You don’t have to go alone.  By all means, take a friend.  But put on your brightly colored sneakers, go outside, and take a walk.  A long walk.

7.  Pick a weed from a field.

Take that simple, ugly weed home and place it in a vase.  Add a tiny bit of water and place the whole thing in your windowsill.  Take care of it as if it was a long stemmed rose.  Love something that isn’t loved by many.

8.  Go to your local animal shelter and love on any animal.

People tend to forget about how helpless those poor animals are.  Locked up day in and day out, possibly getting out into a fenced yard to run for a few minutes, just to be put back in a small cage that is filled with their feces and urine.  There is honestly no telling how long those animals have been there, will be there, or how much longer they’ll be alive.  Just give them a few minutes of love.

9.  Volunteer at a retirement home.

LOVE OLD PEOPLE!  Hold their hand.  Listen to their stores.  Men and women are put in those places because their families are tired of taking care of them, unable, or don’t want to.  They, just like the poor animals, sit in their rooms all day and night in their bed staring at walls, televisions, or nurses.  Just once a month take a couple hours and go say hi.  Take them some cookies, or even some flowers to brighten up their rooms.

10.  Read a book – cover to cover.

Any book.  I’m not picky.  However, I could give you some ideas if you need some.  Go to the library and pick a shelf.  Close your eyes and point.  That book.  Read it.  Read one chapter per month throughout the year.  But read that entire book.

11.  Turn off your cell phone.

Yes.  Seriously.  For four hours, turn off your cell phone.  This would be a great time to read that book, or take that walk.

12.  Get a gym membership.

& use it.

13.  Draw a picture.

Even if it is a stick figure.  Use a sticky note or an envelope from a bill.

14.  Write a story.

“Once upon a time, there was a small green cricket…”  Now, finish that.

15.  Learn a new language.

I’d request you learning Spanish or sign language.

16.  Take an hour long bubble bath.

Male.  Or female.

17.  Have a glass of wine at the end of the day.

Cannot afford an expensive wine.  Doesn’t matter.  Buy a bottle from Wal-Mart.

18.  Take a road trip.

Even if you only go three towns over.  The next state.  Across town.

19.  Don’t be a hurry.

Slow down and take a breath.  On your way to work.  Or during lunch.  Take your time.

20.  Do what you love!

          Someone once told me that they hated their job, spouse, and life.  That’s a horrible way to live.  Always do something you love.  Love someone who brings joy into your life.  I love to write, however I’m not paid for it.  But I still do it.  I write randomly at places that would probably surprise a few people.  I’m always thinking about writing even when I’m not writing.  Never settle for second best when there is something you love to do.  Love to paint?  Then paint.  Love to sing and dance?  Do it.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something just because it doesn’t pay the bills.  Follow your dreams.  Do what brings you joy!

Life is too short and can be taken so quickly.  Be over.  You should never do anything to inhibit your happiness.  DO you wish to be on Broadway?  Then go.  Move and try.  Don’t stay in a small town and hope that one day you’ll be discovered.  Because one day may never happen.  You could be waiting forever.

It’s no secret for anyone that I want to be a published novelist.  I dream of being able to hold a book, with my name on the front of it, in my own hands.  Be able to look in a mirror and tell myself that I have done it.  However, it’s not about the money.  This is for me!

During lunch the other day, I went alone, and I took a pen and notebook.  I sat and wrote.  Quietly.  I sat there and wrote down thoughts.  Many words on many pages.  The waiter didn’t rush me.  I watched as people came and gone.  Next to me was an older couple.  As they were leaving the woman stopped and smiled down at me.

“Are you doing homework?”  She asked.
I smiled, put down my pen, and leaned back in my chair.  “No.  I randomly write.”
“I thought so.  You looked intense.”
I shook my head.  “Yeah.  I love to write.”
She smiled and shrugged on her coat.  “I can tell.  ON day, you will put out a book.”
I had no idea what to say.  SO I just smiled and watched as she left holding hands with her husband.

That dear lady has no idea who I am.  We’ve never met.  She doesn’t know that I am in the process of writing a book, and that every day I get further and further to being done.  That I hope, one day, to be published.  She just knows how intense I looked as I wrote.

I wonder now, that I have had time to think about, if maybe she knew something I did.  They say, pets, children & older adults see things that we don’t.


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