Going with the flow

This week marksFamily the annual family weekend. In the past we’ve gone to Lanesboro, Red Wing (twice actually), Lanesboro, LaCrosse and last year we stayed at my sister’s place so we could do a dry run of camping with the nephew. This year we were all set to revisit Lanesboro until tragedy struck. Or, to be more specific, lightning. The place we were suppose to stay was struck earlier this week and will be without power this weekend. So, as we do, we’re improvising and just rolling with the punches. Instead My sister’s family will come down here and we’ll do more of a ‘stay-cation’ with a day spent in Des Moines. All that matters is that the 7 of us will be together. As an added bonus I don’t have to board Watson so he gets to stay with the family for the weekend, win-win. I’ll tell you all about the visit next week.

Until next time
~ Q

Fall is here!

Has it been two months yet? Not quite? Well, that’s okay. I suppose I can write a post any way. So Summer is over. Shocking no one I wasn’t able to blog 15 weeks in a row. August really took me out and September stomped me down, but here we are in October. Not to say bad things happened in August and September, quite the opposite! It just kept me busy and I didn’t take the time to write. Refocusing on that now.

The house keeps inching along and there is light at the end of the tunnel! Which is fortunate because I will have 6 house guests for a long weekend in just over 6 weeks. Wow, I really shouldn’t have written that. Puts things in perspective a little too much. However it’s also quite weird to think that that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with it extended family time! I’ll hold photos of the progress for another time since I want to finish this post before my mom gets here. That’s right, we’re working tonight. (To those of you who know my father/my family this will not come as a shock, but I have a detailed list of every single thing (I think) I need to do everyday of the week in order to have everything just ‘so’ before winter/the holidays hit. It’s intense and I love it. Keeps me focused which, let’s face it, I need.)

Already I’ve had a reunion with one side of the family. Two weekends ago the Quarnstrom’s got together for a Northwest Missouri Bearcat game. Both my father and uncle went to school there. My dad only has one brother and they both managed to get all of their kids (and grandkids) wrangled together for a Saturday of fun (even me, who swore up and down I would NEVER go to a game in Maryville. Well played dad, well played). After 6 or 7 years, it was nice to be able to catch up and see what my cousins and uncle & aunt have been up to.

With what little free time I have left (that I don’t decide to just loaf around at home) I’ve managed to cut out some time with the friends. Just last night I went to a concert with one of my buddies.

Hear that weirdo laughing? Yup. That’s me. Good times. We even waited around after the show to meet Ingrid. Although she was quite pressed for time so we only got a few moments with her we got to talk to Billy (the dude singing on stage in the video) for a short while which was quite fun. I don’t go to many concerts so it was a nice break from the norm.

Okay, well time is tight and I have some wood shoes to measure and cut.

Until next time
~ Q

Week Eleven of Summer

Drawings 11 The eleventh week of summer was an odd one, full of intentions that didn’t go quite to plan. My parent’s were gone on vacation and I was left in charge of their plants. Now I am not the most faithful at watering plants so I was a wee bit concerned. Luckily it all worked out and I managed to keep them and their cat alive – hooray!

Drive-InOutside of family ‘duties’ I had made several plans, some of which that didn’t quite work out. On Thursday I had planned to go to a Drive-In movie (Guardians of the Galaxy) with my friends. Mother Nature had other plans. The week started with rain and kept up on Thursday. So rather than sit in our car and watch it through windshield wipers we, being a flexible bunch, altered our plans. Instead we went to an Irish pub for dinner and went to the theater to watch it. (Clearly NOT seeing the movie was no longer an option. We were all rather excited to see it). It was awesome. I recommend it.

HikeI had the day off on Friday so I continued leisurely working on the basement. I FINALLY completed muddying and sanding the last of the drywall. (Hint – this is very very exciting.) I also got said room primed. What what! Work continued on Saturday when I painted the stairwell. After so much productivity I decided to pack up and go for a hike. It did not go quite to plan either. I made it about 1/2-3/4 of a mile in before the mosquitoes got too bad and I had to turn around. They’re wicked little blood suckers. I think I’ll postpone that hike until the fall when the they’ve gone for the season.

ConcertSunday rolls around, the day that I had planned to go to an outdoor concert. I was kind of excited to see Ingrid Michaelson but earlier in the week I discovered the concert was cancelled. Presumably because of the rain (I’m guessing that don’t blend well with an outdoor venue). So the plans for the day rather cleared up. I was feeling rather productive when I woke up so I went ahead and got the bedroom painted. So all in all, despite the week not going to plan it was still quite lovely.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven | Week Eight | Week Nine | Week Ten

Daily Writings: August 5 | August 6 | August 7 | August 8 | August 9 | August 10 | August 11

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

Week Nine of Summer

Week 9 DrawingsA very slow week, last week, for yours truly. Well I say that. There was stuff happening. The week just ended rather quickly. Between all the random things going on (house work, summer shenanigans with friends, family time, etc) I did manage to get something checked off my list! CarouselMy coworkers and I volunteered to run the town carousel for a few hours on Sunday. While running it, my parents brought my nephew around and we all took a ride. That’s it though. So besides celebrating my mom’s birthday, attending a farewell potluck for an acquaintance and getting to have a drink with one of my besties who was in from out of town, that was my seek.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven | Week Eight

Daily Writings: July 22 | July 23 | July 24 | July 25 | July 26 | July 27 | July 28

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

Week Eight of Summer

CampingLast weekend ended up being quite the weekend! My family and I went to my sister’s place in Minnesota for a camping weekend. We haven’t been camping in a couple of years because the last time we went was an unmitigated disaster. Well, in some respects it was, in others it was quite fun. Part of the reason it was so terrible was that it randomly rained. However, the rain was nice enough to only rain at night. My sister and brother-in-law might disagree though. Their air mattress turned traitor in the middle of the night and deflated. The tent joined the party and leaked so that caused the two of them to wake up in water the next day. So that was a whole thing.Then we were up on the bluffs playing a board game when it rained bugs. You might think that’s hyperbole. Let me be clear. It’s not. We were under a tree and out of no where these little black gross bugs started falling. I still don’t really understand what the deal with that was, but once we heard it was suppose to rain during the second night as well we bumped up our departure from 10 am the next morning to 8 pm that evening. We were all happier for that choice.

FireworksNow you know some of the baggage we all had going into this weekend. This weekend we decided to test the waters of camping by just sleeping in tents in my sister’s back yard. It was the first time sleeping in a tent (and outside I believe) for my nephew (who is three). I am pleased to announce that from that stand point (and many others) it was a resounding success! Little squirt loves camping and all that comes with it. We slept in sleeping bags and tents. Had a fire, roasted marshmallows for smores. (He helped me and when we lit some on fire that no one would eat, he sided with me statingFire that he liked burnt marshmallows. He then proceeded, like I did, to eat the burnt ‘mallow sans smore. Best. Ally. Ever.) My sister also surprised us by having a fireworks pack at her house. I forget it’s legal to have them in Minnesota. They let me light most of them, but honestly that was to add to the show. Shenanigans all around, but I didn’t burn myself, anyone else, or the tent. Although that last one was a concern at first.

PicnicThe next day we lazed about before packing up chips and drinks and heading to a deli. After securing sandwiches we went to a park along one of Minnesota’s many lakes for a picnic. It was a delightful afternoon. After our picnic we took a quick trolly ride. Although it only lasted a few minutes we learned a lot about the history of the trolly system in the cities. Quite fun. After that we went to a play structure and while nephew climbed to his heart’s content my sister’s and I played speed dominoes. (Dominoes is a thing in my family, however I had never played with sixes and less. With that set-up the game flies.) After that we decided to rent a paddle-boat and go out on the lake. LakeI remember doing paddle-boats at summer camp and I don’t remember it being quite so difficult. Maybe it was because we were a man down. We rented a four-person boat and manned it with myself, my two sisters and my nephew. He couldn’t quite reach the pedals yet, so he got to ride completely. It might have gone better if I was more effective. I was laughing so hard it made peddling difficult. My bad.

Week 8That, in a nutshell, was my weekend. Lots of laughing, family bonding, and games. Then we got back and my mother and I attached the basement with avengence. My parents are headed out west in a couple weeks, and I challenged her (and myself) to get all the little tweaks done before she left. We had some random patching that we needed to get done before I could finish up muddying, spackling and priming. So while my parents go out west for a wedding I’ll stay home and hopefully get the walls all done. Pipe dream perhaps, but I’ll keep dreaming it. It just might work out.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven

Daily Writings: July 15 | July 16 | July 17 | July 18 (Posted July 21) | July 19 (Posted July 22) | July 20 (Posted July 23) | July 21

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank (spent it on the lake)
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

Week Three of Summer

Although a bit late (which, for me, isn’t surprising) the third week of summer has come and gone! It was quite an eventful week indeed. My parents played host to my nephew which ended up taking some of my free time so I could spend time with everyone. With his visit I was able to incorporate some of my summer to do list!

One of the days of the past week I had Li’l squirt to myself and it was a jammed pack day. We started at McFarland Park walking along the paths, through the trees and along the pond. He exercised his imagination as he explained to me how we would retrieve the paper plate in the pond and then punish the person who had littered in the first place. Good to see the next generation taking such a keen interest in conservation.

BubblesWe went back to my place and began with coloring and lunch but quickly returned to the outdoors before the afternoon heat grew too great. We decided to blow bubbles on the porch and pop them. I had forgotten how fun it is to watch bubbles float in the breeze. As always, it is the little things in life. After awhile outside we made a quick stop at the playground before the beating sun drove us back home. That was fine with us, we decided to have a painting party.

Paint CanvasMy nephew, who is 3 1/2, did a phenomenal job at not getting paint everywhere. True, I put two special “paint shirts” on him (plastic grocery bags with holes cut in them for his arms and head) to help contain any messes. even then he didn’t get paint all over them either. It was one of those instances that the theory of painting was going to be fun but as soon as we started the reality of the situation I was worried. The worry was wasted though, because he did great and after all, it’s just paint.

PaintingThe rest of the day passed pleasantly. It was complete with more bubbles, another trip to the playground and some down time (made up of watching a movie while we calmly played with trucks). All in all a successful aunt-nephew day.

HaveBBQI was quite pleased when, later in week, my parents came to my place so I could grill for them. I was able to show the grill they got me for my birthday ‘in action’ and we all agreed it works quite well. Although it wont be the last time I use it this summer (and we didn’t have any BBQ) it was a great start to the BBQ/Grill season. Especially for a girl who isn’t the most knowledgeable about grilling….hence we had hotdogs.

After such a lot of family time during the week I spent about half the weekend alone working on my basement. We postponed most of our father’s day celebrations since my parents were delivering their grandchild back home on Sunday. I utilized my time and finished sanding, priming and first coating the bathroom. I also marathon listened to Mockingjay. It’s surprising how fast work time goes when you are off in another world.

Sketches_Week 3I continue to draw/sketch, often doing that instead of journaling. I’ll need to get back to writing too, but for now I’ll be sure to keep up this habit. I had forgotten how much fun it is to just doodle. To let go of the idea that, since I’m a designer, I should be creating works of art. I am not an artist (not that they can’t just doodle for fun too). Drawing (especially realistic drawing) has never been a strong suit. It’s been such a release to just enjoy the process and act of drawing and not worrying or caring what others think of the result. If people like it, that’s nice enough; if they hate it, that’s fair; if they couldn’t care less, they are not alone. I’m in it for the coloring.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music (from a different country)
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

The Road So Far or Some Things I’ve Discovered Along The Way.

With a few hours until my twenty-seventh birthday I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the things I’ve learned so far. True, it may not be profound, original, deep, nor necessarily the most important lessons I’ve learned so far, but it is what comes to mind this evening.

  1. FamilyNever take your family for granted. They will be with you in good times, share in your triumphs, laugh with you and love you; but just as importantly they will stand with you in the bad times, lift you when you fall, counsel you and respect your decisions. There is no force on earth quite like that of family. You never know what tomorrow will bring, don’t take those in your life for granted.
  2. Do what makes you happy. Find a job you love and do it, no matter the cost. Fame, wealth and prestige can fade but a foundation of happiness…well, that’s another kettle of fish. What is riskier? Working at a job for a third of your day doing something you love to do or spending a third of your day at a job that you hate all so you can make a few extra dollars. You’ll spend more of your weekdays working then you will being awake with your family, don’t waste it.

    Don’t find a job with good vacation time,
    find a job you don’t need to escape from.

  3. Believe in something. Walking through this world faithless would be so lonely. I can’t tell you what to believe in, but if I can advise you on anything it is this: believe.
  4. TravelTravel. If for no other reason so you can return with a renewed appreciation for home. There are, of course, countless other reasons to travel. Such as taking photos with inanimate objects. However travel with care, you never know how it will change you. Although it’s important that you let it effect you in whatever way it will.

    ‘And you promise that I will come back?’ asked Bilbo.
    ‘No, ‘ Gandalf replied, ‘and if you do, you will not be the same.’
    – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

  5. Never EverDo something you never ever thought you would. Last fall I went to a comic convention in New York. Did I ever think I would do something like that? No, I didn’t consider myself outgoing enough for that. But I opened myself up to the possibility and actually had a marvelous time.
  6. Go on random trips. Similar to the top two, take trips that have little pre-planning or intention. I have taken a handful of these trips and each one has turned out to be exactly what I needed when I needed it. GreeceWhile studying abroad I whisked away to Athens for the weekend which served as a haven of calm from the stress that was end of term. Then there was a four cities in six days whirlwind road trip with an old friend. There is a lot you can learn on one-on-one trips with friends. Since she and I took that trip three summers ago (counting this summer) we’ve taken one trip together a year. Since that first trip we’ve planned a bit more, but always allow for plenty of spontaneity.
  7. Try New ThingsTry new things. You’ll never know if you like something or not until you try. Anyone can say I don’t like… but you never know until you do it. Sure, it might be scary, or you might make a fool of yourself…but you just might have fun too. I don’t like solo singing in front of people, so karaoke is not something you’d think I would enjoy (despite being in chorus all the years I was in school). However, the occasional night of singing is fun. Sure, I still am terrified to go up and sing in front of people, but sometimes you just have to suck it up if you want to have the experience.
  8. People will judge you. Sometimes it will be favorable sometime unfavorable but you can’t let it stop you. Don’t hold yourself back based on the secret (or not so secret) thoughts of others. You can waste your time trying to please everyone or you can invest your time in being the best version of yourself and that will bring the right people to you.

    Be who you are and say what you feel,
    because those who mind don’t matter,
    and those who matter don’t mind.
    – Bernard Baruch

  9. Be willing to retry things. As a child I hated mustard, now, twenty years later, you’ll find honey mustard on my burgers. Let my mustard serve as a metaphor for whatever.
  10. InnerChildLet your inner child out. There is a time and place for everything, that includes being a little kid again. Don’t get me wrong, being a “grown-up” is awesome. But sometimes you need a break from all the ties that come with the perks. At these times it’s best to indulge in whatever you’re inner-self is saying.
  11. TimeEnjoy the time you have with your friends while you have it. In a world of more, more, more it’s easy to want/expect that there will always be more of everything, more time with people is no different. However as I’ve gotten older, and the time I get with my friends lessens, I’ve learned to cherish the time we carve out for one another and not to waste it. Although, at times with our antics, it may seem as a waste but each laugh and each story is special. As we move further away, as our lives change (whether it be to marriage, family or career) time together is rare.
  12. Read. Reading allows you to travel to far off places, fight impossible battles, or live a hundred different lives all from the comfort of your home.
  13. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s easy to expect or want everyone to see things our way, but unless you’re willing to do the same, you’ll never deserve it in return. Remember, although we are all the protagonist of our own story, you might just be the antagonist of someone else’s story.
  14. Make goals. Whether it is to roller blade 50 miles in a month, to write a book, or to learn russian – make a goal. Don’t stagnate, continue to grow even after you enter you leave school.
  15. Don’t live in the past. There will be great things in your past, and although remembering the good times is fine, don’t let past glories dim the wonderful things happening in your present. Likewise, there will be things in your past that you may regret or don’t like. Do not dwell on these. Make them life lessons but don’t let the memory of them haunt you and pull you down. Things that happened over a decade ago can only effect you negatively if you let them. Learn from your past, both the bad and the good, let it advise your present, not dictate it.
  16. Embrace your failures. Failure is a part of life. If you wish to avoid it then acclimate yourself with the reality of living a very dull life indeed.

    Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
    – Henry Ford

  17. LaughLaugh. A day without laughter is truly a terrible day. Even if it is something as simple as taking amusement at a clumsy moment, find at least one thing to laugh about each day. They say laughter is the best medicine for a reason. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to my parents house being a bit run down from the day, and a half hour there with them is a better tonic to happiness than anything you could try and buy in a store.
  18. Always have something to do. I usually travel with either a book or a notebook with me. And I don’t mean travel like vacation, I mean in my purse there is always a book or notebook. That way when I get places early or unexpectedly have to wait I’m not bored. Not that boredom is bad, I’d just rather be doodling or reading.
  19. AcceptAccept Yourself. You will be spending a lot of time with yourself in your life. It will be long and arduous if you spend it at war. This isn’t to say you can’t evolve through out your life, just make sure you accept and embrace yourself. You may be an athlete, a nerd, a philosopher, a song-writer or an analyst, but above all you are you.
  20. Make time for others. No man is an island, and even introverts need people.
  21. Go off-line. This is one I have a lot of troubles with, but when I do accomplish it I always appreciate it. In the technological age it’s difficult to not be connected to the internet 24/7. Sure, in theory, we are able to stay connected with one another more efficiently. However, if being connected to the world interferes with the time you are actually with people then that’s no good. So, next time you are out with friends try to spend less time instagraming your food at the restaurant or tweeting or whatever and more time talking to the people you are with. Like I said, I struggle with this one a lot, I go through phases, but over all I’m happier with the time I’m with people if I leave my phone in my purse more.
  22. Journal. Sometimes it helps clear thoughts, other times it helps purge thoughts. Sometimes I don’t want to write anything and sometimes I just write the same thing over and over again. But I find the periods of time when I am journaling to be a little less chaotic to those times when I am not journaling and it maybe as simple as taking that time to reflect everyday. Even if it is as simple as writing down ‘Today was _____‘ at least you’ve been able to think about the day and put it to bed.
  23. Sleep. So often things seem so difficult or hard and then I slip off for the night or a nap and things are so much clearer. Pretty much the equivalent of ‘have you tried turning it off and on?
  24. Exercise. I’m far from the picture of health, but even if it is as simple as going for a walk around the park I always feel better after some fresh air or elevating my heart rate, sometimes exhausted if it was a hard work out, but still better.
  25. Listen to others. You never know exactly what insight others can offer. No two people have the same exact experiences, listen to what others have to say (especially if you are asking for advice) and learn to take their criticism (but don’t let it weigh you down) or praise (but don’t let it give you an ego).
  26. Forgive people (including yourself). No one is perfect: not you, not your parents, not your siblings, not your heroes. The sooner you realized that people are human and imperfect the happier you will be. People may let you down, you may let others down, forgive them and forgive yourself. Resentment and anger will get you no where, so don’t bother with it. All it can do is weigh you down.
  27. Give to Others. Whether it is your time or your talents do something for someone else without expectation. Volunteer for an organization, donate blood, make a meal for a sick friend – do whatever you can for someone else every once and a while. Just this spring I was getting an ice cream at Dairy Queen and when I went to the window I was informed that the car in front of me had paid for it. I had had a rough day (hence the ice cream) and that random act of kindness put a smile back on my face.

    Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.
    – Frank A. Clark

There you have it, 27 thoughts for 27 years.

Until next time
~ Q