Everyone is going green. I think it’s great…but I often snicker when I think of how green my mother was way before it was “cool” to be green. She has always hung the laundry to dry, avoiding the dryer at all costs. She has always used cloths to wipe down kitchen surfaces – never a paper towel ripped to soak up a spill. She inspired me before we had the electricity grid fiasco in the early 2000’s, when people were forced to pay outrageous rates for electricity – some even protesting by refusing to electrically light their homes – using candles to elegantly light their way.
I’d like to share a small tip that I learned about 3 years ago, and love to do because I know I don’t add to the garbage dumps and I purchase less stuff. Did you know that you can replace dryer sheets with an easy substitute? All you have to do is have about 5-6 wash cloths on hand. When you are ready to dry a load of laundry, slightly soak about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of liquid fabric softener on one wash cloth, toss it in the dryer, and you’re good to go. No sheets to buy or to add to landfills. Your wash cloths can then be washed and reused. It’s as simple as that.
I love watching “Good Morning America“! Its lightens up the morning with some news, fun stories and a cast of hosts that have nothing but good things to say.
Recently, I rummaged through my nightstand, looking for a piece of my past that brought me lots of joy, along with a peaceful and calming sense of being. Not a book, not my diary, but a crochet needle.
No, I’m not anyone’s grandma, but this pastime is not restricted to our older generation who create for their posterity. From what I have seen, knitting and crocheting, and all of those lost art forms are making waves again, infusing our days with some tranquility, and as a side effect, allowing us to share a source of our happiness with a tangible gift.
I broke out my crochet needle so that I could make a blanket for my new niece. She was about 6 months when I presented the blanket to her parents. What consumed me was the utmost joy I had in making it. Yes, I had a deadline. Yes, I was swamped with other things in life. But, every time I thought of picking up my crochet bag, an internal smile widened inside and I felt good, no matter what was happening that day. What also made me feel good, was that my good feeling and my crocheting put a smile on at least 5 other people I came across. At piano class, other mothers would smile and ask, “Wow, what are you making?” I would proudly reply, “A blanket for my niece!” They would immediately brighten up with joy. I even inspired two of them to go off and start projects of their own. It kind of stirred up some interactions and prompted others to take action and do something for themselves.
Isn’t that what it’s all about. Making sure you do what makes you happy, just a little everyday, so you can give the best of yourself.
The other day I stopped by Starbucks to pick up a couple of cool, sweet treats for my hard-working high-schoolers. When I pulled up to pay, I was thrown into extreme delight and surprise…the car ahead of me had already paid for my order!
I asked the barista why, and she explained to me that sometimes, people like to “pay it forward”. I cannot tell you how warm I felt inside and how much I wanted to share that warm feeling with others by paying it forward myself.
So, later that afternoon, while at Sonic, I decided to spread the wealth of “feeling good” by leaving generous tip. I hope that person felt just as good as I did earlier that day.
With life becoming so hectic these days, it’s difficult to crawl out of our own schedules and do for others. We are reminded of how wonderful it feels to make someone else feel good, only when something good happens to us…but if we all just take one moment out of our day to do one small, nice thing, how great would that be?
We are all in pursuit of it…but you’ll see quotes like “happiness is wanting what you have” or ideals like “happiness cannot be found, but is a state of mind” or “how you perceive what’s before you”. I only know that certain songs, images, movies and moments trigger a smile on my face; and, when that happens, it makes for a happy day. I want to share experiences, ideas, and stories that might put a smile on someone’s face and make someone’s day, and scatter some joy!