Let us read

"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." --Voltaire

I found this quotation and a calm came over me. Most of the best things that life offers are incredibly simple. Reading, dancing, laughing, walking, gazing, breathing. These are the basics of being human yet it's so easy to take them for granted.

And, the cause no harm part. Wow. If we could get back to this tenet, especially when conflicts arise, what a different world this could be.



De clutter

If you don't declutter, your life will be ruled by de clutter. --Erin Baebler

See what I did there? Seriously, though, clutter can seep into every aspect of our lives. It's not just a messy desk--it's an unfulfilling career. It's not just an overflowing closet--it's a body that's not as fit as we'd like it to be. It's not just a full inbox--it's a life that begins to feel out of control. OK, maybe I'm making a leap here but I truly believe there is a link between our physical clutter and our (in)ability to create the lives we yearn for.


So, this week, take 15 minutes and tackle a drawer that's been driving you mad. Spend an hour in your garage straightening things up. Or grab a giant glass of iced tea, plant your butt in front of your computer and plow through your inbox. I can just about guarantee it will have benefits beyond what you can foresee.


Summer song

In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams

My family and I are just finishing up four days at the beach. We've kayaked and boated and picked blackberries and walked and read and lounged. We've eaten fresh, delicious food. We've slept late. We've slowed down.

Summer will be gone in the blink of an eye. So, this week, take an hour, an evening or a full day to enjoy the song of summer. I can't recommend it enough.


Confidence and fun

When you have confidence, you can have a lot fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things. --Joe Namath

As my son headed off to his soccer game yesterday afternoon, "Have fun!" were the last words I said to him. He was about to play in his team's third game in two days and it would decide whether they would move on in their tournament or not. They had won their first two games and were set to play another team that had also won their first two games--by shutting out, and scoring big against, the same two teams we had played.


In those first two games, my son's team had the ball often. During those games, they had smiles on their faces here and there and you could tell they were having fun. They played hard and their love of the sport was evident. 


This third game was different. The opponent hadn't been scored on even once during their first two games. They were taller. And faster. And stronger. Most importantly, they were confident.    


My son's team tends to do this slumpy shoulder thing when they are discouraged and that third game was no exception. The other team scored almost immediately and so it began. Many of our boys looked like they lost their confidence early on. Instead of focusing on what they have practiced, they spent a lot of time reacting. As a result, they also forgot to have fun. 


What a great lesson for all of us. When we lose our sense of confidence (or let others take it from us), we end up straying from our game plan, often bowing to what others want from us or making choices out of fear. 


On the flip side, having a strong sense of confidence allows us to relax, it allows for fun. And the universe has decided that a combo of confidence and fun often leads to success. It's a simple formula and one that we would all do well to remember.  




There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.--Thomas Aquinas

I am incredibly fortunate in the friend department. I have old friends and new friends. Several groups of friends who all get along. Generous friends, funny friends, smart friends, kind friends, far-away friends and quite a few who live within walking distance. I even have a friend that I'm married to.


I discovered recently that this is not the case for everyone. Not long ago, Alaska Airlines had a Facebook contest that asked you to tag three friends in the comments section. Once you did, you'd all be entered to win a trip together. My immediate thought was: how would I choose just three. So, I started scrolling through the comments to see what others had said and what I saw caught me off guard.


The most common comment was: I don't have three friends. 


What the heck? How is that possible? And then came one of those shifts that happens when you realize just how lucky you are. In that moment, I felt instant gratitude for my friends far and wide. For the friends who cheer me up when I'm down, who bring me food when I'm sick, who encourage me when I have yet another idea, who make me laugh until I cry.   


We all need these relationships--more than we sometimes realize. So, today, my unsolicited advice is this: cherish your friendships. Whether you have one or 100, realize what a gift each one is and cherish it.