“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends …” -- Samuel Johnson
I have returned, again, to a book first written in the 80s that my Mother passed on to me. She sent me a copy of Living A Beautiful Life, by Alexandra Stoddard. The book makes no claim to change one’s life, but in some significant ways, indeed it did mine.
The author begins with the tenet that people spend the majority of their work rewards on just the public options: celebrations, the holidays, decorating the formal living room. What a shame those alternatives don’t bring joy more often. A better way to live is to instill beauty in the everyday activities of life; those small details we touch all day long. And it doesn’t mean spending a fortune. Look through those treasures handed down in the family for sweet memories of the past, like tea parties with grandmother and picking flowers from the garden for Mom. Liberate that lovely teacup for your daily tea break at 10 and toss your tissue box for those super-soft cotton hankies your aunt gave you. It’s a greener thing to do, and a daily treat for you. Instead of that plastic shaker, re-purpose that inherited sugar-shaker to use with your body powder. Take those mundane moments and bring them to a rite of enjoyment
If you stop to reflect, those repetitive activities are daily rituals and can be meant to bring added pleasure to your life. These little “ceremonies” become small holidays embedded in your every day. To quote Ms. Stoddard, “Rituals can elevate the way you feel about yourself, your life, and make you more peaceful and more free … these small moments … become life-enhancing and make you capable of doing more with the rest of your time.” Instead of “saving up” for special occasions, it is better to do our living every moment in every day. Here is a list of possibilities:
- Color coordinate your workday space – Folders, pens, paperclips, and desk accessories.
- Keep a special vase on your desk and refill with a fresh flower often.
- Replace those gadgets that don’t work as they should – the can opener that doesn’t, the scissors that won’t cut. They increase frustration.
- Never turn down dinner out with a friend to stay home and do laundry.
- Save a few orange peels to throw in a burning fireplace for a spicy aroma on a winter evening.
- Learn to fold a dollar bill into an origami animal, and make one as part of the tip for an
- Save perfume bottles as individual bud vases.
- Use colorful, generously sized dishtowels as lap napkins.
- Give beautifully handcrafted gifts
Originally posted to the New Romantic Market on 1000Markets.com: http://www.1000markets.com/groups/newromantic