Not having school on Mon or Tues obviously confused me for posting SLOLC this week. Woops! So it’s a day late…anyway.

In high school, I was surrounded by too many negative people. I did not enjoy this. I hate being engulfed by bitterness. Therefore, I made a decision to focus on the positive. It worked. Since then, I have been an overly optimistic person almost to a fault, yet it has served me well and I felt healthy and happy (a big change from Catholic elementary school years).

Recently, I’ve found myself once again surrounded by negativity. I swore that I would not let this happen, but somehow it has infiltrated my defenses. Not acceptable. I’m not going to take this opportunity to vent. No, that is not the goal; I cannot keep wallowing in malevolent thoughts/words/actions. Instead, I’m making a little list of goals for myself about things I will do for others because that makes me happy.

My goals:

1. Send more greeting cards – I really love to buy and send greeting cards. I’m slightly obsessive and just for fun sometimes I will peruse the stacks and stock up on cards. I’ve already given away two cards to people who needed  “pick me up” and when I first purchased the cards, I did not know who I would send them to. I just thought, someone might need this one day. I was right. I also love to get mail. When I was actively attending Girl Scout Camp in the summers, I had tons of pen pals, to the point where I probably sent out letters to multiple people at least once a week. The goal was to write ridiculously long hand-written notes and then decorate them with tons of obnoxious stickers. I also just found my sticker stash from high school. Sweet. If I love old fashioned mail – other people will too. That makes me happy.

2. Cook more home made food for my family – Every year I increase my repertoire of meals I can make. I usually find a recipe I like, try it out, tweak it. The more times I make it, the more likely I am to memorize the recipe. My husband will eat anything I put in front of him (except eggplant) and we welcome home made sustenance especially now that the temps will drop.

3. Say hi to everyone I see in the halls at school – this is just a friendly, polite practice. The more I make a point to say, “Hi, how are you” to anyone I see, hopefully they are more likely to say it to the next person.

4. Call my family on the phone more frequently – grading (as many of you know who are teachers) sucks your souls. In college, I was used to only communicating with three people on a regular basis: my sister, mom, and dad. Then, when my sister joined me at school, we ate all of our meals together, so I was down to just calling my mom and dad. I have in laws – parents and two more sisters. Even 10 min is better than none.

5. Smile – I’m fairly certain it’s a proven fact that smiling increases and releases “feel-good” endorphins. The more I smile, the better I feel. And besides, smiling looks way better than a scowl. I especially like to greet all of my students at the door and smile and see them smile back at me.

6. Give more hand made gifts to people – I’m all about the hand made stuff. Lots of people are. I’ve discovered I’m quite good at embroidering (basic designs; I’m working my way up). My mother-in-law makes stellar home made cards, wreaths, knit items. Yeah. She’s the best. If I enjoy receiving her items as gifts, I know others feel the same when I give them my hand made items.

7. Brush my cat and talk to her daily – I’ve written about my cat before, but anyone who has pets knows how much joy they bring to your life. As I write, my cat is curled next to me on the couch, the best thing ever after a long day. Animals need to feel loved and need affection and attention. Eight hours alone is a long kitty day. So even though my cat is not a human, I still count her in the “giving to others” category because she is an “other.” 😉