Creating Rituals

Creating Rituals

Most people hear the word “ritual” and automatically assume that a ritual HAS to be associated with a religious experience. Even though this often is true, it is not always true.

Buried in the definition of the word ritual is, “an act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner.” We have rituals that we do every day. Rituals bring us comfort and set a mood because we do them routinely.

We may have a night time ritual of getting ready for bed. We may turn on our lamp, pull the covers down, or make a cup of tea. A morning ritual could include lighting a candle and beginning the day with journaling. We may just sit quietly in the afternoon maybe sketching or reading.

Each one of these things has something in common. We are completing a series of acts in a certain manner. Some would call these habits or routines. But I think “ritual” is when we are also creating a mood or atmosphere.

I don’t think the name or title is important, but creating these little moments throughout your day is what brings us comfort and calmness. Think about what you want to include in each day, and then create little rituals to make these moments happen!

Featured photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash.

How to Finish a Book

How to Finish a Book

Do you have a pile of books that you keep meaning to read, that this year you will read them, or that you are determined to read. That pile continues to grow as friends recommend a new bestseller or Amazon sends you a price you can’t refuse! Not only do I have a physical pile of books, but my digital library is growing as well.

I finally pick a book and start to read. Months later, my bookmark hasn’t moved.

As a student in college, we would finish an entire textbook in just 18 weeks or less, and those books are big with fine print. I spent hours reading and taking notes, but I finished that book! So how can I apply that same determination to other books of my choosing.

First, I decide when I want to finish the book. A month, six weeks, or a year? Take the number of pages in the book and divide by the number of days you have to finish that book. Easy! Ten to twenty pages per day is actually doable. More than that is a little difficult for me, but you may want to schedule more time to read. (If the number is too high, for example, 100 pages per day, you may need to give yourself more time.)

Next, you will need to decide when will you take time to read. For me, first thing in the morning works best with a cup of tea. I tried before going to bed, but I found myself falling asleep and the book on the floor. Do what works for you. It may also be nice to break up your day by reading at lunchtime.

Finally, read. Enjoy this quiet time.

One last note, give yourself permission to stop reading a boring book! I had held on to this book for about 7 years and when I started to read it, found it to be no longer relevant so I moved on to the next book on my list.

Before long, your library of piled up books will diminish and you will have grown or been entertained! Yay for you!! So pick your first book and begin! And then finish it!!

Featured photo by Prasanna Kumaron Unsplash.

Family Recipes

Family Recipes

One of my childhood memories includes my mother clipping recipes from the newspaper and magazines. She would meticulously cut them out and make a pile on the table next to her. She never cooked so I wondered why she took the time to cut and save them. Perhaps they represented a desire or a dream. Unfortunately, those recipes never became a dish on our dinner table.

Guess what? I found myself clipping recipes. Kids learn by observing right? Oooohhh this sounds good! Snip, snip, snip. Pretty soon my little metal recipe box was full. Now what? Was I actually supposed to cook these things?

One difference between my mother and me. . . I cook. And I started cooking the recipes I found on various scraps of paper in my little metal box. Some dishes my family enjoyed; others, not so much. Those recipes were hastily thrown away. Sometimes, I would even modify a recipe to our liking and then I would retype it to include our changes.

Over the years, I have accumulated our family’s favorite recipes. These are lovingly prepared on special occasions or when requested because a craving just must be satisfied. So how do I organize my recipes?? The answer is, “with loving care.”

Food brings people together. I treasure my recipes with the same value as our family photos. If a fire breaks out, grab the pets and kids, but don’t forget your recipes too!

Featured photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash.

Sending Love

Sending Love

Valentine’s Day is coming up! For some, this is an exciting day to celebrate his or her love for another person. For others, . . . it is a day that shouts constant reminders of being alone and for this reason, Valentine’s day has been recently nicknamed, “single awareness day.”

When I first heard that term, I thought mmmmm. . . depressing. But then I realized, “Hey, what’s wrong with being single?” I have been single for a little over two years. And I am enjoying it! Although it is wonderful to “be in love,” it is also wonderful to “be strong and single.” So Single Awareness Day, I am ready for you. Valentine’s Day can be a day for everyone – Singles and Couples.

It is a day to celebrate ALL the people we love! Use it as an opportunity to tell the people we care about what they mean to us. This could include parents, children, and friends. What about neighbors and co-workers or the people who provide services for you, like your hair stylist or manicurist. Send love as far as you want to reach out.

Remember in grade school, when we brought Valentine’s cards to share with the class? It might be fun to make an adult version of this little gesture and send love to all the people around you.

Featured photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash and slightly modified by me.