I hope you are healthy, happy and stress-free on this fine Saturday. I myself, am out of town in San Luis Obispo and therefore, treating it like a mini-vacation and forgetting all of my troubles in life. Ah, it is good.
I have been thinking for the past few days about inspiration. It came to me as I was walking the dog along the boardwalk and realized that I was looking straight ahead, at the road and not at the breath-taking view of the ocean to my left. I stopped and thought “What the hell is wrong with me?” And there it was. The realization that we are often like horses in the race of life, with blinders on and only seeing the task ahead. How dreadful.
I decided at that moment, to try and find daily inspiration in my life. No, I am not going to be one of those daily calendars of inspiration with photos of puppies and birds and dreamy landscapes. Because, that is not me to be so ooohhh ahhhhh self-help “Look how beautiful life is!” I am the realist it is true. And cynical. And snarky. HOWEVER. I do believe in balance and that means that if you sit and stay in a Woody Allen movie, you may become small, whiny and annoying like the master himself. So, I think it is much smarter to let a little sunshine in. Here are some ideas for you that may help:
LOOKY LOOKY – even if you live in the most concrete jungle, dark, and desolate place on earth, I KNOW you can find something great to look at and admire. Of course, nature and babies and things are always our “go tos” but for some, it may be as simple as opening your closet and looking at that great pair of shoes you love so much or opening the refrigerator to find glorious things to eat. Strolling the Farmer’s Market is a feast for all senses. Flowers always do the trick. Even just LOOKING at my bathtub makes me smile, knowing it is there for me. So go and LOOK at something and smile. Try to do it every day. I will try too.
LET INSPIRATION COME TO YOU – EVERYONE watches TV. Don’t tell me you don’t. You are lying. It’s okay. There is a lot of crap on TV but also a lot of good stuff too. Instead of watching “The Real Housewives..” – I know, hard to tear yourself away. I even caught my husband watching it – horrors! Try watching something that has MEANING and is for the betterment of society. Have you seen “Secret Millionaire?” Wow. I love this show! So wonderful and true and makes you want to go help people immediately. Also, how about NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams – their “Making a Difference” series? Brilliant. And it has you coming away thinking that people are actually good. I also think Dateline has some good stuff. Their recent “The Boy From Baby House 10” was crazy. And shows you that you can accomplish anything if you are just relentless in your pursuit.
INSPIRE OTHERS – it’s easy to get in your hole and in the woe is me, life is so hard pity party that we all excel at. But STOP. Take just a moment to say “Today, I will inspire someone.” Now, if you think I am corny, I DON’T CARE. This is good stuff and it does help. All you have to do is, ready? CALL a friend and say you were thinking of them. There. That’s it. I’m serious. Just letting someone know you are thinking of them is all you need to feel good. I like to go through my closet and find stuff I don’t wear and give it to friends. Of course, there are a million other things that are bigger that you can do. Go adopt a dog. Get your friends together and organize an activity, inspiring them to do something. Volunteer. Do something that is for someone else, not yourself. You will thank me.
INSPIRATIONAL READING – I LOVE my People and In Touch just as much as the next gal. And it is truly my guilty pleasure anywhere I find them – the dentist, the nail salon, anywhere. But PLEASE, oh PLEASE ladies, do include some kind of intelligent reading in your mix. Remember, even though you are done with school, your higher learning should continue. My friend Julie ADORES her self-help books and I admire her for that. Unfortunately, I am way too cynical for most of them. I did just pick up Tina Fey’s new book BOSSYPANTS – I consider her a huge inspiration to women and love her gutsy personality and extreme wit. I felt inspired just BUYING it at Costco. The ultimate inspirational reading for me is the NEW YORKER. I’m sorry but everyone, I mean everyone should read it. The articles are just brilliant. Insightful, cutting edge, hilarious. You just never know what you will get each week, and it is like a shiny new toy for me. I sit down, lick my lips and open it. YUM. This week’s Gandhi piece by Paul Rudnick had me beet red, I just couldn’t believe how un-PC and brilliant it was. And the article on Murdoch’s Best Friend was so interesting. Who Knew? Certainly not me. But now I do.
Lastly, ladies, oh dear wonderful brilliant ladies, GO TO THE THEATRE. You do not have to live in New York (although that helps tremendously). Every city has theater. Community. School play – whatever. Expand your horizons and go.
That’s it for today. I plan to spend the next two hours by the pool. With my New Yorker and Tina Fey.