What to Do on a Dreary Day?

It’s a dreary day at my house. Too cold and wet to be outside. So overcast my spirit feels depressed. What to do?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Today is National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. Did your heart speed up at the thought of bubble wrap? What is it about popping bubble wrap that can make you smile? Maybe it’s because it takes so little effort, or the patterns you can make, or the popping sound makes you think of happy things. I don’t know what it is, but it works to lift your mood.

Ever wondered how bubble wrap was invented? The story can be found here. The condensed version of the bubble wrap story is that it was a failure. But the inventor worked and worked until he found an excellent use for it. So it’s now a successful product that makes lots of money for the inventor and the people who make it.

I don’t have any packages coming that have bubble wrap in them but have a small stash for packing purposes. (Wink, wink)

And of course, there is an app for this activity.

Don’t stress over the day. Take it out on the bubble wrap.

Happy National Bubble Wrap Day.

From Wronged to Strong

There will always be people in your life who treat you wrong. Be sure to thank them for making you strong. Zig Ziglar

Okay, I never thought of being wronged as making me strong. But now I realize this is true. Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, a witch named Zora worked in a broom factory. Every day Zora reported to work, put on her factory-issued hairnet, and took her place on the factory floor. Her job was to add the last piece of magic to the broom. This small amount of magic she weaved into the broom was something she took immense pride in doing. Some witches used their magic to carve and shape the brooms. While others specialized in the placement of the broom straws and finishing. It was a small operation where everyone knew each other and usually got along.

Then one day, the old manager retired. Dagny, a witch with great skill in finishing, was promoted to factory manager. Dagny felt that the appearance of the broom was the most essential part of the process and worked hard to get everyone to create perfectly formed and beautiful brooms.

Dagny and Zora had worked together for many years. Zora was surprised to learn that Dagny saw no value in Zora’s tiny, insignificant, invisible part. New requirements were put on Zora to make the spell visible and beautiful.

Zora tried to make the spell appear beautiful, like trimming the broom. She worked and worked to perfect the magic. Every day Dagny walked by and watched Zora, making sour faces at her attempts. Then one day Zora was fired.

What was Zora going to do? This work had been her life. She spent the next month sulking in her room. There she practiced more spells, and an idea began to form in her mind. She would open her own broom-making business.

It took several months to get the business started with two friends. The friends carved, assembled, and finished the brooms. Then Zora added her little bit of magic to them. The brooms became popular, and soon their small business grew.

During the time Zora had been without work, she created a new spell for the brooms. The original spell’s purpose was to make the broom respond to its owner’s command. The new spell went further. Not only did the brooms respond, but the broom would become colorful and decorated to match the witch’s personality. It could even change with the witch’s attitude.

A couple of years later, the Witches World News interviewed Zora about her successful business. Zora thanked Dagny for challenging and firing her during the interview, making Zora a better broom-making witch.

Moral: Just because something terrible happens doesn’t mean something better isn’t waiting for us.

Unexpected but not Defeating

Sometimes things just don’t go as you planned. Then what do you do?

It is time to assess the damage. This is what you always do when unexpected things happen, whether it is a fire, tornado, earthquake, or a human-caused event.

Accessing the damage frequently means changing your plan, if not tossing the plan out. For example, your house is burglarized, and that requires looking at your home in a different light. You begin asking questions like:

  • Do I need a security system?
  • What was stolen?
  • Why did the burglars choose my house, my things?
  • What was the purpose of damaging my home as they took what they wanted?
  • How come they stole my yearbook?

These questions are frequently followed by tears, yelling, and fits of anger. All these things are necessary but not where you should dwell. Remaining too long in this anger and grief stage will cause you to miss living your life and finding new opportunities. Accept that it happened and move to the next step.

Next step, a modified or new plan. As you look forward, you can rid yourself of some baggage that needed to go but couldn’t bring yourself to do it. Get help to clean up the mess and someone to talk with. Make improvements to your life. This new stage of your life can be exciting as you evaluate what you want going forward. That big box of high school memorabilia that you moved from one place to another is now gone. You have a whole shelf in the closet to use, the memories are still with you, and it could provide an opportunity to reconnect with these friends if you decide to find a replacement yearbook.

No one likes starting over. We are more comfortable with what we know, but sometimes we are forced to see new possibilities for our lives.

Happy is the Life that Includes a Dog

No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as much as the dog. Christopher Morley

If you live with a dog, you understand the quote above to a depth that cat owners never will. While I enjoy cats and appreciate their independent ways, hunting skills, and deep purrs that calm the spirit, dogs move my heart.

While working on a book I read it aloud. Frequently, my dog listens. She will lay or sit by my side as I read with an adoring look on her face. She watches me, tilts her head to hear my words better, and never – never – tells me how awful something is.

I can read the same passage to my husband, and he will roll his eyes, fall asleep, or tell me to start over. Did I really want him to do those things? No. But I’m not writing for the dogs of the world, so maybe I did want him to do those things. Sigh…

What if the readers were like my dog? They would hang on my written words, waiting for the next profound statement to leap from the page, and then fall asleep comforted that I had shared a part of my soul with them.

Yeah – that ain’t going to happen.

My dog loves me – everything about me. And what do I do for her? Well, I feed and water her. Make sure she gets exercise and watch over her health. I spend lots of time rubbing and talking with her. She is smart and learns quickly. When given the opportunity, she curls up with me and takes a nap, always alert to any strange sound.

I find that almost any breed of dog will respond to our voice. The dog’s sense of hearing is superior to ours by leaps and bounds. They can hear if we are tired, angry, lonely, happy, or worried. Without understanding our words, those ears know when we need an extra tail wag or some space to ourselves.

Talk to your dog. Tell them about your day, the misfortunes, and the joys. They like jokes, so practice your jokes on them before sharing them with humans. Talk with your dog about nature’s wonders, and don’t worry about what others think. After all, you have the dog to listen and affirm you are right.