I thought I’d start the year off by sharing some of the pretty things I photographed in the last few months but hadn’t had time to share, yet. Here they are. Enjoy!
Back in mid-February I shared 10 random things that made me smile. It’s about time for another roundup, isn’t it?
1. Live Music at Burlesque
There are lots of opportunities to see burlesque shows in San Francisco. My favorite is when you also get to hear live music with the show. This was Little Minsky’s at Club Deluxe in The Haight (which I mentioned previously because I liked their pizza and Spa Collins). I loved the upright bass and there was also a live sax and a piano player. The hostess sang her own songs as did two of ther performers, one of which was Lily Fawn who I adored.
2. Storefront Sculpture
I was walking by a storefront in The Tenderloin and saw this sculpture. I can’t remember if this was a nail salon or a psychic or what but I liked the window display.
3. Boat Bikes
From the Fun Bike Unicorn Club
4. Red Door Restaurant Signage
A wacky San Francisco restaurant (or “non-restaurant”) that I still haven’t been to although I’ve tried to go.
5. Poetry Along The Pier
This is a portion of the poetry that is on the pier. I can’t remember what pier number it is but it’s one of the even numbered piers near The Ferry Building.
6. San Francisco Street Performer
I actually liked his music, too, which I wouldn’t necessarily have expected from the get-up.
7. Pony Rides
San Francisco is animal-friendly and tech-loving.
8. Diner Art
Toast, a diner on Polk Street, has some great 3D art on the walls.
9. View from Telegraph Hill
I know everyone loves The Golden Gate Bridge, but I’m partial to the Bay Bridge myself. Of course, more people are starting to love it like I do now that it’s home to the world’s largest-ever LED light display.
10. Farinata and Other Food
I already told you I enjoyed learning to make farinata but it was so good it’s worth mentioning again!
I am one of those people who isn’t ever going to be satisfied by doing a single job for the rest of my life. I’m not even particularly satisfied doing only one job at a time now. Instead, I’m one of those people who wants to do a million different things with my life. In addition to work, I want to pursue hobbies and generally just have new experiences.
There are a few things that I’ve found to be really important if you have this type of attitude about life:
- Staying productive. You aren’t going to get a lot done if you can keep your productivity levels high.
- Enjoy downtime. In spite of the fact that I believe in being productive, I also believe that you need to intersperse some downtime into your productivity. You have to relax if you’re going to be able to keep doing lots of things.
- Staying inspired. I read a lot of blogs and books that inspire me to stay productive and to stay creative.
- Enjoy varied activities. It’s too tough to keep going and going at a single type of thing. To enjoy more diversity in your life, you need to immerse yourself in activities that are truly different from one another.
- Accept that you can’t do some things right now. You can pursue every single hobby right this minute. Accept that and enjoy what you can do right now.
- Keep a life list. I have a list of things that I want to do, see and experience throughout my life. I keep it posted where I can see it. I check things off it (and add to it) regularly. When I’m planning out my schedule for the week or month, I check the list to see if I can do any of those things.
Maybe I want to do too much but I’ve found ways to make it possible to do more with my life. I believe in having full days!
I’ve been reading a lot lately about Simple Living. I like the idea of living a simpler life. And in some ways, I’ve structured my life to allow for a lot of simplicity. I have a lot of downtime and time to myself. I make a lot of time for creative projects. But I think that I could do more to reduce stress in my life and I’m trying to figure out how to do that.
Despite all of the great tips for simple living out there, I’m finding that moving into a simpler life is really difficult. It’s not that I don’t know what the tips are but rather that I’m not always sure how to figure out the ways in which they apply to my life.
For example, I know that my life would be a lot simpler if my living situation were different. I live in a place that’s too big in a city that’s too expensive and I live there by myself so I have to deal with everything there on my own from the bills to the cleaning. But I’m not sure what the simpler solution is. Getting a roommate comes along with a lot of complicated things. Moving to a cheaper city would make me unhappy in many ways. So I know what the problem is more or less but I don’t know how to fix it.
This is just one example of several areas of life where I’m not sure how to simplify or streamline or find peace in a better way than what I already have. How do you do it? Do you have any suggestions for what to do when you know you want something different from what you have but you’re feeling clueless as to what the next step is?
One of the things that I really think is important in life is to find those little things that make your every day a bit more special and to indulge in them. One of those little things for me is having fresh flowers in my home. Yes, there are good reasons to get house plants instead. Yes fresh flowers could be seen as a waste of money. However, I enjoy the whole experience of going out to find the right flowers for the week, arranging them in empty wine bottles and setting them up throughout my house. I also enjoy seeing and smelling them whenever I enter certain rooms. To me, this experience is worth the cost.
Of course, not everyone wants fresh flowers in their home. Some people would rather decorate with flowers in other ways through putting up floral wall paper or having flowery furniture. And for other people, flowers just don’t do anything at all. I’m not saying that having flowers in your home is the way to enjoy life. What I’m saying is that you should ask yourself what your equivalent is of the every day joy that flowers are for me and you should aim to bring that into your life on a regular basis. In the end, it is these little things that brighten our days that add up to a life worth living.
I always find it funny when people say that they don’t have the time to relax. It’s funny to me because of the irony of the fact that those people who have the least time are the ones who most need to relax and yet they don’t feel like they can. What I’ve discovered is that learning to take time away from your obligations is the single biggest thing that can allow you to be most productive in the times during which you are busy.
Learning to take time for yourself doesn’t mean that you have to give up any of your daily obligations. Take a look at my tips for ten ways to destress yourself in ten minutes or less. Each of these tips can be used throughout the day to decrease destress and yet none of them takes so much time that any part of your day should be hindered as a result of taking that time to chill out.
In fact, you will most likely find that the rest of your day goes much better because of the fact that you have taken a little bit of time to yourself. When we spread ourselves too thin, we don’t offer our full selves to anything that we are doing and everything suffers as a result of that. When we manage to take the time to care for ourselves, we do better in all that we do even if it technically seems like we have less time to give to things.
My health and diet post about yoga being so much more than just a physical thing has been included in the stress subject section of the Total Mind and Body Fitness blog carnival. Other articles on stress that were included were about rush hour traffic stress, destressing at work and finding satisfaction in life.
This blog carnival isn’t just about stress relief, though. It’s about all aspects of fitness and wellness. Other posts included:
- Posts on the brain including those related to memory, positive thoughts and brain plasticity.
- Tips, warnings and hints for dating online as well as offline and dealing with issues like cheating
- Exercise posts on yoga, the body (especially abs) and using ellipticals
- Beauty posts on cosmetic fillers and hair oil
- Food and nutrition posts on alcohol, pizza, health shakes, cholesterol and tea
- Financial wellness information on online banking, business and volunteerism
- Some seemingly random posts on Montana, PhotoLab, gold investing and remarkability
Wellness is a really important topic to read about so hopefully you’ll find some helpful information from the other articles that were included in this blog carnival!
I believe that the key to living a healthy life is to live in moderation. I don’t always stick with this belief. I have some hedonistic tendencies. I like to indulge and imbibe. I like to revel and rejoice. But ultimately, I believe that most things work best when they are done in moderation rather than at the extremes.
I believe that this is true of both work and play. I definitely go through periods of being a workaholic. This is sometimes great since I really do love the work that I do. But ultimately the lack of moderation in my work causes me to dislike what I normally enjoy about it and to seek to regain that balance of work and play yet again. Likewise, when I play too much, I miss my work. When I am too social, I miss my solitude and when I stay home alone too much, I miss my friends. My life is constantly about trying to find balance and that balance comes with learning moderation.
One specific example of moderation that works is in dieting and weight loss. I don’t believe in fad diets. I don’t believe in rapid weight loss. I don’t believe in extreme weight changes. What I believe is that your body has a weight that’s right for it and that if you eat healthy and in moderation then you will naturally balance out at this weight, the right weight for you and the one at which you will feel your best. I don’t believe in over-indulging in treats but I do believe in indulging in what you enjoy on a regular basis. I believe, ultimately, in moderation – in weight loss, yes, but more importantly in life as a whole.
Yesterday I went to a dance performance here in San Francisco. I hadn’t been to a contemporary dance performance (or almost any dance performance, really) in a very long time. When it first started out, I wasn’t sure quite where it was going or how comfortable I was or whether or not I was really going to enjoy it. But it didn’t take long before I was wrapped up in the story of the performance. And by the end, I found myself really feeling touched by the piece.
The reason that I found this performance so compelling was because it touches at the core of a human issue that has been very personal in my life lately. The performance (David Roussève’s Saudade) is themed around the word bittersweet and it tries to put into form these moments of life that we experience that have both something bitter and something sweet about them. What ends up happening is that the dance looks primarily at how individuals triumph over the toughest times in life and how that is wonderful even as the tough times are terrible.
The past year or so has been rough for me. Many different changes occurred in my life. There have been different types of losses that have torn at my heartstrings in so many different ways. There have been different problems from the past that swelled up within me and demanded confrontation. There have been conflicts within me about work and friendship and life choices. There has been illness. There have been some really dark times.
But this past year was also one of the best years of my life. Because it is true that when we are facing those dark times, we find those moments of joy. I discovered yoga this year. I have learned how to find some peace of mind. I have gotten to know myself better. I have grown as a person and my friendships have grown as a result of that. I have learned to take time for the things that I really enjoy.
Life is, most definitely, bittersweet.