Are things in your life falling apart or into place?
Have a great day!
Patrice Koerper Robson is a United States Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, who served in Macedonia from 2006-2009 beginning at the age of 53. She is one of only 460 people over the age of 50, who have served annually in the United States Peace Corps (Approximately 6% of the Volunteers who serve each year are over the age of 50).
Patrice loves Macedonia, and is happy to have traveled back to the tiny, mountainous country many times. Her first return trip was in the fall of 2010 for two months to visit friends and work on projects. She traveled back again for a month in 2011, and as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer for four months from 2012-13.
In 2016, she and her wonderful husband, Dan, spent their extended honeymoon in Macedonia combining five weeks in the ancient and beautiful city of Bitola with side trips to Venice and to the Isle of Corfu. Patrice was also a Response Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia for four months from 2011-12, which she plans to revisit in the future.
Patrice’s main passion and occupation is Wishful Thinking Works life coaching, workshops and presentations, which combined with her family and friends and travels with her husband, are all part of the life she is really wants.
I am enjoying “The Power of Moments” by Chip and Dan Heath this summer and love so many of their tips for personally and professionally enhancing your life. One of their free resources tips for spicing up your marriage or relationship is a fun one, and I thought this summer might be a great time to take advantage of their advice.
Art Aron had couples engage in a date a week for ten weeks. One group did a standard date. For example a couple that habitually went to dinner and a movie would have dinner and a movie. Another group did something different than what they would normally do. If they normally see romantic comedies, they might take in a horror film or an action/adventure. If they normally ate Italian, they might try Vietnamese. The biggest increase in marital satisfaction was among the novelty group.
Any type of change will be good for your hearts and souls, and you don’t have to commit to ten weeks to feel the benefits. Whenever you “Break the script.” by trying something new, you increase the odds of creating a memorable moment.
The goal is to get started thinking of new and different ways to bring joy and memorable moments to your lives, all of which can strengthen the bond between you. Your options are endless, the choices are yours, and a cool summer evening or breezy sunny day will make every memory just a bit sweeter.
So many days, so many “News”
I truly lost track of my “News” this week while hosting guests. I did not manage a “New” each and everyday, which was “New” for me! But I am happy to say that by not holding myself to strict a standard while spending time with my wonderful friends, my week was much more relaxing! Cutting myself some slack on a public commitment was “New” for me, and easier than expected because the pay off was so rewarding – fun with friends!
One friend was visiting from abroad and another from Colorado. I met both while serving in the United States Peace Corps from 2006-2009 in the country of Macedonia. Oddly enough, because of her travels to the U.S. and mine to Macedonia, I have seen my Macedonian friend many more times than my American Peace Corps pal! It has been nine years since we all have gotten together, so coordinating their visit was a definite “New”.
One of the joys of reuniting was realizing and talking about how lucky we were to have met. It is astounding to consider all of the twists and turns our individual lives took to connect us originally and the many choices we have made to keep in contact since we first separated nine years ago.
To celebrate gathering again, we recreated a photo we took in the tiny, remote village of Dupeni, Macedonia, which was one of the last times we were all together. Recreating a photo was another “New” for me! My husband very patiently juggled our phones until we agreed that one of the many, many new photos he took was flattering enough for all three of us – thank you, Dan! Our quiet, peaceful Long Island backyard was the setting for our new photo; we agreed it had some of the same relaxing characteristics of my friend grandparents’ villa in Dupeni, and also agreed we should not wait another nine years to gather again – somewhere in the world.
Another “New” this week was learning from my American friend about her “One Line A Day” habit, which began with the gift of a five year journal in which you simply write “One Line A Day.” She has passed the one year mark in hers, so she is now enjoying having past year thoughts at her fingertips as she adds her new ones. She shared some of the insights she has gained from writing and comparing her thoughts from year to year, which inspired me to buy a similar book. As soon as it arrives, I plan to start a new way of journaling – “One Line a Day”, which will be “New” for me.
A foot injury kept me on Long Island this week as my friends headed into New York City on the train for a day of sightseeing. Admitting I could not join them was tough and a “New” for me, I usually push myself no matter the circumstance. But as their plans solidified, I knew I had made the right choice, and I smiled throughout the day, knowing I was comfy, cozy at home and doing the right thing. Smiling about a limitation was definitely “New” for me!
Another “New” this week involved a fashion choice – not the most earth shattering “New” but stepping out of my comfort zone into a seersucker dress was “New” for me. The dress will not make it into my regular summer rotation – it’s a little too old school for me, but I was happy I gave it a try, and have lots of photos commemorating it’s debut! Here is one of us relaxing on Teddy Roosevelt’s front porch at Sagamore Hills. Posting the photo is another “New” – it is not my most flattering photo, but the moment and circumstances surrounding it make it special to me and sweet to share.
This very special “New” is from a wonderful friend and Wishful Thinking Works reader, who shared how “30 Days New” inspired her to develop “News” of her own. I love her “News” and the fun she is having creating them:
I have loved reading your “30 Days New”. I haven’t managed it every day, but I definitely made a start. 1) I learned to make goat kefir 2) learned to make kombucha 3) learned to actually LIKE the kefir and kombucha 4) learned I can take my grandkids 2&4 to the swimming pool without them drowning or me having an anxiety attack :-) 5) learned how to create and use Event Brite for an organization I work with 6) learned to make almost professional looking greeting cards 7) learned to make 2 other fermented probiotics, but still trying to like them.
What is “New” with you? Have you tried anything out of your comfort zone lately? How did it feel? Feel free to share your experiences with us, we’d love to hear about your success!
To read more about how my “30 Days New” habit got started, click here.
“30 Days New” – Day 14 & Day 15
I woke up feeling terribly guilty that I was behind in my “News” and also in posting about them. I was feeling embarrassed that I started the project and wasn’t keeping up with it. I also was beginning to find ways to justify my lack of follow through. (Step 2 in the rationalization process – Step 1 one is to admit a problem/situation has occurred, Step 2 is to figure out a way to blame circumstances or someone else for our failure!)
When I realized I was ruminating ad nauseum about the situation, I decided to occupy my mind elsewhere for a bit and began creating a mental to-do-list for today. The minute I switched gears I felt lighter and after making a few mental notes, I started to laugh at myself.
I had solved my own problem. I know beating-up on myself leads to no good end, and if I kept it up I would simply fall further behind and probably begin adding other lapses to my life to confirm to myself that I really had “failed”! Misery loves company and I had to admit I was already inviting imaginary and very unlikable guests to my personal pity party. (You know, those voices in our heads that never have anything nice to say, but we listen to them anyway.)
I decided that instead of filling my head and my heart with my real and imagined failings, I would simply get started planning what my “New” would be for today. It took me less than a second to come up with it. Stop back tomorrow to read my results.
Day 14 & Day 15 Results – A kinder, gentler me – to myself, and an increased ability to swallow a good dose of humility to soften my judgmental rough edges.
awareness that I could not see the forest for the trees. I had done lots of wonderful things on Day 14 & Day 15, including re-doing some of my “News” and expanding on others, but I was so focused on the project that I discounted the benefit of those things, simply because they weren’t “New” enough.
To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.
“30 Days New” – Day 12
Easy peasy, second day of new qigong practice! I am counting it as a “New” because it is the first habit I have chosen to create as a result of “30 Days New” practice. That’s a first, which is just as good as a “New” to me.
Day 12 Results – Sense of peace and calm while doing the practice, and curiosity as to what it will add to my life.
“30 Days New” – Day 13
Day thirteen turned out to be very lucky for me. Today I meditated for an hour. It seemed like about 3 hours, but no matter, I did it!
I have been wanting to try meditate on my own for an hour for more than a decade. (Who knows why it took me so long, but seriously not important at the moment.) I use a variety of 25-30 minute guided meditations, including Yoga Nidra and self-hypnosis, both are very satisfying and I will continue to use them, but excited that today I took the leap to 60 minutes on my own.
I can’t honestly say I loved meditating for an hour and it was not an earth shattering experience, but it took commitment and a great deal of patience. I like that. I also like that since I have meditated for an hour, 30 minutes on my own is much less daunting. I know I can do it regularly and that makes me very happy.
Day 13 Results – Sense of accomplishment, mixed with pride and the overwhelming urge to give myself a sticker of some kind! Woo-hoo, I gave it a try and I did it!
To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.