The Secret to a Good Life

Last week was one of those weeks when it felt like EVERY little thing was going wrong. Maddie (my dog) got sick and I had to go to four different pharmacies to get her prescription filled. I was pulled over by a cop for a registration mix-up.  I lost my mail key. Work was difficult for a few reasons, and in the moment, it really felt like the universe was not on my side.

I generally try not to focus on the negative parts of my life, especially if I cannot change the circumstances. When it seems way too easy to focus on the negative things, I find it most helpful to refocus my attention to the positive things in my life and the things that matter most to me.

As I went on a walk yesterday afternoon, I thought about my difficult week and I tried refocusing. Then, as I took in the beautiful fall weather, I stumbled across a TedTalk by Robert Waldinger, “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.”

In the TedTalk, Waldinger shares how this decades-long study has found strong relationships are the foundation for a happy life. He talks about how loneliness is correlated to poor health. Waldinger also shares that the relationships don’t have to be romantic. Quality friendships can be just as valuable as a romantic relationship.

It was fascinating, and made so much sense. I have found my relationships with friends and family are the most valuable thing. When I think about the big picture, I know my life would be so different and so lonely without their support and the smiles they put on my face. The important people in my life are a huge positive force, especially on a hard day or during a difficult week.

In fifty years, the details of my difficulties will not matter. What will matter is that my relationships with family and friends remain strong, if not stronger than they are today.

“The good life is built with good relationships.” – Robert Waldinger

Here’s to a happy week for everyone!

-SC

 

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Flashback to Mixed CDs

Here’s a little flashback for your Friday! Remember making mixed CDs on your computer, decorating them with sharpies and giving them to your friends?

Mixed CDs were the perfect way to compile your favorite songs, reflect on a specific time period and connect with friends or a loved one. But, newsflash — CDs are dying, and so are CD players (so sad). So, what is a girl to do when she wants to share a few specific songs with someone special?

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I’ve discovered by trial and error, that YouTube playlists are the way to go. Over the past year, I have made several private playlists on YouTube for differnt genres of music and for different activities like working out or a road trip. With one click of a button you can easily add a YouTube video to a new or existing playlist. You can also keep your playlists private or share them with the world. And there’s no memory limit like there is with CDs! One of my all-time favorite playlists is full of songs from John Mayer, who I’ve loved since I was thirteen.


As Will and I have dated, there have been several songs that represent our relationship or make me think of him. Creating a YouTube playlist gave me a way to compile these in one place and a way to listen to them wherever I am. One of my favorite things about YouTube playlists is also that you can give the people you share it with the permission to edit the playlist and add their own songs.

Sharing a playlist like this can be a fun way to feel connected to a friend or loved one when you are apart. And of course, music has that wonderful way of taking us right back to a special moment. I’d love to hear if you’ve found a similar way to share playlists online.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. I’ll be baking up a storm with the dozens of apples I got at the orchard last weekend. Please share any favorite recipes you have.

Cheers!

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The Cheapest Date

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. This one is especially for those of you who are looking for a fun, affordable time with a special someone. It’s the cheapest date I know, and one of my favorites. It’s going to the park with your boo. I know. It’s completely revoluntionary.

But in all honesty, going to a park to walk around, explore and talk to your loved one can be a simply amazing time. So often I think the simple things in life can be underated, overlooked or taken for granted. People are so quick to talk about the amazing things they do on their social media platforms, but I think it’s just as important to share the simple, day-to-day things we do with the people we love.


I had this realization last weekend as I walked for miles around Fort Washington park with Will and Maddie (my doggie). We decided to do something outside that afternoon. Fort Washington seemed like a fun place to check out, since neither of has have been there, despite it’s close proximity to D.C.

Well it was such a good idea. It was absolutely beautfiul, and the hours we spent there flew by. Moments like that are my favorite. There is something about being outside that is so good for our souls.

I had this moment of realization as we walked around. I now it’s a cliche that is passed around so often — the tangible things in our lives are not important. It’s the special people we share our lives with and the moments with them that give our life value. The fact that, we can go and have that experience with someone special and it doesn’t cost anything, is what makes it invaluable.

So yes, it was the cheapest date. And it is something I’d reccomend everyone do on a regular basis. Pack a lunch. Have a picnic. Bring your dog. Do it your way, but just spend sometime outside with someone you love.

Cheers!

SC