Posts tagged ‘vacation’

5 Pieces of Happiness

"Young woman walking in meadow" courtesy of adamr/

“Young woman walking in meadow” courtesy of adamr/

I’m on spring break this week (but I still have tutoring), so I thought I would use this brief breather to try to set some habits.  Since my New Year’s resolution is to “be happy”, I’m going to focus on the 5 things that I have determined will most likely make me happy:

1. Health

2. Creative time/me time

3. People

4. Being in the Moment

5. Life Purpose

I plan on posting about my daily successes in those areas for this week —  beginning with posting about today and yesterday tonight — and any other posts I will schedule for afterwards.


“Blank Tv Screen” by Master isolated images/

I own a T.V., but I don’t have cable.  I’ve never had cable.  I probably regretted it as a kid.  You know, one of those things like wishing that you could have donuts or that marshmallow cereal or berry, berry cereal like your friends had when you stayed over at their houses.

But, as an adult, who appreciates not succumbing to diabetes or obesity at a young age, I’m grateful my parents fostered a love of reading and the outdoors that I may not have found as easily if we’d actually  had more than 5 channels growing up.

Perhaps my lack of experience with TV is why I am so completely powerless when I’m around it.  Switch on that TV, and I’m drawn to it like bees to a soda can.  And I think I can actually FEEL it sucking any intelligent thought out of my head.

So, this weekend I somehow imagined that I was going to have some great peace and quiet, away from it all.  I imagined catching up on my meditation, doing some blogging, finishing my book, etc.

But I forgot that every hotel room has a T.V.  And not only, T.V, but cable.  It’s amazing how much like clockwork it would go.  We’d enter the room, and the T.V. switched on.  The first day it was football.   I was completely flabbergasted as my eardrums were immediately bombarded with the sounds of cheering crowds and squealing whistles.  “Ah ha!” I thought.  I will try the other room.   Gathering up all of my creative materials (journal, pens, netbook, book, etc), I made my way to the next room.

“Football,” I sighed, “Can I hang in your room for a while?”  “Sure!” said my family.  “We’ll watch something else!”  Inwardly I sighed again and hoped that I could just use the TV as background noise.  But, it was not to be.  They found reruns of Friends, one of my favorite shows, and though I didn’t watch, I heard every word and snuck a peek during some of the particularly interesting parts.  Instead of fostering my creativity, I opted to get all of my grading done.

But it wouldn’t be fair to only blame just those around me.  Back from vacation, cleaning up a bit in the kitchen, I surprised myself when asking Brian: “So, what do you wanna watch?”  My plans of getting a week ahead in my blog posts quickly went out the window.

There is a place for T.V.  It can be motivating background noise for things like grading and housework.  And it can be a welcome treat, a social stimulus, a mood lifter, and its own source of creative inspiration.  The important thing is to make watching it. a conscious decision, and not a habit.

And next time, maybe I’ll just camp outside. . .

Vacation’s Over Blues

“White Flower On Towel” by arztsamui/

I got into a funk today, and I realized I’m mourning the loss of my vacation.  I had a wonderful weekend, and I’m not ready to give it up yet.

I did get some nice little surprise extensions to my weekend.  My weekend tutoring students canceled.  Then, one of Brian’s friends contacted Brian as we were getting off the plane, and we ended up having a fantastic last-minute evening out.  He treated us to a scrumptious dinner at Tap House Grill, and we had lovely, intelligent dinner conversation.   Later, this morning’s cancellation led to a fabulous stay-at-home-in-my-pajamas day.

But , still the workweek loomed.

And I sometimes get a little thrown off when there’s a break.  I get out of routine, and I can’t remember how I used to do things.  And I do NOT want to start working again!  I don’t want to plan!  I don’t want to think about work!  But it’s there, there in the back of my mind, nagging at me, like a slight tug on my worry strings, making it hard to concentrate on the great time I could be having in the moment.

Intro. to Mini-trip: The South

I haven’t blogged in quite some time. But that changes today! I just got back from a fantastic 4-day vacation and got my first glimpse of the South (Florida doesn’t count, right?): Little Rock, Arkansas; Robinsonville, Mississippi; and Memphis Tennessee.

Trip Itinerary:


  • Whole Hog Cafe
  • William J. Clinton Presidential Library
  • Harrah’s Casino and Hotel with Paula Deen Buffet


  • Cozy Corner
  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • FedEx Forum (Home of the Grizzlies!)
  • Beale St.


  • Brother Juniper’s
  • Graceland
  • Peabody Hotel – March of the Ducks
  • Roadhouse Casino and Hotel


  • Roadhouse Casino and Hotel
  • Sun Records

Site Highlight: Sun Record Company

Site Lowlight: Peabody Hotel for the March of the Ducks

Place Where I Lost All of My Money: Roadhouse Casino (No worries; I only spent $10!)

Best Food: Cozy Corner

Most Disappointing Food: Paula Deen’s Buffet

Food That Required the Looongest Wait: Brother Juniper’s

Best Equivalent to Disneyland: Graceland

Fastest Site Visit: Beale St.

Most Intense Site: National Civil Rights Museum

Site of Most Screaming, Shouting, Dancing, Drinking, and General Mayhem: FedEx Forum

Site with Best Replica of Oval Office and Cabinet Room: William J. Clinton Presidential Library

Site with the Longest Name: William J. Clinton Presidential Library

More on the trip (including pictures!) to follow. We went with a big group (12!), and surprisingly, we didn’t kill each other, AND we all had loads of fun. My mom and I both took pictures, but she was the true trip historian.   So, I may be adding  pictures as I go.

Well, for now I’m off to bed. Cats are alive, fed, and watered. Litterbox is done. Leftover Valentine’s hearts are eaten. Bag is soon to be unpacked (just one carry-on). Gotta get up early and get in to work tomorrow to make sure my plans are set for the week. Gonna snuggle up with my book and enjoy the last few minutes of my vacation. Good night, world.

Image: photostock /

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