“Be present in all things and thankful for all things” – Maya Angelou
If you want to brighten your spirits, consider these suggested day brighteners, one for each day of the first month of the new year:
31—For so many displaced by Hurricane Ian, “home” is a fluid concept. Home is where your heart is – what do you love? Even if it’s bringing up a memory past, or recreated a new, this can bear witness to the beauty in our lives which may be ever-changing.
30—Continue in your neighborhood. Compliment a neighbor on their flowers, mailbox, or even (especially!) their dog.
29—Have you been to the post office lately? The postal workers probably need a breather after all the seasonal deliveries. Chat them up with a smile and pick out some fun stamps. The Charles Schulz Peanuts gang, folk artists, otters and more are just some of the cheery offerings.
28—My mail carrier always has a smile. I was happy to return the favor with an unexpected gift card.
27—After the holidays, maybe you are “shopped out” -but you can still support local businesses by giving them a great review online.
26—It’s so easy (and free!) to promote your favorite local businesses – share their social media posts.
25—Go outdoors and breathe deeply. Maybe kick off your shoes and get your feet in the dirt! Grounding for real. Close your eyes and listen to songbirds.
24—Repeat this on a clear night – the constellations in the night sky are always a sight to behold.
23—Then off to bed! Years ago my daughters recommended an eye mask for a more peaceful night’s sleep. Good advice, girls.
22—If you keep a journal by your bed, you can record your dreams or an idea that might otherwise be forgotten when it comes to you in the middle of the night.
21—Morning coffee? My favorite mug has the precious word HOPE to warm my heart and hands.
20—Or pay a visit to your local coffee shop whether for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up.
19—Make a date with the sunrise! Baker Park is one great spot if you are up early enough.
18—Ditto with the sunset. I can’t think of much that rivals the perfection of a Naples sunset over the water with sherbet skies.
17—Pat yourself on the back for completing a new project or taking up a new hobby. Creativity is a wonderful spark.
16—Find a quote that is uplifting and inspiring and pass it along.
15—A gentle reminder that health is the real wealth. A simple and easy boost is to stay hydrated and drink that extra glass or two of water everyday.
14—Whatever your goals are for 2023, science tells us that if we write these down, we are far more likely to attain success in reaching these goals.
13—Is it time to make a random act of kindness a weekly or even daily practice? This could be as simple as a sincere and heartfelt compliment to a friend or stranger.
12—Consider a donation to a food pantry after you clean out yours.
11—Complaints beget more of the same. Pick a day – 24 hours of no whining or griping.
10—Give yourself a compliment. We all are special. Remind yourself.
9—Savor a special meal of comfort food. (If you need a suggestion, look no further than the spinach mushroom lasagna at the Wynn’s market deli.)
8—Celebrate a victory. Your Wordle streak? Awesome! Finishing a round of medical treatments? Standing ovation territory!
7—Think back to a New Year’s resolution you’ve kept year after year.
6—Or start a new tradition in 2023.
4—Visit your local library for some quiet time.
3—Planning a trip? Anticipating or even remembering a favorite journey is a huge mood booster in every conceivable way.
2—Listen to or make music.
1—Honor the memory of a departed loved one. My deeply talented and witty artist friend, John Bartoldus, died unexpectedly this past October. I’m thankful I’ve been able to share stories of John with people who loved him, and I’m grateful that I had Johnin my life.
And I’d also like to share his life’s work with you. Please consider dropping me a line with your personal suggestion to brighten someone’s day: NaplesKCC@gmail.com and I will send a Life in Naples reader John’s iconic Naples Calendar and Restaurant Guide; alas his last.