Vacations

When was the last time you took a vacation? Why do you go on vacation? In the spirit of mindfulness, I plan to be a little more intentional about the vacations I take this year. I will look for vacations that offer time with friends, the ability to read a book (or two!), and an opportunity to experience a new place.

Best vacation Ann Patchett quote

“What we want out of a vacation changes as we age. It changes from vacation to vacation. There was a time when it was all about culture for me. My idea of a real break was to stay in museums until my legs ached and then go stand in line to get tickets for an opera or a play. Later I became a disciple of relaxation and looked for words like beach and massage when making my plans. I found those little paper umbrellas that balanced on the side of rum drinks to be deeply charming then. Now I strive for transcendent invisibility and the chance to accomplish the things I can’t get done at home. But as I pack up my room at the Hotel Bel-Air, I think the best vacation is the one that relieves me of my own life for a while and then makes me long for it again.”

– Ann Patchett, “Do Not Disturb,” in This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

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Coffee on the Wall

Slowly but surely I am working my way back into a blogging routine. This summer has been full of transitions: I started a new job, relocated to a new city, and moved into a new apartment.

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I start each day with a cup of coffee, usually from my Keurig but sometimes from Starbucks or a local coffee shop. That warm (or cold) cup of coffee starts my day on the right foot! When is the last time you shared a cup of coffee with someone in need? If you haven’t heard of “coffee on the wall” take a second today and read the story below.

Coffee on the Wall

I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighboring town.  As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, “Two cups of coffee, one of them for there on the wall.” We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for two.

When he left, the waiter put a piece of paper on the wall saying “A Cup of Coffee”.

While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall. They had two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he put a piece of paper on the wall saying, “A Cup of Coffee”.

It was something unique and perplexing for us. We finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.

After a few days, we had a chance to go to this coffee shop again. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man poorly dressed entered. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, “One cup of coffee from the wall please.” The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity. The man had his coffee and left without paying.

We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the trash bin. Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear. The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes well up in tears.

Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted. He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem… he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee… without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him… he only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.

A truly beautiful thought. Probably the most beautiful wall you may ever see anywhere!
–          Unknown source

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Thoughts on Happiness

“Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation.” – W.H. Sheldon

This summer put your phone awaysource

Lately I have been thinking a lot about happiness. What truly makes you happy? Are you happy? I was on a journey to find happiness and I did not even know it. Undergraduate school, graduate school, reading The Happiness Project, and starting my first full-time job. Lucky to be happy where I am, with what I have and what I do, and because of the people in my life. Thank you all. Let you too go wholeheartedly towards something and be happy!

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Running Dreams

“Dream big! Your dreams are your own and they are not silly. Dream of a marathon, a 5K, or to run a mile without stopping. Dream to help other runners learn from your mistakes. Dream to find more joy in the time you spend giving your body the gift of exercise. Dream what you will but do not stop there. Happiness and satisfaction are not found in dreaming alone, but in intentionally moving in a direction to make your dreams come true.” –Run the Edge

A year ago today my friend Evan started his running adventure. As he says, it “all started with a pair of shoes last Christmas.” I am inspired by his commitment to running, and thankful for a running buddy that wakes up early to run with me in the dark in Athens at 6 am (and sometimes even earlier). I would not be as committed to my health and running if it was not for him.

CSAA Friends picture after AthensHalf

CSAA Ath Half Finishers: Evan T., Dr. Linder, Lenet R., & Me!

I saw this quote on my Facebook feed today and it reminded me how much joy I get from running. Are you thinking about starting to run or want to create new fitness dreams (resolutions) for 2014? I hope this quote and Evan’s story inspires you to make your own! Share those dreams below.