In Between

Tea Time

Tea Time (Photo credit: Maia C)

This is my newspaper column for the week:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lie our growth and our freedom.” ~ Victor Frankl

It is in that space, the one between something happening to us and taking action that we live and breathe and make choices. And it is those choices that form our lives. Yes, I am getting a bit philosophical here, or pseudo-philosophical as the only letters behind my name declare me as someone who is supposed to have read all of Shakespeare’s plays (hard to take part in a comparative studies class of Shakespeare if you have not read all of his works ~ I learned this the hard way). I am also supposed to be able to take a theory and turn it into something practical–and, oh yeah, back in the day, I could dolly a mean television camera.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. While we are trying to make the hard choices, the right choices, and live our life the best way we know how—a little respite from all the serious stuff is sorely needed. Today, while reading some posts from my blog friends (no they are not my imaginary friends—there are living breathing people I have just not met in person) I came across a list of “Ten Things That Might Improve Your Day” by a Scottish woman {tearoomdelights} who writes primarily about tea, but also about life.  Curious? Well, I am going to satisfy that curiosity right now. She had an explanatory paragraph to elucidate each of her thoughts, but I will take her headings and provide you with a few of my own scattered notions.

Ten Things That Might Improve Your Day:

1. a nice hot beverage—of course her first choice was tea, but I am a fan of hot chocolate when I need my day improved.

2. a fresh pair of socks – now I have to share a few of her thoughts on this one as I thought they were first, unusual; and second, ingenious. She says that putting on a new pair of socks halfway through the day will refresh you, and if you do not have another pair of clean socks, then take off the ones you are wearing, shake them out, and put them back on.

3. a small nap – we have all read that successful people take 20 minute naps in the afternoon. Sounds like a good excuse to me.

 4. a wee read – told you she was Scottish. This one appealed to me in particular. A wee read can take you out of this world into another one for a few moments—a good way to improve you day.

5. a bit of fresh air – we all know this one, but how many of us embark on a little journey outside for some bird song and a little breeze?

6. a hot water bottle – perhaps this can be used in Scotland year round—but this would be the ticket here for three-quarters of the year. Soothing.

7. a bit of comedy – there is a reason I am addicted to some sitcoms. Some are clever, slice of life, and need I say it—funny.

8. a moment of peace—this one is self-explanatory and oh so necessary.

9. a thoughtful gesture – think of someone besides yourself and make them happy; improve their day (okay this was really her thought—but it needed no tweaking).

And finally, one I find a little abstract but her reasoning behind it is solid:

10. A blob of sun cream or to Canadianize it: sunscreen. She says that putting on sun cream makes her feel like she is on vacation even when she is not. Can’t argue with that for improving my state of mind.

My number 11 would be pumpkins—I just love them—they seem friendly, and make me happy. I do not know why. They just do. I bought a magazine yesterday that had pumpkins and squash and all manner of autumn things on the cover—taking me on a trip to my favourite season while we are still enmeshed in summer. I am not wishing the summer away though—there are still lots of things to enjoy in the month of August, like the harvest of ripe tomatoes in our little backyard garden plot; being able to just leave the house without sweaters and hats and coats and boots and mittens; outdoor picnics; and walking barefoot in the sand ~ just to name a few. Happy August—take a few minutes to enjoy it!

What would your number 11 be?

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39 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on my list, thanks, LouAnn. I must admit pumpkins hadn’t crossed my mind but I think I can see why you would add them, they are very satisfying somehow.

  2. I love the part about the sunscreen – so many times when I am in a bad mood or feeling sad I open a bottle of sunscreen and sniff it – it always makes me feel better…

  3. I think the list is pretty complete. The sun lotion is something I’ve always done so I was surprised to see it on the list. I like to use something tropical with the smell of coconuts- I’m a little old school when it comes to this practice. I think it’s the feel and smell more than the actual function.
    I guess my # 11 would be to sing in the car along with the radio or maybe dance, even if it’s for a few minutes in your living room with no one watching. 😀

  4. #11 … a special phone call from a loved one…Diane

  5. Great list, and I also love pumpkins, both to look at and to eat. A glass of fresh carrot juice always lifts my spirits. 🙂 Happy August to you. 🙂

  6. A wee read, a bit of fresh air, and a moment of peace are what I’m going to enjoy today because it’s my first day of holidays!! As for #11 for me, I can think of many things, but the best would be if enough money miraculously appeared in my bank account to pay off all of my bills. Sigh!! That would be amazing :). Then I could enjoy peace all of the time.

  7. I love Lorna and her Tea Room Delights. You’re right, pumpkins do seem friendly. And happy. I like them too. My #11 would be quality time with my 3 cats. Writing that makes me feel like I’m treading close to Crazy Cat Lady territory, but I don’t care. 🙂

  8. The sunscreen is my favorite!

  9. Is it odd that I get excited about new socks, straight from the store? I love them. The list is very good. I agree with all of the points. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the giant pumpkins that we planted this spring. I’d love to see some impressive ones.

    And about the quote – in our house we call that space between stimulus and response the filter between brain and mouth. We try to teach the kids to engage it before speaking. I’m still working on keeping my filter engaged too.

    • It is not odd that you love new socks–socks lead to all kinds of adventures
      Let me know how your pumpkins grow–I grew some one year but they took over my backyard
      I like that you have a filter between brain and mouth–I try to get mine in gear most of the time–sometimes I fail

  10. I never used a hot water bottle until I moved to London. Now that’s bliss.

  11. I need to find a hot water bottle for winter. And pumpkins, while they mean winter is just around the corner there is nothing like the taste of pumpkins. Seeing how many are in the garden I’ve already been given a wishlist of pumpkin roll, muffins, bagels, pie, custard. They are just so versatile.

    • yes, pumpkins are versatile–but I just like their looks–okay and the pie too

      • I like their look, but pies and pumpkin rolls are delicious.

  12. At first I thought #4 said weed (not a wee read). LOL
    My #11 A {Hug}

  13. a lot going on this wee post! yes each moment contains a choice, how we react is such a deciding factor about the outcome of our life {not too much pressure eh? phew}

    i love all of the 10 things ~ she’s my kind of person, thanks for introducing me to her site

  14. That’s a really good list. I’m not sure what my Number 11 would be – perhaps dinner in a restaurant! xx

  15. Wonderfully charming post Lou, I so love hearing the term ‘wee’.

    My 11 would have to be ‘between’ a piece of classical Spanish guitar music by someone like David Russell; or a blues guitar piece by Snowy White.
    Common denominator I admit is guitar music.
    I have never found anything that causes that same sense of frisson I love to feel.~

  16. my number 11 would be stopping my car on the way to work and taking a minute or 5 to watch the egrets and herons, they’re stately grace can put me in a state of grace to face the day if i take the time

    • what a lovely number 11 – yesterday I was walking down by Lake Erie and saw a huge heron–I think he brought me good luck for the day


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