Positively Occupied


Positively Occupied

Yesterday someone came to my door and left a piece of paper in our mailbox. It was created by neighbors wanting to make a difference. We don’t have to be a family to inject joy wherever we are. Here’s what it said:

Neighborhood Window Walk!

Time to bring out your inner artist, children and adults alike!

Put a picture/drawing in your window(s) on the corresponding dates and then walk the neighborhood and enjoy all the pictures you find.

Please make the picture  big enough to be seen from the street!

A chance to wave at your neighbors and get active while still social distancing!

Tuesday, March 24: Animals

Thursday, March 27: Encouraging Words

Monday, March 30: Flowers

Wednesday, April 1st: Jokes

Saturday, April 4th: Easter Eggs

Signed: The Bunny Brigade of Calvin Park in lieu of an Easter egg hunt this spring.

So our family decided we would chalk our wooden garage door and join in the fun. A super cool idea that can become a small poster on the door of an apartment, chalking a driveway, painting a window with water paint, decorating a tree, etc. Even still, there are so many inspirational quotes, funny videos, crazy jokes, etc that we can share with others at meals, over the phone, by social media etc. Let’s make the effort to sow good cheer and put a smile on faces. Small things add up and make a difference.  Children have a particular gift through their drawings, letters and antics. Take pictures, videos of them singing, dancing, telling a joke and send them through social media to family, relatives, friends, colleagues and those in your contact list.  What great surprises these make. Costs nothing, but lifts hearts high. So many are alone and overwhelmed. They need us now more than ever. What a moment to make them aware that they are valued and appreciated!

Last night around the supper table, we decided to have our nurse-in-training daughter ask each person where a certain organ was located in the body before they could receive their dessert. What a hilarious time it turned out to be with people not knowing most answers but everyone learning a lot and laughing their heads off. Another daughter who works as a hairdresser asked questions about hair for round two of dessert. Again we were all at a loss, but learned a lot.  We all have interests to share, jokes to bring, stories to tell. Let’s be creative in making meals together a joyous time. Get some great conversation starters from The Family Dinner Project.  Share family history, memorable moments, look through photo albums, go through your keepsakes from school.  As well share inspirational true stories from  The Giraffe Heroes Project.  We all need to get creative!  Doesn’t have to be long or complicated, but it says so much when shared with colleagues, friends and acquaintances who are struggling and need that lift.

For sure, it’s not an easy thing to have everyone at home, especially for families with many young kids. It’s not quiet; it’s busy, noisy and crazy. While parents try to work remotely, it becomes quite the challenge to have children well occupied nearby. Time to come up with ideas to provide some structure and outlet to pent-up energies. A combination of work, play and inventiveness can go a long way. Time to delegate some cooking, chores and maybe even dejunking. Watching great movies together helps everyone relax.  If you’re stuck inside, doing a family aerobics workout is a great de-stressor.  Listen to audiobooks maybe while coloring,  enjoying comic books, getting ebooks to read and finding many ways to entertain your children will be of benefit. I see parents who have already got their bikes out and going for family rides in my neighborhood.   Active for Life has excellent ideas.  Here’s a list of 30 Classic Outdoor Games for you to check out, as well as  Indoor Game Ideas.  Before you go to bed, make a plan for the following day. It will give you the structure everyone needs to have purpose, focus and positivity. May you find many ways to be together with good cheer!

Someone recently sent me a great article about fantastic initiatives by ordinary people in our country’s capital.  Enjoy reading Look For Helpers.   As well another article highlights A Different Kind of Extraordinary that is being generated these days.  So worthwhile to read and be uplifted. May you be inspired to undertake something special yourself with the talents you have and those you are in contact with. We are capable of so much. Open yourself to your potential. Bring out your best self.

So let’s change our perspective and focus on the cup half full, rather than the cup half empty.  Be present to those you care about.   Let’s bring sunshine into the lives of those around us. God is certainly bringing spring into our midst with geese returning,  robins chirping, the ground thawing, plants prodding their way up through the cold soil. He will get us through. Intentionally sprinkle kindness to those around you, especially when you’re irritated. Let’s immerse ourselves in much good, ride this big wave and embrace the adventure!

There is so much available to help you. Don’t let your kids become slaves of technology. So much is a waste of time. Do use technology to enrich, educate and inspire so that the real time opens paths of growth in culture, humanity and character.  So, here we begin ….

The Little Prince read by Kenneth Branagh

Vatican Museum Virtual Tours and consider googling Museum Tours in youtube to find tours of other world class museums. My grandkids love the ones that show dinosaurs!

World’s Digital Library providing amazing reading and culture.

Great music from Hauser, Two Cellos, Piano Guys …. to capture your children’s imagination.

Expose your family to all that is good, true and beautiful around you, but especially in you. These days we live in ask the best from us. What we need more than anything, is to know we are loved, that we are lovable and become more loving. Take time to be together, to laugh, to play, to be bored, to cry, to hold each other through thick and thin. Your family is the most important business you undertake. Pour your best self and the best life has to offer into the hearts and minds of those you love.