Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,
 
I attended a "wake" earlier this week; it was not a sad event. She had a good life and was elderly. Family and guests were in good spirits.
 
I find "wakes" make me feel a bit uncomfortable, and don't usually enjoy them; most people don't. I share this because I know some who do. Wakes are a fertile spot for characters and respectful folks to gather. They discuss the past and catch up on the present. No discussions about the future, no need, we are standing in it.
 

Being there got me thinking, most of us who were there might not have 20 years left on our biological clocks. No one knows the timing for sure, but our clock is ticking, and the ticks are louder for some of us.

 All the more reason to live an intentional life

Below is from the article and the full article in the link above, A Guide to Intentional Living by Joshua Becker. 

  • Realize that your life is made up of choices. Every morning is a new day full of decisions and opportunities. You get to pick your attitude and your decisions. You don’t have to let the circumstances of your past negatively determine the pattern of your life in the future. You have a choice in the matter. You do not need to be stuck in the same pattern of living that you have been for years… realize that every morning is a new opportunity.
  • Evaluate the culture that you’re swimming in. Life is not lived in a vacuum. It is lived surrounded by a culture that is moving somewhere. This culture around us forms a swift downstream current. Living with intention will require you to take a step back and evaluate the flow of the stream to determine where it is headed, how it is affecting you, and if it is taking you in a direction you desire.
  • Examine yourself. Know who you are. Get a strong handle on your passions, talents, abilities, and weaknesses. Give precious time and energy to this endeavour. It is one of the most valuable things you can do.
The funeral home has a little dog walking around the place, to give comfort. It seemed to do little of that. I am sure it was a cat in a dog body; it would barely stop for anyone. The dog might have very well been replicating the owner of the funeral home. The owner floats sympathetically through ensuring the guests are comfortable. And I mean the ones standing, the other has already been well cared for.
 
Standing in line, I started imagining what my wake might look like.
 
During my wake, please serve tea, cake, ice cream and encourage storytelling to take place. Please, no reception line. Just sit me up in the chair and paste a smile on me like no other. I am comfortable saying this as I will already be in a great place playing crokinole on the clouds with Christ.
 
Back to earth, for now...
 
Recently, I was asked where I was on the happiness scale. In answering, I said, “It depends.”
 
If I am learning and growing, I am happy. If I am helping out in some fashion, I am happy. I want to continue learning more and still have a desire to do so, I'm happy. If can continue to serve more, I am happy.
 
So if I want to be happy, I need to make sure I am focused on doing more of the above.
 
Joshua Becker says it well, "The greatest gift you can ever give yourself is to live a life aligned with your values. When you spend your money, time, and energy on the things that bring you happiness today and joy tomorrow, you experience peace, confidence, and satisfaction in the life you have chosen to live. 
 
Sounds almost therapeutic, so here is a new addition to the blog:
 
Three Tiny Therapy Tips from Twitter.
 
  1. “Honesty without tact is cruelty.”
  2. "Do good deeds, and don't get caught." 
  3. “Five senses. When stressed or anxious, do this to keep yourself calm and in the moment. Take a few deep breaths. Count five things you see. Four things you hear. Three things you feel. Two thinks you smell and one thing you taste.”
Recent night at the movies...
 
I find most movies at the cinema or online hard to watch these days. There is not much substance in the way of the story and or not adding much positivity to the world.
 
That said, Shirley and I enjoyed “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring Tom Hanks.
 
If you haven’t seen the movie, might I recommend it?
 
Whether you are a fan of Mr. Roger’s or not, it is a great story and one worth seeing.
 
It is much about journalist Tom Junod, whose 1998 Esquire profile is the basis of the film. Great story of an estranged alcoholic father and son and how Mr. Rogers affected their lives.
 
This NY Times article, called "This Tom Hanks Story Will Make You Feel Less Bad," is worthy of your time as well.
 
Great journalism shared in the Paris Review called, The Radical Mister Rogers.
 
To learn and grow more as a productive person, I am trying to establish new habits. Whether reading, exercise, diet, etc. The trick is to start small or with baby steps. I am leaning on phone apps to assist me. One is from Apple called Reminders. Another, called Done, by a developer promoting it on the Apple app platform and having fun and success with these so far.
 
In a previous blog, I had mentioned reading a chapter a day of a fiction title was a goal. I added a chapter a day of a non-fiction title, as well.
 
Listening to 3 Books with Neil Pasricha inspired me to read some classic books. Particularly those read by his podcast guests. Each podcast (chapter) of 3 Books will uncover and discuss the three most formative books of an inspiring individual. 
 
One such book suggested by a guest was For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemmingway.
 
I didn't own it, so I set out hunting for a hard covered copy of the book.
 
A funny thing happened at the used book store…
 
I asked the clerk if they had a copy; they weren't sure. So we sauntered down to the classic section. Among the hundreds of books in the category, we could see an old copy at the very top of the bookshelf. But it was only a step ladder away.
 
He stepped up and brought down the copy, opened the cover to reveal the cost. With me peering over his shoulder, the open cover reveals the cost. I could see the price in faded lead pencil, $50.00!
 
My first reaction was whoa...then for some silly reason, I asked, “Any chance this was a first edition print?”
 
He responded, "no, this is like a Reader’s Digest publication." I asked, “is there a way to find out”?
 
He handed me the book, and we headed to the front of the store where an iPad with an internet connection lay waiting. He picked it up and “Googled." Lo and behold, it was the first edition and listed online for $495.00 US.
 
Now there is no question to the clerk’s integrity, but I was glad the book was in my hands when we discovered this news.
 
I paid him the 50.00 and left there with that big smile I hope they paste on me when I am sitting up at the funeral home.
 
I have been enjoying reading the book one chapter at a time, as of today I am on Chapter 10.

Well, that is it for today folks, have a lovely weekend and thank you for your time today. Be nice out there. 

Here is something in keeping with the spirit of the season. I hope you enjoy it.

Quite a bit this week and this morning while writing, I have been listening to Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang. She combines an astonishing technique with a rare musical instinct. One Day in November features a selection of enchanting works that bring out every aspect of her artistry. 

Watch here. 

 

May you have a season of grace, gratitude, inspiration, self-compassion. And one filled with qualities that nourish your soul and others as well.
 
With love from Prince Edward Island,
 
Bruce
ps.
 
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing?"
 
The eagle answered, "Sure, why not."
 
So the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. Suddenly, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
 
Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.