Posted in Encouragement, Throwback Thursday, Neal’s Post from the Past

Neal’s Post from the Past: “Top Ten Happiness Questions”

Here’s an old post from my blog back in 2014, when I was semi-retired, teaching as an adjunct at Savannah College of Art and Design. I recently looked at it as 2022 made its way into our lives. May these questions be an encouragement to you.

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This past fall term at SCAD (the Savannah College of Art and Design), where I teach composition to international students, my course topic was Happiness Studies.

Each week, I introduced a new question, which I told the students had the potential to make them happier–IF they took the time to ask and then answer the question.

Here are the ten questions.  I challenge you to ask them to yourself whenever you need a dose of joy.

Dr. Saye’s Top Ten Happiness Questions

1.  Just how important is it?

2.  Do I realize that I can choose to think a thought that feels better?

3.  Why do I sometimes try to control other people? That’s really not my job.

4.  What do I see RIGHT NOW that is beautiful?

5.  Who has helped me recently?

6.  What is a good holiday memory?

7.  What do I really, really love?

8.  Do I realize that I can take three deep breaths right now and center myself? My breath is my life.

9.  Who can I be a blessing to in the next hour or so? How can I do that? 

10.  Am I paying attention to NOW (and not wasting time regretting the past or worrying about the future)?

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I encourage you to print these questions, put them up some place where you can easily see them, and start asking.

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Posted in T-shirt Tuesday

T-shirt Tuesday: “Dunkin’ Donuts Advice”

Robert and I were walking down Peachtree Street in Atlanta the other day, heading to Dunkin’ Donuts to get my coffee. (Remind me sometime to tell you about perhaps the biggest disagreement between the two of us—I like, no LOVE, DD coffee, while he’s a Starbucks fan.)

Inside the heavenly aromatic wonderland, I saw this little sign:

Such GREAT ADVICE. And it SHOULD be on a t-shirt, don’t you think?

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers

1. Robert’s hasselback potatoes the other night. Yum!

2. Always having enough water. And being aware of always having enough water.

3. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert, Christmas with the ASO last night.

The orchestra warming up. I had no idea at this moment about our big surprise honor just ahead.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Choir, the incredible Morehouse Glee Club and the Gwinnett Young Singers joined the Orchestra to get us all in the holiday mood. Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky mixing it up with contemporary composers. And “Hallelujah!” special thanks to Handel.

But that’s not all, Blog Fans, I have some Very Exciting News to share with you about last night. News which, if I know you like I think I know you, will make you even prouder of me than you already are. Are you ready? Maybe you should sit down.

Robert and I were SPECIFICALLY INVITED to sing “The First Nowell” (their spelling, not mine) and to be backed up by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra! Seriously. Little us from Savannah. Can you imagine how thrilled I was the moment I realized that Robert and I were being asked to sing?!

[I’ll pause and give you a couple of minutes to try.]

I’ve always thought I had a terrible, adequate, good, stellar voice, but I was just so very humbled yet honored to be asked. I am so glad I wore a sports coat and put a little Suave Professionals Styling Gel in my hair. I tell you my my knees were shaking when we stood up to walk up to the stage and sing. And the performance was, in my unbiased view, nothing short of festively spectacular.

P. S. Robert is insisting that I include this minor and inconsequential (if you ask me) “fact” (according to his definition) from the above concert program …

Well, “we” did get an invitation.

4. Visiting Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta. The Gothic-Tudor style mansion was built by Coca-Cola president/zillionaire Charles Howard Candler in the 1920’s as a private home. Each Christmas they have a neat beautifully decorated Christmas extravaganza.

Do you see what I saw on the holiday garland to the left of Robert? Pine cones (HUGE) from my favorite tree, the Longleaf Pine!

I could … bearly contain myself with excitement!

5. Hope and expectation.

A Weekend of Wonder to You!

Posted in My Saturday Evening Post

My Saturday Evening Post: “Bless Us All”

Each December, Robert and I LOVE watching the old animated holiday classics, reminiscing of yesteryear. Last night we pulled out The Muppet Christmas Carol.

My capital “F” Favorite song in the movie is “Bless Us All,” sung by poor, sickly little Robin/Tiny Tim and the rest of the Cratchit crew. It always gets me choked up (until I realize that, as a “grown man,” I am crying over an anthropomorphic, singing, cloth-born frog puppet).

“Bless Us All” is actually a beautiful, prayerful meditation, expressing both gratitude for all we have (the sun, family, each other, etc) as well as supplication for greater good outside of our individual little worlds.

I invite you to take a couple of minutes out of your Saturday for a quick listen …

Muppet Truths …

“No place on earth compares with home.” (Of course, “home” can have various definitions for us.)

“We have so much that we can share with those in need we see around us everywhere.”

“Let us hear the voice of reason singing in the night.” (Oh my goodness, yes.)

The full lyrics …

BLESS US ALL!

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 11/26/21

1. Robert and I enjoyed a big ole modern family Thanksgiving celebration with daughters Amy and Emily (and their fams) and ex-wife/great friend Donna.

And a pic that defines Awkward Family Photo …

I had just made some silly, jokey remark, and grandson Daniel was the only one who thought it was funny. He thought it was REALLY funny.

2. Cranberry sauce. More specifically, MY cranberry sauce. With allspice, brown sugar, fresh squeezed oj and zest.

3. My aging, sometimes achy and imperfect but wonderful body.

{No pic until said imperfect body is perfect. Do not expect body pics in the foreseeable future.}

4. Robert’s sometimes odd but always delicious soups (which he often makes up on the fly). This time, Baby Bok Choy and Shrimp.

5. The countdown to Christmas. We put up our Travel Tree last night, Thanksgiving night—a tradition. What’s a Travel Tree, you ask? It’s a Christmas tree, with each ornament from one of our travels. (More about the Travel Tree on my blog each day during December.)

Happy Last Weekend in November!

What are you thankful for this day?

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 11/19/21

Today I’m resurrecting an old blog category I used to publish each Friday where I listed five things which bring joy to my life. I ingeniously named the category “Five Friday Happy Bringers.” It’s a weekly gratitude journal of sorts.

So here’s today’s listing.

1. Brilliant fall, even in Savannah.

A cool leafing in the Design District

2. Our body’s natural ability to breathe.

On an exit door at my local Y

3. Old shoes which fit so comfortably.

4. Robert’s homemade chicken pot pies.

5. This little blog, which is enabling me to reconnect with a small but significant sense of purpose.

FABULOUS FRIDAY AND WEEKEND TO YOU ALL!

Posted in My Saturday Evening Post

My Saturday Evening Post: World Kindness Day 2021

Did you know that today is World Kindness Day?! No? I kinda didn’t either. But according to a quick Googling (should that word be capitalized since we’re using it as a kinda generic verb now?), WKD is celebrated every year on November 13.

Here’s my kinda extensive research:

Coincidentally, I snapped this photo the other day of a cool and kinda appropriate-for-today t- shirt.

We CAN be both. Or at least we kinda can.

And here’s a little about how World Kindness Day got started:

If you’re interested, here’s a kinda informative and encouraging article about ways to be kind … to yourself, family, community and the earth:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/13/health/world-kindness-day-2021-acts-wellness/index.html

HAPPY KINDNESS DAY 2021!

LET’S FIND A WAY OR TWO TO BE KINDA TODAY — AND EVERY DAY.