Now that the holidays are over, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. But the long cold month of January can sometimes bring us mentally down and unless you have something to look forward to, it can be depressing. Right now at we have at least six inches of snow on the ground and another storm advisory for tonight. So tired of being stuck in the house, I walked this morning in the snow, it was beautiful, but very cold! Here are a few more suggestions for making life a little more fun this month.
Have a Party! I know, I know, you are probably partied out, but why not make some snack foods and invite some friends over for a game night. Or better yet, have everyone bring their favorite snacks and drinks to share!
Maybe it’s a game on television or it might be one on your Wii or xbox, whatever it is, have fun! Pictionary or charades is still a good time. And the human interaction won’t hurt you either. Get creative, make up some games of your own. Have a bon fire outside and roast some hot dogs. Remember kick-the-can and hide-and-go-seek? Try them as a grown-up.
Plan a Trip. Research the island that the guy at work goes to every summer. Or discover a new destination and make a reservation. You’ll have something to look forward to. A goal. What about spending a week or two in Wyoming participating in the spring round-up. Can you imagine? The great outdoors, horses and cowboys. Three of my favorite things!
Get out of the norm! Do something different this year. Get involved in a project that will take you away. What about helping build a Habitat for Humanity home for someone who really needs one? That happens all over and close to home. It will make you feel better about yourself and you’ll be helping someone out!
Pick a destination and make it happen. Why can’t you? No really, why can’t you?
Take a Short Day Trip. Got the humdrums? Haven’t gotten out of your pajamas or sweats in a while? Well, get cleaned up and get out of the house. You will be amazed at how good it makes you feel. Take a day away. Get in the car and drive. Plan it or be spontaneous. Just go! Stop at a flea market or farmers market. Find cute little country stores and buy homemade jellies and fresh-baked bread. Stop by the vendor along the roadside for some boiled peanuts (gag) or some kettle corn. How long has it been since you’ve had a funnel cake? Or a steamed hot dog on a soft white bun? Get in the car, come on, let’s go!
Play in the Snow. Exercise is the cure for everything. I am a firm anti-medication person. I do not believe in most prescription drugs. I know that when God created the earth and man that he gave us everything we need to survive. Including cures. But that is a whole other blog! Back to exercise! Get off your butt and get going. Take a long walk in the snow. You know it is quiet and there isn’t a lot of traffic. There are only the others like you out there enjoying the beautiful white stuff. Help the neighborhood kids build a snowman. You’ll be glad you did!
Not an outdoor person? You probably have an exercise dvd somewhere gathering dust or a treadmill in your garage beneath a pile of discarded clothes that you will never wear again. Dig them out. Pop in your headphones while you’re vacumming and see how up-beat your housework becomes.
Can’t get motivated? Call a friend to work out or come walk with you. A motivated friend. Walk at the mall and window shop, make it fun.
Spend Time With Those You Love. Make a date. Plan a family dinner without the stress of the holidays. No hurries, no worries. How about a Sunday afternoon with the fam? Make some comfort foods and fattening desserts. Spaghetti and garlic bread. Chile and an assorted tray of cheeses. Chicken and noodles. Homemade pizza. Beans and cornbread. Comfortable yet? or just hungry? Don’t forget that chocolate cake and apple cobbler. Can’t cook? Take everyone out!
If You Can Cook, Then Cook. They don’t call it comfort food for nothing! For me, the next best thing to eating something is making it! On snowy January days, like today, my afternoon will be spent writing and baking. Oatmeal raisin and simple peanut butter cookies, um um. I like to bake cookies because I eat what I want right out of the oven and then I am finished with them. The remainder will go in a ziplock and home with my son who is in college.
Try something new. If you have never made homemade pasta, I recommend trying it. It gives you a great feeling of accomplishment. There’s something about pasta that is almost sensual. It’s a romantic food. Try ravioli and stuff it with chicken or cheese. Top with some pesto sauce or a tomato sauce and voila! Delicious.
Make it a challenge. A couple of years ago, I decided to master the fine art of soup making. I started with a hard one, a butternut squash soup. I burned the hell out of my hand when I filled the blender too full of the hot liquid and it bubbled over. Then to top it all off, no one but me would try it. Well, needless to say when I made it again, without scorching myself, everyone not only tried it-they fought over it! I could always make the ever-present-on-my-table chile and beef stew but when I tried something new, it made me feel different. It was an accomplishment. Don’t be afraid to try new things! This past summer I baked my first three-layer sour cream chocolate cake. It was dry! But I made it!
Re-arrange Your House-Get Organized. Out with old in with the new. Unclutter your life. If you walk into any Wal Mart right now, you will find aisles and aisles full of plastic boxes in every size, shape and color you can imagine. DON’T BUY THEM! Grab a box of garbage bags instead. The only thing you should have stored in your attic are your well-organized Christmas decorations and the toys and keepsakes you are keeping for your children when they have children. Take a load to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You don’t need it, get rid of it.
Plan Your Year. List your goals. What do you want to accomplish this year? Pay off an automobile? Take a class at the local college? Lose ten pounds? Write it down and put it somewhere you can see it everyday. And when you reach on of your goals, cross it off the list. Stick to it and don’t give up! Make this the year, your year.
Change Your Appearance. Get a new hair-do or get that daring dress out of the closet and put it on, then take your hot little butt out on the town. Schedule a “day of beauty.” Make an appointment to get your hair done, even if it’s just a wash and style; a manicure and pedicure and buy yourself something new. It doesn’t have to be big. Maybe a piece of fun costume jewelry or a scarf. Just something to add to your wardrobe. To make you feel special.
Escape in a good book or a great movie. Go to the library, you know they still have those? Pick out a book from your childhood and read it again. Get nostalgic. I recommend the Laura Ingalls Wilder series of the Little House books. For some of you younger folks, how about some Goosebumps? Say Cheese and Die. Remember Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys?
Is there anything better than holding an old book in your hands. The pages are yellow and the printing is small. The binding may be a little loose from the handling of the hundreds of others who have enjoyed it before you.
One of my favorite things to do is to spend a rainy or snowy afternoon at Barnes and Noble. They have the best of both worlds, coffee and books. It’s comfy and quiet. You can just sit and read while enjoying that latte.
Are you more the hot buttered popcorn type? Take a cold Saturday and spend it at the movies. See at least two and eat some popcorn. Take a chance and see that romance that you have your doubts about. You know the first time I saw Forest Gump I hated it. But I saw it again and now it’s one of my favorite movies. Take risks, see that movie that you would normally wait on the video to watch. It will get you out of the house and break up your routine. Who know’s, you just may enjoy it!
Take a Day to Yourself. Make a list of all your favorite things to do or a list of all the things you have always wanted to do. Then take a day and do as many of those things on your list as possible! Life is short, don’t let it pass you by! Stop talking about it, and do it!
I have always wanted to go white water rafting. Of course I can’t do it this winter, but this spring, I am down! It will definitely happen this year. Another thing I have on my “bucket list” is to learn to sail. Now, being from Tennessee, it may be difficult. But I will do it, one of these days, even if it is during one of my summer trips to the beach. It’s on my list!
Have Some Fun. What’s your idea of fun? Is it a day of shopping, a night at your favorite restaurant, a full day at the spa, an afternoon at the museum or a walk in the woods? Whatever it is, do it. Take time for yourself. No one else will. Put yourself first. Even if you have others depending on you. If you don’t take care of yourself first, both physically and mentally how are you going to take care of them? Oh, and more than likely, you deserve it!
Share a Romantic with Your Significant Other. (Have Sex) Ok, here is where we separate the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Sex is not only good for you, it is a great stress relief and it burns calories. A ballpark figure for a half an hour’s worth (I know right?) is 225 calories. And that could go up or down (no pun intended) depending how intense that half an hour gets and how many times you orgasm.
I’m talking alone in the house with your partner, in front of the fire with plenty of blankets and pillows. Candles, of course, wine, maybe a few strawberries and definitely some whipped cream. If you’ve never tried it, do so. Put it on your list.
We’re talking heavy petting and excessive foreplay leading up to buttons flying off, certain articles of clothing being hurriedly ripped and working yourselves up into a lathery sweat. Labored breathing that can be heard all over the house, won’t be because you’re alone! It’s one of those sessions when you reallywant it. You must have it and you must have it right now!
So about now you’re wondering how in the world did I go from plastic containers in Wal Mart to hot rough sex by the fire? Come on, you know me by now. Where else would I have gone? Take care and have FUN!