Just one designers ramblings about things that inspire me, observations, and advice about marketing.

Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

A day of new beginnings?

The very first work day of the new year is one that usually brings with it excitement and energy. Hanging up the new calendar and the turning over of the new year somehow allows us to beleive that we can kick start a new plans, break old habits and make new promises.

Why is it that a man made concoction such as a calendar can mean so much to so many people. Aren’t we really tracking the natural movement of the sun and the earth and the moon with the glossy gridded paper that hangs on our walls, or glows at us on our personal devices?

Didn’t we invent the calendar so that we would know when to reap and when to sow? Isn’t what that drove us to create the calendar in the first place?

I sometimes think that as a people we are too connected to the paper calendar, and too disconnected from the earth and her seasons, that we miss the rich information that is so easily gleaned without a grid or a guide.

No matter what my calendar says, I tend to “feel” the seasons by the light outside my window and the angles of the sun. And I am sensitive to the sounds of nature around me, that alert me to whats coming.

I write this while I sit in my office surrounded by technology and calendars and instant access to weather reports and the latest radar storm tracking. But when it comes right down to it, most of the basics can be found right outside my window, day or night, any season. And when I stop long enough and pay attention and learn the signs, I feel more balanced and prepared for what lies ahead.

No matter what the calendar tells me. I don’t need the weather man to know what’s coming when I see gray clouds roll in and flutters of birds flock to my feeders, I know – without radar – that sure as sure, a storm is rolling in.

When the turkeys band up and strut through the yard, fall has absolutely fallen.

When we are lulled to sleep by the hoot of the great horned owl winter is truly upon us.

We are entering into a transition from winter to spring when the red fox will start to call, with its frightening and alien yelp.

Sparkly branches

And the smell of the thawing earth is my sign that I need to start thinking about seeds, and plans for planting, and mud season.

I think every day that we get on this giant blue orb should be another reason to think about a new start, a new day, a new opportunity. Its a shame that people grasp so tightly onto one day of the year when each and every one of them provides an opportunity to start so many things.

Happy New Year, Day, Experience, Challenge, Observation.

And may each day of 2011, bring more.

10 Minutes of “solitude” on a Sunday Morning

I moved back to Southern New Hampshire about twelve years ago. I actually grew up here, which in my area is a rarity. I came back here after spending many years in Boston pursuing my education and career. One thing that I have as a native New Hampshire-ite, that others may not, is an understanding of what this area looked like many years ago. Which gives me an appreciation for where we have come from, even if its a little bit tainted by my feelings about where we are going.

Part of knowing what New Hampshire was like when I was a child spurred me into making sure that my outdoor environment is a little bit of an echo of my memories of growing up here.

I’ve planted native wildflowers, left the white pines of all sizes throughout my property, have segmented a small area as a wild meadow, and in general we garden with the environment instead of fighting it. Here where the soil is mostly rocks, this is the key. They don’t call it the granite state for nothing. This means, very little actual lawn, learning to love rocks and ledge, and making peace with slugs and japanese beetles by planting things they don’t like quite as much as roses and raspberries. After years of finding out what works and what doesn’t we have coerced our sloped partially wooded yard into a flowering, fluttering oasis.

With the day to day of work, schedules and dogs and children I don’t always get the time to relish the environment that we have built. But Sunday morning the sun came up bright and happy, there was a lovely breeze that taunted me with its freshness, and I sat and I watched uninterrupted, for a whole ten minutes.

The birds and other animals that share our environment were pretty happy that morning, and I made a list of all that I saw or heard in that short ten minutes of personal meditation.

10 Wild Turkeys ( 1 hen and 9 chicks)
gold finches
house finches
chipping sparrows
2 house wrens
4 ruby throated hummingbirds
red winged blackbirds
grackles
robins
blue jays
1 flicker
1 hairy woodpecker
1 red bellied woodpecker
2 catbirds
Rose Breasted Grosbeaks
Chickadees
Tufted Titmouse
Cardinals
Chimney Swifts
Chipmunks
Grey Squirrels
Red Squirrels
Several butterflies of all shapes and sizes
And the call of a very happy sounding Carolina wren.

I’d say I had a quite a bit of company for my ten minutes of “solitude”, and enjoyed every moment of it.

The 3 dollar smile. (or The Teeny Pink Pig)

Here in New Hampshire, today is a gloomy day. Rain, drizzle, gray skies – I actually usually enjoy this kind of soft rain. And honestly its welcome after the heat wave that we have been having. But today instead of helping to put me into a creative zone, the rainy day kept me from getting properly motivated.

A little dazed I headed to a press check which went really well. The job looks fabulous, thanks to the guys at Proofing House Press, and that helped to perk me up a little. So rather than go straight back to the studio,  I popped into a favorite market that I don’t get to often enough.

After grabbing a few things that I can’t get elsewhere, and purposefully ignoring their fabulous olive bar, I wended my way to the checkout where low and behold – an adorable and completely silly little trinket sat.

Well, he didnt exactly “sit”. he hung, from his little teeny silver chain at the register, just taunting me with its ridiculous cuteness.

What was it you might ask, that trinket that would put a shine on my otherwise gloomy day?? Put a smile on my otherwise dour morning face?

The teeny tiniest LED flashlight shaped like a little pink pig . And [ this is the best]  — when you press the little button on his head his nostrils light up and he makes little snorting noises. Yes – he snorts! That rocks my world.

Teeny Pink Pig flashlight

The snorting clinched the deal.

Odd, yes I know. And I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes it doesnt take much to amuse me, but seriously its not possible to resist a $2.99, 2 inch snorting pink flashlight. Is it?

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