Three Feel-Good Films For Monday Nights

This is my current Monday schedule: get up at 7, make my daughter breakfast, make coffee, make a smoothie, leave the house by 7:40, drop her at school by 7:55, and arrive at my Monday morning cleaning job by 8. After I’m done cleaning, I head home, make lunch, do yoga, shower, work in my office, and pick up my daughter at school by 2:55, head back home, work some more, make and eat dinner, clean up, work until 9:00/10, and then enjoy reading or a video before bed.

It’s not a bad day, it’s just full. And I like work, but the constant forward motion of Monday is what makes me long for, say, a Thursday, when I often have a little more breathing room.

One of the ways I make Monday better for myself is having things to look forward to throughout the day. In the routine above, I can point out three different times I look forward to: doing yoga, eating dinner/having a glass of wine, and reading or watching a video in the evening.

For you, it might be taking a walk at lunch time, enjoying a cup of tea in the afternoon, playing a game or going to a park with your family after dinner, or taking dance lessons with your spouse. If you don’t yet have built-in bursts of happiness in your Monday, then start thinking about what little things you can add into your day to liven it up.

If you have children or if you prefer surprises, you might come up with a “Fun Jar”, which is what I did with my kids when they were small. We came up with activities that were free or very inexpensive, wrote them on slips of paper, and put them in a mason jar. We came up with things like “eat dinner on a blanket on the floor, picnic style, and watch an old TV show”, “go to the playground at the park”, “go out for ice cream”, “game night”, “go to the Sciencenter” etc. If we were getting cabin fever in the winter, or if someone needed cheering up. we would pull a slip of paper out of the jar and do something fun.

In the spirit of feel-good activities, I wanted to recommend three older films that I recently watched for the first time. (I know, I know, but I’m a reader first, so I’m forever behind the times.) Each one feels like cozy pajamas at the end of a long day. You may have seen them already, but they are films to reach for when you want a little comfort. Especially on a Monday night!

The Jane Austen Book Club is lighthearted and funny, but there is depth as well. It deals with real relationship drama, just as Jane Austen’s books do. I instantly wanted to be part of this book club!

How To Make an American Quilt caught me off-guard with the richness of each woman’s story, the heartache or loss that each one experienced, their strength, both as individuals and as a group, their love for each other, and the joy that they each allowed to rule their lives.

Music and Lyrics is just fun. You’ll smile at Drew Barrymore’s quirky, sweet character and laugh at Hugh Grant’s funny quips and mannerisms. You have to see this one!

I would love to hear how you bring fun and positivity into your Mondays!

Eating Frogs, Spring Cleaning, and Other Fun Things

A long time ago, a dear friend of mine had the habit of cleaning her home on Mondays. When I asked her why she chose Monday as her cleaning day, her practical answer was that Mondays are a day that no one looks forward to. So she felt that getting the cleaning out of the way paved the way for a happier outlook for the rest of the week.

This is the mentality found in Mark Twain’s frog quote: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

We all have places we want to go in our lives: personal goals and dreams that we are reaching for. But we have to do the hard and tedious stuff first. It’s necessary! Whatever it is you don’t want to do right now (and these are on my list this week): call the insurance company, get a new social security card, find a way to make a wireless printer work with my new 5G connection…just do it. Quit procrastinating! Use Mel Robbin’s 5 Second Rule if you need to…Make that dentist appointment, finish a sewing project and ship it, declutter the back room, clean the bathroom…just pick one and do it first thing in the morning. I promise you will feel better knowing you did that hard thing first.

In her book, Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis shares a pretty clear message: you have to do the work and be the hero of your story. No one will do the hard things for you. Dreams are important and you need them, but, as Rachel says, you can’t live on hope. To make those dreams a reality requires a lot of uphill effort. In her podcast episode 72 about the daily practice that changed her life, she tells us we should write out our dreams, like it’s already reality, and then begin to reverse engineer what it will take to get you there.

So make your list and eat a frog first thing tomorrow morning!

And, in case you are doing some cleaning and want to know what cleaning products and tools (and a few books on home organization/care) I use, here’s my list of favorites. In my own life, having a clean and organized environment is necessary for my mental and emotional health. I am with Marie Kondo on this–the more clean and uncluttered your living spaces, the more you will enjoy your life.

Home Comforts

Organized Simplicity

Biokleen All-Purpose Cleaner

7th Generation Glass Cleaner

7th Generation Wood Spray

7th Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop

Shark Steam Pocket Mop

Microfiber Cloths

Share your frogs and cleaning adventures in comments!

Engineering A Life (Book Reviews)

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As you head off to work or to your home office this Monday morning, you may feel the need of some motivation. The following is a short book review of a highly inspirational true story. 

Krishan Bedi is someone I admire. He came, as a young man, to the Southern U.S. during the early 1960s with the purpose of obtaining a degree in engineering. He had little money, didn’t speak English very well, and had no experience with American culture or the American educational system.

In short, he took a huge risk to leave everything and everyone familiar behind and live an adventure. Because that’s what it was. He had a very courageous, impulsive and fun-loving spirit, which, I’m sure, helped him to face and overcome the numerous challenges that presented themselves. Sudden disaster, foolish decisions, and working menial jobs to earn enough to survive kept his life quite interesting in the early years.

But even finding a measure of success doesn’t mean that circumstances stay at an even keel the rest of one’s life. He faced hardship and unanticipated difficulties, but he kept going, kept trying, kept looking for the next step, for a better path. You will laugh at some of the hilarious situations he finds himself in, you will gasp at some of the unwise decisions he makes, you will share in his grief as he goes through loss and disaster, and you will cheer when he comes through it.

The book is called Engineering a Life: A Memoir by Krishan K. Bedi. I highly recommend this one. First, as a book to motivate and inspire you. Second, to see life through the eyes of another.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion and review.