February 25th Winter Olympic Games

In case you decided to take your vacation to Mars this month I am reporting that today is the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. It all started February 9th, and ends today, February 25th.

Alpine Skiing - Day 9

This year has had the normal rises and the normal falls, the ups and downs and created new heroes. It has seen the beginnings, maybe, of a better relationship between North and South Korea and openly gay athletes making their declarations.

2018 Winter Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

We have seen shirtless flag bearers, nothing new, and people from other countries around the world competing in a lot of sports many of us have never heard of, or know how to play. It is maybe the only place on earth where people from different countries get along with each other.

Speedskater with American Flag-Carousel

These were the XXIII games with the next Winter Olympics coming to Beijing, China in 2022.  Whether you take pride in your country, or marvel at the ability of other countries to produce stars, the Olympic Games normally offer the best the world has to offer, something you would think we could learn from.

How to celebrate – Watch the closing ceremonies. Support local athlete’s already starting to train for the next Winter Olympics. Watch the Summer Olympics coming up in 2 years in Tokyo.

November 27th National Pins And Needles Day

Anxious? Nervous? Just can’t wait anymore? If you are feeling any of those things then you will enjoy today, it’s Pins And Needles Day. The idea I suppose comes to us from sitting on pins or needles, not a very comforting thought.

Pins and Needles Sheet Music Cover

It actually comes to us from a play on Broadway called, Pins and Needles. It was written by Harold Rome and ran for 1108 performances in 1937 and was introduced by the Ladies Garment Workers’ Union. Now it makes sense! They used pins and needles in their everyday work! And they felt unappreciated and wanted better pay along with being treated like human beings. Imagine that!

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Since then, most people have forgotten about the play but it’s title has continued to be used as a typical cliche from the past. The labor unions form in the early part of the 1900’s had a strong effect on America and I suppose across the world. Most say they were good, some questioned what was gained verses what was lost.

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The world, in the mean time, is filled with pins and needles. Sewing needles, hypodermic needles, needles used to fill balls with air, safety pins, bobby pins, push pins… it’s almost impossible to go through a day without encountering one kind of pin or needle. They have served mankind well. Of course they have also caused damage and are often associated with drug use.

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How to celebrate – Think of all the items held together in your home by pins and needles. See how many different types of pins and needles you can name. Check out the play “Pins and Needles”.

January 31st Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

There is no doubt that art can inspire us to feel many things. It can make us happy, sad, angry, romantic, nationalistic… well you name it, art can spell out something our heart feels. But what in art inspires the heart to make us better people?

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Art can remind us of things we have experienced, or would like to experience. Long walks in the park, rainy days, time spent with our loved ones. Everybody sees something different in a piece of art.In the artwork above some will see the couple walking, some will see the lights, some will see the color changing on the leaves, some will see the wet setting. What do you see? How does it inspire you?

a-court-gathering-to-hear-musicSome people love classical music and others do not care for it. One fact we all have to accept is that all forms of music have it’s roots in classical music. Classical music can be exciting, soothing and do all the same things to us that a painting or piece of sculpture can do, sometimes even more. We often remember the song we heard when we met the person we love or it can stir us when we hear music that was playing when we accomplished something we felt proud of.

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Dance often expresses feelings we have in another medium. While we may not be able to dance ourselves. The movement and beauty of it reminds us of things we have seen or lived. We celebrate our marriages with a dance, it may not be artful, or even coordinated, but it doesn’t matter… we showed the world our dance.

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In fact, the arts can express every moment of our lives, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. So rightfully, it the arts should be what inspire us to do more, be more and feel more. I am reminded by a friend of mine that an artist can be a dancer or painter, or a really good auto mechanic.

 

How to celebrate – Celebrate the arts by celebrating yourself and those lose to you. For fun, put a song to everyone you know. It will hep you remember them better and more often. Whatever you do, consider it an art. Do the best you can to make your art inspire yourself, and others, to be all they can be.

November 12th Chicken Soup For The Soul Day

Chicken Soup For The Soul is a business. It has a publishing wing and a consumer goods wing. It has to date sold over 100 million books. The books are designed to celebrate who you are, where you have been, where you are going and who you will be thankful to once you have reached where you are going.

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The idea seems to have begun under the guidance of Jack Canfield of Cos Cob, Connecticut. There are over 250 books in print under the label of Chicken Soup For The Soul. The general idea is pretty simple, the books are a collection of real stories told by the people who lived the stories and are meant to be inspiring. That feeling of if they could do it, so can I.

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They come in a variety of subjects, primarily with general categories that most of us can relate to. I have known people who swear by the books believing they are helpful and meaningful, particularly if you need  boost or some reassurance. (I could personally use the one about cats!)

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The company was begun in 1993 and has moved into podcasts, film and television along with other media outlets. Even if you don’t have a particular problem you need help with they make for a fun read and are well worth the time spent reading them.

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How to celebrate – Treat yourself to one of the many Chicken Soup For Your Soul books. Give a book to  friend who seems down. Perhaps you have a story to tell yourself. Check out their website and see how to get more involved.