New BeingGoode Hobby

I wanted to take a minute to share a new hobby of mine that makes me smile and feel amazing. It’s free and perfect to start right now.

My new hobby is making sure customer service workers get complimented for great service. It’s pretty simple –

  1. Have someone provide excellent service.
  2. Notice their name or ask for it.
  3. Ask for their supervisor, go online, or make a phone call to make sure their boss knows they did an excellent job.

While it’s always nice to smile, say thank you, and look someone in the eye when they provide great customer service, taking the extra time to make sure their boss knows can have a huge impact. It factors into performance reviews, raises, and generally in staying employed. Plus managers love hearing that someone who works for them is doing a great job especially when most comments are negative. It really doesn’t take that long and let me tell you, it feels good!

Countdowns and Starting Fresh

I love advent calendars, always have. There’s something fun about marking the days with a little surprise treat. I even used to have one for my dog. I’d ring a little bell and she’d come running while I pulled off another tiny milkbone, it was very sweet.

Shortly after advents come New Year’s resolutions. Making a commitment on a certain day to change something for the better, give something up, start something. A chance to start something new and fresh. This tradition doesn’t suit me quite as well, when I decide to make a change I tend to just do it.

But whether these are some of your favorite traditions or not, I think it’s worth taking a look at them and why we do them.

So why do we give ourselves treats for most of December and decide that January 1 is the perfect time for big life changes? Because that’s why! It’s because we’ve all gotten together and decided as a society to assign these meanings and tasks to these days. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s been that way for a long time.  But my thought is maybe we should change our life on any day we want and give treats and surprises whenever and make it about what works for you not the date on the calendar.

The holidays are a time for joy but also often a time for stress and pressure. Sometimes the pressure is good. Sometimes telling people that you plan to exercise three times a week for your New Year’s resolution helps you stick to it. But I think it’s important to find ways to get rid of any excess or unnecessary stress, especially this time of year, it gets in the way of all the joy! So if you want to start working out three days a week, why not start today? December 1 is just as good of a fresh start as January 1. If your holiday list is getting to be too much and you haven’t gotten your advent calendar yet, buy it on sale and start opening the windows on February 1. A little chocolate for 25 days in February seems like a fun idea to me. Last year for Cyber Monday I bought a workout plan and started right away because I didn’t want to wait six weeks.

What I’m trying to say is these are two great traditions for celebrating each day and kickstarting something new in your life but they don’t have to be once a year. We have the chance to celebrate and start fresh every single day!

What do you think of these traditions? Tell me about them below! I’m off to buy my advent calendar.


Coming Into Focus

There was no weekly update on Friday and there won’t be one this week either. I’m traveling, taking a break from the everyday, volunteering and giving. A little time to heal and enjoy. Major self care time. 

The past couple of weeks have been jammed full of good news after a couple of years of a lot of bad. While this is wonderful it’s also a lot to take in and a lot to reflect on. 

I had a thought the other day that it’s possible the universe is being kind to me because I’ve been so focused on the kindness I’m putting out. Taking time every week to write out and think about how I succeeded or how I could do better at being good; a good person, a good citizen, a good friend, has made a world of difference. 

I’m not sure if that’s true but I’m truly grateful for my life. 

I’ll be back soon. 

Weekly Check-In

It’s too hot here in Southern California. That paired with the blood donation I gave – double red blood cells – which was new for me, this week has been about taking it easy and drinking lots of water.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line
  • 2 hours Double Red Blood Cell donation

Charitable Giving

  • $1 to Cancer Research. Again I was buying my winning lottery tickets and the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate… I didn’t feel like Karmically saying no was a good idea. I got to fill out one of those little things they stick on the wall with your name on it.

Personal Kindnesses

  • A co-worker has sent around a couple of emails about stray kittens and dogs that need homes. My home is currently maxed out with my sweet puppy (only 1 animal per person is my rule, no need to be outnumbered) but I responded with hopefully a helpful resource. They said their friends couldn’t take them to a shelter because they’d likely get put down. I passed along the information of the no-kill shelter in the area. Hopefully they’ll find a nice home.

Self Care

  • I went to the doctor to get a checkup. I need a doctor’s approval to run in my half marathon in September so that was the main reason for the visit but I always like to keep up on those things if I can. What really stuck me as lovely was going through the questions about my life and medical history and getting to answer positively to each one – “Yes, I’m healthy”. Good health is not something to take for granted and it was nice to be reminded of how good I have it.

How did you do this week? What are your go-to self care ideas when the news is as bad as it has been lately? Share in the comments!

Weekly Check-In

Work has been horrible. I’m hoping to recover this weekend and post about my new quarter focusing on Volunteering and wrap up my self-care quarter. Stay tuned!

Traditional Volunteerism

  • Zero. I moved my Crisis Text Line shift to the weekend because of a work conflict.

Charitable Giving

  • $0

Personal Kindnesses

  • I think the personal kindness this week was just the ability to keep smiling and being kind to people when I wasn’t being treated with kindness.

Self Care

  • I ordered delivery last night. I had food at home but my throat was killing me and I was sore and tired and wet from working in the rain and the splurge on takeout was absolutely worth it.

Please share in the comments how you’re doing this week!

Weekly Check-In

It’s a hectic time for me at work and I’m trying to keep my head above water. Another week and things should calm down.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 Hours of Crisis Text Line

Charitable Giving

  • $25 The Nature Conservancy. Plus $25 that my company will match. Plus Delta is matching some. I bought a plane ticket and Delta had a link to calculate and donate for a carbon offset. I was very excited by this and although my flight would only cost $9 for carbon offsetting, I upped it to $25 so that my company would match. Air Travel is so awful for the environment but travel is something I love so much. It was nice to ease my conscience a bit.

Personal Kindnesses

  • I’ve tried to regonize my co-workers when they do a good job (always). This week I went out of my way to do it and complimented two different co-workers.

Self Care

  • I searched YouTube and found a full ballet barre (tradional not those trendy new workout classes). I loved getting a little bit of ballet magic back. I should have been a ballerina.

Please share in the comments how you’re doing this week!

Friendship as Self-Care

I have great friends, I really do, but I’m also an introvert. I’m social and enjoy going out but being doesn’t recharge me the way it does for extroverts. I revel in alone time and can’t seem to get enough.


When I’m going through a hard time all I want to do is stay at home on my couch and watch TV or sleep. My instincts tell me to stay in and ignore the phone calls, ignore all the invites to grab a coffee or go to an event. But really, just like exercise, it’s something that might help the most when you least want to do it. Being social and engaging with others is so very important.


One of the first things I ask when I’m counseling others is if they’ve talked to anyone else about their problems, if they have any friends or family members they’d feel comfortable talking to. I understand that you can’t necessarily talk to every friend about everything but hopefully there is someone in your life who will understand.


The other thing I recommend to people sometimes is even if you don’t feel like talking through all your problems; go out with your friends, talk about movies or actors you have crushes on or anything. Sometimes just being social and light and having the human connection can do a lot for you long term even when you don’t feel it short term. Now of course there is a balance and if you really don’t feel like going out sometimes it’s okay to stay in and stay to yourself. I just know for myself, sometimes it’s the nights I’ve fought the most against going out that I’ve ended up having the most fun.


For my birthday I went out to dinner with a couple of my friends. This has been a fairly typical celebration for the past few years and it brings me so much joy. It’s wonderful to be around people who know you and like to talk about interesting things.


Self-Care can sound self-centered and it normally makes us think of things we can do for ourselves, by ourselves but being social is a great tool for self-care. Laughing, making others laugh, it is a wonderful way to take care of yourself and heal when you need it.


How do you use your friendships to help with your self-care?

Weekly Check-In

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 Hours of Crisis Text Line
  • I’m donating Blood today. Sticking to my new years resolution!

Charitable Giving

  • $2,000 to (and yes technically this isn’t money that came out of my pocket, it’s coming from my company, I still worked for it).

Personal Kindnesses

  • I spent about 3 hours in the car this week taking someone to the airport during rush hour. While traffic isn’t so fun, helping out a friend is. I know that I rely on my friends to do things that they don’t necessarily want to do and I’m glad that I can do things for them.

Self Care

  • Last Sunday was the First day of Spring and I decided to celebrate in a new way. I did 108 Sun Salutations as the sun rose on spring. It was an amazing experience.  A great way to welcome the spring and do some physical spring cleaning. It was also a great way to practice endurance and patience and focus, three really wonderful things to practice. I was sore for the next three days. Next year I’m going to train for it. I honestly didn’t think yoga would make me sore but 108 is a lot.

Please share in the comments how you’re doing this week!

Happy World Water Day!

I have to take a moment to say that my heart goes out to Brussels. #JeSuisBruxelles

It’s disheartening that this is becoming a regular occurrence but I took some time today to think about how much fun visiting Belgium brought me when I lived in Europe. The waffles, the fries, the Atomium on the horizon. The man who gave me directions in french without bothering to take his cigarette out of his mouth. It is a wonderful place.

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 Holr Magazine

Today is World Water Day

I’m excited to announce that I have chosen to receive my $2,000 donation that my company gives for my volunteer hours last year. I wish I could say I was clever enough to have timed it to World Water day but it’s just a happy coincidence. I posted a few weeks ago about my struggle choosing a charity and I did struggle. I couldn’t decide to go global or local, cultural or health issues, small or large charity. In the end I think I found a charity that didn’t make me choose too many things. I wanted to give to a women’s rights, an environmental issue, a group that helps teach people how to read, and does all of those things. Women are primarily impacted by lack of access to water and are kept out of schools and the workplace because they have to spend hours retrieving water. I also appreciate that this was something where volunteering isn’t as much help, the money is the best way to make an impact. According to the website I’ve helped give 80 people “safe water, providing hope, health and opportunity.”

I’m very grateful that I can celebrate World Water Day and that the company I work for recognizes all my hours of volunteering.


This is my first real foray into Voluntourism (Volunteer tourisum). I’m trying to pull together a trip to Orlando in May to volunteer for the Invictus games. I’ve never volunteered on vacation or made a special trip to volunteer but this event in one of my favorite destinations drew me in. It also seems like I could have a similarly amazing volunteer experience as I did for the 2015 Special Olympic World Games.


I’m still trying to get the pieces to fall into place. Because I’m from a greater distance and don’t know anyone it’s been hard getting an answer on how to sign up to volunteer and if I even can. There are tickets I can buy to the events so I could just go and enjoy. And it’s all coming up quickly and I need to buy the plane ticket… hotel reservations are already made because I can cancel those. It’s a lot of moving parts.


I suppose that’s why people typically join pre-planned tours to volunteer in other places. I’m not the kind of person who likes to be a part of a tour group when I travel whether it’s volunteer or pleasure. And with anything you give your time or money to you want to make sure the money/time is really making a difference. That’s often difficult to decipher.


Since this quarter I’m focusing on Self Care I also have to ask myself how it fits in. I love travel and vacations. I think they are an absolute necessity to recharge and bring a joy refresh into my life. So it will be interesting to see what happens when I trade in my time to relax and refresh into something else. Although I do enjoy volunteering it takes energy and effort that is different from a normal vacation. It’s more planned – I’ll have to be somewhere at a certain time. It’s putting myself second to the people I’m helping. And I’m spending a good chunk of money on the trip. I’ll report back as the planning moves forward.


What do you think about Voluntourism? Have you ever taken a trip in order to give back? Is it just a new way to profit off of the kindhearted? Is it the perfect way to see the world?