Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Take the Extra Blanket & 4 Other Important Life Lessons

Each person we encounter holds a richness of life out to us. Experiences, emotions, memories, advice, love, joy, sorrow, laughter, and exactly the right way to make Nana's mac and cheese dinner. Think about the little tricks you've learned from friends and family; oftentimes the truths we learn from each other carry us much further than we may have thought they might.

Here's 5 simple lessons I've learned from folks dear to me, and the deeper lessons we can glean from them.

1. Use the butter wrapper to grease the baking pan
My mother's mother taught us to do this when baking cookies or brownies, and it was so ingrained that I was surprised to learn later in life that not everyone did this, and that it was an echo of Depression-era saving.  This lesson reminds me not to be wasteful; there is one more thing you can do with an object, with a situation, with an idea before you throw it away.

Always baking cookies. (Well, dough.)

2. Make your bed 
Both my grandmothers had us make our beds in the morning when we'd stayed the night with them. I remember doing this more with my father's mother though. Nana was so easy-going with the task, and so unassuming about what the day might hold, but she always had you make your bed. Taking this further, I have realized the importance of doing small tasks, of holding a standard. Life is crazy, but having some constants can really keep you steady.

Not my bed.

3. Draw a picture
My dear friend Katie is an artist, a creative art therapist, a mom, a wife--so she's very inventive and imaginative! Katie has taught me the healing power of art on more than one occasion, but most especially right after the death of my grandmother. She had me work on a memory-drawing that left me feeling very peaceful. We should be mindful that sometimes what our broken hearts need is a break from the usual, and thinking a different way, doing something creative, or trying something new can give us that outlet and calm.

Really close colored pencils.

4. Take the extra blanket
My sister is one of the most generous people I know, and a very gracious host--and she's notorious for getting multiple extra blankets for guests. She loves having plenty of blankets, whereas I could do with just one. Letting her get me extra blankets, though, I've learned that love comes from each person in their own unique way. Another person's actions aren't always going to match your exact love language, but you both win when someone takes care of you--let someone love you.

This dog is happy inside.

5. Sing a song
If you've had dinner with my family, you know our propensity to burst into a musical number at the slightest suggestion of a lyric or tune. Of course singing at the drip of a hat is teaching us to be cheerful, (& know our show tunes!), but even more than that, it's teaching us to be cheerful purposefully--to seek out moments that can be used to lift the spirits of those around us, to shake the wintery-ness out of our hearts.

What lessons have you learned from family and friends that take you through hum-drum days?  What simple advice has hidden gold for you?

Obvious stock photos credit:

Linking up w/ Jenna at Call Her Happy for #5Faves :) 


  1. Those raincoats though! So cute.

    Loved this, Katherine.

  2. I thjink that we still have that picture you drew somewhere I really loved it

  3. For some reason this reminds me of that play Sarah was in: "Take an umbrella; it's raining out." "You have a nice seat."

    1. Yes! I love those quotes! I found a note I'd written the other day w/ a small umbrella drawn onto it. I think that'll always mean "I love you" for the group of us. :) <3


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