Posted in Curiosity, Excitement, Inspiration, Learning, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

What Is Mental Dexterity? How You Can Increase Yours

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Our greatest human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. We are in this life to enlarge the soul, liberate the spirit, and light up the brain.

Tom Robbins

Mental dexterity” means a sharpness of mind, or skill in thinking creatively and understanding and expressing something quickly and easily.

When you think of dexterity what comes to mind? I automatically think of flexibility.

The definition of flexibility is the quality of bending easily without breaking, the ability to be easily modified, or the willingness to change or compromise.

Our brains have that flexibility, that power — our wondrous mind and the possibilities that each of us carry within us. How many of you think about your brain, and it’s capabilities?

To some extent, each of us is aware on some level, but I believe most of the time we are not. For the most part, our brain goes about its busy work without any thought from us.

We should be paying more attention because inside our brain is the potential for so much more. We have to stimulate, or exercise, our brain for it to be flexible, and maintain its dexterity. We should treat our brain as we would our bodies if we were training for a marathon.

Have you ever heard of Neuroplasticity? Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to regenerate itself. It is similar to rewiring an engine. Our brain automatically does this based on our experiences or stimuli.

It refers to the physiological changes in the brain that happen as the result of our interactions with our environment. From the time the brain begins to develop in utero until the day we die, the connections among the cells in our brains reorganize in response to our changing needs. This dynamic process allows us to learn from and adapt to different experiences”

– Celeste Campbell (n.d.).

How exciting is that! Think of the possibilities. We reboot our computers, but our brains reboot themselves. Humans have the potential for extraordinary change.

So how do we stimulate and nurture our brains to produce brain growth and enhance our abilities?

There are so many options and, guess what? Many are the same, or similar, to what we are already encouraged to do for good health and longevity.

Yoga – yes, yoga. It is physical activity, and it also helps connect your brain to your body. The breathing practice creates mindfulness. Yoga can be a form of meditation which connects you to your mind and creates focus. It requires self-discipline and concentration. Practicing yoga can lead to a self-analysis of our mental and emotional state.

Physical activity/exercise – Exercise increases our heart rate, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen sent to our brain. Physical activity also stimulates the release of chemicals that effect the health of brain cells and the growth of new blood vessels in the brain. Exercise helps produce new blood vessels in the brain and the abundance and survival of new brain cells. That is so exciting!

Learning new skills – Do something new and different, such as a new language, playing chess, learning to play a new instrument. I like all those ideas, but this is my favorite: learning a new subject. Researching and learning about the brain would be an immense undertaking. There is so much to learn.

Reading Fiction Books – Yes, one more reason to read, I love it! The storytelling aspect of a novel is a multi-faceted form of communication that engages a broad range of brain regions. Studies show that reading improves our brain connectivity. When we read fiction, the neurons in our temporal cortex trick our mind. We think we are doing something, but we are not.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201401/reading-fiction-improves-brain-connectivity-and-function

Being creative – Drawing, painting, working with clay, fabric art, and yes, writing. When you are creative, you are using different areas of your brain. The creative mind is always working, and your brain is activated by what you are doing.

Learning to play a musical instrument – When you play a musical instrument, it creates a better connection between the left and right side of your brain. The left side controls your motor functions, and the right side is learning the melody. Your cognitive function that helps you carry out any task improves when the two areas work together.

We have so many options available to us to improve ourselves. The fact that we have the capability to regenerate our brain means we can regenerate how we think, what we do, and how we influence the world. We can make our minds stronger, better and because of that we can do the same with our hearts and bodies.

Our brain is like a magic box that holds so much more than we can ever imagine……Don’t limit yourself.

Janelle Kene

Think of the possibilities if we all could do this, if we choose to do this. Power up, people!

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day…may the regeneration begin!

Posted in Curiosity, Excitement, Inspiration, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential

Quote Of The Day

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

– Ashley Smith
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As always, thanks for visiting my blog. Have a beautiful day.

Posted in Communication, Curiosity, Inspiration, Learning, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

How To Be Successful As An Introvert, I Was, So Can You!

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“Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.”

~ Michaela Chung

The quiet one, I was the quiet child who became the quiet adult. I always enjoyed being alone and you could often find me buried in a book. I was comfortable and content.

There was nothing wrong with me, but I was worrisome for my mother. She felt I was too quiet. I went to a small parochial school in a nearby town, and I had no friends near home. My quietness became an issue. As a result, my parents decided to send me to the local school.

Did I make friends? Sure, but it made no difference to me. I was who I was. In my mind, there was no problem, ever. It was my mother’s problem, not mine. I did the same crazy things other kids did. However, I was still the kid who was quiet and spent most of my time reading. To me, that was a perfect world.

Slowly, as I got a little older, I became a little bit more open. Not that much, but it started to become more necessary. Group discussions, debate sessions, reading something I had written to the whole class, all made me squirmy and uncomfortable, but I had to do it.

So the progression began from school and then to work. I always did well, and my performance reviews were always good. I was smart, I was determined, and I was focused. Give me an assignment, and I was committed to doing the best job I could, even going beyond what was required. I always excelled at anything written. It was the group interaction where I was uncomfortable.

That pretty much describes an introvert. Introverts may be quiet, but we are great listeners. When we speak, we give well thought out answers. We are very observant and may learn more about someone by just watching their body language. We may not say much, but we are always focused and are very aware of everything that is going on around us.

Introverts are self-sufficient because we like being by ourselves. We like figuring things out by ourselves. We are great thinkers, and we love to read, are curious and eager to learn new things.

People will refer to us as a reserved person, quiet, thoughtful, and they may think it is difficult to get to know us. We do prefer to sit back and observe, and we are uncomfortable drawing attention to ourselves. I remember it so well when I would be in a meeting listening to everyone else, and I wanted to ask a question or offer an idea but I just could not.

So how do introverts succeed in business?

After a meeting, I would sometimes send an email, call, or stop by someone’s office for a one on one conversation. I would say that I had taken some notes, thought about it, and had developed a plan that I would like to discuss. There was safety with that approach because I did not have to talk in front of the whole group.

I slowly learned to step outside of my comfort zone by using that technique. I decided to take a speech class. Speaking in front of a group is one of the biggest fears people have. It was a small class, which made it much easier, and I worked hard to be more comfortable. Every time I had to present something in class, I would practice. I would have something prepared, and I would stand in front of a mirror and do it over and over. That made it so much easier. That practice served me well going forward in my career.

The most challenging experiences I had were the work-related social get-together’s. I was required to attend, and it was excruciating. I hated small talk, and I could not wait for it to be over. There was nothing easy about it.

I would try to find one or two people that I was friendly with, or I knew they felt the same way I did. I even tried to think of things I could ask people ahead of time. If I knew someone had a particular interest, I would ask them about that. If they were involved in an organization or charity, I would ask questions. I could not wait to leave and would do so as quickly as I thought I could get away with it. That was the best I could do at that time. Now looking back the best suggestion I can make is to relax. In the scheme of things, how important is it? It is not a life ending event. Smile. It is always more comfortable when you smile. You may want to hide in the bathroom, but I think the best practice is to decide before you arrive to walk up to people and hold out your hand, shake theirs, and say hi, how are you. Get it over with and then relax.

Social networking was also the pits for me, and I relate to it just like the required get together’s. I think it is easier now than when I was working. There are so many ways to find information on other people and to reach out to them online. An example would be Linkedin. You can establish a relationship before you meet them face to face, which will make it so much easier when you do. You can use this technique with business associates as well as customers.

When you are at work, you do need to put yourself out there. Be friendly, smile, be social by asking questions. Be approachable. If someone walks by, say hi and ask how they are. It is an easy, natural gesture to adopt.

Your body language is a big tell-tale. You want to appear confident and competent. Do not slouch or avoid eye contact. The way you hold your body and the movements you make all tell a story, and it is a story that everyone reads.

To be successful as an introvert, you have to put yourself out there. Take baby steps, and you will learn to be more comfortable, and you can keep pushing yourself to move forward. You can still be you, but you need to stretch yourself. As you continue to push yourself, people will notice. They will see your strength and your capabilities.

I started my job with a customer service organization in an entry-level position, and I slowly pushed myself to succeed. I worked full time as a single mother and went to college part-time. I used all the excellent introvert skills I had to move up the ladder into a management position. I was named the employee of the year and was a speaker within my organization, as well as outside of work. Was I comfortable doing all of that? Not at first, but by the time I retired, it all felt natural and very, very good.

Being an introvert is not a bad thing. I would say we are pretty awesome because we are.

An introvert is an asset in every aspect of life. Here are a few quotes about the benefits of being an introvert:

Creativity – “Some of our greatest ideas, art, and inventions came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune into their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there.” Susan Cain

Academic Performance – “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Stephen Hawking

Health – “For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating.” Jonathan Rauch

Business Success – “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” Susan Cain

From one introvert to another, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day.

Posted in Curiosity, Excitement, Inspiration, Learning, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Quote Of The Day

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Posted in Communication, Curiosity, Excitement, Inspiration, Joy, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Let’s Be Different! It’s OK, Really, And Here Is Why

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If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be,

Maya Angelou

I have always been one of those people who always played it safe. It felt safer to go about my life without drawing attention to myself. Don’t say this, don’t wear that, be careful of my facial expressions and tone of voice. Heaven forbid, don’t raise my voice, do not question and, do not make direct eye contact.

I was painfully shy as a young child, and an introvert as a young adult. Not awkwardly so, but I never put myself out there. I became comfortable and accepting of that. As I entered the work force it was a challenge. It was necessary to push myself. In some ways I guess you could say I became two people and it worked.

It was never easy, but so very necessary to be able to loosen up enough to communicate well. It felt so uncomfortable at first. It was itchy, prickly uncomfortable like I was wearing wool underwear. You know, like feeling you wanted to get out of your skin, shed it like a snake.

Thank goodness, I am a calm person. At least most of the time. I can sort of suck my breath in and then relax myself. Not something that someone can see ( I don’t think), but an internal process–sort of like a minuscule meditation in my mind and body. I do internalize most everything. It works for me. I am not sure I would recommend it, though.

All of us are different. We each have multiple layers, and that’s okay. It would be boring if we were all the same. What the heck would we talk about? What would we do? We might as well be robots.

Having lived all these years, I finally have come to the conclusion that it is okay to be different, and I wish I had realized that earlier in life. I wish I could have been that slightly wacky person who everyone laughed at but secretly wanted to be.

The game of life is best played not merely by the rules but with a sense of imagination and childlike wonder.

~Anne Scottlin

Remember Pippi Longstockings? Different, heck ya, but so exciting and so fun. I think we should be more like that. More relaxed, less intense, and seeing the delight in everyday life.

Sure, we have to be serious sometimes, but we should not have to conform to every rule and every way of doing something. I believe the people who are different, and a little quirky, have so much to add to life. They bring a different perspective and a refreshing flavor, or nuance, to everything. They make things more interesting.

In personal relationships and professional settings, it is essential to listen to all viewpoints. I think there is a tendency to assume that being conservative is always the best way. By following that way of thinking, we bypass that unique little nuance that could make everything much more exciting and enjoyable.

I know I am not alone in putting on a front, a facade, to the outside world. We do not show our true selves, we don’t put it all out there . The reason will be different for each of us. Self-preservation comes to mind, being fearful, wanting to fit in and be accepted.

Everyone is unique. If you are confident and vivacious, or shy and quiet, it is okay. Be who you are. Trying to conform is tiring, irritating, and it is not necessary. Be yourself. If you are different than everyone else celebrate. Let all of your layers show. You can be shy and quiet and be quirky too. You can be confident and vivacious but also an introvert.

Life is short. Enjoy it. Do something different, something unexpected. Be Pippi Longstockings. Mix it up. Be a little crazy on occasion. How many of us do the same thing every day, day in and day out, and repeat! Boring.

Change it up!. Listen to your inner self and try something new. As a result, you will shine and be amazing.

By being different, you gain a different mindset. You will question the way things are accomplished and also why. You will think about ways to do them differently and make them better. It is easy to accept the status quo, and it becomes uncomfortable to make the needed changes. Not making those changes can lead to a boring, stagnant mindset. Be different and make a change. It is a good thing for everyone.

You are more interesting. We are attracted to people who are different, wacky in a good way. We want to know them, we are curious about them and sometimes we wish we were them. If you do things differently than everyone else, you dress differently, talk differently, you will be intriguing. People will want to know more about you.

You will be a more confident stronger individual. When I was working hard to advance at work, it was exhausting at times because I was trying so hard to conform and be the person I thought I was required to be. It was challenging to be all those things and still maintain who I was. In the end, I became a much stronger person, a better person.

Being different helps you appreciate other people. You will understand and accept other people who are different, while still accepting those who more readily conform. You will easily make good quality friendships.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” 

Apple Inc.

Let’s be amazing! Be different and embrace all your quirkiness.

Posted in Children, Communication, Curiosity, Elderly, Inspiration, Joy, Motivation, Positive Thinking

Inspiration For When We Grow Old, Or Now, Just For Fun

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Photo by Pablo Hermoso


The good part about getting older is you stop trying to prove anything to anyone, including yourself. All you are in the pursuit of is collecting experiences – beautiful, fragile little soap bubbles that you store in your heart, and every once in a while you pull one out and gaze at the delicate pictures it shows you.

Twinkle Khanna

“When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”

I bought this book for my Mom when she was older. I do not remember her exact age at the time, but it was fitting. She was aging, had some health issues, and appeared frail. She had lived her life, like most of us with good and bad experiences.

I remember going to a gathering, she and I. There were many people there we did not know and many were drawn to my Mom. She was this little old lady who appeared frail but wasn’t really. Her body was frail, becoming frailer, but not her mind. Oh no, not my Mom. She had a sharp mind and a good wit.

People kept coming up to her, some just to introduce themselves and have a little conversation. Others were checking to ask if she wanted something more to eat or drink. I was wandering, but was always aware of her and mostly would sit close to her. She looked over at me and winked. She told me it was nice being an old lady because everyone was always doing something for her. That evening she was enjoying her status.

My Mom, in a somewhat sedate way, deserved a warning sign. She was her own woman and had earned her right to do just about anything she wanted to. She would sometimes offer her opinions that may have been a little shocking or quickly tell you if she didn’t like something or someone. She was always willing to go somewhere with friends. She loved her job because she could see and talk to so many people. She fought to keep that job and would have continued until a medical mishap kept her from doing so.

Friday I posted, Through The Eyes Of A Child, which is about being more childlike and never losing the openness a child has, and always being curious and willing to try new things. Children are so special because they have not lost the ability to learn as much as their little bodies, and their curious minds can soak in.

This post is the other end of the spectrum about having lived life to the best of their ability, without that childlike approach and coming to the time when they let loose of their inhibitions. The inhibitions that the majority of us, unfortunately, acquire early in life. Like I mentioned in my other post about children, when you start to do something and the hand of a parent reaches out and holds you back. That is where inhibitions are born and when our childlike exuberance starts to die.

The thing is, and what I am trying to say is, we for so many reasons need to live more freely with the openness of a child and the audacity of an older person. There should be more of that and less of all the inhibitions in the middle.

Children, and an older person who has so many life experiences, have fearlessness. There are so many ways of saying it, they are brave and they are bold. They want, the child because they have not experienced, and the old because they have.

I am becoming that older person who dares to shock people. It is going to be fun and I am so looking forward to it.

Old people get away with a lot and I think they have earned the right. We are all waiting for the day when we get old enough to do whatever we want.

Here are some of the things that older people get away with doing.

  • They can pretty much say whatever they want and get away with it, and I think they enjoy shocking people. Watch them say something outrageous. They will smile and wink. So funny!
  • Talk about experiences they had long ago that they would not dare tell anyone about when it happened so long ago. Who cares? They don’t. What is anyone going to say? Go to your room. You’re grounded, and have no phone privileges. That’s not happening.
  • They can wear mismatched socks, colors that don’t match, eat whatever they want when they want. Who is going to stop them?
  • Take a nap anytime and pretty much anywhere. Sleep late and go to bed anytime they want.
  • Pretend their hearing is terrible, so they don’t have to answer questions they don’t want to answer and listen in on conversation people don’t want them to hear.
  • Say what they are thinking and be blunt if they want to. There is no need to lie or pretend that something isn’t important to them when it is. Just say it.
  • Eat whatever they want, when they want to eat it. I really like ice cream so maybe someday I will just eat that, just ice cream. Yummy!
  • If they don’t want to do something, they will tell you they forgot. Nobody will question an older person. Of course they forgot!

Maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised when I am old. I am old. I guess I need to get started. The truth is, I do not feel old and there is so much to do. It’s exciting!

None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be Kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.

Richard Gere

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have some fun today!


Posted in Children, Curiosity, Learning, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Through The Eyes Of A Child-Magic, Curiosity And Wonder – Ways To Bring The Joy Back To Your Life

Let’s Practice Some Magic!

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If we experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure and wonder of life never end.

Akiane Kramarik

When you are a child everything is new and magical. Do you remember the first time you caught fireflies in a jar? Pure magic!

I remember my children and the looks on their faces and their excitement of experiencing something new for the first time. I see it now with my grandson. One of the best parts of being a parent, or grandparent, is seeing their eyes light up and their little hands reach out to touch something new. They look up at you with that happy look and they giggle. The wonder and pure joy reflecting in their eyes the first time they hold a kitten or a puppy, a frog or a bug.

The wonder of children helps adults experience magic one more time. They bring it back to us so we can giggle and have our eyes light up too.

I would love to feel that way every day. Sometimes the feeling is there and it is similar to how I felt as a child. It happens when we experience something new.

No matter what age we are, that is one of the ways we can experience life as if we were looking through the eyes of a child.

Let’s think about that. What can we do to put wonder and excitement in our lives?

  • Try something new. I have a couple of ideas for that. Go on an adventure. Do something you might have thought about because it looked like fun, and maybe a wee bit scary. I have a few ideas I want to try, kayaking, zip-lining and re-acquainting myself with horseback riding.

There are so many “new” things to do, easy, challenging, and anywhere in between. Scary things and just a little frightening, but so fun. What about you, what would you like to try? Is there something from another time in your life that you wanted to do? Try that!

Remember when you were a young child and were ready, willing and able to do something? You jumped right in, only to have the hand, or words, of your parent, a teacher or other adult pull you back? They said it was too dangerous, or many other different reasons. I remember when my son wanted to take karate lessons, and at first, I said no for just that reason. I thought it would be dangerous. He kept asking, so I said we would go and visit and watch a class. By the end of that class, I was entirely in favor of the program and enrolled him. He continued through high school and college and went on to establish a karate studio of his own and is a black belt in karate and jujutsu. https://www.kime-karate.com/ He is an awesome adult, and the principles of karate helped shape him. What if I had said no?

Think like a child and jump right into a new situation. We should not be scared to try something new. Kids are eager, and we should be too. Adults place limits on themselves all the time. We should stop that and go for it, jump right in.

  • Make some new friends. When you were a child, you always were eager to meet other people and be friends, especially other kids. There was no hesitation. They smile at complete strangers and they want to spend time with them. They want to know them. What is their name, where do they live, do they have siblings, do they have pets. They are ready to sit down and spend the afternoon. We should do that! Smile and ask questions. How easy is that? Maybe have coffee together. Make a friend.

As I am writing this, I am thinking of my granddaughter. She was just like that when she was little. No hesitation, there was just curiosity. She was eager to learn and be friends. Her eyes would light up when she saw another child.

  • Do not place limits on yourself. Remember when you were a child and it seemed like every aunt, uncle, and friend of the family, asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? When you are a young child the possibilities seem limitless. We felt like we could be anything we wanted: Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief. As we get older that changes and we start to decide what we might want to be. Off you go to college, or not, and you start on the path you chose. Maybe you decided to be a teacher. Once you reach that goal and start teaching after a few years, you come to realize you don’t like being a teacher. So many of us do not even consider changing career paths even when we really want to.

Why limit ourselves? We didn’t limit ourselves when we were kids. Make a plan, go back to college and become a chef or whatever it is that is pulling you in a different direction. Maybe you are okay with being a teacher, but you want to teach in a different country or teach a different subject. Why not? If you are passionate about it, then try. Find a way to do it. Be happy.

  • Imagine the possibilities in life. When I was a child, I liked to be outside and watch the clouds and let my thoughts drift. That is when I would imagine possibilities. I would think about the book I was reading and what the characters were doing, believing that I could too. Relax and use your imagination. To this day, I am drawn to the outside and that is where I still imagine the possibilities. As an adult there are so many opportunities, but we usually decide no. Stop doing that!
  • Decide to change things up. Sometimes life dishes up some garbage. That is when we need to do something just for ourselves. Change your perspective. You know you will have to deal with the garbage at some point, but take a moment. Call a friend & go for coffee or a movie. Do some yoga or go for a run. Just sit and look at those beautiful clouds, or read a book. Remember when you were a kid, and your Mom wanted you to take out that garbage? You didn’t, you jumped on your bike and went to your friend’s house, or to the park to play basketball. Think like a kid and do that.
  • Don’t think or care so much about what other people think. That is a big one. Everybody is programmed to care, and there is a valid reason for that, but not about everything. When we are kids, we ask whatever is on our minds. I remember the gasp or the pull on my arm and then the look or the shake of my mother’s head. She was sending me the message you shouldn’t ask that. Sure, I get that, but that is how we learn. There are so many times I look back at my adult life and wish I has asked a question. We need to ask more questions. That is how we learn and how we get to the bottom of problems.

We also need to loosen up, if only just a tad, and stop being so serious. If someone looks askance at you, so what. As long as it is in good taste and you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, it is okay. In the blink of an eye, it will be over and forgotten.

  • We can learn every day of our life. Kids do, and so should adults. It comes naturally with a child because they want to learn about everything. We should not stop as we get older. We should be curious, and we should still experience the wonder of learning. Go to the library and find a fascinating book about a subject you know nothing about or a another culture or country. Listen to a podcast such as TED talks. Stimulate your brain. It is good for you.

A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.

Paulo Coelho

Act like a child today. Dance in the rain, jump in a puddle, or lay in the grass and gaze at the clouds in wonderment. Call a friend and ask if they want to play too.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day.