I’m a freelance writer, which means I no longer get paid vacation. Still, I do try to make sure I take time off now and then to just relax and recharge. When I did have a full-time job with benefits, I always took my vacation days…every single one. Many of my coworkers did not. I know some people who never take vacation. Or if they do, they bring work along, which is really defeating the purpose.
Americans in general don’t take nearly enough time off from work, and many American employers subtly (or overtly) discourage their employees from taking it. The opposite is true in Europe, where vacation is seen as an essential part of life, and employers are required by law to give full-time employees a minimum of four weeks vacation.
Working without time off can lead to burnout, and can have a negative effect on your health. Conversely, vacations promote creativity and well-being, and help keep your relationships strong and healthy.
This year, be kind to yourself and use your vacation days. You deserve it.
Early spring is prime time for ants. We always seem to get a stream of them in the kitchen this time of year. I recently discovered this trick for keeping them out: Pour a line of cream of tartar, red chili powder, paprika, or dried peppermint at the place where ants enter the house. They won’t cross it.
A business I work for part-time has had problems with a competitor purposely posting negative reviews and untrue comments about our business on sites like Yelp and Google Places in an attempt to steer more business her way. We know this because she admitted it to someone, not knowing the person she told is a friend of our business. It’s not a very kind thing for her to do, but I’m sure we aren’t the only business to fall victim to fake reviews. That’s why I always take customer reviews with a grain of salt, but I still find them valuable when I’m researching a new product or service. If there is a business or a product that you really love, consider writing a sincere, positive review. It’s easy to do, and might help ensure the business’s success.
Have you ever been compelled to write a positive business or product review? Negative?
If your mail is anything like ours, you probably get at least one credit card or insurance offer a week. I don’t want or need any more credit cards, and I’m happy with our insurance. I find these offers to be annoying and an incredible waste of paper. I recently discovered that you can opt out of pre-screened credit card offers. If it works, I will be thrilled. I’m sure a million or so trees will be, too.
Ryan Garcia, a 30-year-old Chicago man, pledged to make an act of kindness every day in 2012. Since 2012 is a leap year, that adds up to 366 acts of kindness in all. He says he was inspired to do something meaningful after the birth of his first child. So far he’s given out free hugs, taped money to parking meters, given care packages to homeless people, written a letter to a soldier killed in action, and more. Check out this YouTube video of a TV interview he did recently.
Whales don’t have to work, of course. They just swim around all day eating krill. We have to toil for our meals, and transport our blubber from one end of town to the other. Of course, we could trim that blubber and reduce our energy use, all by taking a pleasant ride.
Most likely, it will take more time — and certainly more effort – to bike to work, but your ride is just as likely to be a pleasant one. Try it once, and see if you like it. Feel like a kid again. You can always go back to the road more traveled.
Do you already bike to work or have plans to start?
You may have noticed there was no post on The Daily Kind yesterday. I had every intention of writing one, but then life threw me a curve ball and all of a sudden the day was gone. I felt terrible for forgetting, but I had to remind myself that life rarely turns out the way we plan, and that everyone makes mistakes.
Do you have trouble forgiving yourself for mistakes?
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the English language, the word “grace” has many meanings. The word can describe a person’s elegance and poise, refer to prayer (many people “say grace” before meals), imply a sense of propriety or benevolence toward others, or even describe a state of sanctification by god.
What do you think the late Dr. King meant by “a heart full of grace”?
It’s easy to think of leather as simply a by-product of the meat industry, but the reality is far more complicated. The leather industry is highly profitable, which in fact helps to support and perpetuate the meat industry. The use of leather also helps sustain the dairy industry, which is responsible for creating and maintaining the veal industry (Male calves born to dairy cows are sent to slaughter). This creates a cycle among industries that are financially interdependent and reliant on each other for a continual supply of animal parts for their raw materials.
An easy way to show compassion for animals is to seek out non-leather options when shopping for shoes. Fear not, you won’t be relegated to sweaty plastic footwear (Jelly shoes, anyone?). Today’s vegan footwear is breathable, comfortable, and high-quality. One of my favorite brands is J-41, available on Amazon.com. Check out these cute styles!
Non-leather footwear has come a long way. Why not give it a try?