First and foremost, Bob and I are thankful for Emily, Tyler and our first grandchild Nolan Trout who turns one week old today. Welcome to the planet little Nolan!
Second, I’m thankful for delicious Thanksgiving memories going all the way back to Nana granting me the honor of decorating a giant basket with fruit, nuts, and animal-shaped hard candies.
Third, I’m thankful for all the glorious advice I’ve gleaned from the many people who have passed through my life. Much of it came from the older folk and I’m excited to pass it down.
Life is simple if you’ve got a good work ethic, healthy moral compass and respect for the natural world and all its creatures, including your fellow human beings.
It’s the externals that make life complicated. Our many possessions impede movement and clutter our minds. We’re bombarded by media promoting a culture of selfishness and waste without consequences.
Here are a few tips to help navigate the dark waters of our time:
- Leave some surfaces clear of stuff – an empty horizontal space is an invitation in the same way clutter is a rebuke
- Make sure everything has a place and you know where it is
- When you’re done with something, put it away
- Close the gate or door behind you unless you found it open
- Take an extra moment to leave things nicer than you found them
- Don’t waste food, water or words
- Give yourself idle time without screens to think and create
- Spend as much time as possible outside
- Walk in the woods
- Learn the calls, colors and habits of the birds in your yard
- Be nice to others, even when you are unhappy – it will make you feel better
- Share what you have and others will share with you
- Listen to what people are saying and imagine being in their shoes
- When you see someone working, give them a hand
- Always take the high road, pettiness makes you feel cheap
These fifteen lessons have served us well. May they do the same for you.