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Five acts we could all do more often

Published: Friday, July 25, 2014 11:02 a.m. CST

Five things I should do and you should too: 

1. Write thank yous

What’s more meaningful than a hand written letter? I have a lot to be thankful for these days but more importantly, there are a lot of people to be thankful toward. There’s the father-figure who sent money, the gentleman who gave a handmade end table and the professional who granted an all-access pass to the track at the last minute. They are people who went out of the their way to do something nice for somebody. Everybody has somebody to thank. I’ve been busy, like any one of us, with work and personal business and so I’ve been easily side-tracked. It’s easy to give a verbal thank you but a hand written letter gives a much more thoughtful, memorable and appreciative response.

2. Cook one over priced meal for yourself

If you’re like me, you enjoy a well-planned meal — a meal with great value, quality and ingredients. Truth be told, the best $20 I’ve spent was on an expensive homemade meal for one. First of all, it’s rewarding to create a masterpiece. Second, it’s delicious to taste. Third, it’s all up to you what will be prepared. When I cook for others, there’s often times some sort of discussion and cooperation, but not when you splurge on yourself. You’re the boss.

Whether you like lamb or lobster, preparing a meal that is especially made for your taste buds gives a sense of worth and satisfaction unlike none other. I enjoy crab cakes, chicken marsala or butterfly shrimp with a pesto alfredo sauce and garlic bread.

3. Call an old friend or family member

I’m terrible at this yet it haunts me the most. There are family members afar who have meant the world to me, primarily cousins. I’ve spent quality time with them and despite the distance our understandings of each other is superior to an ordinary acquaintance. Friends alike. It might have been six months, one year or four years but it doesn’t matter, I know our friendship is more unique than most. So do it, tonight, on your way home from work or during a commercial — dial an old number and see how they’re doing.

4. Take a three day weekend

Oh travel. It’s a must. Go! You have to plan now. My favorites are Colorado and Chicago, but they can easily be more than a three-day weekend trip. Recently, my mom and I, who usually travel to Kansas City or Minneapolis, headed to Omaha. It was rare, wonderful and fun. There were endless roads to discover and sites to see, and I couldn’t think of a better traveling partner. The best part was it was close. In Iowa, although secluded, you’re given the opportunity to travel to at least five major cities at any given moment. Milwaukee is next on my list. We’re practically neighbors.

5. Study up on one person in history

I’ve spent so much time on my phone that I accidentally purchased two Sam’s Club annual memberships on Groupon from my pocket. I canceled the order, describing it as an “Accidental — pocket purchase.” What a hazard. Phones are necessary and convenient, and they lead to many great but brief discoveries that meet an instant gratification.

However, I haven’t set down and devoted enough time to a more interesting, thorough subject matter. I want to know about a part philosopher, president or poet. I’m not talking about John F. Kennedy, who I adore, but someone less typical some who you know nearly nothing about. Dig deep. Find a book full of information, and you’ll feel like a superhero of information.

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