GGG – Day 9 – Play

“Life is more fun if you play games.”
Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

Gratitude Gift Giving – Day 9 – Play

How do you play?

Do you play everyday and what do you play?

Do you find joy in addition to your work and responsibilities? I do and hope you do too, every day. It makes life more enjoyable that way!

Today I played tennis with Julie for 90 minutes in the warm sunshine. We rallied back and forth, sharing conversation and tips and just enjoyed playing together. We tried new techniques and shared ideas about how to improve our serves, our shots and our accuracy. We laughed, we played our long, competitive set, and we shook hands when the match was over. We both felt thankful that we had time to ourselves before getting on with our daily work, feeling fulfilled and satisfied. I think play releases stress and is an important part of our days. Thank you Julie for playing with me.

After my tennis game, we went to watch Charlie play his soccer match. I liked seeing him playing with his team and having fun too.

Tonight I was lucky to get to play again. Tracy invited a few girlfriends over to play some games and to just hang out together. I LOVE playing board games and cards but typically don’t take the time to do this, unless I’m on vacation. Isn’t that silly?  Thank you Tracy for this great idea. I had a great time and can’t wait to play again.

We played a really fun, creative and artistic game called Dixit. It gave us time to think and strategize and share and chat and guess and hold secrets and then discover the correct answers. There was a sense of friendly competition and it was fun to learn how everyone thinks differently and to discover their choices. If you’re interested in checking it out, the game is available for sale on Amazon:

Make time to play… it keeps you young and happy!

“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr


This was the next game we were about to play before it was time for me to leave to do my “job” sharing this story.

GGG – Day 7 – Your Favorite Memory

“Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.”- Dr. Seuss

Gratitude Gift Giving – Day 7 – What is your favorite memory? What do you do to create memories and are you even aware that your habits and holidays might become memories? What do you remember fondly from your childhood? Were there repetitive things that you looked forward to like summer vacations or a favorite swimming pool or friend?

I am thankful for my memories and the photos that I’ve taken so maybe I can actually remember my memories!! I have a bad memory, which is sometimes a good thing because then hopefully I’ll forget all the bad things and maybe remember the good things. Writing this blog will also hopefully capture the highlights so I can read about what I did once upon a time! And just like photos, with writing we also capture the positive highlights because who wants to share or keep a bad photo or a negative experience? We usually try to forget those.

All of my favorite memories are related to experiences with friends and family, vacations and sports. Water skiing, Twin Lakes, driving across country and camping along the way, going to Australia with my soccer team when I was 12, swimming with my neighbors and family, going to Zuma Beach, and on and on.

I don’t think I have a favorite memory, although the most memorable are major life events – like getting engaged, getting married, getting pregnant, having babies, buying our first home, and moving to Amsterdam, etc., etc.

Today our family went to the Stanford Football Game and tailgated with friends beforehand. I am hoping these type of events and traditions will become shared family memories that my kids will remember fondly as they grow up.

What are your favorites?

GGG – Day 4 – Your Favorite Form of Exercise

Gratitude Gift Giving Day 4 – What is your favorite form of exercise? What makes you feel alive after you’re done and gives you energy even when you’re exhausted from it?

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. – Plato

I love exercise, but I don’t think of it like work. I love to be moving, trying new things, being outside, on the water, in a gym, alone and with friends. It’s hard to pick just which form is my favorite because I have many.

Today I was thankful for the TRX class with Julie again. TRX Suspension Training was developed by the US Navy Seals and includes straps that you “hang from” to do all kinds of resistance training exercises that kick your booty. The class helps to develop strength, balance, flexibility, movement and stability. It works all your core muscles using your own weight as resistance and it’s very challenging. I’m hoping it will help with improving my tennis game and just help me to get stronger in general. I like the feeling of being aware of my muscles, which means they are sore and hopefully improving.

After our TRX class, there was a dance class waiting to come into the gym. Julie was brilliant and suggested we stay for that too. I think she just wanted to get out of doing laundry and chores! But I was game!! She suggested we stay for half of it, but we loved it so much we stayed for the entire class and danced and laughed and just had the best morning ever. The class was called U-Jam Fitness, and it was a mix of music from around the world including Bollywood to Hip-Hop to athletic cardio dance. There was so much energy in the room, mostly from the regulars that must attend all the time because they seemed to know what they were doing. I, on the other hand, felt like I had two left feet, but I did it anyway, trying to watch the instructor and to keep up. It felt so good to dance like a wild one, and to the point where I couldn’t raise my arms anymore or squat any lower! I can’t wait to go again next week for some more “abuse.”

So today I’m thankful for TRX and U-Jam Fitness Dance classes in the gym with Julie. And I’m counting on enjoying some yoga, tennis, and perhaps volleyball and kettle bells the rest of the week. Life is good. Go out and “play!”