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10 things to do this week rather than be bored

I was never that child who was bored. It’s simply not in my DNA. It made for some hefty carry-on bags, still does, but I’m seemingly never lacking for something to do.

It seems hard to believe that with all the media, gadgets and to-dos anyone could be bored these days. And we’re probably not bored with “nothing to do.” More likely bored with what we do have to. Or what we are doing — staring at screens all the live long day.

Here’s a few thoughts on how to not be bored this week. Turn off. Unplug. Tune out. And do something different.

1| Read a book. it’s the cheapest way to be transported somewhere.
2| Go on a walk. it’s another cheap way to get somewhere.
3| Make something. anything.
4| Have a conversation. connect or reconnect with someone who you haven’t spoken to in the past month.
5| Clean out your car/your closet/your attic. and donate or sell those things you no longer need.
6| Write a letter. not an email. a letter. and send it.
7| Fix something. it’s been broken for a while, and it hasn’t fixed itself yet.
8| Rearrange. The furniture, your bookshelf, etc. Get a new perspective.
9| Do that one thing. scan the photos, shred the mail, transfer your VHS to DVD… the one thing that you keep putting off. do it.
10| Do nothing. and embrace it. 

How else can we turn off the screen — and boredom — this week?

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Dealing with snow (& other unexpected things in life).

SnoJoke_Now that baseball season is officially underway, I feel like I can talk about the winter that was. During the season, it would have been like talking about a no-hitter while a no-hitter is happening — you just don’t do it. But, now that it appears we’ll be breaking 60° for a few consecutive days, I feel like I can talk about the whole thing.

First, let’s rewind a little bit.

At the beginning of January, we had no idea what the jet stream had in store for us. There was little snow at the beginning of the winter season. And then, that quickly changed. By the end of January, the Boston area was suffering from what an op-ed in the Times called a “slow-motion natural disaster of historic proportions.”

There was snow. And more snow. And more than enough snow. And enough snow, already. The birdbath in our backyard is evidence. These four shots from 1/27, 1/28, 2/8, 2/9, respectively, perfectly capture that progression. And while it only took a couple weeks to amount to the snowiest winter on record, it took longer than that to melt. As I sit here, mid-April, there are still piles of snow resting in shadowy backyards across the area.

So, how did we get here? To April with our now snow-free commute? What are the tips I put into practice when dealing with the unexpected?

1. Learned a new thing or two.
In January, I had no idea what a snow rake was, let alone that a snow rake even existed. I didn’t know what an ice dam was. And I also didn’t know that you could put ice-melt in pantyhose and place it on your roof to help alleviate the aforementioned ice dam.

When you’re forced to deal with a physical (or emotional) situation, you learn how to get through it. How to survive (relatively unscathed). How to learn and grow and become smarter and stronger because of it. That’s what you do. That’s what I did.

2. Practiced patience. In all things.
From the day after our first snowstorm (1/28) until as recently as March 30, the commuter rain line that I ride suffered from massive delays, cancellations and a so-called “recovery schedule.” It left us standing in the cold (literally). It left us driving to other train lines. And one week I didn’t make it to work until noon every day.

Eventually, one way or another, we all make it to some end point that we expected to be at or that we’ve accepted we’re at. We don’t give up, pitch fits or whine about it though — that doesn’t do anyone any good at all. It’s easier said than done, but having a little patience with ourselves, and with others, goes a long way.

3. Turned the frown, upside down. 
You have never seen a group of people more upset than the collective greater Boston population was this winter. But hey guys, we were all in it together, amiright?

Unexpected situations are much easier to face with a positive outlook. And while it’s easy to say “everything happens for a reason,” it’s sometimes much harder to actually believe it. I’ve found that finding the reason (or reasons) sometimes make dealing with the tough shit harder at first. But in the long run, it’s somewhat soothing and definitely easier to get behind with rose-colored glasses.

4. Looked ahead.
Spring was on my mind’s horizon since January.

Yes. I knew that official spring wasn’t for 60-some days. And I knew that unofficial spring (aka warm weather) would be several more days past that. But I didn’t let that get me down. It goes right along with that positive outlook. Listen,

You’ve got to weather the storm to see the rainbow.

In seasons, in life, in the expected and the unexpected, it’s so true — you have to weather the storm. Life has thrown me plenty of curveballs of all speeds, but I’ve managed to foul them off and keep this thing going. (baseball metaphors all the way.) I/You/We have to. That’s how I’ve managed. I’d like to know how you get through the big, small, crazy, ugly and everything else life has thrown at you recently.

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2015 Predictions

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There’s a lot of talk about New Year’s resolutions every year around this time. But there’s another trend I spotted on social media at the end of 2014 that’s even more fun. People were predicting what would happen in 2015. Most of these were in a particular field—for instance, what would happen in the world of marketing, or dance, or sports.But what’s going to happen in just everyday life?

I’m sure a lot will happen that will make headlines, break hearts and convert nonbelievers. Here’s my predictions for our year ahead.

– People everywhere will continue to confuse “they’re, there and their.” (don’t be one of them.)
– Your cell phone will run out of storage. (use the cloud & backup your photos every once and a while, why don’t ya?)
– Someone will accidentally hit “reply all”… I really hope it’s not me.
– New Year’s resolutions will fall by the wayside faster than you can flip the calendar to February.
– Your summer will fly by in the blink of an eye. (You know it always does. Go ahead and plan your vacation now.)
– An unexpected expense will arise when you least need it to. (So go start that rainy day fund.)
– And Disappointment will crush us all when October 21, 2015 is nothing like Back To The Future II.

What predictions do you have for the new year. What does 2015 hold for you?

P.S. One of the changes I’m making as I switch from GetsMeEveryTime.com to KellyMcAuley.com is the new structure of post titles. “Gets Me Every Time” will always be a part of KellyMcAuley.com as it’s part of the legacy of my online blogging life. Look for new “Gets Me Every Time” posts on (most) Mondays.