Friday Five

1. Give a Book, Take a Book. A few months ago, I wrote about the Little Free Library (see #4), a neighborhood  book exchange program. Members erect these cute bird house-like structures in front of their homes or businesses to encourage people to drop off old books or pick up a new read. This week I saw the first library box in my neighborhood. This one is dedicated to children’s books.

Learn more about the Little Free Library.

2. Are you busy? I recently forgot my good friend’s son’s birthday. (He’s 3.) What’s even worse is that it took me almost three weeks to realize it. I sent my friend an apologetic note saying that I’d been “crazy busy” lately. I didn’t think much about my choice of words, I mean, most people say that, right? Then I read this Op Ed piece in the New York Times.  Tim Kreider says busy is “a boast disguised as a complaint. I could see why people enjoy this complaint; it makes you feel important, sought-after and put-upon.”

You know what? He’s right. Because when you get right down to it, I’m as busy as I allow myself to be. Of course there are obligations like work and the dreaded laundry, but I’m the one who overcommits  to projects.  I’m the one over-schedules myself. Then Leo over at Zen Habits had this interesting post about feeling unproductive.  Instead of filling every moment with tasks so you don’t feel you’re wasting time, he says, “It’s not a matter of “killing” time, but of enjoying it.”  Leaving some space in my life is a good thing. It’s a way for more joy to enter.  “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” Lennon said.

Are you crazy busy? Do you find that you over schedule yourself? 


3. The Future Is Ours. Here are some great reasons to be hopeful for what lies ahead. Take a moment to watch this short video. Powerful!


4. A contest for the dogs. My friend Lenore over at Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly is hosting a contest this week to find the best pooch pictures. To win, all you have to do is submit your favorite dog photo to her before July 14 at midnight. Don’t have a dog? No worries. Send her a photo of your neighbor’s dog  or even a dog at your local shelter who is looking for his forever home.

She’ll post the top five photos and then let readers vote for their favorite. If your pup gets the most votes Lenore will make a donation to your favorite animal charity. (There’s also a rumor about a gift certificate for ice cream, but given Lenore’s obsession love of ice cream, I’m not sure this would make it all the way to you.) Go to her page for more details and to see some pics of the competition!


5. Do two half-truths make a whole truth? Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project (BTW a great book and blog) recently gave a TEDx talk discussing five half-truths of happiness.

  • Hell is other people.
  • Happiness is all in your head.
  • A messy kitchen is too insignificant to matter to my happiness.
  • Happiness should make you feel happy.
  • One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.

She says that these maxims are true, but only half true. What do you think?

Have a great weekend, everyone! 



  1. Thanks for the dog photo contest tip… I may have 10 or a million cute photos of Abby lying around, maybe I’ll enter! The LIttle Library is so cool — I just found out there’s one nearby in a neighboring town and you reminded me I want to check it out in person. Finally, as for the busy “boast disguised as a compliment,” it’s the old humble brag… I love that term so much it almost makes me want to blog about it 🙂


    1. Please do send Abby’s photo in! I bet she’s quite a looker. 🙂

      What a great phrase – “humble brag.” I’d not heard it before. (Sort of like “backhanded compliment” I think) I’d love to read your take on it.

      Write on, friend!


  2. Thank you for the mention, Jackie! I am honored to be part of your Friday Five.
    I enjoyed every item you listed. The free library is incredible. I am glad one has popped up near you with books for kids. I hope the idea continues to spread.
    Thank you for the bit about ‘crazy busy’. That really resonated with me.
    The ‘future’ video was amazing, and yet it left me a little frightened at the same time. I’m weird like that.
    I did not watch all of Gretchen’s talk, but I will. I liked your bullet points. Recently, I saw her book in Target and chuckled out loud. Following her blog, I felt as though I was seeing the published work of a friend.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    1. I also enjoy reading Gretchen Rubin’s blog. She usually includes some “take away” that stands out. Her new book Happiness at Home is coming out soon – Sept. I think.
      I’m so glad you decided to host this contest. Such a kind and generous offer. What a great idea.


  3. After a loooong hiatus (bought a house, moved in, tearing off wallpaper-JOY!…Not) I have FINALLY allowed myself to read my “for pleasure” emails. I am glad that I picked this blog entry first. As usual you never cease to inspire.
    The Busy article was fabulous and eye opening and I will be sharing all of this positivity on my FB page (It’s been a little sad lately since I have been following the tragedy of Lennox).
    Also love the Pet Photo contest, and I read it just in time to enter! Yay!

    Thank you as always for being a leader in spreading it forward!


    1. Welcome back, Jenna! I’m glad that you’ve settled in now. I hope you had a chance to enter the photo contest. I bet it will be very hard to choose one photo!

      (It’s been hard to read the postings about Lennox. Hasn’t it?)


      1. It has been downright depressing. After working in the shelter system for 6 years I know the horrors these beautiful animals face. Our governments/officials sadly base their thought process on opinions and not facts, and end up encouraging witch hunts….
        The Lennox situation, hit home hard from the other side of the pond because it is something that cities face daily here as well. People lose their beloved pets thanks to ignorant BSL.
        What really took the whole think to the next level of depressing is the fact that Lennox got attention worldwide. Petitions were signed, celebrities got involved, and still we failed him…
        But we continue the fight, and always hope that one day we can help change.


      2. It all was so heartbreaking. All of the problems with BSL are directly caused by the media’s fear factor. I volunteer at a local shelter from time to time, but I commend those of you who work there day in and day out. You are making a difference! I feel the tide is turning.


  4. These libraries are so cute. I like the idea very much.
    I’m realize peopel at work like to behave crazy busy. It’s like a competition. I never bought into that.


    1. These little libraries create such a nice neighborly feel. People stop by to leave a book or take a book and maybe interact with each other a little more than usual. Such a simple idea!


  5. “Tim Kreider says busy is “a boast disguised as a complaint. I could see why people enjoy this complaint; it makes you feel important, sought-after and put-upon.”

    That’s so true! Don’t we feel just a tiny bit more important when we tell our friends how busy we’ve been? I’ve gotta remember this one.

    Have a great weekend, Jackie 🙂


    1. So true. I can’t remember the last time I asked someone how they were doing and they said, “Oh, I just sat around the house this week and relaxed.”
      I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend! 🙂


  6. I hate to say it, but I am crazy busy. It’s ridiculous, really. I think it’s worse in the summer.

    Also, I’m going to definitely make myself a note to submit a photo to your friend’s blog. Sounds like such a fun idea. Can’t do it tonight– (you guessed it) TOO BUSY! Yikes!

    Have a wonderful weekend my friend.



    1. It does feel like we amp up the to do list in the summer, doesn’t it? Such a short amount of time to squeeze in all the activities.

      BTW – Your stairs are looking wonderful. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

      I hope you find a little downtime this weekend! 🙂


    1. I am so with you there! I would absolutely love to spend my day writing, but I do like to have a roof over my head. So (for now anyway) I have to head off to my day job. I would be so less busy if I didn’t have to do that. 😉


  7. That free library idea is the best!

    I am crazy busy right now, but only because we’re getting settled in a new house. I try to make it a point to have down time and luckily my husband does the same.
    “Humble brag”–that is a good one.

    Wish the contest was next month!


      1. Thanks, Jackie. I’m afraid the trip was kind of hard on Rocky. He’s been sleeping an awful lot lately. I don’t think he slept much in the hotels across the country, poor thing. They say it takes pets 2 weeks to get acclimated to a new place, so hopefully he’ll be back to normal this week.


      2. I understand that! Reggie gets a bit out of sorts when we drive to Tennessee. He stays awake almost the entire trip keeping vigil. I don’t think he sleeps in the hotel either. Once we get there he sleeps for days.


  8. I’ve tried really hard to NOT be busy this summer. I think I’ve been pretty successful so far but it took a conscious effort!
    I entered into Lenore’s contest and there are so many fantastic photos people hve sent in. It only makes me want to get a dog even more.


    1. Isn’t it amazing that we have to make an effort NOT to be busy? I hope you get a little more downtime before the school year starts again.
      The competition is stiff over at Lenore’s contest! So many good looking pooches!


  9. The “being busy” point really resonated with me. Even my mother (elderly and retired) says “I’ve been SO busy!”. Which is true – she does keep very busy – but sometimes she’s just totally exhausted by it all. At her age she really doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to!

    A couple of years ago when I had a health crisis, I realised how important it is to live in the moment. To just enjoy your current surroundings, activities and the people you’re with. Not to spend time thinking of the next thing you’re going to do. And sometimes just to do “nothing”.

    I missed Lenore’s dog photo competition . . . 😦


  10. You seriously find the best stuff. Can’t wait to check out Gretchen’s TED talk. You know I loved her book and love her blog. Have not seen any of her talks (vlogs, etc.)


  11. Well now you got me wondering if I’m missing anyone’s bday. I hope not. Good thoughts about the word busy. I hadn’t thought of it and I’ve been guilty of using it as well. I’ll have to remember not to use it and come across as arrogant. Love the idea of the libraries. We have to do a better job of getting kids to read more. I can’t imagine life without books.


  12. Loved the video, Ms. C…
    powerful, indeed (especially the part with the hearing impaired woman, I thought… it just really seems to put a face on that technology…)!
    Also, messy kitchen?! Me? Here? Nah! That would never happen! Really! Honest!


    1. The woman hearing for the first time was so touching. I get a tear whenever I get to that part.
      I bet your kitchen is absolutely flawless. So clean you could eat off…wait…well you know.


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