a year of virtues: living like Ben Franklin

Back in college, I read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, and I was struck by many things: namely, how organized this great man was — and how¬†that was likely a necessity due to the many, many amazing things he was involved with, just one of which was the founding of our country!

Something else that has stayed with me all these years is Franklin’s list of virtues that he believed created a fulfilling life:

Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues


1. TEMPERANCE: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2. SILENCE: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3. ORDER: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4. RESOLUTION: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5. FRUGALITY: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

6. INDUSTRY: Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. SINCERITY: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. JUSTICE: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. MODERATION: Avoid extreams (sic); forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. CLEANLINESS: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths (sic), or habitation.

11.TRANQUILLITY: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12. CHASTITY: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. HUMILITY: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


I thought a fun project to chronicle this year on the blog is living by Benjamin Franklin’s virtues, focusing on one per month. {Except for chastity… I think Franklin makes a great point, but I don’t quite feel like chronicling that topic on this blog!} ūüėČ Unlike previous years where I posted a new challenge each week, I’ll just be doing a recap post of these challenges each month. This is to keep things simple, and also because I want to stay on top of blogging as best I can, and posting a new challenge each week was sadly not feasible by the end of last year. I have been excited to pick up a lot of different freelance projects and teaching projects that excite me — but they also make my plate a little more full than it was¬†before! Thanks for being patient, and for continuing to read, as I work to find my “blogging groove” in this¬†exciting¬†new chapter of my life.

Speaking of new chapters… this month, I am moving into a new apartment with my sweetheart!

me and Allyn France

We will be living in a relatively small, quiet town in the Bay Area in our very own one-bedroom place. I am very excited!

For the month of January, my focus will be ORDER. Piggybacking on last year’s simplicity challenge, I would love to start 2016 off with an organized, orderly home and work life, with each thing in its place and only the things that bring my life joy. I will let you know how it goes!

xoxo,
Dallas

year of kindness challenge: week 23

year of kindness button

Hi, everyone! How is your week shaping up?

I had a really nice weekend with lots of friend & family time! Girls night out, a backyard pizza-making party, baking, eating, reading, wine, a long-awaited phone date with a wonderful friend, a new buddy at church, running errands with my mama … and on Sunday night my family all went out to a local winery for a concert featuring the very talented daughter of my mom’s coworker. SO much fun!¬†Cassi Vaniotis, you were terrific!!

I also tried out a few new recipes I’m looking forward to sharing with you guys soon! Stay tuned!

So, last week’s¬†kindness challenge was to do an act of patience.¬†I think the best thing about this challenge was that it changed my mindset. I tried to approach these acts of patience with an open heart and thoughts of kindness, and what once seemed like a chore — waiting in the office for my eye doctor appointment, sitting in traffic, running errands — didn’t seem so bad. I let someone go in front of me in line at the store. I waved cars ahead of me when merging on the freeway. When I was put on hold on the phone, I sat and daydreamed rather than absently surfing the Internet while I waited.

I’m someone whose natural inclination is to jam-pack every minute of my day with “productive” activity. I like to feel go-go-go, crossing off tasks on my to-do list. But I realized that I was tying my self-worth to this sense of “busyness” … and that isn’t a good thing. I was often feeling like I didn’t “accomplish enough” in a day, no matter how much multitasking I did. And I wasn’t fully savoring the rich details and spontaneous joyful moments of life!

murray patience grasshopper

So I’ve been on a mission to slow down, breathe, and focus on one thing at a time. Embrace whatever life is presenting to me in that moment. The funny thing is, now that I’m approaching my day with a more patient, slowed-down mindset, I feel like I have more time than ever!

I came across a quote this week about patience and kindness that struck me, and I wanted to share it with you: “Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in the one ahead.” -Bill McGlashen, poet & author

What would your life look like with more patience?

The Week 23 Kindness Challenge comes from my wonderful blogger friend¬†Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean,¬†and it is¬†to call at least 3 friends and/or family members that you miss on the phone, let them know, and actually talk to them…instead of just texting or emailing!

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚Äď

year of kindness archives:
–¬†week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
–¬†week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
–¬†week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
–¬†week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
–¬†week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
–¬†week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
–¬†week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
–¬†week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
–¬†week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
–¬†week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
–¬†week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
–¬†week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
–¬†week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
–¬†week 14 challenge: donate books
–¬†week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
–¬†week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
–¬†week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
–¬†week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
–¬†week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
–¬†week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
–¬†week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
week 22 challenge: practice a little patience

year of kindness challenge: week 22

year of kindness button

Happy Wednesday, friends! I made my first smoothie of the summer for breakfast this morning and it was fabulous! I just threw a random assortment of fruit that I had in my fridge into the blender: a handful of strawberries, some honeydew, some cantaloupe, a small container of blueberry greek yogurt, ice, spinach, and some coconut water to get things movin’. It tasted delicious! Definitely going to be making a lot of smoothies this summer! I’d love to hear some of your favorite smoothie recipes — please share in the comments below! ūüôā

There has been SO much kindness happening in my world this week! The thing about kindness is, once you start to notice and pay attention to it, you see kind acts everywhere! That might be my favorite thing about this #yearofkindness challenge: becoming more aware and attuned to kindness in the world around me.

Here’s just a sampling of kindness I noticed this week:

  • I saw many doors held open for people — at the bank, at the grocery store, at a restaurant. Proof that chivalry {and kindness} are alive & well!
  • I spoke and taught writing workshops at my alma mater middle school, and two students wrote me very sweet, handwritten notes of gratitude. Made my week!
  • Many, many friends and acquaintances, in daily life and in the blogosphere, have preordered copies of my dad’s new book WOODEN & ME … I can’t even tell you how much your support means to me and my family!!
  • My friend and mentor Tania took the time to talk about a painful recurring dream I was having … with her compassion and guidance, I was able to work through some things and come to a place of healing. I am so so grateful for her friendship!
  • On a recent walk on the beachfront path in my town, I noticed an older couple walking along with a trash-bag and one of those trash pick-up gripper sticks, picking up litter all along the beach.

I also loved this Huffington Post piece by Marlo Thomas recapping some random acts of kindness that popped up in the news! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marlo-thomas/12-acts-of-random-kindness_b_3312193.html?utm_hp_ref=tw#slide=more298511

The Week 22 Kindness Challenge is to do an act of patience. This could mean staying calm and not getting upset when someone cuts you off in traffic; or letting someone go ahead of you in line; or politely telling that telemarketer, “Thanks but no thanks” instead of saying something rude. Maybe it means patiently reading your child their favorite book three times in a row, or patiently listening to a friend’s long, drawn-out story on the phone without interrupting. Approach these acts of patience with an open heart and thoughts of kindness, and what once seemed like a chore might turn out to be surprisingly enjoyable — perhaps even full of grace.

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚Äď

year of kindness archives:
–¬†week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
–¬†week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
–¬†week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
–¬†week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
–¬†week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
–¬†week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
–¬†week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
–¬†week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
–¬†week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
–¬†week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
–¬†week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
–¬†week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
–¬†week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
–¬†week 14 challenge: donate books
–¬†week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
–¬†week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
–¬†week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
–¬†week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
–¬†week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
–¬†week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect