Archive for February, 2009

Special Moments in a Recession

February 25, 2009

Have you become aware of a subtle change in how we treat each other in this Recession? 

I am thinking mainly of the experience of shopping.  Gone are the days of the surly shop assistant who acts as if you were an irritation.  This is the day of the smiling, pleasant and helpful shop assistant who will go to great lengths to help you.  I just knew there had to be some up sides to this Recession!

Also, though, the practice of the Special Moments Mindset is recession proof.  As I review my lists, I find that most of my Special Moments cost either very little or nothing at all.  Special Moments is not about the big day out, the big financial gesture, the big purchase.  Special Moments is about appreciating the little things, the blue sky today, the smile and genuine contact between you and whoever is in front of you, a chat with a friend, a hot bath.  The list is endless.  This reminds me of a quote by Robert Brault:

Enjoy the little things, for one day you might look back and realise they were the big things.

Wishing you countless Special Moments today and every day.




Wishing you countless Special Moments every day

A little Shot of Inspiration

February 24, 2009

This is the beginning of a new day.

You have been given this day to use as you will.

You can waste it or use it for good.

What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.

When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever;

In its place is something that you have left behind …

Let it be something good.


I am working to make my day today a day filled with Special Moments – that is my definition of a day well-lived.

Wishing you countless Special Moments every day.



Live for Today – A Special Moments Message

February 20, 2009

A friend sent me this by email, and I thought you might like it:

A friend of mine opened his wife’s underwear drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package:

‘This, – he said – isn’t any ordinary package.’

He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box.

‘She got this the first time we went to New York , 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on , was saving it for a special occasion.
Well, I guess this is it.
He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral house, his wife had just died.
He turned to me and said:

‘Never save something for a special occasion.
Every day in your life is a special occasion’.

I still think those words changed my life.

Now I read more and clean less.

I sit on the porch without worrying about anything.

I spend more time with my family, and less at work.

I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through.
I no longer keep anything…
I use crystal glasses every day…
I’ll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if I feel like it.

I don’t save my special perfume for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to.
The words ‘Someday…’ and ‘ One Day…’ are fading away from my dictionary.
If it’s worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now….
I don’t know what my friend’s wife would have done if she knew she wouldn’t be there the next morning, this nobody can tell.
I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends.
She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels.
I’d like to think she would go out for Chinese, her favourite food.
It’s these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come..

Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.
Live for today, for tomorrow is promised to no-one.

Here’s to living for today, and fitting as many Special Moments as we can into every day.



The Magic of Taking Time Out

February 19, 2009

Today is 19th February 2009 and it is the seventeenth year in a row that Tony and I have taken time out on the 19th February to get out of our normal routine and enjoy a special day.

It all started in 1993 when we were just newly going out together.  We both were working in office jobs in financial services, and we both had flexi-time.  We agreed to take a Friday off work to spend together.  We met at the time we would usually be going in to work, we went for breakfast together and took a beautiful drive up the Wicklow Mountains and then headed over to the coast – Brittas Bay – a beautiful white sandy beach with huge sand dunes.  It was a magical day from start to finish.  That day played a huge part in establishing our romance that thankfully continues to this day!

Every year since, we have taken the day out on 19th February.  When the kids came along some years we took them with us and some years my fabulous mammy looked after them to give us some time out on our own.  When the kids started school, again some years we took them out of school on 19th February to join us on what we called our “Mountain Day”.

This year, today, we didn’t take the kids.  Instead, when the kids had gone to school, we headed off to Altamount Gardens in Tullow, Co. Carlow.  The journey there was about an hour, and we chatted about all sorts.  Then we walked and wandered for a few hours around the most beautiful gardens.  It was my first time to explore Altamount, and the gardens have been established as one of my favourites.  I can’t wait to go back there with the kids and a picnic in the summer.

We finished up with lunch in a lovely coffee shop, and it was time to head back to the real world, pick up the kids from school, Tony went back to work, and it was back to normal.  Well – it was, but it wasn’t!  Taking time out of our routine, going somewhere different and spending time walking and talking meant that we got to chat about all sorts of things, and make lots of plans and decisions.  We both feel like today’s time was like a turning point for us in terms of work for us both and in terms of decisions we made about things we want to do this year.

Why not establish your own version of a “Mountain Day”?  Its literally worth its weight in gold!

Wishing you magnificent Special Moments today and every day.



A Little Bit of Effort – A Whole Lot of Reward!

February 18, 2009

Yesterday we decided as a family to get a Chinese Takeaway to mark the end of the children’s mid-term break from school.

I was busy getting information together for a course I will be running, and I was delighted not to be cooking dinner so I could have more time to work on it. 

Tony headed off to collect the takeaway (no deliveries in rural Ireland!), and I was aware that I had to PULL myself away so that I could set the table and have everything ready when he got back.  I knew that if I didn’t, the meal would just be ordinary, and it would be extra money spent for nothing.

Well, I reluctantly put the laptop aside and started to set the table – tablecloth, candle, the works.  As I was doing this, the kids came out to the kitchen and they got in on the act.  They got the special cutlery out, the wine glasses.  Tony came home to a gorgeous table, subdued lighting and soft music.  We all sat around and had a fabulous Special Moments meal together.  Everyone’s spirits were lifted, and there were lots of jokes and good times.

After dinner, I didn’t want to just leave it there.  There was half an hour before bedtime, so we got out the book we had been reading, but had forgotten about for the past few days, and we sat around the stove and finished it.  It was great!

I was delighted with the evening, and I was delighted that just a little bit of effort that made a very simple evening very, very special.

Wishing you magical moments in your day.



Making Memories

February 18, 2009

I found a new quote that I really like:

Cherish all your happy moments.  They make a fine cushion for old age!

Christoper Morley

I found one of my first Special Moments Journals the other day.  It was an old notebook, an A4 spiral bound one.  I was really surprised to find Special Moments Lists in there, as it was a notebook with all sorts of stuff in it. 

The best thing, though, was that I didn’t just write a list of my Special Moments, I elaborated on each one.  Each one was a few sentences long, so as I read through them I was taken right back to the event or moment.  I really enjoyed reading through them.

As a result I have changed how I write my Special Moments now.  I had been just making lists every day, with just a few words on each line to indicate a Special Moment.  Now, I’m listing fewer entries, but elaborating on the Special Moment.  Its part of the Making Memories thing.  My Special Moments Journals are a way for me to cherish my happy moments, so I can look back on them whenever I want to give myself a lift.

I hope you are enjoying your Special Moments Lists as much as I am.

Wishing you wonderful Special Moments every day.



Abba – The Music Truly is Timeless

February 8, 2009

I had a lovely Special Moment today.  I was ironing away – a special moment in itself, because I have been feeling guilty about the pile for days now and it is reducing nicely!  Niamh was playing her favourite ABBA songs and she was bouncing on the mini-trampoline in the kitchen.

Happy times with ABBA

Happy times with ABBA

I remembered how, as a little girl about the same age, we had an ABBA album that we absolutely loved and played and played and played.  We put on ABBA concerts.  We made up dance routines.  We WERE ABBA in our minds!!!

Happy times – and now, 30 years later, happy times for my little girl with the very same music!!!

Thank you, ABBA.  Your music definitely makes the world a better place.

Wishing you countless Special Moments every day.



Slowing Down is Fantastic!

February 8, 2009

On Friday it was busy day – you know the drill – go, go, go.  Never get everything done because there is so much to BE done!

Well on Friday evening Tony was late home, kids needed to be driven to or collected from various places, dinner needed to be cooked, ironing needed to be done, work for teaching next week needed to be done, college assignment needed to be done.  I was beavering away, head down, getting the jobs done.

At 7.45 I was due to go down to the local hall for line dancing.  If I’m honest, I didn’t really WANT to go.  I was going for the exercise.  I was going because we need to keep the numbers up so the classes would continue.  I was going because a friend had asked me to go.

I went out to drive down to the hall, and my car was already frozen over with ice.  I decided in that moment that I would be CRAZY to take a chance on slippy roads, so I turned around, walked back into the kitchen, past the ironing board, and in to the couch where I snuggled up with the kids and watched the end of The Prince and the Pauper, which was great.

Then we got out a new book to start reading.  We haven’t read a book together for months!  Ciaran chose a book by David Walliams that he loved called The Boy in the Dress.  I agree with Ciaran.  I’m really enjoying it.

So when I slowed down stopped Doing Doing Doing, we had some really special time.  The kids really appreciated me coming in and sitting down with them.  I realise I haven’t been doing nearly enough of it lately.  I get out of the habit, and my days are the poorer for it when I let it slip.

Here’s to slowing down and getting off the treadmill.

Wishing you countless Special Moments every day.



Snow in Ireland – Concentrated Special Moments!

February 2, 2009

We had snow today – by that I mean PROPER snow!  The place looked beautiful! 

This afternoon we were all home and all the evening activities were cancelled because the roads were dangerous.  We were all doing various different things in or around the kitchen when Tony came in, all dressed up for the weather, and made us all go out to make a snowman!  I was reluctant, if I’m honest, but we had fantastic fun, and “Snowy” is currently staring in the patio doors at me!  He looks great.

Wishing you countless Special Moments every day!


A Murphy Winter Wonderland

A Murphy Winter Wonderland