I love vintage stuff. Remember when everybody was wearing vintage sports jerseys?
Personally, the vintage sports phase was alright, but I didn’t start buying Brooklyn Dodgers stuff. That’s not really the vintage style I like. I like “old-school living” vintage. You know, a less technology way of life.
Here are ten ways to be awesome by incorporating a little vintage into your life:
1. Smoke a Pipe
I love a good cigar, but recently I’ve recognized the magic of smoking a tobacco pipe. It’s unique and it’s an art. Not only does it take time to learn how to light a tobacco pipe and get really good at it, it’s also an instrument that requires respect; you have to clean it and take care of it.
I’ve even thought people who want to quit smoking should invest in a pipe and smoke that way. Why? Well, every time they want a smoke they’d have to stuff it with tobacco, get it lit, keep it lit, then clean it afterwards. I bet it would prevent many smokers from smoking so much.
To be clear, I don’t puff on my tobacco pipe on a regular basis. I just like smoking my pipe whenever the mood hits. (is there a way to not make that sound sexual in any way? Get your mind out of the gutter folks)
2. Read a Novel from Before 1950
Read some old literature—the good stuff. The early 1900’s produced a great amount of quality fiction; Ask The Dust, by John Fante, For Whom The Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, to name a very select few.
Schedule a night to turn off your television, your phone, your computer, and anything else that will distract you. Set aside 2-3 hours and just sit with a cup of tea, if you’d like, and read a book. It might feel like you’re “wasting” time, but you aren’t. Forget about the latest Tweet or Facebook post; get lost in a good book—it’s an awesome thing to do.
3. Take a Long Walk As Your Exercise for the Day
We are fitness obsessed. It’s all about insane workouts and making sure you jam enough protein down your gullet. Here’s a wild idea: go for a walk; a long one. Don’t plug your ears with music either—listen to the sounds surrounding. Be in touch with the world, connect to it.
A long walk is not only good for the heart, it’s good for the mind. Breathe deeply while you walk, make each step purposeful. Enjoy the weather, rain or shine, be present in the moment of walking. It’s mind freeing.
4. Have a Bath
We are so rush-rush these days it’s hard to find time to get everything done, let alone relax. Taking 15 minutes to pour yourself a hot bath at night, however, can do wonders for your mental and physical health. It helps with blood circulation and can help you get a night of beautiful deep sleep. Mentally it will help you, well, relax. In this day and age, that’s critical.
5. Write a Letter to a Loved One By Hand (Bonus Points On a Typewriter)
It’s so easy to send a quick text or an email to someone, and rarely do they mean anything. What does mean something, however, is a hand written letter. Why? Because you have to the take time to write it out, fold it, place it in an envelope, and walk it down to a mailbox. That sounds rather simple, but when’s the last time you’ve done it?
Letters have meaning. Do meaningful things for people. It can change their world, and yours.
Write a letter to a loved one today. My grandpa and I have been doing this for a couple years. It has developed a unique, deep connection between us that I cherish greatly.
6. Dress With Care When Going Out
I’m guilty of this more then I’d care to admit. Being a writer, it’s far too easy to run out the door wearing track pants and an old t-shirt. I don’t dress up for work because I don’t have too. That’s lazy.
Dressing up is a way to respect ourselves. Remember when people used to dress up to go to sporting events, or any event for that matter? No matter what you are doing in your day, take the time to put on some nice clothes and hit the town. Not only will you look impressive, but you’ll feel impressive.
7. Wash All Your Dishes By Hand
The invention of the dishwasher made cleaning up dinner so easy that, sometimes, I don’t do it until the next morning. When is the last time you washed every pot, plate, fork, and cup after dinner by hand? That’s what I thought.
Washing everything by hand allows you to take the time to just be with whomever you are washing with. And if you’re washing alone, it allows you time to be mindful and distracts you from rushing over to the television. As tempting as that television looks, you don’t need to watch it, remember that.
8. Be Present With Each Other While Eating Dinner
Growing up, we had family dinners. We would all sit around the table and talk about our day. Now, for most families, those style dinners are for special events, only. It’s far too easy to plop down with the television on and watch the news while everybody is eating. I remember getting upset that dinner was at 5:15pm because The Simpsons were still on. In hindsight, The Simpsons have never helped me be a kinder and fuller human being, so family dinner should have taken priority.
Another failure at the dinner table is phone checking constantly for the latest tweet or “urgent” text message. It’s making us stupid. Put the phones away! Talk to each other. And if you don’t talk, sit in silence and respect the meal. Silence while together can be a powerful experience. In this noisy world we have become uncomfortable with silence. Embrace silence, be mindful, relaxed in its presence.
9. Play Cards for Date Night
Instead of having yet another movie date, why not play cards? You can even have fun creating your own card games or add fun stipulations for the winners or losers. Every time I make up card game rules it’s usually based around the goal of getting my wife naked, but I digress.
Playing cards can make conversation lively and entertaining.
With the stress of life, we constantly fall into mindless activities, when in truth, we should be doing mindful activities. It keeps us present, something many struggle with.
10. Listen to the Game On the Radio
Television has taken away the aura of sport. There is no more imagination. When we want to see the great diving catch of the day, we can. Yesterdays legends were created through people’s imaginations. Today, legends are almost non-existent because we get to see every success and failure with our own eyes, in high-definition.
We only have little snips of video from the greats of yesterday. In our eyes, they’ve never made an error because we’ve never seen them make one. Whens the last time you saw video of Joe Dimaggio making an error? The games were created with vivid conversation and descriptions by the broadcasters. People dreamed of what the great play looked like. These men were built like kings, in our imagination. The game turned into a mystical experience.
Sit back, grab some popcorn, and listen to a baseball game on the radio. Create the game in your mind, make it your own experience.
This November, I’m only going to listen to hockey games on the radio. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Do you have any ideas that can be added to the list? Agree or disagree with anything?
”Other Games for ThinkersFeatured photo credit: A young man standing on a rock and looking at the sunset of Phuketvia Shutterstock