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10 Vintage Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Awesome

10 Vintage Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Awesome

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)

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

More by this author

Daniel CJ Grant

Daniel is the author of "Notes from a Failure". He writes about failure and success.

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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