Virginia is for Lovers List

In less than a week, we’ll be on a plane and I’m certainly hoping we’ll have time for exploring and experiencing what the east coast has to offer during our next few months in Virginia. I hear that early fall is a beautiful time to be there (and not too crazy temperature wise, which is important for me and the sanity of my curly tresses) so I’ve started doing some research on towns, exhibits, museums, and things to do while we’re there in between all the working and planning and training.  If you have any must-see or -do’s to add to our list, please let me know!

  1. Tour George Washington’s plantation estate, Mt. Vernon.
  2. Explore the Smithsonian Museum(s).
  3. Dip our toes in the Atlantic while sunbathing in Virginia Beach.
  4. Watch Dark Knight Rises in IMAX at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
  5. Catch some Civil War Battle Reenactments a la Gilmore Girls! (did you know more battles took place in Virginia during the Civil War than in any other state? you do now!).
  6. Sip and Savor Virginia’s best wines — we’ll have more than 200 wineries and breweries to choose from, plus a winery you can kayak to…how fun!
  7. Delight in the magnificent architecture and history of Colonial Williamsburg.
  8. Celebrate the Heritage Harvest Festival at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  (did you know Thomas Jefferson was America’s first “foodie?” me either!)
  9. Take in the scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway – supposedly America’s favorite drive!  🙂
  10. Walk the grounds of the first English settlement in Jamestowne.
  11. Stay at the Colonial Williamsburg Resort, celebrating 75 years of southern hospitality!
  12. Take a drive to feast on crab in Maryland (yum! might have to do that more than once!).

Write this down

It’s February already, my gosh, and by all accounts most people have given up on New Year’s resolutions and are surprised to see themselves swirled away by the busyness of 2012.  It’s a good thing to be busy, to be swept away, so caught up in doing things that we feel time has flown by.  But not noticing time has flown by also usually means that we’ve lost track of what is most important in our lives, so I’d say it’s also a great thing to make time for yourself and to commit to plans that get you to accomplishing the goals you have.  No one sets about making resolutions at the beginning of the year because they don’t want those things for themselves – they do want them! – it’s just that we are all guilty of getting caught up in the day-to-day ongoings of our lives that we sometimes neglect the big stuff for which we had the highest intentions and hopes. 

So, month two of 2012: Hi. Let’s get back on track with what we want for ourselves this year.  Here’s a quick little exercise to get your brain back in the mood:

My definition of happiness is _________________________. 

A checklist for achieving this happiness will include:

I will encourage myself with confidence, bravery, recognition, and rewards by ______________________ when I ___________________________.

In my daily pursuit of happiness/health/success/wealth/love, I will commit to ________________________.

Maybe we also need to talk about what we’re not going to do?  Sometimes it’s positive to be negative.  Here’s some inspiration:

I will not sit back and “wait to see what happens.”
I will not put a to do list together without crossing at least one thing off of it, even if that one thing is “make a to do list.”
My happiness doesn’t look like anyone else’s so I refuse to rely on others to bring me success and happiness.

If you followed through on everything above to manifest happiness in your life would you be better for it?  The answer to that is probably a resounding yes.  It might even be a “hell, yeah!” or “you betcha” if that’s more your style.

People often say it’s the simple things in life that mean the most. Very simply, what means the most to you?  What brings you joy?  Find ways to concentrate on that joy and work towards increasing it every day. 

Wishing you happiness today and every day.