You know, we often get caught up living our lives in survival mode, especially at this time of the year when it’s cold (in Australia, at least!) Survival mode is safe and static. It keeps things on track. I get that. I do.
Eventually, though, it’s a good idea to bust out of those comforting (boring) habits and shake things up. It’s not good for anyone to stick to the same path all the time. It limits our happiness and creative opportunities. Much better idea to divert sideways from the (survival) path sometimes. Pick some daisies, so to speak.
A good way to start doing this is by hatching some nice plans for your favourite people. Not only is this just a great idea generally, it has the added bonus of breaking the sluggish spell of survival mode, shuffling life about in ace ways.
Maybe you want to do that? Here’s a list to get you started. Think of your friends and faves the daisies you would gladly divert for. Let’s go.
Ten nice things to do for the favourite people in your life
1. Make them soup! My friend brought me some soup yesterday and it was not only super thoughtful, it was delicious! (There was the added bonus of seeing her dink her cute daughter on the back of her bike. Wins all ’round!) Soup! So nice!
2. Write a letter. There is nothing nicer than getting a lovely, long letter in the post. The kind jam-packed with news and chatter. You can go super-fancied up and make your letter an art form, or you can just write three or four pages of wordy delight. Or just send a postcard even, if you are a bit pushed for time? Mail is nice.
3. Send flowers. For no reason. Or for a very obscure reason? Once I sent flowers to someone for wearing a daring outfit (gym clothes!) to a party I was having. It was an important party and she was super busy moving house, but she still fronted up in her sweats, on the run. That deserves flowers. (PLUS she was pregnant. TOP MARKS for being a rad non-flaking friend!) Maybe you can think up other little-known reasons to give flowers to your faves? Obscure flowers are really nice. Pals in sweats are nice too.
4. Ring pals up. Have a proper chat about everything and nothing. Do it often. Don’t just rely on social media or email to stay in touch. Make actual chats part of your life. (You could even lie on the floor and chat inside your bedroom door, a la when we were teenagers and phones had cords? Or not. Just whatever works for you. Nice.)
5. Buy pals sneaky coffee from afar. Really. Find out their regular cafe/pitstop and pay for a week’s worth of coffees. Because that’s a cute thing to do and free coffee is a treat. If you are a bit rich you could throw in a donut too? Or a toasted sandwich? Those are nice.
6. Make pals something. This can take a little while , I know, but it’s a really personal and precious thing to do. I do this a lot. When I am making the thing, I am thinking of the person. It’s like a making meditation on their radness. Every little bit of the made thing is a kind of shrine to the friendship. In a non-alarming way. Nice.
7. Help pals out. We are all so busy, we sometimes forget to step in, in real life style, when people need it. A like or brief comment seems enough. But it’s not. Don’t wait for the white flag to go up. Keep your spidey senses on alert. If someone’s having a shit time, bake them a cake, teach them to cook your best recipe, do their shopping for them, leave something pretty or delicious or useful on their doorstep, cook them dinner, pop by and offer a shoulder to cry on. That’s more than nice.
8. Tell them they’re your favourite. And tell other people too. Talk about the people who matter most to you freely and openly and often. Spread the friendly word. There is not enough affectionate chatter in this world. It takes people like us to do something (nice) about that. Make your friend a banner or a flag, even. Go nuts.
9. Lend pals things. If you have things they need and you are not using them, lend them to your pals/family member. This can include cars, clothes, books, money. Really. We are all so tight with our hard-earned stuff. If you can help someone you love out with something that’s lying about, unused, then DO THAT. Nice.
10. Surprise them! With an unexpected lunch date. A thoughtful-yet-inexpensive gift. An expensive gift. A bottle of champagne delivered to their office. A tray of ready-to-plant seedlings and some fresh-baked scones on a sunny afternoon. A gift for their pet. Don’t stand on ceremony/privacy all the time. Do a pop-up cute thing and surprise your nice pals when you can!
Okay great. That’s a good list to get us started, right? Do you want to add anything to it? Go for your life! Nice.
Main image: My mug collection in the latest issue of Frankie Magazine. Photo taken by Hilary Walker.