EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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A Year of Living Positively-Day 311

I could have slept in this morning but there was a class to teach at ten o’clock so I had to resist the inclination and get myself on time. It was another really fine day. Everyone was tired this morning after a weekend of celebrating the end of exams.
 
I just gave forty-five minute lessons to both my conversation classes today. In the second half of each period, we just relaxed and socialized. As the first group is small, I led them to the library café where I bought them snack food and the students played a conversational board game. As for the second group, it is too large for that kind of social affair so we stayed in the classroom. I gave them juice and cookies and they sang along to “Que sera, sera”. Then they got into the board game while I played Youtube videos with lyrics of clean rock music and British soul.
 
I had a thought leftover form yesterday. I was too worn out to delve into it in yesterday’s blog, but I can do it now. The topic is one’s own creation of social exchanges and celebrations like the poetry group and potluck dinners.
 
In my list of ways to live positively, involvement with the community as well as celebrating to generate joy are mentioned. Find opportunities to be festive, in a socially positive way for socially positive reasons and bring people together. In addition, find opportunities to meet and help people in your communities so as to be a positive factor influencing positive feelings and change. Put energy into such activities and the energy will grow exponentially.
 
I also advise readers to take action rather than waiting for things to happen. Raise questions and create goals, then think of means by which the goals can be realized, step by step, and the goals will be reached. The questions can be ones such as, “What am I lacking in my life these days?” or “What way do I want to have fun to feel good?” If you do not like the options for social or festive activities around you, or they are out of reach financially, geographically or socially, alternatives can be created. It may not happen simply by waiting for someone else to take the initiative, so you should take some initiative yourself.
 
Do something in line with your schedule, talents and skills, material means and preferences. It does not have to be complicated or luxurious. Call together some people you know for a potluck dinner or some cultural exchange. Sometimes the response is minimal, and others it is substantial. Stick to what seems real and in character for you and the people you wish to include. Think of their perspectives and situations and you can come up with something they may enjoy doing with you. That takes considering your common needs and interests.
 
The dinners among these people in my building work because we are all living alone as outsiders in a foreign country, and we share the experience of teaching languages. We are also neighbours. Hosting a dinner time activity is convenient and easy to organize. The party may be small or large. We usually have about 10 people. Everyone can bring some kind of food that they like, so everyone is satisfied. The different dishes amid this international crowd is also a conversation topic.
 
For the physically active nature lovers, pick a day and a place for a walk and invite them. Usually, at least one will come along. I revealed an idea for a fall hike to one of the hiking guides in my circles and he responded by posting the event, so that I can invite others. Maybe four of us will join him for a hike followed by a visit to a local festival next weekend.
 
My associates in this city are mostly English teachers, so something befitting the interests in English and education can attract participants. For example, the Peace Poems Busan got off the ground just be sharing the concept, and thereby finding supporters, then taking the bold move of booking a convenient and affordable venue with the help of the supportive followers, and plunging into a little promotion. J and I could not predict what response we would generate. Ten people showed up because they liked the idea and the timing and location of the event were workable. We had an enjoyable and satisfying time exchanging poems and therefore ideas, so that the participants were keen on forming a group and keeping the practice going.

There are many advantages and benefits of creating your own activities. There is even a kind of freedom earned by it. This sense of purpose, and the activity of planning along with the vision of a happy end result can itself increase your motivation and satisfaction in life. Building bridges and establishing more company for leisure activities is also beneficial for many reasons. You can make new friends, find valuable contacts, tap into important resources and events, and get inspiration and knowledge from each other. To add, such activities allow you to do what you really want, and be with people that you prefer, and express yourself truly. Making our own Hallowe’en costumes accomplished that, for instance. We put together our own outfits choosing the characters we liked and interpreted them the way we wanted. The poetry event was similar, for writers could recite their own work, which contains their own perspectives and opinions. Organizing the potluck dinners allows you to make some food you want, and host it on your territory on your own terms. It is liberating in that respect.

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