November is the month of giving thanks. And giving thanks requires action.
What if we worked to create a culture of gratitude in our homes and offices? What would that look like? Let’s start with a gratitude definition that I came across recently that helps zero-in on what gratitude is and what it can do for us.
Gratitude is observation. It’s paying close attention. It’s noticing the things that are already here and pausing long enough to see them and think, look at this – isn’t it good? Gratitude is a way of shining a light on things; it’s a way of seeing deeply, and of letting that seeing ripen into appreciation. When we move through the world with gratefulness, when we notice the good things, suddenly good things are everywhere, and the details and the people and the moments of each day transform. They go from being the things we expect to being something exceptional.
Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps us feel positive, appreciate wonderful moments, improve our physical and mental health, helps us manage challenges, and builds solid and connected relationships. There are so many ways that we can express gratitude:
- A simple thank you, for a simple task
- A handwritten note of thanks and appreciation
- A smile and hello
- A pat on the back – physically or a shout out
- Acknowledgement or celebration in front of others
It’s so easy to show appreciation with a simple thank you.
We should not take others or their actions for granted. Being thankful for your mate for taking out the garbage, for your coworker for making another pot of coffee, your child for getting their homework done. These expected daily tasks should be celebrated and appreciated. It builds trust, connection, and engagement. Simply said, it will lift their day right along with yours.
For many, the holidays can be filled with sadness, anxiety, or depression. Those with severe anxiety disorders hopefully seek and find assistance with professional help. But sometimes we’re just feeling a little disconnected, sad, or anxious. Research and common sense tell us that being thankful can actually lift our spirits. When we focus on the positive things in our lives instead of what is lacking, we can bring clarity and joy to our lives.
So, who doesn’t want more gratitude in life! Here are some simple ideas on how to show it:
- Tell three people why you are grateful for them and why they matter in your life
- Randomly place post-it notes around your work (or home) space expressing gratitude for those on your team
- Try to find the good in someone you don’t like
- Be grateful for yourself! Do something nice for you today
- Create a Thankful Jar – and fill it up
- Surprise someone with a thoughtful, and inexpensive (or handmade) gift
- Create your own list of reasons to be grateful, post it in a prominent place to remind yourself that there is always something to be grateful for – or start a gratitude journal
- Give someone your vote of confidence
- In a group, draw names and write a note of gratitude; leave the note in a place to be found by the person you intended
- Tape gratitude notes to candy bars and hand them out
- Call a friend and tell them why you are grateful for them
- Make an effort to use grateful and kind words in all your interactions today
Thank you for taking time to read this blog and I hope it inspires you to find more ways to show, share, and practice gratitude! What are you shining a light on today?
Brenda Peterson, President/CEO
The Wendt Agency
This holiday season may feel more unique in many ways, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to enjoy the warmth and magic we’ve experienced in years past. Festive lights on houses to drive by, and mugs of hot cocoa to sip on. Nights spent by a warm fire or snuggled up next to a decorated tree. Tasty treats to make and comforting smells wafting from our kitchens.
Just a few short weeks ago we were talking about Sherwin Williams’ Color of 2021 — Urbane Bronze. Here we are with another contender! Benjamin Moore is weighing in and it sees something very different in our future, choosing a color called Aegean Teal.
This one is described as an “intriguing blue-green that creates natural harmony and invites us to reflect and rest” – Aegean Teal (2136-40).
Andrea Magno, Benjamin Moore’s Director of Color Marketing & Development, says this is a color that can help provide people with a sense of stability in uncertain times.
Want to see examples of what it looks like? Check these out:
A very unofficial poll of the Wendt office shows this color gets mixed reviews:
- I like it – gender neutral, not too dark, not too warm – it’s flexible; almost the new beige!
- I like it sometimes. I guess it depends on where you put it and what colors are around it.
- Very institutional. Not my fav.
Perhaps the overall opinion at Wendt is summed up with: “Meh.”
But maybe Benjamin Moore was prepared for that because Aegean Teal, while their pick for Color of the Year 2021, is part of their overall Color Trends 2021 palette. That’s a total of 12 colors and hues all “rooted in elegant, handspun textures of the home”, providing us with several other options, in case Aegean Teal is not making an appearance in our living spaces.
Two down and at least one left. Watch this space in December when we expect Pantone to announce their pick for Color of the Year 2021. Maybe they will pick something the Wendt team can all agree on!
“Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative.” -Judy Gold
There is no one more creative than the crew at The Wendt Agency, which is why Halloween is such a big deal around here. It’s certainly my favorite tradition!
I was unsure what to expect my first Halloween here at Wendt. Halloween has always been one of my most beloved holidays, but the more I heard about the annual celebration, the more excited I became. As part of the planning committee, I was put in charge of game development. I am still very proud of the original Wendt murder mystery game I designed and created based on the game Clue. The office enjoyed my clothespin game that featured around 65 individually hand-painted clothespins. Another one of my favorite games that year was musical chairs with Halloween music, which I won. I also thought my costume was pretty clever; a social butterfly (a fun play on words since I am the social media specialist at Wendt).
The second year at Wendt, I was dressed as the Cheshire Cat (with a wig, elaborate face paint, and very impractical claw nails). That year, I devised a game to get everyone in the spooky spirit leading up to the actual day. We had an array of skeletons around the office and everyone had an opportunity to set up their very own Skeleton Diorama: I also won this game. The committee had a lot of fun buying a few new Halloween decorations and bedecking the entire office. My favorites included the entry way black lights that illuminated the skeleton scenes set up in the street facing big front windows, the repurposed Christmas trees that became a glowing spooky forest graveyard, and of course, the motion sensor ghost that guarded the entryway to the bathroom.
This year I was asked to lead the planning committee, comprised of all new employees who have never experienced a Wendt Halloween. After bringing them up to speed and conveying the significance of Halloween here at Wendt (and explaining the number one rule…keep your costume a secret!), we came up with a bunch of terror-ific ideas for this year’s festivities. We wanted to get everyone excited for Halloween, so we came up with the 13 Days of Halloween (a reverse countdown spin on the 12 days of Christmas). Each of the 13-days leading up to Halloween we are planning something fang-tastic. And we haven’t forgotten about the party itself! There will be plenty of haunting holiday activities then too.
Social Media Specialist
Are we all ready to be done with 2020? Do we need some calm and stability in our lives? Sherwin-Williams thinks so, already announcing Urbane Bronze as the color of the year – the year of 2021 that is.
Described as an “anchor that grounds the mind”, Urbane Bronze (SW 7048) is a rich shade with gray undertones.
“The home is now the ultimate retreat from the world … and Urbane Bronze encourages you to create a sanctuary space for mindful reflection and renewal,” according to Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing, Sue Wadden. The color is part of the Sherwin-Williams Sanctuary Palette, said to pair well with wood finishes, stone accents, woven textiles, and mixed metals.
A very unofficial poll of the Wendt office shows this is a divisive color:
- I love it. It signifies a life well lived, filled with leather bound books, roaring fires, and soft lamp light.
- Great organic feel – it will easily coordinate with any other color.
- This color fills me with darkness. I find this choice a disappointment.
- The color of doom and gloom – thumbs down!
Pantone, the ball is in your court – can’t wait for your December announcement to see what you pick for the 2021 color of the year!
Happy National Coffee Day everyone!
That’s right, today has been officially designated to honor that wonderful caffeine delivery system that makes the morning bearable for so many of us – coffee. The average American drinks two cups of coffee per day. Here at Wendt, we drink a combined total of 26 cups per day, although a couple of folks do not drink any coffee at all, and one person drinks decaf – can you imagine! I guess it’s up to the rest of us to pick up the slack, something we are more than happy to do.
Looking to impress your co-workers in the breakroom today?
Here are a few coffee facts to get the conversation started:
- More than 50 countries around the world grow coffee
- $40 billion is spent on coffee every year
- The most expensive coffee is Kopi Luwak, which can cost up to $600 per pound
- Coffee beans are the pit of the coffee plant’s red berries, meaning they are actually fruit seeds
- The effects of the caffeine show up 15-20 minutes after your first sip
- To let students and faculty know when the coffee pot in the breakroom was full, the University of Cambridge pointed a camera at the pot and created the first webcam in 1991. Sadly, it was taken down in 2001.
Whether you are an expert cupper (a professional coffee taster) or just a one cup first thing in the morning person, you can check out all the fun today by using or following #NationalCoffeeDay on social media. And, if your celebration includes a sixth, or tenth, cup of coffee today – no judgment here!