This is the slow week between the day after Christmas and New Years Eve. For me, there is no such thing as “free time”. It’s an abomination against nature! Here are a few methods I’ve tested over the years that are a great way for me not to get bored.
- Harass Old Folks.
- Delete My Computer’s Hard Drive.
- Prepare to get fired.
- Throw Things At Homeless People.
Harass Old folks.
You can decide for yourself who qualifies as “old”, just make a list and start with the oldest and work backward, for obvious reasons. Go visit them. Don’t ask if it’s OK. Lots of people are embarrassed that their house isn’t clean, or that they don’t have anything to offer you. If you ask if it’s OK for you to come by, they will say “NO!”
When you go visit, take fruit. If it’s a fruit basket, great. If it’s just a shopping bag full of fruit, that’s fine too. Your goal is to let them know you are interested in seeing their face and letting them know that you are thinking about them. Don’t stay longer than an hour.
When you have to leave, tell them you have other old friends to visit, but that you want to talk to them again soon. That way you can set yourself up to come by next week or next month to hear a few long stories. Old people are good at telling stories.
Delete my computer’s Hard Drive.
I do it once a month, but if I can convince you to do it once a year then I feel like I won a small victory.
Buy an external hard drive, get at least a Terabyte so you don’t have to worry about filling it up anytime soon. Then backup your entire computer’s memory! I don’t ever backup music or movies. That way I save room. Movies and music can be easily replaced. Pictures of family, copies of important documents, and essays/professional paperwork you have done can’t be.
It takes a quick investment of about $50 to make sure that if your computer gets a virus, or just dies of old age, you can just erase it all. Then you can install the version of your computer you had last month, before the catastrophe. If you can’t afford one, put it on your wish list!
After you back everything up, delete everything on your computer and wash away anything you didn’t need or that took up too much room. Reinstall only the things you use! That keeps your computer lighter and faster.
Everyone I know has had a computer that died. The people that don’t have a backup usually have a long, hard nervous breakdown. It’s hard to watch a colleague sit and cry at their desk.
Prepare to get fired.
Every year I have friends who get fired on the last day of work, before Christmas vacations. No matter what they think, it’s almost never personal. Companies need to start the new year with only current employees. So they need you off the books at the end of the year.
The good news is that most of my friends have several streams of income. One of the best things I was ever introduced to was working online as a Digital Nomad. As a Book Editor, General Editor, Proofreader, and Resume Writer my clients get to know me on LinkedIn and then hire me on UpWork.
I strongly suggest that you see if what you do can be translated to online work that lets you be location independent and not have to work for a company that can fire you.
Yes, this means I can help you write, and rewrite your resume as well as help you get set up to earn clients on UpWork.
Throw Things At Homeless People.
Homeless people are dirty, smell bad, and are always begging for food. I try to help them out without having to get too close to them, or let them get near my car. I keep what I call Homeless Goodie Bags in my glove compartment. When they come to my car for a handout, I give them one.
Sometimes, I leave them next to homeless people and give them to beggars. During the week between Christmas and New Years, I go over the top! I take a backpack full of Homeless Goodie Bags to places where lots of them sleep and throw them to sleeping homeless people or just homeless people laying down, or standing up, or looking at me. Basically, if you are there and homeless you get one.
How to make Homeless Goodie Bags.
Go to the Dollar Store/99 Cent Store and assemble the following, even if it’s the generic brand:
- Gallon size ZipLoc bags.
To fit inside each bag, buy one of the following. That means if I buy 10 ZipLoc bags, I need 10 of each to be able to put one in each bag. Feel free to mix and match with whatever the store near you has.
- Toothbrush / mini-toothpaste set
- Instant oatmeal
- Granola bars
- Trail mix
- Hard candy
- 99 Cent prepaid phone card, so they can talk to family
- Bar of soap
- Baby wipes
- Hairbrush or Comb
- Six or eight-ounce bottles of water.
- Sanitary napkins, tampons, or pads for women. I put one in each bag, if the men get one they can just give it to a woman. (Hat Tip to Owl for telling me to include these!)
To save money, go into the stores and speak with managers, tell them what you are doing and ask if they will give you a bulk discount if you, or you and your friends, are all buying the supplies there.
Note: It does not matter how many or how few bags you make. If you can only afford to make five, then that’s still five people that you can help. Make a party out of it. Send this page to your friends and invite them to bring whatever they can afford to your house where you can all assemble them together.
Most homeless people are grateful and kind, some are completely insane. Always take a friend, and never hand out money to the people you are trying to help. Cash not only can be used for drugs/alcohol, it tempts people to rob you. Be generous, be smart, and be safe.
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