The End of My Life’s Little Instructions Run

I am a man of quirks and traditions. Over the years I have become known for doing certain things on a consistent basis. Whether it be just writing this blog or sending out extravagant holiday greetings, I like to give people something to look forward to, no matter how small it might be. When 2021 rolled around, I laid to rest one of my longstanding daily traditions.

For the past 14 years, I have had a page-a-day calendar called Life’s Little Instructions. Each day would feature a tidbit on how to be a happier, kinder, wiser, or healthier individual. Many times these quotes were hokey or outdated, but sometimes they actually hit the mark. For the first five years of using the Life’s Little Instructions calendar, it was these occasional nuggets of wisdom that encouraged me to purchase it year-after-year.

Me holding the 2018 Life’s Little Instructions calendar. 

But after a half decade the instructions started to repeat themselves and the novelty wore off. So what would make me continue to go through the same song and dance for another nine years? Social media.

An example of a Life’s Little Instruction.

In 2009 I started to post the instructions to Twitter and in 2013 I started to post them to Instagram. I found that my followers actually appreciated them. The repeating instructions didn’t bother me enough to pull the plug on the enjoyment of others so I continued to purchase Life’s Little Instructions and post the content on a daily basis.

I didn’t know it at the time, but 2020 would be my final year with the Life’s Little Instructions calendar.

My Instagram audience enjoyed Life’s Little Instructions the most. Over the years I have had several regulars comment and share the posts. However, no one gave me more of an incentive to publish the instructions on my feed than Ellen Seder. For four years, this college gym pal of mine would respond to every post with a humorous or witty comment. Most of her replies were self-deprecating as she would analyze the instruction in context with her dating life, reality TV-watching habits, or love for Prada. Whenever I would post in the morning I would think, what is Ellen going to come up with today? Her comments always brought joy to my day.

This is Ellen Seder, the person responsible for bringing a lot of humor to my Instagram account over the years with her comments on my Life’s Little Instructions posts.

The Life’s Little Instructions calendar kept me knowledgeable about the date, provided a lot of blogging ideas, gave me consistent social media content, and helped me not to take myself too seriously. However, I guess all good things come to an end.

I planned to continue my Life’s Little Instructions run in 2021. However, when I went to purchase the calendar at the end of December, I was told that a shipment of the Life’s Little Instructions product never arrived. The store manager said that the pandemic contributed to a lack of inventory. I turned to Amazon and found it, but if I ordered it online I would not receive it until mid or end of January. I decided I would discontinue my search. So, for the first time in 15 years, I started the new year without referencing my Life’s Little Instructions calendar.

Most good things come to an end.

A couple days ago, my mom was at Barnes & Noble. She texted me a photo of the 2021 Life’s Little Instructions calendar and asked if I wanted it. After thinking about it for a moment I said no thank you. It wouldn’t have been a big deal resuming my tradition after a week hiatus but I decided against it. My social media followers were getting along just fine without the daily instructions.

My mom texted me this photo of Life’s Little Instructions calendars at Barnes & Noble. She asked if I wanted her to buy it. I passed.

It is working out just fine for me as well. In 2021, I look forward to building an Instagram presence that centers on beautiful photos that mean something to me as opposed to eyesore calendar photos. Also, my Twitter followers will no longer confuse calendar quotes as something that I said or believe. Although at first it felt weird not posting the instructions every day, I am managing.

Thanks to everyone who followed and enjoyed Life’s Little Instructions over the years. It was a great run and hopefully they resonated with you every now and then. Don’t Blink.

Thanks For The Happiness, Birthday Girl!

Last night as I ripped to the next day on my Life’s Little Instructions calendar, I couldn’t help but smile. Considering today’s date, the advice seemed handpicked for me. You see, January 28 is Sidney’s birthday.

What a fitting Life’s Little Instruction for this date.

What can I say? The advice is true, at least from my perspective. If you read this blog or are familiar with our family, you know what part of the 90 percent equation I am on. Much of my happiness in life is derived directly from Sid or by something she has given me (such as a certain toddler).

Sidney blowing out her candles this past weekend while Sloan looks on.

If it wasn’t for this date and the girl who was born on it, I don’t know where I would be. I truly don’t think there is anyone out there who could give me 45 percent of my happiness, let alone double that amount. Sidney fills my cup for sure.

Happy Birthday, Sid!

A year after spending her birthday taking care of her sick husband and daughter, she is celebrating her special day in 2019 by doing something more on her terms. This evening, after opening presents with Sloan and I, she is heading off to Columbia, the state capital of South Carolina. Tomorrow is the “SC for Ed Money Matters Lobby Day” and she will join fellow teachers from across the state to let elected officials know the resources educators need to truly give the best educational experience to our youth. Let’s pray that Sid travels safe tonight and is well-rested for tomorrow’s festivities.

Happy Birthday, Sidney! Thank you for making me happy. Don’t Blink.

It’s Coming Back in 2016

While many people know me for this blog, there is something else that I am almost equally known for as well. No, it isn’t something prestigious or particularly relevant but it is something that I take great pride in. In fact, I take such great pride in it that I give time and dedication to it 365 days a year.

Some people know me as a blogger, others know me as The Guy Who Posts ‘Life’s Little Instructions’ On Social Media.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@brentreser) you know very well what I am referring to. Even if you aren’t connected with me on those services, you might know what I am talking about just from reading this blog. I have devoted a whole post to my daily habit and I have also written about the person who has added so much spunk and humor to it over the past few years.

Life's Little Instructions will be back on my social media accounts in 2016.

Life’s Little Instructions will be back on my social media accounts in 2016.

But if you still don’t know what the heck I am alluding to and if you don’t want to click on the above links, here is a quick summary. Each year I purchase the latest “Life’s Little Instructions” page-a-day calendar. Every Monday-Saturday during the year (there is just one instruction per weekend) I will tweet out that particular date’s instruction and also take a photo of the instruction and post it to Instagram. Pretty simple, right? Sure it is! But for whatever reason, people seem to really appreciate it.

I am writing today to announce that I will once again be posting Life’s Little Instructions in 2016. So for those who can’t get by without reading the daily cute/corny/cheerful instruction, you can rest easy. I went to downtown Spokane yesterday and bought the newest edition. I always make sure to go after the Christmas holiday and make the purchase as calendars are marked off 50%.

This was today's Life's Little Instruction.

This was today’s Life’s Little Instruction.

This year marks a milestone. It is the tenth year I have used the Life’s Little Instructions calendar. Additionally, it will be the eighth year I have posted the instructions to Twitter. It will be the fourth year I have posted them to Instagram.

This is me in late December 2014 holding my 2015 Life's Little Instructions calendar.

This is me in late December 2014 holding my 2015 Life’s Little Instructions calendar.

What about the status of Ellen Seder, the girl who has made us all laugh with her witty comments underneath each instruction that I post to Instagram? I have not reached out to her yet and asked her to continue in 2016 just because I am embarrassed to! She has worked so hard over the past 2+ years that I just feel really bad asking her to devote another year to the cause. But Ellen, if you are reading this, please know that I would love for you to continue!! However, I just don’t want to put you on the spot and pressure you in to doing something that you might be getting tired of doing. I will find out what you plan to do on January 1 🙂

This is Ellen Seder, the person responsible for bringing a lot of humor to my Instagram account.

This is Ellen Seder, the person responsible for bringing a lot of humor to my Instagram account.

I look forward to opening up the 2016 calendar. It is always weird to go from a bare calendar to a fully loaded one with over 300 pages. Thanks to all who have supported and enjoyed Life’s Little Instructions over the years. I assure you that I won’t miss a beat as we transition between years. Don’t Blink.