looking to the past to find the present
it's a bella life

things to make (other than money)



After coming across the poem that my thirteen year old self wrote (check out "looking to the past to find the present" for more on this) I decided to re-read my old journals, which I've found is both a daunting and an emotionally draining process. I've found things in them that I hate. I've found things in them that make me sad. But (let's look at the positive!) I've also found things in them that I love, that make me smile with joy to realize how little I've changed. Not only are my journals filled with my own thoughts (which, let's be honest, are sometimes quite boring), but I've also come across new quotes and poems (both mine and others') and it's been so interesting to see that my childhood self is not as different from the person I am striving to be right now. Maybe I really am, deep down, that little girl with journals and books and ideas filled with hope and the potential for happiness. (Though, I must admit that I was still looking for the bad, saying things like "Today was great, but I know that only means something bad is going to happen soon." ) I've obviously grown and changed a lot, but it's so interesting to see the ways I've stayed the same.

One thing that's definitely stayed the same is my love for quotes, poems, and lists of any kind. As I was reading a journal from 1995 (!!!) I came across the list for "10 Things to Make Other Than Money." I'm sure my younger self picked this up somewhere, though it doesn't say where. I loved the list so much that I copied it into my current journal, adding a few ideas of my own. Considering that so many people are struggling financially right now, I thought this would be a great, uplifting list to post on my blog. Under each one of the thirteen I've added a link that I feel is inspiring and relevant to that number. Check them out! 

13 Things to Make Besides Money

  1. Believe -- The Positivity Blog
  2. Merry -- A Content Life

  3. Do -- Think Simple Now
  4. Sense -- Writing Forward
  5. Amends -- Zen Habits

  6. Peace -- Look Far
  7. Friends -- The Happiness Project
  8. Waves -- Girls Can't What?

  9. Room -- Abundance Blog

  10. Art -- The Studio Mela Blog
  11. Time -- Seeing Good

  12. Cookies -- The Wisdom Journal

  13. Love -- Graceful Creative

If you couldn't tell from the image above, I find that making time is one of the most important things we can make. In order to find happiness, you have to make time for you. You have to make time for friends and family. You have to make time for work and for play. Making time can apply to all aspects of life and I think it's especially important for us to consider how we spend our time.

I hope you enjoyed reading this list and visiting these great sites as much as I did. Money's important, don't get me wrong, but there are a lot of other things we can make in this world -- happy, positive, joyful things. I just thought of another thing we can make right now -- progress! We can make progress every day in our personal development, in our jobs, in our relationships with others. There are so many possibilities for what we can make in this world. I'd love to hear your ideas too.

What other things can we make other than money? Which of these are you already making in your own life?


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what a fun way to present the list! I was caught up in "love," and can't seem to get past it, so I don't have a new one for you. Just wanted to say I liked this post a lot.

Cookies! :D

This is a great list. I love the first-- Make Believe. :)

Big fan of the cookie addition. Nice.

A great list you have here. Many of them are my favorites site as well, the difference is my favorites blog list inculded you in it.

I do like Believe alot, a wonderful post.
Thanks for sharing.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action.


I agree that one of the biggest problem in life is making time for truly important things. Many people just coast on auto-pilot and then wonder where their life went.

Thanks for the link!

Megan - I'm glad you liked it! :) Making love (literally or figuratively) is an awesome one to get caught up on!

Meream - So happy you enjoyed it. I really like make believe too, but it was actually the hardest one to find a link for and I still don't think the link I chose quite fits. I'm trying not to let the perfectionist in me get crazy about it! ;)

Nelia - Yes, I love cookies too! I think they're a very happy thing to make.

Giovanna - Thank you! Your comment made me smile. :) Make believing is a great thing to do...I especially like it when it comes to happiness. Sometimes you have to make believe you are happy and the happy will come to you.

Roger - You're welcome! And I totally agree. So many of us are stuck on auto-pilot that we forget to make time for the things that are truly important in life.

What a fun list! Let's see... what can I think of.

Make music.
Make some noise.
Make a baby!
Make breakfast. I love breakfast foods.
Make it up as you go along.
Make your own path.

Vi - Wonderful ideas! :) After I'd put up the post, I thought about "music" which is one of my favorite things so I'm so glad you mentioned it. I love your other ideas too - especially the last two. Those are brilliant!

Oh how cool! Isn't great going back to old journals? I was re-reading one from 1992 the other day (holy cow, who was that insecure girl???). It's amazing to see how we dealt with problems and to see how much we have grown and changed.

Anyway, what wisdom you had back in 1995. Great list!

Caroline - Yeah, it's really cool to go back and see what I've written -- how much is the same and how much has changed. It's really enlightening actually! Glad you liked the list! :)

Great list! Some I know (and like very much) and the ones I don't I'm going to check out - thanks for sharing.

I was trying to think of something to "make" and then one of the most difficult things for me to make up popped up: my mind! ;)

I love, love, love the title of your post! Will be thinking of making some of these things this week :)

another fabulous list ~ deep and humble bows of THANKS!

on this beautiful Memorial Day, i'm off to make MeMoRiEs.

i send you all that is good.

Laurie - That's a GREAT one. A lot of people have trouble making up their minds. Good thinking!

RML - So glad you liked it! I was very happy to come across it in my old journal!

Another Lisa - I hope you're making lots of wonderful memorial day memories! :) Making memories is a great one for the list!

I loved the line - your childhood self is not different from you are striving to be. I know this goes against conventional wisdom, but being childlike as an adult (as opposed to naive and gullible) is quite an achievement. And the comment above about making babies made me laugh :D

Albert - Thanks for drawing attention to that line. It's really interesting how we are supposed to grow up but, in a sense, we all want to be free as we were when we were children. I was a pretty depressive little lass, but I definitely had some hopefulness in there and I'm glad about that. The "making babies" comment cracked me up too!

Make breakfast! Make a cat purr :-)
I love this!

Michelle - Great ideas! I love the idea of making a cat purr. It's so cute when they do that. Also (since I have a dog) it could be "make a dog's tail wag."

Great list. It's funny because my friend and I were driving and he was asking me "is there a way you can consistently feel good when you start to feel bad." I think I'll have to send him this list.

You have always been a wise soul, haven't you? You found this list in your 13-year old self's journal? Wow.

How about "Make nice"?

LOL -- I had to laugh at "make a baby!"

(Thanks for the link love!)


Thanks so much for stopping by my site today! You've got such a great thing happening here--what a wonderful message. I'll be back for sure : )


There's so many options and I like the way you framed them.

Srinivas - You should definitely pass it along. He might find it interesting! :)

Kirwin - I suppose I have always been a bit of an old soul! Make nice is a great one! Making babies is definitely funny. Haha.

SSG - You're welcome! :) I loved visiting your site -- it was great. Hope to see you back again soon!

JD - Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it.

I dread reading my old journals. I love this list though!

Melissa - Glad you liked the list! :) I'm actually really enjoying it. It's both a good and bad experience, but I'm definitely remembering a lot!

Love the title, love the list.

I'm not brave enough to go through my old journals just yet.

Kaushik - So glad you liked it! It's definitely not easy going through the journals, but I'm finding out a lot of interesting things about myself. Someday, when you're ready, you should definitely do it!

Make music and make time are two of my favorites!! I'm glad to be reminded constantly the importance of being in the Now. Thanks for the post and the reminder!

Evelyn - I think those are my favorites too! Music and time are so important in my life -- as is being in the now. I'm glad I can help remind you and others to stay in the now. The blog definitely helps me to do that too!

Hi Dani,

This is a wonderful list of things to "make". And I especially love your concept of making time for ourselves - how important this is - and something I've only fully began to realize in the last few years.

We could also "make up" - as in make up with someone we've had an argument/disagreement with...

Lance - That's a good one! We could all use a little more making up in our lives. :)

Make brownies! But seriously, that is an AMAZING list. Make love, make music, make sense? Be still my heart.

Hayden - Brownies! Yum!! :) That's a great one. Making anything edible and delcious is fine by me!

Dani~ This is such a fantastic list and I am honored to be included. It's inspiring how you provide such amazing content and devote time to honoring other people's work, as well. Thanks for what you do!

Lori - Thannk you! :) Your blog is great so it's an honor to include you on here!

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