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Happy New Year... now have another glass of water

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

Pay your body back for the late night and any bibulous abuses by drinking plenty of water, having some aspirin, feeding yourself a good solid breakfast (in the afternoon if that's the soonest you're ready for it), and going for a long, gentle walk.

Welcome to a new year!

Posted on December 31, 2006 | Permalink

Looking back on the year

What did you welcome into your life in 2006?

What unpleasantness did you get rid of?

How did you transform your home or your self?

A year is never 100% good, so don't just think about the ups & downs; give yourself credit for all the little places where you gave your life a nudge toward the life you want to be living.

Posted on December 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Out, I say, out!

Whirl around your home and find some junk that you don't want to have in the place in the year 2007. Get it out the door today.

Shoo, stupid stuff!

Posted on December 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Goodbye, Suburbia

It's time for a big letting go. The rich nations have got to say farewell to the strange notion which has gripped us for the last half century and recognize that the suburban life style - with its 2 car garage, its lawns in the desert, its strip malls - is completely unsustainable. More than that though, it isn't even really "the good life".

There's never going to be more oil readily available than there is now. Nor more natural gas, either. Suburbia relies on these, not only for its residents to be able to get to shops or work and to heat their homes, but also to build the homes and the accoutrements associated with this lifestyle.

And it isn't even that great a lifestyle. Do people really form tighter bonds with their neighbors in a suburb than they do in a mixed-use city block or the countryside? Do people in the suburbs feel connected to the communities surrounding their neighborhood? If you have to drive to get to anything, do you feel anything but distanced from the places you move through?

Posted on December 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Open That Bottle Night

Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher of the Wall Street Journal recommend you quit waiting for some occasion special enough for that most special bottle you've been holding onto for years.

We invented OTBN for a simple reason: All of us, no matter how big or small our wine collections, have that single bottle of wine we simply can never bear to open. Maybe it's from Grandpa's cellar or a trip to Italy or a wedding. We're always going to open it on a special occasion, but no occasion is ever special enough. So it sits. And sits. Then, at some point, we decide we should have opened it years ago and now it's bad anyway, so there's no reason to open it, which gives us an excuse to hang onto it for a few more decades. So OTBN -- which is now always the last Saturday in February -- offers a great opportunity to prepare a special meal, open the bottle and savor the memories.

You can wait until February if you like, but wouldn't tonight be a good enough for a special meal with those closest to you and a farewell to the close of the year over a glass of something fine?

Posted on December 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Let Your Fingers Do The Walking Right Out The Door

When was the last time you used a printed phone book? And the time before that?

Me, I can't even remember when it was. I look everything up online now. Even if you do use the printed books, though, you probably only need to keep the latest, and only one of it.

Go search around your house and purge all those old phone books to the recycling bin. They take up a bunch of space for very little value these days.

Posted on December 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thinking Time

Give yourself some time to be alone and quiet and think today.

Just a cup of tea or a walk or a hot bath and let the roar of December quiet down.

No need to think big thoughts unless you feel like it, just let the low-level noise fade away.

Deep breath, everyone.

Posted on December 25, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nap Day

Have a midday snooze today.

A walk might be nice at some point too.

And having a conversation with someone more than twice or less than half your age.

Posted on December 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Care.

"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”

   -- Albert Schweitzer

Posted on December 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Carefully Selected Mess

I talk a lot about cleaning up clutter along the way of making my main point about freeing your life of stuff that you don't actually want in it. I find it relaxing now, after steadily whittling away at my Discardian efforts for a few years, to be able to have my house ready for company with less than an hour of tidying up.

It's important to note, though, that your comfort level may be more or less messy than mine. I'm more of a neatnik than the folks in Thursday's New York Times article "Saying Yes To Mess", but much less so than some folks I know with pristine homes and perfectly ordered closets.

What matters in all cases is that there aren't things you don't want, blocking your enjoyment of what you do.

Think of the cottage style garden with flowers spilling out in clumps; embrace your particular mess and ruthlessly prune away any junk that detracts from your happiness.

Posted on December 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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