Eighteen Things I Know - A Possible Guide for 2016

  1. If you are lucky enough to buy a piece of new furniture, pay for the fabric protector or Scotch Guard. When you’re cleaning up cat vomit or red wine, you’ll pat yourself on the back for your smart thinking.
  2. If you’ve got a stain on linens or clothing, try this old-fashioned removal technique. Use a rubber band to stretch the stained area over a big bowl. Boil a teakettle of water. Pour the water over the stain from about a foot above the stain. Usually works like a charm on most stains. Thank you, Elinor Dunnewold, for that one.
  3. Don’t drink sodas. If you do now, wean yourself off. The sugar and chemicals are terrible for your body and the cost - over time - could pay for a pretty nice vacation. Same thing goes for all those seductive power drinks. When’s the last time you just got a good night’s sleep?
  4. Say please and thank you. And mean it. Graciousness goes a long way in this world. Saying please and thank you - whether you mean it or not - eventually sensitizes you to see how much difference it makes in the reactions of those around you, to you. Unless you aren’t paying attention. But that’s another problem.
  5. Don’t carry a balance on credit cards. Ok. Maybe sometimes there’s an emergency. But most of time time it’s us trying to feel better about ourselves, or being addicted to stuff without acknowledging it. Pay off the balance and live more simply. You might sleep better at night. (see #5 above.)
  6. Get the best Internet connection you can afford. Scrimping might be ok if it’s a pair of shoes you might only wear once (although probably not…) BUT connecting to the world around you is more fun and effective when it’s fast and reliable. (like a good romantic partner, but I digress…)
  7. Lie as little as possible. You’ll sleep better at night.
  8. Don’t allow yourself to be guilted into volunteering if you don’t want to. Yes, volunteers do majestic things for all sorts of organizations. But the position can also be a time suck when you’ve got way better things to do with your time. And this old adage is true: They won’t miss you. Someone else will come along to fill that role you thought only you could do. Isn’t it great that you’re not that important?
  9. Be skeptical. Charlatans and spin-makers are all around you. Be skeptical of products, guarantees, hype, and everything in social media. However, don’t be skeptical if someone tells you they love you - especially if you know for a fact they’re sincere.
  10. Learn to make Hollandaise in the microwave and impress your friends. Here’s the recipe, adapted from the Silver Palette cookbook.
  11. Don’t buy plastic. Who talked us into it anyway? No plastic laundry basket I’ve ever owned lasted more than a year. This is contributing to waste on the planet, people!!! Sub woven natural elements, wood, or fabric bins. OR glass if we’re talking about storage in the kitchen. Do your part to use naturally recyclable products. Please.
  12. Don’t carry grudges and if you do (We all do) work on getting past them. Another time/energy suck that is better released into the atmosphere - so you have space for forgiving, loving and new great ideas.
  13. Lie as little as possible, but especially to yourself. Do you think your inner whatever doesn’t KNOW how many little lies you’re telling just to be nice to people or avoid confrontation? At least get real with yourself.
  14. Use your refrigerator as a white board. Saves space, makes perfect sense. Cleans up.
  15. Never choose the advanced buy option for gas at a car rental agency. You know you can fill up the tank right before you return the car. Don’t fall for this scam unless they promise to donate all those unused gas dollars to charity in your name.
  16. Don’t do ANYTHING just because you can. Money and opportunity make many things possible - from pornography to eating a quart of ice cream right before bed. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Think about it. Make wise choices. Choose integrity.
  17. Before you go to a party or an event where you are typically nervous, think of three questions to ask other people, who BTW LOVE to be asked what they think. Be daring. No matter what the questions (or answers) are, they will probably be way better than small talk. Take the risk.
  18. If homeless people on the corner put you off because you don’t want to give them money, get a 12-pack of water bottles and pass those out instead. Hydration is good. Try not to judge and practice being generous.

Lots of love to everyone. Let me know how it’s going for you.