Toothpaste

I like to think I’m a fairly responsible person. I’m a firstborn, and we are the responsible folks of the world. (OK, so much for the stereotype.) When I see something that needs to be done, I do it. Or I procrastinate! Do you identify? I recently did a deep clean of my bathroom and found not one, but FOUR tubes of toothpaste with a little product left in each one. I think I’ve maybe had two before, but FOUR! When I’m getting ready to go somewhere or to bed at night, I just want to brush my teeth. I don’t want to mess with little bits of toothpaste (that I perceive to take too much of my energy.) There is little counter space in my bathroom, so getting that last little bit out adds a few annoying seconds to my busy lifestyle. This all sounds rather terrible; surely there are bigger fish in life to fry! And certainly, there are MUCH bigger problems in the world to solve! But we all have little things in our lives that bug us until we take care of them. Maybe it’s the flowers that need to be deadheaded so they can bloom again, or that phone call you’ve been meaning to make, or that closet that desperately needs cleaning out. Research shows that simply writing something down—getting it out of your head—can reduce mental and emotional fatigue. Not only do TO-DO lists help you prioritize and plan, but they also help reduce what you are burdened to carry around in your head. Many self-development gurus, like Seth Godin and Rob Bell talk about the importance of saying “yes” to the things we really want and then committing to STEP 1. Saying yes means you commit to...

So Many Books, So Little Time...

Do you like to learn from books but don’t seem to find the time to read as much as you should? I’m so grateful some books are available in audio form, so I can read while doing other things. There are millions of books, more than anyone could ever read in a a thousand lifetimes. Some are pure entertainment. Some are a waste of time. But some are darn-right life-changing. As the famous American basketball coach John Wooden said, “Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.” I find it challenging to read as many books as I’d like, so I’m grateful I can listen to many titles. I subscribe to Audible.com and download audio versions of books I want to read, directly to my computer and smartphone. I then listen to books when I’m doing other things, like driving, gardening or exercising. Even while doing dishes! It’s fantastic! I just finished Quitter, a book about how to get your dream job by Jon Acuff and A History of the World in 6 Glasses, a fun listen on history and how it was shaped by our favorite beverages by Tom Standage. Both are also available from Amazon as paper and Kindle books. It’s a great way to maximize my time and learn when I would otherwise be doing mundane things. You can download books straight from the Audible site. However, you get discounts if you become a subscriber. They have various introductory programs, one offing one free book and another priced @ $7.49/month for three months. You get one credit per month for buying audio books, but can purchase more (often for less than the monthly membership fee). After that you can choose your membership level. My only criticism...