How do I rank in getting my life in order . . .Finale!

Posted: December 14, 2010 in Indulgent Commentary

 Continued from:

This is an evaluation how well I rank with the list on a post called  50 Ways to Get Your Life in Order written by Mark Foo in his blog called Litemind: Exploring ways to use our minds efficiently.  This is the last installment of this item. [Some of you may be applauding.  That’s okay.  I can take it.] See my comments below:

PART 5:  (41-50)

41.  Take the time to stretch muscles. Get a massage to improve muscle tone and circulation, then use this new energy and apply it to your work routine.

Massage?  With today’s economy, who can afford a massage.  I have started a work out routine. Since July I have been trying to walk daily.  It is a part of my “get healthy and live longer” program.  So there has been a little alteration in my life style.  A little exercise.  Eating a little differently.  Not a diet.  I no longer use that word because they don’t work, and I have been on them all.  So no diet, but making an attempt to live longer.

By the way, my spell check doesn’t even recognize the word massage.

42.  Make laughter a priority. Hang out with some of your most entertaining friends for a good laugh, or simply sit back with some favorite old comedies. Laughter counts as exercise and has been shown to expand your life span.

Laughter is great.  I don’t know about making it a priority.  After looking at this list of suggestions, I think I have too many priorities.  Recently my son has got into some of the old sitcoms and watching him belly laugh usually makes me laugh.  I also follow some tweeple on Twitter who share some hilarious tweets.

43.  Clear some time each day to do nothing. As a child, I remember that we had “free time” scheduled into our school activities every day. This could be used for reading, drawing, or simply staring into space if that’s what we felt like doing. What a novel idea, and one that keeps the brain at ease.

As I am typing this, I am using my free time.  I also love watching reality television shows.  It makes me feel that my life is in pretty good shape in comparison.  About the only time I “stare into space” is when I go fishing and I am not catching anything.  I am usually along.  The sounds of nature are all around.  You might hear some birds.  The best think is you can hear the water flowing down the river.  Between hearing it flow and watching the water move with the river, it is quite mesmerizing.  Unfortunately, I don’t do this as often as I like. 

You also need to be a little careful about that staring suggestion.  First of all, if you do it around people, they are going to think something is wrong with you.  When was the last time you saw someone just sitting their staring? 

Plus I don’t think it is a good idea to do this at work.  With today’s economy, companies are doing more with less, the ship to cheaper foreign country tactic, and the layoffs.  You don’t want to be caught there doing nothing because it implies:

– you have nothing to do
– the tasks that you would normally do are not important and can be eliminated
– your tasks are pretty simple and can easily be shipped off to some cheaper employee in some other country
– you are just a bad employee

I don’t think you want to be associated with any of these because then join the ranks of unemployed.  Not a good idea.

So I like Mark’s suggestion.  It just needs to be qualified about doing it in a place that does not have negative consequences.

44.  Schedule a much-needed vacation.

I love this suggestion, but it is easier said than done.  There are a number of things that you need to evaluate when going down this path.  First who all is going with you on this vacation.  That in itself may disqualify the word “vacation” and be replaced with the word torture.  It really depends on the circumstances of your life.  I think it is a great suggestion if it is just you and you are single.  This minimizes most of the hassles, and may change that “single” status to the “seeing each other” status.

Now if it is you and your significant other, the main issue may be in selecting where to go on that vacation.  Sometimes just preparing to a vacation can get out of control and your significant other becomes “see you later, with no intentions of seeing you again.”

Finally, if it is with children, the trip or adventure has automatically been disqualified as a “vacation.”  I love children but they just add another level of complexity in a vacation.  It affects the determination of the location, It affects the “transportation” experience.  If you were planning to fly then there are is a whole list of additional responsibilities you need to be responsible for and pushes you up one more level of stress.  Then it comes a need of a vacation from the vacation.  Who wants to deal with: 

 – Getting the whole group to the airport with all the things everyone needs and fitting into the minimum number of suit cases so you don’t have to pay the additional fee.

– The lines.  The lines.  What more can I say?  Oh yeah, the lines with children swinging on the rope-like line dividers and maneuvering the kids and the long as the line slowly pokes along.

– Then comes security.  Did you make sure no one is carrying anything that is not allowed?  You pray that you just go through the regular scanner, and not be dragged out of line for the more scrutinizing inspection.  I had a time where they pulled me out of line for inspection, and they wanted me to leave my four-year old in line by himself.  I made a little scene, which is not the best thing to do.  Then there is alway the TSA  making your child take off his shirt so that he can be inspected.

– Next is the gate.  Sitting and waiting with kids.  Kids do not do a very good job sitting and waiting. 

– Finally you get everyone in the airplane, determining what things can be shoved in the overhead versus the things that you need to keep you child calm and quiet.  If not, you will have to deal with the lady sitting in front of you who turns around and asks you, “Can’t you control your kid?,”  while your child is playing with the overhead light switches, and air nozzles. 

– Hopefully you get to destination, and depending on the destination, but the complications don’t end there.  You may be hearing phrases such as:  when are we going to get there, I don’t want to sleep with Tommy, I’m hungry”  The whole list of “going somewhere processes” have to be repeated every time you go to some place new.  Prepare what needs to go along for the children.  Deal with transportation  with the children. The “I don’t want to sit by Tommy.”  More people staring at you and your child.  The “I don’t want to eat there” complaint. And of course, “I’m tired.”

As you can see the much-needed vacation makes you think “why didn’t we just stay at home.”

 45. Learn new tips for entertaining. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to throw a great dinner party, and learning how to be a host or hostess with minimal effort can give a big boost to your confidence levels.

Who has time for entertaining?  And why would you want to put yourself through this.  This can have the same stress level as the “take the children on vacation” ordeal.  The only difference is you are dealing with adults, or at least people who are classified as adults.  Is hosting a dinner party and minimal effort a contradiction. 

I say forget the hosting.  Meet at a restaurant.

46.  Throw out old clothing that doesn’t fit. Too many of us are squeezing into outdated clothes that are doing us no favors. Look and feel your best with clothes that are tailored to fit.

I totally get this one, but I am not sure what is meant by outdated clothes.  There is no way I can keep up with the changes in todays styles.  Plus eventually yesterday’s styles become today’s styles. 

My yo-yo dieting over the years have taken care of this.  Up a size, down a size.  There is nothing worse than sitting at your desk at work and your shirt is clinging to you and some of the buttons are gapped open.  Regarding the recommendation of “tailored,”  I don’t think I have had a piece of clothing tailored in my whole life.  Now I can understand a man with his suit.  That is usually a must and the service is usually provided by the store.  Where do you find a tailor?  And how much does it cost?  Isn’t the purpose of picking out the right size?

47.  Live in the present, not the past. The past is over. Move on and enjoy every moment as it occurs. Take stock of what needs to be accomplished and move forward with this information.

Wow this is a tough one.  What happened to knowing your history so you don’t make the same mistakes over again?  Sometimes you can’t control this.  You may move on but the past keeps following you.  Plus this one puts a lot of pressure on you because determining what needs to be accomplished is pretty vague and could mean anything, like, don’t eat leftovers and have a fresh meal every day.  I know I am being silly. 

I suspect Mark means “big accomplishments,” like careers.  The key to this one is determining what the accomplishment should be and how much of the steps are in your control in this type of economy.  Right now my approach is keep my head down, hoping no one notices me, get the work done, and pray to got your department is not a target for layoffs.  Right now my accomplishment I am working for is keeping my job.

48.  Learn from past mistakes and move forward with your life. Get your life in order by looking forward, not back.

 Doesn’t this contradict 47 above.  In order to learn from past mistakes, I have to put my head into the past.  Other than that I totally agree with Mark’s recommendation.  The only thing I would suggest is that you should  a short-term future in mind,  and long-term future.  I also like to have Plan A and Plan B.  It can reduce the possibility of disappointment.

49.  Get your car checked up. You go to the doctor to have your body checked up. Don’t wait until it is too late to perform maintenance on your car. I once got stuck on a road trip to Ipho (Malaysia) as a result of this oversight, and it wasn’t pleasant.

Now a days there are flashing, brightly colored light on the dashboard to scare the hell out of you and make you rush to a mechanic.  Here come those conspiracy theories. I have experienced a situation where I had a flashing “Check Engine” light, took it to a mechanic, and found out it was not an emergency and then had to listen to the mechanic’s recommendations of other things they wanted to “repair.” 

I also learned the hard way, but never take your care for repair or even an oil change to a dealership.  That is just another cross sell opportunity for the dealership and being charged twice as much to do the repairs than the mechanic in your community. 

 I hate to become a whiner [ I know, I shouldn’t even have begun these posts] but, why do I have to change my oil every 3,000 miles?  Our cars have advanced in technology.  Even the quality of the oil has become advanced.  I am looking forward to a non-fossil fuel car so this item goes away.

Here’s is a suggestion for Mark.  Rent a car for road trips.  The rental company has to deal with most of the hassle.

50.  Budget for possible home repairs. Set aside some money in the proverbial cookie jar to keep home maintenance within the realm of possibility in this coming year.

NUMBER 50. [Listen to the roar of the crowd]  Are you as happy as I am?

One word for this suggestion.  Rent.


Note to Mark Foo:  “It’s better to be talked about than not talked about at all,” – Oscar Wilde

Thank you Mark Foo!


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