I was thinking this morning about things that I miss from when I was younger – and swimming is one of them. When I lived in Panama I used to swim across open water (in Lake Gatun) – sometimes a mile a day. Now, it all seems like a dream.
I remember the early days of the internet – there was such excitement and feelings that the possibilities were endless – especially at work. Those slowly died (were murdered, actually) and the digital world became the oppressive monster we all know today. What a shame.
One bad (possibly the second worst) thing about being old is how difficult it is to make friends. Good friends you have had for a long, long time drift away and new ones are hard to come by. Is it impossible?
I recently caught up with Dr. Amy Bucher, the author of Engaged, a compelling guidebook on designing products and services that change people’s lives. She talks about behavioral design, the science of crafting products and services in such a way as to shape or influence human behavior. Here is our conversation.
A new Tarot deck, designed by graphic artist Todd Alcott, drawing inspiration from midcentury pulp illustrations
I use a Tarot deck to help generate fiction writing ideas. I just have an ordinary (cheap) Rider-Waite tarot deck – but I look at more artistic and interesting decks – it could be a rabbit hole – but if I had a little more money I know I’d buy a few.
You can probably count on your fingers the number of times you’ve completed 8 hours of work in an 8-hour workday. Whether it’s endless meetings, constant emails, or coworkers popping in for a “quick chat,” your productivity rarely makes it through the day.
The problem is that when you design your to-do list for an 8-hour workday but end up with just 1-2 hours of productive time, you’re going to be in trouble.
I remember sitting by the ponds at the end of my block, reading and enjoying the beautiful day. I saw two kids on the other side of the block pushing a shopping cart from the local Kroger with about three items in it. When the path they were on veered away from the water they took their items out and pushed the cart down the slope into the pond, where it promptly sank. They were across the water and too far for me to do anything, but I was disgusted.
A year ago they drained the ponds to clean out the silt, it was full of carts. The Kroger has gone out of business, replaced by an Aldi where you pay 25 cents (refundable) for a shopping cart.
After fizzling out on a number of disparate career paths that included a go at social work, the Catholic priesthood, and underwater welding, Justice started robbing banks. As Leckart tells it, it wasn’t about the money—it was about doing something he could be exceptional at. At first, Justice gave away most of what he stole, leaving bags of money in alleys for homeless people to find, or in port-a-potties. But he later kept the cash to cover his growing drug habit.
Most of us have no problem admitting that we have more than we need. The difficulty lies in the next steps: How to get rid of it? What room to tackle first? Should we toss, regift, donate, recycle, repurpose, sell?
A few miles south of Tyler, in the little town of Noonday, the soil is the right mix of sandy and rain-soaked for growing onions. Accordion to legend, as written in Onion World Magazine, it happened by accident:
“Several farmers here in East Texas started experimenting with growing yellow onions and soon discovered they had the proper type of sandy soil to produce a sweet onion.”
They’re both easy and difficult to find. They show up at Central Market every now and then for a little bit more money than your other local onions. Or you can make a phone call and gas up the car:
“Tomato shed, how can I help you?” “Tex” answers the phone. There are no social media handles, and the online store leads you to a physical address. They’ve got small-to-large bags of Certified Noonday Sweet Onions, ranging from eight bucks to 30, right from the ground of the vice president of the Noonday Sweet Onion Grower’s Association.
Throw them away? “By keeping less — documents, folders, files, emails, etc. — you create more space in your life,” Kondo told me. “Though digital clutter is not tangible like clutter in your home, I believe it carries the same weight.”
I don’t agree. Precious memories don’t need to go into dusty photo albums or the trash. They should go online.
Scientists have known for years that there’s a “second brain” of autonomous neurons in your long, winding human digestive tract—but that’s about where their knowledge of the so-called abdominal brain ends.
For most of my adult life I read maybe five books a year — if I was lucky. I’d read a couple on vacation and I’d always have a few slow burners hanging around the bedside table for months.
And then last year I surprised myself by reading 50 books. This year I’m on pace for 100. I’ve never felt more creatively alive in all areas of my life. I feel more interesting, I feel like a better father, and my writing output has dramatically increased. Amplifying my reading rate has been the domino that’s tipped over a slew of others.
We all want to know how to be happy, but we rarely consider the hidden costs of happiness. It is not free. And despite what Cover Girl or Tony Robbins or the Dalai Lama once told you, it’s not always easy breezy either.
Weekends should be for recharging, not for catching up on work we didn’t get to during the week. This includes housework. While we like the end result, cleaning the house (for most of us) isn’t a fun or relaxing endeavor. To get to your housework to-dos before the weekend, commit to cleaning for 15 to 20 minutes five days a week. Then welcome freedom — and a tidy home — when Friday night comes.
Getting in shape isn’t easy. But after all that hard work, how long do we actually maintain it? Turns out that even the great effort we put into training, taking a bit of time off can mean that we become “unfit” much faster than it took us to actually get in shape.
A Beginner’s Guide To Buying Great Coffee
I did not set out to be a coffee nerd, really. But I realized that I liked good coffee better than bad coffee. And that is a rabbit hole. I’ve found James Hoffman’s Youtube videos to be very educational – if sometimes a little too much… but you can learn a lot from a little too much.