Simple Tips for an Easier Life

As today was such a whirlwind, you will be treated to an excerpt from the draft of my upcoming book, under the working title I Still Need to Get the Copyright on This Stinking Book Title.

I do hope you enjoy.


For the love of all things good in the world, pick one brand of socks for each color you wear.  Since every single sock you would then have–in say, white or tan–would look exactly the same, you will eliminate the heartache of the scenario where you’ve washed 18 white socks and none of them match.  And for Pete’s sake, if you discover a sock has a hole it, immediately throw it in the trash bin as if it is on fire and add it to your shopping list.  Do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200.  You know what will happen if you don’t.  Somehow the three hole-y socks you own will be the only clean ones that ever make it to your drawer.  Those sneaky little deceivers smile up at you as they snuggle up against your underwear, convincing you that they deserve at least one more wear.  “One more wear” inevitably yields same result.  You throw them on in a hurry to meet someone for lunch and within five minutes the hole gets twisted around the little toe next to the tiny toe.  This will adversely affect your day–this may have been the day you were meant to administer CPR to some fantastic stranger–and you were in the bathroom fixing your sock while someone else steels your love connection or gets your million dollar reward.

Let someone help you shed your extra stuff.  You may need help being talked into letting go of that ticket stub from the midnight showing of Terminator 2 and the free Sienna Sundown eyeshadow you got when you purchased your last bar of face soap, so get on the horn to your best friend or bossy sister.  It’s not going to be your color next year either.  I cannot express how good it feels to own less crap.

Expect your plan to fail.  Keep wine and/or chocolate on hand for the occasion that things get terribly out of hand, but more importantly, be prepared to be flexible.  If you keep in mind that you might have to make a last minute adjustment (or total plan makeover), everything still goes according to plan.  Pack a granola bar in your pocket, carry an umbrella, and keep a change of clothes in your trunk.

Buy a small, blank notebook that speaks to your sensibilities (or lack thereof) and create a new Top Five list everyday.  Things you appreciate, people you love, people who love you, activities you enjoy, books you’d like to read, people you’d like to meet, and moments that influenced the you that you are at this point in your life, are all great places to start.  It is important give thanks and celebrate, even in the midst of great sadness.  Especially in the midst of great sadness…  And it is paramount to listen to the inner voice that is so often overrun by the information we take in.

If you can’t manage to keep a detailed calendar, make a section for To Do lists in the notebook where you keep your Top Five lists.  Start every project with a list and track your progress.  Once you discover the joy and the art of the list you will forever be changed for the better.  When you are balancing your checkbook and you can’t remember why you wrote a check for $37.86 on the 18th of February, the list from that day will jog your memory.

Write notes, tell the people you love that you do, and give compliments.  Send cards the old fashioned way, you know, in your own handwriting.  It might do you some good to practice.  Thank people and take small gifts to dinner parties.  It has nothing to do with them.

Never clean in silence.  Whether you choose music or talk radio, it is great for your brain to associate enjoyment with the act of cleaning.  You may even discover that the whole experience turns into the most brilliant choreography.  Or not.  But if you are techno-savvy enough to download an audio book, you might even learn something new while you scrub into your skinny.

Exercise.  Something appropriate, of course…  I have even heard that you can takes classes to learn how to strip, belly dance, or choreograph a pole dance if the normal fare offered at your YMCA isn’t your cup of tea.

Hug an animal or join your local zoo.  I don’t understand it, but research shows that it’s good for us.  If you have a pet, you get it, but you probably don’t spend enough time playing with or giving them the physical attention they need to be healthy.  Love them.

If you pass a Starbucks cup somewhere it shouldn’t be, pick it up and deliver it to a trash can.  There are so many reasons why this is a good practice.  Just do it.

3 responses to “Simple Tips for an Easier Life”

  1. Good evening. Hi Jen, looking forward to a hug at Christmas! Big one. Have a ? for Joey/Drew, think he might become JD to me. I’m seriously looking for a laptop now and even Charlie said a mac. Said that’s what he plans to get also. Now- been looking on e-bay, new in box ones. But what other requirements do i look for? Can you glance at ebay and look up these two items and then possibly tell me what to look for? #220324826687 and #110322180076. Thanks in advance. Love you both, Aunt Nener

  2. Yes, we are looking forward to Christmas, too. Drew will probably be able to give you some insight this evening once he gets home and has a chance to look at those items on ebay. I hope you are well and we’ll be seeing you soon!