The hits just keep coming from Dana K. White, author of last week’s book pick, How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind and of the blog A Slob Comes Clean. Remember how I said that she had me nailed with her description of someone sitting at a messy kitchen table reading about how to clean up her kitchen, when what that person really needs to do is . . . clean up the kitchen? Well, she has another concept that is so, so me: “project brain.”
For the past three years I’ve been involved with an organization that promotes Bible study and faith around the world, Bible Study Fellowship International. The procedures that BSF follows were originally developed by its founder, A. Wetherell Johnson, who had been a missionary to China for many years. She was asked to start a Bible study for a group of women in California, and the organization spread from there.
If you’ve taken my advice and subscribed to the “Happier” podcast with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Liz Craft, advice which I have given any number of times, then you have already heard this. But if you haven’t, or even if you have, then I’m passing some thoughts from this week’s episode along now with my own take added. (See note below on subscribing.)
Because, if you think about it, the description given in the title is the recipe for being a super-nice person who’s fun to have around. The point
I define “downtime” as time that isn’t directed to a specific task or end but is what I do when I take a break from my work. Usually I read something, these days from some news website or the other. Oh for the days when I just read books! That type of thing seems like a distant memory. I used to gobble up murder mysteries by the ton, and when I’d be eating lunch by myself at home and reading I’d keep on eating so that I could keep on reading. (This former habit may help explain why I used to weigh more than I do now.)
Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel, available in several formats, published Sept. 2017. Link is to the Amazon page; I mistakenly said in an earlier post that I could not include direct Amazon links in my reviews. Anne also has a very popular website, Modern Mrs. Darcy, which deals with, well, how to be a modern Elizabeth Bennet.
So last week’s book pick was the new Gretchen Rubin opus on her Four Tendencies framework; I hope you’ve read it by now. It is really, really good. I promise. And this week’s book was brought to my attention by Gretchen’s interview with its author, Anne Bogel. I am very sorry that I didn’t get in on the pre-order bonus that would have allowed me to get the audiobook and the paperback versions together for the price of one. Since I had an Audible.com credit available I used that, but I wish I’d just bought the paperback or Kindle version.
The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Live Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin, 2017. Link is to the book’s page on the author’s website.
I have now done something for her books that I haven’t for anyone else I can think of: Buying them, in hardback, as soon as they come out. This is number four in her series on happiness, habits, and now . . . heuristics? I can’t come up with a third “h” word. It’s actually a deep dive into her theory about what she calls personality tendencies. I’ve read the sections that have to do most with my own tendencies: Obliger and Upholder, and gotten bogged down with the Questioner and Rebel sections. I’ll come back to them later.
Once again I’m mining the ideas of a podcast for my own posts, and today the nugget of wisdom, this one about anxiety, is from “Happier in Hollywood,” hosted by Liz Craft (who’s also on the “Happier” podcast) and her writing partner Sarah Fain. They are often prone to anxiety as they navigate the roller coaster of being TV writers living in LA. No one has a permanent job within a TV series, because no series is permanent. Let’s see—how long did “Monk” last? Seven years? Something like that. Most are much, much shorter. So you’re constantly having to prove yourself.
I spend a couple of chapters in my book talking about this question, but I’ve had some experiences and run across some interesting material lately that is helpful in further clarifying the issue.
First, a small personal incident from last week. If you can remember back that far, the big issue was: “Is Kim Jong-un going to attack the US with his nuclear warheads? Are we
Well, once again I didn’t post an update on Monday as promised. So shoot me! We are moving along, though, and the electrician will make his second appearance for the week today, at which time the kitchen will have its lighting. So I’ll post a picture of that. Our dear family is being v-e-r-y tolerant of the mess. We’re in a trough right now where we can’t go ahead and finish unloading the furniture for the main living space because of the aforementioned carpet problem. Friday is the deadline for getting everything out of the pods; otherwise we’ll have to pay for an extra month.
Right now we are living in the midst of chaos, with our possessions scattered hither and yon, whether downstairs or upstairs or out on the porch or driveway. And that doesn’t even include the main stuff in the pods, which will arrive this afternoon.
I have such a struggle with neatness! That’s why I so need structures—drawer dividers, shelving, cabinets, etc. When left to myself I end up strewing my things all over the place. I have no inborn sense of order and neatness.