If you follow this blog much you’ll know that I’m a great, great fan of the blogger, podcaster and author Gretchen Rubin. I was thinking today about how my own blogging and book writing was kicked off by the simple act of my reading a review of her first book on happiness, The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, which came out in December 2009.
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.”
There I was, driving to the church for the Cherry Creek Chorale’s Christmas Concert (that’s five C’s, folks) on Friday afternoon, kind of thinking that it had been really fun to work on all this great music, and couldn’t we just leave it at that? Did we really have to go ahead and do the performance?
I’ve been struck before with the thought that you can go through almost the whole shebang, an entire series of steps, and yet fail in the end because you didn’t go ahead and do the last thing. All that work and planning to put on a concert . . . requires that you put on the concert.
How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your Home’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White of the “A Slob Comes Clean ” website and blog. Title link is to the sale page on her website and is not an affiliate link. I will be honest and say that the only reason I ran across the book (in its audio form, read by the author) was that it showed up in the “recommended for you” section on Hoopla, the public library app that I use quite a bit. Hmmm. Did Hoopla know something about me? I don’t really remember downloading any housecleaning books from them, but you never know.
And by the way, before I go any further (or farther–I never know which one to use): the word “slob” is her word, not mine.
I’ll have a post later this week about doing the food for the Chorale post-concert reception on Friday, but for today I have a couple of quotations for you and some observations about doing good deeds for other people and how helpful that is for the person performing said deeds.
First, from the comic Patton Oswalt, whose wife died suddenly in April 2016:
“Something that really pulls you out of grief is helping other people. . . . Anything to get you out of your head.”
Another great podcast today from Liz Craft and Sarah Fain’s “Happier in Hollywood,” their podcast about life as TV writers living in Los Angeles. I would encourage you to listen to the whole thing. (One instance of bad language very early on, BTW.) Anyway, they have a guest this week, Melissa De La Cruz, a mega-best-selling author of young adult fiction. (Who knew? Not me.) But Melissa’s fabulously successful career came at the cost of a stroke.
How the Right Lost Its Mind by Charlie Sykes, 2017, available in hardback and Kindle fomats.
This book is the third one I’ve read since last fall about our current political landscape. I wrote a post about the first one, Matt K. Lewis’s Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots), in August of last year and have since read Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle by Sen. Jeff Flake. Both are excellent, both cover roughly the same territory, and now I’m adding this one to the list. I think that’ll do it for now.
Hurtling is the word, dear friends, hurtling towards 2018. I’m reminded of how I felt several years ago during a five-day visit to New York City. We took the subway quite a bit, and the rushing by of the trains seemed a metaphor for now quickly our precious vacation time was passing. That image returns to me often: So much to do, so many goals to be accomplished, and so little time.
But once in awhile I step back and inhale loudly. I remind myself that what really
My husband and I have been watching a series of videos hosted by Dr. Stephen Meyer about Christian apologetics (link is to a website that markets the DVDs but not an affiliate link). Lots of really great stuff, but in this post I’m focusing on just one little throwaway line from the session we watched most recently: “Everybody’s bluffing.” Meyer had foolishly raised his hand in a lecture class at Cambridge University and
Stop me if you’ve heard this before:
My psychology is very weird.
Or maybe not. Maybe you’ve had this experience too: You’re chugging along, making real progress on a project, and then you think, ‘But what will I do with myself when this is finished?’ I used to say this about our various landscaping endeavors at our house in Virginia. What would we do on Saturdays when we got all of that stuff done?