jump to navigation

My Best Tips for Living April 22, 2010

Posted by Mary W. Matthews in Random Observations.

Here, in no particular order, are my best hard-learned tips for living. I’ll be updating this particular blog entry as often as I remember more good ideas, so please tell me YOUR favorite tips!

  • Keep backups of frequently used items so you never run out. I like to eat one matzo cracker as part of my breakfast each morning, so in my pantry I keep one open box of matzos and one unopened. To fight wrinkles, I use Walgreen’s Scar Gel twice a day; again, I have one “in use” tube and one backup. Keep backups of whatever frequently-used items you never want to suddenly discover you’ve run out of. This is a particularly useful habit to use in the tiny matter of toilet paper. (Also make sure you have a box of tissues and a backup box of tissues, Just In Case. Belt-and-suspenders isn’t too far to go in the toilet paper department!)
  • If you have a chore or responsibility you’re not fond of doing, do it for a few minutes EVERY DAY. It’s much easier to pull weeds from your walkway for a second or two each morning, for example, than for hours and hours once or twice a year. This principle works well for taking out the trash, dealing with junk mail, keeping the stovetop clean, sweeping your walkway, and many other daily annoyances.
  • If unexpected company’s coming and you only have ten minutes, first hide the clutter in the rooms your company will visit by putting it in some other room and closing the door. Dust, vacuum if you have enough time, and spray some Febreze around or heat a little cinnamon & nutmeg on the stove for a few minutes.
  • Remember the old saying: You wouldn’t worry nearly so much about what other people are thinking about you if you realized how seldom they do. Remember also that most people are so caught up in their own dramas that they have little time to spare on YOUR dramas, so they’ll almost always accept you at your own valuation.
         Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured a minor character named Jonathan who in one of his early episodes told Buffy, “You all think I’m an idiot. A short idiot.” Buffy replied, “I don’t think about you at all.” Several years later, in the episode “Superstar,” Jonathan used a magic spell to convince the world he was the epitome of all perfections. (Riley: “Did anyone else feel too tall?”) I’ve often wondered whether this episode helped the actor, Danny Strong (Buffy: “What is he, like, three feet tall?”), to learn the poise and confidence that has helped him become a handsome and successful actor and screenwriter.
         (If you ever read this, Danny, I loved Recount. You’re a genius!)
  • When you need to proofread a Very Important Document, do it backwards. That is, if the above paragraph were the last in your document, you would read it, “screenwriter and actor successful a become him” etc. This is a long and tedious process, but if the document is that important, it’s invaluable.
  • I’ve noticed that when people insult others, they invariably project onto others a quality they don’t like in themselves. Republicans who participated in dismantling the U.S. Constitution during the Bush/43 administration accuse President Obama of being a fascist, or, hilariously, a “socialist totalitarian.” (My head! My head!) Arrogant people accuse their enemies of arrogance. Stupid people accuse their enemies of stupidity. Fox News accuses Democrats of being biased and hyperpartisan. Proponents of “death panels” accuse Democrats of dishonesty. Liars accuse the media of “making things up.”
         The flip side of this coin ought to lead you to examine your own choice of insults. If you get cut off in traffic, listen to whatever insults come out of your mouth: Moron? Asshole? Douchebag? Teabagger? Liberal? What do your insults tell you about yourself?
  • If you have weak fingernails, use biotin, a form of vitamin B. Several years ago, I discovered Appearex, which claims it is the “maximum dose” of this vitamin, its sole ingredient. In fact, each Appearex tablet contains 2,500 milligrams of biotin, which can be purchased in generic form in units ranging from 1,000mg to 7,500mg. Drug stores in my area no longer sell the 7,500mg pills of biotin, so I buy the 5,000mg pills and three times a week take a pill twice instead of once a day. My fingernails, my toenails, and my hair have all improved dramatically. Best of all, I’m paying roughly one-sixth of what the equivalent amount of Appearex would cost!