You Are Not My Sunshine

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My summer mantra: “I love watermelon.” Because it’s darn near the only thing that gets me through the season.

Not to be negative or anything, but I hate summer.

I mean, I hate it. It’s so hot. It’s so bright. I don’t feel like the people you see in ads, basking in the sunlight; I feel like an ant being burnt alive by some kid with a magnifying glass. Continue reading

Just Routine: What Does It Mean?

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A while ago, when I was working on Honey Bear’s Guide to Happiness (which I intend to resume at some point… some day…), I checked out a tall stack of books from the library. They all revolved around the same subject: Happiness.

Did you know that there is such a thing as a happiness scholar? There are people who travel the world researching what makes people happy. Sounds like an amazing job to me. Though I have to wonder–what are the happiness statistics on people who research the subject?

Anyway, there were only a couple that I found interesting enough to read cover-to-cover. One was called The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha.

Part of Pasricha’s schtick in this book is to create tables. Little four-square things that reduce some complicated ideas down to their roots. One of these had to do with allocating energy and thought to different parts of your life. The idea was that people make hundreds of decisions every day and that decision-making is exhausting and stressful–thus, he wanted his readers to figure out some areas of their lives where they waste energy making decisions and “automate” them. Continue reading

Just Routine: So It Begins

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I have a hard time establishing routines. I’m a free spirit, I guess. I like variety: I’ve had a lot of jobs where the words “something different every day” came up in the interview.

I’ve had a lot of jobs, period. Once, during a very brief stint as a catering kitchen assistant, I was carpooling to work with a coworker and discussing our work histories. She’d had two jobs in her life: the restaurant where she’d worked every summer from the beginning of high school all the way through college, and this catering gig.

I tried to remember all of mine. I was twenty-three at the time, and I came up with: Continue reading

Road Trip! (Or, How I Survived 14 Hours in the Car with My Kids)

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Every year for the Fourth of July, we travel to Montana to visit my in-laws.

It’s a grueling trip. Fourteen hours in total, which we split into two days: eight hours the first day and six hours the next. If we were young and childless, I doubt we’d find this challenging. We’d drive, find the hotel, eat dinner somewhere nice–perhaps somewhere adventurous!–snuggle up in front of the TV, and so on. In fact, I know we would, because that’s how we did it when we were first married.  Continue reading