December 29, 2011
December 27, 2011
Do you own a cell phone? Like the 83% of US adults that do, the world is becoming increasingly tech-driven. It’s gotten me curious. Are there tech profiles? Do people’s tech preferences say something about them?
DigitalBuzz says that of the 4+ billion cellphones in use today, over 1 billion are smartphones. I want to know who those billion are. What kind of techie are YOU?
Please take my free ten-question online survey to find out!
December 22, 2011
Today has the shortest number of daylight hours in the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In the yin-yang of life, it happens to be the longest day of the year for those folks in the Southern one. So while the North is dealing with winter winds, the South is basking in the glory of the sun. The winter solstice for some is the summer solstice for others.
How’s that for perspective?
Celebrate this day wherever you are. Take a moment to realize that the only thing we’re born with is time. As we slowly enter a New Year, what will you do with yours?
December 13, 2011
If you’ve ever uttered the words “I’m too busy,” what you are really saying is “X,Y,Z is more important than you at the moment.” We all set priorities, even if we deny that is what we are doing. We feel victimized by our lives, when in truth, we had a strong hand in creating that life in the first place. Work takes precedence over our social lives, family, even ourselves. We race from one thing to the next, attempting to keep it all in line.
As a result, we have become less spontaneous because there is no room for it. We creep farther and farther away from our true selves because, quite frankly, we haven’t a spare moment to even consider what that is. In our overcommitted, overscheduled lives, we have no time for each other. No time to say thank you for kind gestures because we barely even notice them. Gratitude and connection land in the pile of obligations that we will get to “someday”.
The busy monster feeds on our stress. He needs it to survive. Busy comes at the expense of relationships, not only with others, but also with ourselves.
Slow can remedy that.
In an interesting exchange with a friend who had just spent a week’s retreat in Bali getting massages and enjoying true suspension of thought, she admitted to me that she is committed to a less stressful life. But she could only come to that conclusion by slowing down and realizing how much better she felt doing so. Her new commitment might mean saying “no” more often, but less because she is too busy and more because she doesn’t want to be.
Imagine a world in which we say “no” to busy? What deeper connections could we foster with each other with that kind of commitment?
December 10, 2011
With Husband gone for a week to the States, I’ve had ample opportunity to occupy the kitchen in his absence. Thanks to Robert Rose, the Canadian publisher of, can we say, Capital A-mazing recipe books, I have once again astounded myself.
I am a culinary warrior now, thanks to Camilla V. Saulsbury’s Piece of Cake! One-Bowl, No-Fuss, From-Scratch Cakes. But before you shriek and hug your hips, she’s got healthy recipes in there too.
I opted for the hedonist Hot Fudge Brownie Cake first. My daughter had mentioned something in her all-too-quick-adolescent-speech-cadence that she needed brownies for English class. She bat her eyes at me and said: “So. I volunteered you.”
The very same day Piece of Cake! arrived in my mailbox and I knew we were destined to become fast friends. In a jiffy, I whipped out six brownie muffin creations that would have made Jesus genuflect. I’m not trying to be blasphemous here, people. But the amazing part was it was so easy I couldn’t believe what got created with my very own hands.
My daughter promptly criticized it, challenging that she could do better.
Okay, Missy. I whipped out the recipe book again today, and she tried her hand at the Chocolate Wacky Cake. Believe it or not, it’s under “Health-Conscious”. I think it’s because it calls for non-Dutch process cocoa powder. You know, the real kind. Daughter quickly handed the
scepter spatula back to me when she realized she’d actually have to follow instructions to make the thing work. We team-tagged it thereafter and I must say, hers did turn out better.
There is room at the top, indeed.
Oh how I love this recipe book! It makes me feel smart. And, unlike many recipe books that I’ve received in the past, it actually uses both the English and metric systems. For an American expat as myself, I am grateful for that small gesture. It makes baking so much easier.
Another great aspect of the book is the great background information such as why baking soda is four times stronger than baking power and how baking is really a science (that pulled Daughter in. Like Husband, she’s into it), which was why we had to make three separate holes in the dry ingredient mix when adding the vinegar, vanilla extract and oil.
As I nudged today’s cake out of its mini-pans (I still need to get the size pans that the book often calls for), I felt my self-confidence bloom to the level of kitchen goddess.
Thanks, Camilla. I owe you one for making baking a true piece of cake!
December 8, 2011
December 7, 2011
This week we’re looking at the best present of all: you and the time you spend!
December 6, 2011
According to a new Michigan State University study headed by sociology professor Barbara Schneider, women are still considered more adept at multitasking than men, yet are also more stressed as a result. Compared to the 38.9 hours per week that men multitask, women shoulder more responsibility at home with a whopping 48.3 hours spent on getting multiple things done. While men experienced multitasking as more ‘pleasurable’, it had the opposite effect on women.
First, consider the cultural norm. It’s expected that women get more done. So as we plow through our day (literally), we perceive things as not going fast enough. It is my guess that women suffer far greater stress due to the expectation of multitasking. Women are time-crunching warriors. To their detriment.
Second, research has shown women spend more time taking care of everyone else but themselves. A recent Forbes article reported on a study by the Captivate Network that states men are 25% more likely to take personal time throughout the work day, 35% more likely to take mini timeouts (yeah, you power of slowers!) and 7% more likely to take a walk than women.
The study also shows an imbalance in household chores. Women do more laundry, cooking, grocery shopping and cleaning than men.
So how can we introduce more slow? Women: listen up.
- It’s time to ratchet down the expectation on yourselves that it has to get all done. Who said so?
- The sky will not fall if you leave some chores undone. If it really bothers you, delegate. Chances are there are other highly capable people in the house who can do it instead.
- Take more timeouts. Please. A burned out worker is a useless one.
- Take care of yourselves. That means taking a lunch away from your desk, saying ‘no’ and being smart about your resources, which is YOU! In fact, you are your best resource.
What slow moment will you allow yourself today?