improving life?

Not too original a post but came across this article on this week’s US News.

It’s a list of 50 different ways to make a difference – in your physical, mental health, and the surroundings. I had a whole 30 minutes before the sidekicks woke up, so in an interesting introspective exercise ran through the list. Just to see if I was a little ahead of the game and what seemed to be ranked intelligently according to the “experts”

Here’s the list and my take

Get Happy – That’s a stumbler right there. No, no, I am happy, but it’s an insurmountable task, to be at peace all the time with your frustrations and victories alike!

Work Out Harder – Yes, I need to up that a bit. Weekly dancing is good enough for the soul, but after my recent upheavals with health and it’s effect on the body, kicking up the intensity surely is worth it.

Lose the Shoes – I hardly wear heels. Simple, it’s frikkin hard to find good quality, affordable, wide shoes that are stylish. Fashion comes with a price, and I am willing to let go a few dollars worth for soem comfort, but no walking on heels is torturous as I am one of teh “lucky” few who have in built heels!

Eat at Home – hmm.. We do definitely do a weekly dinner outing. Lunches are so-so, soemtimes I bag, but I do succumb to all the fine eateries around my workplace. Need work.

Drink White Tea – I have green tea at my disposal at work, and honest to God, it’s an acquired taste. White tea eh? Come January, let me try green and then debate on graduating.

Get Pretested for Diabetes – This I should. Strong family history there!

Take Care of Your Contacts – Yea people, don’t sleep in daily wear ones, and if the C/L says 2 week extended it means 14 days, not 21 days. :))

Book a Passage to Change – Worthwhile

Join a Reading Club – Yes, need to form one or check the one that’s on at the library.

Learn a Musical Instrument – True. Maybe an art form – Ive always wanted to see if I could sing, that should qualify?

Go Tech Free Once a Week – Hard, but do-able.

Learn Arabic – Okay. I like the sound of it, just donno if I could learn it learn it. I do pick up languages quick, so maybe sometime – back burner.

Start a Blog – haha, already done that rt? 🙂

Rule Your Domain – as in go own your name or culturally significant moniker and register it as a domain for as little as $9. Some other financially savvy author/blogger was also suggesting something similar. I think at the rate we are developing technically and intellectually, advances in science and otherwise am pretty sure we will go beyond the net soon. So in that case does it make a difference stamping your mark on a dot in the whole space especially when there is a hint of a beyond?

Study the Sky – this is should do. I believe for an investment of $250 you could land yourself an equipment with a GPS installed, so the moment you focus it on a far away speck, the details of the speck is shown to you. Sounds fascinating right? Stars and the sky can only hold this much of your attention if you aren’t a die-hard romantic/dreamer or a self-professed astronomer. Gadgets such as these should be fun toys when the unknown is made a lot more accessible.

Print Better Photos – Who prints photos these days? I feel terrible saying this, but I don’t have a single print of my munchkin. The other 2 I do, but somehow, my third was born during the digital age, and though we have MB’s of her nothing’s on print.

Note to self – need to get some portraits taken soon.

Practice Positive Parenting – Toughie. It’s instinctive to lecture, to talk than to listen and to admonish than to understand. To be worked on coz time’s running. Kids don’t stay kids long.

Write a Family Cookbook – I really really need to do this. My mother-in-law gave my husband a parting gift when he left home to come here 20 years ago. A hand-written recipe book in easy understandable language on how to cook his favorite and easy dishes – for one. He treasures it so much more now that she isn’t around, and I’ve on a few occasions referred to it. Family recipes become heirlooms. At the advent of international cuisines and tastes venturing into the pantry, it’s easy to forget the good old tastes and the pleasures they bring to your mind and tastebuds. The memories are undeniable. I should have started this with my grandma, she cooked some absolute treats for us. Will do this when mom comes over soon. I’d like to gift my daughter something that’s truly mine.

Teach Your Teen to Drive Safely – Not to worry for another 8 years at least!

Get a College Rewards Card – Mixed opinions on this one.

Divorceproof Your Marriage – okay.

Say No to Travel Teams – My son did qualify for the basketball team, but we opted out. Not just because of the time and effort involved, but more beacause of the hugely competitive nature and the pressure it would be on him. There’s enough going on at school anyways, that games ought to be fun and for enjoyment as a recreation.

Unplug the TV – We watch an hour a day on an average. Shifting the TV away from the family room is on the agenda for a while now. A friend’s placed her 60″ in the basement. Says “well, if u need to watch TV, you will have to make an effort to take a trip down” Newton’s law aplies 🙂

Take a Road Trip Without DVDs – Yeah, done that.

Think Twice About Doing It Yourself – Done some simple jobs myself and found immense pride in it. Esp the basement’s paints, and the bedroom ones. But set my foot down for the main level, and now parting with $1500 to get it done by a pro. There are some that can be tackled, some best to be left alone. The wisdom in differentiating between the two helps the clueless homeowner.

Use Angie’s List – an awesome list. Anyone who owns a home need to get their membership.

Try for a Free Home Makeover – I’ve always wondered how fun it would be to get your home done AND to be on national TV. Odds are high, so we will just enjoy others being embarrassed or alternately smug on bagging such a cool makeover.

“Stage” Your Home for Higher Profit – One day – maybe, maybe not. You can’t go wrong with apple pie I am told, but nowadays since everyone’s catching on, people are resorting to various other flavors. A store bought fruit pie in a warm oven should do the trick equally well 🙂

Buy Farther Inland – Scary. Very scary.

Upgrade Your Vacuum Cleaner – Yes, next year. Maybe I will go buy a roomba after all.

Install Crown Molding – It does create an absolutely elegant look for fraction of the cost. Good investment-addition.

Help Rebuild New Orleans – Getting off my butt and moving myself there is a little difficult for grounded me, but Ive done my share and continue to do so for help bring New Orleans to what it was, maybe better.

Vote – yes, done that, and look what happened 😉

Renovate Your Local Park – Thankfully our local ones are very well maintained. We do pay hefty taxes for nothing.

Lend a Hand to the Troops – I have some frequent flier miles that I could donate. Definitely could do that much at least.

Take an Ecovacation – sounds interesting and idealistic. Some time in the future when am hearty enough to do such trips after am an empty-nester.

Learn About Islam – Most Indians have a fair knowledge of the religion. mainly coz of the proximity and familiarity out of co-existence back home. There’s so much more to it, am sure.

Do Something About Darfur – Done. Please do your bit. That’s just the minimum. The place is ravaged and images can quite turn your stomach. There’s more to do, all you have to do is look.

Donate Books to Schools – We make it a point to donate 5 books every year to our school library. Books are a source of imagination, knowledge and hence power. Room to Read is laudable.

Coach a Youth Sport – Does OM, Chess, Geography bee and dance count?

Drive With Biodiesel – Hmmm..

Share Your Ride – If I had to I would. many do it, and a single car off the road truly helps.

Downsize Your Car – I donno…

Get Rid of Your Leaf Blower – Don’t own one.

Read Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century – Sounds very interesting. Will see if I can get my hands on it.

Support Local Farmers – In Summer/ Spring, once a week, we buy an occasional fruit/ veggie at the local farmer market. It’s fresh and fun for us, and some profit for them.

Turn Off Your Dryer – Half my closet- the desi side of it gets dried on the rack anyway.

See a Glacier Before It Melts – I really really should do this. With winters touching 60 here, am pretty sure the arctic’s melting soon. If you haven’t watched Al Gore’s documentary on global warming – Inconvenient Truth – please do. It’s shockingly real and makes you want to try and find a home outside of earth real quick, if you aren’t already trying to reduce the effects.

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16 replies on “improving life?”
  1. says: Madhu

    Phew a long and a good one!
    cool list for me to think. Acutally yea I dont have “print” picutres either of my 2 lil ones!
    UGH! the technology!

  2. says: W H

    Why should you need someone else to tell you what is good for you and what will make you happy. Happiness, I feel, comes from inside, not from outside, and only you can know what is inside you (or perhaps a shrink … 😉 )

  3. says: rads

    madhu – Maybe we will do it this Spring 😉

    WH – haha, hardly succumb to any set rules. I liked this list as opposed to the usual things that churn up this time of the year. The post came out of sheer boredom at work :O)
    Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  4. says: Orchid

    going by this list – the current quality of my life is definitely below subpar?? scary thought! but then again I don’t mind such lists at all since it not only makes an interesting read but also amuses me to see how much research and thought the authors put into it…agree with you, some are doable, some are worth a try, some are “maybe in the future” and some maybe not

  5. says: Karthik Narayanaswami

    Good list! 🙂

    Well, the most comfortable pair of shoes I own is a $15 pair from Walmart. Heavenly.

    And I do not own a TV, whatever shows I like, I wait for a while and buy the entire season. Given that I am quite picky about what I like, the choices are fairly easy.

    Green tea – yum. I love Bigelow’s lime flavoured green tea. Totally delicious.

    I should blog about this sometime.

    And of course, I’ve seen quite a lot of glaciers — they are beautiful. Ice and snow are some of the most beautiful things — in those quantities, they simply look so serene. Why do you think I do the outdoor sports thing? 🙂

    Btw – excellent post!

  6. says: Baliga

    i print photos! i HAVE to print photos. then i obsessively make photo albums/ scrap books.. lol.. i have the most awful photos of all my homies. 😛

  7. says: rads

    orchid – yea, what works for Tommy doesn’t work for Timmy. A generic list can only appeal so much, but I thought some were quite thought provoking.

    Karthik – I thought you stuck to regular rocks not iced ones.. Wow, am feeling a little jealous now. 🙂

    Deepa, WH – 🙂

    Baliga – That’s impressive. You should join “creative Memories” – it’s a group thing here, people snip and cut and do all sorts of creative stuff.
    But seriously though, I’d NEVER have thought of you and scrapbooks. It’s soooo not like you ;-))

  8. says: Balaji

    very nice… i’ve done like one in that whole list but it was fun reading and some of them made good sense 🙂

  9. says: Usha

    Am going try and do at least some of them – a very good list.
    And when you make that recipe book, send me a copy please!

  10. says: rads

    archana – I put you down for club-hopping and “hip” sorts – not snipping away furiously at snaps. 😀

    balaji – yea, this wasn’t the usual hypocritic kind. 🙂

    usha – some are very do-able. Just a conscious reminder is all we need. lol@recipe book, sure when I get to it that is.. no, no, will do. 🙂

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