A few years ago I bought a book by the Japanese author Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and attempted to clean up my ever-accumulating stuff. I followed her instructions by taking clothing piece by piece, staring at it, asking myself if it brought joy. If not, I thanked it and got rid of it. Initially I found it awkward but got the hang of it and was able to clean up quite a bit.
Last year I listened to an interesting Katie Couric podcast with Marie Kondo so when I learned that she had a new Netflix show where she visits a new family each episode to help implement her KonMari decluttering method I knew I had to check it out. I found it somewhat entertaining and inspiring but my Japanese wife and daughter thought some of Ms. Kondo’s mannerisms quite annoying. Like when entering a home to squeal, “Haaaaiiiiii”. Or kneeling in silence for a few minutes to greet the dwelling. So much so that I told them to show some respect for other cultures. 😀
The end of the year is a time for me to reflect on what I accomplished this year and check how my resolutions turned out. I’ve been reading actual books most days and achieved some technical certifications I had been meaning to work on for years so I’m mostly satisfied. It’s become easier as my kids have gotten older and more independent.
How did 2018 work out for you? Do you feel you’ve accomplished what you set out to do this year?
I recently started using a white noise app and sleep mask which has remarkably improved my sleeping. I can now easily sleep eight hours without interruption (expect to go to the bathroom on some days) and feel more alert during the day. How many hours of sleep do you get? Do you have any routines before bedtime to help?
Considering that since the 1990s “women have obtained a larger share of college degrees than men and increasingly earn as much or more than their partners”, it’s not surprising that men have increased the number of hours they devote to childcare and housework. It’s still less than women but the difference is narrowing which leads to increased satisfaction among couples.
Do you feel like housework is fairly divided in your family?
The number of stay-at-home dads has increased as well…
With Christmas a little more than two weeks away and the holiday shopping season well underway, have you purchased all your Christmas gifts by now? Or do you wait until the last minute? With Chanukah happening right now I know some people needed to pick things up extra early.
There’s no denying that leaf blowers are loud. But should gas leaf blowers should be banned in Walnut Creek? One person pointed out that a Walnut Creek city hall meeting will take place at 6pm to discuss “ongoing disturbances from gas leaf blowers”.
From an email:
Concerned with the excessive presence of leaf blowers in Walnut Creek, I am hoping others will join me in trying to get our beloved city to change from gas blowers to electric to cut back on noise and environmental impact (Lafayette and Los Gatos are already green). This issue reached a head last week when — despite the thick blanket of smoke in the air which made it difficult to breathe– many leaf blowers continued to blow gas for prolonged periods.
If you have ever been disrupted by these machines at an inappropriate hour or understand the impact this has on our health (blowing pet feces, allergens and pollutants), please join me and don’t ‘leave’ me hanging!
Last weekend as I wandered around town I noticed some people wearing dust masks trying to protect themselves from the smoky environment due to Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California history. On the other hand I saw others, some walking with their children, as if it were a typical weekend shopping day. Every day since then has become progressively worse with many schools closed and events cancelled today. I came down with a cold this week but can’t tell if my coughing is from the cold or from the environment. It does seem really bad outside, right?
How are you coping with all this smoke? Do you wear a mask outside? If so, is it the recommended N95 type? Try to stay indoors more? (I read that many indoor places don’t provide much protection either!) Is this going to become more common in the future?
The other day I was running on the Lamorinda trail in Lafayette when I encountered a huge flock of wild turkeys right on the trail. There were so many that as I approached them I was contemplating what to do if they started attacking me. Thankfully, they let me pass and I completed my run. Other times I’ve seen coyotes, lizards, deer and raccoons. The one animal I worry about is the mountain lion. Don’t flee they say; easier said than done!
What are some interesting animals you’ve encountered in this area?
I recently read an article where it’s illegal to go trick or treating on Halloween where kids older than 12 potentially face fines, misdemeanors or amazingly, even jail time for trick or treating! How old is too old to go trick or treating? Have you ever refused to give candy to someone you felt was too old or didn’t dress up?