Daily Delight #19

I just finished all my Christmas shopping. It took about an hour. It was all made from a single website (I won’t link to it, don’t want to ruin the surprise), and it was all charitable donations. And I feel good about it. (Promise, I’ll step down from the high horse as soon as this sentence is over with… now.)

This holiday season, can I make a tiny plea that you rethink what you give as gifts? Don’t get me wrong if someone asked for a special book or t-shirt, go for it. But if you’re just getting someone something, that they may or may not like, because you need to, please reconsider what you give. Don’t spread junk. Don’t consume for the sake of consuming.

Give your time to a local non-profit or make a donation in someone’s honor to a charity – ideally, locally. If that feels too generic, donate to a cause specific to the giftee’s interest.

Nicolas Kristof named a few charities that are legit non-profits whose donations actually go to the cause and not overhead costs (as is the unfortunate case in a number of well-known organizations.) Look for a list about mid-way down the page.

Daily Delight #19

Daily Delight #17

Having a rock hard body.

Ha, just kidding. But seriously, I really love when my body feels strong – when I can play tennis for an hour or bike 5 miles and not be gasping for breath.

I haven’t gotten any real exercise since Portland, when M and I played tennis, because of all the traveling and sickness. So I was a worried when I went to the gym today that I’d be a complete wreck (damn you delicious cheese platter, damn you!) But such was not the case. I’m not at my physical peak, but I am in good shape, and that makes me happy!

Plus, the gym has all these amazing machines for my arms – which means no more push-ups. Yay, I always HATED push-ups!

Daily Delight #17

Making the Switch

A few weeks ago I found this amazing site called Good Guide. It ranks all sorts of products in three categories: health, environment and society on a scale of 1-10.

And today I decided to go through the majority of my personal hygiene products and see if they needed to be swapped out for something healthier. I realize that these are products I use everyday, that have access into my body via skin, mouth, ears or eyes – whether they have possible carcinogens in them is actually a big deal.

I know some people don’t have the privilege of throwing out their soaps and buying all-natural products which tend to be more expensive, but I do. If you can, I recommend you do it to. It only took me about an hour to go through Good Guide and scour the internet for sites to purchase them from. And it’s worth the piece of mind.

Some products I was pleasantly surprised with – my Garnier shampoo has a rating of 7.1. Others I was incredibly shocked by – St. Ives Apricot Scrub has a rating of 3.5!

For right now, I’m swapping out: body soap, face wash, face moisturizer, toothpaste, floss, deodorant. I wonder if I’ll notice a change in quality or effect. I’ll definitely let you know.

A few brands that with the highest health ratings: Miessence, Dr. Bronner’s, and Tom’s of Maine.

Making the Switch

9th Grade – Memory #2

No daily delight today, but I was reminded of something hilarious.

As is normal during the holidays in a small town, I saw several people I haven’t seen in a while. And I was explaining to a friend’s new girl friend that yes, I knew her boyfriend and friends from high school, but really, didn’t know them until college. And without missing a beat, her boyfriend says, No we’ve been online buddies since 9th grade. And suddenly, something I hadn’t thought of in practically a decade came rushing back to me.

I slapped my hand over my mouth to stifle a laugh. And nodded my head to let him know I remembered. See, back in 9th grade, I was advanced in the online world – I had been building webpages and IRC chatting for a few years by then – and so when everyone in my school found AOL/AIM, I naturally, went along with it to test the waters. I chatted up a lot of people under various aliases just because I was curious what they had to say, what secrets they would tell, who they were when they didn’t think anyone was looking.

I chatted up T even though I really didn’t know him (we went to different middle schools), and nothing too exciting or embarrassing happened in our conversation. In fact, he made a good impression on me, he said something about how he’d much rather have his grandparents around rather than have their money – don’t ask me how this topic came up. Goodness, I might even still have the transcripts from our conversation. Note to self: check old computer.

But the really funny part to this story, was while we were chatting, I’d give him clues to who I was but never actually reveal it. And I told him that we had a class together, maybe I even specified which one – social studies or american history or global history or something like that. And the next day in the middle of that class, he just stood up. I mean the teacher is at the front of the classroom lecturing about one country invading another, and T just stands up and starts scanning everyone in the class.

I was sitting next to my then-best friend and she knew what I had been doing to him, so we had to do everything possible to not completely lose it. Because it was the funniest thing ever – him just standing there looking over everyone, actually turning left to right – to the point where the teacher stopped and asked him if he had a problem/needed something. It was just hilarious, in that silly, giddy-secrets-girl kind of way.

I’m super glad I saw T tonight and was reminded of this.

9th Grade – Memory #2

Out of Whack

I am officially in a funk. This week has been wasted. Excuse me while I try to work through it here.

– Physical pain / stressed about medical stuff
– Back at home with my parents
– Hardly working / hardly inspired
– Lonely during the holidays
– Misdirected affections

How to Remedy:
– Physical exercise once pain resides
– Do more to help parents
– Be more disciplined about work
– Call friends, eat better
– Lay low on the affections

To Do Tonight:
– Go through boxes in my room, toss everything that doesn’t have a useful purpose. I have a strange desire to have as few possessions as possible. For months, I’ve gone around with just a duffel bag, so what is all this other stuff I’m saving?
– Print Christmas cards. Finalize design. Prep to send to printer.
– Watch videos on Proof HQ. Become an expert. It’s what they pay me for, and I’ve got to start taking that more seriously.

That’s it. 3 things. And then I can say tonight was not wasted. Nor will tomorrow be.

UPDATE: Cornel West just tweeted: “To deal with the FUNK is to deal with the wounds, scars, and bruises, but not allowing it to have the last word. #Hope” Word.

Out of Whack