Getting things done (GTD)

I found this post on Arif & Ali's blog while exploring Guy Kawasaki's, Getting things done index on Alltop. Even though I don't think these guys are talking about issues we deal with as parents, or as mothers, specifically, check it out for some practical solutions that could be very useful for Back-to-school season:

Why Some People Always are so Efficient, Yet Relaxed at the Same time . It’s because of Rules. We had them as School kids, there are Rules at office, then then there are traffic Rules. Rules Rules Rules everywhere. Who needs ‘em, Wouldn’t it be better if we just got rid of them? No, you know that it wouldn’t be. And that’s because, it’s these Rules that are in place to provide us with the freedom to do what we can, within limits . . . Read post


Small town toy store

I stopped in Portsmouth, New Hampshire last weekend, on our way up north to Damariscotta, Maine to collect our daughter from camp. Not only is there a great set of coffee shops and galleries in downtown Portsmouth, there are no fewer than 3 FABULOUS toy stores within walking distance. That's a sign of a healthy town . . .

What's more is that we could stroll and browse in and out of these great toy stores with our son, while catching pretty glimpses of the seacoast, historic architecture, and a working tug boat yard.

Let's just say that
I fell back in love with the notion of the small, livable village on the seaside.

Romantic? Yes, most definitely. But smaller scale, walkable villages are also modern, sustainable, and perhaps even better for your health.

P.S. Tugboats are cool


Edit yourself: Use this cheap writing coach

Need a clue about how you sound? Wanna know what kind of impression you make on the meta level? Try Wordle. When you put your URL into its processor, it spits back a visual of the topics you cover . . . Handy, no? Tells me I need to cut down on "cancer" and "news." Thanks to Craig Stolz for tipping me off to Wordle.


Fat Summer - another look

Obesity was in the news a lot last summer. This post takes a fresh look at obesity ... it is one of my personal favorites:

Fat Summer


One of the world's best elders turns 90 soon

Nelson Mandela is one of the most inspiring individuals my generation has had the privilege of encountering. Although he retired from public life nearly a decade ago, and experiences some trouble getting around now, his message to a London crowd gathered to celebrate his upcoming 90th birthday is as fresh and relevant as ever:

"Where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done. Our work is for freedom for all."

"It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now. I thank you," added Mandela.

If you are a fan of leadership study, you won't want to miss Rick Stengel's piece in the July 21, 2008 issue of Time Magazine. He has written a wonderful short profile, Mandela: His 8 Lessons of Leadership in honor of Mandela's birthday.

While many of the "leadership lessons" will sound familiar, such as, Keep your friends close - and your enemies even closer, each one is, like Mandela himself, a timeless reminder to continue "the struggle."


Communicating with doctors: Practice when you're healthy!

This morning's news feeds brought my attention to 2 important stories:

Men not told of severity of wife's cancer

Breast-conserving surgery leaves many cancer patients disappointed

Both of these stories reflect the same core issue: that we (men and women) are not empowered to seek ample information from care providers. So, what to do?

First, practice how to communicate with your care provider when it isn't urgent. That way, when you are in an urgent situation, you are prepared to seek the information you need.

After that, keep practicing until you have established trustworthy communication with a doctor or nurse. Why is that so hard for so many of us?

If you are a woman with breast cancer, or you love someone with breast cancer, do your best to educate yourself about breast-conserving surgery vs. mastectomy (with or without reconstruction). Find pictures of options online. It is important to get help understanding surgical outcomes, asymmetry, scar tissue, etc., and finding your own comfort within the necessary trade-offs. (Easier said than done when staring down a cancer diagnosis, I realize . . .)

Likewise, before a husband can readily "hear" a loved one's terminal cancer diagnosis, he has to practice "hearing" about menopause and other basic women's issues.

Guys, consider it good practice to contemplate your wife's vulnerability while she is healthy. Remember: practice, not perfection, is the name of the game.

And, just in case anyone needs this helpful piece from Y-me?, here are 10 ways of being there for your wife when she cancer. . .


ROLL with it - I promise, you can!

Tonight's post is just a short little ditty on the power of perseverance and will:

... Not the old-fashioned pushing that looks like repression and forcing, but the new kind of gentle touch that truly seems to express, "Hey, let's play, let the chips fall as they may; I am doing the best I can and I will thrive through this challenge."

Sound like B.S. to you?

I'm too young to convince you that it isn't total B.S. But what I can do is let you know that I try to practice this approach daily, especially through the REALLY TOUGH STUFF - like when you feel like you are literally growing brain cells to cope with the complexity of the things you never expected would land on your plate.

Try it. Roll with it like those boys in the picture above. Give yourself the words, "Even though __________ is happening, I continue to work toward ____________ with a joyful heart. You'll contact the self-awareness and power that are available to all ...


Sailboat celebration

Rare SS class sailboat celebration this weekend:

The 1924 SS class sailboat plies the waters in the East Passage.
The SS class sloop from the east end of Long Island, New York will be commemorated this weekend in honor of its 100th anniversary. Designed in 1908 and built over the course of many years, the SS class is the oldest continually active racing class in North America.

The photo and description below comes from the Jamestown Press.

There are eight different kinds of wood in the boat including a white oak duck's head tiller that was hand carved by Ansel Tuthill in 1938, when he was 20 years old. The frames or ribs are made of hackmatac - a deciduous conifer similar to larch. In order to have the grain run straight through a curve, stumps were dug up and laboriously hand sawn into slices. The pattern was then traced onto a spot where the root was turning, and carved to shape.

SS59 is planked with Atlantic white cedar, and decked with western red cedar- the centerboard trunk, centerboard, and rudder are cypress, while the spars are all made of old growth Douglas fir.