Good, Bad and Right

In this post Gretchen talks really good or bad versus feeling right.  You can feel good about things you do (like giving someone a present or exercising) or you can feel right (like when you’ve made a tough decision like putting a parent or grandparent in assisted living when it was appropriate.)  I think most of us focus on feeling good versus feeling right.  Feeling good has more immediate positive feedback whereas feeling right gives us satisfaction in life.

Calendar for kids

I found this great idea about how to make a calendar for a preschooler. Kristen made a one week laminated calendar and then she tapes pictures of each of the activities to the right place in the week: pictures of school, pictures of the sister at dance lessons, pictures of visitors, etc:  Homemade ‘calendar’ helps preschoolers understand their weekly routines: Parent Hacks.  I tried to do this for our six year old a couple of years ago because he has two homes and constantly asks questions like, "how many days am I here?"  I wasn’t very successful though as I never came up with a good way to distinguish between days at Dad’s house and days at Mom’s house – I think the pictures would have made a big difference.

No breastfeeding on airplanes!

In the news: Woman kicked off plane for breast-feeding – Travel News –  A similar situation happened in my backyard last year.  A mother from my gym was breastfeeding her baby at the lake and got a ticket for indecent exposure!  When I was nursing my baby I ran into a few people that were uncomfortable with it in public – mostly people I knew – but I never was asked to leave or stop.
Why do people have such a problem with women breast-feeding in public?  Is a woman’s breast that offensive or is the sight of a baby eating offensive?  Or is it the fact that a baby sucking on a breast brings up sexual imagery in their minds and that makes them uncomfortable?  I think it’s the latter and that happens because our society has made breasts (and the bigger the better) into pure sex symbols.  We’ve forgotten what they  are really there for – feeding babies!
Can they be both?  Sex symbols and for feeding babies?  Or does the one taint the other?

How to plan a sailing vacation

  Ever looked at a magazine cover of a beautiful white
sailboat surrounded by gorgeous turquoise water and wondered how in the world
do people plan a vacation like that?  Well, I’ve been dreaming about
sailing lately, and since I’m not planning on taking my three month old sailing
any time soon (they won’t let me start him in swim lessons until he’s six
months!), I thought I’d share how I planned my sailing vacations and live
vicariously though those that might decide to go.  Feel free to send me

First you have to decide what type of sailing vacation you want.  In part
it will depend on how much sailing experience you have and in part it will
depend on how comfortable your traveling companions are with sailing.

There are five basic ways you can take a sailing vacation:

Continue reading “How to plan a sailing vacation”

Grandma’s Schoolhouse

originally uploaded by Storming.

This is the school house Grandma went to school in. She walked a mile and a half up hill to school everyday. (It was downhill on the way home!) Grandma turns 90 in February.

A good day on vacation

A good day of hunting
A good day of hunting,
originally uploaded by Storming.

I like this picture from our recent pheasant hunting vacation because you can tell how much fun everyone is having being outside on this gorgeous October(!) day in South Dakota.

Eunuchs still exist

Today I saw a news article, Indian eunuchs help collect taxes.  Confused, I googled "eunuchs india."  Did eunuchs still exist?  And if so why are there a million of them?  This article was interesting and disturbing, Eunuchs — India’s Third Gender — ThingsAsian Article.  Eunuchs are alive and well with new ones being created regularly.  In India they live in communities and work as dancers, baby blessers and prostitutes.  (The baby blessers part sounded more like a threat – pay me or I’ll curse your baby.)  The article made it sound as if joining the eunuch community and getting an operation to become a eunuch was a personal choice and that most eunuchs were homosexual.  I can’t believe that a million people would choose that ostarized life style, but I’ll reserve judgement until I have more data or get a chance to meet them.

What would you do?

What would you do if you were guaranteed a fixed salary but you had to do some job?  Say you’d make a $100K a year but you had to work.  What would you do?  Would you stay at your current job?  Become a teacher?  A tour guide?  CEO of a company?  Or a night watchman so you could read books all night?  Here’s a list of some jobs in NYC: Who Makes How Much – New York’s Salary Guide 2005.

They say that winning the lottery doesn’t make people any happier after the initial rush wears off.  Having money doesn’t mean you’ll be happy.  (Having enough to eat can make you a lot happier than not having enough money for food.  However, once you have the basics, we are all about the same amount of happy whether we have $100 million in the bank or just make $30K a year.)  So if that’s the case, you should work on the things that make you happy like family and friends.  And since we spend 40+ hours a week at work, I figure you should find a job you really like regardless of what it pays.  But that’s not so easy.  If they didn’t pay you, would you go into work at your current job?  If you had to go into work and all things were equal, what would you do?

I have no problem listing jobs I know I wouldn’t like:

  • dentist
  • CEO of a company (although it would depend on the company’s mission)
  • home daycare provider
  • sailboat skipper/chef (imagine having people living in your home 24 hours a day and having to cater to their every wish or deal with any behavior you didn’t like – and no kids or pets!)

And I can list jobs that I know I like:

  • software programmer (but it would have to be on a team that wasn’t always running late and I don’t think those exist)
  • errand/photocopy person (I got to read lots, talk to lots of people and get lots of exercise while getting paid.)
  • public speaker on a topic I like

And then there’s jobs I think sound intriguing for some reason:

  • tour guide – I love going on those guided tours like the history of the French Quarter.  My friends put up with them but I find them fascinating.  Unfortunately we don’t have a French Quarter or unique cemeteries or similar attraction around here.
  • garbage collector – in the summer.  Think of all the exercise and outdoor time you’d get!  (At my last house the garbage collectors were always good looking college kids with great tans.)
  • author/public speaker.  Did you know that Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman get $30K per speaking engagement!  Malcolm’s only written two books. 
  • med school student.  But I don’t want to be a doctor.  Given the cost of med school, that’s a small problem!
  • Permanent student.  Dad used to joke about this and I used to think it was a terrible idea but I’ve changed my mind.  Plus there’s lots of types of things to study from traditional university classes to karate to med school to massage school to sailing to jewelry making to language school to …  (I am a permanent student by the way – I just wouldn’t mind doing more of that.)

I also know I love talking to people that love their profession or really know what they are talking about.  I recently bought a pair of shoes and the shoe salesman spent time explaining how that company made their shoes, why the style had changed, what was better, why they don’t make blue leather shoes, how to take care of leather, … I found I really enjoyed buying that pair of shoes – a change from my normal ambivalence to shoe shopping. 

So if you could do anything in the world, what would it be?   How much of our decision for a life career is limited by careers we’ve heard of, prestige, money making potential, our friends’ opinions, opportunity, the way the dice fall, who calls us first, …