My Bookshelf: The Optimistic Child


On Friday I wrote that I would post about the book Dave and I are reading that I hope will help me with my desire to raise emotionally healthy children. I started reading the Optimistic Child by Dr. Martin Seligman over a decade ago for a mentor program I participated in when I was in high school for which I studied depression independently. It has a slightly different meaning for me now and I feel as though I understand it a little better.

Seligman’s theory is that depression is caused by learned helplessness. Continue reading


Accepting Pain to Lessen Anxiety


I’m feeling crappy today so this is an experiment in seeing if I can get a blog post out on a day when I am not feeling up to it, or doing anything for that matter.

I’m not sure why I’m feeling icky, sad, depressed, or whatever you call it, but I have a couple of ideas. One is that it’s so darn dreary today. It was warm and sunny the past few days so it’s surprising that one day like this can trigger such bad feelings, but it has happened before. Could just be that the crummy day is one ingredient in a cocktail of crappy mood. Continue reading

Writing in the Meditative Zone


When I sit down to write and I’m having a hard time getting started I follow a common writing exercise. I time myself and write for twenty minutes about anything, paying no attention to grammar, sentence structure or spelling. It always gets me writing, without fail, but when I relax and really get into it is when it begins to feel like meditating. Continue reading

Household tip: Save Space with Rectangular Containers!


I read an article recently about how Costco was keeping its prices down despite rising fuel costs by asking manufacturers to switch to rectangular containers from round. That way they were able to fit more product per palette and thereby more product in each truck. Such a simple change to make a big difference is ingenious.

Along a similar vein, Dave and I have always resisted accumulating more stuff that would then require us to to buy a larger home. Out here in Silicon Valley, going up to a much larger place is not only a bad financial decision, but nearly impossible for us. We’re always trying to find ways to be efficient with our space, but without spending a lot of money on handy organizational products or worse, personal organizers to come to our house and tell us how to buy and arrange such products.

Tonight I was pouring Dante’s kitty food into reused containers where I store the food until he’s ready for it and I realized a trickle-down effect of Costco’s change. Since they now sell square plastic cashew and peanut containers I am able to fit more in my closet after filling them from Dante’s gigantic bag of food.

Now I can’t wait for other manufacturers to catch on so I can buy yogurt, cottage cheese, and Smart Balance in boxy containers. We did cave in and buy some Snapware from Costco so we do have BPA-free non-round containers for our food too, but it would be nice to be able to continue reusing food containers simply to be less wasteful.

Do you have any organizational tips that are simple, but also so brilliant they must be shared?

Feeling Left Out?

I finally replied to a comment on a post I made almost two years ago right before our wedding. Well, the comment was actually left relatively recently, which has reinforced for me the affect this particular post has had on a lot of people. As much as I felt it was a downer to write it at the time, I’m glad I did. Apparently, people can relate and it’s important, when you’re feeling down, to read an honest conveyance that other people feel the way you do sometimes.

After writing the reply, I decided that it really merited its own post not only because it was terribly long for a comment, but also because I felt it contains some useful advice that shouldn’t just be tucked away in a comment. Hopefully, Matt won’t mind me highlighting his comment in a post of its own.

“Yeah, i found this on a google search, and im only a 15 yr old boy and i also hate it when my friends blatantly make plans in front of me and leave me out. I dont feel like the people i used to hang out with are my friends anymore and its really depressing.”

Continue reading