About a month or so ago I was delighted to stumble upon a $5 year subscription to Real Simple magazine on Amazon. I was elated! Thoroughly thrilled. Whenever we're in Target or the like, I go straight to Real Simple to thumb through and always sigh when I remind myself we don't have the extra cash to put toward magazine subscriptions!
I received my first two these past few weeks. You should have seen the goofy grin on my face as I requested 'alone time' to read my stories.
Now you all have to go out and purchase the September 2009 Real Simple if you don't get it. Either that, or go buy The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment by A. J. Jacobs. It's not out until September 8th, but it's officially on my wish list.
There's a short essay called Stop the Madness! where Jacobs goes over a month-long experiment where he decided to 'unitask'. No more checking e-mail WHILE talking on the phone. No more eating and watching t.v. No more working and facebooking.
I fell in love with this article. You must read it. I'm so excited about the book mentioned above. Anyway, I have to share this paragraph so you're as hooked as I am:
"I've realized something else, though: If being in the moment is hard, being in the moment in a positive way is even harder. The late author David Foster Wallace gave a famous commencement speech about what we decide to think about during mundane tasks--waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting in traffic. You can decide to give in to your brain's baser tendencies--to be annoyed, angry, or selfish. Or no. As Wallace said, instead of snarling at the guy in the Hummer who just cut you off in traffic, you can consider th epossibility--however remote--that the Hummer 'is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he's trying to rush to the hospital, and he's in a way bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am: It is actually I who am in his way.'"
Doesn't that just send your brain into overdrive? So many thoughts immediately came rushing to my head. I'll let you in on a little secret. I actually do think this way most of the time. And do you know what else? I've felt naive, too trusting at times when I've given people the benefit of the doubt. I'm constantly being called 'too nice', not selfish of my time, etc. But the truth of the matter is, I'm happier this way. When I let my grumpiness get the better of me, it snowballs and I have an awful week. When I CHOOSE to give other, seemingly rude, people the benefit of the doubt, I'm happier, more fun to be around, and have a much nicer outlook on life and on other people.