Sunday, December 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

It’s never too late to simplify things

By
From page A2 | January 09, 2014 |

“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends worth the name. Someone to love and someone to love you, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink, for thirst is a dangerous thing.” — Jerome K. Jerome, “Three Men in a Boat”

I blamed being tired much of the time on not getting enough sleep, so I tried getting an extra hour of sleep, but that didn’t seem to solve the problem. After reading quite a bit on the subject, I decided to try to declutter my surroundings as well as my brain.

When we were a military family and moved every three years, it was a good time to get rid of things. That really helped to simplify things, but now, we’ve lived in the same house for years and you can only imagine what has happened.

From time to time, we’d talk again about getting rid of things – and clearing out that dreaded garage always ended up at the top of the list. One day, I called my oldest son and offered him what I thought was a beautiful upholstered chair, suitable for a living room or a bedroom. I thought he’d be so pleased, but instead he said, “I’m trying to simplify my life, mom, by getting rid of as many of my own things as I can.” So much for that, I ended up donating it to a local charity.

Most self-help books tell us women that we should simplify our wardrobes. I admit that I love clothes and have many hanging in my closets that I’ve never worn and still complain about nothing to wear. Recently, I attended a party and was surprised to hear any number of husbands complaining about the lack of closet space. But as one woman put it, men have the easiest wardrobes to buy and maintain, as they don’t wear jewelry, don’t carry purses and wear only one heel height.

A friend pointed out that when she goes shopping and doesn’t carry cash, credit cards or a checkbook, she’s less likely to bring more things into the house. She’s absolutely right. It’s amazing how many times that I’ve not taken a credit card or a checkbook and only a small amount of cash and found myself turning away from what looked at first sight like simply-can’t-do-without goods.

And how many times have I uttered, “I just don’t have the time?” The truth is that each of us gets the same amount of time – 168 hours a week and 52 weeks a year. But I can’t remember the last time that I sat down and figured out how my 168 hours were being used and how I felt about the use of them, especially since retirement.

One writer suggests that you begin to keep an “Absolute Must” list to help set priorities:

  • Make a list of absolute musts that need your attention, including taking care of yourself.
  • Don’t do things out of guilt.
  • Don’t overexplain or overdefend why you can’t do something.

According to a recent Mayo Clinic health newsletter, there’s a simple tool for decluttering the brain called “mindfulness” or learning to live in the moment. It isn’t new and goes back thousands of years. But it’s the opposite of multitasking because it causes you to focus on just the moment.

Another benefit of mindfulness is that it causes you to bring your full attention to a single task and you’re more likely to do it well.

A few suggestions for practicing mindfulness include:

  • When you’re eating or drinking, do just that. Don’t watch TV or read.
  • While you’re waiting in line, use the time to practice deep breathing or focus on details of your surroundings.
  • Each time the telephone rings, take a deep breath before you answer.
  • When your mind begins to fret and worry, focus on deep breathing, as this helps bring you back to the present moment.

Here’s wishing that 2014 turns out to be the best year ever for all of us.

Mayrene Bates is a trustee on the Solano County Board of Education.

Mayrene Bates

Mayrene Bates is a trustee with the Solano County Board of Education.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Maureen BairdJanuary 09, 2014 - 9:05 am

    Thank you for your suggestions. They were great. Also, regularly taking a very ddep breath protects your lungs from many chronic conditions. Maureen

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
New circulation director for Daily Republic has California roots

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Suisun’s transformation launched 25 years ago

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Picking the year’s biggest story: A playoff

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Kwanzaa educates, celebrates African-American heritage

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
AARP tax program seeks volunteers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Holiday shopping continues after Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Rush Ranch plans birds of prey workshop

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Winter feeding of backyard birds

By Launa Herrmann | From Page: C4

 
Weather for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Projects to watch in 2015

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

Market predictions for 2015

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
County graduates complete basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Shoppers brawl inside Northern California mall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Police in San Diego suburb give cash at traffic stops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Death penalty states unmoved by botched execution

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
San Diego sees costs balloon for outdoor public toilets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Arizona police officer, suspect killed in shootout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Protester in St. Louis area charged with arson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Spokesman: George H.W. Bush remains in hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
2 small planes collide in Maryland; no injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Lava creeps 15 yards closer to Hawaii marketplace

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

School error takes money from staff bank accounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Drought, plastic bags prompt new California laws

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

School bans ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts at tournament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Families take future war dogs into homes as foster pups

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Woman uses quilt to help those in military

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Del. WWII vet honored with medals 70 years later

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Snow, ice sweep Europe, stranding drivers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pilot recalls last flight to Cyprus airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Wanted extremist leader surrenders in Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Putin’s epic annual news conference, condensed

By Ishaan Tharoor | From Page: A8

 
Leaders fan flames of racial hatred

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Sound Off: Dec. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8

Redrawn districts made for some tight races

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Why do we celebrate Christmas, part two

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Comforting immigrants is nun’s mission

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Pope’s role in Cuba deal fractures Cuban-American flock

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Bethel Community Church buys Temple Baptist site

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Coping with mental illness or loss during holiday season

By The Associated Press | From Page: C4

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

My son’s cat is being neglected and I don’t know what to do

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Company loses bid for rights to Marvel superheroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Jonah Lehrer working on book about digital life

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Blagojevich brother: I was fed ‘pawn’ to get then-governor

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Vanden’s Koss named 2014 DR Male Athlete of the Year

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Broncos see a much better Raiders team this time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cardinals have hopes of division crown, 12 wins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors shake off skid, beat Timberwolves 110-97

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

No. 1 Kentucky holds off No. 4 Louisville 58-50

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Cousins leads Kings past Knicks 135-129 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anze Kopitar leads LA Kings past Sharks, 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sam: Coming out was right thing to do

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vikings stadium builders work on career highlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Devils replace DeBoer with 3-headed coaching staff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Authorities question Cubs’ Castro after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Browns suspend receiver Josh Gordon, Manziel late

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sports deaths: elegant Tony Gwynn, Jean Beliveau

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Kessler leads No. 24 USC to 45-42 win over Huskers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Jameis, Marcus and Mickey: Rose Bowl week starts at Disney

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Bowling report for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

First Step seeks players, help for 2015 season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Devil Dawgs retiring after run of success

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Virginia Tech beats Cincy 33-17 in Military Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
S Carolina tops Miami 24-21 in Independence Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Arizona State beats Duke 36-31 in Sun Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Penn State tops Boston College 31-30 in OT in Pinstripe Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

 
Top business stories of 2014: US grows, world slows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

BP appeals rejection of removing spill claims head

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
6 US cities: Good jobs but hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Why areas with good jobs have hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
US company to open tuna cannery in American Samoa

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Ruling opens door for cruise malpractice lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Obituaries

Judy Zamora Rogers

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Concordia Albang Lichauco

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Frances Cruz Pangelinan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Oriole Ernestine Cohen

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

John Benjamin Calvin Adams

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Rae Jean Malveaux

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Secrets of Success 2014

120 Years: Fentons still a treat after all this time

By Susan Winlow | From Page: SOS2 | Gallery

80 Years: Gillespie’s adapts to meet customer needs, thrives

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS5 | Gallery

60 Years: Ryan’s Automotive hits milestone of service

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS6 | Gallery

55 Years: Mary’s Pizza Shack keeps dishing the pies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: SOS7 | Gallery

50 Years: Cal Yee Farms marks half-century – and counting

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS7 | Gallery

40 Years: Floors To Go weathers recession, bounces back strong

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS8 | Gallery

40 Years: Vaca Valley Auto Parts a Fairfield mainstay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS9 | Gallery

35 Years: Scandia Family Fun Center roots run deep

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Vogelpohl prides herself as problem solver

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Medic Ambulance rolling strong

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

30 Years: North Bay Pediatrics serves children, parents

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

35 Years: More than 1,700 home sales – and counting – for Watson

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

30 Years: Sportabout all about tennis – and shoes of all sorts

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

25 Years: It’s always showtime for Fairfield’s Finger

By Tony Wade | From Page: SOS12 | Gallery

25 Years: Feins helps build memories through Air Land & Sea Travel

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS13 | Gallery

25 Years: The Hair Place celebrates quarter-century of cuts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: SOS13 | Gallery

20 Years: Quality breeds success for Universal Painting

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS14 | Gallery

10 Years: Cornerstone Quilt Shoppe adds new wrinkle at decade mark

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS15 | Gallery

10 Years: By the People helps with basic, complex legal issues

By Susan Hiland | From Page: SOS15 | Gallery