Friday, January 30, 2015
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

 
Teens earn right to perform with symphony

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

From classical to Queen: Chamber Players are ready

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Photographer has a passion for color

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Solano summit focuses on ways to end poverty

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 21 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
Cadets learn skills for future careers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
‘Souper Bowl’ coming to Solano County

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
 
SolTrans announces changes to bus routes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Fairfield police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

California’s snow survey shows far less snow than last month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Boy Scouts reaches settlement in sex abuse case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Protestors shun sister-city relationship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

City event criticized for Mexican mafia connection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
State to move more than 2,000 inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Killer says his ideas influenced family suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
‘Anonymized’ credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Fort Hood gunman Hasan says he wants to keep top lawyer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Attorney General nominee wins GOP endorsements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Police: Family killed man over child custody dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Simultaneous attacks in Egypt’s Sinai kill 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Indonesian investigators: Crashed AirAsia flown by co-pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Gas blast at Mexico children’s hospital, at least 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Deadly San Francisco blaze spurs look at fire alarms

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 30, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My cousin’s 14-year-old son sleeps in the same bed as his grandma

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Jan. 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Jan. 30 through Feb. 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Musician Geezer Butler arrested in Death Valley altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lil Wayne sues mentor’s record label for $51M, seeking split

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway’s ‘An Act of God’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: A tired gimmick weakens thriller ‘Project Almanac’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

‘The Thorn Birds’ author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hilary Duff, George Lopez help in search for stolen dog

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
 
Bernie Mac widow drops malpractice lawsuit against doctor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Desert stars: Celebs converge on Phoenix for Super Bowl 49

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Serena aims for 19th major in Aussie final vs. Sharapova

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Marshawn Lynch talks about why he doesn’t talk to the media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Vanden boys pull away from feisty Fairfield 86-66

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7

Gronkowski and Chancellor make for must-see Super Bowl matchup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Chevrolet polishes its mid-size truck

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Prospect of Chinese cars in US still remain years away

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Senate passes Keystone XL bill, battles loom

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
McDonald’s under siege as new CEO steps in

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Obama seeks spending spike for defense, domestic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Who wants a bite of Hershey…jerky?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Gloria Elizabeth Neal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9