|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
March 2012 (121 posts)
Men! What are they thinking? We can't always answer that, but we'll be posting our favorite glimpses into their world in this space every Thursday.
* Meet the Slumdog Millionaire of Tasmania. (The Mercury)
* F. Sherwood Roland, savior of the ozone layer (ok, he had a little help), passed away this week at 84. (NYTimes)
* "I didn’t have the courage to get started, because I knew it would be an endless struggle."—Artist Christian Marclay on his film The Clock, a montage of clips containing all of the hours of the day. If you have a a big idea, but you're intimidated about putting it into motion, please read this profile of him. (The New Yorker)
The amazing animal-behavior-that-seems-like-a-metaphor tidbit of the day: starling flocks behave like magnets.
Learning the power of gentleness. From a cat.
How to stay sane when you're out of work. (Hint: put on some real pants and get out of the house.)
Finally, some fun in the presidential primaries: the most outlandish primary fashion (so far).
What celebrities know for sure about life, love, and meat pie.
The Life-Lifter: This man left a 6-figure job to take a "Happiness Plunge." Now he travels the world helping others.
Yes, there is finally a name for that strange feeling when you are driving on an icy overpass or walking along a high bridge and feel an urge to jump (or in my case -- disastrously for the myopic -- to throw your glasses). As the Body Odd blog on MSNBC reports, a team from Florida State University’s psychology department investigated this feeling and termed it "high-place phenomenon."
According to the Body Odd, the researchers thought their study might "shine light on one of Freud’s ideas, that some people have a 'death wish,' and that some suicides are purely impulsive, absent any sign of depression or even sadness." The post describes how the researchers went about gathering data, and explains why peoples' reactions to anxiety are sometimes more significant than their actual anxiety levels. Their conclusion? Essentially, it's all a miscommunication. When someone with high anxiety sensitivity stands at the precipice of something, she may experience a moment of fear and step back. She then wonders why she stepped back if there wasn't any danger, and her brain concludes there must have been a danger of her jumping.
What a wonderful thing, that brain! And always good to remember how the urge to live carries us along throughout our days—even when we eat what we know we shouldn't, even when we don't sleep enough, even when we push ourselves to the limit, even when we sway for a moment on whatever precipice we find ourselves on—how our brains move us through our lives, whispering "Live! Live! Live!"
Simple Ways to Affirm Life
10 Tips for Living Happy
Spaghetti Pie—which I'd tell you about even if today weren't Pi Day—goes against all traditional mac ‘n’ cheese “rules”: it’s not made with shells, elbows or any other cut pasta, but spaghetti—and you don’t bake it in a casserole dish, but pan-fry it in a nonstick pan. Then you turn it out onto a cutting board and slice it into wedges using a pizza cutter. Chef and restaurateur Marc Murphy, of Landmarc and Ditch Plains restaurants in New York, started making it for his children and their friends as an after-school snack. Turns out adults love it, too. When I made it this weekend, everyone at the table, regardless of age, went back for seconds. Their mouths were clearly too full to express any disappointment over this new twist on a classic.
And if you're still looking for other versions of macaroni coated with cheddar, Parmesan or Gruyere, check out this slideshow of 11 ways to make mac 'n' cheese, from veggie-heavy to lobster-studded.
7 healthy potato dishes that are tastier than cheese fries
Casseroles for every taste
14 comfort foods you'll never forget
If only all homes were as organically beautiful as a nest of blue eggs.
Stay true to yourself. Even when you're talking to your boss. Or your boss's boss.
From pearl necklaces to air raid survival skills, here are the 10 coolest facts about the Girl Scouts on their 100th anniversary.
"Be not disturbed at trifles" — and 12 other virtues to live by.
The Life-Lifter: How 3 pre-teen monks inspired this photographer to go "gift-economy."
So I can't say I'm surprised by the findings of Real Simple's study, which reports that women don't have enough free time. What's more, according to the survey "women who set aside regular free time are ultimately more satisfied with their lives." As Real Simple editor Kristin van Ogtrop put it, "There is a startling connection between scheduling free time and happiness–and an equally startling connection between the ability to delegate and happiness."
That's right, it's not actually that aliens come and steal hours from your afternoon (as I've sometimes suspected), but apparently much of this time pressure we feel is actually our own fault. Mediabistro's Fish Bowl blog has a great run-down of the survey's takeaways, but what really struck me was that most often women limited their own free time by not delegating and not being able to let go of control. It's that old "well I could ask him to clean the kitchen but it won't get done right so FINE, I'LL JUST DO IT." Mediabistro reports that, discussing the study, ABC News Correspondent Claire Shipman noted "girls are often raised to be perfect, because we’re able to be perfect (duh!), but at what price? She says women often lose their ability to be in the moment and just enjoy life. So now she focuses on being good enough. She doesn’t worry about being perfect at work or parenting. She recommended that women stop dwelling on things that don’t really matter."
Another time-sucking culprit? Constant interruptions. Work flows into home, home flows into work, a lunch date is punctuated by texts, and in the end we forget to be present enough in the thing that we are doing to enjoy it. We must remember, for the sake of our daughters if not ourselves, to make time for ourselves, to stop sweating the small stuff, to release ourselves from perfection. We must Be Here Now, in the words of that hippie book my parents always had lying around. A book you could read, if you made some free time for it.
Terrarium, $26. This little glass dome, filled with a simple moss ball, comes with its own tiny spritz bottle and a label explaining its kingdom and division. It's nerdy and stylish all at the same time...and is probably really hard to kill, which is always a plus.
Shoe Bag, $16 for 3. These striped, zip-top pouches are just the thing for making sure muddy shoes don’t muck up clean underwear in your suitcase.
Letter Pressed Cookie Cutters, $22. Whether your message is simply “Happy Birthday, Mike!” or something a bit more complicated, tell everyone how you feel with cookies. Bonus for type lovers: each letter of the alphabet--plus an ampersand and an exclamation point--is in a different font.
Pink Stripe Masking Tape, $22. We love this sticky tape for fun jobs, like holding together a birthday present wrapped in brown paper, and for everyday ones, like labeling jars.
The blogger behind Purposefully Untitled knows what I'm talking about. As she wrote, "The nicest thing that anyone ever did for me...was to fill my refrigerator full of Diet Coke. Yes, it was that simple." She explains that she'd been working around the clock, and had run out of her beloved Diet Coke. Then one day she came home and found a fridge full of those silvery treasures, cans of Coke, and she reports that she was so touched, she cried.
Now, this lady obviously enjoys her soda, but that's not what made her cry. As she puts it, "That person knew me. That person knew how to love me."