9. Declare Sleep the Winner
It doesn't matter the battle—sleep versus exercise, sleep versus résumé writing, sleep versus novel reading, sleep versus nooky with husband—sleep wins. Just for a while. Later, when you are a well-rested, overcommitted woman, we can revisit this idea.
10. Waste Valuable Time on Smile Porn
It's a little admitted truth, but it is possible to force temporary bliss. For me, it's as easy as looking at a photo of a wildly excited goofy dog swimming underwater or an ad featuring an artsy-lookingwoman striding confidently down the street carrying a vintage lamp past storybook antique shops or a listing for a little town house with green shutters that is too small, too far away and too expensive...but so darn romantic. Sometimes, when it's late at night and I feel especially dark about the fact that I both made the dinner and washed the dishes, plus put the kids to bed by myself—again, I resort to websites featuring photos of baby sloths. These kinds of obscenely lovable or quaint images are what I think of as smile porn. Just about everyone has their version of it, and the effect it produces on your face (vacant, dopey smile) and your emotional state can easily be confused with blue-sky TV, except that blue-sky TV whisks you far, far away from your life, while smile porn usually taps into something all about your life, for example: the hopes you have of living in a historic house one day or pulling off knee-high argyle socks with pumps or even visiting the sloth orphanage and snuggling one of those cuddly big-eyed babies and feeding it an orange slice. Which is why smile porn is so effective. Whether you want it to or not, it reminds you of what you want to do and how you want to live—in an exaggerated, dreamy way that requires you to do absolutely nothing at all.
Find Leigh Newman at @leighnew on Twitter.
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