Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Free Advice

Today is smoke-free day 303, and it's time for Heads or Tails.

This week is: HEADS - Tip, so I'm handing out tips on random and various subjects since I know a little about a lot but a lot about only a little, and I simply love it when people run around mouthing off with advice as if they know anything. So, on that note, here we go:

choose well and dote on one another

Money: pennies do add up to dollars, high yield savings accounts are the bomb dot com, the power of compound interest is mind boggling and should be taught to preschoolers (you do the math), and it pays to be frugal, especially if you do it right and don't confuse it with being cheap (see this recent excellent post on one of the money blogs I read regularly that expounded on an earlier post)

School: pick a real major, one that when you are done allows you to say "I am a [fill in the blank with something very employable here]

Work: sorry, see above, my well is dry (while I figure out a way to become a housewife, which is really what I want to be if I ever grow up)

Quitting smoking: different things work for different people, but if it helps, breathe and drink water through the cravings/urges while remembering that they usually don't last more than 5 minutes and eventually become fewer and further between (and if you think you might be interested in Chantix, find a real live medical doctor, not a doc on the Internets, to discuss the option that worked for me but might not be for everyone)

Cooking: have fun, make what sounds good, expect it might take twice as long as the recipe says if you are me, know that it does take practice for most of us to do what looks simple when Paula Deen does it, and know that fresh herbs like basil or cilantro can be chopped and frozen flat in a plastic bag and broken off as needed

"It": whatever "it" is, do it sooner while you are younger, more willing and less settled, rather than later when responsibilities and sensibilities may prevent you from ever doing it at all (unless it's something like a neck tattoo, in which case it's best to wait until you are at least 30, maybe older, or never, whichever)

Guilt: feel the amount that is appropriate but no more and no less, which is easy compared to figuring out how much is appropriate, a process that can very literally take many years

Weight: write down what you eat if you want an honest assessment of what you really ate instead of a bunch of wishful thinking, make any plan a reasonable lifestyle thing that you would actually enjoy and includes some form of foods you love plus some indulgent perks once in awhile, find an exercise to do somewhat regularly that doesn't completely suck, and learn how to really read labels so that you aren't knocked over by the amount of sugar in something fat free, for example, because the power of marketing is almost as amazing as the power of compound interest above (almost)

Spirituality: no matter where you stand or don't stand on religious beliefs, Desiderata seems to apply as an overall decent approach to life pretty evenly without too much argument unless you are looking for a fight, and keeping a copy of it where you can see it every morning while brushing your teeth for at least two minutes is a really great way to start the day (especially if there is a latte somewhere shortly after all that)

Teeth: brush for at least two minutes at least twice a day and floss (and keep telling yourself you should be doing this even if you don't follow it like precisely like you know you should, especially if smoking did your gums no favors)

Life: enjoy each day to its fullest as much as possible, one day at a time, but some random Sundays do absolutely nothing productive, at all, and feel no guilt (see above)

There you have it. The beginning and end of all the tips that just fell out of my head. Don't spend them all in one place.


  1. Great HoT!!! But the "Love" one....I'm not sure I could dote on ANYone. LOL ---if I did, my 40 year marriage wouldn't have lasted to be sure.

  2. I love the last one. For me it's quite difficult. I know I have to live life to the fullest, but on some days, I just can't stop bitching about it! LOL

  3. Congrats on your continuing success with giving up cigarettes! I enjoyed all your ‘tips’ today … especially about ‘guilt’ … ‘weight’ … and ‘life’ … so thanks for sharing today. My 2nd HoT is up at Small Reflections and is much more ‘playful’ than anything else. I hope you’ll stop by ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  4. Just went to the dentist myself today for the first time since quitting smoking. Guess what? It still hurts when they poke, prod and scrape! Ugh.

  5. Congrats on "Smoke Free Day 303"

    Great Heads or Tails post.

  6. OUTSTANDING Advice!!
    Thank you for the reminder on what's really important in life.

    I loved this Head or Tails - you did Great!

    And a Great Big Congratulations on 303 days Quit - OMG you are doing Fantastic!

  7. One of my boys follows your first tip.
    And today he was able to buy himself the pair of shoes he wanted.

    Welcome at my heads or tails:

    :: here::

    Have a great day!

  8. If you mention 'free' I'm in!
    Congrats on the 303. I gotta try and follow the weight one better

  9. I didn't know that about herbs! Thanks for the advice!

  10. Love your tips..very honest and genuine...but unlike Hootin Anni, I could easily dote on the right person...I'm a very doteable girl...x

  11. "School: pick a real major, one that when you are done allows you to say "I am a [fill in the blank with something very employable here]"

    Um, yeah. And let me just warn anyone and everyone that a Communications major does NOT fall in this category!!!

    My boy and I have decided with our future children, we're going to sneak in to their rooms at night and whisper "You will be an engineer"...or something like that.


  12. btw, did we get those pictures you asked to be reminded of - the first pictures through the prism of love?

  13. I agree with you on the cooking - I don't care who is making it - if it doesn't look good to you, you are wasting your time cooking it.


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