Tips for leading a happy life
Everybody is always trying to tell you what you should do in order to be
happy. Most involve elegant statements about love, life, ambition,
I'm not going to tell you how you should live your life. But there are
some things in my life that, on any given day, can make it brighter.
Little things that I thought I would share:
- Use wooden-handle Q-tips
- While almost all stores now stock the lolipop-stick style rolled
paper handle Q-tips, they are weak and bend easily. You get a lot better
control with a wooden handle. Switch and you'll never go back.
- Wear new socks often
- New socks are not only clean and bright, but they provide a great
deal most cushining than socks that are even a month old. If you can
afford them, new socks make your feet feel great.
- Use big bars of soap
- I hate those mini bars of soap that they give you in hotels. The
bigger the bar of soap, the more lather it builds up and the less
annoying little soaplet bars you get left over. Do yourself a favor, buy
some family-sized Ivory.
- Use large, thick, smooth towels
- Big towels will keep you warm, absorb water more quickly, leave with
less of that fully-staurated towel feeling, and just mean your
post-shower experience will be more enjoayble.
- Also, make sure you bring really big towels to the beach.
- They don't roll up as easily, don't blow away as easily, dry you off
when you lay on them, and give you room to roll a little without getting
sand all over you. They are also better for sharing.
- Buy plastic toilet seats
- Most bathrooms have their windows next to their toilets. Result?
Either a cold toilet seat to sit on, or a smelly bathroom. Solution?
Buy plastic seats that don't conduct heat as well.
- Buy shorts with (large) pockets
- Pockets, especially in shorts, make it far more convenient to carry
wallets, keys, or whatever else you want. They don't cost much more and
keep you from carrying stuff in your hands or bringing a bag.
- Get yourself a pair of nice leather, lined gloves
- I got some truly smooth, very flexible gloves for about $25. They
are warm, very comfortable, and let me manipulate things easily. Ski
gloves are great for snow, but when you are just going out into cold,
these are much better.
- Sleep a lot and get a nice bed/pillow
- Twelve hours of sleep a night would be ideal for me, though it is
often difficult. Sleeping helps prevent disease and avoid headaches. It
is also rejuvenating, and I for one consider it enjoyable. A nice, soft,
malleable pillow and down comforters are what do it for me.
- Buy things with remote control
- Biggest mistake I've made in a while is to buy a portable stereo
without a remote control. It seemed like a stupid thing to have at the
time, but you are far more likely to listen to music if you don't have to
get up. A universal remote, is also a very useful thing.
- Dimmable lights
- Ever wake up in the middle of the night, turn on some lights and
feel like someone hit you in the face? Buy lights with dimmers, they
save money and are useful more often than you might think.
- Keep a good selection of beverages at home
- Sometimes you feel like soda, sometimes you don't. If all you have
at home is one or two of your favorite drinks, you'll only drink them.
It is often enjoyable to have a good juice (may I recommend Nantucket
Nectar's Kiwi Berry?) sometimes. You're not gonna drink more, so chances
are all your giving up is some room in the fridge; it's worth it.
- Keep some easy-to-make foods around
- Canned soup is ready in three minutes. Microwave pizza about the
same. Sometimes you want something more than chips but don't want to
cook. These are great things to have around.
- 24-hour banking.
- I know some people that don't have ATM cards. I don't know how they
can live. In my area, I'm also lucky enough to have phone-banking and
PC-banking. These are great. If you can pay your bills without writing
mail, all the better. Also, try to find branches in malls, as they tend
to have much better hours (my bank closes at 9:30 every night).
- If you must own an umbrella, buy a BIG umbrella
- Those half-sized umbrellas that pop open when pushing a button and
fit in a purse are great things to carry around when you think it _might_
rain. But _in_ the rain, especially when its windy, they do little to
keep more than your face dry. Go out and get yourself one of the
old-style long-handle "golf" umbrellas and stay dry longer.
Of course, I don't think you need to have an umbrella at all. Getting
wet is just no big deal, really. Umbrellas tend to be more of a pain than
- Ultra soft toilet paper
- Ahhh. Charmin Ultra is worth every penny.
- _Allways_ keep the following in your car:
- A Flashlight
- An umbrella
- A big map of yours and surrounding states
- Jumper cables
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- A change of clothes!!!
- You have no idea how often I've been very happy to have these,
especially the change of clothes. If you get wet or dirty somehow, even
if they are only shorts, shirt, underwear and socks, you'll be _really_
glad you had them.
- Have something useful on your keychain
- Pictures and ornaments might be nice, but I've often been very happy
to have a mini-flashlight, knife, or screwdriver on my keychain. They are
cheap and, when needed, usually very needed.
- Things you should always have extras of:
- Batteries, especially AA
- Candles (and holders!) in case of a blackout
- Light bulbs
- Extention cords
- Fuses (if you still use fuses. your life will be a lot happier with breakers).
- Use rechargable batteries, and always have a spare set
- Gadgets are becoming very prevalent in society. The extra money you
invest now will pay off greatly in the future.
- Buy a nice set of headphones
- Sure, you get a free set when you buy a walkman. But those suck.
Invest $20 in a nicer pair which is both more comfortable and better
- Strong plastic or wooden coat hangers
- You can make do with the hangers they give you at the cleaners, but
those bend, break and sometimes fall off. Buy stronger plastic or wood
hangers and your closet will be in better order. Of course, buy more
than you need.
- Anti-lock brakes
- Airbags shmairbags. If you want safety, its much better to _avoid_
an accident. Pass up luxury items and pay the extra $800-$1000 for
these. I won't buy a car without them.
- Extra input jacks on your stereo system
- Right now you don't think you're gonna be attaching something else.
But even if you don't attach your computer and old reel-to-reel player to
your new stereo, you never know when they're gonna create the next
version of the CD.
- Large, heavy forks and serrated knives.
- I hate forks that don't fit in my hands. Use meal knives for
salads and dessert. Butter knives are for butter only. Nice knives are
sure to cut butter as well as steaks.
- High capacity, big handle, well-insulated mugs.
- Have a "favorite" mug for all of the different kinds of beverages
you have often (eg. coffee, milk, tea, soda, beer). You want something
that comfortable fits ice and 12-ounces of drink. A handle you can grip
with more than two fingers helps keep the heat/cold away from your hand.
- Salt shakers that you don't have to shake to get salt out of.
- Ever sit there for seemingly 5 minutes to get 3 grains of salt out
of a shaker? Salt shakers are cheap, but a good one.
Have any more tips? Send
them along to me. If I get enough, I'll put a page up for them.