The newspapers piled up over the holidays. A neighbor was nice enough to collect them and save them for us while we were gone. Growing up in a newspaper, I still enjoy holding one close to my face and hoping to smell the newsprint and ink that remind me so much of my Daddy, who spent about 40 years in the newspaper business.
Scanning the headlines of the main sections of the piles of papers, one caught my attention. The headline proclaimed, “10 ideas for a happier home in 2013.” The story was written by a lady named “Nara,” who based her story on a list made by a best-selling author named, “Gretchen.” Women have a great deal of influence on happiness, so I decided to take a look at what could make for a “happier home.”
Who doesn’t want a happier home this year?
After the first suggestion, I was a bit skeptical about the intended audience for this article. They want me to try “Warm greetings and farewells.” How much warmer can I get? I tell everyone, “Hello,” “Good-bye” and “I love you.” It doesn’t get any warmer than that.
On New Year’s Eve, I even went so far as to yell out at the fellow next door, “Happy New Year Neighbor!” He has a loud obnoxious barking dog that he is ashamed of (he should be). Standing in the garage, he never turned around, but he threw his hand up in the air. I’m not sure my neighbor speaks English; I think he may be a college professor. He probably thought I was complaining about his dog.
Speaking of dogs, the next suggestion was to “Take time to smell things.” My dog, “Doolittle” ate a lot of table food over the holidays. It was within his reach, so he ate it. You don’t want to be in the same room with him when he changes his diet. I was.
The paint on the wall is in danger of peeling off. Some things you really don’t want to take time to smell, I usually leave the room.
The next suggestion was to go “shelf by shelf” reducing clutter. How many books and lists are written about this? How many products are sold with this sole purpose?
I’m sure a whole lot of money is spent and made on and by folks worrying about getting rid of and organizing their junk. They always have some attractive models involved, looking happy and seeming to want to hug you. They lead you to believe that you will be loved more if you dejunkify your home, garage and closet.
They make us feel bad about our cluttered closets and garages.
I don’t think I can ever get my clutter completely removed, or organized.
There’s no need to do it, because these ladies’ fourth suggestion is to, “Abandon a project.” The project I have decided to abandon is getting rid of my clutter.
I’m already happier.
Somebody please hug me.
The next way to be happier was, “Be a tourist” in your own hometown. That’s really not hard for me to do. I live right smack dab in the middle of tourism central, with a theme park and water park less than 2 minutes away and less than five minutes away from “America’s Colonial Capitol.” I get to fight tourist traffic, pay tourist prices for gas and get taxed at the tourist rate year-round. This is not a complaint, just a fact of life.
The good part is that I can go into a 7-Eleven and run into folks wearing triangle hats, presidents I thought were dead and Redcoats.
The next idea to make for a happier 2013 home was to have a holiday breakfast, or as I read it, “Fix a fancy breakfast for your family.” It’s amazing how things that once were commonplace are now thought of as wonderful ideas that will solve all your problems.
I still make breakfast. I cook eggs, bacon, sausage, grits and biscuits. I hate “Quick Grits” and I hated them before they poked fun at Southerners about instant grits in the “My Cousin Vinny” movie.
If I want it to be “fancy,” I’ll make omelets or put a happy face on a pancake with squirty whip cream or chocolate chips. These ladies undoubtedly live in a big city where folks don’t make breakfast anymore and they will no doubt be lauded for such a glorious idea.
For your information, we use cloth napkins all the time.
Perhaps the “List Ladies” will form a breakfast group, where they can sit around and talk about what a good idea it was and wishing they could find the napkin rings their Aunt Lucille gave them for a wedding present.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good idea. It’s just not earth shattering. A lot of folks eat breakfast at home (and they use a frying pan and the oven).
You will love this next one…
“Assemble a shrine” comes in at number 7. What in the world do you think all of my clutter is? It IS a shrine. Thanks so much for giving it a better name. My clutter is “A group of related objects that makes me smile.”
Deal with it.
Number 8 is a super idea – “Make a photo album.” You have me there; I think that would make us all happier. I’ll even give a recommendation; put a lot of pictures of dogs and happy children in it. Dogs and children make the world a better place.
Then there’s old number 9, I knew it was coming. They always say it, but they don’t mean it. “Set a quitting time” because “our homes should be places of rest and leisure.” The lists, the clutter problems, the yard, the garage, your closet and don’t forget you have to pay the mortgage.
“Make sure to set aside a little free time for yourself.” This should be after everyone goes to bed and if it were me, I’d just sit down right in the middle of my clutter and appreciate the shrine I have created.
The list ended.
What happened to number 10?
Going back through the happier 2013 home list, I had missed something in the first paragraph about making a scrapbook. I felt a little like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” after he decoded Little Orphan Annie’s secret message to “Drink More Ovaltine.”
The list was probably just a ploy to get you to buy more scrapbooking supplies. If that cranks your tractor, that is just fine by me.
Just stay out of my cluttered closet and I can guarantee you that it will definitely be a happier year!
Cranks My Tractor
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Tell 27 people you love them today; something good will happen.I'm BN Heard and I like semicolons, dogs and corned beef hash for breakfast.