"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sermon to self

More thoughts from a journal:

• Have fun.
• Make time for hobbies and life.
• Travel to get new ideas.
• Stay away from the computer.
• Read something every day.
• Remember Bob Illidge—or any best friend who has died, especially when stress gets too high.
• When stress tops out—walk outside and hear the birds and look at flowers.
• If you’re stressed, go watch tropical fish at a pet store.
• You have faults and weaknesses. Know them. Allow for them. Work or delegate around them. Joke about them.
• Why are you in a hurry? Usually, because you tried to do too much in too short a time, or because you procrastinated. Your results and blood pressure will show it.
• Truth comes from informed discussion at a bar, watered by “a little something.”
• Poke fun at yourself.
• The books on your office shelves should be there because you use them, or have read them and treasure them, or because they were gifts. If you need books to impress people, you’re pretty shallow and are fooling no one, especially those who do the same thing.
• Who are your favorite authors? If you don’t have any, why? You need their wisdom and words and knowledge. If they’re your favorite, there’s a reason. They give you words and ideas to help you cope. They’re like individual mentors.
• Reward yourself by concentrating on what you enjoy.
• Don’t let the groundwater run dry. Invest in yourself.
• Plant flowers. Give money to beggars. Who made you special?
• You can’t lead, or teach, or write, or speak, or paint without making time for yourself.
• When you’re gone, how would you like to be remembered? Will that be the case? If not, whose fault is that? Whose responsibility is it to make it true? What are you doing about it?
• If you don’t think this matters, walk through a cemetery.
• Collect the cards and notes and gifts people give you. Once a year go through them to reassure yourself of your worth.
• When you lie, you hurt yourself.
• Smile most of the time.
• Exercise both your mind and body.
• Give stuff away.

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