In keeping with my scattered, spring-fevered mind this week, here is a collection of odds and sods insights, with the general theme of enjoying the upcoming brilliant spring and summer weather:
>> If you have the space to do it, try line-drying your clothes outdoors on sunny days. The natural sunlight will increase the intensity of your whites and brighten your colours. There is nothing like the smell of the fresh breeze trapped in your sheets to lull you off to a good night’s sleep.
>> Turn off the television set, put down the magazine or newspaper, and read a good book instead, preferably outside in a hammock or lawn chair. Who cares whether it’s a Giller Prize nominee, simply a good mystery or even a smut-filled bit of escapism? The things that pass for reality in the mass-market media are greatly over rated. Do you really care whom Brad Pitt is dating and who was the last survivor kicked off of the island?
>> Spend at least as much time and energy finding some good company to enjoy lunch or dinner with as compared to the time and energy spent worrying about what or where to eat.
>> Have more spur-of-the-moment picnics. Last week, my spouse and I decided at seven o’clock at night to haul our canoe down to the beach for an evening paddle. By eight o’clock we were eating cold chicken legs and melba toast, surrounded by about twenty curious seals. Magic is something that you can’t always plan.
>> Throw a tropical summer solstice party, complete with tiki torches, Mai Tais and cheesy music. I don’t know why. More importantly, I don’t know why not.
>> Commit yourself to some form of higher education this summer. I’m talking about learning something really useful and life affirming, like how to dance the Samba, how to cook French pastries, or how to knit Norwegian-style sweaters that will be ready by the fall.
>> Unless you have some pressing health concern, don’t waste time and energy worrying about your waistline or the way that you look in a bikini. If you feel like it, throw a steak on the barbecue and share a butterscotch sundae with your child. Get your cholesterol checked regularly, but remember that high blood pressure and chronic unhappiness are far worse for you than a bit of extra fat. Swim, walk, bicycle, scooter, rollerblade, skateboard, sail, windsurf, golf, play tennis and run through sprinklers whenever you can. Try to have fish, chicken or grilled vegetables for dinner more often than you have burgers and hot dogs. Have fast food rarely or not at all. Don’t worry, life is good and as long as you don’t take yourself too seriously, you’ll be all right!