I'm doing 9 things
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photograph something every day
it really is a cool thing to do!

i started it as a way to encourage myself to be more observant and to pay attention more, but also as a way to get myself to feel more positive about this place where i live now. i put it up on a website, and now i find that as a side benefit, my friends in faroff places LOVE it, it lets them see little glimpses into my life that they wouldn’t know about otherwise.
it’s on yahoo at http://photos.yahoo.com/heyrave some of my friends are now starting to do the same thing, it’s really a great way to share your day to day life with your buds!

learn when to shut up
often it's all about respect

respect for other people’s opinions, for their suggestions, for their experiences, for their points of view. sometimes it’s respect for who they are: someone whose ideas may be full of baloney, but you respect him or her as a person, so you shut up and listen. sometimes, though, it’s more about respect for yourself: you know it does no good to argue with a fool, or you know that if you tell your boss she’s a senile neurotic you’ll be out on your butt, or you value your friendship with someone more than you value arguing over something inconsequential—in each case you are respecting your own core priorities above the immediate gratification, however transitory, of sounding off.

i’m trying hard to work on that last category!

pay attention
big stuff, small stuff, inbetween stuff

the big stuff is easiest to pay attention to, because it looms in your face like an elephant in the living room… the danger with these is in not wanting to pay attention to them so i put them on the back burner and “forget” about them (meanwhile they are preying on my mind constantly, muttering payattentionpayattention).

the small stuff can be the most fun to pay attention to because it’s everywhere if i just look around. it’s also mostly positive… seeing a ladybug making her way across the top of my desk, hearing the tree frogs sing when i go out to feed lambs. i don’t pay attention to these when tedious or ugly things get too much of my attention, then i have to remember to notice the little things.

it’s the inbetween stuff that kills me. it’s not really terribly significant or interesting, but if i don’t pay attention to it everything else gradually slides into chaos. examples: making sure to do laundry once a week, even though there are many more enjoyable, lucrative and demanding things to be done; writing to older friends and relatives who don’t have email; baking fresh bread; tucking a few bucks into a savings stash. no one of them takes much time, but they’re not in the forefront of my Stuff To Do brain, so they slide if i don’t pay attention.

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