Another morning. Another day begins. You get up too early, stumble into the shower and in somewhat of a haze try to get things together and get work or school on time. But by applying a few simple tips you can make not only the morning but the whole day more relaxed and smooth.

Plan the night before
Choose the 2-3 most important tasks and put them on a to-do list. By choosing just the most important stuff instead of a dozen things you are less likely to start procrastinating or realize at the end of the day that you filled it with less important tasks.

Pack your bag the night before
This very simple habit can alleviate quite a bit of stress in the morning. If you pack your bag before you go to bed then you don’t have to run around in your house half panicked tomorrow while looking for your books or some important papers.

Make your lunch the night before
Pack the leftovers of your dinner in a container and put it in the fridge. Just don’t forget to put it in your bag in the morning. You may even want make an extra serving so you can quickly heat up dinner when you get home from work/school. Doing this the night before will save you a bit of time and possibly a bit of money.

Don’s forget to just relax
You can’t get much done if you never get any rest and revitalization. Well, you can for a while but soon you’ll start to feel run down, stressed out and fill up with all kinds of negative emotions pretty much all the time. So take some time to just relax. Meditate in one way or another. Take a warm bath. Take a walk in the woods. Listen to relaxing music. Have some fun with friends and/or family. Release pressure, stress and tension that can come from a hard day’s work so you don’t carry all of that into the following morning.

Get enough sleep
It’s tempting to stay up a bit longer and let the “morning-you” take care of the problems – I do for example become more likely to revert to old behavior patterns such as negativity and being easily stressed – that come from lack of sleep. But be good to yourself at least some days during the week. Go to bed a bit earlier and catch up on your sleep.

Use a morning routine
What you do early in the day often sets the context for your day. We have a tendency to want to be consistent with what we have done before. So if you have the time – or are willing to get up a few minutes earlier – then a nice morning routine can be a great way to start a day. I do for example get up and drink a glass of water, pull the blinds from my windows to let in the sun, eat breakfast and drink a cup of green tea, brush my teeth, make my bed and declutter for a few minutes. Read more about my morning routine and the routines of many of the readers right here.

Keep everything in its place
If everything has its own place then it is whole lot easier to keep your home reasonably ordered and decluttered from day to day. And to find the keys as you are heading out the door.

Joke Of The Day

Looking at the cover of a women’s magazine, a title caught a wife’s eye: “Men’s Secret Fear About Their Working Wives.” She decided to get a first hand account. “What’s your innermost fear about my working?” she asked her husband. He promptly replied, “That you’ll quit.”

Joke Of The Day

A man is sitting on the sofa watching TV when he hears his wife say from the kitchen: “What would you like for dinner, love? Chicken, beef or lamb?” The man replies, “Thank you, I’ll have chicken.” The wife blurts out, “Shut up. You’re having soup. I was talking to the dog.”

Woman Reads A Book A Day!

Check this out. Last October 28, on her 46th birthday, Nina Sankovitch read a novel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Muriel Barbery). The next day she posted a review online deeming it “beautiful, moving and occasionally very funny.” The next day she read The Emigrants (W.G. Sebald), and the day after that A Sun for the Dying (Jean-Claude Izzo). Since then Sankovitch has read a book a day every day. And, as if that weren’t enough, she’s reviewed each book on her website, And somehow she’s managed to take care of her husband and four boys, ages 16, 14, 11 and 8. Sankovitch, a former environmental lawyer, follows some rules. All the books are ones she has not read. She reads only one book per author. She reads one day and posts the review the next morning. By necessity she mostly sticks to books 250 to 300 pages or fewer, and reads everything from fiction to memoirs to sci-fi and nonfiction.

I’ve recently began to read a lot and I am loving it. – Justin

Question: What’s a unique or weird streak you have kept up? Same breakfast every day for a year? Same movie with your spouse on your anniversary? Become a registered user to this website and comment on this story, it’s free.


Remember how our teachers recited this poem: “Columbus sailed the ocean blue, in fourteen hundred and ninety two!” Well, our teachers lied to us. They told us that Columbus was the first to believe the world was round and he hoped to prove it by sailing across the Atlantic. He was going to find a new route to the East by sailing West. Remember that?

Columbus was hardly alone in his belief that the earth was round. This was a generally accepted fact in those years. As a matter of fact, that was the popular belief for more than 200 years before Columbus was even born.

We were taught that Queen Isabella had pawned her jewels to pay for Columbus’ first voyage. As a matter of fact, no royal family funds were used for his trip. Financing for the venture was arranged by the Treasurer of the Royal Household, who even used some of his own personal funds. He asked Columbus to take his wife and children out of Spain to escape the Inquisition.

Our teachers told us that Columbus and his three vessels (Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria) encountered terrible storms on that first trip. In fact, Columbus did not encounter great storms on that famous voyage. According to historic sea logs, the seas were calm and the crossing was rather uneventful until the final days before he reached Watling Island in the West Indies.

Did you know that Columbus was not happy with the ships Santangel had purchased for him? The two little ships, the Nina and the Pinta, needed certain modifications for such a long trip. They started to make the modifications in Spain but the Queen was growing impatient and was breathing down Columbus’ back. He realized he had to leave immediately.

Columbus decided the modifications would be made on the Island of Palos. When certain repairs still needed to be made, he pulled into the Canary Islands and spent a month making the repairs and further modifications before crossing the Atlantic. The crossing actually took one month, and not two, as many history books record.

At one point toward the end of his journey, Columbus and the Pinzon brothers (who captained the two other ships) met to discuss whether they should turn back. They decided to continue and reassess the situation and wait a few more days.

Columbus did not die penniless as we were told in school. Thanks to the dissemination of his journals and the development of the printing press, which made copies of the maps of the New World, he became a famous personality. Although not exceedingly wealthy, he was financially comfortable at the time of his death. His son inherited his funds and titles.

Columbus spent his final years bent by arthritis and was bitter at the royal family for real and imagined wrongs. He died in 1506, just fourteen years after his first voyage.

Riddle Time

I know a word of letters three. Add two, and fewer there will be. What is it?

Answer: The word is “few”.

Ponder This

Too often, we lose sight of life’s simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you it takes 42 facial muscles to frown, but it takes only four muscles to extend your arm and slap the person in the head.

Here are some things you maybe didn’t know yesterday.

Maryann gives her input in italics after each.

*Research indicates plants grow healthier when they are stroked.
(and kids grow healther when they are cuddled!)
*During your lifetime, you grow about 590 miles of hair.
(you notice I said YOU, because I CERTAINLY don’t!! My hair has been the same length for 45 years!)
*Cleopatra married two of her brothers
(This gives the term:sibling rivalry, a whole NEW twist.)
*A passionate kiss will burn up to 6.4 calories per minute
(Who needs the gym, this sounds like a lot more fun!!)

Riddle Time

Have fun at the office with this one. Congrats to Kathy Peacock who go this right this morning!

I never was, am always to be,
No one ever saw me, nor ever will
And yet I am the confidence of all
To live and breathe on this terrestrial ball.

Answer: Tomorrow