When I was little, I was always puzzled by the maxim, “A stitch in time saves nine.” I couldn’t figure out what that meant. Finally, light dawned: a single stitch, made in good time, saves the trouble of making nine stitches later. In other words, a little effort now saves a lot of effort later.
That notion underlies several of the tips below. The other notion: when I have a reasonable amount of energy, life feels a lot less stressful.
1. Keep some cash in the house. For years, I badgered my husband to get cash so we had cash in the house. Finally, light dawned: Why did I get to decide that this was his problem? Now I get cash when we need a reserve, and I feel much better.
2. Never let your car’s gas level fall into the “empty” zone. Special note to my fellow under-buyers: if you can afford it, fill the tank! Save yourself from having to return to the gas station in two days.
3. Have an over-the-counter pain reliever at hand at all times.
4. Put your keys away in the same place every day. This sounds so easy — and it is. It will make you so happy.
5. Turn out the light as soon as you’re sleepy. Since I started my happiness project, I’ve become a sleep nut. Getting enough sleep makes a huge difference in my sense of energy and cheerfulness.
6. Walk around the block.
7. Take ten minutes before bed to tidy up.
8. If you have to pack a lunch for anyone, get it ready the night before.
9. Have at least one good friend who lives in the neighborhood.
10. Make your bed. This sounds trivial, I know — but try it, it really helps!
Samuel Johnson pointed out that “To live in perpetual want of little things is a state, not indeed of torture, but of constant vexation.” By making the effort to stay on top of the little things, you can keep the vexation to a minimum.
What am I missing? What tip would you add to this list?