“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.”
— Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
A few months ago, I read about a study indicating that people are happier when they spend money to buy themselves free time (by outsourcing chores) than when they spend the same amount of money on material goods. (The study was widely covered; you can read more about it here, here, and here.) The authors reported that the reduction in time-stress resulting from paying others to perform daily tasks and routine chores led to greater life satisfaction across a wide range of income levels. In other words, even people who are not wealthy benefit emotionally from spending their discretionary money on services rather than goods. Given this information, why am I, like so many people, still cleaning my own house and weeding my own flower beds?
In response to my recent post The Power of Poetry, a reader asked me to share some of my own poems. Here are two, both of which were written as assignments for the Coursera Sharpened Visions workshop class I took last year. I hope you enjoy them. Read more
“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”
—David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
While searching for Monday’s Quote of the Week, I found myself traveling down a rabbit hole of poetry about autumn. I don’t often take the time to read and contemplate poems at length, but when I do, I’m rarely disappointed. There’s something about a poem that can communicate a feeling so profoundly. Free from prose’s need to explain everything in complete sentences, poetry can make its point through images and metaphors, playing with rhythm and structure in ways that make the reader appreciate language like never before. A great poem has the power to make me feel connected to its author through universal human experience, conveyed with just the right words.