Life Tips from The No-Recipe Life

I don’t have the answers. Perhaps you read that sentence and decided this wasn’t worth reading and clicked away. If so, you were in the wrong place anyway. Or maybe you just said “Ok, and…” because no one really has the answers. I don’t think “the answers” is a thing that really exists. I don’t even have good advice about those significant things you can do to improve your life. I have no idea what that stuff is all about. Most of that type of advice is crap: it either doesn’t work in the long term, or is too vague to implement, or only works for people in some circumstances. No, forget about that.

I have found, though, that certain small things can help you in life if you make the effort. Sometimes, that requires only a few seconds of your time. It couldn’t be easier. (Another lie!)

1. Turn off autoplay on Netflix. When you’re watching a show on Netflix, the next episode plays automatically when one ends. That was nice of them! Except no, it wasn’t. It’s just a trick that keeps you mindlessly using their site longer and can keep you from productive tasks. But there’s hope!

Go into the “Your Account” section, scroll down and find “Playback Settings.” Then you can uncheck the autoplay option. The screen you get at the end of an episode is exactly the same, only it won’t start the next episode until you click play. Continuous watching is still incredibly easy, but that extra step also makes it easier to step away from the screen. You’re welcome.

2. Walk faster. If you already walk fast, you can skip this one–but judging by my experience of constantly being stuck behind slow people whenever I walk down the street, chances are you don’t walk that fast. You’ll most likely only shave seconds, maybe a few minutes if you walk far, off your trip, but add it all up and you’ll have enough time to watch that extra episode of Mad Men that didn’t play automatically.

I was thinking about this just recently. If I walked slower, it probably would NOT be the case that walking is often more efficient than taking the bus or train in some circumstances. This was just after I got stuck behind two people who were barely moving at all. If I broke my foot I’d have been walking faster than they were. Luckily there was enough space to pass them after only a few seconds, but I had to come to a complete stop first, which is even more frustrating when it’s this cold out. So please everyone, just think of the people who are stuck behind you and walk a little faster.

3. Don’t assume anyone’s holding the door for you. When you’re out somewhere, anywhere, and you’re exiting or entering a building/room behind someone, I have news for you: getting through that door is YOUR responsibility, not theirs. Granted, if someone sees you and actively closes the door in your face, that’s certainly rude, but you probably won’t encounter too many of those. Half of them are probably unintentional–they were already closing the door, saw you, and didn’t register it well enough to adjust their actions. It happens. People aren’t perfect. If someone fails to hold the door open for you, no matter how close behind them you are, that is not rude. That’s just someone going about their business, thinking about where they’re going, instead of where they just were. I guarantee we all do it. You can’t assume that person knows you’re trying to get through the door right behind them. They can’t read your mind, and, like I said, they might not be in the habit of keeping tabs on who’s behind them. Maybe that person doesn’t pay hyper-attention to everything strangers they pass are doing.

Now, if you’re walking with someone, and that person doesn’t hold the door open for you, well, that might be a bit rude. But you still shouldn’t expect it, because at the end of the day, if you want to use a door, you might have to open it yourself. End. Of. Story.

4. Have at least one When-in-Doubt book. I’ve just made up this term, but you may very well be familiar with my meaning. This refers to a book that you can read at any time, no matter how many times you’ve read it before. Preferably it will be something small enough to easily carry around with you. Even if you have an ereader, and you can carry around hundreds of books on your one little device, you could still use at least one when-in-doubt book. It can function as a sort of layover when you can’t quite decide which book to read next, or it can be a comfort. I don’t actually have one yet, because I just came up with this tip, but I’ll probably choose something by Virginia Woolf.

I also recommend having When-in-Doubt music. This can be a song, or an album, or an artist–or even a Pandora or Rdio station, I suppose. It’s something you can turn on no and enjoy no matter what mood you’re listening to or what else you’re doing. If you want some music on, it comes to the rescue. I know it can be very hard to choose, but if you think about it I bet you’ll come up with something. Mine is Jeff Buckley. There is never a time I’ve thought “No, I just can’t listen to that right now.” His music works just a well for in-depth listening as it does for background music while I’m editing, and that is not an easy accomplishment.

5. Eat well. Food is so essential. It’s 100% necessary to live, until they invent those futuristic meal-in-a-pill tablets that we’ll eventually all be eating (god I hope not). Beyond that, it’s a social experience, a sensual experience, and a luxury. When I say that you should eat well, I don’t mean eat healthy. I don’t mean don’t eat healthy.

Eat healthy food. Eat delicious food. Eat decadent food. Obviously, know your body and respect its limits regarding allergies, stomach sensitivity, and how full you can handle being. But don’t worry so much. Eat the things you want. Indulge. It’s true that you only get one body, and so you should treat it well, but shouldn’t that include your tastebuds? Not to mention the chemical reaction in your brain when you eat sugars–a far less dangerous high than most of the drugs out there. So I hear.

I feel like I’m going to be misunderstood as telling you to pig out. I’m definitely not saying that. Knowing how to balance the stuff your body NEEDS with the stuff it WANTS is key to my definition of eating well, so if you’re going to take any of my advice about food, take this one thing.

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Posted on March 8, 2014, in Blog, Food and Drink, Life and Style and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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