Create a More Interesting Life, Your Way

How would you define an interesting life? I was reading a blog post that asked people how they would define an “interesting life” for themselves.

Here’s one answer:

Having an interesting life doesn’t mean it has to be interesting to anyone else. It also doesn’t mean you have to do the typical things most people associate with being interesting, such as travel.

The definition of the word interesting, in application to life, is different to everyone.

I have done things such as swim with dolphins, ride a horse along the beach, rappel down a steep cliff, star in high school plays, have my picture in the newspaper, ridden home on the first train of morning because I missed the last train the night before, roll around in a large plastic ball on water, walk on stilts for a circus company, teach a college course, sew my own clothing, make actual useful things in woodshop, and more. The list of random things goes on and on.

Are these things going to make me famous? No. Are they exciting enough to make a book out of? Probably not. Do you think any of those things are interesting at all? I have no idea. But I feel I’ve had an interesting and meaningful life so far.

Sometimes what we think of as interesting is some external idealized life. But if you listed all the things you’ve done in your life, I’ll bet you’d have a fairly long list of things that you found interesting at the time, and even more so in hindsight. From that list, you may find yourself feeling motivated to do something a little different to recapture that feeling of doing something interesting. Go for it!

A Different Kind of Spring Cleaning

Spring is nearly here, and for many people that means spring cleaning. It means tossing away old clothes, moving the furniture and mopping unseen places, washing hand and nose prints off the windows, scrubbing walls, and perhaps painting or redecorating.

But there’s another kind of spring cleaning, a kind that could do more to spruce up our lives and brighten our day than any other kind of cleaning. What if we also spring cleaned our relationships this season?

What if we scrubbed the stains off of our marriages, our relationships with our children, our co-workers, bosses, and friends? What if we mopped up the messes we’ve made and wiped off the dirt we’ve allowed to build up?

What if we swept away the dust bunnies under our friendships? What if we listened more, spent more quality time, and reached out to those we’ve ignored? What if we spruced up our promises and intentions, and remembered that our loved ones want us to be there for them emotionally, not just physically?

If you’re interested in giving it a try, here’s a proactive approach to doing this kind of spring cleaning:

  • First, make a list of people you have relationships with, including your close family, kin, friends, etc.
  • Next, go through each name and ask yourself how you could tidy up that relationship. It may only need a little polish, like a letter to Aunt May who hasn’t heard from you since Christmas. It may need deep cleaning, like telling the truth about a big lie or getting vulnerable about your feelings. Or you may simply decide things are just fine the way they are.

Whatever your spring brings you, I hope it is bright and clean and fresh.


Stop Your Phone from Draining Data

Phones can chew through data without you realizing it. Here’s how to reduce data usage:

1. Turn off “Push notifications.” Go to Settings > Apps > Open each app and check/uncheck the box that says Show (or Allow) Notifications.

2. Change your Wi-Fi settings. Make sure some services run only over Wi-Fi. Go to Settings > Data Usage > Open each app and check the box that restricts app background data to Wi-Fi only.

3. Turn off video auto-play. Change your settings in individual apps like Facebook and Instagram so videos do not automatically start playing.

4. Data-based text services. If you are not connected to Wi-Fi, try not to use apps like WhatsApp, as it uses data to send text messages.

5. Beware of “free” apps. Free apps can often use up more data than the premium (paid) version, as they generally have more advertisements.

6. Manually close apps. Pressing the Back or Home button to exit apps does not fully close them.  Make sure apps that use GPS (maps) and streaming (YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify) are fully closed. Each phone has a different process for this.

Does Raising Your Phone Improve Reception?

We’ve all done it. We’re hiking in the woods, visiting a friend, or shopping in a big box store somewhere, and we can’t get a signal. So, we instinctively raise our phones in the air, as if there were a hidden wave of receptivity floating overhead, if only we could reach it. Does it help?

According to experts, no. There is no connection between cell reception and raising your phone into the air just above your head. Reception is “mostly homogenous” around us, and lifting your arm won’t change this. However, you may get more bars by walking around. Cell reception could be being affected by structures, such as glass doors and metal in walls, so moving away from these blockages can improve reception.

Raising your arm to get better reception can go into the same book as pushing the elevator button repeatedly, an act that doesn’t change the elevator’s programming one bit.

Kid-Friendly Exercises

As worries about obesity fill the media, parents are taking more active steps to ensure that their children learn good exercise habits. Here are a few simple child exercise routines from

  • Faux Pushups. Have your child get into a raised pushup position. Then say the alphabet, high-fiving your child with each letter (alternating hands).
  • Sit-ups. Take a ball and lie down facing each other, feet touching. Sit up together and pass the ball to your child at the top of the sit-up, then go back down. Repeat back and forth for as long as you can.
  • Water balloon walk. Fill a water balloon and have your child hold it between her knees. Then try walking without bursting it or dropping it.
  • Kid Lunging. Have your child take the longest step he can with one foot, then pause all stretched out. Then stand up and take a step with the other foot. Have him lunge all the way to your car or the park.
  • Bicycle. Your child lies on the floor, lifts her legs, and moves then in a circular motion like riding a bicycle. Ask her to say 揾a-ha-ha?in time with the movements. This can be particularly effective in helping younger kids head off tantrums.