The

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Deirdre Macken [email protected]

Imiss the old desk di­ary. I miss the prom­ise of the year ahead sit­ting next to the com­puter; I miss the feel­ing of ac­com­plish­ment that peel­ing the days from the Rolodex gives, and I miss the proverbs that in­ter­rupt daily life with a mes­sage from eter­nity. Dig­i­tal diaries don’t give you life’s mean­ing in a pithy line. They’re just good for beeps that turn the day into a pro­gres­sion of chores. So, let’s put in­spi­ra­tion back into our days and start with a few of th­ese:

Stay friends with your kids: you never know when your smart­phone will go awry.

Never let an idea fade away. Play with it un­til it gets tired or you do.

Start ev­ery day with a feel­ing of grat­i­tude, even if you end it with a feel­ing of in­ep­ti­tude.

Never try on swim­suits. Trust your eye, se­lect one size larger and wear it with pride. Re­mem­ber, there are no mirrors on the beach.

If you drop the ball, ask your­self why you picked it up in the first place.

When peo­ple talk of th­ese trou­bled times, flick through the pages of a his­tory book and re­mind your­self of how trou­bled times used to be.

Plant­ing a tree is an act of love for the next gen­er­a­tion, not an act of re­venge on to­day’s neigh­bours.

Never trust your en­emy when he’s mak­ing a mis­take, as Napoleon Bon­a­parte said of an 1805 bat­tle. And never stop film­ing when your kids make bloop­ers.

Buy the best house you can af­ford, drive the worst car you can get away with and choose the su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund that ad­ver­tises the least.

Aim for a full read­ing life and an empty li­brary.

Love your­self but love oth­ers more. If you’re re­ally cranky, give your­self a day pass from lov­ing any­one.

Pro­tect your skin, it’s the big­gest or­gan in your body. Or maybe it just looks that way in my mir­ror.

In fact, mirrors are a bad choice of decor. Avoid them in lounge­rooms, shop win­dows, phone cam­eras and car sun vi­sors. Al­low one in the bath­room for a daily reck­on­ing.

Heed the wise coun­sel of oth­ers but, re­mem­ber, wise coun­sel has yet to be found in a so­cial me­dia feed.

Use sun­screen, es­pe­cially if you’re just go­ing into the of­fice. You’ll feel like it’s the week­end.

Change your look oc­ca­sion­ally. Wear the new gear with pride and if you catch sight of your­self in a shop win­dow, ask your­self, do I like the look of that per­son?

Wash whites sep­a­rately from colours. When you get sick of this, ban white from your wardrobe. It makes you look fat any­way. Not that we’re look­ing in mirrors again.

Travel with an open mind, a half-full wal­let and an empty di­ary.

Own a pet once in your life. It will make you feel more hu­man. But don’t make the pet feel hu­man.

You may not be­lieve in God but don’t think you’re su­pe­rior to those who do. Re­mem­ber, they’ll live longer than you and they just may feel a lit­tle hap­pier about their last few hours in this world.

Ev­ery so of­ten read com­ments from writ­ers you know you don’t agree with.

Have a varied diet but don’t for­get old favourites. Kale may come and go. Avo­cado may cap­ture a gen­er­a­tion. But there’s noth­ing more com­fort­ing than food you once took to school.

Take risks, as long as they don’t have dire con­se­quences. Don’t gam­ble, the con­se­quences are in­evitably dire.

Floss at least three days be­fore you visit the den­tist. Give up al­co­hol at least a week be­fore the blood test. Start an ex­er­cise regime be­fore your 30th birthday. Never let your­self get obese, it is too hard to re­verse.

Don’t take health ad­vice from peo­ple who don’t have ini­tials af­ter their names.

Use your smart de­vices but don’t let them use you.

And, fi­nally, start each day like it’s a fresh sheet of pa­per, end it like a story and don’t let the beeps dis­tract you from what you re­ally want to do. gmail.com

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