Tuesday, October 30, 2018


A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a small book at our second hand resale shop called The Little Book of Christmas Joys - 432 things to do for yourself and others that just might make this the best Christmas ever.  Written and compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr., it's another in the series of "little books" by this same author of Life's Little Instruction Book, Live and Learn and Pass It On and several others.

Anyway.  I decided to save the Christmas Joys book to read closer to the holiday season, maybe right after Thanksgiving.  But seeing this new-to-me book of his caused me to pull my copy of Life's Little Instruction Book off the shelf and page through it as I've done many times before.

Here are a couple/few of the gems he puts forth:

Give to charity all the clothes you
haven't worn during the past three years.

Good gosh.  I have clothes in my closet I haven't worn in the last twenty years.

Why is that?  It makes no sense to keep them when they obviously either don't fit into my current lifestyle or they aren't comfortable enough to wear or I don't like them enough to wear them.

Do you follow this rather sensible seeming rule of thumb when it comes to your clothes?

Don't take good health for granted.

I've had a serious illness, I'm fully recovered and don't think I'll ever, ever, EVER take my good health for granted.  I feel grrreat (said in Tony the Tiger's voice) 99% of the time for which I shall always be grateful.

Have you ever experienced a serious illness or breakdown of your health in your own life?  Did it make you appreciate good health?  (Is that a silly question?)

Don't smoke.

Easy enough to say, but a really tough one for anyone addicted to smoking.

I smoked for somewhere around a year starting with my first year in college (about 75 years ago).  Criminy, the dorm I lived in even had a large, comfortably furnished room on each floor called "The Smoker."

I was fortunate I didn't continue the habit and was never really hooked.  It was more of a way to fit in socially at the time.

Have you ever smoked?  Do you currently smoke?  Have you tried to quit or are you contemplating doing so?

Never give a loved one a gift that 
suggests they need improvement.

I don't think I've ever done this.  (Hoping this is true.)

However, I have received such a gift.  Even now, several years after the fact, I still do a slow burn when I think about it.  Especially since the person gifting me could have benefited from the particular subject of the book more than I!

I know the "gift" was given to me in good faith; I know the giver did not intend to be hurtful or mean.  But still.

Have you ever been guilty of doing such a thing, thinking you were being helpful?  Or have you ever been on the receiving end of such a gift?

End of my ruminations.  I'd love to hear your reactions to these bits of wisdom as put forth by Mr. Brown. 


tpals said...

Absolutely not on the clothes giveaway. My weight yo-yo's (slowly) and it would cost a fortune to replace my wardrobe every time my size changes.

Agree on the health. It's a blessing.

Never have smoked and very thankful my son is following my lead on this.

I hope I haven't done that with a gift. I try to avoid doing it with comments also, but have probably failed there.

Vera said...

I have moved a lot of times in my life which necessitates a good clear out of everything, including unworn clothes, which are all donated to the charity shop. But I have never had a lot of clothes anyway, most of them are home made and I keep wearing them until fall apart at which point I recycle them into the patchwork box or ragbag.

Smoking? One puff, ......

I, too, have had a health blip but it was not my time to wear my wings. I am glad I had the experience though, as it did change my perception of life.... and for the better....

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I'm not a smoker, so that's not a problem, but I grew up around smokers. I wonder to what extent second hand smoke affected me? I give away clothes fairly frequently. It feels great!!
Concerning good health, without your health, you have nothing. You can have all the money in the world, the loveliest home, the most wonderful things, but if you are lying in a hospital bed, none of it matters. I fear my worst downfall is eating habits. I have a terrible sweet tooth. Thank you for making me think about this again. It's good motivation. -Jenn

Mama Pea said...

tpals - I'm with you on the clothes and weight thing. Those clothes I have in my closet that are 20 years old are from when I was at my lowest weight ever. Such nice clothes, but one of these days I'm going to have to enter reality and face the fact that my mature (ahem) body will never be that size again!

Vera - I'm another person, like you, who wears clothes until they fall apart. Even in high school, when I was much more (an understatement) clothes conscious than I am now, I had a favorite yellow sweatshirt that I loved. And wore after it should have been made into a rag. My father was never very communicative, but one day my mother said he wanted me to stop wearing it because it looked so bad! :o\

Jenn - Yep, my dad was a heavy smoker, too, as where most of my uncles whom I was around a lot. My one aunt who had never taken a puff in her life died of lung cancer at a young age and her smoker husband never recovered from blaming himself for her death. So sad for both of them and their children, too, of course.

I live with someone who has a sweet tooth, too. Although I do say, that the older he gets, the more he's really trying to curb that habit. But I know it's hard.

Susan said...

I purge my closet annually. Of course, I am the beneficiary of people who also purge their closets - and who have a better eye for fashion and larger fashion budget than I! I was a smoker from high school and through my 30s. I wasn't a heavy smoker - never smoked before 5P - but I was very happy to have kicked the habit completely over, well, many years ago... :) I would never dream of giving someone something that would hurt their feelings or belittle them in any way. That is hardly a 'gift'. Send me an email with the name and address of the person who gave you that gift and I will hunt them down and smack them. xo

Mama Pea said...

Susan - With friends like you to beat up people for me . . . well, what more could I ask! You gave me a real chuckle. You're such a minute little thing that it's comical to think of you "smacking" anyone! :o]

wisps of words said...

CLOTHING: I dearly love getting rid of all "stuff." So I do not have old clothing hanging around. Oh I'm sure I have some, but I really do purge. ---I simply do not have much clothing. We lead a very simple life, and do not need much. 3 long corduroy 'jumpers.' 3 comfy pants. Turtlenecks. Shirts.

ILLNESS: Had to have 3 stents, in 2009. Just had a great stress test. Yes, I value my health.

SMOKE: I did in college for a short time, after a nasty breakup with a BF. ,-) Stopped. Happily.

IMPROVEMENT GIFT: Hmmmmm, that's a hard one, to remember. But, I know I give wayyyyyyyyy tooooooooooo much un-asked-for *helpful advice.* ,-)

You know the "Run Up To Christmas" books, that I love? Those which deal with having the guts, to make a simple Christmas Time. :-)))

Happy Halloween/Samhain!

Mama Pea said...

wisps of words - So I really should go through all my clothing and purge about 75% of it, huh? Keep encouraging me. Deep down, I know I wouldn't miss any of it that I got rid of. (So what's my problem??) (Never mind.)

Yep, giving that un-asked-for but oh-so-helpful advice is a habit I think I've (almost) kicked. It does the person you're trying to help absolutely no good since whatever the "problem" is isn't gonna change just because *I* want it to!! It has to come from within the other person.

I've been trying to simplify all holidays for years now and you wouldn't believe the flack I've gotten for it! Hmmm, I feel a blog post coming on detailing all that the woman/mother/homemaker has to do to insure a holiday is a holiday . . . for everyone else except her! (Maybe I shouldn't write a post because I feel steam coming out of my ears already.) ;o}

Lynne said...

Seems like I'm always going threw my closet and getting rid of what I don't want or dosen't fit. I smoked for quite a few years and now have COPD and heart problems. Had to have a defibulator put in, but I just keep on trucking. No sense worrying about it. I feel great and that's what counts. I don't think I've ever giving anyone a gift that would hurt someone. I count my blessings every day I wake up!!

Mama Pea said...

Lynne - I'm sorry to hear about your health problems, but happy to know you seem to have all under control and feel good. You're right, that's what counts!

Maybe the reason I don't regularly go through my clothes and purge like you do is because I dislike buying clothes and am always thinking I might need something I already have. (But very seldom do! :o/)

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea! Happy Halloween!!! :)

The clothes...well, usually I'm good with that, but I have a little secret...I can't manage to get rid of my lingerie...even if it doesn't fit me anymore...I have some beautiful silk robes and nighties...they no longer fit but I can't part with them, sigh...

I really appreciate good health. I had a bout with skin cancer about 20 years ago. I also have migraines. When I don't have a headache or a new mole, I'm on top of the world. :)

I quit smoking in 2003. I hope that was good enough.

Oh, I gave a friend a stairmaster once for her birthday. She was a little overweight, but that's not why I gave it to her! She kept saying she wished she had one so she wouldn't have to shlep to the gym each morning. I was moving and no longer could use it so I put a bow on it and had it delivered to her. Her reaction was mixed...I felt bad, but never meant any harm!!!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - I'm a bit like you . . . I can't part with my lingerie either. Except "my lingerie" is old, ratty, but still warm flannel pjs!! (Haha.)

I've read that when you stop smoking, your lungs immediate begin to recover and regain health. So quitting at any point is certainly better than continuing.

Your heart was certainly in the right place when you gave your stairmaster to your friend. I suppose that's where we all error when giving someone something they've indicated they'd like . . . but about which they are still very sensitive. Yep, ones emotional feelings are not cut and dried, that's for sure! But in that case, she certainly stated that she wished she had one. So . . . :o\