A Fun Resolution

Happy New Year!

Yes, as we’re about to enter February, I’m wishing you a happy new year. It’s been a busy one for me. I’ve even been skimping on my few resolutions, disagreeable tasks as they are. Aren’t resolutions just awful things?

Happily, the subject of this post is to introduce a new resolution, a fun resolution. One that (I hope) I’ll stick to. It’s called “101 things in 1001 days” & I got the idea from the blog The Lazy Genius Collective. (Intriguing name, right?) Here’s the article that explained this thing. Basically, the idea is that you write down 101 things that you want to do—want to do—within 1001 days. 1001 days from now is October 16th, 2019. (Oh, & here’s the awesome website that calculated that.) I love how this list embraces the things that you actually like to do. Let 2017 (& 2018 & 2019) be the year that you treat yourself. & yet when I say “treat yourself”, don’t rear back in horror at the giant green dollar symbols before you. You’ll be treating yourself to the little things in life. (Speaking of little things, I really want to post on the art of hygge sometime. Remind me.)

Ah, ah, rules! Here are the lazy genius’s rules to begin with.

Choose things you love, not things you think you’re supposed to love

So, I’m having trouble with this one while creating my little list. I don’t particularly care to bake, but I feel I should love it. &, well, I love the end results. I’m trying not to put down a bunch of baking goals on my list because I know it’ll turn into more of a task than a treat. (Please stop a moment to appreciate that pun. I have the weirdest weak spot for well-placed puns.)

Choose things you have control over

At The Lazy Genius Collective, an example for this was “fall in love”, which is a perfect example. For one thing, you can’t demand to fall in love, but for another, it’s just such a huge goal! Who wants that weighty thing on a list that is meant to be light & fun?

Don’t choose things that belong on a to-do list

I think I should retract my statement of calling this list a resolution – that makes it sound like a task. This list is entirely for fun. You should have fun creating it & fun fulfilling it. Tasks are absolutely against the rules.

Don’t choose things that will already happen

There’s some gray area here, since I might do some of the things on my list, but probably won’t. If you doubt you’ll drink hot tea while stargazing, but might, just be safe & put it on the list. It’ll remind you of it & make you do it, which is the point of the list. It’s an excuse for you to treat yourself.

Avoid choosing things that require a regular commitment; choose accomplishable events instead

This rule is all or nothing. If you write “go jogging every morning” but dread it, that one thing is going to turn your whole list into an unconquerable demon. You won’t want to do any of the other fun stuff on there because you feel guilty about not jogging, & that’ll end in disaster & heartache. Do you want disaster & heartache? Then only put accomplishable things on here. Now, there’s nothing wrong with saying “watch 5 movies by myself”—after all, you’ve got almost three years to do that—but try not to stick a date & time on them.

Be realistic, not idealistic

Skydiving, climbing Mount Everest, & meeting fill-in-celebrity-here belong on your bucket list, not this list. (Because everyone knows your bucket list is for hopeless dreams, not accomplishable events, right?) Besides, the point of this exercise is to encourage you to enjoy the small things in life. (I have got to post on hygge, it’s all about taking pleasure in the small things.)


Now that we’ve got some ground rules, here are some tips for ya.

Get excited

You need some enthusiasm behind this. This is no ordinary list – it’s an adventure! I spent a wonderful hour just coming up with the perfect design for my cover page. It was exciting, as though my list is truly important. (& it is!) Put some effort into the atmosphere & aesthetics of your cover page & list. Don’t forget to title your venture, add the start & end dates of the project, & number each of your items on the list.

Don’t be afraid to branch out

This is coming from a granny soul, so you’d better listen up. Try to keep your list diverse with cozy things, active things, & everything in between. Dare yourself to cook something new or get lost down some old dirt road. (Or do those not exist anymore?) Believe me, 101 is a bigger number than you might think. I was going to fill it up with my favorite activities, like reading & tea-drinking, but I can’t think of that many variations to the common theme. I’m going to have to branch out into some weird directions to reach 101. Like, I don’t know, fake an accent for an entire day. Or eat nothing but white foods all day. (Following in Erik Satie’s footsteps.)

Don’t go too small, but don’t go too big

If you choose something too small, like “drink tea in your nook”, there’s nothing special to it. But if you say “drink tea in a rainstorm on the deck of a cruise ship”, that might prove a bit difficult. What you need is something right in the middle, like “drink tea in a rainstorm as you ponder life’s mysteries”. That’s got a good number of constraints; you won’t accidentally accomplish it, but it’s still accomplishable.

Start to complete them immediately

With an end date like October 16th, 2019, you may want to hold back on completing the items on your list. You may want to guard them like little gems of pleasure to be slowly enjoyed. But this is to improve your quality of life right now. Don’t hold back. Besides, the math doesn’t lie, & the math says that you have to complete one of these every 10 days to be done on time. I was so shocked I had to double-check, but that’s right. It sounds so real & so right now, you know? This forces you to stop writing & dreaming about these idyllic pleasures & start getting out & enjoying them.

I think that’s about all you need to know about this 101 things in 1001 days. I’ll try to keep you updated on my progress with this so you’ll be inspired to keep yours up. I may be a little lax on my posts, though, because I had another extreme attack of OCBD & created another—yes, another—blog. That makes it… Let’s see… 6 or 7 blogs now? I should get an award or something.

Good luck on your project!

~ ninniforlife

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On Grammar

I’m a staid old grammar person, for sure. When I read something like “your going shopping, arent you?”, I shrink from it.

Today, I’ll be discussing the worst of the worst grammar mistakes a person can make.


First, I must naturally address the your versus you’re. I refuse to believe that someone doesn’t know the difference between the two. Surely the sinner must know what you’re stands for in the first place. Assuming so, there can be only one other possibility as to why anyone would make such a cruel error: he is simply too lazy to add an e to the end of your. I believe people generally write on their phones, texting & whatnot. Well, if you simply add an e to the end of “your” to make it youre, Autocorrect adds the apostrophe for you. It’s as simple as adding the e! Yet many people don’t. This mistake is hideous & shameful & I devoutly hope the epidemic of incorrect your‘s will subside soon.

Second on the list is that poor phrase not-only/but-also. Sure, you only learned it to pass the SAT, but that doesn’t mean it should be neglected after that. It’s probably only me in my strange little world who does this, but whenever I see not only in a sentence, I can’t rest until I find (if I can find) the but also. Not only is it simply correct, but it also makes more sense & lends the whole sentence dignity.

Speaking of dignity, whatever happened to the poor little semicolon? He’s starving in a dark corner, suffering through everyone’s scorn & criticism. Supreme Court justices aren’t the only ones who use this or should use this. Personally, I adore semicolons; if it wasn’t for the intolerance we have for them, I’d use them everywhere. As it is, I feel guilty if I use more than two in a paragraph for fear I’ll look too facetious. Why the stereotype with semicolons? Sometimes one becomes tired of using the hyphen to connect two related sentences together – the hyphen is so exhausting & sticks out so badly. On the other hand, a well-placed semicolon is discreet. No, it’s more than that; it’s a flawless segue into a new sentence while still connecting the two. There is poetry in the semicolon. Maybe someday, when this world is more perfect, we shall all come to accept & appreciate the semicolon. Its time will come. To convince you further of the semicolon’s potential, here’s another noble post on it.

The fourth error which I firmly believe is an error is the absence of the Oxford comma. I absolutely require the Oxford comma in everything I do. Grammar would not be grammar without the Oxford comma. Let me give you an example of it:

Melanie wanted a pygmy owl, a baby hedgehog, & a sugar glider.

The last comma in that sentence is an Oxford comma. Without it, the sentence goes:

Melanie wanted a pygmy owl, a baby hedgehog & a sugar glider.

Baby hedgehog

(It hurts me just to write that sentence without the Oxford

Sugar glider

comma.) Without the extra comma, it seems as though the pygmy owl is a mix of hedgehog & sugar glider. False, as far as I know.

Here’s a post on the Oxford comma by that same courageous woman who so valiantly defended the semicolon up there.

Last but not least, when did people start ignoring the word fewer? No, these days it’s never fewer than seventeen cats, it’s always less than seventeen cats! Where did that spring from? Who just decided that stage time for fewer was over? I don’t know what the world is coming to.


Now, after all that critical analysis, it only remains for me to reassure you that I make a great many grammatical mistakes myself. I even intend to make mistakes sometimes because it conveys my meaning better. When chatting with a friend, I’m not about to write, “Could you please pick up cookies?”. I would probably say, “Could ya get coookies??”. Please don’t take me for a crazy grammar person.

Another grammatical “error” I use all the time is an error up to interpretation. Grammar Nazis say that you cannot begin a sentence with but. But I say to heck with that! I like starting my sentences with but. However is altogether too stick-y-out-y.


I’m sure more grammar posts will be forthcoming, but I’m going to try not to harp too much. Grammar people get on my nerves as I’m sure they get on everyone’s nerves. It’s simply a sad fact of life. Yet let it be known! I respect grammar people immensely. They are pulling the weight of all the other grammar slackers. They are trying to correct & enrich the world.

~ ninniforlife

The Benefits of Journaling

Hallo, meanderers!

I know, I haven’t posted in a long time, but I’ve been preparing a gigantic post on obscure fruits, which is very daunting. So daunting that months have passed and it’s still sitting in my drafts folder while I post on my other blogs. Finally, finally, I have a post for you – on the benefits of journals.

Why is it a good habit to maintain a daily journal?

I was reading this Quora question yesterday. I am something of a diarist, and while I’m not exactly “religious” about it, I do love to take some time out of my day to write an entry. Because journaling is basically a panacea to me, I was very easily inspired to post a listicle of my favorite things about keeping a journal.

  1. It de-stresses. Believe me when I say this, keeping a diary is such a de-stresser. People who don’t keep diaries have no idea what they’re missing. I’ve never finished an entry without being much saner & more satisfied with my life.
  2. It gives you clarity. Writing out your problems can help you organize them more clearly in your own head. Somehow getting it all onto paper sheds a lot of light on life.
  3. It’s comforting. Your diary is your closest friend; it’s always there to comfort you. Maybe this is strange, but I grow quite attached to my diaries… The feel of the pages & covers & even the pens I use.
  4. It gives you inspiration. Somehow, writing an entry almost always brings me a Eureka moment in some area of my life – usually concerning my novels. I love to write about my writing, & when I write about how my current novels are going, I often discover some plot hole to be fixed or the logic behind a character’s actions.
  5. It’s a record of your life. Truly, it’s astonishing how many details of life we forget – your diary will bring those details to life. Besides, it’s great fun to read your previous entries & marvel at how silly or funny or just plain ridiculous you were. Good times.

A reminder that helps when journaling:

Keeping a diary is not necessarily reporting the day’s events. Reporting a day you’ve just lived is monotonous. I dislike the feeling of going to write in my diary because something momentous happened. Write about whatever you want! I myself have switched over from writing in one diary to writing in two. Diary #1 is for when I’m in bad moods & I just need to get it all out of me. I try not to use Diary #1, though I love it dearly. Diary #2 is for when I’m feeling happy & inspirational – it’s the better me diary. I like using Diary #2 & have a great respect for it. So, Diary #1 generally contains daily annoyances & other events while Diary #2 is filled with magnificent, benign, & magnanimous thoughts & ideas. (I hardly need to tell you that that’s a gross overstatement.)

There are so many ways to keep a diary, too. This person on Quora, unlike some other responses which suggested outlining goals for the day, this person is more focused on life awareness & thankfulness.

Step 1 – Write the date

Today I wrote March 2nd, 2016 because there will never be another March 2nd, 2016 ever ever ever again. You get one shot at this day.

Step 2 – Write a list of 10(ish) things

I say “10-ish” because that’s usually what it takes to get your brain stretching. The list can be anything from “Who in my life would I die for?” to “How else could Facebook make money?” to  “What are my favorite colors?” Write as many as you can.

Step 3 – Write one thing you’re grateful for

This one is pretty self-explanatory. You don’t have to be loquacious… Starting my day with gratitude helps me focus on what I do have in life, not what I don’t have.

But what really triggered my post today is this snippet I found at the end of an answer. I just love that last sentence.

There is a day after every night. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Things will not remain the same forever. Even if your situation is not good now, five years down the line, your life struggles will inspire many others. So, pull your socks, fold your sleeves, stretch your limits, & get ready to change your situation.

Priceless.

~ ninniforlife