On another note, this past weekend I visited my brother’s family in Philly, where I picked up some tips from my niece, whom I hereby nominate to the Worrywart Hall of Fame. She comes up with things to stay awake about that have only percolated beneath the surface of my fretful brain. Then she zooms into action.
She asked if I wanted to go for a walk with her and her dog. Shortly thereafter, I picked up her first contribution to Tips Weekend when she hooked two leashes onto her black toy poodle’s harness in case the clasp on one of them were to fail. (TIP #1)
This made me think of the measure I use to protect Casey from assaults beyond the boundaries of my home when I’m traveling. I ask the petsitter to walk him only in the small front yard, jogging laps perhaps, as though competing to win number one beagle-basset in the Westminster dog Show, the way he and I sometimes do, while a crowd (of one: me) cheers, “Yea Casey, number one beagle-bassett in the Westminster Dog Show!” (inferior TIP #1a)
My niece and I returned from walking the dog and we washed our hands. “Did you know,” she informed me, “that the thumb of your dominant hand tends to get overlooked when you wash your hands?” In the future, you may want to pay extra attention to that dominant thumb. (TIP#2) She also advised against using foamy soap, because it makes washing quicker, hence, riskier. (Tip #2a)
As for Spread-the-Word Day, in the spirit of enormous admiration and imitation-is-the-highest-form-of-flattery, I’m borrowing from the playbook of Gretchen Rubin and her blog The Happiness Project where she anoints some days to be Spread-the-Word Days . . . the word being her blog, book, etc. For me, this would be the equivalent of asking you to spread the word to others who might enjoy my blog and my articles on NBC’s new Website Home Goes Strong.
My Spread-the-Word Day campaign in the previous paragraph pales beside Gretchen’s recent spread-the-word request. I’m supplying hers below in case you want to experience the persuasion skills of someone, unlike me, whose blog has thousands, if not tens of thousands, of followers:
My resolution for this month is “Go the extra step.” As part of that, I’m trying to take extra steps to promote my blog – even when that means doing things that make me uncomfortable. (Like attaching this note to a few posts.)
One of the challenges of a blog is just letting people know that it’s there. And so I’m asking you for a big favor.
If you have the time and the inclination, it would be a huge help if you would email anyone you know who might enjoy this blog, to give them the link and tell them a bit about it. Word of mouth is very powerful.
My happiness research predicts that if you do this good deed, you’ll feel great! That’s the Samaritan effect: “do good, feel good.”
Reminder: the above in italics was written by Gretchen, not me. But I welcome (Gretchen would probably say “encourage”) you to “go the extra step” on my behalf, and if you do, I hope you’ll feel great and I’ll be endlessly grateful, but in all honesty I feel compelled to note that I’m not sure the deed will score you a trophy from the Good Samaritan Hall of Fame.