[UPDATED] Monday blues

… in which I log out of this blog and when I sign back in, my header image and front page menu have changed! I tried fixing it but nothing’s happening. So I decided to change the theme, thinking that’ll fix the issue, but still no go. Sigh. This isn’t earth-shattering in the great scheme of things, but it’s not helping my stress levels. I think I will go ask WordPress what’s what.

In the meantime, please bear with the changes. Will try to figure out what’s wrong with the site. In the meantime, do you like the new theme? I’m undecided. It looks too boxy to me. What do you think?

[UPDATE] Well, it looks like everything’s right with the world again. WordPress said that it was a system error and fixed the problem right away. But my forum post generated a lot of responses. It seems like that there was a lot of folks affected by the error. Like I said, it was not really a big issue in the great scheme of things, but why did it feel like it was? The influence of tech and social media into our lives is growing apace, it seems. Anyway, all’s well that ends well.

I also changed the theme so it’s neater and I don’t have to fuss about header images. What do you think of the new look?

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How to get flat abs, have amazing sex, and rule the world in eight easy steps

How to get flat abs, have amazing sex, and rule the world in eight easy steps

Since it’s a Monday and we all need reminding about how to live life the best way we know how. Read the link for the full list.

Some important ones for me, because these are the lessons that are hardest to follow:

2. Be happy now.

Not because The Secret says so. Not because of some shiny happy Oprah crap. But because we can choose to appreciate what is in our lives instead of being angry or regretful about what we lack. It’s a small, significant shift in perspective. It’s easier to look at what’s wrong or missing in our lives and believe that is the big picture — but it isn’t. We can choose to let the beautiful parts set the tone.

3. Look at the stars.

It won’t fix the economy. It won’t stop wars. It won’t give you flat abs, or better sex or even help you figure out your relationship and what you want to do with your life. But it’s important. It helps you remember that you and your problems are both infinitesimally small and conversely, that you are a piece of an amazing and vast universe. I do it daily — it helps.

4. Let people in.

Truly. Tell people that you trust when you need help, or you’re depressed — or you’re happy and you want to share it with them. Acknowledge that you care about them and let yourself feel it. Instead of doing that other thing we sometimes do, which is to play it cool and pretend we only care as much as the other person has admitted to caring, and only open up half way. Go all in — it’s worth it.

7. Practice gratitude.

Practice it out loud to the people around you. Practice it silently when you bless your food. Practice it often. Gratitude is not a first world only virtue. I saw a photo recently, of a girl in abject poverty, surrounded by filth and destruction. Her face was completely lit up with joy and gratitude as she played with a hula hoop she’d been given. Gratitude is what makes what we have enough. Gratitude is the most basic way to connect with that sense of being an integral part of the vastness of the universe; as I mentioned with looking up at the stars, it’s that sense of wonder and humility, contrasted with celebrating our connection to all of life.

Happy Monday!

I love lists

Just to kickstart your Monday and to ease you into the rest of the week, here are some interesting stuff I found today:

To commemorate Women’s Month (that’s March), Flavorwire listed down the 10 most powerful women of literature. Very interesting read.

Though if you’re quibbling (as I was) why there were only 10, they did a follow-up: Readers’ choice: 10 more of the most powerful women in literature. For me, 20 is still not enough. I don’t think 50 is enough!

More kickassery, this time, on TV: 25 kickass TV heroines. My beef with this? Where are Ziva David (NCIS), Olivia Dunham (Fringe), the women of Firefly/Serenity, Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars), Patty Hewes and Ellen Parsons (Damages), Sara Walker (Chuck), and Mrs Coach (Friday Night Lights)??

Music stuff, still from Flavorwire: A musical overview of Brett Easton Ellis’ ouvre. Ellis annoys me sometimes. He can really be self-indulgent. But he’s one of the few writers who can capture the 80s, I guess because he lived it. I want to download all the music in this list!

For the design-mad (practically all my friends), here’s a list of great design blogs.

And for the frequent flyers, here’s what a former flight attendant has to say: 10 things you’ll never hear your flight attendant say. Becoming a member of the mile-high club is not illegal — good to know! Hahaha!

Also good to know and because it’s summer and everyone’s going off somewhere: The 10 rules of packing. I think I’m a good packer, though I belong to the “bring it — you never know, you might need it” school of stuffing my suitcase. This one is a basic article, but still good to know.

Happy Monday!

[photo from Flavorwire. That’s Danaerys Stormborn from Game of Thrones]