Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fitness buff

Jack LaLanne
He was exactly twice my age, and I’m no spring chicken. He was so old that all my early memories of him are in black and white. About the time I was born, Jack LaLanne began his career as the nation’s fitness coach. So, I can safely say he spent my whole lifetime promoting America’s health.

LaLanne died this week, leaving behind a legacy of jumpsuits and jumping jacks, often mocked by many-a couch potato. But LaLanne got the last laugh. Evidently, he enjoyed great health most of his 96 years, something very few aging Americans can claim.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Impression Journal

Writing helps us remember
Last year for about a month and a half I very faithfully kept an “Impression Journal.” Now I wish I had been more diligent about continuing that habit because, as I scan the impressions I received, I see patterns and rediscover gems I’d forgotten. Here are some of the (less personal) ideas that came to me during that time:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Lather. Rinse. Repeat."

By nature, work can be repetitive
“Lather. Rinse. Repeat.” Those circuitous directions have been printed on millions of shampoo bottles for decades, leaving us wondering when the repeating was supposed to end. Work—especially the work of cleaning—seems to be, by nature, a very repetitive endeavor.

Repetitive work can lead to greater efficiency. Hoping to prevent boredom, I used to create job charts for my kids that would rotate them through a myriad of household jobs in a week’s time. Then another mother told me she gave her children the same job for an entire month! As it turns out, the repetition turned her kids into experts. They became both proficient and efficient at completing one specific task quickly and well.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Babies come wired to connect through their hands
As a child, I would lay my head in my mother’s lap during church and play with the veins protruding from her hard-working hands. I was fascinated by the way those veins, no matter how many times I would press them down, would spring back up to form bumpy, criss-crossing lines. Even 40 years ago, Mom’s hands were a bit gnarled and weather-worn from doing more than her fair share of manual labor. In fact, they were already beginning to show some age spots. But hands such as hers were underrated and undervalued.