Seven Things I Learned From My Emails

August 06, 2010

I just spent an hour sifting through my “junk” email account—the email address I use when ordering online or subscribing to newsletters, etc. I haven’t browsed through there for a week or two, and found some pretty cool stuff. Along with the reminder that my books are due at the library next week, and that I should expect The Ghost Writer in the mail from Netflix on Saturday (and a stray generic Viagra offer), here are seven things I learned from my emails today:

1. “Conscious Donation.” Sponsored by Goodwill Industries, “The Goodwill Donate Movement” encourages people to take as much care when deciding where to donate their belongings as they do when making a financial donation. You can read more about this here and here.

2. At the upcoming (Sept.) Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, 800 horses representing 62 countries are scheduled to participate. (A side note: Unfortunately, I will not be participating, as I was not chosen to be a Purina correspondent… But I’ll be watching on TV!)

3. Cheap Joe’s art supply catalog is offering $1 shipping until Monday, August 9. This is a great deal, because with art supplies, sometimes the shipping can be as expensive as the actual purchase, say a tube of watercolor paint. (Promotion code 1GRB, if you’re interested.)

4. Poetry can make you smile as well as make you think (Poem courtesy American Life in Poetry. Introduction written by Ted Kooser):

Rhyming has a way of brightening a poem, and a depressing subject can become quite a bit lighter with well-chosen rhymes. Here’s a sonnet by Mary Meriam, who lives in Missouri. Are there readers among you who have felt like this?

The Romance of Middle Age

Now that I’m fifty, let me take my showers
at night, no light, eyes closed. And let me swim
in cover-ups. My skin’s tattooed with hours
and days and decades, head to foot, and slim
is just a faded photograph. It’s strange
how people look away who once would look.
I didn’t know I’d undergo this change
and be the unseen cover of a book
whose plot, though swift, just keeps on getting thicker.
One reaches for the pleasures of the mind
and heart to counteract the loss of quicker
knowledge. One feels old urgencies unwind,
although I still pluck chin hairs with a tweezer,
in case I might attract another geezer.

(Poem copyright ©2009 by Mary Meriam)

5. “The five things [my] anti-wrinkle products must contain” (antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, cell-communicating ingredients, sunscreen, and a formula that suits my skin type.), courtesy of Paula Begoun, the “Cosmetics Cop.” Paula is the author of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, and I’ve found her cosmetic and skin care recommendations work well for me.

6. The importance of blogging in my true voice, and some suggestions for doing so.

7. Five common “happiness boosters” that do more harm than good, including comforting myself with a “treat.” (Sigh.) Read the full list at The Happiness Project.

What did you learn today—and where/how did you learn it?

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  1. Kathy, I signed up for that poetry newsletter on your recommendation this spring -- and have not regretted it since. But I haven't gotten the time to read it for the last two weeks, so I missed that one. It's brilliant. :)

    That article about blogging in one's true voice was very helpful. I know for a fact that I'm guilty of the last "don't" -- trying to fit too many ideas into a post. Shoot, I try to fit too many ideas into a comment. ;)

    I sometimes worry that my writing isn't as authentic as I'd like it --and conversely worry that it doesn't stay on topic and within the theme of the blog as it should. But I was so thrilled when an old friend recently told me she likes reading my blog because it's like getting to hang out with me even tho I'm no longer living nearby. I guess I must be pretty close to my real "voice."

    By the way, I really enjoy your blogging voice!

  2. Thank you, Meredith! I enjoy your blogging voice, too--perhaps part of your voice is trying to include too many ideas all at once?! I think your friend's comment should tell you that you are staying true.

    I'm glad to hear you've been enjoying the poetry newsletter as well. I love the poems they choose to send out--they are all so down to earth and accessible.

  3. what did I learn today? I found a beautiful poem on your blog!thanks for being such a regular visitor to mine

  4. My pleasure, Elizabeth! Glad you enjoyed the poem, too.

  5. I learnt that it pays to have a look at friend's blog lists! I decided to pick a new person from Meredith's list on Enchanted Earth and here I am. It's like settling down in a comfty sofa for a wee chat. Lovely blog x

  6. Wonderful post! I learned that I am easily sidetracked online...but I also really enjoy browsing and puttering.

    Your links took to me other links which connected me to other links - you get the idea! I had several AHA! moments as well as some Hmmmmm thoughts.

  7. Carrie--Welcome! I hope you'll return for many more chats!

  8. Oh, dear, Elizabeth...I'm not sure I did you any favors! Hope you enjoyed the links but didn't get tooo sidetracked.