The Tao of Theresa

Fresh eggs make me feel very zen.

I feel a special kind of satisfaction when someone blares their horn at me for no reason–usually at a stop light–and then has to follow me for a few miles. It’s even better when they blare their horn again before turning. I mean, it’s a little mean-spirited but I can’t help smiling at the knowledge that someone is fuming–however temporarily–over something so small, while I continue on my merry way. I leave feeling like I’ve just given someone a little lesson in not sweating the small stuff.

I found myself in front of an angry driver on my way home from the grocery store this evening, and I started thinking about it in a new way because, last night before bed, I started reading The Tao of Pooh. My Kindle needed charging, and so I picked up the book that was laying on my nightstand, waiting for me to finish Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (which is taking me awhile because of the less than page-turning plot).

I instantly connected with the Taoist philosophy (as explained through Winnie the Pooh) in a way I didn’t expect. I don’t consider myself a religious–or even particularly spiritual–person. If I had to pick something I’d probably become a Wiccan (because I’d get to dress like Stevie Nicks and celebrate the solstice and whatnot). This sounds like a pretty good philosophy, right: “Harmony and balance encourage to neither be too good nor too bad, but to find the balance in our lives.” Sounds to me like if we could all take a lesson from the Wiccans, the world would be a much better place. But Pooh has his own wisdom to share.

“We don’t need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified Spiritual Superman, or sit around and wait for Fate to come knocking at the door. We simply need to believe in the power that’s within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us.”

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The Art of Slowing Down

From twicepix, Flickr Creative Commons

I really wish the media would just get out of my head already… Every time I turn around someone is writing an article about or doing a show on something I’ve been thinking about. Most recently, I saw an article from the New York Times pop up in my newsfeed, talking about “The ‘Busy’ Trap.” The basic premise is that you’re probably only busy because you’ve made it that way:

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

I think about this a lot while I’m lying, motionless, on my couch, or reading a book on the lounge chair in my backyard, or taking an unnecessarily long walk with the dog. Actually, I started thinking about it after my best-friend returned from a  trip to Italy saying she wanted to move there because it was so relaxing and work wasn’t such an all-consuming part of life. Then I started thinking about it again when another friend said he wanted to move to Austin (or really any city outside of the northeast) to find a slower pace of life. Continue reading


By Jaxpix, Flickr Creative Commons

For the past few weeks I’ve been staying with my aunt while in transition from my old apartment to my new house. Having lived alone for so long, being around people in a domestic situation has made one thing very clear: I do things slowly.

My grandmother’s cousin, Bette, always makes fun of “us Americans” (she’s English) for our out-of-date tea kettles. She has one of those fancy electric contraptions that boils your water in what seems like seconds, while we continue to insist on using old fashioned kettles on the stove. I can’t imagine ever using one of those new-fangled contraptions for my tea.

It’s not just my tea, though. If there’s the option to heat something up on the stove, or in the oven, I always forego the microwave. I actually like doing dishes by hand (though I know it’s not as green as a dishwasher and therefore will give it up when I finally get into the new house).

Perhaps this is why I never quite understand what people are talking about when they go on and on about the northeast being too fast-paced. I am forever wondering why, if they don’t like the pace of something, they don’t just slow down.