HABITICA-a marvelous tool for productivity

Habitica is a marvelous online tool for organizing your day. The way Habitica works is to turn your work day into a role playing game. In this way, those things you need to do anyway are given instant rewards in a fun and stress free game setting. You have this little icon, and some options for hair and skin color and clothing. The tasks that gain you gold and experience points are all linked to whatever tasks you input on the Task Page where you list your Habits (like practicing a musical instrument), Dailies (like home schooling, or showering), and … Continue reading

How to Live Well

Every activity we have in this life require a certain effort beyond the basic effort we put into life. Like an athlete must go beyond what he thinks he can do, so must all of us when seeking greatness in our lives.  Above my desk is a quote I pulled from a blog: MusselmanCoach. Dig deeper! You have to go deeper! Get in there, fight, be strong, and be tough, we all have more to give then we think! Push yourself! Use every ounce of your potential! I know you have more, I know you can find more inside, we … Continue reading

Budgets

Budgets and I have a love-hate relationship.  I find anything having to do with numbers difficult, and this nightmare never ceases. The current budget situation is an upcoming decrease of income which means I must continue my struggle for a budget that works and seek new income streams. Goal #1 has been met. One credit card is empty, not being used, and set aside in the file for “emergencies”. The truth is I intend to never use it again. Goal #2 has been met, with great effort. My credit card is empty, but not yet retired. The retirement will be … Continue reading

CONVERGENCE

THE LIFE-CHANGING ART OF TIDYING UP is all about beauty. The ordinary beauty we make for ourselves in our homes. Yet in a culture that devalues beauty, attempts to define it down to function, and links the value of everything to the money it can produce, our lives are filled with clutter and ugliness. Returning to my original discussion of the loss of beauty in our culture see how wrong the culture has this entire concept? “What is beauty?” is a question that this culture is as ill-equipt to answer as Pilate was to answer his own, “What is Truth?” … Continue reading

Everyday Beauty VI: Revisiting my office

I am now thinking about the effects of beauty on my workspace. At this moment, my workspace is a mess. I have a number of things I love on this desk. However, it is difficult to enjoy them fully when the space is so cluttered. I “see” my office without the paper clutter. I see my office with shelves. I see the cupboards with bins in them that make pulling out what I need easier. As it stands now I have to struggle to get to what I need. If there were bins, then I could pull whatever bins I … Continue reading

Ordinary Beauty VI: health

Our culture does not value beauty beyond its relationship to function or earning power. Girls are taught to pursue careers and earn good money; they are taught to develop a career before they consider marriage and family. Men seek wives who can add a solid second paycheck; men used to seek wives who had the skills to create a beautiful home for a family. There was a time when the beauty created by home makers was valued. Girls were taught the skills and could expect to have those skills valued.  Those days are long gone. Our culture glorifies the career … Continue reading

Everyday Beauty V: Tidiness is a result of aesthetics

An empty desk is functional but is it beautiful? A cup holding pens is functional, but a pen cup made from cut glass in a metal frame is beautiful beyond its function. So it is with all things pertaining to beauty including the art of tidying. Marie Kondo, in her book, THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP, writes of taking an object into one’s hands and asking, “Does this object bring me joy?”  That action is about aesthetics, not about function.  An object may be beautiful due to its function but what causes you joy is not merely function–it is aesthetics. … Continue reading

Everyday Beauty IV: Aesthetics

Ayn Rand argued that mechanical function was in itself beautiful and that decoration did not make it more beautiful but less. In THE FOUNTAINHEAD, she uses architecture, which at the time often hid the functional aspects of a building behind a facade of classical motifs, to argue for function being beautiful in itself and that decoration was fake.  I do not disagree at all that functional things have their own inherent beauty, and that adding a fake exterior to hide the functional beauty does not add but may even detract from the true beauty of the object, but why must … Continue reading

Everyday Beauty III: Dreams of Beauty

I spent a fascinating hour discussing the function and definition of beauty with someone who is a philosophical follower of Ayn Rand. Now, I am an admirer of but no follower of Ayn Rand on the subject of Beauty, being that I am of the philosophy of Dietrich von Hildebrand, Saint Josemaria Escriva and Saint John Paul II.  I see beauty as the reflection of the creator, thus as a higher good. Ayn Rand’s is a view that true beauty has no aesthetic beyond the mechanical function; I argue that beauty is more than but includes that function. My parents have a … Continue reading

Everyday Beauty II

People in our culture are starving for beauty.  I remember when Trudy Krise, a wonderful woman, would bring her deserts to class for the snack.  Those days we had standing room only! People stood around the table exclaiming over the beauty of her deserts. They were indeed a work of art, and what is more, they tasted BETTER than they looked! People are so starved for beauty that knowing her art would be at the next class was all it took to get standing room only. Why the popularity of the Extraordinary form of the Mass? We often call it … Continue reading