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The present 978,688 page views divided by 2,222 blog posts to this WordPress site gives an average of 440 page views per day since my first post on January 1, 2008. This started out as a one-month experiment, just to see if it were possible to write 31 posts, and after that seemingly impossible task was done, I set off on another month. After a third month was finished, and I thought I had nothing more to say, and I’m sure everyone would have agreed with me, I decided to extend what I remember as a belated New Year’s Resolution and to go for a whole year; after all it was April Fools’ Day.

By the way, that cute phrase in the title, “tits up,” means unconscious and flat on one’s back, either from drunkenness, injury or death.

Before this Probaway.Wordpress encounter on January 1, 2008 I had been doing a strange little game where I made up a sentence every day that seemed like a good habit to practice and posted the list as  Probaway – Habits. Here are the beginning 36 entries on the 442 habits of that list:

  1. - Create a new good habit every day; make a list of the habits and practice it seven separate times.
  2. - Greet your interlocutors in a direct and friendly way.
  3. - Observe the visual pattern of things and their lighting.
  4. - Observe the emotional space of people and treat it with respect.
  5. - Observe the energy of people’s direction of gaze and why they are looking at that subject.
  6. - Look for the fuller meaning and content in what you see and hear.
  7. - Observe the meaning as the result of the way things are positioned relative to one another.
  8. - Say your name … the way some person you are observing would enunciate it.
  9. - Say your true love’s name … frequently the way they should hear it.
  10. - Use precise words instead of generalizations as much as possible.
  11. - When observing people name their emotional space and how they are using it.
  12. - Observe and state the architectural intent of buildings and say it out loud.
  13. - Observe your body’s current health problems and state specific reasons for its present condition.
  14. - Say your name with the affect of an observed person’s emotional state.
  15. - Place your keys against the doorknob before closing an outside door.
  16. - Place a hand on a solid object before sitting down.
  17. - Say the observed person’s name with their expressed affect.
  18. - Observe the color and translucency of liquids.
  19. - Look along a street, as far as can be seen and then scan back.
  20. - Grab objects firmly and deliberately.
  21. - Rate the health of a person’s skin and their behavior.
  22. - Observe the Earth’s center of gravity and yours in relation to it.
  23. - Identify the necessary parts to identify a physical object or abstract thing.
  24. - Look at the expression on the left side of a person’s face and then the right side.
  25. - Observe a group, name a random category, and state the commonalities between them.
  26. - Spot lurkers’ hideouts and make mental preparations for coping with them.
  27. - When looking at a person look for their symmetry.
  28. - At the end of the month read your habits list and correct the statement of your usage of the new habits.
  29. - During lulls exercise by raising a leg and push/pulling clasped hands.
  30. - When running hold the breast pocket to prevent loss of items.
  31. - When bending over grab the breast pocket to prevent loss of items.
  32. - Observe the mood of the local groups and the energy flows between them.
  33. - When you find yourself humming a song, find and learn the lyrics.
  34. - After eating rinse out the mouth three times to clean your teeth.
  35. - Look for the center and the periphery of a situation and then the external influences.
  36. - When you remember a habit, do it right away, if possible

There were 442 of those sentences. These were created years before I discovered the Classic Greek Wisdom of the Seven Sages of Delphi list, and rewrote the sometimes passive suggestions as action statements. Here’s the first dozen.

1. Pursue goodness.
2. Obey all laws.
3. Praise goodness.
4. Obey your parents.
5. Honor justice.
6. Use your proven wisdom.
7. Base your wisdom on facts.
8. Whisper reasons to yourself.
9. Support a healthy family life.
10. Prepare for opportunities.
11. Adjust your actions to living.
12. Behave with discretion.

Most of those 2,222 Probaway posts were written the evening they were posted, but last October, I had a new resolution based on the idea of creating slack around everything I did. With some slack built around various activities there is relief from the pressure of being forced into a do it now, or else there will be a problem situation. With that in mind I now write these blog posts seven days before they are posted, so now there isn’t any feeling of desperation when the clock approaches midnight. What has happened is that I replaced a forced habit with occasional desperation into one of responsible choice over which I have considerable control of the timing of my work. Now I can watch TV, or have a hot bath, or stay out late with some friends without any anxiety. Now I can catch up tomorrow and there is no harm done. Of course I now must have a little more discipline of self-control and actually do two posts the next day, but it is a relaxed condition, which is more comfortable and thus more fun. So, what have I learned this year?

Creating slack around things like time, money, space and people makes for easy flexibility and a more contented life.

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