I worked on this a lot more last week, but I’ll probably still be up late Christmas Eve, though maybe not as late as the last couple of years. Toward the end of the week I had a brilliant flash of insight–since my Christmas project has taken over a month the past two times, if I want to finish earlier, I should start it on an earlier month! So next year I’ll schedule the Christmas project for sometime before November.
I finished Nathaniel Branden’s The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, which are the practices of living consciously, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully, and personal integrity. I found this book toward the end of high school when I was becoming aware of psychology and trying to boost my low self-confidence, and I was intrigued by its well-rounded and orderly take on the subject, but at the time I only read bits and pieces. Now that I’ve been through the whole thing, I’d say the pillars cover a lot of important ground, and I think his techniques would be very helpful, so I recommend the book, but I have reservations too. I’m not sure the practices by themselves will create an attitude of equality and compassion like Branden expects or that they’ll ensure someone feels worthy of love, and I wonder how he’d advise people who have severe physical or mental limitations and actually can’t handle everyday life on their own. But the book still has an important message, and I think of Branden as an earlier generation’s Jordan Peterson without the strident politics and Jungian weirdness, so if you want just a gentle kick in the pants about taking care of your life, Branden’s your guy.
After Branden I started on Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett, the host of the radio show On Being. I’ll write about it in a week or two, but so far I love it.
My annual Christmas vacation in Texas with my family has begun. My brother and sister and I all arrived on Saturday.
- The living room at my parents’ house feels much roomier this year, and I’m proud of them for working so hard to declutter and reorganize their home. I’m especially glad because this vacation it’s doubling as my bedroom.
- Dinner at The String Bean was delicious, but they somehow refilled my raspberry tea with something that tasted like maple–interesting, but since maple tea isn’t on their menu, probably a mistake.
- This year’s jigsaw puzzle is a quilting scene that Abbie got our mom for her birthday early in the year.
I’m also proud of myself for getting ready for this trip in an orderly, non-panicked fashion this year, even while ramping up my work on the Christmas project. I take this as a sign that my life management skills are improving.