A Cabin In My Life

Much has been written about declining attention span as we age. Quoting from the literature (as we academics are inclined to do) Subjects over 60 years of age show progressive slowing in processing of complex tasks and a reduced capacity to inhibit irrelevant stimuli (Commodari, Guarnera, 2008), what intrigues me is not so much the slowing—after all, our brains have much to sift through—but the “reduced capacity to inhibit irrelevant stimuli.” If there was ever anything perfectly designed to generate “irrelevant stimuli” it has to be the computer! Continue reading

‘Tis the Season

I grew up, as I noted in my decluttering blog, in a Swedish-American family where Christmas was elevated to the critical role of proving that the American had not crowded out the Swedish. Unlike every other family that I knew growing up, Christmas Eve was the big event – the day when we brought in the tree and decorated it, where the “adult beverage” was glögg that my father made from a family tested (and highly alcoholic) recipe several weeks before. My mother worked all day to bake two kinds of Swedish bread (julekage and limpa), in addition to making a Julbord with Swedish cheese (no cheddar allowed!), lutefisk (look it up – ugh), potatiskorv (a bland Swedish sausage), and a miscellany of other things to keep the traditions alive. Continue reading