Idea: babysit duos

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If a duck can manage this, so can you.

A complaint I hear an awful lot from friends with children, is they have no time for hobbies, culture or sports, because of their family, or because they cannot afford a babysitter that often.

I think those are just lame excuses. I agree it is a very bad idea to drag your children along to your French or yoga classes, and jogging with a pram does look a bit awkward. And I totally agree getting a babysitter every week does get a bit expensive. But if you really want to do something, there’s always a creative solution possible.

So I’m thinking: Say you want to practice yoga on Mondays, then maybe you might have a friend who would like to go spinning on Tuesdays. Why not team up? You go to your yoga class on Monday, while your friend babysits your kids, and you watch the whole bunch on Tuesdays.

Little thought on the side: Find friends that don’t have horrible kids. And make clear, businesslike commitments.

I don’t understand why nobody I know does this. But since I don’t have children (yet), maybe I just don’t get it. If you have any experience with this, either positive of negative, I would love to hear from you.

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My infallible plan to become a better person: Rule #4

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When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

In case you are new to my blog, my completely waterproof New Year’s resolution for self-improvement is explained here. But in short: I want to become a better person – healthier, fitter, smarter, more cultured and more ethical – while carefully guarding my beloved laziness.

To make sure I keep it chill, I set some ground rules for myself:
1. No stress.
2. Have fun.
3. Spend as little extra time as possible on it.
4. Keep it positive.

You were proabably expecting some optimistic feelgood motivational speech when you clicked to read this post. But fear not, because you’re at the home of the lazy theory. And the whole point of this exercise is I won’t do anything that needs any extra motivation.

This last rule I have deduced from a simple principle: it is easier to do an extra effort (especially a small one, as explained in Rule #3) than to avoid doing something you want to do. That’s why it’s feasible to stick to doing ten push-ups every day but it’s very hard to quit smoking for instance. Continue reading

Je suis Charlie. And an atheist. This is why.

mohammed-cartoons-charlie-hebdo-muhammed-cartoons-2012-2First of all I want to express my deepest condolences to the victims of the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo yesterday in Paris, and their families and friends.

I also wish to convey my sincerest sympathy to all the millions of muslims who were NOT wielding kalachnikovs yesterday, but will have to answer for this tragedy anyway.

We worked for different media, yet the people who were killed yesterday, were colleagues of mine, and they make me proud to be a journalist. It doesn’t matter whether I share every opinion Charlie Hebdo ever expressed, but it does matter, a lot, that it expressed them. The freedom to express any opinion is the basis of democracy. (The only exception to this, is a call for hate and violence, of course.) The freedom to laugh is an important part of that. Nothing should be too sacred to be made fun of. Not even religion. Quite to the contrary, something which is so important to so many people as religion, should be criticized, and if need to, mocked. Because it is the only way to avoid or stop abuses of power.

“I would rather die standing than live on my knees”, said Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, the legendary cartoonist and editor in chief of Charlie Hebdo. And he stood by it. Charlie Hebdo did not flinch, not when they were threatened, not even when a molotov cocktail was thrown into their offices. These people died standing. Continue reading

The fun theory

This short video expresses exactly why I think good intentions can work out swimmingly if you set about them right.

This video is part of a commercial from a couple of years ago, sure, but it’s still genius.

Motivation is the key. Good habits are way easier to keep up when they’re fun. And that’s exactly what this becoming-a-better-person-plan of mine is all about: finding ways to become fitter, healthier, less polluting and more cultured without getting stressed, bored or frustrated.