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The FOUE Effect

My colonoscopy last week prompts me to address a phenomenon I call “FOUE”, a common issue in modern life.

FOUE, pronounced “phooey” is an acronym for Fear of Unpleasant Experiences. Most of us suffer from this condition at one time or another, especially if an outcome is potentially scary:

  • Putting off a doctor visit or mammogram
  • Noticing our waistband is tight but not getting on the scale to see how bad it is (ignorance is temporary bliss)
  • Having a sinking feeling that our boss isn’t happy with us, but not asking directly
  • Avoiding confrontations with our nearest and dearest
  • Not opening a bill we know will be high, or a letter from the revenue service

As the sages say, knowledge is power.  If we confront the thing we’re worried about, we will at least know where things stand and be able to take action.

So, back to the colonoscopy and why people avoid them. If you’ve had one, you know it’s generally unpleasant — not the actual procedure, because you sleep through it, but the prep in which you drink gallons of liquid, take laxatives, and spend a day or two in the bathroom.  (Hint to you over-50’s: buy some diaper rash cream before your prep. You know what I’m talking about.)

Happily, there’s a newer option that makes this a little less icky.  Called HygIEacare, the process lets you avoid drinking the nasty prep liquid and instead have your insides flushed with warm water to make sure everything is nice and clean.

You sit in a sort of bathtub, with a pillow to lean back on, for about an hour, and can read and relax (more or less) while water flows into your tush and which you then expel whenever you feel the urge, as it were.  I won’t say it’s delightful, but it’s definitely an improvement. Highly recommended if it’s an option where you are, although it’s pricey ($245 in Austin) and not covered by insurance.

(Above, before the event: the water system, tub, me trying to relax)

The upshot: everything went well, which I attribute to taking a daily probiotic and eating more fiber than I had the previous time (five years ago).

Coincidentally, last Friday was also the 15th anniversary of my divorce from my first husband, a real a*hole. All in all, a shitty day … in a good way!

Good News Monday: The Magic of Music

Fake it ’til you make it? That’s the song Australian researchers are singing these days.

In a novel experiment, marine biologists used underwater speakers to play recordings of thriving coral reef sounds — the constant crackling of shrimp snapping their claws, chattering fish, and sea urchins scraping along the rocks — in dead patches along the Great Barrier Reef.

The sounds lured twice as many fish, compared with places where the speakers were silent. Let’s get that party started!

underwater photography of fish

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Miss Understood

If you couldn’t see how old someone was, one little difference would tell you whether he or she was a Baby Boomer or a Millennial: the way they respond when you say, “Thank you”.

Here’s a fascinating explanation of why those of us “of a certain age” reply, “You’re welcome” and go a little nuts when our kids respond, “No problem.”  Read on!

neon signage

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

Good News Monday: It’s Dad’s Turn

For generations, it’s been assumed that only mommies need to change their kids’ diapers in public places. What else could explain the general shortage of changing tables in men’s restrooms?

To remedy that, Pampers and Koala Kare have joined forces. Their goal: to install 5000 changing stations in men’s bathrooms in the US and Canada by 2021. So far, nearly 2000 have been added to libraries, parks and other public spaces.

Change is in the air, and it’s long overdue.

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Good News Monday: Climate Change Could Be Rigged

Old oil and gas rigs might have a new lease on life that could benefit both industry and the planet, says a study from the University of Edinburgh.

Instead of decommissioning North Sea oil and gas rigs, which costs a boatload of money, they could be refitted — for 10x less — as pumping stations for self-contained carbon dioxide storage sites below the seabed.

The sites could be used to lock away CO2 produced by power stations, as well as emissions generated by natural gas production.

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Images from pixabay.com

 

Stack, Scramble and Roll

I sing this song every January: it’s time to clean out, throw away, and straighten up my closet. A well-organized wardrobe is a joy forever — or at least for a couple of months until it becomes an unholy mess again.

Part of the exercise is deciding how best to arrange what’s left.  There are several schools of thought on this scintillating topic.

STACK

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This works best for shelves, so you can see what color shirts or sweaters you have. I find it less useful in drawers because I always have to dig through to find what I want — inevitably it’s on the bottom.

SCRAMBLE

When you hang everything, it can easily become a jumble of colors, lengths, and items.  One school of thought is to organize everything by color, a system in which all black items — jackets, pants, skirts, tops — would be grouped together.

It seems to me that it would be harder to find something specific; have you tried this approach?  My compromise is to hang similar items together, arranged by color.

ROLL

Although I often pack this way when traveling, it never occurred to me to roll things at home. Miraculously, items DO take up less space in the drawer, and now I can see what I have.  Works wonders for socks, underwear, t-shirts and jeans.

CODA

As a native New Yorker, it’s no surprise that most of my clothes are black, grey, and navy regardless of where I live, with a few pieces in the offwhite/tan/khaki range tossed in. This probably explains why my occasional wild foray outside the neutral zone is often unsuccessful. Note to self: do not buy bright colors, however appealing. You’ll always reach for something else.

Keeping things neat is a constant work in progress. How about you?  Is your closet beautifully organized, a hot mess, or somewhere in between?

 

 

 

 

 

Good News Monday: Sustainable Shopping Made Easy

News to me, at least: mega e-tailer Net-a-Porter is highlighting beauty and fashion products created with a sustainable future in mind.

From natural skincare to organically sourced materials, items in the NET SUSTAIN collection meet at least one of eight key attributes that align with the fashion and beauty industries’ goals for positive impact on human, animal, and environmental welfare.

Of course, not shopping — or shopping vintage and pre-owned items — would be even better, but sometimes the heart just wants what it wants.

woman holding card while operating silver laptop

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com