December 28th, 2005

Top 10 things New Yorkers can do to stay sane in ’06

I’ve been asked by Shrinkwrapped to come up with my suggestions for the “Top Ten Things New Yorkers Can Do to Stay Sane in ’06.”

I’m not ordinarily one for giving advice (I don’t think people usually take it), nor am I a New Yorker any more.
But hey, I’ve been asked, so I’ll give it a shot.

Some of the following are specific to New Yorkers. But most are for anyone (including the author: physician, heal thyself!):

(1) Don’t believe everything you read in the NY Times. I was going to say “don’t believe anything you read in the NY Times,” but that would lead to insanity of a different–and more serious–variety.

(2) Walk more. Manhattan’s a small place, actually. And when you take the subway, look around and take satisfaction in the amazing diversity that is America.

(3) If watching Bush makes your stomach churn with rage, turn off the TV. I used to do it back when I was a liberal, first with Nixon and then with Reagan. It got me through some hard times.

(4) Forget about trying to eat merely to fuel your body. Food isn’t only sustenance. It is pleasure, entertainment, solace, etc., and trying to take that away from the equation will just lead to misery. Ask the Puritans.

(5) Don’t try to protect your children from all hurt. It won’t help them, and it’s impossible, anyway. But don’t you be the one to dole out the hurt unnecessarily. There’s plenty that will come naturally; your task is to help them get through it.

(6) If you’ve sustained a loss, remember that grieving doesn’t have a time frame. In fact, it can take many years, or even a lifetime. Loss changes you, and there’s no going back, so don’t expect to.

(7) Visit flyover country at least once. Maybe Kansas City, for some BBQ?

(8) Remember the words of Winston Churchill–almost any words of Churchill will do–but how about these, for starters: “Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.”

(9) When on vacation, turn off your cellphone and stay away from the computer.

(10) Do as I say, not as I do.

[NOTE: Here's the link to Shrinkwrapped's compendium of the psychobloggers' lists.]

18 Responses to “Top 10 things New Yorkers can do to stay sane in ’06”

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  4. Judith Says:

    Everything Rick said. When the South Bronx is the latest gentrifying neighborhood, you know NYC is doing pretty good.

    If we can fix the transit system and its union, things will get even better.

    This former Austinite says Texas BBQ rules.

  5. Ymarsakar Says:

    You could always cross the border for Mexican burritos or whatever they serve in Mexico.

  6. Sigmund, Carl and Alfred Says:

    Understood, neo. I can only imagine the anguish that preceded the KC BBQ choice.

    That was my attempt at sounding sincere and understanding.

    Texas BBQ rules.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    2 suggestions for the list:

    (1) after unsubscribing to the NYT: subscribe to the WSJ, discard all the news sections (written by reporters even more liberal than the NYT according to a recent survey), & just read the editorial section & book reviews.

    (7) in flyover country, the place to go is northern WI (stay away from the People’s Republic of Madison at all costs) on a Friday for Fish Fry! our northern version of the British fish & chips is ambrosia. the iodine-tasing crabcakes I find here in the mid-Atlantic just don’t compare.

    badgerwx

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    SC&A: I thought long and hard about which BBQ to recommend of all the competing varieties. I choose Kansas City for its geographical centrality.

    Heavy lies the head that writes the blog–what a responsibility :-)!

  9. Sigmund, Carl and Alfred Says:

    Excellent advice!

    That said, obvioulsy, you haven’t had Texas BBQ (BBQ negates Texas big hair- yup, it’s that good).

  10. fred Says:

    Supplements:

    (1)Just stop reading the New York Times; try the New York Sun.

    (3) If watching Pelosi, Reid, Kerry, Dean, Boxer, Durbin, Kennedy & Co., Carter, Schumer, and both Clintons, makes your stomach turn with rage, switch to a good movie (many bad movies will do) or wait until April for baseball — not to mention the baseball “World Cup” in March.

    ps. Like rickinny’s list.

  11. RickInNY Says:

    Being Rick in NY, I will offer the following:

    1. The difference between the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal is simple. The NYT teaches you what to think. The WSJ teaches you how to think.

    2. NYC is the safest big city in the US to walk in, so yes, walk more.

    3. NYC cabs are the best. Say what you will about the driver’s English acumen, but they are the best there is…as are the cabs themselves.

    4. NYC residents are great people. But they do have an elevated sense of self importance relative to fly-over folk. That’s a form of self imposed ignorance, cured only by the KC barbeque. But if it’s barbeque you want, in NY there’s Blue Smoke or Brother Jimmy’s.

    5. NY should rid itself of Steinbrenner and also drop the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude towards sports, and take a cue from Boston fans, the best in the world.

    6. The MMA should acquire the UN. It IS a collector’s item now, isn’t it?

    7. Cut the self delusion about Spitzer, a dangerous, reckless, and lawless man.

    8. Clean up the city. It’s too beautiful to abuse.

    9. Shake the hand of a NY policeman and a NY firefighter. Those guys lay it on the line every day.

    10. Know that you live in the best city in the country, proven after 9-11, but remember you’re nothing without the other 290 million Americans.

  12. maryatexitzero Says:

    The corrolary to that is to carry about 10 different weapons on you.

    New York is one of the safest cities in the country. It’s probably safer than Kansas City. Bloomberg is no Giuliani, but he is doing a pretty good job.

    That’s another way to reduce stress. Stop complaining about Bloomberg – he’s not all that bad.

  13. Ymarsakar Says:

    (2) Walk more. Manhattan’s a small place, actually. And when you take the subway, look around and take satisfaction in the amazing diversity that is America.

    The corrolary to that is to carry about 10 different weapons on you. Including your automatic pistol, one knife on both legs for balance, a couple of throwing knives, and some very small and stealthy non-lethal devices that one might need to avoid prosecution such as pepper spray, extremely loud sound devices, and one of those Shock Shooters if you can fit one in your clothes.

    The other corrolary, of course, is to know how to use them.

    Criminals attack the weak, and there are few as strong in individual fighting ability as an assassin. But you don’t need to be an assasssin to scare off the inhabitants of any major metropolitan city.

    (7) Visit flyover country at least once. Maybe Kansas City, for some BBQ?

    Kerry visited the Marines one time at a fast food joint or cafe. I don’t think either of them rubbed off on the other, in a positive way.

    (8) Remember the words of Winston Churchill–almost any words of Churchill will do–but how about these, for starters: “Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.”

    The corrolary, is of course, if you didn’t know Churchill then that would really sound like consolation advice to a retard. Like that guy in Britain hauling pounds of chocolates with his feet, with a sign begging love on his back, and doing it on all fours in the streets.

    That is not pathetic. That is pathetically retarded. With enthusiasm at that.

    Personally, I don’t eat food for comfort. Meditation, stretch exercises, and visualizing violent events tend to produce calm better. Actually, visualizing violent events to your enemies is a form of meditation, but you have to be careful it doesn’t become self-hypnosis as well.

    I think Dean has um, slipped into the self-hypnosis crevice. ANd he can’t get out… ain’t that sad. Not really, but still.

    Hey Neo, I think you missed 11, which is,

    “Don’t think about Unions anymore, at all”.

  14. Daryn Says:

    Neo, since you’re too modest to say otherwise, let me add the obvious: Read Neo-Neocon every day!

    Best wishes for a happy 2006 to Neo and all her readers.

  15. ExPreacherMan Says:

    Great post.. but all the advice except one can be boiled into one…
    (1) Don’t live in or even think about New York.. Stress just leaves when you move from anywhere (especially NY) to Florida. However we in FL are suffering today with clear skys and 70* temps.

  16. JSU Says:

    Actually, I’d say the best advice for staying sane is simply not to read the Times at all.

  17. Goesh Says:

    A 20 oz. rare, prime T-bone with a couple of stiff belts of top shelf bourbon knocked back should take the edge of any New Yorker after a hard day in the office and on the streets. The rest of your advice sounds OK too…

  18. Motor 1560 Says:

    Neo, you, Shrinkwrapped and Dr. Sanity, have some of the best advice for remaining sane now that the inmates are wrestling for control of the asylum.

    This post is solid gold. The only thing I would add is rice pudding with raisins. My favorite comfort food. When one of my friends gets too stressed, I make a batch and give it to them with a little tag that says, “Hang In There”.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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