Monday, November 29, 2010


In this technological age, when we use our iphones, ipads, laptops, blackberry devices at the same time we are driving, knitting, exercising, cooking, or listening to a lecture, I notice that many of us cannot remember where we put our keys, with whom we just made a date, or exactly when we put the pie in the oven!  And this is not about being of a certain age....

Aunt Ruth uses the Internet and the phone but not simultaneously.  There have been questions on this blog or in email regarding her organizational skills.  It is true that Aunt Ruth ran many civic and religious organizations, raised two children, entertained, and has a legion of friends, but she is not often confused about who's coming when or with whom let alone our current political climate.  She doesn't read the paper when she's with friends, and if she had an iphone with a New York Times app, I think she'd look at it when she was alone.

She says the secret is simple; do one thing at a time.  Cliche?  Certainly!  Do any of us live by this mantra?
Not likely!  I found myself repeating her advice while preparing to serve turkey to 16, work on the blog, edit the book, pack photo gear for a shoot, wrap Hanukah and Christmas presents, address holiday cards, and make beds and couches for arriving guests.  Each time I lost my footing or felt my heart race or wondered what exactly I was doing standing in the middle of the laundry room with my Blackberry in my hand, I thought of Aunt Ruth.  Do one thing...

I tried her idea, and it worked.  Today, we call it mindfulness, but even before it had a zen spin, Aunt Ruth was chanting her secret to success.  Aunt Ruth says that, "Doing one thing at a time allows you to enjoy the holidays...and your life."



  1. Such wise words of advice...and ones we should all learn and live by. Mindfulness. Focus. It doesn't have to be overwhelming..if we just take it one thing at a time!
    Thank-you Aunt Ruth for your wisdom!!!

  2. One thing at a time - one step at a time! Thanks Aunt Ruth and Honey for sharing your thoughts. Such a cozy dinner table - such comfy seats... I can imagine the wonderful stories and sharing that goes on in that room! Enjoy and thanks! KC

  3. The last post from from Karen... Funny, we are sitting next to each other posting at the same time.

    One thing at a time. Isn't that the truth. Thank you Aunt Ruth.

    PS - I try to follow the same rule and Karen makes the list for us to follow.

  4. Tell Aunt Ruth that all the latest neuroscience and the oldest mindfulness practices support her approach. She is clearly a Buddha-in-the-making! It drives me crazy when my daughter is texting while we're sitting watching a great movie together. It's hard to be in touch with what's going on for you "here" when you're texting someone "there" about what's happening in a "here" that's "there" for "them..." Okay, i just blew a synapse...