First, Free Rice. I remember my little korean sister playing the free rice game last fall and thought it was a great idea...then promptly forgot about it! There is a link on my sidebar that will bring you to the site. The basic premise is that for every correct answer you give, 20 pieces of rice will be donated. For any more information on who is donating what to whom, go to the site and click on FAQs on the top menu bar. (More about my little korean sister later.)
What I like about it (besides the donation) is that it strengthens your vocabulary. What you should know before you "play" is that you can quit at any time. It will never ask you for your e-mail or give you a score or anything (though it tracks your vocab "level" on an ongoing basis). I didn't realize at first that there was no end to this game and just kept on going. I had it on my computer pretty much most of the morning and kept going back to it while I was on hold (on the phone) or waiting for my computer to think about what I wanted it to do (don't get me started!!). So you can quit at any time without your accumulated donation being forfeited!
Second: deep thoughts.
We went to our 4th marriage counseling session yesterday afternoon. We'll call this counselor "Phil." One thing Phil said which really struck me is that it's not enough to identify a problem, habit or behavior. It's good, but it's not the end of the growth process. We have to then get to the root of why it's become a problem. Otherwise, even if we change, if we don't also address the underlying cause, lasting & effective change will not occur. Maybe we never regress back to that problem, but a new one likely develops to replace it.
Take, for instance, ice cream (gee, how did I think of that?). Even though I'm no longer eating ice cream, doesn't mean I've addressed the underlying problem. Now I'm replacing it (and clothes shopping) with becoming a craft store junkie! Oi.
Right after our session, I went to the store and was pretty contemplative, having just gotten some somewhat unsettling news. This was all on my mind as I perused the materials and patterns and notions. I think it's telling that I put a lot back before I checked out. I also think it's telling that I went there without having planned it. So I'm making a little progress, but I've got a lot of work to do!