Is It Mathom-Worthy?

So much stuff comes into our lives these days – or attempts to – that it can be hard to process it all. Some choices are easy: junk mail in the recycle bin, useful bags into the Bag of Useful Bags, last week’s newspaper into the kindling basket/worm farm/rodent cage, etc.

But other choices can be harder to make. Should I buy this petit objet? Should I accept this goody-bag? Should I chip in for this fundraiser even if I’m not that keen on what they’re selling?

While reading The Fellowship of the Ring, I came up with a useful measuring stick for these situations: is it mathom-worthy? That is, is it something that you could pass on to someone else, regift, or donate?

A woman listening at an open door in a room crowded with pictures, crockery, feathers, fronds, furniture, hangings, statuettes, and more.
This woman is Dropping some Eaves – and has a lot of mathoms too.
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In Praise of Old Technology: the Sunbonnet

I read today that more people die in this country from skin cancer than on the roads. Which, considering the average standard of Kiwi driving, is saying something.

The leading cause of skin cancer is radiation. Before you congratulate yourself on living somewhere nuclear-free, consider that what we are talking here is radiation burns from our nearest star, or – as we casually describe it – sunburn. (You can also develop skin cancer from being imprudent enough to use a tanning bed.)

There are two chief means of protecting yourself from this dangerous radiation. One: cover all your exposed skin in a thicker-than-you-think layer of gook – being sure to reapply every two hours, or more often if swimming, sweating, towelling etc.

Upper arm demonstrating the results of incompletely applied sunscreen. Ouch.
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10 Principles for Emotional Health from Miss Elizabeth Bennet

She’s famous for being the Prejudiced one in Pride & Prejudice, but—her misjudgement of Darcy and Wickham aside—there’s a lot of sturdy common sense in Lizzy Bennet’s approach to life which we can all make use of. Here are ten principles which she follows.

Lizzy sits in the foreground, fanning herself. In the background Mr Darcy gives her a disdainful look as Mr Bingley gestures toward her. The caption reads "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me."
I: Don’t Need Everyone’s Approval

Not everyone you encounter in this world will like you, for reasons which may or may not have anything to do with you. Don’t let your peace of mind depend on the approval of others.
During her stay at Netherfield, Lizzy gets the distinct impression that Mr Darcy dislikes her. “The supposition did not pain her. She liked him too little to care for his approbation.”

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