Fireworks. Photo © John Haslam, via flickr and Creative Commons

Many of us are reflecting on the year just passed and making plans for the months ahead. The pundits among us have pronounced on the successes and failures behind us and prognosticated on future possibilities. Some of us brought in January 1 with bold resolutions for change—we’ll lose weight, eat more leafy greens, stress less, pay off debt, focus on family….

We spend so much time at this time of year considering past times and future times—and so little time focusing on what we’re doing right now, at this very moment. More »

Shakespeare memorial at Southwark Cathedral, U.K. Photo © Duncan Harris.

William Shakespeare had a lot to say about the importance of sleep. His memorial at Southwark Cathedral, U.K.

We can sleep a little longer this weekend. Most of North America resets its clocks one hour back tonight, marking the end of daylight saving time.

If we choose to slumber through the hour gained, we’ll wake up slightly more rested and slightly better able to deal with the coming week’s events and obligations.

For some of us, that week includes attending Tuesday’s opening performance of the new show at Victoria’s Belfry Theatre. A Tender Thing, by British playwright Ben Power, re-imagines Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as lovers grown old together. It is the second of three Shakespeare-inspired shows the Belfry audiences will see this season.

Victoria's Belfry Theatre. Photo © Jason M Vanderhill,

Victoria’s Belfry Theatre presents Shakespeare three ways this season. A Tender Thing starts the week after clocks change back to Pacific Standard Time.

As with so many aspects of life, William Shakespeare had something to say about the importance of sleep. Four centuries ago, he described sleep as “sore labour’s bath / Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course / Chief nourisher in life’s feast” (MacBeth).

Sleep research, most of which has occurred only within the last few decades, confirms the accuracy of Shakespeare’s 400-year-old descriptions. …

Continue reading this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Anticipating a vacation extends the period of happiness a vacation causes. Photo by Ralph Daily

A friend started a long-planned vacation last week. I interrupted her last-minute preparations with a phone call to wish her a happy and safe journey.

“You must be really looking forward to this.”

“Umm, well…. I am…. Now.”

“Just now?”

“You know, I’d booked the essentials almost a year ago, but I haven’t thought about it much since. With everything that’s been going on at work, I just haven’t had the time.”

Alas for my friend, in neglecting to nurture anticipation for her vacation, she has cheated herself out of some key holiday-related happiness. Psychologists have been trying to nail down the effects of vacations on emotional wellbeing for years. The verdict to date is that taking vacations boosts a person’s overall level of happiness only slightly and only over the very short term. However, a person can engineer an early jump in their vacation gladness—they can extend the holiday-happiness window—if they consciously feed their own anticipation for the getaway….

Continue reading this article at the Victoria Times Colonist….