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2010: Healthy, Wealthy & Wise
By Hilary Williamson (January 2010)

2001I remember watching 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 and seeing the millennium we're now in as something far in the future (and I don't feel that old, really!) When the movie sequel 2010 was released in 1984, that seemed unimaginably distant. However, time flies just like Arthur C. Clarke's space shuttles (though apparently a whole lot faster - as I recall those 2001 shuttle flights seemed interminable). Now we're in 2010, and it's just another year, starting with the usual roller coaster of celebrations and catastrophes.

When You Lie ...After the year kickstarted these reminiscences for me, and since January is traditionally a time for reflection, I sought recent book releases to suit the mood, starting with the big questions - life, death and everything in between. In Nothing to be Frightened Of, Julian Barnes offers amusing philosophic musings on family and mortality, in a literary context. Taking it down a notch from the philosophic to the pragmatic (and hilarious), Carol Leifer's When You Lie About Your Age the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror is the perfect January read - it's wise and engrossing, and most of us will see something of ourselves looking back from her mirror.

Language of LifeLeifer reminds us, 'This ends. We end.' Until then we often resolve to be more healthy, wealthy and wise. What can be done (aside from rising early as Benjamin Franklin advised)? David Grotto's 101 Optimal Life Foods suggests how to promote healing (for 30 common health issues ) through diet choices, with enticing recipes. Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals might increase your incentive to shift your diet balance to include more fruit and vegetables, as is generally recommended. And The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine by Francis S. Collins presents a 'dramatic paradigm shift' in medicine that is fascinating - and full of hope for the future.

New Job, New YouWealth (or a reasonable approximation) is of greater concern in an ailing economy. Loral Langemeier's Put More Cash in Your Pocket guides readers to translate personal skills, strengths and hobbies into an income-generating business. And Alexandra Levit's New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career offers case studies and tools to facilitate a positive career change, for each of the seven motivations that typically influence career decisions.

Happiness ProjectThese volumes all tell us how to be a little more more healthy, wealthy and wise in 2010 and the years to follow. But what's wisdom without happiness? Fortunately there's a book for that too, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin which shares a practical way to work towards happiness goals - we should all launch such projects. And since we started with movie nostalgia, here's one more 1980s memory, Bobby McFerrin's 1988 song lyrics: 'In every life we have some trouble / When you worry you make it double / Don't worry, be happy'. Though time passes, some themes are timeless.
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