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Illustration: Aaron Meshon


Her Fabulousness, Meryl Streep


Pursue transcendence. Acting allows Streep to enter into another state. “It’s like when I used to swim and there was a point where you just fly,” she says. “I always go in search of that.”

Cultivate joy. “Guard your good mood,” she advises. “Listen to music every day, joke, and love, and read more for fun—especially poetry.”

Preserve your integrity. In her 1983 Vassar commencement speech, Streep urged graduates not to let their personal truth “get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.”

Value empathy. “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy,” she once told Cosmopolitan magazine, explaining how she chooses which characters to play. “I like to investigate these different women to see what their commonality is with me. When I get the script and read their story, I hear the ‘ping!’ that makes a connection with my own life.”

Love your work. “There’s always the knowledge that the work itself is the reward, and if I choose challenging work, it’ll pay me back with interest,” Streep told Vassar students.

Get past the superficial. Of all the photos in the 2010 Vanity Fair cover story on her, Streep’s favorite is the shot in which she’s looking frankly at the camera with a generous, unforced smile, completely free of makeup or artifice. She points out that it’s the one picture where “they scraped all the crap off my face.”

Banish Diet-Blowing Temptations

Safeguard your environment. If you can’t resist cheesecake, don’t buy it. If you must have unhealthful foods in the house, keep them out of sight.

Think ahead. If you know your older sister will be upset when you refuse her homemade dessert, plan to tell her you’ll have one small piece. Or resolve to refuse politely or to take some home for later.

Make time for exercise. The more calories you expend, the more you can take in. Besides, research shows that exercise may help moderate your appetite.

Learn to socialize without food. Think of all the things you can do with your family and friends besides eat. Go biking or walking as a group. Have a game night.

Get your sleep. One study found that men who slept for only four hours consumed, on average, 559 calories more the next day than men who slept eight hours. Another study found that women who slept less than five or six hours per night were significantly more likely to gain weight over time than women who slept seven hours or more.

Career Advice for Stay-at-Home Parents


Set SMART goals. That’s “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and trackable.” Think about when you want to go back to work and why.

Volunteer shrewdly. Seek out opportunities that fit your career aspirations. When your children’s school asks for help (it will!), make sure the help you give furthers your professional goals.

Network. Two-thirds of all jobs are obtained through connections. Keep up with your old colleagues and use professional associations and networking groups to expand your contacts.

Stay classy online. Seventy percent of employers have rejected a job candidate because of information they found on the Internet. So mind your digital footprint. For example, if you’re on Facebook, use the “just friends” privacy setting for everything except “education and work, ” “contact info,” and “about me” (write a professional bio).

Stay current. Take classes, read trade publications, get certified in an area of interest, look for opportunities to use or expand your skill set. Technorati.com and listorious.com can help.

Use social media strategically. Establish a LinkedIn profile, familiarize yourself with its job search capabilities, and join carefully selected groups on the site. Follow companies that interest you on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to learn about new opportunities.

Dental Care for Dogs and Cats

Brush daily to remove plaque. With your pet’s mouth closed, move a soft-bristled toothbrush in circular motions along the outside of the upper teeth, working from back to front.

Leave tartar removal to the pros. Home products or treatments do not clean below the gum, which is where tartar can build up, causing periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Beware of bones. Real bone or hoof can cause fractures of the important chewing teeth in the upper back part of the mouth. The same is true of the hardest nylon bones.

Provide edible chew treats. These products can promote dental health by increasing bacteria-rinsing saliva.

Educate yourself. There’s up-to-date information on pet dental care on the websites of the American Veterinary Dental College (avdc.org) and the American Veterinary Dental Society (avds-online.org), as well as on petplace.com.

  © 2012 Tufts University Tufts Publications, 80 George St., Medford, MA 02155