365 Day Challenge

365 Challenge: Day 164 – Work

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Work: mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment

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As I began preparing my Sunday post for the next round of jobs, I realized that I never covered what the concept of a job means. I found something I had drafted in part awhile ago, realizing it was apropos to dust off and release as a clean and new version to stimulate our 365 Daily Challenge discussions. For most of us, jobs exist to provide money to meet the basic staples of life:  food, water, shelter, warmth, etc. For some of us, jobs aren’t a requirement (That’s not me!). We may have a significant other, parent or spouse who pays the bills. We may be retired or amassed an income of wealth where work is no longer necessary.  We may be too sick to work.  For those of us who work because we need to “put the roof over our head,” there is an extreme variance between selecting a job we like and selecting a job we do not like.

Our jobs are generally chosen early on in life… or at least the general type of job or industry we will work in.  When we finish school (be it grammar school, high school, college or graduate work), we enter the workforce in some fashion.  Many of us choose — and are lucky enough — to go to college for 4 years right after high school.  By my fourth year, I was tired of school and wanted to enter a true workforce.  And I did, but I never went back for a graduate degree, which I do regret in many ways and find myself contemplating whether I should do so now.

Regardless, by choosing college, we choose to enter a certain type of workforce where we are in the business world putting in a typical 8 to 9 hour day, 5 days a week and the occasional night or weekend overtime requirements… (ok, for me it’s more like 12 hours a day and way more than occasional nights and weekends — but that’s an entirely different thread from this one.)

Whether we’re in technology or finance or sales or marketing or human resources doesn’t matter.  What matters is that there is a fairly routine expectation of putting in a full day’s work for a full day’s pay.  Our pay grows as our experience and commitment grows. It’s up to each individual person to find their own work-life balance, at least in the USA where they like to work you to the bone!

But what if it’s still just a job.  We may have good days. We may have bad days. Sometimes the unsettled feelings we have can go on for years.  We can blame the culture of the company, or we can blame ourselves for staying for so long.  We can blame our family for living in the same place, making it hard for us to want to move somewhere else, or we can blame society for making changes and transitions too difficult.  We can blame a lot.

And that’s probably part of the issue.  We really should only blame ourselves.  And blame only goes so far.  We can choose to leave. We can choose to move on. We can choose a different path.  Yet we haven’t always done so generally for fear of losing money or not being busy.

So I started thinking… do we know what will make us happy in a job?  We’d all like to think so, but are we really sure…  Is it about the hours?  Is it about the pay?  Is it about the people?  Is it about the volume?  Is it about the benefits? Well, actually… shouldn’t it be about the actual work?  Shouldn’t it be about tasks that we enjoy doing?  Shouldn’t it be in an industry we relate to?  Shouldn’t it be about something in which we have strong interest?

The answer is  generally “yes” for most people; it is undoubtedly “yes” for me. Some folks want a job that is different from all the things they need or choose in their life simply to have variety or to not get too invested or attached in any one single thing.  For most of us, it needs to be something we have passion for.  Passion not in an obsessive way. Passion in a way where we enjoy doing the work all day and although the day is over, we want to go home and get away for a bit because we know it will be there again the next morning and will continue to keep us happy.

Back to blame…  we can’t blame others for not letting ourselves get to that “yes.”  We have to make the plan. We have to prioritize all the steps and pieces. We have to weigh each item and possibly decide some needs won’t be met immediately.

If we keep telling ourselves this and thinking beyond the immediate perimeter, we will eventually start to believe.  But it’s hard. And it always will be unless we keep at it every day until it becomes part of our routine and experience. We need to get away from blaming, complaining and getting frustrated.   We have to put ourselves in the driver’s seat and accept all the decisions we need to make to move forward.

I chose to follow my heart last year around this time and left a very promising career in technology (you’ll hear all about it in Sunday’s post) to become a writer (which you’ll hear about in the following Sunday’s post). It’s not easy. It’s scary. But there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t realize how grateful, lucky and happy I now am.

How have you chosen your jobs or made the changes necessary to get in the driver’s seat for your career? What’s next in your occupational world?

 

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 163 – Inventory

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Inventory: a complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or the contents of a building or container

 

 

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People who own or run a business often take an inventory to understand how much product they have available at any given moment. Sometimes it’s weekly or monthly, others at a random interval or annually for determining a true financial picture of the business. As I lay in bed this morning, I wondered why people don’t more frequently think about doing an inventory of their life. We have many ‘products’ around us that are essential to our survival and happiness. Sure, we take inventory of toiletries or groceries, so that we can purchase whatever supplies we need on a fairly regularly basis, but I’m pushing the limits here with my definition of inventory. Life is important. Valuable. Why wouldn’t we want to know where the important things stand on a more frequent basis?

Most of us would agree that apart from whatever reasons we as humans exist, a major component of our life is to be happy and pursue goals to help further the planet and society. To do so, we should want to have the best plan or approach in each of our individual lives. So why not keep a running inventory of the things that we need to achieve such goals? When I think about the areas of life we could apply such logic, it includes friends, hobbies, keepsakes, dreams, passions and feelings. When you take it down a level lower, perhaps it’s volunteer programs, books, movies, flowers, foods or vacations. Most of this seems obvious, given we all do these things informally without realizing it. But when I took a moment to think about the inventory of my life this morning, I wondered what it really said about me. Am I maintaining stock in the appropriate places to have inventory at maximum levels?

In the world of friends, have I surrounded myself with the people who I enjoy being around and want to socialize with? Or have I retained people in my life who I feel almost forced to continue a friendship with? Do I have friends in each of my passions or hobbies? If I answer no to these questions, then there’s something wrong with my inventory. If I enjoy reading mystery books, shouldn’t I have a few friends who love those things too, so we can bond and grow and have fun together? If I want to be friends with people who have done things I want to do, but I’m stuck seeing people out of some odd sense of duty, maybe I’d be happier if I reorganized the deck to align things in a more proper manner.

I would suggest the same approach for all the rest of the things in my life. Or your life. Knowing where you stand in comparison to where you want to be is essential to forward momentum, positive change and ultimately happiness. While I’m not suggesting we embrace anything too formal in our approach, or even throw out the baby with the bath water, I am saying it might be time to prepare our own inventory of where we are today and where we want to be in regard to all the things that make us happy. In my world, I tend to comb through these things in my head every so often, which is helpful for a large guiding force towards my end goals. But I’m not actively measuring it or verifying at proper intervals that other people or unexpected consequences didn’t get in the way or throw things off balance.

An example for me lately is reading. I love to read. I have too many books in my TBR. I have too many sitting on my physical bookshelf waiting to be picked up. But I haven’t prioritized it among everything else going on in my life. But I could do a quick inventory and set some goals for myself and get to at least one of those books each week, as in the end, it will make me a happier guy. Completing an inventory can be hard. It can be easy. But it starts with two things: (1) what do you have and (2) what do you want. With those two items, you can solve the puzzle. My initial thought was to treat it like a plan, a path or a line of sorts. There is a start and a finish point. As I drafted this post, it occurred to me, more from instinct, that it’s not a line. There isn’t really a true start and end when it comes to pursuing things in your life. Life has a start and end, but in between, it’s rather continuous.

It’s a circle. There may be a point on the circle where you begin, then you travel 360 degrees until you get back to that same place you began; however, the cycle doesn’t end. You can keep going around and around as much as you need to tend to your inventory while you are still on the planet focused on achieving your goals. Let’s not make this effort something that feels like work or a difficult task. Let’s make it something we feel helps lay the next few steps on our path towards the future we want as opposed to the one that just happens based on how the day progresses. I will start next week with two things:

(a) Cozy mystery books

  • I love to ready cozy mysteries, and I have tons in my TBR but no one to share them with. A few online friends I chat with enjoy them, but we don’t spend a lot of time talking about them. So if any friends want to participate with me, let’s pick a few books to read together for the rest of the year and have fun talking about them.

(b) Meditation

  • I am generally a very relaxed guy. A few things will set me off, but underneath the calm exterior lurks the jitters over not being able to accomplish all that I want to. I have no tools to help navigate those nagging reminders. Exercise doesn’t always help. Food does temporarily. But I don’t have any other tools to find a way to expel those nerves. I need to find a few things to place in a bag of tricks that will help relax me, provide a calm retreat or learn how to meditate. I’m open to suggestions.

How about you? Any thoughts on how you’re managing the inventory of your life? Areas you want to participate with me during this little re-adjustment in our life circle?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 162 – Watchdog

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Watchdog: a dog kept to guard private property; to maintain surveillance over (a person, activity, or situation)

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It’s Ryder and I’m back to bring you more Monday fun. Well, it would normally be fun. But not today. I’ve got some news to share about my very bad dads who did the most awful thing this weekend. I’m sure you read all about their lovely little weekend getaway to the beach. One they just returned from. Without me. Where was I, you ask? Not there. No, they left me behind. No consideration. Just abandoned me. And I hear they’re about to do it again over Labor Day when they make a trip to visit family down south. If that happens, you will have a one unhappy Ryder post again. And that’s why I’m a watchdog today. Okay, maybe a few other reasons, too.

I probably shouldn’t complain. They do take good care of me when they leave. I just don’t know why I can’t go. They used to take me all the time with them to the beach house. Not anymore. Claim it’s because it’s not their rental, and it would be an imposition to ask friends if I can come along. Me, an imposition? Ugh. I never. So they signed up with this adorable company called Celebrity Pets. Ella runs it. She comes and picks me up at the apartment, brings me home to her lovely house with a whole backyard. I see other dogs. More on that nuisance later. I get walks. And lots of treats. But I miss the dads very much. In honor of being angry with them for the first 24 hours when I return, I thought I’d share a few things that also make me a very angry dog. But first, a pic where I am not angry — snow on the terrace from a few years ago. I love snow!!! But I hate water.

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Children. I do not like them. If they are under 10, they annoy me. First of all, they want to pick me up. I don’t like being picked up. I barely tolerate it when the dads do it. I will come snuggle with you when I want to snuggle. Otherwise, pets are allowed. Scratches are great. And sometimes I enjoy belly rubs. Children don’t understand this. I bark at them. I hear the toddlers out in the hallways and I run to the door and get very huffy. I also growl at them. It’s a low growl, not too scary. But I hope it sends them away. It usually does. Sometimes it takes a while, but then they disappear. Thankfully. Does anyone really like these children? When they become adults, I love them. But until then, please stay away from me. I would never do anything to hurt you. But you will not catch me. I will hide. I will run. I will do whatever it takes to get away.

Halloween is the worst. Dads buy candy and all the little children dress up. Monsters show up. I always go to the door to answer it. I try to be friendly. But then they run into the apartment after me. I look at the dads who do nothing of course. They laugh and say “aren’t you cute” to the little monster chasing me into the dining room. Seriously, that’s wrong. But what’s worse is when one of the dads puts me in a costume. The other dad knows better. It’s only on Halloween. And just for the 2 hours when those children show up. Last year, I had a little King outfit. The hat was itchy and it had to be eaten. The children might be next.

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The other thing I really dislike is water. I like to drink it. But that’s all. I hate getting baths. When I was younger, they put me in a pool. I do not like swimming. I kept trying to get out, but for 20 minutes they tortured me and forced me to swim across to the other side. I didn’t understand it. You get nowhere. You earn no treats. You just get wet. I like the sun. I like laying in the heat sometimes. Water is not good. They claim they just wanted me to know how to swim in case I ever fell into water. I think they are just trying to torture me. Especially with the outdoor watering system they installed. Sprinklers go off all times of the day. Shooting water at the plants. But they always miss. And it hits me. I hate getting wet like that. So I try to bite the water where it’s coming out of the sprinkler or the faucet. I bark at it to go away. It eventually listens. Takes about 20 minutes, but it recedes back into its little hole. If it really annoys me, I screech. Like a really loud abrasive noisy one. Neighbors once thought my dads were killing a cat. Oops.

They even took me into the ocean on a leash one day. Only where the waves came up on the sand, trying to get me wet. They laughed. Found it amusing. One dad loves the beach. The other does not. You would think he might try to protect me. No. He was in on it. Water torture, I tell ya. Not a pretty sight. So in return, I chase birds. When they land on my Enchanted Garden AKA NYC Terrace, I jump in the air to catch them. I run down the patio and nip at them. I’ve caught 6 so far. Actually 7, but the dads haven’t found that one yet. They will. Some day soon. During fall clean-up while I’m laying in the sun. One of them will scream. The other will have to clean it up. They are very different sometimes. I once brought a dead bird into the house and gave it to them as a lovely housewarming gift. They did not seem to like it very much. Dad two wrapped it in paper towels. Threw it off the side of the apartment. I don’t think that’s allowed, but he was screeching almost like I do when the water hits me.

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This joint’s loony sometimes. I don’t feel bad that I kill the birds. They invade my territory, they pay the price. I’m just protecting the dads. One summer, a series of birds kept attacking him anytime he went on to the terrace. But not the other dad. The dads don’t know why it was just one of them. But I do. Sometimes I am friends with the birds. This was a long time ago. So when I was angry with one dad for not giving me some of his dinner, I had a little conversation with the birds and asked them to do me a solid. I thought it was a one-time attack, but it happened every day for a month. I didn’t mean for it to happen. Poor dad two. He would spray the hose at them. Throw things at them. But they always attacked him. Then it just stopped. I suspect the other dad talks to the birds too. He might have had his own vendetta against dad two for a few days. Something about breaking too many wine glasses. I try to not pay attention to them when they get like that.

So I’m a bit tired. It takes a lot to write these posts. With no pay. I’m generous like that. How about you? Any angry dogs out there? Keep them away from me. I am not angry, I just play one on TV to amuse everybody. And I’m the watchdog around here. I have to ensure I keep things in order. Woof!

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RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Ryder has gotten to know so many bloggers over the last year, he’s decided to recommend one to each of you during his Monday posts. This week, he’d like you to meet Decluttering My Life. We met about two months ago and have been chatting a few times a week about over nearly ever possible topic, given the variety of content on both our sites. Categories you’ll find on this blogger’s site include the environment, expats, feminism, human nature, literature, minimalism, science, society, sport and the third world. The topics and posts are incredibly thought-provoking, connecting ideas and beliefs across hundreds of centuries in a way that really gives you new perspective. Sometimes it’s a reminder of things you knew but forgot, yet at others, it’s a good wake-up call. Never preachy. Never too lengthy. Just enough to give you some alternative paths to look at complex topics. She’s friendly and quite intelligent, which you’ll easily see from the words she chooses and the messages she conveys. At times, I believe I might be missing a few of the hidden meanings in her words, as it’s so incredibly responsive and interactive on many levels, you have to let it soak in and then respond yourself. If you’d like an intellectual blogger to add to your daily inspiration and review, check her out. If you don’t believe me, you can see a blurb from the site’s About Me section below:
    • “While striving to close a chapter in my female life at the age of 34, I have started to clean out the remnants of my past. This is neither another manual how to declutter overpacked make-up bags nor a don’t-worry-be-happy site. What is then? During this process I have run across some rather weird ideas about possession and self-justification. I have chosen this way of reflection to discuss my concerns about the opportunity costs of donation or the arrogance of humankind. My overall disappointment is leading me towards minimalism. May it be the remedy?”

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 161 – Corporate Jobs

Posted on

Corporate Jobs: jobs I held immediately after college where I learned about corporate operations and business management

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived

The current set of 5 Sundays covers the major groups of roles / jobs / positions I’ve held over my career. Though I have had about fifteen titles over the years, when I broke it down into smaller groups, week three is all about the jobs I held in the beginning part of my post-college career.

  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Copywriter
  • Associate Technical Writer
  • Process Analyst

 

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When we left off last week, I’d just gotten my college degree with a major in English and a few minors in the business world. What’s a guy to do when he has to make that long drive home from Pennsylvania all the way back to Long Island after graduation? Search for this first job, of course! It was May 1999. I arrived home on Saturday afternoon. I took no breaks. First thing Sunday morning, I combed through Newsday, our local paper, and selected a bunch of jobs that seemed appropriate for a smart guy with no real specific business skills or knowledge of what he wanted to do. One of those jobs was for Cablevision, the cable provider in the tri-state area, whose headquarters were in Bethpage — also the town in which I grew up and lived. I sent out my resume via fax from my computer… so if that doesn’t date me, along with the 1999 comment above, then you aren’t paying enough attention!

They called me that afternoon… “Do you really live in Bethpage?” … I said Yes … {Aside: Why would I lie about this?} … They had me in for an interview the next morning at 9 and by 12, they’d called back to offer a job as a contractor with one of their current consulting companies. They called me a Quality Assurance Analyst. Since the world was going to end a few months later when the Y2K (Year 2000) arrived, they needed someone to read all the letters from their vendors on the status of whether all the products that Cablevision used were Y2K-compliant. {Aside: Personally, I’d have used the time differently if the world was gonna end, but you know, that’s just me being silly.} Since I had strong communication and technical skills, they assumed I’d be good at this type of work. I was the final member of a ten-person team hired that summer, and we worked side-by-side for the next 7 months all in the name of preventing a complete and utter computer meltdown glitch. I like to think we saved the world, since no glitch happened. Must mean I was 1 of 10 heroes or heroines, right? Anyhoo… I worked on databases, mailings, reports, metrics and presentations.

When it ended (Y2K, not the world in case you were wondering), they asked me to join a team moving to work on similar types of tools but in NYC. I said ‘no,’ as I didn’t want to commute over an hour each way. At 22, I still hadn’t spent a lot of time in the city and didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I’d also just moved in with someone who followed me back from PA, as we’d begun dating right before graduation. He signed a lease in Bethpage to be near me, so I couldn’t just up and leave, right? So… my contract at Cablevision ended, which lead me to searching for a job again. I applied for an Office Manager role at an advertising agency, but they talked me into accepting a job as a Copywriter. They liked my writing background and business knowledge, assuming I’d be highly creative in their campaigns. Let me just start out by saying this was the truly the only job where I’ve ever been fired. I was writing marketing copy for a mannequin company, trying to describe mannequins in brochures and catalogs for prospective buyers. I told the truth. They didn’t want the truth. They wanted it to sound dreamy and wonderful. I’m thinking… it’s a mannequin. You put clothes on it and sell things. How much copy do you really need? Cutthroat business, I suppose. After 2 months, they had the “talk.” I wasn’t working out, but I could stay for two days and then be out of a job. Me being the pushy guy I really never had been before… argued for two weeks, noting that’s what I would have given if I chose to leave. They understood and let me stay for 2 weeks additional pay. I looked them up a few months later. They had gone out of business.

Jobless again, but only for one day. My former boss at Cablevision called to say they had a full-time job for me. I interviewed with several people and accepted the role of Associate Technical Writer, where I was responsible for writing all the training and user guides for all the software systems utilized at Cablevision. My knowledge of writing, education and technology was a great skill, they said. And it actually turned out to be something I was quite adept at. One would think that with two titles including the word “writer” in my job role, I’d have tried to write my novel back then. But no… I had to do it the hard way. Go work full-time jobs for another 15 years before finally caving in. More about that in a couple of weeks tho… that’s not today’s set of job skills.

After 9 months, I was promoted and moved from an Associate Technical Writer to a Process Analyst, where I then began documenting all the business processes in the technology and operations departments, so that they had formal policies and procedures. It was this job which enabled me to get the mortgage to buy my first house in Plainview, a fixer-upper where for nearly two years, all I ever did was work 60 hours each week and then come home to do construction. Oh, the memories… I learned so much about how the corporate operations of a company’s back-office truly work. It set the stage for my transition into a technology role, which will be next week’s focus for the fourth week of my various job groupings.

No, that’s not me. At least not today. Maybe 15 years ago. I don’t recall.

As I look back on these first three years of my career after graduating from college, it really helped formulate the stage for my future. It was a combination of all the things I had learned in school and had talent for, except I had little passion for any of them. Sure, it had some writing responsibilities, but not creative fiction. And don’t tell me that mannequin campaign counts. I had proposed a series of brochures about the story of a model’s life, but they told me I was being too creative which was the job of the account manager, not the little copywriter. Can’t win, huh? So… I can really say these were all valuable even if I never really loved them as much as I did my other roles. But I will say one of these bosses did become the first of two great mentors I’ve had in my life. And for that, I am quite grateful!

How about you? Which job trained you the most for your current role? Or the role you’d like to have? Any horrible boss stories? I can’t write about mine as I am not sure who is and isn’t reading this blog. So I’ll behave myself.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 160 – Beach

Posted on

Beach: a pebbly or sandy shore, especially by the ocean between high- and low-water marks

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If you’ve read any of my posts before, you know that I am not a fan of the heat. I’m also not really a fan of the beach, which makes it a bit unusual for today’s 365 Daily Challenge word of the day to be ‘beach.’ As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Fire Island is a kaleidoscope of many things, including my life. Many years ago, I went out on a date with someone to Fire Island, where we had a few drinks, danced and walked around on the beach. It was a fun little trip, but it is a lot of effort to get there. Fast-forward to about six years ago, when my new significant other tells me all about the share he has on Fire Island. And such began my life of making the trek out to the beach every summer.

For the first few years, we rented a house every other week for the whole summer, making about 12 trips from NYC each season. We’d usually stay Friday through Sunday, but sometimes we’d take off a few extra days to make use of the whole summer share. It’s expensive, but not any more than a really nice summer vacation for a few weeks. The houses are usually well kept, with AC and a pool. There are anywhere from 2 to 5 bedrooms depending on what you choose to rent. And often, you have a group of friends that all pool together to purchase the summer lease so you can sort it out yourselves and choose the weekends that work best for your lifestyle and priorities. Two years ago, the group we went with all started doing their own thing rather than go to Fire Island every other weekend, so we dropped our share to a 2 bedroom and invited out different friends. We didn’t get a rental this summer, but some friends did and invited us out to their place.

Fire Island is a bit of heaven in so many different ways. You’re less than a 5 minute walk to the beach from any house. You can rent on the north or the south shore, as well as in anyone of the 6 or 7 different communities depending on the type of crowd you’re looking to be around. There are no cars. There are only 10 to 12 stores at the dock, otherwise, it’s just houses and a few small hotels. It’s about slowing down and relaxing. Not running all over the place every minute of the day. Our trip began this Thursday and will end tomorrow evening, just a 3-day stay as a mini-getaway this summer. I’m not one for the beach, but every once in a while, I don’t mind the experience. We’ll hang around the house for a few hours, take a trip to the sandy shores, and see a comedy or music show, as there’s usually one every Saturday evening. The greatest part is all the cooking… we take turns with who prepares meals so it’s never too consuming, but it’s always an opportunity to show off your culinary skills among your friends and any guests that stop over.

Tonight, W and I are cooking. Just got back from a trip to “The Pantry” to purchase everything we needed and will be prepping for a bit this afternoon. Pork tenderloins in an Asian sauce grilled on the barbecue. English Pea Salad. Garlic bread. And a berry and whipped cream torte with fruit salad. Over the course of the afternoon, we’ll lounge at the pool, take a trip to the beach and head out for a performance by Margaret Cho. We’ll get back home around 9 tonight and begin cooking dinner. Meals are always late here, it’s very European. And by 11, you’re either part of the “in-crowd” who head back out to the bars or you’re the “mature” crowd who play a few rousing board or card games. I’m sure you can guess which one I would most likely fall under!

I’ve put together a brief collection of some photos I took yesterday and today upon arriving on the ferry, the walk across the beach, and the house we’re staying at. I may go for a walk and take more of all the nature around here… deer, pine trees, beautiful homes and landscaping. For now, hopefully these give you a sense of my little respite this weekend. Ah the beach weekend where I will enjoy perhaps getting a little tan (no sun burn please!), an entire bottle of Jack Daniels with a mild helping of ginger ale and a break from the gym!

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Looking out while on the ferry ride over to Fire Island.

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The ferry arriving at the dock the next morning.

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A view from the beach of a few houses along the walk this morning.

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Another view on the way back from the grocery store.

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The waves rolling in.

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The entrance to the house.

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The pool in the backyard.

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The outdoor seating area.

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The kitchen and dining room.

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The living room.

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The bedrooms are small as you’re rarely in them! Queen size bed with dressers in the closet. Each bedroom gets its own bathroom. There’s an outdoor shower with hot water, which I absolutely love. I hate cold showers. It’s a great place and we may rent a few weeks again for next summer. But for now, it’s time to turn off the computer and take a dip in the pool. And if anyone remember my struggle to find a bathing suit, I’ll tell you now… I was NOT successful. So I will be wearing my old one which is fine, as I hardly ever use it given I don’t like the beach! Wait… why I am here again? Just kidding. Happy Saturday, Friends… oh and there will be no pictures of me since I’m the one operating the phone camera for these shots!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 159 – Kaleidoscope

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Kaleidoscope: a toy consisting of a tube containing mirrors and pieces of colored glass or paper, whose reflections produce changing patterns that are visible through an eye hole when the tube is rotated; a constantly changing pattern or sequence of objects or elements.

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Yesterday’s 365 Daily Challenge word — ‘sleepy’ — had been apropos when you consider how very short the post was… I rushed around in the morning to finish shopping and packing for a long weekend getaway, then had a few hours of travel, followed by a little exploration once I arrived on Fire Island via nearly every mode of transportation: subway, car, bus, ferry and walking. By the time we got the house situated and cooked dinner, I was exhausted and went to sleep early. I had two things planned for the 365 Daily Challenge words that I couldn’t get done, which means they will be today’s and tomorrow’s words. So, let’s rewind to the start of it all on yesterday:

As I took my seat on the ferry, nearly the last available, I looked around at the several hundred patrons who bordered the boat on it’s 20-minute jaunt across the water to Fire Island, one of the barrier islands off the coast of the southern shore of Long Island. There appeared a kaleidoscope of men and women, all who immediately created a cast of characters on a little adventure I’d suddenly created in my mind. A kaleidoscope full of mirrors, colors, patterns, paper and glass that assembled a little toy for my amusement!

The word comes from ancient Greece. Children play with these toys by admiring all the pretty images that materialize when rotating or turning the device in front of their eyes. It’s a bit like life… at least that’s what weighed on my mind as I strolled through the rest of my evening and fell into an erratic slumber. Although a friend had taken the ferry over with me, he slept in the other bedroom in the beach house we’d rented for the week(end). I’m not one to frighten easily, but when I’m on an island full of strangers, in an unfamiliar house, with two entrances / exits into my bedroom, poor eyesight and tons of glass windows, everything seems a bit different, as though what I’m looking through during the night is a very different kaleidoscope than what one sees during the bright sunny morning or afternoon.

Tomorrow’s post will have pictures of the house and beach, as well as a bit more about Fire Island. Today’s is about how it’s such a different world than the one I normally live in. Let’s cover the five words that appear in the definition, but know in advance, I’m being quite philosophical and ethereal in today’s discussion:

Mirror

  • The island is a myriad of people, one where I see myself in so many others. The reflection presented to me as I pass by people on the boardwalk or in the grocery store, the images of someone I once was and someone I’m soon to be. It’s truly a remarkable range of patrons who frequent this wonderful escape. And among each person you meet, you find all the qualities you dislike in others, but also everything you have always admired. People are not afraid to be who they are here. It’s a place of freedom and an open mindset. I think the water, the sand, the trees, and the casual parts of life are so prevalent, it’s not possible to hide from others or even yourself. It’s as though the camera is always actively on alert among the mirrors that seem to follow you wherever you go.

Color

  • If there ever were a place where the color of someone’s skin didn’t matter, this would be it. I’m not sure anyone even notices these characteristics in others when you are here. It might even be the polar opposite; there are those who search out someone who is ‘different’ from themselves, purely to experience an ability to get to know as many people and cultures as you can. It’s a veritable multitude of every race and ethnicity where the more distinct you are, the more someone wants to meet you.

Pattern

  • I’ve been coming here for five summers and the patterns of behavior are quite apparent. Do you go to the house or purchase groceries first? Do you buy a few bottles of liquor or have everything delivered? Do you jump in the pool or go to the beach? Everyone has their way of doing things, not unlike the patterns of our lives when we go to work, cook meals or sleep. But the routines here offer relaxation and comfort with little distraction or frustration. It’s how life should always be!

Paper

  • Paper drives all that we do. It’s a bit of the glue that holds business together. Or at least it’s been that way in the past. Mobile and digital technology will take over the world, which you can clearly see by the way everyone walks around here… phone in hand, collecting and posting pictures, checking on where friends are staying, searching for people to meet. But there are those of us who love a good card or board game, reading a newspaper or remembering to recycle. The heat gets quite intense here, and paper often leads to many fires. There are a at least a few every summer, burning through homes and leaving charred remains. Paper is the enemy in these sorts and is often not very present.

Glass

  • All the houses have huge windows with amazing views. It’s always about what you can see by looking out the window, down to the coastline or across the trees to the bay. Glass is an essential part of a beach house, necessary to create the most picturesque viewpoints possible. But glass is also the container for every bottle of liquor which is consumed in great quantities at the beach. It glistens when the sun shines, it’s in everyone’s hands… in abundance no matter where you look.

Fire Island feels like my kaleidoscope this weekend. Hopefully you enjoyed the escape from the norm among the 365 Daily Challenge. I wanted to share a little bit of where I am this weekend. Have you ever been here before? Perhaps somewhere quite similar? Feel free to share…

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 158 – Sleepy

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Sleepy: needing to get rest; human condition we all experience sometimes

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Sometimes you have a choice. Sleep or post. Tonight I choose sleep, but I am thinking of everyone as I nod off on the couch at my little weekend away  on Fire Island.  But the 365 Daily Challenge Is Important. Today’s message: know when to listen to your body.

Sleep well, Friends. More to come tomorrow.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.