365 Day Challenge

365 Challenge: Day 108 – Early Riser

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Early Riser: a person who gets up early in the morning

early riser.jpg

I concede that today’s word might actually be considered two separate words; however, it represents a concept that we are all familiar with and is something I have become as I grow older. So that’s why I feel it’s OK to use this in the 365 Daily Challenge. I believe there’s a ‘next’ button you can hit if you feel I’ve cheated today and can’t bring yourself to read this post. I can accept that and will see you tomorrow.

Early riser. Does that mean you are awake before the sun rises? Or does it mean you’re up by 7am? Does the time change based on work day or non-workday, during the week or weekend? Or are you consistent in that you get up at the same day all the time? For me, although it’s changed over the years, I’ve been in the same pattern for the last decade. I’m generally awake between 6:30 am and 7:00 am. I consider myself an early riser, although by many standards, that might be considered a bit late.

Ignoring sleepless nights or if you’ve gone to bed much later than usual. Forget those with babies or very young toddlers who haven’t adjusted to sleeping through the night. Strictly speaking on a normal day, where’s that line between rising early and rising at a normal time? I ask for a few reasons…

Alarms

  • I rarely set an alarm clock anymore. If I had a very important meeting before 9am, I might set the alarm as a back-up. But for the most part, I don’t need one to ensure I’m awake and out of bed in the morning. My body has attuned to the time of day, the amount of sleep I get and the sunrise. It’s good because I don’t have to be jolted by some strange noise telling me to wake up. I’m also the first one awake in the morning, so I become the alarm clock for anyone else in the house. And I’m generally quiet when I do wake up the other half to get ready for work.
  • Do you use them? If so, is it your phone or an actual clock? What kind of noise does it make?

First Thing

  • When I wake up, I usually reach for my mobile phone to check the time. I can often guess within a few minutes, but I like knowing the exact time. If it’s still on the early side, I’ll try to stay in bed and think about what needs to get done that day… try to ease into my schedule and objectives. If I happen to wake up on the later end of my normal window, I’ll get out of bed and start the mini-routine… bathroom, send the dog outside, switch on the coffee pot, put out Ryder’s pills, food and fresh water, and then begin scrolling through my phone to see if I’ve missed anything overnight. Takes about 10 to 15 minutes but then I’m on the couch with my coffee and laptop to begin the day.
  • Do you jump up out of bed? Do you head right for the shower? Check on other people in the house? Or find some quiet time for yourself before anyone else gets up?

Morning Person

  • My head needs at least 15 minutes before I function properly in the morning. I can go thru that routine I mentioned above, but that’s about it. And then I can’t talk to anyone for about an hour. I need that hour to pull myself together, but then I’m good for the whole day. Not really a nap person. Naps just make me more tired or a bit cranky when I wake up, as that 1 hour period starts all over again. So I just run full steam ahead until the end of the day. I’d say I’m best between 10 am and 4 pm most days. And on vacations, it’s the same way. Just because I’m in a hotel and only in a city for a few days to a few weeks, and might not return again, doesn’t mean I have to maximize my time and throw off a perfectly good routine.
  • Are you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when you wake up? Do you need some sort of jolt to push you through that first portion of the day?

So what am I really trying to say here?  I don’t like when I have a busy day ahead and I’m forced to write my 365 Daily Challenge post this early. My mind’s not quite awake. But I have a project plan to draft starting at 10am, and I need to head to the gym first, so unless I get this done now and head to the gym within the next 2 minutes, I’ll be behind. Tell me something fun about your morning routine!

 

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 107 – Idle

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Idle: without purpose or effect; pointless; avoiding work; lazy

idle

As an advanced warning, today’s post will be an exaggerated one to wake myself up. And it’s not about a car engine or someone patiently waiting for someone to arrive. It’s 100% about me, as I had a moment this morning where I realized I am absolutely, positively, certainly, and any other definitive word, being IDLE about something. You’ve probably read at least one post where I’ve talked about trying to figure out my next career, searching for a job or looking for an agent for the book I’ve written. And on the outskirts, I must seem pretty busy and prolific in all that I’m doing. Well… it seems I must confess that I’ve been lying to you, by way of lying to myself, by omission and tunnel vision, that is…

I claim to be smart. I pontificate about how focused I can be. I tell everyone how I’m determined to achieve my goals. Yeah, sure, that’s all true. But I’m not practicing what I preach, and I am starting to realize it more and more as each 365 Daily Challenge post is released. A few pieces of background information to set the stage… I actually am an extremely hardworking individual. I have an incredible passion for what I want to do. I usually achieve more than feasible in any given period of time. My former career and frequent promotions serve as evidence. The project plans I’ve kept to achieve so many goals clearly speak for themselves. That I wrote my 400 page novel in less than 2 months supports these statements. And the 500 book reviews I’ve written in the last year certainly show my stamina. But you know what? Somehow I got off-track in the last few months… and I became idle.

And here’s how I know why… for someone who claims to have needed a few months rest and re-focus so he could plan his future… for someone who wanted to make a giant leap into a new and different future… for someone who provides so many thoughts and advice to others in the 365 Daily Challenge, here are also some facts you deserve to know:

  • I am not consistently sending out my query letters to potential agents.
    • How will it get published if I don’t do this?
  • I have not researched the Amazon self-publishing route.
    • How will I have a back-up plan if I don’t find a traditional publisher?
  • I have not truly started the second book.
    • How will I have more works to be published without putting myself on a writing schedule?
  • I have not joined any writer’s groups or developed stronger relationships with writers.
    • Who is going to push me and help provide guidance?
  • I haven’t connected with publishers and online sites to get my name out there.
    • How will people know of me as more than just a blogger and book reviewer?
  • I spend at least 6 hours a day sitting on my ass, reading other people’s posts and reviews on all the social media sites but don’t have any sort of regular plan or approach.
    • If I’m so inconsistent, how will people trust me?

So… since I always put myself out there… it was important for me to say these things aloud — to recognize them and be fair and honest. It’s all fixable. I strayed. I went off track. But if I want to pursue a different future, well then I better get off my ass and get back to what has made me so successful in the past. I’m wallowing in my self-pity and it ain’t a pretty sight. No… this isn’t a pity party… and I promise you, I don’t need anyone to tell me “it’s good you realized it now and can change it.”

I need everyone to hold me accountable… to push me for content, to partner on changes for the future… and to ask to see some sort of a plan within the next 7 days. Because if I want something… or if you want something… how is doing the same thing every day hoping it achieves a different outcome anything other than the definition of insanity?

______________________

That’s the line in my sand. This week I write my project plan. It’s always made things more clear and organized in the past. And next Monday, I will start the second half of 2017 with my formal plan in place to achieve my goals in publishing, writing and reviewing.

I will get back to being me!

 

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 106 – Opine

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Opine: to hold or view something’s worth, merit and value

Every so often, my mind is not focused enough to think of the best word for the 365 Daily Challenge. As I ran some errands, ate lunch and cleaned up the apartment, I still couldn’t decide what to blog about. My mood or demeanor have been somewhat quiet and removed the last few days, and I’d rather not post something with a negative or disillusioned tone. Instead, I thought, let’s get out of my own head and into yours…

I’ve cut and pasted below two small descriptions in the first chapter of the book I’ve written and am currently both searching for an agent and contemplating self-publishing. I offer them to you to opine on or weigh in, to see what others think. Feedback is important and it helps to have the thoughts of people who’ve seen your writing before. You’ve seen the 365 posts, and now you’ve got a sample of a few paragraphs from the book. Hit me with the negative, positive, or even in between! Both sections describe the scene and emotions of the main character shortly after burying her husband, who died in a car accident. The widow has not yet learned the secret he’s left in his will.

————————————————————————————————————————

The burial service ended thirty minutes earlier, and although everyone else had left, Olivia stayed behind for her own final goodbye while her memory focused on the somber tones serenading the lowering of Ben’s casket six feet into the ground. Once the skirl of the bagpipes blasted its sorrowful resonance, Olivia, standing a few feet from Ben’s fresh open grave, could no longer thwart the wrecking ball prepared to decimate any lasting strength within her mind. The slow, melodic sound sliced away at the newly loosened threads once tasked with keeping her heart intact and sheltered from acknowledging a widow’s pain. Her battered eyes betrayed any remaining fortitude she’d stored deep within her body and as the chords of “Amazing Grace” resounded from the chanter pipe, the cords of her soul, once intricately woven into Ben, ripped from Olivia’s chest. The flood of tears from her stinging red eyes trailed her cheeks as she walked to the car, leaving behind a single set of prints marking her unknown future.

As she stepped off the cemetery’s grassy path, Olivia pulled the black cashmere sweater closer towards her shivering skin to halt the biting frost that settled in her bones. Ben always told her she looked more beautiful when she wore black and gray, complimenting her on the elegant silhouette against her ivory skin and dark sable hair. She kept her shiny locks shoulder length, usually tied back with a clip, and although gray had appeared the last year, the varying shades were regal and striking on her patrician face. Olivia pressed her palm to her chest and lowered her head until she’d emptied a few layers of grief, a stream leveling off into the ocean.

She opened the car door and slid across the back seat next to Diane. All that remained before her impending post-Ben world began was for Olivia to tell her driver he could leave the cemetery, but uttering those words resembled an impossibility. As if Diane sensed the struggle within her sister, she leaned forward and motioned to the driver to start the car, allowing Olivia a few moments to accept the beginning of her new life. While the car served as a false protection from the reality waiting outside the doors to its passengers, it also evoked an atmosphere full of budding nostalgia.

Olivia recalled Ben’s marriage proposal, when he’d arranged a private afternoon lunch in the southern nursery of Connecticut’s finest botanical gardens. Dressed in a heather gray knee-length chiffon silk dress with sleek embroidered violet straps wrapping around her neck, Olivia meandered the slate stepping stones to a patio shrouded by voluminous twenty-foot cherry trees. Ben waited underneath their cascading flowering branches, shadowed by the umbrella sky of brilliant pink, red and white hues, holding a single sprig of cherry blossom. On the far corner of the patio, before the grafted trunks of the cherry trees met the pristine, freshly-mowed green lawn, a four-piece string orchestra crooned romantic melodies. When Olivia stepped inside the trellised gazebo, she smiled at the intensity of the fresh-cut lilies, reminiscent of the bouquet he’d brought her on their first official date. A waiter poured them each a glass of Dom Perignon, and as she reached for the champagne, Olivia felt the thick edges of the goblet press into her fingers, inhaled the scent of the sweet liquor and shivered at the sprinkles of the bubbly effervescence dancing on her face. The quartet played Roberta Flack’s “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” Ben dropped to one knee. Olivia’s hands trembled until Ben took one into his own. As the strings of each instrument blended immaculate harmonies and the musician’s lyrics rumbled in the background, she felt the reverberation through the wooden floor of the gazebo.

Olivia could still hear Ben’s words flutter in her ears the way a butterfly glides with gentle wings… Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife… to complete the picture of the future I have wanted… ever since the day we met at the opera… even in the car moments after Ben’s burial, when realizing she wouldn’t ever again see his face.

————————————————————————————————————-

It’s an opinion. You can choose to share or keep it. Never any pressure. But since today I struggled with any other post topic, this is where we ended up. Thanks in advance.

opine

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 105 – Orange (Color)

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Orange: (a) of a color intermediate between red and yellow; a fruit

falls2.jpg

Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5). In the first set of five, we explored my primary ethnicity groups and nationalities. In the second set of five, we had the AtoZ Challenges for various favorite things in our lives. And so… 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. Only this time, I’m going with colors that are important to who we are. And this is the fifth and final Sunday where I select a color that has some significance to my life and explore it in my post.

color

Color: Orange. One of the colors on the PRIDE flag, the rainbow and the famous wheel of colors with ROY G BIV. Ah, the memories of childhood. Orange has been a color in my life for a very long time. When I was a youngster who watched all the NY Mets games, as their team colors were blue and orange, to the NY Knicks where I worked, also the same blue and orange colors. It’s fitting that I’ve included orange as an accent color all about my home, from the pillows in the bedroom and living room, to the wallpaper in the dining room and the flower pots on the terrace. It brightens your mood, lifts your spirits and makes you feel warm and connected. It’s also a beautiful color when baked into desserts and other wonderful foods and drinks like the ones below. I drink a tall glass of OJ as soon as I’m done working out at the gym, as it gives me a quick boost of energy and cools me down./

food.jpgOJ.jpg

Let’s chat about famous examples of the color orange… And yes, there are probably more, but these are the ones that come to mind or I have familiarity with:

  • Oranges
  • Orangutan
  • Fire
  • Garfield
  • Carrots
  • Fall Leaves
  • Monarch Butterfly
  • Setting sun
  • Pumpkins
  • Citrus fruits
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Tigers
  • Tang

From a quick InterWebs search, descriptions of the color orange, in regard to a person’s thoughts and feelings, confirm the following:

“Orange is stimulating, vibrant, and flamboyant. While made up of red and yellow, it carries less aggression and fierceness than the color red due to its combination with the calming color yellow. Studies show that the orange color can create physical effects such as increased hunger, heightened sense of activity, increased socialization, boost in aspiration, stimulated mental activity, increased oxygen supply to the brain, increased contentment, and enhanced assurance. Orange also helps aid decision making, and enhances happiness, confidence, and understanding.”

You can read more at: http://www.bourncreative.com/meaning-of-the-color-orange/

pumpkin.jpg

But my favorite aspect of the color orange is that is represents the autumn or fall season, which is when I am most happy. As the awful humid weather of summer thankfully leaves us behind, an amazing cool breeze full of fantastic smells and vibrant colorful changes arrives. Once October hits, I am in my element. I love the weather, the leaves, the hikes, the farm stands, the colors of pumpkins and gourds. The ways the changes occur in the landscape, falling leaves that produce a crisp snap when you crunch them or pick them up. And it brings in the wonderful Halloween holiday, which is all about the fall season. Trick Or Treaters. Jack O’Lanterns. Frights and Scares. Horror Movies. Then into Thanksgiving… Turkey. Cranberry Sauce. Pies. Apple Picking. Cider. Hayrides. Haunted Houses. It’s the best time of year for me!

fall.jpg

And lastly, my dog, Ryder has orange fur… thought he’s called red or red sesame, he looks orange to me… especially when he’s sleeping on a red carpet.

IMG_0519.JPG

How do you feel about the color orange? Did I miss any famous “orange” things or phrases and names with the word “orange” in them. I know I did… but I can’t seem to remember right now.

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 104 – Relevant

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Relevant: appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances; of contemporary interest; closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered

relevant

People have differing importance on the value of relevance. If something is relevant, you are probably interested and willing to focus on the subject. If something is not relevant, you will often simply pass by it without a second glance. We make these decisions all day long without even realizing it.

  • Sometimes the design, color or shape of objects capture our attention while at others they do not. You miss certain signs on the road but quickly notice others.
  • Images or subject lines capture your attention in newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites while others go by unread.
  • Conversations are overheard and call to you to listen in or participate while others remain as static background noise.

Our interest, or the subject’s relevance, is at the center of each of these situations. And depending on what’s going on in your life at any given moment, it spikes up and down, matching your inner desires and curiosity. This felt like a good topic for today’s 365 Daily Challenge, as I had a few things mulling around in my mind this morning when I awoke. Though I went to sleep around 11 PM after reading a few chapters about Lizzie Borden, I found myself wide awake — unsure why — from 3:15 until 6:15 AM. I wisely used the time to map out yet another outline for a novel that will sit on the side until I find the energy or time to begin writing it. But as I felt a bit more sleepy, I began wondering about my own relevance to the rest of society, asking myself a few questions:

  • Why are you qualified to write this story?
  • What makes you someone to complete a 365 Daily Challenge?
  • What topics are people interested in now and likely going to be interested in one year from now when you are ready to publish?
  • Who is your true audience?
  • What is it that you offer distinct [enough] from anyone else?
  • How does your voice correspond with that of your readers?

I have tons of other questions to consider, but you get the gist. As a writer of either fiction or a blog, we all need to know the perspective we bring and the purpose we have. We need to have a reasonable understanding of what makes us the right person to tell the story or deliver a message. But lining that up with what is relevant with the people around you is not often something that comes naturally or is easily understood. And at times, people make a guess as to what others might be looking for. A key question on my mind: should writers and readers explore things outside their comfort zones to make them more relevant?

One thing I’ve always tried to be or do is not get stuck in a box. I read every genre. I like all kinds of music. I enjoy different types of food. I connect with people from all over the world. I watch very diverse TV shows. I like to sample a little bit of everything. Sometimes I’m way behind on the trends. I’ve not sampled much in the way of anime or fantasy, but it feels like that’s going to be a strong component of the next few years. Same with AI (artificial intelligence) or VR (virtual reality). Neither particularly interest me, mostly because I already have enough on my plate or in my head to worry about adding such huge things to it, but as a reader and writer, I think those will be quite relevant. Others I’ve spoken with recently feel the same way. I wonder if we owe it to ourselves to explore this a bit more…

This opens up the true question on my mind today… and while it took a little while to get there, I felt some background was important before throwing out my thoughts and asking for feedback, as I’ve come to do in these posts… So here it goes:

  1. Do you think writers and bloggers need to make their content relevant to what’s going on around them today, or should they just write what they want to and let their fans and readers decide what to subscribe to or read?
  2. Do you feel the different forms of content need to be managed, e.g. video, photo, words to attract all types of viewers or is it whatever the creator feels comfortable in?
  3. What’s relevant to you right now that you feel isn’t being highlighted enough in any of these industries?

BTW, feel free to answer any question from this post, of even ask a new one. It’s all about the relevance of topics which hopefully bring out our dialogue. So… where this fits in for me… apart from just learning more about those people I interact with, is understanding different points of view other than my own.

Part of me is still a traditional reader. I enjoy books. I prefer physical but have adapted to e-readers. But I am more interested in the story and certain genres, less interested in exploring many of the new relevant things like anime, VR and AI. Will this ultimately hurt me? Am I a transitional generation? Is it based on where you live? Will it change as I age? Do I lose my ability to connect with the generation moving from high school and into college or the work force because of the things I choose or feel are relevant to me?

So many questions… more than a single post… but enough to get us started. Who wants to take a shot at it?

 

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 103 – Tolerant

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Tolerant: showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with

tolerant

I do not like the word tolerant. It is clinical. Institutional. Incendiary. It annoys me to accept we need to have a word like tolerant in order to do what should just be the innate and natural thing we all want to do. To have to tell someone or teach someone to be tolerant [of differences] is just an unacceptable truth, as well as one of the areas of life that truly frustrates me. Not because I don’t believe in it, but because there are people in this world who think they are so perfect that any difference is wrong — and that it has become our responsibility to have to educate them to be tolerant.

No, I’m not going to rant on about injustice or inequality. I’m simply making a small statement that while being tolerant is absolutely the right thing to do, it concerns me that we need a word for doing the right thing. I’m not an activist. I am not political. I don’t push my beliefs and thoughts on other people. I just live and breathe each day in the way in which I feel is proper and fair. I’m sure you’ve previously noticed this approach of mine when I’ve posted about being non-judgmental or open-minded. But today, I felt the need to use the word tolerant, as that was the concept being thrown around last night at an event I attended.

A very good friend of mine invited me to the NYC Mayor’s PRIDE month reception at Gracie Mansion last evening. My partner and I eagerly accepted the invitation and explored the wonderful grounds and buildings where our mayor lives. Both the mayor and his wife spoke about how amazing NYC is when it comes to being tolerant and accepting of people’s differences. And then they invited a special guest to the stage: Laverne Cox. For those who don’t know who Laverne is, you can find out more here. As a quick intro, she’s a transgender pioneer who moved from Alabama to NYC where she was able to become who she was inside, as well as a star on the TV show “Orange is the New Black.” She’s also the first Black Transgender Woman to appear on the cover of TIME Magazine. Enough Said.

As I wandered around the party last night, then chatted with friends at dinner, and ultimately when I woke up this morning, this concept of being tolerant has been front and center on my mind. I am not a religious person, but I was raised Catholic and went to church for nearly twenty years. I have little desire (other than to correct wrongs) to get involved in heated political discussions or banter over what’s right and what’s wrong. To me, there’s a simple fact when it comes to… ugh… hate saying it this way… being tolerant of others:

“Your life is none of my business. If you are not hurting me or someone else, you are free to do whatever you want.”

It’s simple. It’s direct. It’s not about religion or hate. It simply means… embrace who you are, do what you want to do and don’t harm others. For anyone to have the audacity to claim otherwise is selfish and uneducated. And to think you can tell someone else what is right or wrong makes no sense. None of us created the concept of life. None of us have the answers or explanations. None of us are inside someone else’s head. We have absolutely no idea what makes another person who they are. Yes, we have science and history and analysis. I believe in all of it. But I also believe that there is something unique to each of us, and that tiny little thing is enough to tell me that I cannot judge another person when I am not that person. What’s right for you is what’s right for you.

We each have our life and own responsibilities and should focus on those things — not whether someone feels more like a man or a woman, or both… loves a man or a woman, or both… wants to change their gender… is more attracted to a certain look about someone else… feels more comfortable using a specific restroom… If I’m gonna use the bathroom… seriously… I’m going in there for ONE PURPOSE… to get it over and done with as quickly as possible… not to engage with anyone else while in there… I will wash my hands and leave… and then it’s out of my mind. I don’t care who else is in there with me. That’s certainly not my first priority. And why would it be anyone else’s?

I really am not ranting. I’m attempting to just be honest and funny. And I’m fairly certain 99% of the people reading this post, i.e. following me, you probably feel the same way. And if you don’t, and I’ve offended you, I certainly didn’t intend to and I accept any consequences. All I can say is that I tolerate your inability to be a more open-minded person and wish you well in your own journey. But for those of us who read this, believe this or preach this… being tolerant, that is, I’m glad to be part of your life.

And so… Happy PRIDE. Happy June. Happy Friday. Happy Everything… because we have one single life that we know of… and I’m not gonna spend it worrying about what other people think or do with their own life. I’ve got better things to do… like read and blog. And make a fool of myself in this 365 Daily Challenge — among other things! Unplanned RANT done. Back to reality. Ah…

 

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 102 – Independent

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Independent: free from outside control; not relying on another’s authority, livelihood or sustenance

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What a word! It’s often what people struggle and strive for. It’s used as a way to chastise someone if they are exceeding in their individualistic behaviors. It’s in a popular song. It’s part of war. It’s types of booksellers and publishers. It can be lonely. It can be a treasure you hold on to. It is something very different for each one of us.

I consider myself independent. I began working at 13, delivering newspapers. At 14 and 15, I worked in a bowling alley, teaching children to bowl and running the front desk. At 16 and 17, I was a grocery store cashier and stock boy. When I went away to college, my parents and I split the costs after any scholarships I’d received. For my part, I took out student loans and I worked on campus in the Education and English Department offices. And during summers, I waited tables and worked at a day care nursery managing a classroom full of 2-year-olds. It was instilled in me at a young age to work hard for what you want and to never rely on someone else to handle something that was your responsibility.

And I firmly believe in it now. To me, other people lending a hand is an additional layer of support, an extra of sorts, beyond what you should bake into your initial plan. It’s something you may need on occasion, and you should ask for the help when you truly need it, but don’t assume that is part of the solution for whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. This could be money, emotional support, a place to live, medical care, or anything else that requires assistance. Like most things I say or believe, apply the 80/20 rule, as it’s not a one-size-fits-all for every circumstance belief and approach. But as a general guideline in life, being independent is important to me and I recommend it to anyone else, at least wherever you can make it happen.

Independence is about freedom. Freedom to choose your own path, actions and destiny. Sometimes it is easy, but not always. Money is not always available even to begin working on a path that you want to take. Illness sits in the way from being able to choose what you want. Family obligations may be more important. But when you have the opportunity, leaning towards independence helps you become stronger and motivated. Make small changes. Start in tiny ways. See how it makes you feel. It can be scary. It can be fun. It can be rewarding. You’ll never know until you give it a chance.

I’m not independent in every aspect of my life. I’ve chosen to be in a committed, long-term partnership. I want to be with another person in my life journey. But I also recognize we’re not attached at the hip nor are we a single entity. We’ve made decisions about how to manage finances together, to co-own and care for a home, to raise a dog together, but at the end of the day, we are also separate people with individualistic needs and desires. Hopefully they always align and we work on them as we gracefully age together.

I think I’m the teddy bear in that situation!

I’ve noticed my attitude has changed over the years on some of these topics. And I pay close attention to the words my friends and acquaintances choose. For instance… when you invite a friend over or ask what (s)he did for the weekend, do they say “we” or “I?” Some people immediately refer to themselves as a couple. “We had friends over for dinner.” “We built a garden.” Others remain singular or separate. “Oh, I read a book. John/Jane went to the movies.” I’m not a psychologist nor have I studied these things, but I’m curious what that says about a person’s independence.

For as much as I claim to be independent, I almost always choose the “we,” assuming the person knows I am sharing a life with someone else. If it’s a complete stranger, sure, I’d probably just refer to myself as it would sound odd saying “we.” My mindset is independent on some things but dependent on others. We’ve made an agreement to split everything 50/50 in our household / life. So making decisions is sometimes a lengthy process. If one person wants to spend more money, we have to work through that conversation together, or accept the other person chooses to pay more because it’s more important to them. Given my other half has little interest/time in reading (he reads legal briefs all day at work), we tend to “go our separate ways” around 10pm. He watches TV in the living room for an hour, while I go to bed to read for an hour. Then he comes in when his show is over.

With friends, I am also very independent. I don’t ask for anything other than friendship. Sometimes I’ll complain a little bit and we end up talking through an issue, but I rarely pick up the phone and say “Hey, I need some advice, or I’m a bit down, can we do something?” I’m not saying this is the right or wrong way to be, by the way… it’s just how I am. I keep things to myself. I have something in my head that pushes me to be independent, rather than reach out to other people for help. If it were urgent, I’m sure I would ask for the help. But it’s not a natural reaction or notion for me. I try to do everything I can for myself, and then when I can’t, I will turn to someone else. Inclusive of big things and little things. When I bought new cars in the past, I didn’t ask for help until the very last moment. I did all the research, chose what I wanted and looked around. On each final trip, I asked my father to go with me for his input and then I closed. If I’m cooking, and I’m not sure what to do with a step in a recipe, I’ll wing it. Sometimes I’ll call my mom and get advice, but usually not. If we’re cooking together, yes — definitely work together on it.

So as I think about who I am… I’m pretty independent. I know I used to be co-dependent in relationships, but that’s a different story. I was young and immature. I’m much more open-minded these days. How about you? Do you define yourselves as dependent or independent? Not so much how you are in a relationship with your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, but generally in your approach with other people. Do you keep your distance, reach out for support or somewhere in between? There’s no right or wrong answer. We’re all shown a different way and then choose our own paths. Sometimes the answer is both– as it’s important to lean different ways, given the situation at hand. But like the 80/20 rule, I’d say I’m probably 80% independent and 20% dependent across the board.

Cause it’s scary inside my head! LOL

 

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.