365 – June Posts

365 Challenge: Day 110 – Solution-Oriented

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Solution-Oriented: used to describe a person who finds solutions to problems. Rather than dwelling on dilemmas, a person who is solution-oriented takes an active approach in solving them

problem

As our picture for the word of the day suggests, we can either be solution or problem-oriented, when it comes to facing dilemmas. For most of my life, I’ve always been solution-oriented; however, I do feel it is important to spend an appropriate amount of time, dependent on the size of the issue, first focusing on the problem, so that you can clearly determine your collaborative objective and goals. And then you should turn your focus to looking at all the options for success and remediation rather than shoot down ideas because some part of it isn’t ideal or effective. OK… enough technical jargon… two things clearly on my mind today… and although both touch on politics, that’s not the intention at all.

Two issues happened in the last week which significantly annoyed me: (1) NY State Governor declared a state-of-emergency for the NYC MTA (subway and trains for those who don’t know) and (2) My primary care doctor is implementing a concierge-style service which will require me to pay more money each year. I’ll explain both in detail, and why the word solution-oriented seems to come to mind today.

(1) NYC Subways & Trains

  •  I do not claim to know all the problems with our transit system, nor what is holding us back from being able to fix them, so please don’t think my little summary here is anything more than a very personal and subjective thought. But it seems the Governor has given the MTA a 30/60/90 day ultimatum to fix the issue or… something will happen — not sure what that will be. They’ve asked for all rider input to help solve the problem.
  • Lots of derailments and shutdowns occurring recently, caused by both mechanical reasons and human failure. Air conditioning and venting has grown quite problematic, resulting in 100+ degree temperatures and minimal quality on the ride. The percentage of trains that are on-time is now far less than those which are late or canceled. The plan for the future has little strategic thought, the costs are increasing where it is in-affordable and there is very little in the way of communication or new technology being implemented.
  • Obviously, the people who have been in charge of this issue in the past have not been solution-oriented. I am throwing no shade at them, as I understand what it’s like to be in a business or company where everything is so inter-connected that it is very difficult to find a solution without annoying or hurting some part of the business or customer-base. But… that’s life… and sometimes you have to move forward despite the inconvenience. So… what I am thinking here is… this is a commuter-based transportation system that serves millions of NYC residents, workers and travelers. Surely we can build a solution that provides incremental change over some number of years and get to a place where we either (1) cough up more money to do it faster or (2) find a solution that provides some relief for different parts of the system and shut our mouths while the progress takes place.
  • But that’s just me… that’s how I approach a situation. I don’t know all the details here, but I’m pretty sure some smart minds can find a solution to this. That’s one of my strengths… maybe I should be running this program right now. Anyone have an in to get me hired there?

 

(2) Medical Insurance & Care

  • Ever since I’ve been an adult, I’ve been lucky enough to have a privilege where my job paid for a large portion of my medical insurance. I certainly paid a lot too, but I can say nothing when so many other people have had no insurance or no ability to pay for insurance. The problem has not really been at my door, and it wasn’t until my parents began somewhat struggling when my dad was able to collect Medicare but by mom had to get her own policy, as she’s a bit younger. They worked through a solution, and it was expensive, but they found a way to deal with it. Still, we are a lucky family.
  • Last week, my primary care physician mailed a communication to all patients that they are moving to a concierge-style service, where they will reduce existing patient counts to a much smaller population, offer a few additional services and charge an annual fee. For my age, it is $2K per year to remain a patient. Yes… $2K to stay or I can go somewhere else. While my doctor is perfectly lovely, and I’ve gone to him for 5 years since I moved into NYC, there’s nothing extraordinary in the sense that he’s top in his game for a specific illness I might have. Quite the opposite… I’m in very good health, and from 24 thru 34, I went to the doctor only two times — for a really bad sinus infection / flu-like thing… otherwise, I avoided doctors (that’s another story for another day).
  • So… I’m not angry or going to complain about this, as I’m sure there’s some logical reason this was the solution resulting from all the hullabaloo going on with the healthcare industry. And I’m not going to get political and blame anyone right now. Whether I can or can’t afford this fee isn’t the issue. For me, though as I get older I will need the doctor more, I can’t imagine why I’d pay $2K a year just to keep a doctor I will only go to once for a check-up. That’s what a walk-in clinic or new doctor might be for… but the partner and I are still thinking it through — as we’re both solution-oriented guys.
  • This is yet another situation where people responsible for managing healthcare options in the US (and perhaps other countries) are simply not taking this seriously enough and looking for true solutions. Instead, everyone finds a problem with every component and is unable to put forth changes that truly make a difference. No, I’m not saying we should pass the current new plan just to move forward… I’m saying we need to stop trying to fix everything at once and instead we should break this into smaller and more manageable pieces.
  • I’m sure there are smarter minds than mine working on this. And I’m sure there are honest and caring people not trying to include things other than healthcare in all the bills and laws. But enough is enough… we’re talking about healthcare for an entire country… and I can’t possibly see how going concierge-style is anything but beneficial for doctors who are being bled dry of any income because of all the shenanigans. So… if anyone knows how to put me in charge of all this… I need a challenge. I’m solution-oriented. And I thrive on helping people get what they deserve.

 

So… my little rant today is not to be taken in a political way… I’m not making a stance from a liberal or conservative, republican or democrat perspective. I’m simply stating something obvious that I apply in everything I do all throughout my life: let’s find a way to approach both of these topics in a solutions-oriented way where we don’t solve it all at once — but we break it down into manageable components where we drive positive change every day / quarter / month / year for the next few years until we are in a legitimately better place… and then we can squabble over the areas that people can’t agree on.

Simply put:  why should 80% of the population suffer to appease 20% who can’t get their heads out of their asses? Again, not political… just saying… put the right solutions-oriented people in place to solve problems. Not those who are in a place to have to deal with things that have nothing to do with the problem.

For anyone who wants to respond, I would totally love to hear from you about how people are solution or problem-oriented.  BUT one rule / condition… please don’t respond with political statements on who is doing well or not doing well, or rhetoric about specifically how to solve these two issues. That’s not the point of my 365 Daily Challenge and blog. I picked these two topics because they affected me this week, I saw a commonality between them, and I am relating it to people’s personalities and the way they approach things — like finding solutions to problems, whether those problems are the NYC MTA or US Healthcare… or how to teach a kid how to tie shoes in a velcro or shoelace-less world… or remember phone numbers with a device that might lose its battery. Someday, the whole technical world will stop and everyone will stare at space hoping to remember the number they need or the address they are looking for.

And if you can’t help yourself and have to say something political send it elsewhere or to me privately. 🙂 xoxo

 

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 109 – Momentary

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Momentary: lasting for a very short time; brief

My left eyelid fluttered open a moment before my right, then promptly closed in protection from the blaring stare of the sun searing towards its core. The warmth of the air dancing on my skin comforted me until the gentle breeze alerted the entirety of my surroundings. The dirt was firm yet it felt soft against the tips of my fingers and the curve of my neck, as I realized I lay flat on my back. I looked all around, breathing in the lustrous scent of a familiar flower and listening to the faint and unremarkable hum of an insect’s life beating somewhere nearby. Two questions immediately plagued my semi-conscious mind: Where was I and what was I doing on the ground?

groumd.jpg


At some point today, preferably during the light of day, find five (5) minutes where you can be alone and uninterrupted. While five (5) minutes is a lot of time to ask, it’s really not compared to the vast number of minutes remaining in your life. And though it can be difficult with our jobs and families around, it is important to embrace these moments of solitude to allow any chance of success in this experiment. Close your eyes. Forget everything going on and every person in your life. Let your mind relax. Ignore anything trying to penetrate its borders. And in these five (5) minutes, do five (5) things if you can:

  • Open your eyes and focus on something living and breathing — other than a fellow human being.
  • Attune your ears to a sound made in nature — not produced by humankind.
  • Inhale a deep breath through your nose and contemplate where it came from.
  • Taste a piece of gum or mint, your lunch or run your tongue against the back of your teeth and gums.
  • Touch something nearby that appeals to you, or even gently run your fingertips against one another and think about that sensation.

How do you feel? What are you thinking about during each of these five (5) moments?

senses


Have you ever truly taken a moment to think about the fact that you are real? Not contemplating life and death. Not being thankful you are alive. Not grateful you have time to pursue the things you want to do in life. I mean that you are a living organism… a sentient being with abilities and functions that maintain your ability to see, smell, hear, taste and touch? Recognize what’s happening without you knowing your body took several steps to make that action happen.

That’s what I thought about this morning when I woke up. I imagined a dying person laying in their bed, knowing that they have less than ten breaths left before their days are over. I thought about my own life, sensing my chest’s slight move upward and downward, the air conditioner’s constant mechanical breathing, noticing the appearance of my bedroom and began wondering… everything around us is happening without an acute sense of awareness truly understanding it. And in those moments, I realized how little I know about life. How do my eyes choose what to see? What alerts my ears and nose to recognizing something I like and dislike? Does the texture of something feel the same to me as it does to someone else?

It’s moments like these ones where you realize and accept how small what you are thinking is in comparison to the vastness surrounding you. But it also means you have so much opportunity to learn and grow. I got out of bed and followed my normal early morning routine, then sat down on the couch with my coffee and started this post. But I started just writing whatever was in my mind… and that’s where the first paragraph came from. A moment. That’s all it takes for something to quickly change from bad to good, or good to bad. And these things happen around us, often without our control or knowledge of it even occurring.

No special point today. I’m not saying “Live life to the fullest.” I’m not realizing “It could all end in a moment’s notice.” I’m not suggesting we all make some sort of change. Just saying I took a moment… five moments… to use my senses to understand what was happening inside and outside of me. And this is where I ended up. Where will you end up?

 

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 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.

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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

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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). 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./

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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/

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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!

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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.

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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

Posted on

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.