365 – May 2017 Posts

365 Challenge: Day 52 – Wasteful

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Wasteful: using or expending something of value carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose

At different points in our lives, we all say aloud (or hear someone else tell us) “that was wasteful,” referring to something just done that we carelessly minimized when others so desperately needed it. Often we should have known better, but we do it anyway without thinking about the consequences because it’s become habitual. That said, as much as it is habitual for many of us, there are several people who work hard not to be wasteful and teach this to children at a young age.

To kick this one off… a few places I recognize I am wasteful — not all the time, but enough that I should call myself out.

  • Water
    • I run the water the entire time I’m washing dishes, rather than try to use only the amount needed and re-use where appropriate until the final rinse.
    • I leave the water running when I brush my teeth when I should leave it off  until the last second.
    • My showers are entirely too long and often run for a minute or two for the water to get hotter before I get inside. I should deal with the cold, stand to the side and wash my hair.

 You don’t care about my bathroom habits?

  •  Energy
    • I tend to leave lights on when I don’t really need them. Sometimes it’s for the dog, but a little goes a long way.
    • My building keeps the heat on from October thru May, and because I get so hot, I open the windows which likely makes the heat work a bit harder since I’m on the top floor. Can’t really change this…
  • Time / Money
    • I spend way too much time watching TV or on the computer when I should be out with people, in nature and learning.
    • Time is money, and therefore I’m wasting earning potential and income.
    • I can be frivolous when spending and should save more or donate more.
  • Food
    • I sometimes eat too much. And we all know how to fix that. (Shh… don’t say it aloud or it may come true)
    • I make too much food when I cook and am not good about eating leftovers.
    • I buy stuff, it expires, and I end up throwing it out. I need to be more pragmatic and plan meals in a better way.

And if they can do it, so can I!

Not so bad admitting faults, is it? I’m sure that only touches the surface of the areas where I’m being wasteful. And quite honestly, some of those are easy fixes that I should be more consistent about in the future.

Sometimes I get caught up realizing how unfortunate it is that I haven’t fixed this sooner, especially knowing the limits of these resources across the world. And while these posts are not meant to make anyone feel guilty or to preach, sometimes a gentle reminder helps implement positive changes. And that’s all I’m intending here… for any reader including myself.

This is me talking to myself right now!

Life is complicated. We should all figure out how to be part of the continuous cycle of improvement. And when we don’t work in jobs or volunteer in roles where we have direct impact on re-cycling, re-use or proper waste disposal, perhaps we should take 5 minutes a day to focus on it as a human being who cares about the world around us.

It begins with learning this as a child, so it feels almost inherent. Good habits will occur and help propagate even better ones with each year and generation. But there’s no time to start like the present if this hasn’t been built into you already. And with that, I’m off to see how to tone down my wasteful usage of time — it took 30 minutes for this post and I’m supposed to be down to 20 minutes a day at this point. Ugh… I hate missing the target.

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and 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.

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365 Challenge: Day 51 – Retentive

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Retentive: having the ability to remember facts and impressions easily

As I thought about the best word to describe the characteristic to share today, I was a bit stumped. The goal was to converse about my memory; sometimes it is fantastic, but at others, it is very peculiar. I am definitely not forgetful, especially when it comes to tasks, events, responses; yet, there are things of importance in my past that one would think I’d easily recall, but I do not.

I took an alternative path to locating today’s word. I entered “forgetful” into the Google search field and then selected “antonym.” A few words popped up, none of which felt right except for possibly “retentive.” And when I looked up the definition, it seemed most appropriate, as facts are what I am good at remembering. Feelings and actions are what fail to come easily for me.

My memory is very strong in a wide range of areas, especially if numbers are involved.

  • I have been known to recall the date and hour of something happening from years ago, even if it seemed like a minor event, e.g. normal dinner with friends at a restaurant where we talked about fishing.
  • I can tell you the amount due on my electric bills for the last two years for almost every month in that period.
  • I recall interesting facts about things I’ve briefly studied but have little interest in.
  • I know where people sat at a dinner in a restaurant from years ago.
  • I recall people’s names even when I only knew them for a short period of time over twenty years ago.

But then there are times when I am a bit worried that there’s something wrong with me:

  • I forget the word I need to use, or I simply say the wrong word. And it doesn’t even sound anything like the word I meant to say.
  • I recall very little about my childhood and have maybe only 10 memories prior to 13 years old.
  • I cannot remember going to see certain plays or shows, movies, restaurants or museums, even when I liked them.

When I step back to analyze this as a whole, I see a few things in common, but also a few things that don’t add up. I’m not really sure if there is a pattern, but I am a little worried about the future. It doesn’t seem like I have any sort of early signs id an illness, as I have very strong memories for things in the past and the current, so it’s not short-term or long-term loss. I forget things I like and dislike. I remember things both important and not important. So… what gives?

I’m not a doctor or subject matter expert, as I’ve noted in these posts before. And as much as I am concerned, I haven’t gone to a doctor or done any research mostly because it’s only been a minor impact and hasn’t seemed too intrusive. Plus, some people get a kick out seeing me recite information from years ago or forget what I’m trying to say. And I enjoy amusing others, even at my own expense.

It’s not a photographic memory, nor is is some sort of associative game I play to retain information. I’m good at things like the “Memory” game, but not exceptional. I’d suggest it was the aging process, but it’s been like this for a fairly long time (10+ years).

Why it’s good

  • I can blame it when I don’t remember something or forget someone.
  • I tend to forget when someone annoys me.
  • I get things done more quickly and don’t often repeat mistakes.

Why it’s not good

  • I am forgetting things I want to remember.
  • I’m afraid it may get worse.
  • I don’t like looking silly in front of strangers.

All in all, nothing to raise the flag about. And I bring it up today as it gives others insight into what’s going in my mind sometimes. Or maybe someone might have a suggestion or two on what could be happening… or perhaps we are all like this and I’m just thinking it’s only me. Yikes, what an ego I have. 😛

Anyone care to point me in the right direction, i.e. (a) am I losing my mind or (b) just go with it and I may find it makes the day more fun?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and 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 50 – Self-Conscious

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Self-Conscious: feeling undue awareness of oneself, one’s appearance, or one’s actions

Some people are completely content with who they are, how they look and the way they act. I have never been one of those people. I envy those people. Those people make me frustrated. I dream of being one of those people. But I have definitely improved over the years when it comes to how self-conscious I’ve been.

OK… to put it all out there… the list of things I’m self-conscious over:

  • Being too pale and feeling like everyone can see every blemish, burn, fluster or discoloration in skin tone
  • Feeling too short
  • Needing to wear glasses
  • Body parts too small or too big (I find fault with everything!)
  • Inexperience over various things
  • How clothing fits
  • Being too young or too old in a situation
  • Dancing
  • Sports
  • … let’s stop for now or I’ll go on for ever

We all feel this way at some point in our lives. For some of us, it’s only a little bit and we outgrow it. For many of us, it’s powerful and consuming. And at times, it can feel like the entire world “has it in for you.” But that’s simply not true, and I only feel comfortable saying this many years into my adulthood, where part of me doesn’t “give a shit” (pardon my language) what others think.

As a child, teenager and younger adult, I was self-conscious over everything and it caused small panic attacks, retreat, and wasted time and energy. If I spent half as much time worrying as I did, I’d have so much less stress and a many more comforts today than I do (and I have little stress and a lot of comforts).

Ultimately, it came down to 2 primary things causing these tensions: (1) I didn’t trust in myself or in others and (2) I was immature or inexperienced. Let’s dive in a little deeper:

Trust

  • Trust is a two-way action; to be successful, both people in the relationship or situation must trust one another.

  • I have always had issues trusting others when I do not know them. As a result, strangers always represented the possibility of something bad or wrong (no, nothing ever happened to me… I just kept people at arm’s length). When you don’t trust someone, you assume the worst. For me, the worst meant they didn’t like me and would do, think or say negative things about me.
  • Although I am always a trustworthy person, if I don’t show this to others, they may not immediately trust me either. And if someone doesn’t trust me, then they may actually be doing, thinking or saying those negative things.
  • Without trust, you assume the worst and over-think a situation, helping breed more self-conscious behaviors within your own actions. The foundation for feeling good about yourself either fails to build, minimizes itself or disappears entirely.
  • Less trust therefore means you question more… and once you question things about yourself, the flood of self-conscious thoughts flows.
  • And whether people admit it or not… and I feel this is a strong fact out there that needs to be accepted:
    • Yes, there are people out there who are doing/saying/thinking negative things about you. They are judging you… They are laughing… And they might be better than you when it comes to certain things. It may be 1% or 10% of the people in your life, depending on where you are at any given moment. But here’s my point: You can’t change it… it’s them, not you. You only control you. So don’t let it hold you back. Just let yourself know it’s happening, but limit how/where/when it truly affects you. Don’t let it consume you.

Immature / Inexperience

  • When you are younger, you don’t know any better. You haven’t learned a lot key lessons, ones which help build your confidence, esteem and sense of worth.
  • If you know less, you feel inferior. That is, until you realize, learning is a life-long process. And not knowing something is an opportunity to improve and gain knowledge. It’s not about focusing on what you don’t know, but how you will amass or absorb it.
  • It takes many years to realize that people are so often caught up in their own insecurities and self-esteem, they are NOT thinking about you as much as you think they are. And when you realize people aren’t focused on you, you relax a little… allowing yourself to be less critical about the things you worry over.
  • At some point, you will reach the moment we all have at various points in our life: “Who really cares?”

  • So what if you are more good-looking, smarter, thinner, richer, etc.? Why is it always a comparison? There are several billion people on this planet… we will NEVER know who is the best at anything even when someone wins that title. Not everyone participates. Some people live under a rock (exaggeration… I know)… and therefore the rest of us will never know how good that person is.
    • Too many people to worry
    • Too much else to enjoy
    • It stops you from your own purpose
    • It’s never-ending
  • So… accept that it’s a continuous journey and not a race to get to a point of perfection. (Yes, the perfectionist, who isn’t perfect and knows it, just said that).

Given everything I’ve said, a few things on my mind:

  1. I will always be self-conscious about certain things, but each time it happens, I push myself to determine why it’s important… and then find a way to lessen the impact.
  2. If it’s something I can change, and it’s important to me to change it, then I work on a path to do so.
  3. If it’s not something I can change, then I let it go. Find your triggers. Make small in-roads to re-routing your thoughts. And if you can’t… move on. Other things need better focus.
  4. Find the thing you feel even better about, and tell yourself that’s the piece that matters… not what you don’t feel good about. Be positive.
  5. Don’t focus on what the other people are doing… only yourself in this situation: it is acceptable to do such a thing and not considered selfish.

That said… I’m gonna tell myself I have that sexy librarian nerd look when I wear my glasses today while working out at the gym. And anyone looking at me just wants to get lucky with me, even tho I’ll be a sweaty mess bouncing around all over the place. And it’s not because I’m using the exercise machine the wrong way — it’s because I’m awesome!  😛

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and 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.