acceptance

Book Review: The Impact of a Single Event by R. L. Prendergast

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In the Fall of 2017, I won The Impact of a Single Event by R.L. Prendergast in a Goodreads Giveaway. I was finally able to make time to read it, and I’m so sorry I waited this long. It was superb! I initially entered the contest because it was about the passing of a journal over a 150+ year period throughout a few different connected families. Writing and genealogy, how could I not love it? At about ~280 pages, it is such an easy-to-read novel, I devoured it in about 3 hours one afternoon.

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Sonia and Richard, a couple in their mid to late 30’s, stop on the road to help victims of a car accident. After the ambulance arrives and carts the couple to the hospital, Sonia and Richard find the journal among the victims’ belongings, then rush to the hospital to drop it all off. From there, the book alternates chapters tracing the lineage of the journal back 6 generations and discussing the impact of it on Sonia and Richard’s current lives. We learn more about what’s going on with Sonia and Richard in their chapters and understand what troubles they face, but we also see how the journal was used by each of the 6 people who’d previously written in it. In the final chapter, Sonia and Richard leave their own imprint when the journal finds its way back to their hands.

Much of the writing style and language in this book is absolutely enchanting. In the first 75%, I found myself turning pages without even realizing how much time had passed by. It was so engaging. When I hit the final chapter, I was less interested only because it became a bit more Eat/Pray/Love journey, which while fascinating, isn’t something I can easily grasp when it’s set in 1860s India. I’m just not familiar enough with the country, religions, or the history, but for the right reader, this will be, I’m certain, a phenomenal journey. That said, it was still beautiful, and if that final chapter (the longest) was more like the rest, I would have given this 5 stars. It was more a case of reader disconnect and not anything the writer had done. It was written well, just hard for me to connect when the main character of that journal entry was hiding in a jungle hoping not to be eaten by a tiger! I tend to prefer something a bit more concrete with just a dose of philosophy.

The way the journal is handed off from person to person is breathtaking. The characters are rich and vibrant. The jump from time periods is virtually effortless. And there’s a great family tree graphic in the beginning to help you understand how everyone’s connected, but in all honesty, it’s not necessary despite how complicated the story can get. And there’s a wonderful surprise at the end which I wasn’t expecting.

It’s a high recommendation from me if you like books to move you and take you on a journey. But you need to be comfortable with missing details, getting in your head, and taking a leap of faith in philosophy. Kudos to the author for one of the most seamlessly written books of this nature I’ve read before.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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365 Challenge: Day 142 – Yield

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Yield: give way to arguments, demands, or pressure

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It’s Monday evening. I’ve just completed every open tag and award sitting in my draft folder. Please don’t hate me. I am not bragging. I am just documenting it so my head can acknowledge it. Between the weekend and today, it added up to over twenty (20) posts. I thought I’d space them out over the week, but after I finish writing them all up, I’m too excited to release them. I also want to see zero items in my draft folder. I need to know that I’m all caught up. If you read any of the “Who am I” tag responses, you’ve probably already figured out that little tidbit about me. And that’s why the 365 Daily Challenge word of the day will be ‘yield.’ I officially yield to the WordPress Gods and Goddesses… no more posts today… except this one, which should be done in about 30 minutes. I HOPE!

As a brief aside… if you tagged me or nominated me in the last few months, and you don’t see a reply post, please let me know. I think I caught them all, but sometimes if I don’t get the ping-back, I might have missed it even when reading your post. Sometimes I don’t look at who a person nominates, assuming I’ll get a ping-back. It’s not 100% effective, but it helps save a bit of time to focus on the real content when trying to stay on top of it all. I had to yield to something… finding mini short-cuts is critical to survival.

I can now breathe a sigh of relief before I begin this evening’s top priority activity: planning the North Carolina trip for mid-September. I’m excited to go on the trip, but not excited to plan the trip. I’ve never been a trip planner, mostly because I plan everything else in my life… this is an area I want someone else to do all the work. Last year, I planned a two week trip to Italy — like a professional — I honestly put at least 100 hours into the planning aspects. I should sell this itinerary. I think it wiped me out from ever wanting to do it again. I fully need to yield to the travel Gods and Goddesses to not force me to plan this trip. Please. No. Not right. Whine Whine Whine.

But I need to be fair, which means W and I need to split the responsibilities. He booked two hotels and sent me some links to other hotels for the rest of the trip. I will work on those tonight, as well as finalize all the flights and car rental. I can compromise. I don’t have to yield to the travel-planning paralyzing fear of getting sucked into the vortex vacuum of too much research. Thinking about planning trips makes me wonder how everyone else goes about planning vacations? Are you focused on getting everything organized or do you like to wing it? Just curious… that’s not really the point of today’s purpose. Maybe I’m procrastinating so I don’t have to open a new browser tab and Google shit…  by the way, I started telling my friends and family when they ask me questions… “I don’t know. Google that shit.” People tend to think I’m a walking encyclopedia. I’m not. I’m losing more data in my brain day by day as I grow more and more old crazy busy relaxed. I hope I don’t lose anything important, like how to pour my wine in a glass before I drink it. Or to buy very cheap wine. That would be bad.

 

When I think about the word ‘yield,’ I often associate it within giving up. I am wrong. It’s not giving up. It’s choosing to do things a better way. For instance… I wanted to write all day, but I had too many items in my draft folder and on my to-do list. So I took the sign literally and let myself yield to someone who knew better — Me! This enabled me to get everything else done today, giving myself a full 8-hour day tomorrow where I can focus on writing chapters 4 and 5 for Father Figure.

I promise to stay off social media and the Internet, so if you don’t see me for most of the day, don’t worry. If you do see me, yell at me — I fully condone any and all efforts to stop me (taser gun included if you can find me or a gun… and if you find both, please don’t aim somewhere that either hurts or causes me to involuntarily pee… that wouldn’t be fun for me. maybe you. NOT me!) — until I get off the Internet and focus on the novel. It’s important to give myself parameters in order to accomplish everything. And sometimes I yield to how my brain feels or what energy level I have, rather than do something because I planned it that way. Today was one of those decisions.

So whether you’re walking through your day, or you’re walking through an intersection, this might be the most important sign you ever follow. You know yourself better than anyone else knows you — no matter what anyone else says. Sure, sometimes you miss a few clues. Often you’re too stubborn to listen to what your body is saying. But deep down, the truth is there and you can find it. Listen a little more closely and yield when it feels appropriate. It might make you feel a whole lot better to re-plan rather than be frustrated the original idea didn’t work. I know it’s helped me the last few days, especially with clearing my plate and my mind enough that I can meet all my goals for the week. How about you? What are you going to yield to this week?

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Vanessa @ Food in Books. Vanessa and I met about two months ago when I stumbled upon a post she had written where she combines a book she’s read with cooking an elaborate meal that has a strong connection to the story. We started talking about different books, and she kept pointing me to prior posts she’d written already that had a recipe and a review. I was so amazed at the great variety and wonderful photos in all her book reviews. Recipes are included. Pictures of the book. Pictures along the cooking process — step by step. We’re even considering doing a joint / buddy book read and recipe post. How fun would that be? Vanessa is very friendly, has so many great ideas and interacts frequently with her followers. I really think you’d love to read her reviews and recipes, as it’s definitely not something I’ve seen a lot of… and her site makes you want to read and cook immediately. If you don’t believe me, you can read more in the About Me section I copied below and then go visit her site.
    • “I’m Vanessa, and welcome to my blog. If you’re a fellow bookworm and foodie, you’ve come to the right place. I really feel that cooking is an act of love, and as I have progressed with this blog, I’ve come to know myself in a way I hadn’t previously. I’ve opened my home, and heart, to many people in the process of cooking and writing, and it’s made me a better person for it.As well, reading is something that is in my blood. I can’t imagine a world without books. Books have saved me so many times, have helped me travel, have expanded my worldview, and have often been a source of therapy and comfort. Combining my two great loves of cooking and reading has inspired me to expand my own horizons, in both the books I read and the food I cook. I’m happy you’ve stopped by, and please check back each week to see the latest book and food combination. And feel free to send me your suggestions about books and the food described in them, and I’ll try them out!”

 

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 121 – Naked

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Naked: not covered by any clothing, nude; devoid of concealment or disguise

naked

 

Around 3:15 this morning, a certain lovable little shiba inu took it upon himself to grow unsettled in the bed, circling three or four times, before roughly throwing his 20 lbs. of bulk against by thigh. Startled by said lovable little creature, I found myself awake and unable to quickly fall back asleep. Always one to use my time wisely (don’t even bring up yesterday’s post or I’ll have to hurt forgive you), I thought about the 365 Daily Challenge for today. The first word that popped into my head was ‘naked.’ And although I tried to think of a few other words, I kept returning to the word ‘naked,’ wondering how I might pull off such a post without it coming across as vulgar. And after 120 ‘365’ challenges, 500 book reviews and about a hundred other posts, you know by now, I’m not a vulgar person.

Ask yourself this question: Am I brave enough to walk into a room full of people, some of whom I know and some of whom I do not know, while I am completely naked?

{Aside: Jay, you have started to go off the deep end a little bit. I’m not sure I can support such a behavior if you continue down this path.}

I already know my answer is ‘yes,’ as it’s happened before. But I suppose it would only occur again under somewhat comfortable conditions. Let me try to redeem myself here…

Being naked physically means you are wearing no clothes. Every part of your body is exposed for others to see you in all your supposed glory; essentially, nothing is left to the imagination and you are unable to hide from the world. We’re born this way. Doctors and nurses often see us this way. Other people in a public fitness center or school locker room get a preview. Anyone you are intimate with experiences this side of you. So it’s not an unheard of situation, right?  OK, keep those thoughts on hold for a little bit longer. And no, I’m not advocating nudity nor am I a member of or interested in joining a nudist colony.

What about being naked emotionally… stripped down so there are no barriers between what you are thinking or feeling and the people in your life. Naked can also apply to the walls or shields that prevent us from being open and honest with others about what is going on inside our head. Under those conditions, I’m a fairly naked person. Over the course of the past 120 days, I’ve been naked to anyone who happens to read my 365 posts. I’ve covered a wide variety of topics where I’ve shown some silly and stupid decisions I’ve made, a few embarrassing moments, and a couple of personal desires or needs that might end up never being achieved. For me, I no longer feel a need to hide behind any walls that often function as a shelter or protection from pain, fear, disappointment and hurt. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes I hold back a little bit; however, for the most part, I feel free and open with what’s going on in my life, how I make my decisions and what I am hoping to accomplish. So I share it with you.

This method is definitely not for everyone. And I wouldn’t even recommend it without truly thinking about all the implications that could occur, up to and including how you handle difficult situations. But the one thing I’ve been learning in the last few months and over the last year of my life, is that it doesn’t matter what other people think of me or my life or my situation. If someone wants to laugh, ridicule, or berate me for something I’ve chosen to do, that’s their problem. Not mine. If I feel good about it, then that’s what counts. If I worry about what others will do or say, then perhaps I’m not quite comfortable enough with my own decision to proceed. And if that’s the case, it’s totally OK, as that just means you need more time to figure out the right time and place to move forward.

So if someone thinks I am wasting time by not going back to work more quickly… or people felt writing a blog was too self-indulgent… or searching for an agent was a useless activity… {no one is actually saying any of these things to me, btw} — it ends up being their problem and issue, and I can erase those opinions from my mind as long as I feel good about what it is I’m doing. So let’s flip back to the concept of not only being naked in front of others with your thoughts and feelings, but with your body. How is that any different and why am I bringing it up today?

Our bodies are no different than our emotions and ideas. It’s just another aspect of who we are — cells that create a physical shape and form versus cells that produce words and thoughts. For the most part, you can’t change your body without massive surgery or risk. If you’ve got wide hips, that’s what you were given. If you have a flat butt, oh well, that’s life. If your eyes are set too far apart, deal with it. If something is too big or too small, it is what it is. I am not being flippant about these issues, as I know very well how much they can cause pain and hurt, especially when you’ve been singled out by someone purely for the sake of their tasteless and childish need to laugh at something rather than at their own expense. And I’m not saying it’s time everyone just strip down and walk around naked. I’m simply saying if we can learn to love who we are as people for our personalities, we can learn to love our bodies. We can work on them as much as we need to for the sake of health and relaxation, but to obsess over any specific part or area that you truly cannot change will only hurt you more than you know.

And that’s why I’m not so worried about being naked anymore. As I age, and I realize what I do and don’t have control over, I am learning to just let things go as I do with decisions, missed opportunities and fears. I am short. I will never have that slender upper torso that stretches on forever, something I’ve always desired. And when I wore a tighter than usual grey polo yesterday, I almost took the shirt off because it didn’t land in the way I wanted it to land around my waist. It made me look stocky. Then I told myself no beach time this summer… you didn’t fix your body like you said you wanted to. But I can’t fix it. I’m short. It ain’t gonna happen the way I want it to… so I will go to the beach. And I will leave my shirt off. And I will be happy about it.

Being naked physically is just like being naked emotionally. Whether someone sees you make a mistake during a public speech or notices the fine lines and crow’s feet appearing on your face, they might still judge you — but that’s their problem, not yours. No, I’m not going to start parading around naked. Nor do I suggest you do either. Even if you are the world’s most attractive naked person. But I am suggesting we all learn to get comfortable with who we are and what we do and don’t have. And if someone wants to judge me for wide hips or a stocky torso or whatever it is I’m worried about that day, or making up that day… so be it… judge away. I’ll be busy making something of myself and staying happy.

Of everything I’ve said and believe, the most important thing in all of this — at least to me — is that I’m remembered for being authentic and genuine, unafraid to share anything and comfortable in my own skin enough to help others find their own happiness in these areas. In the end, whether I’m naked without clothes or naked without a barrier to my thoughts, I’m showing the world the real me is good enough to put it all out there. And what happens in someone else’s mind is their concern. Not mine.

Last point… today’s post was mostly theoretical in that I don’t feel judged, nothing has happened to make me feel bad about myself, nor am I worried about what other people are thinking and trying to convince myself it’ll be OK. I’m actually in a very strong place in this area, but I also want all my friends to be there, too. So that’s where this share came from. And oh yeah, aren’t you no longer afraid I was going to share a naked picture of myself in today’s 365 Daily Challenge? Phew… that would have been awkward for you. Cause it obviously wouldn’t have been for me based on what I’ve said, right?

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Noriko (AKA Norin) @ BookfiendSite because of my lovely little Ryder (shiba inu dog) keeping me awake last night… No, Noriko wasn’t texting me all night, but when I think of shiba inus, I think of her as she’s from Japan, which is where Ryder originally came from. Noriko and I probably met close to 2 months ago and now chat on both Goodreads and WordPress. She’s almost always online, able to chat and has a very charming approach to books and life. Noriko reads a lot and has been the #1 reviewer on Goodreads in Japan. She takes on all different genres and is reading a few books I recommended this summer. I hope the Ken Follett Pillars series doesn’t put her over the edge. What’s special about Noriko is how kind and thoughtful she is, always leaving beautiful comments on your posts, asking brilliant questions and interacting in a very immersive and connected way. I enjoy chatting with her, look forward to her book reviews, as they always provide fantastic insight into the meaning of the story, the plot and the characters. If you love books, she’s someone to know. If you want to get to know someone from the another country, she’d be a good addition to your followed blogs. Please find a few minutes to peruse her site and let her know what you think of 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 79 – Authentic

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Authentic: of undisputed origin; genuine; real

When I picture the word “authentic” in my mind, for some reason, it tends to be cultural or based on one’s heritage and ethnicity. I understand how food can be authentic with proper tastes and ingredients. I recognize people want authenticity when buying original paintings and books. I see objects as being from older civilizations as authentic. But I’ve not ever delved into what makes an individual authentic. I’ve said someone is a genuine person or that they feel real, but what exactly does that mean?

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As always, when I’m looking for a general consensus, I search the Interwebs. I stumbled upon a list of 11 signs that a person is truly authentic and provided the link below. I cannot vouch for who this person is, or whether they are qualified to provide such input; however, in general, from a quick read, I thought it was a good explanation. But as always, I have a few things to add, which will come towards the end of the post. Before diving into this little exercise, I would have said I’m a very authentic person, basing this purely on some key facts:

(a) I always do what I say I am going to do,

(b) I am open, honest and fair with everyone,

(c) I hopefully come across as genuine and real — never a fake attitude or action,

(d) what you see is what you get with me.

Let’s dive into the article’s eleven key points to determine if my initial views were accurate or off base. You can read the full article at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-twardowski/11-signs-of-a-truly-authentic-person_b_9462220.html

  1. Recognize emptiness in material things
    • I love materials things, and I recognize how bad that sounds. What I mean is that I truly enjoy having books, art, clothes, culinary items, furniture, etc. They make me happy to look at or use, share with others or just be around. It’s not a reflection on how I value them above/below people. It’s purely that I do find an importance in having them in my life. I understand how that can appear empty or insufficient; they are inanimate objects, whereas people and animals can share an emotional experience. But I believe you can have an authentic experience with someone else via a material object that brings you both positive feelings and memories, e.g. buying a book and reading it together. I’d say 50/50 on this one for me, since I absolutely do need material things, but I know enough to say people are more important.
  2. Recognize experiences make things richer
    • Yes, I agree with this one, as it is one thing to read a book about going on a first date versus going on a first date. Forgetting about social awkwardness or finding the person to go on a date with… once it happens, that is a powerful experience, hopefully for the better and not the worse. To be authentic tho, it has to be something special between the people involved — not ordinary and repetitive. I have had lots of positive and rewarding experiences and fit this one well. As I’ve settled down into a committed relationship, it’s more moment-in-time rather than large group of constant new things. A moment early in the morning over a cup of coffee watching the sunrise, or a quick look at each other while playing with the dog together in the park.
  3. Truly listen to others
    • I’m a really strong listener. I try to understand everything from words to expressions, both physical and emotional. I tend to ask deeper and more probing questions, not usually content with surface discussions, especially when someone wants to talk with me about something important. I’m very strong with this element.
  4. Express true thoughts, feelings and views unapologetically
    • For the most part, I’d agree with this statement. I definitely express all of this, but I often choose not to share my thoughts and feelings — not because I don’t want to stir up trouble, but because I wouldn’t be adding any value or difference to whatever is already being discussed. If I think someone is doing something wrong, and there is an impact, I will definitely bring it up. But if someone says blue is the best color, I’m not going to argue why I think grey is. So… I’m probably 50/50 on this one since it contains the word unapologetically, as my opinion isn’t necessary in every occasion.
  5. Not out to please people
    • Major fail here for me. I am a people-pleaser. I know it. I accept it. However, on big things, I am not. I will say what I want and push my agenda or opinion. I tend to prefer collaboration and agreement over confrontation. I go with the flow if something isn’t important enough to me to fight over it. I can see how this is important to being authentic, as if you do things just because you feel like you have to please someone, you are not being authentic. Unless you say aloud, “I don’t want to do this, but I will because you want me to do it.” Then maybe you are authentic.
  6. See value in giving love to others
    • I’m probably 50/50 on this one, too. I absolutely see the value and respect the value; however, I’m very distant in some respects when it comes to love. I have different levels or versions of love. There are people whom you see regularly that you enjoy being around, but it doesn’t mean you “love” them. We’d need to agree on a proper definition of love. I’m not talking about a religious believe of “love thy neighbor.” To me, love is something you share with people you are extremely close with… could be family, friends or significant others. I reserve those deep connections for very few; however, I am a much closer friend to my friends, as I don’t believe in “surface-level” friendships — those are just acquaintances you see from time to time, even if you’re out at a bar having a drink to catch-up once a year. To be authentic, you have to acknowledge these different types of relationships.
  7. Love themselves
    • Depends on the day! As I grow older, I learn to love myself more and more. This 365 Daily Challenge has had an interesting impact on how I feel about myself. In general, I think I fit this example pretty well; however, there are parts of me I do not like and would want to change. I accept it, don’t fight it, nor do I let myself get upset over it. This is important to being authentic, but not necessary. You can be a jerk and not like yourself, but admit that to people. You are authentic even when you are not a good person if you acknowledge it.
  8. Willing to see and acknowledge their own faults
    • Yes, I’m good with this. I acknowledge and admit everything I do incorrectly. I embrace faults as it is an opportunity for me to learn and change. This is critical to being authentic in my opinion. If you can’t look at yourself and admit what it is good or right or wrong or bad, then you aren’t being fair to yourself or anyone in your immediate circle of relationships.
  9. Understand that we’re all unique and it’s OK
    • Yes. I think this is important to being authentic. You need to be you and no one else in order to be authentic. You can be similar to others, and that’s OK. I am definitely unique — and average — all at the same time. I believe I fit this one well and think it’s important to being authentic.
  10. Take responsibility for their lives
    • I definitely line up here. I rely on myself too much — always thinking everything should be 50/50 split so that I am 100% taking care of myself whether it’s in splitting responsibilities, costs, time, etc.  I make my own choices and do not ever blame anyone else. I am my own keeper and I choose how and when to let others take the lead. And if I let someone else take the lead, and it’s the wrong decision, I also made that wrong decision because I allowed and/or wanted the other person to take the lead.
  11. Connected to their own inner guide
    • I fall in the middle here… I do have a connection that is quite strong with my internal body and mind; however, my guide is still deciding what should happen for the rest of my life… so the connection is working overtime and sometimes doesn’t want me too close — as it needs time to figure it out on its own, I believe.  For the most part, it’s a continuous cycle, but I have some work to accomplish in this area.

be self

After a review and reflection on my responses, it appears I meet approximately 2/3 of these guidelines. I admit, it’s lower than I expected. But I also just picked an article off the Interwebs based on a ten-minute search, so I’m not too worried. For the most part, I’m definitely in the authentic category, but I have a few areas to consider improving. And I’m OK with that… after all, isn’t accepting improvement one of those guidelines?

What do you think of when you see the word “authentic,” specific to people and not things? Would you consider yourself authentic?

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 24 – Wistful

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Wistful: having or showing a feeling of vague or regretful longing

When I picture the word wistful, I think of nostalgia — staring into the sky and wishing for the past. I once posted that I am an old soul, but today’s topic is different. Wistful conjures more emotions, a gravitational pull or force towards something you wish you had, or perhaps once had and unfortunately lost. It reminds me of a Japanese word I came across and literally makes you feel the emotion when you pronounce it.

I am wistful over many things… memories of a happy time with people I am no longer close to or who have passed on… the innocence of being a child or not feeling the burden of worry and necessary tasks… different choices I could have made in life, wondering what could have been.

We all have these moments, sometimes it is fleeting, but others it is a significant portion of our day, consuming our thoughts until we feel feverishly impacted. For most of us, it is easy to control; we allow ourselves a few minutes to dip into the past and question “what could have been.” For some, they are caught up in an inability to accept what has happened and cannot function with where they ended up.

When I allow melancholy and a wistful moment to blossom, I often remember the decisions I made in life, thinking about the alternate options and if would I feel any differently than I do today. What if I:

  • Finished obtaining certification to become a teacher?
  • Stayed in California?
  • Began writing books when I was younger?
  • Had children?

The list could go on and on… not quite regrets, not quite desires… somewhere in the middle, showing me an alternate life. Wistful because I could see the beauty and growth of students learning and obtaining a good education…. because I may have moved up the corporate ladder even more quickly… because I may have been published at an earlier age… because I wouldn’t feel too old to consider starting parenting now.

When I get wistful, I often stare blindly at some object. Never anything beautiful or fanciful that would distract me. I’m not looking into an elaborate forest and wondering, or smiling at a opening flower. I’m looking at a blank wall or the corner of a floor, or even into the darkness, as I fall asleep in my bed.

To some, this may sound sad and overwhelming. To me, it is a way of challenging myself to always wonder about the alternative choices and options. A way of pushing myself to never give up. An opportunity for change, if I ever really want it.

I could return to school to finish getting that teaching degree. I could move back to California and push harder. I can’t change when my first book is published, but I can make it a larger focus to publish more. And I can still have children, as I’m really still rather young. But are these truly desires or just wistful moments to help me feel connected to decisions I’ve previously made, but possibly still contemplating?

I’m not being philosophical. I’m not playing Hamlet. I’m not even channeling my inner Freud. I’m allowing myself a healthy wonder to materialize from time to time, balancing the ability to feel the emotions (regret, sympathy, fear, happiness, acceptance) with the choices we make upon each split in the road of our lives.

But in those wistful moments, picturing the alternatives, focusing on the memories, breathing in the smells, hearing the sounds, sensing the past… it’s a rather calming sensation for me, even when I realize I might have made a different choice, knowing what I know now. But I wouldn’t change it. Not from fear. Not from religion or science. But because I cannot change it and see no reason to get caught up in thinking about it with too much deep concern.

Just enough to keep me always realizing each day is an accepted step, building towards a determined path, culminating in a unique journey that I claim as my own. But during that journey, it’s always valuable to remember playing a board game with my godmother who passed away from cancer, writing letters to a grandmother who felt lonely, and standing in field convincing myself to always let my words be the most powerful thing about me. And if a tear rumbles down my cheek, or a crack in my voice surfaces, or even a nervous giggle and a coy smile… it will always be worth it — to be wistful in that moment.

“Watching a Glass Shatter” – New Family Drama Novel

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The wealthy Glass family has lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons prepare for the will reading in their own way but Olivia receiv…

Source: Family Drama: Watching a Glass Shatter

-jjciv

“Watching a Glass Shatter” – 1st Draft Completed

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I’ve no energy to write a proper blog… because I’ve just completed the first draft of “Watching a Glass Shatter.”

80K+ words. 250+ pages. 30 chapters dedicated to the impact of the death of Benjamin Glass, father to 5 sons and husband to Olivia.  Except he left a secret behind.  And his wife learns about during the reading of his will.

1 of the 5 boys isn’t really their son.  Which one was is it?  Why did Ben keep this secret?  Who is Rowena Hector? Wait… all 5 of the boys have their own secrets they are afraid to share with the mother.  How will it all turn out?

Stay tuned… next step, time for editing round one.

Thanks for the support!

-jjciv