change

Watching Glass Shatter – Feedback & Thoughts on Change Today and in the Past

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I met a new blogger this week who had provided some feedback and a fantastic review of my book, Watching Glass Shatter. A few days later, she surprised me with a really thoughtful and analytical set of questions about how some of the characters handled change in the book… in particular the growth of Olivia, in how she accepted all that happened around her, comparing it to how someone may have handled it 80 years earlier… These are the types of conversations that make me so happy I took a chance on writing a book and connecting with bloggers around the world. This is a must check-out post. I’m confident you’ll find someone new to follow. Thank you, Michelle @ ReadingMinds. Read more via Book Inspired Musings

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365 Challenge: Day 293 – 2017

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2017: the current year — and a memorable one for me

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Although I am one day early with my final post for 2017, there is some logic behind today’s 365 Daily Challenge choice. Tomorrow is a Sunday ‘list’ day and the holiday I chose is New Year’s, which means the post really can’t be about 2017. As an ode to everything I accomplished this year — my last official random 365 Daily Challenge post of 2017 — I want to say goodbye to a very life-changing year.

When 2017 began, I was 39 years old, had just completed writing a draft of ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ and was about to start the process of achieving one of my life-long goals — publishing a book. I was afraid of being ‘unemployed’ by giving up (or putting on hold?) a successful corporate technology career just a few months earlier. I was hitting that next decade by turning 40, wondering how I truly felt about myself. I would be putting myself far out there in front of friends, family, acquaintances and strangers. It’s a lot of change at once, but it was also a lot of opportunity. I created a list of items that would be my measurement of success when I granted myself permission to explore this alternative life path. As I come up on the one year mark (February) of sending the manuscript to the first literary agent, I will review and compare how I’ve done. As the 365 Daily Challenge officially ends on March 12th, I will probably hold a countdown noting everything I learned during this time frame.

For now, as I look back on 2017, I am thankful for everything that has happened. For the mistakes I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned and the progress that’s occurred. A few fleeting thoughts:

  • Many people talk about writing a book, but I actually did it. Regardless of its success or failure, this is a huge accomplishment — I am proud of myself. Very few people actually give themselves permission, or have the fortitude, to make this happen.
  • Between the first draft and the one that was published, I cannot possibly explain the extent to which I learned and developed my style and voice. It’s still in adolescence, but I am confident in the growth that is building each day. I see it already with the level of writing in Father Figure, my second novel.
  • Blogging is a way to express yourself, but it’s also a method to grow more comfortable interacting with strangers. By embarrassing myself with all aspects of who I am, I learn how to accept my own faults and to be less judgmental of others. People are different, and it’s okay. You don’t have to like everyone. Not everyone will like you.
  • Unfortunately, there are mean and rude people you will encounter, but they are in the minority — and they serve a purpose: To push you to stay honest, to remain open-minded, and to behave better than them. I’m finding ways to use their negativity to drive my success forward.
  • Change happens every day. Goals are re-prioritized. 2017 taught me how to grow more comfortable with living on the edge when it comes to people giving you feedback on your words, imagination and style. In the end, all that matters is you are happy with what you’ve produced.

I will always remember the year 2017 as a major turning point in my life. I am thankful for everything and everyone — much gratitude to each of you. May you have a wonderful last 24 hours before we start anew…

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 247 – Toxic

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Toxic: when two friends no longer mix well and the relationship has run its course

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Friendships are often the thing that holds us together when life throws too many lemons our way. Friends have your back, they show up when you ask (or even when you don’t) and they offer a sympathetic ear when you need encouragement. Over the years, friendships continue to grow stronger and deeper as the connection forges even more tightly than before. But what happens when things aren’t the same anymore… is it okay to walk away from something that has become toxic?

I’ve had many friends over the years… grammar school, high school, college and even those in my twenties. For the most part, I am not as close with many of them as I was once. Our separation in nearly all the instances was just that: a separation due to physical proximity or the momentum of life situations. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but life takes you in different places and you grow apart; it’s sad, but it happens. There are a few who you can remain just as close with and you adore every minute of it. At the opposite extreme, on occasion, you need to make the tough decision that the friendship is no longer the same, and for the better of both people involved, it’s time to walk away. It’s not fair and it’s certainly not fun, but if the friendship as become toxic, why would you want to continue to hurt one another. Perhaps it’s over jealousy or a stupid incident that just won’t go away. Maybe it’s the way one or both friends change in their own individuality. Religion, politics, opinions and life experience can often help formulate who you are and who you want to be… and sometimes, as you age, those things evolve and take you down a different path.

It’s hard to say goodbye when someone dies. It’s harder in some ways to choose to walk away from a friendship, knowing you will miss the person and/or be reminded of the past too often. There should be some effort put into repairs, but if it’s clear there’s a fork in the road, or in this case, the relationship, it might be okay to walk away from it. It doesn’t change the connection you once had. It doesn’t erase the memories of good times. You might find your way back to being friends again in the future. When the core of the current friendship starts to crumble or change its form, staying in it might end up hurting you more in the long run.

Friends often rely upon one another so much, it becomes second nature. If someone’s thought processes or needs change, it’s not always clear or obvious at the moment. A fight might change the nature of intimacy for a long enough period that the bond is not strong enough to remain stitched together. If one person feels anger, jealousy or abrasiveness, it can start eating away at you to the point where you don’t enjoy the time together. But even when a sense of obligation tells you to keep texting or calling, visiting or going out… it may be time to analyze the whole situation before you keep pushing to fix it. I’m not saying once you have a few fights, it’s time to throw in the towel. You should always make an effort to repair, but when the core things that once kept you close no longer exist, it might be time to accept the changes and walk away as happier people.

Life is short. People change. You want to be close with those who make you happy and whom you love. It may be different people at different times, and it might end changing the nature of your existing friendships. If you are intensely close, you probably will withstand the changes, but if it’s causing more grief, tension, concern or issues than the positive aspects, it’s probably time to move on. The thoughts in this post are not about anyone specific; moreover, it’s about recognizing there are start and end times to everything in life, including life itself. It’s always beneficial to make something good last as long as possible, but on the flip side, if it’s no longer good, figure out how to fix it and/or move on from that friend who makes you feel bad, be upset, get angry, act differently… or just makes your day far worse. It’s okay to walk away when you’ve tried to fix it but the connection has vanished, or it’s just not a good one anymore.

Bad friendships suck… I’ve had a few and had to move on. How about you?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 219 – Copper

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Copper: the color I’m possibly planning to change my hair to next time

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It’s been a long time since I posted anything too revealing in the 365 Daily Challenge, which means it’s time for a more informal and embarrassing one today. I’ve mentioned before that I have dyed my hair since I was about 18, as grey started quite early for me. It’s barely ten percent, but I see it and don’t like it! I have nothing against grey hair, and sometimes I actually find it quite attractive on other people. But I have an age in my head when I will give up on dying it and let it be all natural. I’m not there yet.

That said, though I’m usually consistent in 99% of all areas in my life, my appearance does not follow those same rules. I have always stayed within the same family of browns for my hair color, occasionally a bit darker or lighter, depending on my mood. On one scary instance, I went very black. And on another, by myself, I went quite copper. I didn’t know at the time you had to bleach your hair in order to turn it blonde. I was very young. Forgive me.

Lately, I’ve seen a bunch of redheads and found myself interested in giving it a try. I have natural red tones in my hair due to my Scottish and Irish ancestry, but I’ve never before wanted to bring them out. Until recently. W and I discussed it, as I wanted an opinion; he vetoed it. I’m sure you can imagine that discussion… and he’s not home yet, so as I write this post, keep this in mind. He might be reading this one in a few minutes and know sooner than expected. I went for my haircut today and showed a bunch of photos to the fantastic Rosemary who has taken care of my hair for about five years. She reminded me that due to the color already on my hair, she’d have to bleach it to get the color I wanted in the photos. So we compromised… I added more red tones to see if I like it, and then in my next hair cut, I can decide if I want to go full change or hold back where it is now.

There is still a bunch of product in my hair so you won’t see the full effect until it’s washed and dried again. It will also lighten up in the next few days, but I went with copper tones to try and get closer to the color I’d like for a little while; after all, it is autumn. It’s been a banner week with the book launch; I wanted to show my real personality. And give everyone a glimpse into my world… feel free to dislike it! 🙂 But feel free to love it. It’s not incredibly different, but I definitely see it getting more and more red. I also am growing it out longer until I decide what to do with it… Here goes…

 

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It’s not clear in the last pic, but you can sort of see it starting to come through!

Let the embarrassment begin!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 159 – Kaleidoscope

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

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

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

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

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

Mirror

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

Color

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

Pattern

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

Paper

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

Glass

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

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

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

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

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

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

365 Challenge: Day 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 131 – Friendly

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Friendlyfavorably disposed; inclined to approve, help, or support 

friend

Have you ever wondered how you choose a friend, or how many different types of friends might be part of your life? I’ve touched on this topic on a small scale in a few posts about being neighborly, social and grateful; however, I thought it might be time to devote an entire post to the concept of friendship. As I become more familiar and connected in the blogging world, you start to think about how you choose the people you want closest to you in your life. There is only so much time in any given day, shouldn’t you maximize your hours by filling them with only the best?

For many years, our closest friends were the people in our family, especially hundreds of years ago when you spent all of your time working with them simply to attain food, water, shelter and warmth. As the world grew, people began connecting more with the neighbors and extended families, determining whomever was closest to them in proximity as their friends. And when the wheel was invented, traveling to neighboring villages occurred, then cars enabled short-trips, trains fostered mid-length journeys, and planes or boats delivered long-distance travel. But it’s technology which has truly enabled us to choose our friends by any means possible. And the definition of friendship has completely changed as a result of such advances with mobile applications, wireless and social integration.

Let’s play a little game, as you know I’m quite fond of them. What if you could start from scratch and choose your friends all over again? Would you do anything differently? Where would you start? How would you make these decisions? For me, I’d probably begin by dividing this task into two focus points: (1) Selecting people I think have similar interests, personalities and goals, and (2) Leaving room for a few you just happen to click with, perhaps for unknown reasons initially, but recognize the potential for a long-term friend. When I think about the concept of friendship, it has a few different meanings:

  • I have friends who I am social with, but wouldn’t see myself confiding in or asking for guidance.
  • I have friends who I could text with all day long on both important and frivolous topics purely as we enjoy the banter and connection.
  • I have friends whom I would take great leaps and bounds for to ensure they were protected or assisted.
  • I have friends who in another universe could actually be even more.

Friendships are unique and distinct, which are not often the same thing. Unique implies there is nothing else the same. Distinct simply means noticeably different than something else. What you get from one person is often not the same as what you’ll get from another person in a friendship. And at times, as we change, our friendships must also change in order to build the best possible support structure in our lives. Sometimes you have friends for life, other people come in and out of your world during different periods. My world of friends grows every day, especially as I’ve become more prolific on social media and blogging. I’m finding that I have so much more in common with people than I had previously experienced. And none of this would have been possible without the great expansion of technology.

{Aside: Technology certain brings many problems, too, but that’s another day’s post!}

In a previous post, I recall mentioning that the word friend is an important word to me. A friend is not someone you occasionally chat with, see from time to time for a drink or know very little about. When I call someone a friend, it is because we have truly taken the time to get to know many details about one another, and I want that person in my life as someone I feel I can truly turn to when I need support. The rest are more acquaintances, which is not a bad word. I sometimes say electronic friends or online buddies. It’s not meant as a negative comment; quite the opposite. If I’m commenting or chatting with someone, I obviously find that communication important enough to continue. I wouldn’t spend time with someone if I felt it was tedious, painful or useless. I’m simply saying there are different levels of contact between people, ranging from strangers to soul mates (if that exists, but again, that’s another post).

Friendships are important to me, as they are to everyone else. When I see the words best friend or bestie, I feel the need to over-analyze. Can you have more than one bestie? I’m playing with semantics, but just like the definition of semantics, I feel the same about the definition of friendship. It’s a privilege. It’s special. And I mean the words I say. I often struggle with choosing what to say in a conversation, partially why I am shy, because I don’t just say something for the sake of saying it. Semantics are important to me for those reasons. My best friend (while growing up) and I hardly ever get to chat anymore; however, when we do, it’s right back to where we were as kids. It never changes. I miss her and all that we had, but I know we are still connected.

So back to my little game: how do we choose our friends in this day and age when an entire world’s multi-billion population is nearly at our fingertips? And can you afford to have multiple intense connections without giving away so much of your energy, love, and time? Today’s post is mostly just a stream-of-conscious list of thoughts and questions, but not something we often find ourselves truly thinking about. And in the grand scheme of things, perhaps it’s not all that important to discover or decide. If you’re having fun with the people in your life, isn’t that all that matters? But it’s still a great question when you think about it… your friendships can be so different and varied, distinct and unique, yet did you choose them, or did they fall into your lap due to proximity and timing?

That’s enough philosophy for me today. My brain can handle only so much, especially when it’s time for me to be working on my novel’s outline. I’m looking forward to everyone’s thoughts and inputs on the varying levels of friendship in our lives.

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Kate @ MeltingPotsAndOtherCalamities. Kate and I met about 3 months ago via someone else’s website where we were both nominated for tags. And since then, we have been tagging each other all the time, learning more and more each day. We both love Harry Potter, The Book Thief and Sherlock. Kate’s giving me ideas on anime and sci-fi, not normal genres for me. And who couldn’t love the name of her site. Bet you want to know what that’s all about???  But truthfully, she has a very fun website with great color schemes, cartoons and branding. And she’s a published author! I won’t reveal anymore as you need to click the link above and go check it out for yourself. A few things she tells us about herself in the About Me section:
    • “Some things about me include that my favorite books tend to be in the mystery, thriller, or sic-fi genres. That typically goes with my T.V shows and movies too, but I do enjoy some things that are different. I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like dogs; actually, I like them a lot! Typically I just like animals. I have two cats, and there may be an occasional post about them too.”

 

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.