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365 Challenge: Day 107 – Idle

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

idle

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

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

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

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

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

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

______________________

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

I will get back to being me!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

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

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

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

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365 Challenge: Day 97 – Far-Away

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Far-Away: distant from others, as in space or time

In yesterday’s 365 Daily Challenge, there were two definitions for the word distant, but I only covered the first one, meaning reserved or cool; not intimate. Today, we shall explore what I intended in the second meaning of “distant,” relative to being far away from our family and friends, due to either distance or time.

far awy

Life is full of change. People come in and out at different points, usually depending on the circumstances surrounding both of your lives. There’s an old expression that says something along the lines of “You can’t change your family. They’re blood relations.” While we could play word games all day and explore family by marriage or adoption, I’m not looking to find all the hidden meanings in these words. But what I do want to discuss is how important a role family plays in your life. A little background:

As I’ve posted before, I am an only-child, but both of my parents have a bunch of siblings who all grew up on Long Island. I have around 15 first cousins whom I essentially grew up with, each living somewhere between 2 minutes and 20 minutes away from me. Perhaps a story for another day, but I wasn’t aware of 2 of the cousins until my grandfather passed away when I was in high school. I met them for the first time at his funeral, not ever knowing they lived in the same town and I went to high school with one of them. {Aside: Not for nothing, but what if I ended up dating one of them without our families knowing… how crazy would that be!} Nonetheless, apart from that one set of relatives, I saw my family nearly every weekend.

We’d have dinners during the week, holiday parties, summer barbecues, impromptu visits and regular play dates. We were all very close, as my parents were close with their siblings for most of their lives. Over the years, for various circumstances, the family has grown further apart. One aunt passed away, but we still see my uncle and cousins. They are the only ones to remain on Long Island with one other exception. The rest have all moved away to Florida or Pennsylvania. My generation, all the cousins, have scattered even further. We’ve moved to the west coast, all over the country and even to Asia and Eastern Europe. Scattered. The family has scattered. Throughout those years, I’ve been both close and distant with each of my cousins, sometimes dependent on our ages and at others where we lived.

You’re thinking… Captain Obvious again, Jay. Sometimes we’re close, sometimes we’re not. True. But my question is… when it’s family, should we make more of an effort? I love them all. I like them all. Some I probably wouldn’t be friends with if they weren’t relatives. Some I probably would be close with even if we weren’t related. As the 15 of us are now all between 25 and 43, we are the generation having children and beginning to think about the future of our family. We try to keep up with texting and social media, sometimes calls and the occasional visit or get-together. But it’s nothing like we did as children with our parents and grandparents. In one way, it’s sad. In another, it’s an exciting challenge, meaning, as we each see the world, we can grow and expand the knowledge of our family.

But are the days of the close-knit family essentially gone? Is this circumstantial to just my family (and people like us)? Is it due to most of us wanting to get off of Long Island? {Aside: It’s a beautiful place, but very congested and hard to travel anywhere. Minimum 2 hours to get outside of the island and beyond NYC, which makes weekend trips a bit difficult} Is it generational with those of us born from 1975 through current days? Or is it that we are too selfish to purposely keep the family connections intact and intimate?

For me, it’s a bit of a pattern. I had a group of grammar school friends, but I don’t see them anymore. We’ll occasionally exchange a message on Facebook or Instagram, but it’s rare — even with my best friend who lived next door. We spent every day together for 18 years, then every summer together during college years. But nearly 20 years later, it’s quite different. Same with my high school and college friends. We grow further and further apart. I’ve got a small group of close friends that my partner and I see frequently, and there is a lot of substance there, but none have known me for decades like some of my former oldest friends… or my family.

Is this how life is, e.g. transient in the sense you pick up and move, find new friends and go on? Technology makes it easier and harder to stay connected. When you have a smart phone, you can see what everyone is doing. Yet at the same time, you’re less inclined to physically get together. While I’m not upset or depressed by everything I’ve just said, I am curious how this plays out for the next 40 years of my life (or more… since I might just live forever). If my partner and I move outside of NY, will we need to start over and find new friends to regularly see in person? Will I grow further apart from family? We don’t have children now, and probably won’t in the future (never really finished that conversation), what happens to us when we’re in our 60s and 70s… are we the great uncles to our cousins and his siblings kids that randomly visit from time to time?

I’m just thinking aloud. I’m a very happy person, so these are just questions that I ponder. How about you? What relationships do you have with your family today? And how do you see that changing in your future? And your friends? Let’s be honest… we say we will stay connected forever… and at 20, I believed it. At 40, I see reality. Or is it just my perception? Let’s get to the root of this… I look forward to hearing from everyone.

 

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.