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365 Challenge: Day 345 – Stubborn (LIST: Favorite 365 Moments)

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Stubborn: when Jay doesn’t learn his lesson and can’t focus on what he should be focusing on, e.g. keeping things more simple

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. Since the next group of five Sundays is the final group and the conclusion of the 365 Daily Challenge, I decided to select my five favorite moments throughout the last year of this challenge. This is our third week and I’ve gone with stubborn because I keep letting myself get caught up in things rather than enjoying a more simple approach to life. But it’s also a lesson someone else reading this needs to learn… while I won’t call you out — you’ve been way too stressed lately, and I see this happening in both of us more than it should. Therefore… let’s make the effort to focus on how to simplify. To relax. To be calm. To enjoy. Not to stress. Not to worry. To be more healthy. And to find the best way to keep things happier. Let’s revisit what I was thinking ten months ago about the simple life… and oh yeah, the first item below about cleaning the apartment if there are guests… well, it’s ironic as I spent all day today cleaning the apartment as I have a guest staying with me this weekend. Well, she’s more like family, so perhaps I didn’t need to clean. Ha!

***

365 Challenge: Day 46 – Simple

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Simple: easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty; composed of a single element; straightforward

Simple is usually a good thing, when it’s applied to things or actions. You can accomplish more and feel less restricted when something is simple to do. When it’s applied to people, it can more often mean something negative as well as something positive, even at the same time.

I consider myself simple, when it comes to keeping myself entertained or interested in others. I tend to follow that ole familiar saying: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), meaning don’t over-complicate whatever it is you are trying to do. Ensure everyone can understand, then you make a bigger impression with whatever is the goal.

For me, I apply the simple approach for most things right out of the gate, increasing the intensity or complexity depending on whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I’m not focusing on work-related items, as that’s similar but in a different manner. I’m referring to how I keep myself focused during the day. Examples:

  • I don’t need to be entertained 24/7. I’m perfectly comfortable reading, watching TV, wandering around the house… not needing a lot of conversation or interaction with others. Of course, I couldn’t do that all the time, but generally, that’s a simple approach.

  • I attempt to limit any and all stress in my life by keeping my days simple. Certain things get me worked up, but generally, I’m not going to get upset when I don’t need to.  It’s all a matter of perspective and analysis, understanding what the real item at hand is.
  • If I have multiple paths to complete something, I tend to look for the easiest one that will accomplish the most. “Biggest bang for the buck.”

I certainly don’t take those tendencies overboard… but it’s a fair balance to be able to do more with less. I’d rather not spend hours trying to design something until it’s perfect, when I can find a good/solid approach and be comfortable knowing there might be something better and I didn’t get there or do that. I don’t see this as not being a perfectionist, which I’ve already confessed I am. A perfectionist needs things to be perfect, but simple can also be perfect.

When things are simple, you have less expectations. When things are simple, you can observe the beauty of something in its natural state or its innocence. When things are simple, you have a moment to breathe and enjoy it.

Things we should all try to find simplicity in:

  • Don’t get caught up in “what should we do” today… enjoy the time together, even if it’s just sitting in a quiet room and doing nothing for an hour.
  • Find a picturesque landscape and reflect on different aspects of its beauty. Think about your five senses: see, hear, smell, touch and taste.
  • Don’t over-analyze why the other person did something that made you upset / confused. Ask them… or let it go… or choose to accept the simplest answer (I’m talking about the little things!)
  • Don’t get angry about things (again, minor items) and be sure to find a way not to let it impact you.
  • Don’t over-plan such that you can’t sit back and let something happen naturally.

Having a simple approach can make your day and your life a whole lot better. That said, I am not always simple. A few points I need to improve on as the way I work below can be stressful and the opposite of simple:

  1. If I have company, the apartment needs to be spotless. I always clean.
  2. If I’m cooking a meal, it is usually not simple. Must have 20 ingredients.
  3. If I’m doing anything financial (bills, projections, investments), it is never simple. I obsess over pennies, and we’ve talked about that part of me before.

Just be careful you don’t become uncaring or lackadaisical about things. Sometimes it is important to be more focused. You also don’t want to give off an impression that you are non-committal or too removed from a situation.

How do you ensure more simplicity in your life? I’m asking for a friend… who is me… so I can keep on improving every day. Give me 20 ways please, it’s on my mind all the time… and I must improve. LOL

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me. Past weeks included:

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
  • Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
  • Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
  • Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion
  • Week 33 – 37: Favorite Book Genres
  • Week 38 – 42: Holidays
  • Week 43 – 47: Objects I adore
  • Week 48 – 52: Favorite 365 Moments

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.

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Book Review: Simply Does It by Melanie Mole

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Simply Does It           by          Melanie Mole

simply does it

Book Review 
Life can be quite difficult, especially when it comes to working hard to afford whatever lifestyle choices you make; however, it doesn’t always have to be that way. If you’re interested in learning how one woman simplified major aspects of her day-to-day, this is the book for you. It’s not a step -by-step-how-to book, or an encyclopedia of all the things stress does to your body. It’s a lovely tale almost written in the form of journal entries with some tips on how the author, the wonderful Melanie Mole, learned to make the switch from hectic to calm.

I ‘met’ Melanie through my blog, ThisIsMyTruthNow, over the summer, and we began exchanging emails each week to share our thoughts on writing and publishing. When she described her book, I thought it was something I’d enjoy, and probably needed to digest to keep myself from again crossing that line into a world of constant stress. I purchased the electronic version in September and read this ~200 page book over three nights just before bed, hoping its messages would sink in overnight. It was an unexpected read, divided into three major sections, each describing and comparing Melanie’s experiences: (1) staying in a nunnery, (2) bonding with dogs and (3) living on a boat and in a caravan. Within each one, she tells how the connections/events occurred, what she felt about them at first and where she ended up when the experience ended.

This is a different kind of book. It’s one where you can casually read it while also diving into a new novel, balancing your love of stories and your interest in making small changes to your life. The messages are simple, everything from ‘never give up’ to ‘balance your risk,’ each providing a short memory or story to drive home Melanie’s point. The language and writing is clear and simple, too, as it’s meant to sink into your mind now and again as time passes. At first, you’ll hear the words and think ‘oh, that’s hard,’ but then you’ll ponder it throughout the day to see which one of the lessons you could try to incorporate into your own life.

Every once in a while, it’s good to take a chance on a new author or a new book topic. I’m glad I did with this one and encourage others to take a look at the book for their own world. It may just give you a different perspective, one you might have heard before, but always need a reminder of. And if simplifying life is not for you, it’s still a fun tale about three experiences many of us don’t have very often in life. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to visit a convent or a monastery… now I have a good sense.

I hope you enjoy the book and take something away to make the future days even better. It’s on sale via Amazon and for less than the price of a cup of coffee as someone has quickly pointed out to me!

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write 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 also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. 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.

365 Challenge: Day 136 – Brief

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Brief: of short duration, a concise statement or summary

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As today’s word suggests, today’s post will be a bit more brief than usual. Although the poll has a few more hours before I close it, over 90% of the responses indicated I should feel free to adjust the content or approach in the 365 Daily posts, as long as I retain the same voice and message. I may be writing a bit shorter posts, so that I can also focus on writing my novel, but I still want them to be a valuable part of your day.

We’re going to start out this one with a laugh. After following my routine of choosing the word, I conduct a Google search for images that have the word within their contents. For some reason, the word ‘brief’ did not conjure up cute cartoon word art or memes with a funny picture of the word. Instead, it brought up hundreds of men wearing briefs followed by several wearing briefs that were missing some of their fabric, as in the entire part that’s supposed to cover your ass, or wearing no briefs at all. I was mildly interested amused salivating curious surprised and spent a second minute hour looking for what I needed. I was tempted to use the first picture in the returned list as my post’s featured image, but then I realized it might give everyone the wrong impression. So… sorry to say… no guys in skimpy bathing suits or underwear for you today. Just me and some brief words hopefully worth sharing.

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For a brief moment this morning, I had caught up on most of the outstanding items on my plate, such that I could focus on writing for a solid 6 hours today. It felt great. By lunch, I checked my phone to see what messages I had missed. Those were not brief. Those were plentiful but encouraging. Two hours later, I lost track of how much time had passed. How do you all do it? What I thought might be a brief break to look at a few sites turned into hours of reading and responding. No writing. OK, so I put my phone on a hiatus for a few hours and continued writing. I never stopped for the gym when I should have at 4pm. I’ll punish myself later with no liquor allowed at or after dinner. It’ll be a rough night, folks. No telling what will turn out this evening.

But I quit by 5:15 and said, I’ll do a brief check of social media before I clean up and figure out what to make for dinner. All the posts I’d written last night had now been published, giving me a whole new round of responses to review.

*** I swear it’s like rabbits. I’ve got a herd of hares humping in my hard-drive and heaven better help me before they hippity-hop into my head. ***

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I might be losing my mind this week, which is why I’ve opted for a brief post for tomorrow’s 365 Daily Challenge. Brief because:

  • Sometimes our minds are tapped out.
  • Our energy levels are normal instead of the usual bonkers which is required to actually do everything I need to do.
  • Your head’s spinning trying to decide:
    • write?
    • read?
    • post?
    • tag?
    • award?
    • which social media tool?
    • what agent?
    • how many words today?
    • did you pay the bills?
    • Ryder, stop throwing your hedgehog on the table at me while I’m working.
    • Yes, I would like a nap.
    • The voices are getting stronger in my head.

And with that said, I hope you all enjoyed this moment of schizophrenia I am sharing. Because if I have to live with this crazy today (all good stuff), I’m sharing it with everyone that matters on my blog.

So there you have it. A few last thoughts of what you’ve seen just now:

  1. A brief glimpse into a man losing his mind — please call help
  2. A brief interlude between my sanity and my insanity — but seriously I’m fine
  3. A brief post to meet the 365 Daily Challenge goal — it feels good to be done today
  4. A brief moment of laughter in your day while reading this post — at least I hope so
  5. A brief step away from the norm — we all need one
  6. A brief update on the “Adjustable” poll — thanks for telling me to do whatever I want in these posts
  7. A brief morsel of knowledge — never Google this word unless you’re searching for something a tad bit R or even X rated
  8. A brief story — didn’t you just love my little “H” themed rabbit moment – HILARIOUS
  9. A brief apology — for not producing high quality content today
  10. A brief pair of underwear — despite denying I’d include a picture of them

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Question: Why do they call them a “pair” of briefs? And another question, an even more important one, … who would wear something like this? I’ve heard of Granny Panties for women before, but what do you call these other than Tighty Whities? I wouldn’t be caught dead in them. Everyone needs to have a good pair of underwear or we can’t be friends anymore. I prefer boxer briefs. And I’ll leave you on that note. Happy Briefs!

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is The Orangutan Library. First thing to say — there is absolutely no link between the 365 Daily Challenge word and the Recommended Blogger of the day. I’ve pre-planned the bloggers through mid-August, and sometimes it’s just gonna happen where the selections are a bit amusing and disconnected. But… where there is a small connection… is in that we met 3 months ago, briefly chatting over a few different book reviews and TV shows, ranging from Shakespeare to Pretty Little Liars… From there, we covered various apes and gorillas to the 365 Daily Challenge words, and how both applied to each of us. But after all the tags we’ve done together and a few shared awards, we’ve built a fun rapport throughout our posts and comments back and forth. The site library is great, with tons of feedback and full of new ideas. Great art work and graphics. A load of humorous links. If you don’t believe me, check out the below blurb from the About Me section and then go visit the site yourself:
    • “I bet you are all surprised to see that an orang-utan can manage to use a keyboard, let alone run a blog about books. Well, prepare to be amazed, because I’ve barely got started yet. Ok enough aping around. Please insert the usual disclaimer about all opinions being my own here. Also try not to take offence at any of my brutally honest opinions. Yada yada yada, etcetera etcetera.  So without further ado (*drumroll please*) I hereby declare this virtual library open. And yes, for all you Terry Pratchett fans out there, the title is a nod to the Librarian. Just getting into the Discworld and becoming a massive fan… so stay tuned for more!”

 

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 135 – Effortless

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Effortless: requiring no physical or mental exertion; achieved with admirable ease

As we dive into today’s 365 Daily Challenge, the first step is to stop and think about a few things in our lives that we’d consider effortless. Take a few minutes if needed, but picture two before reading any further. {Insert elevator music… 120… 60… 30… 3… 2… 1…} Ready?

  • Strolling through nature simply to enjoy the beauty surrounding you
  • Listening to music and allowing your body to react however it feels the need to

Those were the two I’m focusing on as I write this post. While some might say both of those require a tad bit of physical exertion, I disagree. You can put as little or as much as you want into each action, ensuring your own level of admirable ease is met. It’s rare for me to engage in either of these activities purely for the sake of just these activities. If I’m walking through nature, I’ve usually got a problem I’m trying to solve. If I’m listening to music, I’m usually feeling something emotional that wants to connect with lyrics and sound from an artist I admire.

But have you ever just stopped what you were doing purely for the sake of allowing something effortless to occur, without worrying about what you get from it in return? Without choosing to mold or shape the journey to fit whatever path you want to embark upon? Rarely, if at all, would be my guess. Effortless is not a word that most people think of or feel as part of their normal day. We have schedules and clocks. We have to do lists and goals. We have fears and concerns. There’s always something we need to accomplish and our minds naturally look to focus on achievements before relaxation. We are programmed to put effort into a task so the outcome is beneficial. But that’s where we often fail to recognize what’s right in front of us sometimes… doing something that requires little or no effort and has no specific tangible outcome might actually be exactly what our bodies and minds need, so that we can continue to reach our future expectations.

Today was a busy day for me. I flipped my schedule so that I spent most of the afternoon writing. Within three hours, I had drafted 5K words for Father Figure, finding myself remarkably impressed that the story was flowing from my fingertips to the keyboard with relative ease. But it wasn’t effortless in the beginning. I stopped and started. I re-checked the outline several times. I had a few interruptions with phone calls and a visit from the repair man (the freezer has been fixed). But after about 45 minutes, it felt like the most natural and normal experience. By late afternoon, feeling thoroughly accomplished and in need of physical activity, I went to the gym. Then I headed across town to meet the significant other and some friends for dinner and an early show. Linda Lavin was having a cabaret performance at Birdland here in NYC, singing a few songs, telling a few stories and reminiscing about all the shows and tv series she’d previously acted in. And all I had to do was sit at my table, have a few drinks, relax and enjoy the entertainment for several hours. It was an effortless experience where no one needed me to do anything and the only required duty from me was to listen.

effortless

Enter the adorable, sweet, creative, fun, intelligent and charming Roda from Growing Self. We chatted for a few minutes about cookie dough, magic, clones, writing and opportunity. She could tell I was struggling with the right 365 word, then drew a card from her set of Earth Magic Oracle Cards created by Steven D. Farmer. The card, as the picture shows above, was Effortless. It displayed a picture of a waterfall, sharing a story about the natural, graceful and powerful flow of water cascading through a rock formation and settling in an exquisite pool of simplicity. The message was clear: to allow yourself to surrender to the will of Spirit. Essentially, give yourself permission to relinquish control to another. Could my decision to choose a word and write the post be anything other than effortless at this point?

I bet you’re wondering why I didn’t choose permissive after that experience, but how could I? My takeaway from the cards pointed me towards that feeling I’ve been having for the last week… among all the items on my list of things to do, I most feverishly and frequently looked forward to sitting at my desk to begin writing the chapters for my second novel. Once I allowed myself to let go, forgetting about everything else I needed to address, writing no longer felt like a task on a long list of to-do’s. No one was expecting anything from me. My mind was open and ready to create life from the outline I’d finished last week. And all I had to do was give myself permission to move forward with these steps for me to see it was truly an effortless activity.

Life doesn’t always give you the freedom to choose what you want to do. But when it does, you need to wisely accept that chance. You need to allow the world to show you what it is that you haven’t been able to see for yourself. Find the path that feels as effortless as either your stroll through nature or listening to music — whatever your two items were at the top of this post. Don’t let yourself be so caught up in everything that you’re supposed to be accomplishing less you forget the beauty of your own effortless waterfall. You might just get swept up by its sheer serenity, finding yourself landing in an even better place than the water chose for you.

 

REMINDER: The poll will close today regarding any changes I might make to the 365 Daily Challenge posts. I appreciate everyone who voted over the last six days. If you haven’t had a chance to vote, here is the link: Vote for Changes to 365 Daily Challenge.

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Patricia @ Tea And Tales. We met just a little over three months over a shared excitement over cozy mysteries. As I got to know Patricia, we learned there’s so much more in common. We both loved Hush, Hush… Sweet Charlotte, are excited researching our genealogy and found Fifty Shades of Grey just awkward! We’re constantly checking each other’s reviews out on all types of books, but mystery has been on the top genres we both flock towards. Her website is extraordinarily beautiful in its colors and tranquility. The menu on the right clearly shows all the different types of categories for her posts… everything from cooking to faith to life to humor and of course tea! You will definitely find a few books to pick up as well as a new online friend. If you don’t believe me, check out the below blurb from her About Me section:
    • “Welcome to Teaandtales1… I love talking Tea and hearing a good Tale, or a new Cozy Mystery! Have a favorite of either? Let us know, we love a good tea and/or tale. We have a Facebook Page also, which is full of Tea news, offers, discounts and Cozy Mystery Book Reviews.  Facebook Link“”

 

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 132 – Casual

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Casual: relaxed and unconcerned

casua;

Every once in a while, you wake up on the other side of the bed. Literally. Not physically. I have a dog that prevents me from moving at night, so waking up in a different part of the bed is not usually an issue. On the floor is a possibility, as with every hour that goes by, his little paws push me an inch closer to the edge. One day, I will be knocked off. And that’s the only day it will ever happen. I push back. I’ll tie up all his stuffed animal toys just above where he can reach them on the wall and see what he does about it. Evil. That’s me sometimes. Unpredictable. Relaxed. Casual.

Most people on this blog probably know me as a bit too organized and formal when it comes to my posts. I never just wing it… for the last week, I’ve been drafting the posts at night and scheduling them for the next morning. It gave me an opportunity to spend more time writing “Father Figure” with less distractions and worry over “oh, yeah, gotta get to that 365 post.” But last night, I was in a good mood and we went out to dinner, then watched some TV and I had a book to finish (review to come later), so no 365 post was drafted last night. This morning… I went to check that the post was released and went “Aaack… I still have to write something.”

Casual. Sometimes just writing what’s on your mind and combining a few things together is OK. It’s still putting in effort, but it’s also allowing our bodies some time to re-group. Writing the 365 posts isn’t difficult, but when you want them to have substance, it does require a good chunk of uninterrupted time. So today’s post is going to be about letting go and just doing whatever feels natural and normal at that moment. Nothing pre-planned. Nothing forced. Nothing formal. I’m not even going to discuss what being casual means or why it’s important. From this point forward in today’s post, I’m just gonna tell you what’s going on in my life this weekend. “I can grow. I can change,” said the boy as his nose doubled in size.

I have an arbor to build and install on the NYC Terrace Garden. It might need a hashtag. Although, Ryder (9-year old shiba inu) calls it the Enchanted Garden. He has his own Facebook page… “Ryder the Cat-Like Dog” {Aside: Yes, he can talk… it’s a strange little voice my friend Paul invented, but W has taken it over and now Ryder chats all day long, asking for food, demanding more flowers in the garden, wanting his allowance to go out with friends to the local bar. We like to keep it fun around here.} This arbor is going to be quite a little project, as it’s for a new wisteria tree. It never ends around here. Our friend Matt is very concerned as wisteria is invasive; he fears one day, he won’t hear from us and when he stops by to check on us… the wisteria will have grown through the always open bathroom window… into the apartment… trapping us against the walls and taking over like a jungle. Poor Ryder will be trying to bite his way out. He’d just as soon leave us here to die, taking any cash and starting a new life, I’m sure. That dog while adorable is the most independent codependent dependent unusual creature next to… well… me. #EnchantedGarden #NYCTerraceGarden

And then there’s Game Night tonight, where a bunch of friends of ours are getting together for drinks, pizza, cards and games. It’s an amazing night of fun where someone brings a new game we all learn and play… it’s often very adult in its childishness… a very dirty cartoon version of Cards Against Humanity was once played. I’m still recovering from those pictures and what people made a few stick figures do. And the last time we played, it was the Voting Game where you vote for which person is most like the phrase on the card. I got a few really bad ones. And a few good ones. I think they voted me most likely to be a serial killer. Not Good! Tonight though… I think it will be more card games. And I’ve settled on wine as my beverage of choice — no hangovers needed while trying to finish that arbor tomorrow. And I’m writing Sunday’s post this afternoon, as it’s time for either Pennsylvania or San Francisco, the last two other places I’ve lived.

My stream-of-conscious knows no bounds today. It was a productive week. I let myself accept being casual and relaxed over a few things. I accomplished a lot. And I’m giving myself a break this weekend from constantly being on the computer… at least tomorrow… as today will be catching up on anything outstanding: 3 award, 3 tags, book review, 365 post, author spotlight, reading plans, etc. Hitting the gym soon. Reading Hidden Bodies, the sequel to You. And preparing my list of questions for the agent and publisher I’m meeting with next week. I’ve got some good things brewing on that front… very exciting. But I won’t go into any details until I know if something is working out or not. And other than that, I’m going to relax. It’s time to just have a day where whatever gets done, gets done. Last thing on my mind, I owe you a response from last week’s post…

Unpredictable Reminder

  • In last week’s 365 Daily Challenge Unpredictable post, I noted I’d confirm what I selected for my list of things to put in the hat. After discussion with the significant other, we settled on NYC Things To Do. We’re always finding we have blocks of hours available on the weekend in between errands, house or garden maintenance and hanging out with friends. Rather than toss the ball back and forth, never settling on anything, we’re going to list 26 items in NYC with all the key info: location, directions, open days/times, categories, website links and who is responsible for planning it. We will put them together in the next few weeks to start in September. I estimate we will pull from that hat every other weekend, but we will have pre-planned things to do for about a year. We still need to decide if it’s a physical hat or an electronic program (he hates technology, so it might be a good punishment for him to be in charge of this… and if you’re reading this part, W, you did agree to this while you were half asleep the other night) to make the choice during each selection. What did you all decide to do with your unpredictable challenge?

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Danielle @ Books, Vertigo @ Tea. Danielle and I met about 4 months ago over a few books we were both reading around the same time. Our favorite reading genres tend to cross paths a lot, as we’re often recommending books to one another. But we also have different reading tastes, so it always becomes interesting to see what we’re chatting about! Danielle is a really cool person to chat with, especially when you get on topics that you both have in common. She’s recommended a few teas to me, though I’m a coffee drinker. She suffers from vertigo, which is awful, but she has a good approach about it all, which makes reading her entries about what’s going on in her life quite interesting. I enjoy chatting and commenting back and forth, and I believe you will, too. Stop by her site, check out the extremely varied books she reads. Danielle’s on several social media apps too, which makes connecting quite easy. She has tons of recommendations by genre and a fantastic game / poll called “You Choose, I Read” where you can pick the book she reads in the future. Go check it out now!
    • “I am Danielle, a 30 “ish” yr old mother of two. I have an insatiable appetite for all things books. I adore bookstores, libraries, and falling asleep while surrounded by my current reads. I prefer to do the latter with tea in hand. I also happen to be a fan of my kids, anime, food, and life in general when I can partake! I am also 100% anti-adulting when possible, so if you are easily offended, I apologize in advance 😉But only a little, because life is seriously too short to be serious all of the time. You will probably see a little bit of everything that is me here at Books, Vertigo and Tea. Enjoy!”

 

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 46 – Simple

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Simple: easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty; composed of a single element; straightforward

Simple is usually a good thing, when it’s applied to things or actions. You can accomplish more and feel less restricted when something is simple to do. When it’s applied to people, it can more often mean something negative as well as something positive, even at the same time.

I consider myself simple, when it comes to keeping myself entertained or interested in others. I tend to follow that ole familiar saying: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), meaning don’t over-complicate whatever it is you are trying to do. Ensure everyone can understand, then you make a bigger impression with whatever is the goal.

For me, I apply the simple approach for most things right out of the gate, increasing the intensity or complexity depending on whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I’m not focusing on work-related items, as that’s similar but in a different manner. I’m referring to how I keep myself focused during the day. Examples:

  • I don’t need to be entertained 24/7. I’m perfectly comfortable reading, watching TV, wandering around the house… not needing a lot of conversation or interaction with others. Of course, I couldn’t do that all the time, but generally, that’s a simple approach.

  • I attempt to limit any and all stress in my life by keeping my days simple. Certain things get me worked up, but generally, I’m not going to get upset when I don’t need to.  It’s all a matter of perspective and analysis, understanding what the real item at hand is.
  • If I have multiple paths to complete something, I tend to look for the easiest one that will accomplish the most. “Biggest bang for the buck.”

I certainly don’t take those tendencies overboard… but it’s a fair balance to be able to do more with less. I’d rather not spend hours trying to design something until it’s perfect, when I can find a good/solid approach and be comfortable knowing there might be something better and I didn’t get there or do that. I don’t see this as not being a perfectionist, which I’ve already confessed I am. A perfectionist needs things to be perfect, but simple can also be perfect.

When things are simple, you have less expectations. When things are simple, you can observe the beauty of something in its natural state or its innocence. When things are simple, you have a moment to breathe and enjoy it.

Things we should all try to find simplicity in:

  • Don’t get caught up in “what should we do” today… enjoy the time together, even if it’s just sitting in a quiet room and doing nothing for an hour.
  • Find a picturesque landscape and reflect on different aspects of its beauty. Think about your five senses: see, hear, smell, touch and taste.
  • Don’t over-analyze why the other person did something that made you upset / confused. Ask them… or let it go… or choose to accept the simplest answer (I’m talking about the little things!)
  • Don’t get angry about things (again, minor items) and be sure to find a way not to let it impact you.
  • Don’t over-plan such that you can’t sit back and let something happen naturally.

Having a simple approach can make your day and your life a whole lot better. That said, I am not always simple. A few points I need to improve on as the way I work below can be stressful and the opposite of simple:

  1. If I have company, the apartment needs to be spotless. I always clean.
  2. If I’m cooking a meal, it is usually not simple. Must have 20 ingredients.
  3. If I’m doing anything financial (bills, projections, investments), it is never simple. I obsess over pennies, and we’ve talked about that part of me before.

Just be careful you don’t become uncaring or lackadaisical about things. Sometimes it is important to be more focused. You also don’t want to give off an impression that you are non-committal or too removed from a situation.

How do you ensure more simplicity in your life? I’m asking for a friend… who is me… so I can keep on improving every day. Give me 20 ways please, it’s on my mind all the time… and I must improve. LOL

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

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

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