freedom

365 Challenge: Day 115 – Fervent

Posted on

Fervent: having or displaying a passionate intensity

fervent

 

Life is full of experiences, both positive and negative. Your perspective may interpret one action or encounter as a good thing while another feels it is bad. Within these constructs, there is a feeling of extreme intensity which we commonly refer to as passion. Passion can be a physical romantic and lustful experience, but it can also be a platonic desire and enjoyment. Although I could probably blog about a few passionate experiences that would make one or the both of us blush, that won’t be happening in this specific post. Today’s all about the passionate and ardent intensity we feel over things that make us happy in a non-romantic or non-sexual way; our word is fervent.

Yesterday was a celebration where many people had a fervent response to everything associated with America’s Independence Day. I was certainly happy and humble over all that we’ve achieved in this great country, as I choose to focus on the positive things on such a special day. We had friends over for our own version of a NYC Terrace BBQ rather than go out to any public event. And since I’m not supposed to have a gas or coal BBQ on in my outdoor space (electric might be OK, but who wants that?)… we made some traditional picnic salads and pulled pork sandwiches with a zesty BBQ sauce. I cooked it for about 6 hours in a giant orange Le Creuset pot on Monday evening, so we had little to do yesterday except have a few drinks, kick back and relax with our friends.

By sunset, we all went up to the rooftop to watch the fireworks on the East River, as we have an amazing view, given the apartment is on the East Side between 1st Avenue and the East River. We all watched for a few minutes, but about halfway through, I went back to the apartment to check on Ryder. I know he isn’t always thrilled with loud noises, so I wanted to ensure he was OK. And he was… but right before I left, I took a 35-second video of the lit up sky and posted it to Facebook and Instagram. I’d insert it here, but I’m too cheap to upgrade my site, so I can’t upload videos. Perhaps the link below to my Instagram account will work, and you can see the NYC East River Fireworks. If not, you should be able to see it from my main page on the right menu bar or go see me in Instagram.

Roof Top Fireworks!

A post shared by Jay Cudney (@jamescudney4) on

Watching them from the rooftop and then again from my own terrace, I felt fervent. Fervent about everything positive around me from my life at home to my writing to my blogging to my extended family to my hopes and my dreams. And I wanted to spread that feeling all around… to everyone who feels a bit down or disillusioned. I’ve been there before. I was there last week for a few days, as you might have seen in a few posts with a bit of a darker or sadder tone. After one of them, a friend picked up the phone and surprise-called me to not only check in with me but to ask how she could help. It meant a lot that someone cared enough to take action. And she reminded me that having passion for what you do throughout the day is important.

My passion, the fervent and ardent kind, has always been a tad fleeting. I love many things. I enjoy many things. I can become focused and obsessed with many things. But I don’t know whether I truly have an over-arching fervent passion in my life. Well… let me re-state that… I do have a few of them, but I’m not sure I have really pinpointed how it all fits together. And that may be why I haven’t figured out exactly what my next job and career-focus will be. But if I were to break down the top 5 things I have passion over, it would include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Genealogy
  • Organizing
  • Motivating, Inspiring & Mentoring Others

fevefdf.jpg

And as I develop my plan and focus on writing the outline for my next novel, “Father Figure,” over the next few weeks, I am excited to watch this fervency explode like the fireworks in my earlier video. Push me. Remind me. Inspire me. That’s what I need from all my friends and family, and that’s what I hope for from all of you, too. But I want to turn the tables a little here, too… and remind you not to forget the underlying importance of being fervent in different parts of your life.

Maybe that’s how I can fulfill the last bullet I mentioned above. Do you need a push? Do you need a reminder? Do you need some inspiration? What’s working in your life right now? What isn’t working? How can I help? Is there a 365 Daily Challenge topic you’d like me to explore? Do you need someone to just share a separate online chat with? What’s your motivation like these days? What are your top five passions?

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Jo-Ann @ InspirationPie. I’ve chosen Jo-Ann for today’s word because of the passion she shows in her posts each day, whether it’s over books she loves, writing, moving forward or the daily walks she takes. Between the beautiful scenery she posts or the love she has for writing, you’ll always find something captivating on her blog. We’re helping push one another to write more and find our voices… so you can all read our work in the future.

riend.jpg

 

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.

Advertisements

365 Challenge: Day 114 – Earthy

Posted on Updated on

Earthy: resembling or suggestive of earth or soil

earthy.jpg

 

People have lived on the planet called Earth for millions of years. Billions if you count previous incarnations of plant and animal life. Many argue it was created during a cataclysmic explosion; others by the hands of a powerful god. No matter what you believe, it was one of the very first things to be discovered by humankind. Whether you slept on it as a baby, crawled on it as an infant, or played on it as a child, you must have fond memories of touching the soil, grass, waters and rocks that comprise what we call our land.

Our land. This land is our land. In America, those words are part of our our national canon of heritage songs. Many people attribute them the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century, claiming our independence from another (won’t say who… too many friends from there… and part of me wants to live there); however, the song was actually composed and published in the 1940s by folk singer Woody Guthrie. Today’s 365 Daily Challenge honors our great founders and leaders as we celebrate Independence Day, our Fourth of July holiday. Rather than add another post about this great celebration, as so many of my friends and acquaintances are doing a fantastic job writing about it, I thought I’d take a different approach and cover something about our land… hence the word “earthy” as the challenge for today.

Have you ever taken a moment to simply think about the Earth’s land? We’ve studied it in science courses, learning about the different layers, crusts and cores. We’ve memorized different aspects of geography from mountains to lakes and plains. We’ve prepared timelines for historical conquering of one country by another. Many of us have planted flowers, trees and vegetables in the dirt. We’ve swam in the oceans. We’re turned its materials into abodes and clothing to keep warm.

Many of us have been privileged to purchase our own land. A small home in the suburbs. An apartment building in the city. A farm in the country. We gave someone else money and in exchange received the deed and title to a parcel of land that we could call our own. And each previous owner did the same thing. It all traces back to some king or queen, the Native Americans (or other country’s original inhabitants)… somewhere, thousands of years ago, a person staked claim on part of the Earth and used it as a means for bartering and paying for materials and goods. But have you ever thought about who first owned this land?

Along the way, it’s become important for so many people to say they own a piece of land. To have something they can call their own. To be able to do whatever they want with it without someone else stopping them. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to stand on something you’ve worked hard for and to have those moments of pride and honor. If we were to trace it back as far as we can, who first owned it? When did the concept of individual parcel ownership become such a powerful aspect of life. The same house on Long Island where I grew up which sold for over $500K could be worth $100K in many other states. The value of money is the significant factor, but when you truly step away and think about it, it’s land. It’s just an earthy material, right?

Soil. Grass. Water. Rocks. While it makes tons of sense to me how this happened… and why it’s more valuable in one place than another… it makes no sense to me when there is so much of it to go around, to share among the billions of people on the planet. And we don’t always remember how important these little facts are. And so today, as we’re celebrating Independence Day in America, or just a normal Tuesday in any other country, maybe we should all take a moment to feel earthy for a few moments…

  • To pick up a handful of soil and remark at it’s ability to turn itself into so many things
  • To touch something green — a plant, a shrub or a tree — and know it is the foundation of all of our food and air
  • To drink a glass of fresh and clean water, knowing that’s not the case everywhere around us
  • To admire close up or from a distance some great mountain range or small stone and realize they provide us protection from the other elements

This post could have been on Earth Day. It could have been on New Year’s Day. But I thought about it today. Earthy. Connected with our planet. Connected with our land. Ownership. Freedom. Power. All the struggles over the years to maintain it. Or seize it. Or protect it. And yet we don’t always take proper care of it.

No, I’m not going all hippy or environmentally protective or focused… remember, these are 5 to 10 minute reads and thoughts… just a reminder what we already have in our lives and all that we want in the future. And that maybe we should take 5 minutes every day to connect with nature around us — to feel earthy… as it will help ground us among a sea of rocky pastures… and ultimately grow towards the future we hope to achieve.

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • As part of the 365 Daily Challenge, on a go-forward basis, I am going to highlight a blogger at the end of each post. The blogger will be someone I’ve come to know well via WordPress and social media, who has a site everyone should take a look at. It will also be someone connected to the word of the day. Yesterday, I started with the post on Growing with Roda…
  • Today’s blogger to know is Nel @ Reactionary Tales. Nel has become a friend both on WordPress and daily texting, covering what’s going on in each other’s lives, advice for sullen days, happy moments on fun days… I’m grateful to have a new friend. Nel is connected with the word “earthy” for a few reasons. In the link with her name above, you will read a post about how she saved a few baby birds from nets which would have undoubtedly wounded them so they could no longer fly, becoming easy prey for other animals. She has a regular post on different animals that are in danger. And she provides wonderful ideas and content about all the things in nature around her. She’s someone to check out and follow just to find that way each day to connect with the positive around us. Go see what I mean!

friend.jpg

 

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 102 – Independent

Posted on

Independent: free from outside control; not relying on another’s authority, livelihood or sustenance

indepdent.png

What a word! It’s often what people struggle and strive for. It’s used as a way to chastise someone if they are exceeding in their individualistic behaviors. It’s in a popular song. It’s part of war. It’s types of booksellers and publishers. It can be lonely. It can be a treasure you hold on to. It is something very different for each one of us.

I consider myself independent. I began working at 13, delivering newspapers. At 14 and 15, I worked in a bowling alley, teaching children to bowl and running the front desk. At 16 and 17, I was a grocery store cashier and stock boy. When I went away to college, my parents and I split the costs after any scholarships I’d received. For my part, I took out student loans and I worked on campus in the Education and English Department offices. And during summers, I waited tables and worked at a day care nursery managing a classroom full of 2-year-olds. It was instilled in me at a young age to work hard for what you want and to never rely on someone else to handle something that was your responsibility.

And I firmly believe in it now. To me, other people lending a hand is an additional layer of support, an extra of sorts, beyond what you should bake into your initial plan. It’s something you may need on occasion, and you should ask for the help when you truly need it, but don’t assume that is part of the solution for whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. This could be money, emotional support, a place to live, medical care, or anything else that requires assistance. Like most things I say or believe, apply the 80/20 rule, as it’s not a one-size-fits-all for every circumstance belief and approach. But as a general guideline in life, being independent is important to me and I recommend it to anyone else, at least wherever you can make it happen.

Independence is about freedom. Freedom to choose your own path, actions and destiny. Sometimes it is easy, but not always. Money is not always available even to begin working on a path that you want to take. Illness sits in the way from being able to choose what you want. Family obligations may be more important. But when you have the opportunity, leaning towards independence helps you become stronger and motivated. Make small changes. Start in tiny ways. See how it makes you feel. It can be scary. It can be fun. It can be rewarding. You’ll never know until you give it a chance.

I’m not independent in every aspect of my life. I’ve chosen to be in a committed, long-term partnership. I want to be with another person in my life journey. But I also recognize we’re not attached at the hip nor are we a single entity. We’ve made decisions about how to manage finances together, to co-own and care for a home, to raise a dog together, but at the end of the day, we are also separate people with individualistic needs and desires. Hopefully they always align and we work on them as we gracefully age together.

I think I’m the teddy bear in that situation!

I’ve noticed my attitude has changed over the years on some of these topics. And I pay close attention to the words my friends and acquaintances choose. For instance… when you invite a friend over or ask what (s)he did for the weekend, do they say “we” or “I?” Some people immediately refer to themselves as a couple. “We had friends over for dinner.” “We built a garden.” Others remain singular or separate. “Oh, I read a book. John/Jane went to the movies.” I’m not a psychologist nor have I studied these things, but I’m curious what that says about a person’s independence.

For as much as I claim to be independent, I almost always choose the “we,” assuming the person knows I am sharing a life with someone else. If it’s a complete stranger, sure, I’d probably just refer to myself as it would sound odd saying “we.” My mindset is independent on some things but dependent on others. We’ve made an agreement to split everything 50/50 in our household / life. So making decisions is sometimes a lengthy process. If one person wants to spend more money, we have to work through that conversation together, or accept the other person chooses to pay more because it’s more important to them. Given my other half has little interest/time in reading (he reads legal briefs all day at work), we tend to “go our separate ways” around 10pm. He watches TV in the living room for an hour, while I go to bed to read for an hour. Then he comes in when his show is over.

With friends, I am also very independent. I don’t ask for anything other than friendship. Sometimes I’ll complain a little bit and we end up talking through an issue, but I rarely pick up the phone and say “Hey, I need some advice, or I’m a bit down, can we do something?” I’m not saying this is the right or wrong way to be, by the way… it’s just how I am. I keep things to myself. I have something in my head that pushes me to be independent, rather than reach out to other people for help. If it were urgent, I’m sure I would ask for the help. But it’s not a natural reaction or notion for me. I try to do everything I can for myself, and then when I can’t, I will turn to someone else. Inclusive of big things and little things. When I bought new cars in the past, I didn’t ask for help until the very last moment. I did all the research, chose what I wanted and looked around. On each final trip, I asked my father to go with me for his input and then I closed. If I’m cooking, and I’m not sure what to do with a step in a recipe, I’ll wing it. Sometimes I’ll call my mom and get advice, but usually not. If we’re cooking together, yes — definitely work together on it.

So as I think about who I am… I’m pretty independent. I know I used to be co-dependent in relationships, but that’s a different story. I was young and immature. I’m much more open-minded these days. How about you? Do you define yourselves as dependent or independent? Not so much how you are in a relationship with your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, but generally in your approach with other people. Do you keep your distance, reach out for support or somewhere in between? There’s no right or wrong answer. We’re all shown a different way and then choose our own paths. Sometimes the answer is both– as it’s important to lean different ways, given the situation at hand. But like the 80/20 rule, I’d say I’m probably 80% independent and 20% dependent across the board.

Cause it’s scary inside my head! LOL

 

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.

Review: Miss Julie

Posted on Updated on

Miss Julie
Miss Julie by August Strindberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Book Review


Miss Julie is one of the more naturalistic pieces that I have ever seen. Throughout the piece, everything is real and truly shows a tranche de vie or ‘slice of life.’ The characters are usually treated much more as psychological personas than in realistic productions like Ghosts. In Miss Julie it seemed as if each character was representative of a specific type of person. Julie was the vixen from a higher class who was attracted to Jean, a man from a lower class. Jean was the strong man who put up with their relationship enough to hold a sexual advantage, or at times, disadvantage, but put a stop to it in the end. Kristin was a typical cook or maid in the house who was forced to put up with things simply because she had to. All of the characters were incredibly strong. Although the play was an idea play, it was the characters that stick out in my mind. Also, the characters are different when one looks at the idea of a crowd. While in Ghosts there was a priest, a matriarch, a diseased son, a housemaid turned inheritor, and a bum for a father, in Miss Julie, there were the three main characters and a group of characters that was representative of lower servant’s games. It is typical in naturalistic pieces that a group of characters stand for one idea or persona. In Miss Julie, the lower class servants are showing the pagan ritual of losing virginity. This highly symbolic scene contributes to the idea that a crowd can sometime be the protagonist of a play. Although the servants were not the main characters, they contributed to the understanding of when Julie loses her virginity to Jean in the upstairs bedroom at the same time as the pagan ritual.
The characters in Miss Julie also seemed to have more life in them than the characters in Ghosts. Although in Ghosts they constantly talk about the “love of life,” I don’t always see this love. Also, the characters in Ghosts are never truly defined. It is left for the audience to interpret who set the nursery on fire, and whether Pastor Manders has lust inside of him or if he doesn’t. I never understood whether or not Engstrand was a pious and reverent man, or if he was an unscrupulous man who wanted to offer his ‘daughter’ up to others. Each of the characters had some good and each had some bad so that they were just common everyday people. They could represent any man or woman. In Miss Julie though, there were stereotypes and strongly defined characters. They weren’t just any characters put on a stage so get an idea across, which is the impression that I received after seeing Ghosts.



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.

View all my reviews

Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Posted on Updated on

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Book Review
4+ out of 5 stars for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a classic novel written in 1876 by Mark Twain. Another book where there are likely tons of reviews, each covering the plot, summary, characters, writing and themes. I’ll try not to do that, but instead a few quick hits on what made me like this one so much. An author’s job is difficult. You undoubtedly have hundreds of ideas and images swimming around inside your head. You may want to try to correct a wrong in society. You could be highlighting all the things that people should be aware of. It might be an opportunity to share a dream or wild imagination with readers. Mark Twain is all of those things tied together with a big, beautiful bow. He understands how to write. He knows how people read. He doesn’t care about either enough to worry what he does in his novels. And I don’t mean that in a critical or accusatory way. I mean that it all just pours out of him regardless of his audience, as he just naturally builds a wonderful story full of memories. With a setting like the Mississippi River, characters like Tom and Huck, messages like “how do you grow up to be a good man” threaded throughout the story, it couldn’t possibly fail. I’m not even covering the themes around slavery and freedom, men and women, skin color, age, relationships… it’s purely a theory on how to live your life so that you know what to expect, when to expect it and how to react. So much more I could say… but the best I could leave you with is… this is the kinda book everyone needs to read as we will all take something very different from it. Sometimes we will be angry that Twain didn’t do enough, considering how brilliant he was, to help support the causes going on at the time he wrote this. Others praise him for shining a light on what was happening. It’s controversial, diverse and thought-provoking. That’s why to read it — to engage in a discourse where you can feel free to share your opinion and understand every else’s feelings, too.

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.

View all my reviews