friendly

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.

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365 Challenge: Day 45 – Neighborly

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Neighborly: being good neighbor [person who lives close by to you], especially helpful, friendly, or kind

Being neighborly can be a good and a bad thing. As I begin writing this post, I’m smack in the middle of the barometer on the whole subject. Let’s see where I end up at the bottom of this post.

Seems like an easy one, right? You’re nice to the people who live next door to you. But how far do you actually take it? Do you become friends? Do you dog-sit? Do you lend items? Do you stalk? Oh, wait, that’s taking it too far.

I’m proud to say I’ve never had a combative relationship with any of my neighbors. I’ve had a few times where they bothered me a little bit with excess noise or a sour puss… but those things can be ignored or fixed with a minor conversation. Except for once. One neighbor always looked like she was miserable… and trying to be a nicer person, I said “hi, how was your day?” in the elevator. She looked at me, pulled her glasses down towards the end of her nose, smirked and said “There’s no need for us to talk.” I had never spoken to the woman before. Our apartments don’t share a common wall. And I’m extremely quiet, so I couldn’t have bothered her before.  A few days later, a friend stopped by, and we all got stuck in the elevator together riding down a few floors. I admit it was childish… but when the woman stepped out of the elevator before us, I mumbled just loud enough for her to hear… “Shh… talking will send you straight to hell around here.”  Ah, that’s on my board of “Moments I am Proud of.”

Historically speaking… your neighbors were people you were often very close to, related to, or at least knew enough about. Nearly 100 years ago, it was acceptable for your neighbor to complete the US Census for you when the census taker couldn’t get hold of you. And when the cops came around looking for you, your neighbor always knew where you’d be!

Today, people sometimes live in an apartment building for years, never once seeing or meeting their next door neighbor. When I lived in the suburbs, I thought that was completely nuts. How could you not see the person every day? Then I moved into the city and realized… it’s definitely possible.

As a child and teenager, I lived next door in the suburbs to my best friend. We were the same age, went to school together and played or hung out every day after school and on weekends. Everyone on the block knew one another… until slowly generations changed and people moved… then folks started talking about that new couple that moved in… and the nosy gossip started!

When I lived in the dorms in college, I knew my mates and the 2 or 3 dorm room inhabitants directly around me, but not everyone. And when I bought my first house, I made zero effort to get to know the people who lived nearby. So where do I fall on that neighborly scale?

Reasons Why I Am

  • I love small town charm and knowing everyone else’s business. But they can’t know mine.
  • I love being helpful in case (s)he needs to borrow a cup of sugar.
  • I kinda want to know if someone creepy is living that close to try not to get on his/her bad side.
  • It’s probably good someone knows what you look like in case someone else is trying to break into your place. At least there’s a chance (s)he will try to call the cops for you.

Reasons Why I Am NOT

  • I live in NYC where everything is a rush. Who has time for chit-chat?
  • I’m a shy and quiet person. I don’t like to be interrupted.
  • I tend to get a little “that’s mine, don’t touch it” attitude every so often. I was an only child. And I don’t like border disputes! 🙂

In all seriousness though… being neighborly seems like a good thing. It can run the gamut from friendly to just a nod of acceptance. We’re all in this world together, a little gesture now and again shouldn’t kill us. And you never know who or what may come out of getting to know them a little bit.

I also think it’s a different type of neighborly when you live in the same building versus separate land and property. It’s easy to chat in an elevator with someone who lives on your floor. (REALLY, it is…) You may need to make the effort when they live 100 feet away.

How about you? Do you want to know your neighbors or would you prefer to keep some distance?

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.

365 Challenge: Day 37 – Goofy

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Goofy: foolish; harmlessly eccentric

Everyone knows of Disney’s Goofy character, the lovable and silly cartoon who makes us all laugh. Am I really comparing myself to this piece of history? Yes, but no, as I don’t really see myself as foolish and eccentric, per the definition that first popped up on my Google search today.

But I can be goofy every so often. I’m generally a serious guy, but if I am in a really good mood, or had just enough drinks where I’ve lost my inhibitions but not crossed that line of “put me to bed please,” then the goofiness explodes. And it’s generally either super hilarious or super stupid.

My brand of goofiness tends to reveal itself in the form of funny noises or voices. When I was a child, my best friend (who lived next door to me) and I would play in our backyards on swing-sets. We made up two characters, probably loosely based on Goofy, and called them George and Georgina. Both had very deep voices, exaggerated vowels and bugged out eyes. We’d introduce ourselves (to each other, for no reason at all)…”Heeellllloooo. I’m Geooorggeeeeeeee. Let’s goooooo to the zooooooooo.” We were about 17 years old… JUST KIDDING.  We were probably 7 or 8, and it sounded so hilarious when she talked like Georgina. We were married and had kids who talked like us. It was a fun game or skit we played for a few years, and even now, almost 30 years later, when we get together, we still say “Hello Georgeeeeeeenaaaaa. Geooooooorggggiiinnnaaaaa is heeeeeeree to be your friend.” If you’re laughing, awesome. If you’re not, I apologize. Guess you had to be there.

I also make this really weird duck noise by pushing air up into the top of my cheeks and slowly releasing the muscles, so it’s like a twang accordion and then a pop at the end. It drives kids and animals nuts. Kids ask me to keep on doing it. Animals either run or get real close to my face and look at me like I’m goofy! I also used to make up names for my younger cousins when I’d babysit them or see them on weekends. Things like: Broccoli Butt, Cauliflower Kid and Andy Asparagus. I’m hoping it was to help them eat vegetables, as there is a theme there, but I have no clue why!

Being goofy is an essential part of life. You can’t take everything so seriously all the time. I definitely am more serious than I should be, but every so often, you can catch the goofy side. And something natural comes out in my actions… an innocence and relaxed approach where I don’t care what anyone thinks about me. I’m just having fun and like being around other people, despite the normal jitters over crowds or being the center of attention. It’s a healthy release.

But with that said, being goofy is not a normal part of who I am. I’m not a naturally funny guy. I do funny things, but I have to think about it or plan it, to some degree. I envy those who are just innately funny, goofy and silly. Not all the time, but enough to make people want to be around them, to enjoy the break from the realities of the mundane and the painful things we face on occasion.

Using the “by the book” definition — foolish and harmlessly eccentric — I am not. For one thing, to be eccentric, you have to have some extremes in your behavior, which I rarely do. I admire eccentric tho… eccentric in a harmless and fun or goofy way. Not in the bitter and angry way, as often characterized on TV or in books. For another, eccentric can be good — think about all the characters Jim Carrey plays – fun eccentrics. I suspect when I’m older, I’ll be referred to as that eccentric old man who lives down the street. He never comes out of his house! No, just kidding. I’m getting friendlier as I grow older… it’s a good thing.

Are you eccentric? Silly? Goofy? What’s the funniest thing about you?

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.