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365 Challenge: Day 263 – Xenophile

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Xenophile: A person attracted to that which is foreign, especially to foreign peoples, manners or cultures

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I looked through the last 260+ words (yes, I’ve been at this for a while!) and found nothing that started with the letter ‘x’ in the list. Today’s word needed to start with an ‘x’ not because I missed using that letter or because I brilliantly discovered that I missed using it. I’m not that smart, but someone else is… and she happened to realize it a few weeks ago. So today’s post is dedicated to this brilliant woman — who also happens to be the same person I spoke about providing the word ‘dawdle’ a few days ago. She’s suggested a few more words, so keep your seat belts buckled, as it’s gonna be a few weeks of very cool choices. There were two other ‘x’ words I thought about using, but I admit I searched an online dictionary to verify I hadn’t missing anything obvious. There were about 50 words to choose from, mostly in the medical field. That wouldn’t work — no offense, but I’m not sure I’d do them justice. The other two options were ‘xerox’ and ‘xenophobia.’

If you’ve read a few past posts, you’ll know I love to travel and learn about other countries. It makes more sense for me to go with ‘xenophile’ as the 365 Daily Challenge word for today. I’ve always felt a strong connection to other countries, mostly from my heritage, but also the Latin American ones. I took Spanish as my second language in middle and high school, as well as 8 Spanish writing and literature courses in college. I could speak in fluently for many years, but not using it everyday has limited my proficiency. I adore culture and learning about different peoples and histories from all over the world. I celebrate the unique or distinct qualities we all share, and I’d rather experience the upside of knowing culture than the downside of being a xenophobe.

Life’s short, even if you life an entire century. The world changes so fast each day, there will always be something new and different. I choose to explore it, rather than run from it. What I know is clearly NOT the only acceptable way of existing or doing something; therefore, it’s my responsibility to learn as much as I can about everything around me. No, I’m not on a soapbox! I’m just expressing how I live my day. I won’t ever know it all, but if I’m lucky enough to be exposed to a few wonderful pieces of the world throughout my life, then it’s something too celebrate. I am a xenophile and I admit it!

What are you favorite words with an ‘x’ ?

What are you favorite parts of the world to visit ?

What culture do you come from ?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

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

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

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365 Challenge: Day 113 – Growing

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Growing: to undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically; progress to maturity; become larger or greater over a period of time; increase

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Yesterday was the official half-way mark for 2017, meaning we’ve completed 50% of the year and are in the “downward” slope towards the beginning of a new year.

“Already?” you say.

“Can’t be,” you doubt.

“Shut up!” you scream.

But it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing… it’s an opportunity to continue growing forward, not growing older. Forget about age… think about what you are learning, discovering and enjoying as part of this year’s path… in this 365 Daily Challenge, I’ve had 112 days of growth. I unfortunately didn’t start on January 1st, which would have made this all that much more easier… Nevertheless, I’m learning a little bit about myself, about you and about my future. I’m growing. And every small increment is worth documenting.

Back on May 24th, my post, Gardener, displayed several photos of the newly planted flowers on my NYC apartment terrace. I promised pictures in a few weeks to show the changes. I was set to post them after one month had transpired, but it was raining most of that week and I couldn’t get clear photos. Then I forgot last week, so here we are now at about 5 weeks.  All the pictures below marked current were captured this morning around 9:00 AM.  I’ve showed some comparisons from when they were originally planted back in late May.

 

NEW FLOWER PHOTOS

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Added petunias to several of the flower boxes

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Purchased 4 new 7-foot tall Cyprus trees for in between each of the large flower boxes

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Moved the original 7 foot tall tall trees further down to the other end to create privacy

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Added in small herb garden

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More clear picture of the golden pot with brilliant greens and yellows

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Added a new Crepe Myrtle in the corner which is just starting to bloom

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We are always comparing ourselves and our growth to others. We say things that end up causing more harm than we realize…

“It’s too much.”

“It’s too little.”

“It’s not the same.”

“You’re better.”

“I’m behind.”

 

We need less comparisons and more focus on the continued aspects of our growth and movement towards the future. I’ve got 180+ days left in this year to marvel everyone with 365 Daily Challenges. I’ve got 6 months to build a stronger me. I’ve got 26 weeks to write the next book. I’ve got only 3 more months of this awfully hot summer… oh please bring the fall weather to me!!!

 

FIVE (5) WEEK GROWTH

Double Pot (Original), Single Photos (5+ Weeks Later)

Left (Hydrangea with no blooms, Wisteria top rung only)

Right ( Hydrangea with 28 blooms, Wisteria two rungs)

Left (May), Right (July)

Roses (Not a whole lot of change, but they all bloomed twice so far)

Pic with 2 pots — right one is the purple grouping

Pic with 1 purple grouping — 6 weeks later (grown significantly)

 

So whether we’re growing or producing blooms… whether our colors are coming out or our limbs are becoming sturdier… there is growth. And that’s where our focus should be… not worrying about if it’s good enough, but enjoying the continued evolution towards the future. Acknowledge the progress each step of the way and find the positive within your growth.

And if you don’t want to take just my word for it, check out this blog all about growing… Roda is an amazing spirit with fantastic content, advice and photos that make checking out her site a truly remarkable experience each day.

 

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 41 – Rich

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Rich: having a great deal of money or assets; wealthy

It seems I now wake up with the 365 Daily Challenge as the first thing on my mind. How interesting in both a good and a bad way. Today, I waffled between “rich” and another characteristic, which I will save for another time. I could be rich with love, or rich with friends. Rich with health, or rich with intelligence. But today I want to talk about being rich with money. And before you start thinking I’m bragging… I am not talking about being rich right now. When I first started this challenge, I planned to cover traits or things I had, as well as ones I want. And today is going to be all about wanting to be rich.

I’ve probably stirred up one of two, possibly both, thoughts in you right now. And trust me, I’m feeling the same. “Money is the root of all evil” versus “I need and want all the money in the world.”  Today will be about why I’d want to be rich. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on why it’s bad and how it could lead to problems. Perhaps another day it will be an appropriate blog post. For the next few minutes, it’s all about the good things and not about the consequences or issues that go hand-in-hand with having lots of money.

One of the motivating factors in my life has been to earn as much money as possible, without completely stressing out or killing myself. And for a number of years in my corporate position, I climbed that ladder trying to move higher and higher to get each promotion and add a salary boost. It was great and I often am right in my element in those conditions. But “why” was always on my mind… and as I reflect, I think it’s a fairly simple answer: If I were rich, I wouldn’t worry so much about money and I’d be able to just do the things I want to do without fear of it running out some day.

If I were rich, I’d like to think I’d be the kinda guy who would use it wisely. I wouldn’t throw money around on flashy things. Of course I’d buy that mansion, improve my wardrobe, vacation in amazing locations and eat at really expensive places. But that would be a very small piece of my life. I won’t deny I want those things. And I won’t sit back and say I’d help the rest of the world and give a lot away. Of course that would be part of what I’d do. But how… why… where… that’s why I’d dream of being rich.

As shy of a person as I am, I thrive on helping and connecting with other people in settings where I feel comfortable and safe. If I were rich, I’d pick something every day/week/month (whatever is the right frequency) and execute it myself. I wouldn’t open a foundation to help certain groups of people… well, maybe I would as something someone else runs because it’s a good thing to do… but what I mean to say is that I’d drive the use of the money in ways that allow me to use the time with clear focus and care.

I’d buy a collection of books, set up a travel schedule and bring them to key places across the country/world where I could read and interact with children in need, sick folks in hospitals or even those who simply can’t afford to buy books. I’d want it to be an intimate experience where I know I’m helping and can see the benefits for someone else. Of course I could do this now, every so often, thru a volunteer experience, but to be able to do this every week in different parts of the world would mean I couldn’t be working, hence I’d need to be rich to not have to worry about all that other stuff (bills, expenses, etc.) Being able to use money for a good reason without just giving it away or paying someone’s medical bills (all good things to do) has a separate value that feels exceptional to me. Imagine knowing a group of children have never read Peter Pan or Charlotte’s Web… and you bring together 3 or 4 people who put together a little play, dress up, read to the kids, talk about the author, explain the lessons, apply them to each of lives… show them what a farm is, connect it to how farms produce food for us, bring in a sample of vegetables they’ve never had or seen…

I’d setup a small learning center where every month we’d have a new topic and invite people in free of charge to learn about key things in our lives. Everything from history to languages to survival guides. With real life people who know all about the topic, lived it or had connections to it. Things people need to see and do, that you can’t get from a museum or reading online on your own. Create the connection between speaker and listener in an educational and fun way. Do something more than just volunteer for an hour or give the basics and walk away. Mentor. Teach. Coach. Bond.

I’m sounding a bit like Pollyanna… but I often look around me and think… we’re doing this in small increments, but it’s not enough. And yes, I do volunteer now on occasion and practice this in much smaller ways. It needs to be bigger and more robust. But I’m not rich and can’t just take a chance on a new career like that… I’m not that big of a risk-taker. But if money were no object, I believe I’d be able to live in a way that would help so many people directly… not by handing out money or loans that often never go to the right places… but by doing things with my time to change the world.

And that’s why I’d want to be rich. Yes, I’d enjoy the frills that come with it, but I promise it wouldn’t be my focus. There is a career in here somewhere. Perhaps I need to become more entrepreneurial. Or take a risk somewhere with a security blanket. Any rich people out there wanna help out? 😛

Would you want to be rich? Tell me why or why not…

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.