memory

Book Review: Fractalistic by Gerardo Delgadillo

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FractalisticFractalistic by Gerardo Delgadillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The title and the cover of this book are the initial reasons someone would feel compelled to pick it up and learn more. I say that because it’s eye-catching and pushes a person to wonder more deeply what it could be about. Would there be the potential for science-fiction or fantastical elements? I had little knowledge of the subject matter of fractals, but I was familiar with the author’s work, as I’ve read (and very much enjoyed) two of his other books. I assumed the tale would have something to do with a ‘broken’ young adult and that it would focus on Mexican heritage (based on cover and past styles — the author excels in these settings)! But what I read was so much more… and I’m excited to share my thoughts on it today.

Winter, ~17ish American girl, moves to Mexico with her parents, searching for a cure for her mother’s illness. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work, and her mother passes away. Winter and her father struggle to overcome the pain and loss. The book starts after the death, so we learn much of this in back story. The struggle is clear and obvious through the lack of words and emotion, brittle arguments, and abrasive moments between the two characters — all done in a beautiful and heartfelt way. Winter then meets some new friends at school, something she was reluctant to allow because the last time she trusted her friends, they all abandoned her when her mother had gotten sick. She’s been through a lot, but she is strong and pushes through the swirl around her. Winter is a fine balance of a young girl in need of love and guidance and a soon-to-be adult who is mature beyond her years.

Delgadillo lets us stir in confusion for a little while, trying to understand the mysterious fractals that her father is working on. All we know is that they are a way to communicate with his deceased wife, Winter’s mom. They both want to see her again, whether it’s real or spiritual, but we can clearly tell it’s affecting them differently. Her father is angry and forceful to get Winter on board with trying harder to connect with her mom. We think he’s being too aggressive, but there are reasons beyond what we know at the time. This is where we feel the fantastical elements, and it’s a startling and beautiful moment of bliss and pain — what if it actually works?

By midway, Winter’s developed friends, even a boyfriend of sorts. He has his own issues. It’s with her new best girl friend that Winter finds an intriguing connection, as her mother is also interested in the research Winter’s father is conducting. We see the relationships grow among each of the people in Winter’s life, all the while knowing something else is going on beyond what we’ve been told. It’s not easy to figure out, and when it hits you about 75% through the book, you’ll stop and need to take a breath. Our beloved characters are far worse off than we realized, but we feel even more enamored with them, hoping they can make the fractals work.

Delgadillo tells a poignant story. With several parts using Spanish (and enough English translations in the text to make the points clear), we have a different layer to the story. It’s not just a typical family we might know; it’s a family with different cultural beliefs, heritages, stories, and interpretations of life and death. I loved seeing these aspects in the book, as I felt it made the story even stronger. Winter is not a typical young adult, but in many ways, she is exactly the type of kid we’ve all seen somewhere along the path. Take away the science-fiction and ‘death’ turbulence in her life, she is going through all the normal things teenagers do… relocation, making new friends, dating a boy/girl for the first time, dealing with parental issues, etc.

Kudos to Delgadillo for a multi-dimensional story with tons of emotional peaks that will make you quite glad you took a chance on this one!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also 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. 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Will You Remember Me? by Amanda Prowse

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4.5 stars for making me cry through the last few chapters of Will You Remember Me? by my new Queen, Amanda Prowse— and it was even sweeter knowing this was a signed copy that my friend Claire secured for me. I make no pretense here: I waffle back and forth between Amanda Prowse and Kate Morton as my favorite contemporary fiction female storyteller but it always comes down to who makes me tear up the most… Wow, this was quite a story and I can’t wait to devour another one of her books next month.
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Although part of a series, it can definitely be read standalone as the series seems to jump around from character to character. I didn’t read the first book, Poppy Day, which focuses on the same lead but I have a feeling it’s okay to go out of order. Poppy is 32, married to the love of her life, has two wonderful children and a great sense of happiness for the future — until she finds a small lump in her breast, and nothing is ever the same again. Prowse takes us thru the journey as Poppy begins to realize everything she will lose. From telling her husband to searching for her unknown father, finding a new family member and saying goodbye to people for the final time… this tale will have you holding your breath, tearing up, and gritting your teeth with anger and disappointment. Things don’t always work out. Sometimes they do but on a different level. What fine balance in this beautiful and heartwarming piece of brilliance.

My only minor hesitancy in giving a full 5 stars is that there were a few moments where I wanted more details about her relationships with her mother, doctor, and son. There was a lot to cover in the book, and it was the right page count but it was a tad short on some details and a bit full on others that didn’t add 100% value. All very, very minor and just a personal taste for me. I definitely recommend this book especially with the sea of stories out there probably full of similar tones and styles. What’s different for me in a novel by Prowse is the genuine understanding of what the person is suffering from. It’s not just words strung together to make a reader sad and empathize. It’s as if you’re sitting there with the same pains and wishing only for a way to make it better for both you and the one suffering in the book. That’s an author I respect and plan to read her full canon as quickly as I can!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read 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 find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also 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. 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

365 Challenge: Day 324 – Memorabilia (LIST: Objects I adore)

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Memorabilia: objects kept or collected because of their historical interest, especially those associated with memorable people or events

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of five Sundays, I chose objects I adore or that have some huge importance to me. We’re in our fifth and final week and I’ve gone with memorabilia because it brings to the surface of my mind so many wonderful memories, moments and minutes of my past. I am not a pack-rat, hoarder, or saver of many things. I was when younger… for instance, I kept every issue of four weekly magazines I subscribed to for ten years. When I moved cross-country in 2007, I realized it was time to let go of things that really weren’t all that important. But I kept those that were, focusing intently on items that truly had memories or a connection to other people and events in my life. Let’s break it down into a few key areas:

A. Letters & Cards

  • Most everyone gives or gets cards for their birthday, holidays and/or other special reasons. Over the years, I saved some of the ones from people in my life who passed or moved on, or the ones that had a beautiful message inside. I have every card that W has given to me, even the little ones early on when we celebrated the small milestones or the “just because I care” notes we left in each other’s apartments before we moved in together. I have most of the Christmas and birthday cards from my parents, seeing how my mom still refers to me as her baby boy in each one.
  • I also have a group of ten letters written by important people in my life during my Confirmation. I grew up Catholic and when I completed my religious education in middle school, part of the ceremony ushering you into adulthood where you confirm your faith for the first time on your own accord is Confirmation. Grandparents, Godparents, parents and other friends and family write you letters that you get when you are on a two-day retreat away from normal life. They help you feel connected to your family as you embrace your journey forward. I saved them all, treasuring the words people thought and said about me when I was thirteen. My uncle lamented (in a fun way) how it was so odd I could listen to groups like Metallica. My godmother asked me to stop teasing my cousins but also make them act and behave more like me rather than get in trouble. My grandmother told me how much she loved spending time with me after school. Treasures!

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B. Photographs & Albums

  • Everyone saves photos. In my childhood, teenage and college years, they were actual printed photographs from cameras. Afterwards, they were digital photos stored on my computer, phone and then the cloud. I wasn’t a big photographer, but I did take some. When W and I began dating back in December 2011, I realized I’d found the complete opposite of me when it came to memorabilia. He saves everything, and his our storage facility would prove that! But I cannot complain, as every summer in the first five years when we rented a beach house with a group of friends for several weekends, he took photos. At the end of the season, he presented everyone with a photo album of all the summer memories.
  • As if that’s not enough, he does the same as one of my Christmas presents each year — an album of all the memories from our past year together. I now have six albums since we’ve been together and five from the summer beach house. They are in the hall closet and we flip through them several times a year. Unfortunately, some of the photos are highly embarrassing, so they will never see the light of day on the blog! While I wouldn’t mind the ones of me showing (a few hangovers, a few cooking mishaps, some where we’re in bathing suits or caught in semi-compromising positions), I can’t show other people, so they will stay hidden unless you happen to be visiting me in NYC.

 

 

C. ID Cards, Exams, Grades & Reports

  • I have all my ID cards, drivers licenses, and birth certificate documentation in a small box. I like seeing the numerical data and aging from year to year as things changed both in appearance and skill.

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  • I have every report card, standardized test result or major exam scores. Things like my SATs and GREs… all the kindergarten notes from the teachers… college transcripts. I even kept the three where I had a final grade less than a B. I was a nerd, but I had a few classes that didn’t go over very well in my book. I will not reveal when they occurred or what class they were in, but it would be a bit shocking to know.
  • I love seeing the results on some of them as they reveal a lot about me. For instance, I almost always scored perfect on math exams, even close to 800 on that portion of the SATs, yet my reading comprehension when I was younger had been a weaker area. How odd! My personal favorite was a comment from a middle school guidance counselor to my parents about how I should have been pushed forward two grades when I was younger given how far ahead I was compared to the rest of the grade. Before you think I’m just tooting my own horn… the very next quarter’s report said ‘Jay is incredibly shy and often refuses to talk to anyone else. I see now why pushing him up a grade would have hurt him.’ Whaaat???? LOL

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D. Books

  • It goes without saying, but any writer or reader will have treasured books on a shelf. I’ve shared those pictures before, but there is one special book I have not. During the six weeks when I pledged a fraternity in college, we had a spiral steno notebook to keep notes on all the brothers, learn information about the fraternity and write our tasks and plans. It’s of course confidential, and no one else has ever read it, but I can show the cover… it has been twenty years! When I re-read some of those things, I am scared and shocked at so much of the past. Nothing bad, just… really… I had totally forgotten I did that and didn’t get caught.

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If you look closely, you might see my Pledge Name — I told that story in a past post!

As you can see, they are the typical paper and print memorabilia we all keep, but the ones I store all fit within one large box. I take them out from time to time when I need to connect with the past. It’s always fun to take that trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed the last five Sundays where you learned about all the important objects in my life. I look forward to sharing the final five weeks of my lists with you before the 365 Daily Challenge comes to an end soon…

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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: TBD

 

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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 318 – Petlandia

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Petlandia: a world where Ryder lives and you can find more pets, too

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Last night, W and I returned from a short weekend getaway in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York where we stayed with friends. It was a wonderful trip, but it was even better a few minutes after we walked through our apartment door. We were both quiet and concerned, as we would normally be greeted by tons of kisses and barks. There were none, but we carried with us a small package that was delivered via mail while we were away. After we unpacked and settled in about twenty minutes later, we opened the brown cardboard box addressed to ‘Winston and Jay’ uncertain what it was or who sent it. When pulled the object from its holder, a picture book titled ‘Ryder’s Adventures in Petlandia’ stared back at us. We initially only knew who sent it because we found an email address on the shipping papers. We later found out when reading the story!

It’s a customized story where the purchaser selects the type of pet, names, locations and events. The company creates your unique picture book with images and words that connect you to your pet. In our book, Ryder leaves us a note and disappears one evening from Mew York in search of becoming a famous Hollywoof actor — adorable names for dog towns. Ryder is not picked for the latest movie; meanwhile W and Jay are very sad to miss Ryder. Ryder finds a saxophone and becomes an overnight YouChew sensation, but he misses home. He has an unusual flight, but arrives safely and into Jay and W’s waiting arms. Even the cartoon graphic image looks just like Ryder.

Today would have been a Ryder Rant. In lieu of, and as a final goodbye to this segment on Mondays on the 365 Daily Challenge, this amazing, thoughtful and touching present will stand in place. I am grateful to this special family member who took the time with her kids to search out, assemble, design and draft such a beautiful memento. In case she prefers not to be named, I’ll keep it secret in this post. But it was one of those moments where I really feel blessed to know such a person who has been incredibly kind and generous over the years. Thank you to her. Thank you to the writer (Steve Cleverley) and illustrator (Katja Hammond) of these books. Thank you to the publisher and creator of such a concept. Brilliant.

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We always cuddled on the sofa!

 

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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 70 – A to Z Happy Places

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A to Z Happy Place: A list of 26 places that make you happy — challenge posed to any readers who would like to participate. Maybe it’s the innocence of childhood or that favorite vacation spot…. somewhere that always brings a smile to your face

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As a follow-up to last week’s foods from A to Z, this week we’re focusing on the places that have brought us love and excitement, continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) of sorts that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

Rules

  1. Pick something that starts with that letter and add it to your own list. Don’t think about it… just come up with a couple ideas in under five seconds and choose the best of the bunch.
  2. It can be a named place or a general place. But it has to be an actual physical location; not metaphorical!
  3. This is the final week of the AtoZ items… the next grouping will be revealed in a few days!
  4. It’s a fun game, but if you are nominated and DO NOT want to participate, you don’t have to. Just ignore it! Totally OK.
  5. You may not have been nominated, but you can totally participate by following these rules.
  6. Post it as a reply on the person’s blog where you found it. Also post it on your own blog as a new post.
  7. Should we use a tag so we can see all the responses? Suggestions… AtoZPlaces
  8. This may not go anywhere if there is no participation other than me. And that’s OK. The 365 Daily Challenge was about me to start, so I cannot expect or force anyone else.
  9. Have fun and get to know your online friends. Tell us when you post your 26 items.  Thanks!

A to Z Happy Places to Make Me Smile

A – Attics

B – Bookstores

C – Cotswolds

D – Dos Caminos (Mexican restaurant I eat at on Fridays)

E – Erga Bakery in Bethpage when I was growing up

F – Farms

G – Gardens

H – Home

I – Iceland (never been, but I do love the cold weather)

J – Jubilee (French restaurant I eat at once a week)

K – Kitchens

L – Libraries

M – Museums

N – New York City

O – Ocean

P – Parks

Q – Quality Meats (Steak restaurant in NYC)

R – Restaurants

S – Scotland

T – Trolleys

U – University campuses

V – Vineyards

W – Wishing Wells

X – X-Mas Tree Lots

Y – Yellowstone Park

Z – Zoo

People You Are Tagging

NO ONE! Anyone who wants to participate should… But someone has to or my friend below is gonna come after you!

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.

365 Challenge: Day 51 – Retentive

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Retentive: having the ability to remember facts and impressions easily

As I thought about the best word to describe the characteristic to share today, I was a bit stumped. The goal was to converse about my memory; sometimes it is fantastic, but at others, it is very peculiar. I am definitely not forgetful, especially when it comes to tasks, events, responses; yet, there are things of importance in my past that one would think I’d easily recall, but I do not.

I took an alternative path to locating today’s word. I entered “forgetful” into the Google search field and then selected “antonym.” A few words popped up, none of which felt right except for possibly “retentive.” And when I looked up the definition, it seemed most appropriate, as facts are what I am good at remembering. Feelings and actions are what fail to come easily for me.

My memory is very strong in a wide range of areas, especially if numbers are involved.

  • I have been known to recall the date and hour of something happening from years ago, even if it seemed like a minor event, e.g. normal dinner with friends at a restaurant where we talked about fishing.
  • I can tell you the amount due on my electric bills for the last two years for almost every month in that period.
  • I recall interesting facts about things I’ve briefly studied but have little interest in.
  • I know where people sat at a dinner in a restaurant from years ago.
  • I recall people’s names even when I only knew them for a short period of time over twenty years ago.

But then there are times when I am a bit worried that there’s something wrong with me:

  • I forget the word I need to use, or I simply say the wrong word. And it doesn’t even sound anything like the word I meant to say.
  • I recall very little about my childhood and have maybe only 10 memories prior to 13 years old.
  • I cannot remember going to see certain plays or shows, movies, restaurants or museums, even when I liked them.

When I step back to analyze this as a whole, I see a few things in common, but also a few things that don’t add up. I’m not really sure if there is a pattern, but I am a little worried about the future. It doesn’t seem like I have any sort of early signs id an illness, as I have very strong memories for things in the past and the current, so it’s not short-term or long-term loss. I forget things I like and dislike. I remember things both important and not important. So… what gives?

I’m not a doctor or subject matter expert, as I’ve noted in these posts before. And as much as I am concerned, I haven’t gone to a doctor or done any research mostly because it’s only been a minor impact and hasn’t seemed too intrusive. Plus, some people get a kick out seeing me recite information from years ago or forget what I’m trying to say. And I enjoy amusing others, even at my own expense.

It’s not a photographic memory, nor is is some sort of associative game I play to retain information. I’m good at things like the “Memory” game, but not exceptional. I’d suggest it was the aging process, but it’s been like this for a fairly long time (10+ years).

Why it’s good

  • I can blame it when I don’t remember something or forget someone.
  • I tend to forget when someone annoys me.
  • I get things done more quickly and don’t often repeat mistakes.

Why it’s not good

  • I am forgetting things I want to remember.
  • I’m afraid it may get worse.
  • I don’t like looking silly in front of strangers.

All in all, nothing to raise the flag about. And I bring it up today as it gives others insight into what’s going in my mind sometimes. Or maybe someone might have a suggestion or two on what could be happening… or perhaps we are all like this and I’m just thinking it’s only me. Yikes, what an ego I have. 😛

Anyone care to point me in the right direction, i.e. (a) am I losing my mind or (b) just go with it and I may find it makes the day more fun?

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 36 – Thankful

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Thankful: pleased, expressing gratitude and relief

Easter has come and gone, and for many of us, we remember how thankful we are for all the things we have in our life, the favors people have done for us and the blessings we have around us. For the last five days, I’ve been spending time with family who visited from out of town for a long holiday weekend. And I am thankful to them for the great experiences we all had together.

Although I grew up in New York, it was not “the city” I was raised in, as I lived in the suburbs, Long Island, and had spent the first 30 years of my there. I moved into Brooklyn for about a year, and I lived in San Francisco for about a year, but otherwise, I hadn’t spent much time in a big city, especially NYC, other than commuting to/from for work for 5 years, and the occasional event or dinner with colleagues or friends. Since I moved into NYC 5 years ago TODAY, I’ve had a lot of catching up to do on all the NY experiences. And while I’ve accomplished a lot, seen a tremendous amount, and had several quintessential experiences over those years, the last 5 days was a whirlwind tour of NYC from the eyes of many family members who have either never been here, or only stopped in for a day or two. Plus there were kids on this trip, so it was all about ensuring they had the perfect NYC trip to remember. And so did I… hence why I am thankful for it today.

Between the Statue of Liberty (which I had never been to in my 40 years), to the Central Park Boat House and a row boat ride on a lake (which I had not ever done before in NYC) and to walking around Chinatown, I was full of new NYC fun in a group setting surrounded by tons of people. Yes, there were a few moments where my head screamed “too many people around us,” but seeing the kids experience it first hand, plus some of the adults, was a memorable treasure. Running around on subways, trains , cabs and walking for 14 hours each day was tiring, but extremely fun. We laughed, cried, got sick (some just can’t take the cab ride!) and tried so many new things. I never picked up a book or watched TV the entire time, a rarity for me, but my imagination was fully alert.

Growing up so close to the city, but spending so little time in it never seemed odd to me. It was an hour train ride away, and I wasn’t big on crowds, so I never felt like I missed anything. Seeing new things as an adult is probably a different experience, one still very memorable and amazing… and being able to share it with loved ones is a rewarding gift. And so, while I am thankful for so many things in my life, having people whom you enjoy being around, celebrating an Easter holiday with family on both my side and my significant other’s side (for the first time together!) makes you see so many parts of life that I wish everyone had available to them. But not everyone does, which is why I am thankful to have these opportunities, to build relationships, savor memories and make plans to do it again in another city… just to see if we can make it even better.

We all say thank you. And sometimes we take a moment to think about what it is we are thankful for, but it often becomes just a habit of saying we appreciate something. Instead, we need to take a little time to remember what it is that we are happy about. What memory did we create. What feelings do we have. Why do we want to say thank you. What can we do besides just use the words.

Is it a hug? A kiss? A picture? A memory book? A letter? A reminder phone call? Posting on social media? Or just expressing it in words like I’m doing today. And though none of them read this blog (that I know of!), I hope some day, they will stumble across this and realize I’m talking about them… and everything we shared this last week. THANK YOU.

These shibas look like Ryder, my 10 year-old shiba inu.

Don’t ever forget the little things. Always remember to share what you love with your family and friends. And don’t mind me being a little sentimental and thankful today for getting a gift I hadn’t even realized I needed.

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.