passion

365 Challenge: Day 268 – Settle

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Settle: (a) adopt a more steady or secure style of life, especially in a permanent job and home, or (b) accept something less than what you want

quote

When I opened my laptop this morning, I clicked on the news to see what if anything major happened overnight. I somehow hit an extra button too quickly and this quote popped up on my screen. I saw it as a sign given how important it’s become to me:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”                      -Steve Jobs

There are days when we feel like it’s time to settle — to just accept whatever it is before us rather than push for what we want. Fight through it. It might be appropriate in some situations, but it’s never appropriate in all situations. It was 18 (eighteen) months ago [today] that I made the decision to leave my corporate position in technology and focus on one of my passions: writing. I am grateful for this opportunity and I have enjoyed every moment since then. I wish only the same for all of you. Life is good.

 

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 175 – Current Job

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Current Job: job I currently hold, better known as, soon-to-be-author

writer

OK, so I’m not famous right now, but a boy can dream!

Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, 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.

  • 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

The current set of 5 Sundays covers the major groups of roles / jobs / positions I’ve held over my career. Though I have had about fifteen titles over the years, when I broke it down into smaller groups, week five is all about the job I currently hold: AUTHOR.

When I first organized this series of Sunday posts, I thought I’d end with the last one (technology), but I decided “a look to the future” was more important than a “summary of the past.” I had a post months ago with the word ‘writer‘ and don’t want to repeat myself. In that one, I talked about the steps a writer goes through. Today, I want to discuss the type of author I plan to be, as well as what I believe the role of an author should be among the crowd of a very saturated field full of brilliance.

writer

Every job has a purpose and a client. Nobody works without a reason or without someone to serve. It’s easy when you have a boss who guides your goals and work ethic. It’s not so easy when you are on your own trying to figure it out, or worse yet, have hundreds of people to satisfy. As an author, you are tasked with delivering a little bit of everything to a variety of personalities with a limitless set of perspectives and opinions. It can be quite scary or it can be very fulfilling. When I think about why I want to be an author, it’s fairly simple. I enjoy making people happy. And people includes myself.

As I go about my business each day, from cooking to mailing a letter, my mind is always active. I see characters, hear conversations, conjure up conflict. All because I am highly creative when it comes to building a world for other people. It’s almost like auto-pilot in some respects. When you have a physical or tangible job, you often don’t focus on each step, whether it’s lift the bucket, mix in the cement, pour the water, spread the paste… whatever it is you are doing as part of your job. It’s the same for me as an author. My fingers hit the keys. The pen releases ink. The words get saved. And somehow, a few hours later, there’s a finished chapter full of fantastic and not-so-fantastic content. It’s not as if I’m consciously typing away, thinking about every little word. Sometimes a character shows up with green eyes, and when I read it later, I wonder how did I decide on that? I didn’t stop while I was writing to say, “should they be blue or green?” When I edit, I might stumble upon a theme where I consciously change descriptions to present a more holistic image. But during that initial draft, it sometimes happens without me even knowing it.

In reality, I do know it. I know it because when I put the garbage out last night, I might have seen a green box in the recycle bin and stored it away for later use. It happens all the time. I heard a word someone says on the street and it shows up in dialogue the next morning. I feel a pain in my leg while working out and somehow incorporate that into a scene the following week. Things just happen for authors. At least for this author. It’s a beautiful thing, but no more beautiful than all the efforts everyone else puts in to complete their jobs day-in and day-out. What’s different for an author is figuring out how to make your readers happy. And that’s the important part for me. As much as I want to get some praise, build an amazing piece of literature or earn money, those are never the first things that come to mind when I think about why I want to be an author.

People need a break from life. They need to be entertained. They need to find knowledge. They need alternative opinions. They need to be inspired. They need to feel loved. They need to cry. They need to know things might not be okay at first but there’s always a tomorrow to look forward to. When I started the 365 Daily Challenge, and it was about my own thoughts and future, I was a little bit nervous to share so much about who I am. While I’m basically a good person, I have made mistakes, hurt others and failed to do the right thing. But so has everyone else. And so have the characters jumping from my head and on to the pages you read. And that’s where it comes together for me. I want my writing to speak to people in a way they didn’t know they needed. I want someone to find hope in their own struggles by seeing what happens to another person. I want to find inspiring words to help people figure out how to move forward with every aspect of their day. It might seem odd, but it’s what runs through my mind as I develop plot, setting and character descriptions.

When I’m officially published in less than two months, I feel I have a responsibility to carry this effort forward not only as a writer but as an author. And there’s a difference in those two words, at least for me. A writer creates fiction and non-fiction. But an author is someone who gives his/her life to their readers in a way that establishes a relationship. I want to be able to interact with readers, hear ideas, understand what they like and dislike. I enjoy getting messages across all the social media platforms making connections with people through every medium possible. Life is too short to sit in a locked room for hours every day, writing and writing until you get to the point that you have a brilliant piece of work, but no one to read it, to feel it, to embrace it… to share it with.

My goal as an author is to publish 3 books per year. That’s a lot. But I’ve always been an over-achiever. It takes me about 2 months to write and 2 months to outline and edit. At that rate, I could be successful in reaching the 3-book goal. Maybe it’ll be 5 every two years just to play it safe. In between, there is so much more. From networking to building a bridge with readers, not just online but in person. And for me, it can’t ever be about sitting in a bookstore signing a copy and saying “next.” That’s not who I am. I’d rather sell less books and meet people more frequently. I’d rather make enough money to survive and be happy before earning millions simply because people flock to it. What good is it to me if someone reads the book and I don’t know how they felt about it? I know I can’t connect with every reader, but I’ll certainly go as far as I possibly can with trying to.

And I hope some day to expand beyond fiction. Sure, I can write a mystery or romance or fantasy novel if I set my mind to it. But what if I can cross platforms through something that both helps people navigate their day and tells them a remarkable story. I woke up the other morning thinking about a book I feel the need to write. It’s basically “The Adventures & Lessons of X.” We are all “X” in this novel. Like the 365 Daily Challenge, it would be a frequent and regular story full of characters just like us, but with an opportunity to show people the brighter side of life. And I feel like that’s what could set me apart from being just “another writer” versus “an author who make a difference.” And I mean no offense to writers in the former description. They are brilliant and valuable for everything they deliver. But that’s not who I am. My mind is already plotting out the next iteration of the 365 Daily Challenge. I think it needs to be an electronic-only installment series based on fictional characters who go through life, facing the challenges we all face. Maybe meant to start with someone in teenage years, learning all about how to live the best life possible. Not a self-help book. Not a list of things to do. A shared connection between me and readers that helps us all find someone to relate to on many levels.

Perhaps I make no sense. Perhaps this resonates. In the end, the only truth I want to get across here is that my greatest hope in this new and hopefully final role of my career, which will extend for a very long time, as an author, is to truly deliver what readers want to receive. With that, I’ll sign off, as I’ve gotten more philosophical than I planned. Thank you for listening and being so incredibly supportive. I am blessed.

 

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 115 – Fervent

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 85 – Inspirational

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Inspirational: providing or creating the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative

inspire

After 80+ days of blogging in the 365 Daily Challenge posts, I’ve turned to an online list of personality traits as the source to pick the word of the day, at least whenever it’s not a Sunday (pre-determined lists) or “inspiration occurring” as I sit down to write. Today there was no inspiration, so I went to the list and the first word I saw… ironically… was inspirational — I promise you… I have a scrolling issue on my screen, so when I opened the page and scrolled down to get to the letter A, it went to the letter I.

And there you have it… inspiration from Jay on this fine Monday and start of the week. When we think of examples of inspirational people, it’s usually the “self-help” gurus who have books, blogs, courses and TV spots. But I don’t usually buy into those things; it’s not that I don’t believe in the person or their words. It’s that I have a different view of the inspirational: “lead by example.” I am not the type of person to tell someone else how to search for happiness or how to find your nirvana. It’s too subjective. I’m not a psychologist. I’m not really in the business of giving out advice on things that I’m not an expert on. And as you probably guessed, I’m not an expert on anything.

That said, these 365 posts often make recommendations or provide some level of direction and suggestion on things to consider. I’m more about saying what’s on my mind and letting listeners or readers choose to find something of value, laugh or ignore me. BOOM! I can take it… go ahead and ignore me. 🙂

To be inspirational, you need to have great courage, strength, conviction, passion and experience. To provide inspiring thoughts and actions, you need to have accomplished tremendous goals and objectives. Not only do you have to show why you are the person to lead someone to their answers, but you also have to practice what you preach every minute of every day. Once you are safely wandering that road, you are in a position to inspire others to do the same thing. I don’t feel that’s me, nor do I have a desire to walk that path. I much prefer, as I noted above, to lead by example and if someone finds something of value in who I am or what I do, I’m happy to share.

To lead by example means truly just living your life in the way you believe it is best lived. For me, it’s knowing my place in the world. I’m happy and content to have a fair balance of friends and family, a career and hobbies, social and quiet time… to commit to providing good content in my daily 365 posts that is focused on things prevalent in my mind or my day — and not worrying about whether someone reads them or comments… to connect with others from different countries, different walks of life, different personalities and different ages. My 365 goal has always been to help myself; I’m completely being selfish here. But at the same time, it’s enabling so much more to happen than I expected.

Through various people I’ve met online, I find inspiration in a mother who is raising children under difficult conditions, a professor who is teaching students, non-Americans sharing their culture with me, teenagers showing me what it’s like to grow up with so much technology at our finger tips, and people sharing beautiful pictures and experiences. I’m gaining confidence as a writer. I’m learning how to accept differences in other people. I’m speaking my mind more, thanks to the boundaries of sitting behind the InterWeb wall (not that I’m saying anything too controversial). I’m challenging myself to open up about many personal things. I’m finding a voice that maybe is a little bit humorous, despite always thinking I’m not a very funny guy.

And so… picking inspirational as today’s word is a two-way street for me. I find all of you inspirational because I truly get something new and different from each relationship. Sometimes it’s just a connection where someone says “I agree” or “Thanks,” and other times, I’m building online friendships that could grow into offline friendships in the future. At the end of this week, the 365 Daily Challenge will be 25% complete — and that feels a bit inspirational too… for someone who isn’t much of a talker… {Aside: Seriously, if you saw me with my friends, I’m often referred to as the silent mute. I listen much more than I talk. I blend into the walls during conversations.} I’ve certainly had a lot to say on ThisIsMyTruthNow.

Hence… inspirational to me isn’t about finding a guru to help identify the path for your life. It’s about learning a little bit from everyone in your life, interpreting words and emotions within your own mindset and sharing it through being who you are and demonstrating the way in which you think things should be. Inspirational can be spiritual and religious, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be admiration for something or something you feel is a guidepost for your own future as a general approach to life. The impact could be momentary or life-altering, but in the end, there is valuable insight.

As I march toward my conclusion here… the biggest thing that comes to mind is that I don’t have any one individual in particular who inspires me — on a grandiose level, I mean. I’m inspired by little things across many people, as they help me compile ways to consider in how I want to live or who I want to be. There are certainly people who do inspiring things and are considered the archetype of inspiration, and that’s important. But for regular folks like myself, and probably many of you (no offense intended), when I need to be inspired, I want it to come from someone tangible and reachable. I want to see someone I know or often communicate with reach his/her goal, share a rewarding experience or find a welcoming path. It’s not about famous idols. It’s about real and familiar, where I can place my trust and experience it myself.

How about you? What inspires you? Who inspires you? How do you inspire others?

 

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 32 – Defensive

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Defensive: (1) very anxious to challenge or avoid criticism, or (2) used or intended to defend or protect

The best explanation I could give for how I have been known to be defensive is a work-related situation. One of my mentors, who knew me quite well, once pulled me out of a meeting, to highlight an example of how I was being defensive. This is where it gets funny… when you hear the word defensive, you likely think argumentative, disruptive and generally annoying. For me, it was quite the opposite. Apparently, and I don’t like admitting this, if a decision was made in a meeting that I didn’t like or support, my body language gave me away. I might have thrown out my opinion, and sometimes I didn’t weigh in if I knew I hadn’t a snowball’s chance in… never mind… point being… I apparently shut down. My expression went sour. My arms folded themselves across my chest. I sat back in the chair at the conference table. And I didn’t speak for the rest of the meeting. It was a silent defense system, more commonly known as pouting!

For the record, I respect Annalise Keating!

You’re thinking… that’s silly. Nothing you’ve said in the last 31 posts seems like you could have done that. Oh, but I did. And I fully admit it. I am a very defensive person, but I work on it regularly to try and let it dissipate. When my mentor (and boss) pulled me out the meeting, (s)he explained what (s)he saw, told me I’d never move up if I couldn’t learn to interact more professionally, and that it was immature.

I wonder which one I am in this little video…

My immediate reaction: “You’re wrong!” No, I didn’t say that… I accepted the feedback, returned to the room… (s)he told everyone there was a confidential production emergency and that’s why (s)he called me out to ask me to get someone to fix it, as (s)he was a very caring boss… From that moment on, I’ve been super conscious of my external behavior and how I’m being seen.

For that matter, I can also admit I was a defensive child, too. I never liked to be told I was wrong. Being wrong and me in the same sentence didn’t make much sense. I’d run off and hide if that ever happened. As I get older, I find myself seeing lots of situations where my facts or opinion are wrong or insufficient. I deal with it in a healthy way these days. I grab a drink and then go hide. Then everyone just thinks I’m thirsty. 😛

But it’s still lingering there on the surface. I don’t like being this way, but I know that I am. I attribute it to my father. He’s very defensive too. So I know I inherited the behavior, through either DNA or learned actions. Never in a horrible or mean way… just enough that it made me a bit more human. I’ve often been called robotic, so I suppose, this is a sign that I, too, have faults. Yuck. I hate saying that aloud.

But being defensive means you have passion. And passion can be healthy. It’s all a matter of perspective and control. If you’re defensive, you care about something strongly. Perhaps you want to protect it. It’s not always a bad thing.

Though I’m not a big sports guy, there’s always the offense and the defense within a game. Defense is there for a reason: to protect something and help ensure it is either given the path it needs or able to contain something long enough for the win.

I wonder what that guy was trying to defend?

Being defensive as a person should be a sign that you have something worth protecting. Then it’s just a matter of how to handle it professionally, with a courteous and considerate approach. At this point in my life and career, it’s really a very minimal issue… in fact, I’m more concerned about people seeing it, so I almost never let it show or happen. And that’s progress!

Any other defensive folks out there? How do you help keep it in check?

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.

365 Challenge: Day 27 – Warm-Blooded

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Warm-Blooded: (1) ardent, passionate, or (2) relating to or denoting animals (chiefly mammals and birds) that maintain a constant body temperature, typically above that of the surroundings, by metabolic means; homeothermic

I’ve wanted to blog about this topic for a few days, but I was mulling over whether to call it “warm” or “hot” blooded. I only intended to cover one of the two definitions, but figured I’d list both, since education is a good thing. “Hot,” to me, speaks to ardent and passionate, whereas “warm” speaks to the body temperature, which is what I want to discuss. A reader’s first thought is likely… “what does body temperature have to do with a trait about you or your personality?” And you’d be correct to let that thought cross your mind. But by the end of this post, it will become more clear.

The weather’s been getting warmer here in NYC where I live. I had a few days this week where I needed to pull out shorts, not only to lounge around my apartment, but also when I left to run an errand around town. And I’m not happy. I much prefer the cooler weather of early spring and late autumn; even winter is better than the temperature during the summer. But why, you ask, I’m sure… do you care so much about the temperature? That’s simple… I seem to feel temperature more than most others; my body seems to register on high alert anytime the temperature goes above 60 — and it just makes me uncomfortable, miserable and a sourpuss.

Our normal body temperatures are supposed to be 98.6 degrees. We’re all taught that when we are youngsters. Some people float a little low or a high, which is normal. My average body temperature tends to be 97 degrees. I’m not exactly sure what this means (any medical professionals out there know?), but I believe it has wrecked with body’s reaction to the change in external temperature.

Once it hits 60 degrees outside, I sweat! I will often wear one shirt to work (walking to the subway) and change when I arrive at the office — not because I look sweaty or smell (don’t even go there) — but because it irritates me, I feel sickly and my positive outlook on the day just drains away. I almost shut down when I get too warm or sticky, unable to focus or think. And it makes me a bit miserable to be around. I know it. I admit it.

On the flip side, if I trudge through snow to get to my destination, I arrive all happy, optimistic and ready to get the day started. How odd…. go ahead and say it… I often think the same thing to myself. But being comfortable is essential to being happy and productive throughout the day. I’m sure some folks feel the same if they are shivering and unable to focus because it’s too cold, so you surely must understand my predicament.

It’s much worse during the summer months (mid-June thru mid-September) where I barely function. I can tolerate it for a little while longer, but I know it’s coming and I am not thrilled about sweaty, hot, smelly subways, stagnant and moist (yes, I used that word…) air you feel all around you… perhaps I should move to an environment where the weather is much more amenable to my body temperature needs. Back to the topic.

So warm-blooded applies to us all, as we’re mammals, but to me, warm-blooded means I am always warm. I generate an inordinate amount of body heat. Everyone loves to cuddle with me. I hate it because they don’t take the body heat away from me. They just give me more of their body heat. Ugh. I rarely feel cold or chilly, and if I am, it usually means I’m catching a cold.

Being warm-blooded is probably a good thing, tho, and I shouldn’t complain about it. But because of it, and my body’s reaction to external temperature, my entire personality is affected when I hit my pressure point… which unlike most people is not just at the extremes, given it’s anything above 60 degrees. Hence why I said this is more a characteristic than it may have sounded like at the beginning. If the temperature goes up, you know what to expect when you see me. I’ll complain about it right away. I’ll only travel so far to meet people for dinner or drinks. Selfish… irritable… short-tempered… whiny… that’s what I become. And if those aren’t annoying traits, I don’t know what is!

A friend brings me an Evian mister spray when we go out during the summer. It’s kinda amusing, but it helps.

At least people know this about me and try to work with me on it. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a tad, but in all seriousness, the weather has a huge impact on me. I love rain. I love snow. I hate heat. I abhor humidity. There, I said it. No beach vacations for me.

So what do I do with this knowledge: move to the mountain tops, find a job as a sleigh driver in the Arctic Circle, buy an air-conditioned suit? Or learn to live with it, push the boundaries a bit each time and hope for the best. Eh… A LOT OF SHOWERS too… coincidentally, how cute is that graphic below! 😛

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.

 

365 Challenge: Day 19 – Competitive

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Competitive: as good as or better than others of a comparable nature

When I searched for the definition to add to the post, I was surprised. Yes, I agree with it, but I’ve always had a much darker meaning in mind when I thought of the word competitive, or at least how I interpreted it. Then I saw the synonyms listed were ruthless, aggressive or fierce. NOW WE’RE TALKING!!!

Well, I’m not that bad! But I am very competitive about certain things. And when I compete, I want to win with such passion. You’re probably thinking this sounds like the opposite of what I was saying yesterday about being cool with being average. But, competition is healthy when kept under control and infrequent. That said, I’m not even considering talking about sporting events where that’s entirely what the game’s about – who will win. I suppose it’s partially about who plays well and what new feats of strength are pulled off, but then again, who watches the sport to see their favorite team lose???

When I was younger, I was a little bit snarky when I’d lose. (Mom, if you’re ever reading this, I know you are laughing right now, thinking… “a little bit… you can’t stand to lose when you set your mind to winning.”

She could always tell when I wasn’t happy because I had a hard time containing it. I’d hint at why I didn’t win and what may have been unfair (embarrassing now that I think of it).

I never got that angry, but I was displeased. As I’ve gotten older, I’m much better about losing, but there are a few things that I expect myself to be top of game at — and never lose!

Playing cards is one of them. I grew up in a card-playing family; as a child, I would ask to watch my grandparents and great aunts and uncles playing various card games such as Follow the Queen, Criss Cross, Poker, Sevens, Rummy, Black Jack and others. I didn’t want to play with my cousins, go outside or even sit on the couch and watch TV or read a book — that is, when cards were being played! Of course I read all the time, but when those 52 pieces of perfection slid across the table, matched or had a wild card, it was as if I’d won the lottery.

But I kept it cool unlike my friend Christina… no one could know — and trust me when I tell you I have a poker face. I know how to look sullen and disinterested. I knew when to fake “I’ve got good cards and can’t hold it in look,” forcing my competition to fold and then I’d win the pot even tho I had a horrible hand.  Ooh, getting excited just thinking about it! :0

But it’s finally become fun competition for me – not frustrated competition. When it’s done, I let it go and move on. But during the game, it’s part of the environment, the ambiance, the action. It helps you get excited or hopeful — all healthy feelings when kept within the right parameters of friendly competition.

Luckily, I’ve never really crossed the line and gotten competitive to the point where you hurt someone else’s feelings or look like a complete and utter jerk. I may have come up close to it when I was younger, but it was always in trying to be humorous. Never any intention to be mean.

Sometimes there’s competition in the weirdest of places for me. When I would go out drinking with friends, in my mind, it was a competition who could drink the most and not get sick. Not that I ever really drank that much, but on a few occasions, it would be amusing. I’d think to myself, “oh, I had a few of this, half of that, 3 or 4 of those…” and I’d round up so it sounded like I drank more. What was wrong with me??? I needed to be the one who drank more and would exaggerate a little bit to win that competition? And the prize was, you guessed it,

That was the nicest way of showing you “vomiting” when you drink too much! I could have showed you a far worse picture I found on the GIF site, but that would make me a horrible person!

Another weird competition… who could finish painting a room the quickest. Two equal size rooms, same color paint, same start time. Who would finish first?  Now think about it… if there’s something you don’t want to rush to win, it’s painting a room. Because you’ll get sloppy. And then you have to live with it. Or paint it all over again. And you can’t just fix the places you messed up because the paint dries differently and you see shine in some areas. And then you live in an ugly room, all so you could say “I finished painting first.”

Maybe I did have a problem when I was younger. I suppose that’s what these 365 challenges are about. Discovering something I didn’t know. Woah!!! I bet I discovered something before you!  Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah!!!!  Ha. I win!

What’s my prize!??????