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365 Challenge: Day 71 – Dark

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Dark: absence of, or very little, light

dark

When I chose the word “dark” for today, I thought readers may assume I was going macabre and evil. And while that may be a good topic for the future, as there is a little sinister part of me that is dark (in the books I read), today, dark refers to the brightness of a light. So… now you’re probably thinking I’m a little peculiar to choose this as a personality-type trait. But it’s true, I prefer to be in dark, or less bright, environments. Perhaps I should explain…

I’ve mentioned before that eyesight isn’t one of my strengths, which has always meant I’ve felt ‘in the dark’ over a great deal of things. It also means my eyes are very sensitive to bright lights. As a result, I tend to keep the lights on a lower setting than most others. Whether I’m watching TV, resting, or even having a casual conversation, I prefer a dim light… sort of mood-inducing lighting. Even when I’m reading, the lights are on only as high as necessary to not strain my vision while reading the words. It feels more calming and relaxing, rather than as though I’m under a microscope being observed by everyone around me.

Many fear darkness. I do not. I’m not saying I’d be happy to be locked in a room with no lights, nor would I want to roam a dangerous place without any way to see what’s around me. I simply mean it feels natural to have a bit of shade, a way to hide a little, from the surroundings. Bright lights tend to make me feel like I should be up jumping around, being very active, almost on stage for all to see. My quiet nature likes remaining in the background, so this makes sense based on what I’ve noted before in the 365 posts.

But darkness is also a place to go when I need to think. I’m easily distracted by noise or moving objects. If I ever need to mull over an important decision, let my emotions control me, or absorb serenity, I need to be in the dark. To me, darkness is like that stage before life begins. It’s a moment of silence to ponder all that could happen… all that you want to experience. It’s the few minutes before the world consumes your innocence, your opinions and your actions.

Darkness, not bright light, is the initiation of something for me. And that seems a bit odd to say it aloud, but it’s how I associate change or transition. Darkness is that period between two situations, two people, two answers, two of anything… like bookends, leaving what happens in between as a place for all to see. And when I need to re-boot, darkness is the source of “new” for me. I see this as a healthy mindset. It’s not a fear. It’s not a way to avoid something. It’s how I can process growth. It’s that opportunity to reflect on what needs to transition.

Think about how you feel after an intense emotional situation. You’re drained. You feel winded. Your body might even hurt. You need to re-group. You need to find energy. Some people rush to the gym or a sport to revitalize. I search for darkness. I listen to the vacuum around me. My eyes search for the patterns or lines, drawing me towards things I could not see when I was distracted by everything the light had shown me. {I’m not being figurative here… I’m purely talking about true absence or presence of light}

Few often think about these things, from anytime I’ve mentioned it to others. How about you? Do you prefer light or dark lights? Which gives you more energy? What about the brightness of light propels or detracts how you behave?

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 68 – Unique

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Unique: being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else

I’m in a very contemplative mood today. It set upon me last night, as I had dinner with my better half and a friend of ours. Although it was a bit too warm for me, we had an al fresco Italian meal on the terrace under the Sunbrella awning. As the sun set and we enjoyed a glass of wine, I received an email, one which distracted me for much of the evening and again this morning. It’s nothing bad, nor anything at all to worry over; however, it made me realize how difficult it can be to reach a success point on your journey towards a goal. And when I awoke this morning, I asked myself: “What makes me unique?”

It’s a difficult question to answer. There are billions of people on our planet. Is it even possible to be unique? By it’s very definition, there is only one (1) unique item in a bunch; most of us interpret the word to mean “stand out above the rest,” rather than believe the word actually means a “single instance or occurrence.” I’m certainly not unique under the “by the book definition,” and I don’t really believe I’m unique per the commonly accepted “everyday definition.”

But in order to sell something… to convince someone… to get a “yes” to whatever the question is, you often need to be unique — that is, both stand out and be the only one with those qualifications. And so, not only is the question difficult, but being unique is also difficult. I suppose you really need to know yourself well to determine what makes you as “unique” as possible. I’d like to think I know myself well, but I’m not convinced I do, at least not today. I know the things I’m good at, but not what makes me top of my game. I sense the things I love doing, but not whether people want to listen to me because of them.

When I choose to read a book, it’s not often about what makes it a unique book. It’s whether the author has previously impressed me. It’s if the book cover or title truly capture my attention. It’s when the jacket description or online summary speak to me. Sometimes it’s when a friend recommends it. Other times, it falls into my lap. But there are millions of books…. they can’t all be unique. So how does one go about meeting that expectation when trying to write a novel, seek an agent or get published?

For those on a job search, you often hear “show why you’re the best candidate for the position,” either on the application, in the interview or as a follow-up review. Do we really know our own strengths? Are we savvy enough on the employer’s needs or the hiring manager’s thoughts to be able to highlight the right matching skills or words? It’s a balance of all these things… and I’m not necessarily looking for input or feedback on this… just noting how many times the question comes up: “How are you a unique fit or individual?” Perhaps it’s a bit too direct, egotistical or Pollyanna of me… but at times, I simply want to say:

I’m not a unique individual, nor do I want to be one. But what I am is a very capable, intelligent, strong, persistent, creative, open-minded and efficient guy. And you’d be lucky to have me as part of your team, whether I’m your next big writer or the one to re-organize your department to finally meet customer expectations. Some of us… are good at many things… and qualifying every piece of it won’t convince you why to select me. But knowing that there is no one more dependable than me, you should take this chance.

I’m not special, and I am OK with that. But it’s what others seem to expect when they are looking for the answer to the question. But then again, people’s natural instincts are also to be a bit doubtful or hesitant, to search for the absolute best, and to seek something that will bring in the money. Part luck, part game, it’s not always about talent. Nor is always about fitting in a prescribed box.

All this said, I’m not turning this into an advice column or a “help me understand” pitch. I’m not unique enough to warrant that kind of attention…  did you laugh over that? Yikes, I guess I’m not funny enough to be a comedian either. 😛  Even as I choose what to write in my reviews, or in the 365 Daily posts, I know I am not offering unique quality with a unique voice in a unique method. It’s been done by others, hundreds of times before and will continue to be thousands more into the future. I’m simply offering my opinion and thoughts, for whatever it may be worth at that time to that reader for a specific reason.

I’m purely reflecting on the things we face every day and how we choose to navigate that path. If I never found the perfect job or published a book, I’d still be a very happy guy. I’m simply being my inner two-year-old, questioning “Why, Why, Why” until I feel it’s time to move on to the next topic. And so I throw it back out to readers today. Pick one or more questions below and tell me what you think… or add your own question with an answer, too:

  1. What makes a book unique for you?
  2. How are you unique in your job or role?
  3. As a friend and general person, what types of unique qualities do you search for in others?
  4. Is unique important to 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. 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 65 – Eager

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Eager: wanting to do or have something very much, keen expectancy or interest

Early on in the 365 Daily Challenge, I chose the word “curious” as a characteristic. “Eager” borders on the same meaning, but I am going to take it in a different path today. Shocking, I know… where is that consistency?

Although the 365 Challenge began as a way for me to bring interesting content to my blog, as well as explore different parts of “who I am,” the way I continue to choose the characteristic word could change with each arc of the challenge. A few examples with the last day of the week words:

  • In the first 5 weeks, it was one of my genealogical origins or ethnicity, which offered an opportunity to comb the internet for the stereotypical traits for that country.
  • In the second 5 weeks, we covered an A to Z list of various things I hate, love, fears, food, and as a hint, this Sunday’s final one will be: places that make me smile.

For the first 10 weeks, I’ve chosen all the words. I’m shocked that it’s 10 weeks on the weekend. It’s gone so quickly! But it’s also been really interactive and enjoyable.

And now… it’s time to turn the heat up a little… and I’m eager to hear some suggestions from all of you.  I’m completely open with where to go next, but the people-pleaser inside of me wants to bring content and topics that are relevant for everyone involved. You don’t have to read these posts, but for those of you who are, (1) Thank You and (2) What do you want to read about?

A few ideas mulling around in my head for choosing the characteristic word of the day:

  • Professions: choose professions I’ve had or want to have and discuss why or who I admire in those roles
  • Colors: choose colors that represent me and explore what it means or says about me
  • Quotes: Experiment with a word in a quote that means something and blog about the author, its meaning and how it applies to us
  • Cities: List the cities I’ve lived in, what was going on in my life around that time and what I loved or didn’t love about the place
  • Open to any other ideas… I just picked 4 that easily came to my mind in less than 30 seconds

I chose “eager” today because I’m keenly interested in not only meeting my own goals with the 365 Daily Challenge, but also taking the content in directions that engage in more conversation, commentary and fun. It may even become less about a “trait” and more a “noun” or “fact” that has some importance to me and to you. The goals are still the same, but the path to get there should never get static.

But most of all, I’m eager to see what brilliant topics we come up with. So put on your thinking caps as we’ve got 5 days to come up with the new twist for next week’s 365 Daily Challenge!

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 63 – A to Z Foods

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A to Z Foods: A list of 26 foods that I either love or hate, one for each letter, a challenge posed to any readers who would like to participate. Maybe it’s the foods your mom made you when you were a kid… oh… Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! xoxo

ATOZfood

As a follow-up to last week’s fears from A to Z, this week we’re focusing on the foods we either love or absolutely hate (whichever you prefer), 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 hate or love, but not a specific restaurant or brand! I chose 13 things I loved and 13 things I hated. I’m all for equal opportunity!
  3. This week it’s foods you either love or hate… but next week will be something else. Add in any extra comments if you need to explain.
  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… AtoZFood
  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 Foods I Love or Hate

A – Avocado (love)

B – Beans (hate)

C – Cake (love)

D – Donuts (love)

E – Eggs (love)

F – Frog’s Legs (hate)

G – Grapefruit (hate)

H – Hot Dogs (hate)

I – Ice Cream (love)

J – Jelly Beans (love)

K – Kale (love)

L – Liverwurst (hate)

M – Mushrooms (hate)

N – Nutella (love)

O – Octopus (hate)

P – Pickles (hate)

Q – Quiche (love)

R – Red cabbage (hate)

S – Sushi (love)

T – Tartare (love)

U – Unagi eel (hate)

V – Veal (love)

W – Watercress (hate)

X – Xylitol gum (hate)

Y – Yogurt (love)

Z – Zucchini (hate)

People You Are Tagging

NO ONE! Anyone who wants to participate should… But someone has to… I don’t want to feel like the guy in the video below!

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.