thoughts

365 Challenge: Day 167 – Destiny

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Destiny: the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future; the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate

estiny

Destiny and fate. Two words that often come up in conversation with friends when you are thinking about the future. Maybe you’re drunk and pondering the purpose of life. Perhaps a child has just asked you about it and you wonder how to respond. Or you wake up screaming from a nightmare wondering what will happen in your future. Curiosity whether someone greater than us is controlling all the movements or it’s fully a free will situation. Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is not about religious beliefs, nor whether or not evolution has an impact. It’s about whether or not you believe in the concept of destiny. I felt like it was something to share with all my online friends… curious what everyone believes for a couple of reasons I’ll mention a bit later.

Destiny is often mistaken for an extreme wish that something will happen. I want to be a writer, I was destined to be a writer. I’m not sure if that’s true. I know that’s what I’ve wanted to do for as long and as far back as I remember. But whether that’s what was meant to be is definitely not a concept I truly understand.

What about two people whose paths cross several times without realizing it before they are finally introduced and fall in love. Were they meant to be together or did it just happen that way because they live in close proximity?

We all make choices in our lives, constantly changing the path and the direction we follow. Is destiny navigating behind the scenes or are we just making decisions as they are presented to us with whatever knowledge we’ve amassed up until that moment?

I would totally say something wrong like this!

Quite a philosophical post today. Not a long one either. Just something to get us thinking over the weekend… why do we do the things we do? how much control do we have over what happens around us? do we believe in fate or destiny? Or even more introspectively… do we want to believe in destiny?

I would like to think that I have some control over my path and my decisions. And I think I do. I am fine living in NYC but if W said tomorrow let’s move to California, I’d be fine with that, too. And if I decided to give North Carolina a chance after that, I’d be fine. If I am good living in all those places, where does destiny fit in? Is it controlled by your surroundings, e.g. the place you live? If so, does that then limit the people you interact with who can be part of your life? Or the jobs you can hold? Or the activities you engage in?

So many questions involved to try and understand whether destiny controls us in the background. It really makes you realize that with so many potential combinations of how things come together, it’s actually infinite. And if something is infinite, can there really be any control over the outcome? So… before any of us get caught up in trying to solve this little dilemma, maybe I should keep myself on a bit of a straighter path with the point of this post.

While I often encounter this conundrum in my own life and brain, it was on mind this week not because of me… but because of a character in my book. She’s been through a lot. And as I decide the ending to the character’s story and the novel, I find myself asking on her behalf if the following statement is true:

Destiny. Do you believe in it? I’ve love to hear everyone’s opinions. Thanks in advance for sharing.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

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

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

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365 Challenge: Day 121 – Naked

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Naked: not covered by any clothing, nude; devoid of concealment or disguise

naked

 

Around 3:15 this morning, a certain lovable little shiba inu took it upon himself to grow unsettled in the bed, circling three or four times, before roughly throwing his 20 lbs. of bulk against by thigh. Startled by said lovable little creature, I found myself awake and unable to quickly fall back asleep. Always one to use my time wisely (don’t even bring up yesterday’s post or I’ll have to hurt forgive you), I thought about the 365 Daily Challenge for today. The first word that popped into my head was ‘naked.’ And although I tried to think of a few other words, I kept returning to the word ‘naked,’ wondering how I might pull off such a post without it coming across as vulgar. And after 120 ‘365’ challenges, 500 book reviews and about a hundred other posts, you know by now, I’m not a vulgar person.

Ask yourself this question: Am I brave enough to walk into a room full of people, some of whom I know and some of whom I do not know, while I am completely naked?

{Aside: Jay, you have started to go off the deep end a little bit. I’m not sure I can support such a behavior if you continue down this path.}

I already know my answer is ‘yes,’ as it’s happened before. But I suppose it would only occur again under somewhat comfortable conditions. Let me try to redeem myself here…

Being naked physically means you are wearing no clothes. Every part of your body is exposed for others to see you in all your supposed glory; essentially, nothing is left to the imagination and you are unable to hide from the world. We’re born this way. Doctors and nurses often see us this way. Other people in a public fitness center or school locker room get a preview. Anyone you are intimate with experiences this side of you. So it’s not an unheard of situation, right?  OK, keep those thoughts on hold for a little bit longer. And no, I’m not advocating nudity nor am I a member of or interested in joining a nudist colony.

What about being naked emotionally… stripped down so there are no barriers between what you are thinking or feeling and the people in your life. Naked can also apply to the walls or shields that prevent us from being open and honest with others about what is going on inside our head. Under those conditions, I’m a fairly naked person. Over the course of the past 120 days, I’ve been naked to anyone who happens to read my 365 posts. I’ve covered a wide variety of topics where I’ve shown some silly and stupid decisions I’ve made, a few embarrassing moments, and a couple of personal desires or needs that might end up never being achieved. For me, I no longer feel a need to hide behind any walls that often function as a shelter or protection from pain, fear, disappointment and hurt. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes I hold back a little bit; however, for the most part, I feel free and open with what’s going on in my life, how I make my decisions and what I am hoping to accomplish. So I share it with you.

This method is definitely not for everyone. And I wouldn’t even recommend it without truly thinking about all the implications that could occur, up to and including how you handle difficult situations. But the one thing I’ve been learning in the last few months and over the last year of my life, is that it doesn’t matter what other people think of me or my life or my situation. If someone wants to laugh, ridicule, or berate me for something I’ve chosen to do, that’s their problem. Not mine. If I feel good about it, then that’s what counts. If I worry about what others will do or say, then perhaps I’m not quite comfortable enough with my own decision to proceed. And if that’s the case, it’s totally OK, as that just means you need more time to figure out the right time and place to move forward.

So if someone thinks I am wasting time by not going back to work more quickly… or people felt writing a blog was too self-indulgent… or searching for an agent was a useless activity… {no one is actually saying any of these things to me, btw} — it ends up being their problem and issue, and I can erase those opinions from my mind as long as I feel good about what it is I’m doing. So let’s flip back to the concept of not only being naked in front of others with your thoughts and feelings, but with your body. How is that any different and why am I bringing it up today?

Our bodies are no different than our emotions and ideas. It’s just another aspect of who we are — cells that create a physical shape and form versus cells that produce words and thoughts. For the most part, you can’t change your body without massive surgery or risk. If you’ve got wide hips, that’s what you were given. If you have a flat butt, oh well, that’s life. If your eyes are set too far apart, deal with it. If something is too big or too small, it is what it is. I am not being flippant about these issues, as I know very well how much they can cause pain and hurt, especially when you’ve been singled out by someone purely for the sake of their tasteless and childish need to laugh at something rather than at their own expense. And I’m not saying it’s time everyone just strip down and walk around naked. I’m simply saying if we can learn to love who we are as people for our personalities, we can learn to love our bodies. We can work on them as much as we need to for the sake of health and relaxation, but to obsess over any specific part or area that you truly cannot change will only hurt you more than you know.

And that’s why I’m not so worried about being naked anymore. As I age, and I realize what I do and don’t have control over, I am learning to just let things go as I do with decisions, missed opportunities and fears. I am short. I will never have that slender upper torso that stretches on forever, something I’ve always desired. And when I wore a tighter than usual grey polo yesterday, I almost took the shirt off because it didn’t land in the way I wanted it to land around my waist. It made me look stocky. Then I told myself no beach time this summer… you didn’t fix your body like you said you wanted to. But I can’t fix it. I’m short. It ain’t gonna happen the way I want it to… so I will go to the beach. And I will leave my shirt off. And I will be happy about it.

Being naked physically is just like being naked emotionally. Whether someone sees you make a mistake during a public speech or notices the fine lines and crow’s feet appearing on your face, they might still judge you — but that’s their problem, not yours. No, I’m not going to start parading around naked. Nor do I suggest you do either. Even if you are the world’s most attractive naked person. But I am suggesting we all learn to get comfortable with who we are and what we do and don’t have. And if someone wants to judge me for wide hips or a stocky torso or whatever it is I’m worried about that day, or making up that day… so be it… judge away. I’ll be busy making something of myself and staying happy.

Of everything I’ve said and believe, the most important thing in all of this — at least to me — is that I’m remembered for being authentic and genuine, unafraid to share anything and comfortable in my own skin enough to help others find their own happiness in these areas. In the end, whether I’m naked without clothes or naked without a barrier to my thoughts, I’m showing the world the real me is good enough to put it all out there. And what happens in someone else’s mind is their concern. Not mine.

Last point… today’s post was mostly theoretical in that I don’t feel judged, nothing has happened to make me feel bad about myself, nor am I worried about what other people are thinking and trying to convince myself it’ll be OK. I’m actually in a very strong place in this area, but I also want all my friends to be there, too. So that’s where this share came from. And oh yeah, aren’t you no longer afraid I was going to share a naked picture of myself in today’s 365 Daily Challenge? Phew… that would have been awkward for you. Cause it obviously wouldn’t have been for me based on what I’ve said, right?

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Noriko (AKA Norin) @ BookfiendSite because of my lovely little Ryder (shiba inu dog) keeping me awake last night… No, Noriko wasn’t texting me all night, but when I think of shiba inus, I think of her as she’s from Japan, which is where Ryder originally came from. Noriko and I probably met close to 2 months ago and now chat on both Goodreads and WordPress. She’s almost always online, able to chat and has a very charming approach to books and life. Noriko reads a lot and has been the #1 reviewer on Goodreads in Japan. She takes on all different genres and is reading a few books I recommended this summer. I hope the Ken Follett Pillars series doesn’t put her over the edge. What’s special about Noriko is how kind and thoughtful she is, always leaving beautiful comments on your posts, asking brilliant questions and interacting in a very immersive and connected way. I enjoy chatting with her, look forward to her book reviews, as they always provide fantastic insight into the meaning of the story, the plot and the characters. If you love books, she’s someone to know. If you want to get to know someone from the another country, she’d be a good addition to your followed blogs. Please find a few minutes to peruse her site and let her know what you think of it!

 

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 118 – Perceptive

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Perceptive: having or showing keenness of insight, understanding, or intuition

perceptive

We often claim to be perceptive, to read beneath the surface of someone’s actions and expressions, so that we can determine the true underlying emotions in others. I have found myself feeling perceptive in many situations, focusing on the tone of the person’s voice, the location of their eyes, or the amount of details they choose to reveal or hide. I take in the full picture of everything I can in the hopes it will help me understand the best way to respond to the conversation or situation. This is a good thing, as it makes you more intuitive and capable of developing a stronger relationship with that person or eliciting a better outcome. But that’s not the only way to be perceptive. There’s at least one other tool at our disposal, and this one is something I find myself often getting caught up in:

Are you perceptive when looking at yourself — able to understand how others see you?

Now that can be tough. Sometimes our emotions block the truth. Often our sentiments escape with an unexpected volatility. Usually we’re not focused on what others think, but on how we’re feeling about the situation. Many times we ponder our actions rather than our lack of actions. And that’s the part I often find myself forgetting to consider. I focus on listening or talking, but not understanding and interacting. And there’s a difference in those behaviors.

  • When you listen, you take in the information. You can nod, reach your hand out to comfort someone or give them a hug. But when you understand, you put yourself in that person’s shoes and question how it would make you feel, think or act. Then you determine why the person behaved the way (s)he did. And you choose how you want to respond, often leading to a more connected and powerful outcome.
  • Talking with/to someone is conversational and helpful when you are in an initial get-to-know-you phase. You can bounce ideas back and forth, explain what happened in the past or suggest something new. But when you interact, you immerse yourself in the conversation, showing the other person how and why you care, the level you’ve committed yourself to in the conversation and provide insight into where it may go next.

So why am I saying this? What does it have to do with being perceptive? For me, it’s one and the same. When I am involved in a conversation, be it electronic, video, on the phone or in person, I always try to think about how I am being perceived. I try not to be casual. Casual to me, while having its place at appropriate times, is not a comfortable feeling. I would rather have a strong connection with only a few people than a weak one with a lot of people. And building those connections requires effort, which almost always includes being perceptive about the other person. It applies to so many things in our lives:

  • Dating
  • Interviews
  • Social Media
  • Conflict
  • Debates

And it makes me wonder how I am perceived to others. Have you ever taken 30 minutes to reflect on your behavior, tone, body language, word choice, volume of voice or the time you give someone in a conversation? To understand what someone else might think about you? I do a lot. I do this when I meet new people. I do this when I chat online with people I’ve never met. I do this when I am trying to help someone through a difficult situation. I think it’s important to let others know, through each of these aspects of your interpersonal skills and relationship, where you stand in the greater scheme of things.

When I step back and think about how I am perceived, and how I want to be perceived, there are a few areas I need to work on. A few examples:

  • I feel repetitive when I reply to people on social media because I often might be in a rush to respond and choose the quickest words that come to mind. Maybe I should step back and wait to comment until I have some free moments without interruption to put proper effort into building new relationships.
  • I am a multi-tasker by nature. When on the phone, I often am doing two or three other things. I’m sure I’ve been slow to respond or didn’t pick up on the other person’s hidden messages. I might need to step back in what could be a sensitive or important conversation and give my full attention.
  • I tend to be the one to let others do the talking. Perhaps that’s letting other people think I am not interested by failing to ask questions. I should push myself to re-balance that scale with other people.

Why did this come up today? Two reasons: (1) I’ve been talking a lot lately about “me” or “I,” and realized it in a recent conversation with someone else, and (2) I’m starting to put more of myself out there with the 2nd book I’m writing, the increase in social media and the number of people I’m becoming friendly with from my blog. I will need to find the right balance between quality and quantity, as well as ensure I’m being perceived in the way I want to be perceived. I want to be seen as a genuine and open-minded individual who is unafraid to share myself and learn about others. I want depth in my relationships. I want people to turn to me when they need a respected sounding board. I hope people find intense creativity and honest thoughts in my writing. I don’t want to be thought of as boring or ineffective. I choose to be someone others look to as a role model across so many aspects of life.

How about you? How do you think you are being perceived today? Would you change anything? Or do you not feel this is something to focus on in your world? …which is totally fine… not everyone is so caught up in what others think of them as I am… sometimes it’s good to just do what you think is right and let others react as they choose!

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Claire @ BrizzleLass Books. And the topic at hand in the challenge is completely disconnected from Claire, but I wanted to tell everyone about her today as she’s a phenomenal person to know. Claire and I met through WordPress about 3 months ago and soon after followed one another on Twitter, Goodreads and probably a few other sites. She’s a very strong blogger and has a great social media presence. I’m constantly finding new things to look into via her Twitter feed, as she is very friendly and helpful to all her followers and those people she’s gotten to know. It’s a bit funny as her two primary genres are fantasy and romance, which are the two I know the least about; yet, we’ve found a bunch of books in common and have built a great online friendship. She lives in my favorite country (can you guess which one?) and has a really witty tone in all her posts and conversations. I enjoy chatting with her each day, even if it’s just a quick hello or a lengthier discussion about mental health, inspiration and life choices. Plus, you have to love the colorful posts and pictures she releases. Go check out her site and meet a new friend who will be a good person to know in this blogging world.

 

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.

AWARD: Sunshine Blogger #3

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I would like to thank my friend Phil @ WhatShouldIDoWithMyLife for nominating me for the ‘The Sunshine Blogger Award’. I was nominated for the award previously, but he has a whole new set of questions, which I felt compelled to answer. Please stop by his blog to see all the great content, advice and open thoughts. He and I have a similar theme, as we both blog about what we want to do with our lives… reading his helps keep me focused!

sunshine-blog-award

 

Rules:

1.) Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
2.) Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

 

Questions for nominees:

1. Tell me about the most interesting person you’ve ever met.

  • This is a tough question for me. I find something interesting in everyone I meet, and I tend not to get awestruck by anyone. I find people amazing, talented and remarkable, but I’m not certain I know who has been the most interesting. I’ll keep thinking about it and come back to re-post a comment when I figure out who it is.

2. If you could take a week and travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

  • I’d go back to the English countryside in the Cotswolds. No devices. No specific plans. Just enjoy the scenery, the food and the drink.

3. What is the one truly defining moment of your life so far?

  • I think finally writing a full novel, something I’ve said I always wanted to do. And I accomplished it.

4. What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve done lately?

  • Oy! I’m not very spontaneous, so lately… maybe several months ago when I said “I need a blog.” And then I spent days creating it.

5. Who has influenced you the most?

  • Probably my mom. I’ve spent the most time with her and I see so much of her in me. Lots of differences, but the basics are all the same.

6. What is the one thing you most want to do?

  • Publish my novel. Have a child. Live outside the USA. Too many to choose!

7. What is your best inherited quality?

  • Kindness. I can’t understand why people aren’t just naturally kind.

8. Name your favorite thinker.

  • Socrates. He gave us so much to consider.

9. Who is your favorite historical figure?

  • As a child, I adored JFK. As an adult, George Washington.

10. Have you been to any good musical performances lately?

  • I saw War Paint on Broadway last weekend. It was very good! I don’t generally go to music concerts, so hopefully this counts.

11. What type of vacation do you prefer? Are you a relaxer or an explorer?

  • 75% relaxer, 25 explorer. I like my downtime!

 

My Nominees:

 

  1. https://meltotheany.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/the-dragons-of-nova-loom-saga-2-by-elise-kova/
  2. https://talesofbelle.com/2017/06/14/becca-review/
  3. https://lostartofreadingblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/reading-types/
  4. https://lifeofastayathomemomcom.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/an-open-letter-to-my-younger-self/
  5. https://carlalovestoread.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/hedys-journey-the-true-story-of-a-hungarian-girl-fleeing-the-holocaust/
  6. https://withinseoul.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/playing-on-the-rooftops/
  7. https://growingself.blog/2017/06/19/rise-and-shine-breakfast-cookies/
  8. https://carrierubin.com/2017/06/19/eating-bull-body-shaming-big-food-and-writing-an-interview-with-bertholdgambrel/
  9. http://inspirationpie.com/?p=561
  10. https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/the-unpopular-opinions-tag/
  11. https://edgeofhumanity.com/2017/06/19/family-9/

Special Nomination:  https://susanlovesbooks.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/goodreads-monday-15/

Note: If you haven’t been tagged, but want to participate, you should! If you have been and don’t want to participate, you don’t have to. If you’ve already been nominated for this award, congratulations — but these are different questions… so you might want to do them again. 🙂

 

Questions for nominees:

  1. What hour are you most alert during the day or night?
  2. Who was the last famous person you stalked?
  3. What courses were your worst and best in school?
  4. If you could let someone else takeover your blog for 1 day, who would it be? (can be a celebrity or even someone who doesn’t blog currently)
  5. What country has the happiest people?
  6. What lesson took you the most to learn?
  7. Where do you go for peace and quiet?
  8. What person who died before 1900 would you try to bring back to live today?
  9. Where do you see yourself retiring?
  10. What cartoon character are you most like?
  11. What personality trait are you currently trying to change or improve?

 

About Phil:

To learn more about Phil in case you’re deciding whether to go check out his blog, see his own questions and answers below:

  • A quote or any saying that you love and follow.

Be the change you wanna see in the world.

  • If you get chance : either to go in future and know what’s there for you or to go back in past and change something Which one would you choose & Why?

I would choose to go in future. I would like to change what comes next, and not the things which have already happen.

  • A superpower that you think everyone should have.

The superpower to understand the other person’s lies.

  • Mountains or Beaches?

Mountains at winter and beaches at summer.

  • Is there anything that can/might make you stop blogging?

Only if I ‘ll my motivation and that’s really difficult

  • If you get a chance to watch any war that happened in the past live Which war would you choose n Why?

The war of  Thermopylae, where 300 men fought against thousands of Persians.

  • Share any adventurous or risky thing that you ever did. 

I jumped from a fifteen meter cliff straight to the water.

  • What gives you goosebumps every-time?

To hear stories about WW2.

  • A gift that you would love to receive anytime.

An album full of photos, memories and letters from friends or family.

  • Your favorite topics to have a conversation on.

Movies, music, gymnastic and of course books.

  • One thing that you want to eliminate from your life completely.

Bad thoughts, bad people and bad relationships.

 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” 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… see how you compare!

Review: Walden

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WaldenWalden by Henry David Thoreau

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Review
Walden, an American classic…few of us have likely read all 350+ pages, unless you were an English major. For most, perhaps 10-15 pages in high school or a college literature course introduced you to Thoreau and Walden. Famed philosopher and thinker, it’s a book that transports you to nature and the simplicity of life… helping to discover who you are, what you want and where things are going. A bit of an existential crisis, so to speak. It’s a good book. I have nothing against it, but it didn’t resonate with me as much as I’d have liked.

I tend to be character and plot-based, when it comes to literature I enjoy. The main character, besides Thoreau, was passion/life/searching… it’s not a work of fiction, tho some may take it that way. Perhaps a collection of essays, early journal writing. Blogging?

All in all, beautiful language. Great images. Lots to think about. Worth reading those 10 to 15 pages. But unless you are into philosophy, it’ll be a hard read. I’m a thinker, but not in this way. I’m glad I read the full text… and a few pages several times for comparative purposes in different courses. Take a little on for yourself.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write 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 also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. 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.

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{Aside} Rating On Goodreads Before You’ve Read It.

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A very wise, important and thought-provoking post about rating books before one even reads them. Thanks to Bentley for sharing this on his blog… I am re-posting it for others to read.

Book Bastion

Fair Warning: Unpopular Opinions Incoming!

I’ve been debating writing this post for quite some time now. I’ve titled it “Unpopular Opinions” for a reason. I’m fully expecting this to spark a bit of discussion and yes, disagreements, but given that we’re all civilized people with strong opinions that are all worthy of merit, I felt more and more compelled to share my thoughts.

I wanted to talk today about the state of Goodreads; in particular a disturbing trend I’ve been witnessing of people maliciously rating books before they’ve actually read them.

For the record, I also take issue with people rating upcoming books that they’re looking forward to 5 stars before the book has even been published, but that’s really not what I want to focus on here. Yes, that equally skews the ratings of any book, but I think it’s more pressing that we talk about the…

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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.