unpredictable

365 Challenge: Day 132 – Casual

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Casual: relaxed and unconcerned

casua;

Every once in a while, you wake up on the other side of the bed. Literally. Not physically. I have a dog that prevents me from moving at night, so waking up in a different part of the bed is not usually an issue. On the floor is a possibility, as with every hour that goes by, his little paws push me an inch closer to the edge. One day, I will be knocked off. And that’s the only day it will ever happen. I push back. I’ll tie up all his stuffed animal toys just above where he can reach them on the wall and see what he does about it. Evil. That’s me sometimes. Unpredictable. Relaxed. Casual.

Most people on this blog probably know me as a bit too organized and formal when it comes to my posts. I never just wing it… for the last week, I’ve been drafting the posts at night and scheduling them for the next morning. It gave me an opportunity to spend more time writing “Father Figure” with less distractions and worry over “oh, yeah, gotta get to that 365 post.” But last night, I was in a good mood and we went out to dinner, then watched some TV and I had a book to finish (review to come later), so no 365 post was drafted last night. This morning… I went to check that the post was released and went “Aaack… I still have to write something.”

Casual. Sometimes just writing what’s on your mind and combining a few things together is OK. It’s still putting in effort, but it’s also allowing our bodies some time to re-group. Writing the 365 posts isn’t difficult, but when you want them to have substance, it does require a good chunk of uninterrupted time. So today’s post is going to be about letting go and just doing whatever feels natural and normal at that moment. Nothing pre-planned. Nothing forced. Nothing formal. I’m not even going to discuss what being casual means or why it’s important. From this point forward in today’s post, I’m just gonna tell you what’s going on in my life this weekend. “I can grow. I can change,” said the boy as his nose doubled in size.

I have an arbor to build and install on the NYC Terrace Garden. It might need a hashtag. Although, Ryder (9-year old shiba inu) calls it the Enchanted Garden. He has his own Facebook page… “Ryder the Cat-Like Dog” {Aside: Yes, he can talk… it’s a strange little voice my friend Paul invented, but W has taken it over and now Ryder chats all day long, asking for food, demanding more flowers in the garden, wanting his allowance to go out with friends to the local bar. We like to keep it fun around here.} This arbor is going to be quite a little project, as it’s for a new wisteria tree. It never ends around here. Our friend Matt is very concerned as wisteria is invasive; he fears one day, he won’t hear from us and when he stops by to check on us… the wisteria will have grown through the always open bathroom window… into the apartment… trapping us against the walls and taking over like a jungle. Poor Ryder will be trying to bite his way out. He’d just as soon leave us here to die, taking any cash and starting a new life, I’m sure. That dog while adorable is the most independent codependent dependent unusual creature next to… well… me. #EnchantedGarden #NYCTerraceGarden

And then there’s Game Night tonight, where a bunch of friends of ours are getting together for drinks, pizza, cards and games. It’s an amazing night of fun where someone brings a new game we all learn and play… it’s often very adult in its childishness… a very dirty cartoon version of Cards Against Humanity was once played. I’m still recovering from those pictures and what people made a few stick figures do. And the last time we played, it was the Voting Game where you vote for which person is most like the phrase on the card. I got a few really bad ones. And a few good ones. I think they voted me most likely to be a serial killer. Not Good! Tonight though… I think it will be more card games. And I’ve settled on wine as my beverage of choice — no hangovers needed while trying to finish that arbor tomorrow. And I’m writing Sunday’s post this afternoon, as it’s time for either Pennsylvania or San Francisco, the last two other places I’ve lived.

My stream-of-conscious knows no bounds today. It was a productive week. I let myself accept being casual and relaxed over a few things. I accomplished a lot. And I’m giving myself a break this weekend from constantly being on the computer… at least tomorrow… as today will be catching up on anything outstanding: 3 award, 3 tags, book review, 365 post, author spotlight, reading plans, etc. Hitting the gym soon. Reading Hidden Bodies, the sequel to You. And preparing my list of questions for the agent and publisher I’m meeting with next week. I’ve got some good things brewing on that front… very exciting. But I won’t go into any details until I know if something is working out or not. And other than that, I’m going to relax. It’s time to just have a day where whatever gets done, gets done. Last thing on my mind, I owe you a response from last week’s post…

Unpredictable Reminder

  • In last week’s 365 Daily Challenge Unpredictable post, I noted I’d confirm what I selected for my list of things to put in the hat. After discussion with the significant other, we settled on NYC Things To Do. We’re always finding we have blocks of hours available on the weekend in between errands, house or garden maintenance and hanging out with friends. Rather than toss the ball back and forth, never settling on anything, we’re going to list 26 items in NYC with all the key info: location, directions, open days/times, categories, website links and who is responsible for planning it. We will put them together in the next few weeks to start in September. I estimate we will pull from that hat every other weekend, but we will have pre-planned things to do for about a year. We still need to decide if it’s a physical hat or an electronic program (he hates technology, so it might be a good punishment for him to be in charge of this… and if you’re reading this part, W, you did agree to this while you were half asleep the other night) to make the choice during each selection. What did you all decide to do with your unpredictable challenge?

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Danielle @ Books, Vertigo @ Tea. Danielle and I met about 4 months ago over a few books we were both reading around the same time. Our favorite reading genres tend to cross paths a lot, as we’re often recommending books to one another. But we also have different reading tastes, so it always becomes interesting to see what we’re chatting about! Danielle is a really cool person to chat with, especially when you get on topics that you both have in common. She’s recommended a few teas to me, though I’m a coffee drinker. She suffers from vertigo, which is awful, but she has a good approach about it all, which makes reading her entries about what’s going on in her life quite interesting. I enjoy chatting and commenting back and forth, and I believe you will, too. Stop by her site, check out the extremely varied books she reads. Danielle’s on several social media apps too, which makes connecting quite easy. She has tons of recommendations by genre and a fantastic game / poll called “You Choose, I Read” where you can pick the book she reads in the future. Go check it out now!
    • “I am Danielle, a 30 “ish” yr old mother of two. I have an insatiable appetite for all things books. I adore bookstores, libraries, and falling asleep while surrounded by my current reads. I prefer to do the latter with tea in hand. I also happen to be a fan of my kids, anime, food, and life in general when I can partake! I am also 100% anti-adulting when possible, so if you are easily offended, I apologize in advance 😉But only a little, because life is seriously too short to be serious all of the time. You will probably see a little bit of everything that is me here at Books, Vertigo and Tea. Enjoy!”

 

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 124 – Unpredictable

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Unpredictable: unexpected; not foreseen; up in the air

unpredictable

In life, there are times when it’s necessary to be predictable and there are times when it is not. I could go on for a very long time about how I am predictable, or cite examples of when I try to be unpredictable, but I will not. Instead, I’m taking us on a little sideways path, still aligned with the 365 Daily Challenge, yet also in a bit of a new territory. For as far back as I can remember, there are moments in our lives when we feel the following  way in some shape, manner or form:

  • You’re in a rut and seem to consistently do the same repetitive things
  • You have an afternoon, an evening or a whole day with some flexibility or time on your hands, and want to use it wisely, but can’t think of anything to do
  • You have the same fears or wishes but never see any movement or traction in a positive direction

I’ll stop there as I am fairly certain we’ve all been there at least once for at least one of these items. As this is a blog about the truth, I fully admit, I have encountered all of these quite frequently, and to this day, I still do. But what I’ve learned is that there are two ways to handle it: (1) Do nothing and it stays the same or (2) Change it!

Sure, there’s a little bit of work involved, depending on how much you want to address any of these items, but I solidly believe it will be worth it in the end. Here’s my suggestion to each of us as a goal we need to incorporate into our next few weeks. Pick one of the above general areas of concern. Narrow down the specific component that you’d like to address. A few examples:

  • Eating out at the same places because you don’t know what else is available.
  • Cooking the same meals because you don’t have time or recipes for something else.
  • Visit the same movie theatre or watch the same TV shows because, well, they’re just available and easy to access.
  • Never trying some new activity that you’ve thought about in the past as really fun but have been lazy about trying it out.
  • Always finding yourself afraid to speak up to new people and share you opinion because your voice may not be valuable or warranted.
  • Tons of ideas about new hobbies but somehow it’s overwhelming to pick up something new.

You’ve undoubtedly got a few in your head beyond what I’ve proposed. And now here comes the word association portion of the 365 Daily Challenge. You’ve grown so predictable, you can’t even imagine how to get yourself out of this nasty little dilemma. But it’s time for a change. It’s time to take a small part of your life and make it unpredictable for the greater sake of your future. Now don’t be throwing all the rules out the window and going for broke on a new life of chaos and disaster. Put a little game together for yourself so that you can ease on into your new life of charm and titillation. {Aside: Does anyone else hate that last word as much as I do… titillation?}

Decide the frequency of this new thing we’re talking about. Perhaps it’s Monday night meals, so it would be weekly. Maybe it’s the weekend each month you want to take the kids somewhere new. Perhaps it’s the daily 3 minute conversation you need to have with a stranger. Whatever it is… write up all the options / examples… put them on individual pieces of paper and then fold them up. Or if you are tech-savvy, find an online tool that allows you to randomly select a choice out of a group of options. And ease into your unpredictable life-changing plan… and randomly choose one of these options at the frequency you desire. In the immortal words of ABBA:

On Me! (*Couldn’t find an ABBA GIF with this song)

But here’s a link to the sound clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-crgQGdpZR0

  • If you picked “cook a new recipe,” then draw a recipe out of the hat, so to speak, on a Sunday, get the groceries and cook that food whatever day works out best for you that week — with the kids, significant other, spouse or friends.
  • If you picked “try a new activity,” then choose one of them at will (or have someone else reach into the hat for you), and take a chance on it. Do a little research and just go do it because the paper in that told you to that day… let some control go!

The point is to have fun. To try something new. With boundaries since you picked all the original options and still in a bit of a safe zone. If you’re feeling risk-friendly, throw some “out there” choices into the hat, so that you can keep pushing yourself a little more. And forgive yourself when you draw an activity that perhaps is too overwhelming for the day you chose it. Put it back, draw something else, but promise yourself the next time you draw it again, you will do it. I’m gonna give some thought to this over the next week… and next Friday, at the end of my 365 post, I’ll reveal what my “unpredictable” actions are going to be. How about you?

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Patty @ Moohnshine’s Corner. Patty and I connected about two months ago when I stumbled across a post similar to the one I linked in her name at the beginning of this paragraph. Suddenly, tons of fantastic covers showed up in posts on my WP Reader every Wednesday for Hump Day. I leave the rest to your imagination when it comes to what to do on “hump day.” I also felt connected to Patty as her husband’s name is James, which is my given name, and anyone who chooses to marry or spend their life with someone named James has gotta be a good person in my book. We torture our partners and spouses something fierce!!! But in all sincerity, Patty is a fantastic blogger. She posts nearly every day, even when she’s on vacation and in a kayak, and there’s always something interesting or beautiful about the post. She makes it fun, even in the incorrectly spelled name of her blog, and she tells me there is a story behind it, but I’ve yet to find out! Maybe you’ll have better luck if you go check out her site and meet this new friend. It’s a true reader’s book site, full of author content, book tags, contests, feedback, opinions and a general safe space to dish all about our favorite book characters. Grab yourself a bottle of some homemade hooch — as I’ve heard it referred to before (Scandal reference) — and settle in for a fun escape from the day.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

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

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

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