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365 Challenge: Day 41 – Rich

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Rich: having a great deal of money or assets; wealthy

It seems I now wake up with the 365 Daily Challenge as the first thing on my mind. How interesting in both a good and a bad way. Today, I waffled between “rich” and another characteristic, which I will save for another time. I could be rich with love, or rich with friends. Rich with health, or rich with intelligence. But today I want to talk about being rich with money. And before you start thinking I’m bragging… I am not talking about being rich right now. When I first started this challenge, I planned to cover traits or things I had, as well as ones I want. And today is going to be all about wanting to be rich.

I’ve probably stirred up one of two, possibly both, thoughts in you right now. And trust me, I’m feeling the same. “Money is the root of all evil” versus “I need and want all the money in the world.”  Today will be about why I’d want to be rich. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on why it’s bad and how it could lead to problems. Perhaps another day it will be an appropriate blog post. For the next few minutes, it’s all about the good things and not about the consequences or issues that go hand-in-hand with having lots of money.

One of the motivating factors in my life has been to earn as much money as possible, without completely stressing out or killing myself. And for a number of years in my corporate position, I climbed that ladder trying to move higher and higher to get each promotion and add a salary boost. It was great and I often am right in my element in those conditions. But “why” was always on my mind… and as I reflect, I think it’s a fairly simple answer: If I were rich, I wouldn’t worry so much about money and I’d be able to just do the things I want to do without fear of it running out some day.

If I were rich, I’d like to think I’d be the kinda guy who would use it wisely. I wouldn’t throw money around on flashy things. Of course I’d buy that mansion, improve my wardrobe, vacation in amazing locations and eat at really expensive places. But that would be a very small piece of my life. I won’t deny I want those things. And I won’t sit back and say I’d help the rest of the world and give a lot away. Of course that would be part of what I’d do. But how… why… where… that’s why I’d dream of being rich.

As shy of a person as I am, I thrive on helping and connecting with other people in settings where I feel comfortable and safe. If I were rich, I’d pick something every day/week/month (whatever is the right frequency) and execute it myself. I wouldn’t open a foundation to help certain groups of people… well, maybe I would as something someone else runs because it’s a good thing to do… but what I mean to say is that I’d drive the use of the money in ways that allow me to use the time with clear focus and care.

I’d buy a collection of books, set up a travel schedule and bring them to key places across the country/world where I could read and interact with children in need, sick folks in hospitals or even those who simply can’t afford to buy books. I’d want it to be an intimate experience where I know I’m helping and can see the benefits for someone else. Of course I could do this now, every so often, thru a volunteer experience, but to be able to do this every week in different parts of the world would mean I couldn’t be working, hence I’d need to be rich to not have to worry about all that other stuff (bills, expenses, etc.) Being able to use money for a good reason without just giving it away or paying someone’s medical bills (all good things to do) has a separate value that feels exceptional to me. Imagine knowing a group of children have never read Peter Pan or Charlotte’s Web… and you bring together 3 or 4 people who put together a little play, dress up, read to the kids, talk about the author, explain the lessons, apply them to each of lives… show them what a farm is, connect it to how farms produce food for us, bring in a sample of vegetables they’ve never had or seen…

I’d setup a small learning center where every month we’d have a new topic and invite people in free of charge to learn about key things in our lives. Everything from history to languages to survival guides. With real life people who know all about the topic, lived it or had connections to it. Things people need to see and do, that you can’t get from a museum or reading online on your own. Create the connection between speaker and listener in an educational and fun way. Do something more than just volunteer for an hour or give the basics and walk away. Mentor. Teach. Coach. Bond.

I’m sounding a bit like Pollyanna… but I often look around me and think… we’re doing this in small increments, but it’s not enough. And yes, I do volunteer now on occasion and practice this in much smaller ways. It needs to be bigger and more robust. But I’m not rich and can’t just take a chance on a new career like that… I’m not that big of a risk-taker. But if money were no object, I believe I’d be able to live in a way that would help so many people directly… not by handing out money or loans that often never go to the right places… but by doing things with my time to change the world.

And that’s why I’d want to be rich. Yes, I’d enjoy the frills that come with it, but I promise it wouldn’t be my focus. There is a career in here somewhere. Perhaps I need to become more entrepreneurial. Or take a risk somewhere with a security blanket. Any rich people out there wanna help out? 😛

Would you want to be rich? Tell me why or why not…

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 38 – Passive

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Passive: accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance

Passive is a tricky word. We’ve adopted it across so many aspects of our lives. Passive meaning we do not stand up and fight in a war. Passive meaning we prefer to relax and rest more than rush around. Passive meaning we are lost in thought. For today, I plan to focus on my energy level, which means I am much more passive than I am active.

There are lots of people out there who are energized by running around all day, constantly involved in something and unable to sit still. Folks who get up super early (4am?) to find the time to accomplish all their goals. Those who can survive on 4 to 5 hours of sleep per night. And some who must be doing some physical activity throughout most of their day. That is NOT me. But it isn’t all that bad.

I’ve always required 7 to 8 hours of sleep per evening. I can survive on less, even for a few days in a row, but I’m a bit listless and slower than usual. Productivity and quality probably decrease in all that I do, so I know my limits and try to put myself into bed around 10pm each evening, read for 30 to 60 minutes to relax and fall asleep somewhere between 11 and 11:30. I am not a quick sleeper… it takes a while for me to nod off. I’ve never been able to nap. I’m usually awake between 6:30 and 7:30 each morning, without an alarm, as my body says “let’s start the day.”

I’m good with about an hour of exercise each day. I try to walk if I need to handle any errands, or when traveling on my way to/from work where possible. But when I’m done with work or errands, or socializing at meals or events, I am a passive person. I much prefer to be sitting in a chair / couch / bed, where I am reading, writing or watching TV. By no means am I lazy. I certainly go out to do things, take trips, try new opportunities, play with the dog (he likes to run around the apartment in circles… therefore so must I, it seems). Generally, I could sit for 8 to 10 hours keeping myself busy without feeling the need to get outside and go for a jog, run off to the sports center to play tennis or plan a trip to climb some mountain. I’d rather go walk about a museum, drive through and stop at view points, or poke my head in a few stores for an hour and call it quits for the day.

Some of you are thinking… wow, he’s boring. Yes, probably true. But it’s part of who I am. My brain or body don’t need constant physical stimulation, as they’re both content to express creativity and action in my head. When I am flying in an airplane or in a long car ride, even up to 8 or 10 hours, I can go without needing to stop for any sort of break or even getting out of my seat. Part of me thinks it is “mind over matter,” meaning I can tell myself “this is your plan for the next 8 hours… no need to try to change it.” And then I am capable of sticking closely to it. Of course, this isn’t always the case… and sometimes on a weekend when I have no plans on a Saturday or a Sunday, I get a little stir crazy. Then it’s time to take the dog for a walk, find a store to dash into or look for a friend to go out and do something different.

I certainly wonder how these affinities develop in people. Of course DNA and health have a large factor in it, but how much of one’s upbringing defines how passive or active they are in their activities? Is it about availability of money and time? Or is it about how much you’ve been forced to do as a child that determines what you want to do in your future? Do you choose these behaviors yourself or do they develop as a byproduct of those around you?

I am an only child, so I often spent time alone. I had friends and saw them a lot. But rather than go play hoops on the driveway or climb a tree, I stayed in my room to read or watch TV. It may have contributed to me being shy, I’ll acknowledge that part of the impact. I was a really good child, never asking for things or to be entertained, so my parents never felt the need to yell “go outside and play,” just so they had a moment’s peace. They certainly pushed me every so often to be more active and get outside, but only when they thought I was spending too much time shut up in my room.

If I had a child, it would be about balance. I don’t agree with setting up activities all day and evening long for your kids to be busy. Whether it’s 50/50 or 60/40 (either direction), alone time is important to help develop your analytical skills, as well as build your ability to learn things other than what someone else forces you to focus on. I’d limit the amount of reading, TV and computer time, ensuring at least an hour a day was some sort of physical activity. Maybe even an hour a day of some group activity or sport. Weekends would be 1 down day and 1 up day, meaning they’d go to some cultural or community event, but also need to focus on the whole eat/pray/love theme.

When I started this post about 10 minutes ago, I never intended to discuss parenting styles, but I let the words take me where they did today. And if I were to interpret what I’ve written, I’d say perhaps I’m being a little too passive in my own days. I should challenge myself to try something new every month, get out at least once per weekend to some physical activity other than my normal trips to the gym, and I should probably join a group (book club, writer’s group, museum or community thing) to help expand my self-imposed limits.

How often are you out and about versus home and relaxing? Do you find yourself with 15 minutes of free time on a normal day or 3 hours of free time? How do you balance it all? What’s your preference? For those who can’t just sit still, what’s happening in your mind and body when you just need to bounce?

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 31 – Impartial

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Impartial: treating all rivals or disputants equally; fair and just

At a quick glance, is there any reason for someone not to be impartial? Isn’t fair and just the right way to live, part of the American Constitution (for international readers, I’m sure there is something a bit similar for you, but not always, I suppose…)?

It’s often hard for people to be impartial. We have favorites. We have anger. We have revenge. We have loopholes. We have a very disparate set of rules that vary from person to person, family to family, house to house, city to city, state to state and country to country. But for most of us, it’s what we strive to accomplish in all that we do. I’m sure there are moments when we wish for someone to win, maybe talk up someone more than another person in the hopes they get the job, boyfriend, girlfriend, house, car, etc.

In today’s post, I will discuss being impartial when it comes to my immediate responses to things, people or situations. I’m not focusing on when people are judgmental, racist or biased. I’m looking at pure state of mind without seeing the specific decision in front of them.

For example, can you walk into a situation without pre-conceived notions about how you will react? If two people are fighting, and you know one of them, do you automatically decide whether they are guilty or not guilty based on past experiences with them? Or can you forget everything you know, starting from scratch, listen to both sides and weigh in with an impartial mind? If you hear that someone likely hurt another person, do you immediately think the person is guilty, or do you want to hear his/her side of the story before determining your reaction?

For me, I battle these thoughts all the time. No matter how confident I feel in a decision, there is always a lingering “what if” in my mind… and I can never 100% commit to a feeling or thought. Sometimes it’s a big enough concern that I tell whomever I’m discussing it with what the lingering concern is and why… other times, it’s trivial enough that I don’t feel the need to explain why there’s a bit of doubt.

Regardless, being impartial should be an automatic given for all of us. No matter the situation, we should have the ability to look at the entire end-to-end picture, big and small, and then come to a reasonable conclusion. Sometimes, it’s simple and you can take turns, alternate or split something so that it ends up being equal. Often, it’s not and you have to communicate and share your thoughts so that the full exposure can occur.

I would have made a good mediator. I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes. I hope to understand why they chose to do something, not just think about the impact it had on me. I believe in fairness and equality. My mind doesn’t think of other ways. If there are two people and two of something, each gets one. If the two objects are not of the same size, then I look for ways to make it as fair as possible. If two people have a story, but differ on the details, I need to hear both and then work with them to see if they can figure out why they each saw it differently.

If one child typically is the poorly behaved one, and an incident occurs with another kid, I wouldn’t assume it was the poorly behaved one. Nothing is that obvious. That said… you can have an opinion, a bias, a judgment, but shouldn’t we do our best to ignore those in the beginning and try to be as impartial as possible? If there’s minimal time, yes, an educated guess or prior research would come into play… but when there’s available time and opportunity, use it wisely. Be impartial.

I feel preachy today. Perhaps I’m annoyed about some things I listened to on the news while having lunch. Or maybe I have such a hard time understanding people who aren’t impartial, it’s fueling my words today.

I think what I’m most trying to say about myself here… and the way I believe people should be… is that we should always have an open-mind. Try not to be judgmental (and just wait… that’s going to be the topic in a few days… and I have been known to be judgmental!). We should never have a boundary that prevents us from considering the alternative. Never may be a harsh word. Some laws and rules should not be broken. There’s a set of standards we should all follow. This isn’t about religion or politics or spirituality. It’s about recognizing as people, we’re evolved enough to know better.

When my time’s up, the biggest hope I could have is that I know I always did my best to listen and consider things outside of my own opinion. I may still choose my original thought, or to believe I am the correct one… but it’s my responsibility to be impartial and look beyond the limitations of my own knowledge. This is a lesson I have learned the hard way over the years.

Rant done. Thanks for not hanging up!

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 29 – Pensive

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Pensive: engaged in, involving, or reflecting deep or serious thought

The word pensive brings to mind Hamlet’s question of “To be, or not to be,” a (wo)man in the throes of the unknown and undecided, lost in indulgent analysis and trapped by an inertia, holding on for dear life. OK, that’s quite negative and exaggerated… but it’s not too far off from my truth.

The brain is a willful and strong organ within our body. It runs without its owner even realizing it; yet, at the same time, when the owner focuses, (s)he knows they are deep in thought. Thought is a powerful concept. And when you are in reflection, contemplating small and big things, you are being pensive. Pensive is a state-of-mind, a transfer of consciousness from the norm and reachable, to the distant and preoccupied.

 

I’m often pensive. I am a thinker. I cover hundreds of topics, images, thoughts and questions throughout the day — all willingly and consciously — challenging myself to push the envelope further and further as time goes by. Sometimes the momentary focus is about the purpose of life, and at others, it is whether or not it’s time to re-model the bathroom. I like thinking. I enjoy questioning. I love getting caught up in the process of considering things that are around me.

Though I’ve confessed to being obsessive, I’m not obsessive about being pensive. And I’ve noted that I’m pragmatic, hence not getting too caught up weighing the pros and cons of a decision, taking forever to finally decide. It’s a fine balance between the two, resulting in people often seeing me as “too much in my head.”

And that’s really the definition of being pensive — being too much in one’s head, in the clouds. Instead of actually getting out and taking a chance by following through on some action or decision, your mind critically analyzes and ponders, considering all the options and outcomes. Wondering how to go about something, what it may be, rather than letting it just happen. It means enjoying thinking about something more than actually doing said something. Sometimes it can drive a person crazy.

  • Pensive can be good. It can be relaxing. It’s a form of meditation and energy.
  • Pensive can be bad. It can hold you back, a way to create false boundaries and limits.

While I can be completely lost in a thought, I am not the type to lose my connection with my surroundings all too often. I may not realize someone’s called my name, or perhaps I miss the rain drops starting to fall for a few moments… but the depth or the degree of the lost consciousness in minimal. It’s like the very first and early stage of sleep; you know things are happening around you, but the temptation isn’t strong enough that you can ignore the sensations.

For me, it’s that I rather enjoy thinking and less doing (unless it we’re talking about completing tasks of things on my To Do list). I’m not saying I am lazy. I’m just saying I am more comfortable and in a natural state when I am pondering, rather than acting on ideas like skiing or fencing (eh, seemed like appropriate things). I respect those that are more active in their day, feeling the energy from an intense work-out. My energy comes from processing ideas and emotions… creating images and sounds in my head that drive realizations and memories.

Have you ever watched someone who is lost in thought? Noticed the focus of their eyes? The awkward position they may be sitting or standing in? Watched the circular path they seem trapped by? And then that moment when they realize how far they’ve gone, startled back into reality? Sometimes they recognize where they are. Others, it’s as if they’ve no idea how they got to that place. Powerful. Strong. Intense. Pensive.

I often think I’d like to be a little less pensive, a step or two removed from always feeling the forces that hold me back from just doing something. It happens sometimes, but like the 80/20 rule, and perhaps 90/10 in my case, it is my mind that overworks itself before the action follows through. Inventors are pensive. Poets are pensive. Dreamers are pensive. Creators are pensive.

And so is “The Thinker,” Rodin’s famous French sculpture. See here for more on this statue. I often feel like this bronze creation… and I think I’m good with that. How about you? Are you a thinker? Or are you a doer?  Doer… such a weirdly spelled word… almost seems wrong.

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 22 – Lister

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Lister: a person who typically enjoys creating a number of connected items or names written or printed consecutively, usually one below the other

When I climbed upon my favorite seat on the sofa this morning, to of course begin drafting today’s post, I was a bit distracted at first. After all, it’s Monday, the beginning to a new week… and I didn’t have a list of tasks or things I needed to accomplish. I suddenly felt a bit worried; how will I be effective this week? And that’s when it hit me… I’m a lister! So I searched for the definition and partially to my surprise (partially of course because I was an English major and I am a writer who should know better, tho I do make-up words from time to time… oh, I am way off topic…), the word “lister” is not real! But how do I describe someone who enjoys creating lists and getting things completed in an orderly fashion in just one word. Hence, I am coining my own term for today: LISTER — and the definition is a compilation of a few that I found for “lists” and “creator.”

We all create lists at some point. And to be fair, I’ll even ignore this generally being a required exercise during school and/or work. I’m strictly talking as a way of doing things in our personal lives.

  • Some people only do it when they absolutely have to accomplish a lot and need a “checklist” to ensure they complete everything.
  • Others create the “bucket list” of things to accomplish before they die
  • And some note items they need to pickup at the grocery store or while out shopping

And we’ve all heard of different types of necessary lists:

  • Phone and Address
  • Birthday
  • Santa’s Nice or Naughty — NO *gif* for you… imagine your own video here!
  • PCMASH
    • Do you remember this one? We all did this as kids. You write 6 names of something and then count down until you cross everything out except for 1 of the remaining names, and that will be your future, e.g.
      • P = Penthouse
      • C = Condo
      • M = Mash
      • A = Apartment
      • S = Shack
      • H = House
    • And that’s where you’ll live. But you have about 10 categories to tell your future, e.g. spouse, city, job, # of kids, age to die, etc.
    • Please tell me I’m not the only one!!!

But then there are those of us that are just insane about creating lists for everything. Like me!

  • I write lists each morning of what I need to accomplish. Sometimes I put the expected amount of time, the best order to complete, etc.
  • I draft lists for due dates for inane things that only I care about.
  • I create lists to keep track of who paid for drinks / lunch / dinner / coffee so that when I see them again, I know whose turn it is to pay!

What’s common across all these lists? The feeling I get when I scratch off each item and reduce the remaining tasks. Except… I’m excited, not exicted. Who screwed that up below?

I began wondering why people like lists and went to the NewYorker magazine to find out.  For the full article, check out the link below. But the gist of it said:

“The article-as-numbered-list has several features that make it inherently captivating: the headline catches our eye in a stream of content; it positions its subject within a pre-existing category and classification system, like “talented animals”; it spatially organizes the information; and it promises a story that’s finite, whose length has been quantified upfront. Together, these create an easy reading experience, in which the mental heavy lifting of conceptualization, categorization, and analysis is completed well in advance of actual consumption”

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/a-list-of-reasons-why-our-brains-love-lists

So what have I learned about myself today? A number of things. I like lists for the following reasons — in alphabetical order — numbered — cleanly for the eyes to see. Lists are:

  1. Accomplished
  2. Captivating
  3. Categorized
  4. Finite
  5. Numerical
  6. Orderly
  7. Spatial

And therefore it is time to go make a list for this week’s things to do. And my bucket list. I should have one of those. I do not. When’s my due date? PLEASE TELL ME!!!! Or I’ll ask Oprah.

365 Challenge: Day 21 – English

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English: containing roots from England

We’ve concluded another week, and on this, the third 365 Challenge Sunday, it’s time to select one of the countries from which my ancestors hail. I’m about 33% English, though Ancestry says my DNA is 81% English; however, those numbers include Irish, and Scottish, which will be next week’s “end-of-the-week” post, thus covering my four primary heritages. But I’m pretty certain at least half of me hails from Great Britain when I look at all the records and the family genes. I am pretty pale, remember! My favorite English last name in my family history: Pantridge. So formal and eloquent.

I’ve been fascinated with the royal families and ascendancy to the thrones of England for years. At one point, I could name most of the Kings and Queens in order, but I’ve forgotten some of those details in recent years. I would love to find out that I descend from one of them, but I highly doubt it’s true. Perhaps Henry VIII’s court jester is my real ancestor!

And in keeping with tradition, I’ve located the Top 10 English traits… but this time, it’s according to the Metro UK news. Let’s see how I fare:

1. Talking about the weather

  • I do often use that as an easy line of conversation, given that I tend to be shy and quiet when it comes to conversing with others. I am fascinated by whether it will be warm or cold, rainy or dry. I hate, loathe and despise hot weather. I prefer the temperature to be a nice 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A good topic for another day!
  • Score: 1 out of 1.

2. Great at queueing

  • Yes! I love lines. It’s the most fair way to ensure those of us who arrive early don’t get left out when a crowd forms. My favorite place for a proper queue is at the airport, but it does not always happen. Each American airline (don’t get me started on other countries’ approach to the ticket counter) calls group by group to queue for an orderly on-boarding to the aircraft. EXCEPT, most Americans (of which I am one) are RUDE (not me, I am orderly). They all just run to the line even though their group hasn’t been called, and then orderly people like me have to ask people to move, step over all their luggage, blah blah blah. Get the @#*& out of my way is what I really want to say. Wait your turn. If you’re group 5, don’t stand right at the beginning of the line. Don’t be an @$$^&*%.  OK, rant done.
  • Score: 2 out of 2.

3. Sarcasm

  • I had a post dedicated to that… remember? Although, someone wise said I am probably more clever, so…perhaps not. But in general, I think the English are sarcastic like I am – never in a cruel way.
  • Score: 3 out of 3.

4. Watching soaps

  • Yes, I must confess. I used to watch a lot of soap operas when I was a teenager, not including prime time soaps. Let’s see if I can remember them: Loving (became The City), Another World, Days of Our Lives, As The World Turns and Guiding Light. I had lots of VCR tapes going while I was in school. And I also had 3 magazine subscriptions to keep me well read when not watching them on TV. Such a LOSER!!!!!
  • Special Kudos to anyone who can name the fake soap opera in the clip below.
  • Score: 4 out of 4.

5. Getting drunk

  • I remember covering this during the Irish post. Are all British drunks? Or is it really just everyone in the world at this point? Yikes. But no, I’m not a drunk. I drink but know when to stop on most occasions.
  • Score 4 out 5.

6. A love of bargains

  • No, definitely not me. I am careful with money, but I am not a bargain shopper. I like to get a discount, and I will usually balance quality and cost when making a purchase, but I always wonder “what’s wrong with this?” when it seems like a bargain.
  • Score: 4 out of 6.

7. A love of curtain twitching

  • I am stumped. What the… is curtain twitching? Let’s Google it……… OK, I’m back. OMG, I would not have guessed this. Seriously? OK, well curtain twitching is “a nosy person who watches his or her neighbours, typically from a curtained window.” AND it uses the British spelling in the word “neighbours.” Laughing so hard, I can only think of one thing. AbFab! Too bad they weren’t actually curtain twitching the neighours in the clip below. But yeah, I’m a little nosy sometimes. Remember curious?
  • Score 5 out of 7.

8. Stiff upper lip

  • Sometimes I do, sometimes I do not. I tend to be pretty strong, but not always. I’m gonna say yes to this one.
  • Score: 6 out of 10.

9. Love of all television

  • I watch TV almost every day. Besides reading, it’s the other hobby I have that involves sitting down a lot. 🙂
  • Score: 7 out of 9.

10. Always saying sorry

  • I used to do this ALL the time. I’m much better about it now, but if I get too close to someone and almost bump them, the first words out of my mouth are “I’m sorry.” It would never occur to me to say “excuse me” or “watch where you’re going!” I always assume it was my fault.
  • Score: 8 out of 10.

And what does this tell me?  I am emblematic of 80% of these things… and that matches the 81% noted above. How am I always so in sync with my DNA? Quite a stumper…