Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Tag

A few things 

Here we are, more than two weeks after my last post, and I’m copping out with another listy post. Truth is that I want to write more, better, and more frequently, but I am in my own way. My inner critic and the demands of my daily life sometimes overwhelm my creative urge to express. The simple goal of one post per week for the remainder of the year seemed so reasonable and achievable when I set it a few months ago. But it has proved much more challenging than it should be. 

Still, I want to write, so I’m writing. Even if it’s just that paragraph and the following list, it’s something. I set the goal for myself, so any progress is also for me and I’m counting this as some (small) progress. 

So here goes, a few things I want to share:

  • Wil Wheaton, actor and author and Internet personality, is someone whose work I admire. Truthfully, on the basis of only his public persona and online commentary, he himself is someone whom I admire, in addition to his creative works. I’ve followed his blog for a couple of years and almost always find in it something to think about, laugh at, or learn from. I love the wit and intelligence I perceive in his writing. This week he posted, as he does not infrequently, about his struggle with mental illness. I so admire his honesty and willingness to be vulnerable about his condition for the sake of helping others. Read his post, please. Even if you don’t struggle with depression, this is a message on self care and realness with yourself that everyone needs to hear. I got a lot out of it and I hope you will too. 
  • Summer time is awesome. I don’t do as much outside as I should, but I still appreciate gorgeous blue skies, warm breezes and sunshine. 😎☀️👍🏻
  • As my work responsibilities have increased over the years, I have grown to deeply appreciate the exceptional benefit that is the work of a good executive assistant. The amount of burden and bother an EA lifts off the shoulders of anyone they serve is enormous! I’m so so lucky that my boss’s EA does so much for me. She’s just volunteered to do a job for me next week that is absolutely not her responsibility, but will save me a half a day of lost productivity, the value of which far surpasses the dollar value of my time and hers. It sounds overly effusive to the point of being fake, but I am genuinely overwhelmed with gratitude that she’s taking that off my hands. Perhaps that speaks somewhat to the level of stress I’m working with right now. Probably. But it also says a lot about how valuable a good assistant is. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of sunshine and things to feel grateful for. 

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Positivity Quickie

Here’s a quick post of positivity to keep my commitment to myself on more frequent posting. 

Since my last update, reporting a little progress after a bad beat on the job, I and my team have been drinking from the firehose. Not only as a little bit of of overcompensating for the perception of failure (even though my team had zero to do with the decision that left us all so stunned), but it’s once again quarter-end and the workload is super high. That’s left me with little time or energy to post or do much of anything. 

But there are some good things to focus on:

  1. It’s summer time and that means a little more sunshine and breezes. It’s been unusually mild the last week or so and I’m enjoying not melting in the blazing heat when walking to and from my car and the rare lunch break on the patio. 
  2. The hard work I and my team are putting in is being recognized. It’s not much, but it’s nice when the execs and sales leaders take a second to say “Thanks for all the help, you guys rock!” Just today, I got a bit of an ego boost when my boss spontaneously came into my office while I was finishing a call with our President of Global Sales. He was just  in time to hear her thank me and compliment my team’s great work and my “wise counsel”. 
  3. There is a 4-day weekend at the end of this very busy, very frustrating, too-long week. I’m really looking forward to it. 

I hope you’re able to see and celebrate the little positives in your life today. 😎🙏☀️

Caffeine

This will be a short post. All I really want to say is: thank heavens for caffeine. 

Whether delivered in a frosty cola, icy blended coffee drink, or iced tea in a pinch, cold caffeination is my preferred means of self-medicating with caffeine. Hot coffee- and tea-based drinks are last resort choices for me.

Whatever the prevailing wisdom of the relative “healthiness” of caffeine as part of daily consumption, I am resigned to the condemnation that comes my way for it. It is a blessing and a curse. But my body has become accustomed to its presence in my bloodstream. It is there and I am not equal to the task of removing it from my life. 

So…thank goodness for caffeine. Some days it’s the only thing that prevents me from strangling every irascible, needy, demanding, unthinking sales guy who crosses my path. 

Odds & Ends

Whelp…looks like I missed on the post-a-week target again. Ugh. 

Here are some random thoughts from my work-stressed and scattered brain:

  • May the Fourth Be With You – a silly, silly play on words that never fails to make me giggle. I am, of course, wearing my R2D2 bow tie and “May the Force Be With You” spinner ring for the occasion. 
  • I am now convinced that my work computer has become sentient and developed a sick affinity for making me lose my mind. It only has to implement mandatory updates when I’m on a deadline. It only experiences slow-downs or crashes when I have unsaved work on my screen. And it loses network connectivity only when it is critical that I remain connected to access resources necessary for my deadline-driven, unsaved-progress-generating projects. This vindictive nascent AI is winning in its game of chicken with my last nerve. 😦
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is opening this week!!!! Can’t wait. This movie kicks off the summer blockbuster season and I’m so excited! I hope I get to see them all!
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is becoming an obsession. It was a belated birthday gift to myself and I love it. I’m absurdity proud when I beat a boss or solve a puzzle without resorting to a guide or walk-through. I’ve been a Zelda fan for forever. I’m old-school in that I am convinced beyond persuasion that Ocarina of Time is the best Zelda game of all time. But this one is in a league of its own. Such a rich, open world to explore! The 15 minutes to an hour of play I get on a good day during the week only makes my obsession spiral. It’s a great game, try it if you can!
  • It’s the little joys in life that make it special. I hope you find a pun or a movie or a game or some other little nugget of fun to bring some light and happiness to your day. 😎🙏✌️👊

Just Under the Wire

Whew…just made it. My goal was to post something at least once a week for the rest of the year. This third post since setting that goal just barely makes it. 

I’ve nothing profound to say. It’s Saturday, but feels like Sunday. Got that little edge of tension that comes with thinking tomorrow is Monday and all the stress that will bring. Trying to ignore it and relax. 

Here are a few good things to help me with that and hopefully inspire you to find the little bright spots in your corner of the world:

  1. Yesterday was the first day of sunshine we’ve had in more than two weeks. I enjoyed it by sitting under one of the pear trees in my front yard before sunset. Birdsong, sunshine, warm and breezy…a few perfect minutes at the end of the day. 
  2. Speaking of…my pear trees are about to bloom. That is one of my most favorite events of the year. Nothing smells nicer than pear blossoms in cool, Spring morning air. 
  3. I went to a movie at a new theater a couple weeks ago. They have a Star Wars theme in their lobby. I sat in the Emporer’s chair! Silly little things make me happy. Check out the pics below. 

Slingin’

Ok, so I missed my “optimal” posting time for this week (Monday at noon, according to WordPress).  But I’m keeping up with the at-least-once-a-week goal I set for myself with this sub-optimal 😜 post about a new hobby I want to share with you. 

I’m a fidgety person. Always have to have something to busy my hands so that my brain stays focused. Flipping and clicking pens, drumming my fingers, bouncing my knees, spinning a top (or my ring) on my desk, rubbing a worry stone, mashing a stress ball, stringing paperclips…you name an annoying fidget and I’m sure I’ve done it. 

Recently, I’ve discovered fidget spinners and fidget cubes. These stress relievers are designed specifically for us twitchy ones. I have a brass spinner made from plumbing parts and a 3D printed plastic one. Both were cheap and quick to obtain. But they don’t really keep my hands busy enough to eliminate the buzz of distraction from my head. 

So when I stumbled on a new skill toy, I jumped in with enthusiasm. I’m still not good at it, but I’m fast becoming obsessed. 

What is it? Begleri. Weird word, I know. It’s a skill toy form of an ancient Greek worry bead set called a komboli. Those are multi-bead strands, typically of wood or polished stones, that are held and counted (like prayer beads) and sometimes flipped. Still used widely in Greece today. The modern begleri, however, is usually just ‘two beads and a string’, to quote one of my favorite begleri artists. (Some sets have multiple beads, though.)

The toy part is in the slinging – flipping the begleri around your hand and through your fingers. The skill part comes in when you learn to control the thing so you’re not slinging it into your head, your neighbor’s head, your windows, or your expensive HD tv. Tricks and techniques are what it’s all about. The result is a mostly useless set of dexterity skills that nevertheless rewards you with tons of fun, some mental focus, and (when you’re good) some street cred. 

I’m not yet brave enough to post video of my own slinging. But I have included a pic of my favorite set. Since I’ve only picked it up in the last couple of months, I’m still a beginner and only doing basic, small combos. But I’m watching video tutorials and reading about it and slowly getting better. It’s a fun hobby that I hope to perpetuate. 

Here’s a link to a YouTube video showing some seriously skilled slingers. Honestly, this video and an article I read online (can’t find the article now) are the reason I started this. 

I’m baaaaaack!

So…hi. It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Life has a way of running inexorably on and suddenly it’s been 3 months and only feels like a couple weeks. Sheesh. 

Anyway, I’ve been trying to write and failing epically. I’m my own worst critic, true, but I think the issue is more basic:  I feel that I have to have something deep and meaningful, or worldly wise, or Earth-shakingly original to post in order to be worthy of publishing here. I’m completely baffled how that idea got into my head, but it’s been a barrier for a while. 

Yet, this is my blog and I started it for me. I made this a place for my own thoughts and expressing them in my own voice. I’m honored that my writing has attracted readers. But that was never the primary purpose. I need to get back to that original goal. 

So I’m giving myself permission to just post anything I feel like sharing. It may be a rant on something irritating, a list of positive things, something that makes me think, or smile, or just some random oddity that I find interesting. I’ve seen a few of my favorite bloggers do this periodically and it seems to work for them. So I’m giving it a go. 

I hope you enjoy the nearly uncensored view into my brain that this is likely to turn into. I also hope that I can keep up a somewhat regular posting pace. Because I like this blogging thing and the feeling of connecting that I get from sharing something from my brain to the internets. 😜
So, for today, three good things:

  1. I’m posting to my blog, which WordPress tells me just turned 4 years old. My ambition is to post at least one thing a week for the rest of the year. 
  2. Spring is here in the Midwest US. Green things are starting to grow. My SIL’s tulips have already pushed 3 inches of leaves out of the soil. So happy to see life return. I’m including a picture of the sunrise from the first day of Spring that I took on my drive to work. It was a good way to start the day. 
  3. I went to see Beauty and the Beast with a friend last Friday night and absolutely LOVED it! Say what you will, but a good ol’ Disney story always leaves me smiling. I still find myself singing “Be Our Guest” in my head. That was pure escapist fun and I’m glad I went. 

I hope you all find more than a few good things to smile about today. 

Making an Effort 

Lately it seems that I have more grumbling, discontented thoughts than I like. And I don’t want to veer off into a habit of posting snark and complaints. So I’m making another conscious effort to be positive and find the good, at least one good thing, in each day

Today I’m going to a continuing legal education seminar on intellectual property law developments. Could be boring, but I’m betting it won’t be. Because it starts later than my usual time to get to my office, I’m taking the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. A real, sit-down breakfast with plates and forks and everything. A big change from the sandwich or wrap I usually snarf in the truck on the way to work. 

This little restaurant in my neighborhood is usually packed for breakfast on the weekends, but I got right in this morning. A lovely glass of pineapple juice and a tasty meal with no wait for a table…a very good start to the day. 

  

Musing on Weariness (Not ‘Just Getting Old’)

I have been so busy, so focused on getting to a certain point in professional advancement, in being thought a success, in self improvement, that I may have missed a few important milestones on the way. I think my career tunnel vision has blinded me to an achievement that must’ve come years ago but I am noticing for the first time now. I have mixed feelings about it. I seem to have reached a stage of maturity in which I am reconciled to things I’ll never do or be, and am content to focus on what I am doing and being. Does that mean I’ve given up dreaming? Have I capitulated to inevitability? Have I quit on myself?

I read a snippet of something on the internet recently, a fragment of creative writing full of angst and grit and pretension. It’s the kind of thing written by someone with more depth of vocabulary than depth of experience. A piece of well-written prose that paints a picture entirely different from what the writer intended, because the writer can’t possibly imagine, in his utter lack of practical knowledge, the experience and emotion living in the words he chose. It’s as if he saw in his mind’s eye a grimy, sad, dusty, Mad Max landscape of dramatic and violent change, when the real view out the window of those words is the weathered, age-worn, tattered, remains of real lives exhausted during the slow decay of existence. Both views are full of sadness and regret, but the poignancy of the latter is lost in the clangorous note of unreality in the author’s description. 

The author describes a person who sees a problem in the world, who knows it’s cause, and after cursory attempt to rectify the evil in the world, decides that mankind is doomed and so we all may as well be resigned to our fate and lay down to die. That overly dramatic, angst-ridden capitulation screams of immaturity, of inexperience with actual defeat after laborious effort against strong opposition. 

Yet, does that criticism, which I admit smacks heavily of cynicism and world-weariness, brand me as the jaded voice of someone worn-out and devoid of vision, of dreams for the future? If I say the author doesn’t know what weariness after labor really is, I imply that I do know and am weary. Does that mean I’m advocating the very capitulation that I criticize the author for imagining?  

Don’t write this off as my feeling old. I don’t feel old. 

I feel compacted, pushed-in, dented, bruised. Yet, I continue my labors, both personal and professional. I keep going. Am I continuing my labor only out of habit and rote repetition, having lost the ideological fire that started my journey? If so, is it something I can reclaim? Do I want to reclaim it? 

This uncertainty is unsettling and I can’t even fully explain why it is so troubling. 

There is no quick answer, no comforting platitude that will soothe this ache. Only great effort of mind and deep search of the soul will yield any insight. That’s why the weariness of labor of any sort is so dangerous. It robs the energy for enlightenment. 

Birthday Free Time 

I turned 47 today and, as a is my habit, I took the day off from work. Actually, I took yesterday and today. The 4-day weekend has been awesome. Lots of rest and very little thinking about my work. That’s been great. 

Today has been really low-key. Slow start to the day, talked with my Lulu before she went to sleep, watched some home improvement tv, and then ran a few errands. I wore a bright bow tie, which always makes me feel good.  Although the skies were blue and the sun a cheery brightness, it is really cold and windy outside. So, now I’m hanging out in the coffee shop inside Barnes & Noble, looking at wire jewelry books and drinking a grapefruit soda with my warm blueberry scone. 

A relaxing end to a great day off. 
  

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