30 April, 2018

Zingers!

I married a funny man. A bonafide joker.

If you follow his blog, you know it is primarily funny stories. Even now that we live overseas and his posts are more about places we go and things we do in the expat world, they are still typically told with a heavy dose of humor.

Twitter? All jokes.
Facebook? Jokes. 
To the extent that when we started dating and my friends and family started friending him on facebook, I cautioned them, "Just remember only about 15% of what he posts is true." When he first announced our plans to move to China, he prefaced it with "THIS IS A SERIOUS POST" and still found that many people disbelieved him.

This doesn't frustrate him, as he takes great pride in his zingers, even if they aren't really zingers. It just makes him laugh.

Now we are preparing for another move, away from Beijing. His idea was to not tell anyone back in the States until afterwards. Since we started looking for apartments here this past winter and I had freely been sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of this hunt, I'm onboard! After we get our new apartment in a city no one expected, I'll just post something like "Hey! We finally found our new place!" and explain a bit.

~~~SIDEBAR ~~~
My dad, ever since retiring in the Midwest, has his own "zinger": They built the house just right "but the driveway is just about 1,000 miles too far north." Think about that. He's funny too, but in a different way. So I will have to make that joke and know that even if no one else gets it, he will.
~~~

Back to my situation: 
Turns out (either his mind changed or there was a miscommunication) Brett has no intention to ever share a "we've moved" post. He figures he'll just wait for people who never believe him anyway to finally notice that all his location tags are really far from where they thought we lived. Zinger!

I don't know how well that will work, since anyone who is friends with both of us might see my announcement. 

Do you have success with jokes (or sarcasm) in social media or any other kind of writing? I think my humor must be too acidic, I'm almost always misunderstood. I'm best sticking to the facts in my writing.

This concludes the A to Z challenge! I hope you'll come back again. If you comment, please include either a link to your blog, or at least the name you use in the Master List, so I can find you.

28 April, 2018

Yearning

What do you yearn for?

I don't mean a bucket list thing, or lust, but is there anything that your heart truly desires? That you've perhaps wanted for a long time? That is legal?

I'm not much for yearning on that level. My yearnings are more the cheap flings of the yearning family: I yearn for Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I yearn for buttery, salty popcorn! (They sweeten it here.) My "yearning" tends toward the edible end of the spectrum.

Since moving overseas, my husband and I often talk about things we'd like to do, places to see, ways we might make it work - just things we desire for our life. This is more like a vision of our wishes.

I've started making notes as we have these conversations, and intend to write these into a beautiful leather-bound journal I was given that I've never felt worthy to write in.

What does yearning imply to you? Do you partake of yearning? 


(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

27 April, 2018

X is for Exes

Today's "Life Wisdom" is more of a question about something I have never understood.

When you break up with somebody, why do you then get back together with your Ex?

I'm not talking about the cases where "I need to take a break to think about this." Sometimes an earth - and relationship - shattering revelation can really make one person in a relationship step back to re-assess before determining to continue or discontinue the relationship. I get that. But after the actual break-up, why the reunion?

For me, if I broke off a relationship, it was because I realized that it was going nowhere.
Do some people just break up on a whim? I'm mad, so everything we've built is bad?

I don't get it.

One time, I broke it off and heard, "but I want to be with SOMEbody!" This guy wasn't questioning that we weren't a good match; he just didn't want to be alone. Is that it? He was honestly hurt when I said there wasn't someone else. "So you'd rather be alone than with me?" like that was a personal insult.

I don't get it.
I really hope that guy found someone truly suitable for him.

Yes, I would rather be alone than be with someone who is not a good fit with my personality and life choices. Another question, why do so many people not get that? Why?

I really hope some of you can help illuminate this issue for me. Exes are exes for a reason.


(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

26 April, 2018

The World

Yes. I'm going to write about the World!
Specifically, the idea that "It's a small world."

We hear that all the time, right? We even say it a lot! Social media helps us feel that it is a small world because we can find anyone, reconnect, even connect with people on the other side of the globe! 

But I now have to say that the world has not gotten smaller. The world is very, very big.

"It's a small world... in the Lutheran church," is one I've heard a lot all through growing up and attending Lutheran schools, going to Lutheran churches in adulthood and finding out that people I know from one church are connected to people I knew from a different part of the country!

"It's a small world ... in community theatre."
"It's a small world ... in parks and rec."
It's a small world in ... what is your "small" world?

There are worlds of people who don't even know about things that are a big issue to me or you. 

No amount of exploring places online can prepare you for the actual place. The immensity of the Grand Canyon. The smells of a seaside town. The "dry heat" of the desert as compared to a tropical heat.

I am blessed to be able to explore far corners of the world, but I urge everyone to get out into your part of the world as much as you can! 

If you live in a big city, you are lucky. There is wide cultural variety at your fingertips. 

If you live in the country, you are lucky. So much nature is within your grasp!

One great thing about a big country like the U.S. is that you don't have to leave your country or learn a new language to see everything from ocean to desert, from rainforest (Pacific Northwest) to prairie. My personal favorite is the badlands up in the Dakotas. Such stark beauty!

Find out what is in your world as much as you can. What do you do to explore your world?
 

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

25 April, 2018

Values

Everyone has values. Not everyone's values are all the same, but everyone lives by some set of what they believe is right and wrong.

What is important to you?

Culturally intrinsic values crystallize when you leave your home culture. My husband has two grown children. They are in their 20s, each living on their own. By American standards, he has succeeded in aiding his children into adulthood - they have jobs, pay taxes, rent, etc. Success!

Once, among a group of Chinese adult English students, a woman expressed dismay that he moved so far away from his children. "How could you????" She did not understand - AT ALL - that his job as a parent was done. He's still there for them emotionally and talks to them regularly, but he is proud that they have achieved independence! In China, many children live at home until they can afford their own place, often well into adulthood.

Americans value independence. Our country was founded on it, and that's something we strive to instill in our children or others within our sphere of influence.

Chinese value teamwork. Everything is done for the good of the people. Your job is for the good of the company; competitions are won for the good of the school. Independence doesn't figure into it.

Is one better or worse? At what point do we have the right to try to change someone else's values?

Short post today. Not my typical subject matter either, but I'm out of time and short on inspiration. If this is your first visit here, please read another post, too!

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

24 April, 2018

Underwear Presumptuous!

Don't be underwear presumptuous!

This statement came into our delightfully amusing marriage early-on when we traveled to a wedding, and I had packed one bag for us. I left one side for him to put his things into, but something was lost in translation. Now, he always puts out his clothes for me to put into the suitcase, so neither of us just assumes the other added our necessities!

I don't remember what specifically happened - if we stayed an extra day or what - but he was one pair of underwear short. It's such a running gag now that for his birthday one year I bought him as a gag gift a tin of "emergency underwear" from archiemcphee.com. (This is easily our favorite online store for goofiness.)

Anyway, I told him he was underwear presumptuous. Now we both usually pack extra underwear, because we are spontaneous people and may very well extend a visit somewhere! Don't want to be underwear presumptuous!

The point is: Be prepared. How else can you be prepared?

When I leave our apartment here in Beijing, even if it's just to go to the store, I often bring my subway pass just in case I decide I want to do something else. This is also helpful because one of the things I do is audio recording, and the owner of the studio will call me in for an impromptu session at short notice.

You know how your mom always taught you to use the toilet before leaving the house? Moreso here. Public restrooms are everywhere, but unless you are in a western style shopping mall, you may have to use a set-in-the-ground toilet, and it's not always comfortable. (How long can you hold a deep squat?)
The actual teachers' toilet at a school I taught at.
(This is not a discussion about toilets. There are reasons to think this is actually more sanitary than western toilets, but back to my point.)

Expect the unexpected is not possible, but there are things you can do to be a little more prepared for life to intervene: Leave a little early. We all have entertainment on our phones if you arrive early. Keep medicine refilled before it's urgent. What am I missing?


(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

23 April, 2018

Time - Zones, Travel, Lack Thereof

First off, I live in a country with no concept of time zones. China - yes, enormous China, roughly the size and dimensions of the US - is all one time zone.

I recently had to help a Chinese friend figure out when she was to check in to a webinar. It was listed as "[time]PDT", as well as "[time]GMT-8". She was baffled. I didn't even notice the two times. Clearly, it was coming from a PDT location, so I translated the time into China time for her, and then she asked what the GMT-8 thing meant. It hadn't dawned on me that a third of the world's population has absolutely no understanding of time zones. I still don't think she believes me that they are both the same time!

Sunday, April 22nd was my niece's 6th birthday. On the morning of April 22nd, I called to say happy birthday. That was at 9pm on the 21st, for her. When I told her it was already her birthday in China, I could hear her brain explode. "WHaHaAt?!" with a little giggle somewhere in the middle of the "what".  

I time-travel regularly when I talk with family or friends.

As I mentioned in my Lagging Behind post, I'm actually ahead of the AtoZ challenge, time-wise. This is both good and bad. It means that I'm finishing my daily post early, and usually, I'm fairly early in the link-up, too. Good! But bad, because a lot of the blogs that I found early and enjoy are not linked up at the time I'm linking, so I miss them as I click on the ones in the link-up list. Once or twice I've just gone to the master list to try to catch up, but then that takes extra time, and time is precious, is it not?

Everyone complains of lack of time, yet we all have the same amount of it. The best wisdom I've been given was from an older lady I worked with early after college. She was trying to get me to join a ladies church group, and I said I don't have time. She countered with.
"You have time for what you make time for."
That has stuck with me for my whole life. I wish I could tell her the impact her words had on me. I no longer use the excuse "I don't have time." If I don't want to do something, I will usually explain in all honesty why not. If I simply don't want to, the inviter can't counter with anything of value! Of course, sometimes we have to be kind and make an excuse.

Do you have enough time? I feel I'm pretty good at time management, but I'd love to hear your time management tips in the comments.

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

21 April, 2018

Snobbery of all Kinds

Snobbery. I'm a snob. We all are in some ways, aren't we?


Oops. Wrong picture. :-)
 I'm a bit of a coffee snob, but I'm currently living on instant, because I broke my French Press and can't see buying a new one right before a move. So I'm not an extreme snob. (I once went to a friend's house, who calls herself a coffee snob... because she will only drink Dunkin Donuts coffee. To each, her own snobbery.)
Here it is. Coffee. A good cup.

Maybe Snobbery isn't about wanting the best; it's about wanting what you want. Because who decides what's best?

Grammatically, I'm such a snob that I often ignore Grammarly's suggestions. I'll punctuate how I want, thank you very much! Regarding this A-to-Z challenge, my grammar snobbishness keeps me away from some blogs.

I don't flatly refuse to read blogs with grammatical errors. There are some blogs I enjoy that clearly are not proofread before posting. My attraction to a writing style or voice, interesting characters - things like that are more important to me. I understand some spelling errors slip through because of homophones.

It just seems that, with all the grammar checking apps and tools out there, why would any writer choose not to check their writing?


I guess this post isn't about Life Wisdom, although there may be some discussion about when snobbery is good vs. bad. Classist? Racist? Bad. Desiring of the best for yourself? I'd say good, as long as you understand not everyone feels the same.

Oh, and more Life Wisdom: PROOFREAD YOUR WRITING!
(I make my living writing for businesses, so it's a hot button.)

Are you a snob? What are you snobbish about, that you feel is a good snobbery?


(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

20 April, 2018

Reality Check

During these challenges, I tend to get lost in the blogosphere, so this reality check is for me, but will hopefully serve as a reminder for others of you who are equally foggy-headed!

I've been writing Life Wisdom this month, such as it is, but not every part of life is wise. Yes, I meditate every day, do yoga, read my Bible, tell my husband I love him, and I believe that for my life these are wise things to do. But reality is also mundane. Or chaotic. Or overwhelming.


For me, this is reality:

As I write this, I am sitting at a small desk in our small apartment in Beijing, China. The window by my desk looks out from 11 stories up, over the main entrance to our building, where several bikes and motorbikes are parked. If I stand up and look down, I can see a few of the older residents sitting on benches. There is a street with some small shops and a hotel, many trees, and beyond the trees, other tall buildings. Through them, I can see how very smoggy it is today. It doesn't look smoggy if you just look below. 

As I write this, Doctor Zhivago is playing on the TV. This is one of those movies that I know well enough that it's not distracting to me, but if I take a break from writing, I enjoy it. It's just so beautiful! This movie makes winter look pretty. I don't only watch old classics, though: yesterday was Guardians of the Galaxy. Do you write with any noise around you, or do you need silence?

Reality is: I struggle with depression. It comes out of nowhere and goes away after a while. Sometimes I can recognize it coming - if I don't want to sing along to my music, if I don't want to leave the house, these are road signs that I need to take care of my internal self.

Reality is: We are preparing to move again. We started looking at apartments during the winter, postponed it due to major holidays impacting our finances, and when we re-commenced looking, had completely different goals. We do not have an apartment lined up yet, but the whole house has to be packed, so that occupies much of my mind.

Reality often gets in the way of being calm, centered, and wise in all moments of life, don't you think? How are you staying grounded in the real world during this challenge?

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

19 April, 2018

Qin Dynasty

Bear with me. This one requires a bit of an intro.
Where I live. Why I learn Mandarin.

In learning Mandarin, the first thing they teach is how to read pinyin, which is the way they spell out character pronunciations using Latin letters. But most of them aren't "right" for an English speaker! I'm lucky to have a linguist for a husband, who reminded me early on that a lot of languages utilizing the Latin alphabet pronounce things their own way. In German, J has a Y sound. In Spanish, J is more like H.

In Chinese pinyin, Q is sort of like ch, but with a bit of a TS to it.

The Qin Dynasty was the first unified dynasty, and maybe that's why we call this country China now? I'm not trying to do research on this right now, although I would be very interested to study Chinese history.

I'm not really writing about the Qin Dynasty, but the use of "Q" in pinyin is part of my everyday life. I've had to open my mind to the fact that pronunciation of ANY symbol - Latin or otherwise - is arbitrary. Since this culture calls Q "ch", that is the correct pronunciation ... here. 
I go to Visual Mandarin (dot-com) to look up stroke order when practicing my characters.

There are a LOT of Q words. Except they aren't Q words. They are distinct characters that may have a meaning alone, but also have several meanings when coupled with other characters. It's a paradigm shift. 

Which brings me around to a sort of vague connection to Life Wisdom: If something as simple as letters can be so very different from a different perspective in a different culture, what else do we look at as black and white that may be completely different from a different view? Have you ever had a basic premise contradicted in your life?

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

18 April, 2018

The Puzzle of LIfe

Life is like a puzzle. You just have to take the time to figure out where all the pieces fit.

Think about that a minute. Most of us start with the outer edges, the things that will help build a framework, the necessities. Some people start solving their puzzle in the middle: whatever pieces clearly go together.

I love this analogy, especially as it fits with moving. For me, it means sorting out the pieces of how a new country or culture will work for my life, but even when I just moved to a new state, town, or job, same thing. I had to make the puzzle pieces fit.

At first with any change, everything is chaotic. The pieces are all in a pile on the table in front of you. You smooth them out so you can see them, then start matching up the corners, the edges. First things first. Sometimes bits in the middle might clarify themselves before all the foundations are done.

Maybe, the piece you keep looking for was still flipped over so you couldn't even see it. 
Maybe you were looking straight at it, but not from the right angle to recognize it.
Maybe it was misconnected to a different puzzle piece.
Maybe you - or someone close to you - saw that it was the piece you needed, but you had to finish a different section before you could take the time to focus on it.

This analogy just goes on and on.

I must confess, I didn't think of this analogy. A friend of mine, who is a corporate trainer of some sort (I can't get a clear line on her job) came up with it for a webinar she did recently. But as I begin struggling with some big new changes in my life, the concept really is helpful to me. 

What about you? Does this help you? What other aspects of the analogy do you see? How far can we take it?

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

17 April, 2018

What's your Opus?

(First, I realized that not only did I not link up N yesterday, I also had scheduled it for the wrong date. Grr... in case you are interested, here is a link to Never Settle.")

What's your Opus?
Historically, a Magnum Opus was an artist's greatest work, or at least, most well-known.
mag·num o·pus
ˌmaɡnəm ˈōpəs/
noun
noun: magnum opus; plural noun: magnum opuses; plural noun: magna opera
  1. a large and important work of art, music, or literature, especially one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer.



  1. Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, for example. He was a prolific artist, but that is the only one of his that I can name off the top of my head. 
  2. Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Everyone knows "Da-da-da-DUM" even if you've never heard the whole symphony. 
  3. Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets. Many of us know several of these, but Romeo and Juliet - whether you had to read it Freshman year or not - is so well-known that it is commonly referenced in all kinds of pop culture.

What will be your Magnum Opus?
Most of us will not Opus on the Magnitude of Beethoven and Da Vinci, but what do you hope to be known for? Can you guess? Do you have a clear goal?

Let's change the question: What's your Opus?
What do you do in the world?

I recently realized that my greatest spiritual gift is that of encouraging. I have been busily lifting the spirits of two different friends as they looked for jobs. I'm not about solving their problems - how can I? - but I can offer a kind word, and a reminder that they are cared for. I know it's not a Magnum Opus - it's neither "A" work, nor well-known - but it is, perhaps, an opus!

In a book I read decades ago about life overseas, the author mentioned that she was so busy searching for her purpose while her husband did his work, that it took her a long time to realize that simply offering water and a smile to villagers might be the greatest thing she did there.

People do great things on a small scale every day. What comes to your mind?

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

16 April, 2018

Never Settle!

Are you playing the dating game? 
Do your friends tell you that you're too picky?
Maybe this "okay" guy/girl is "good enough"?

I was single for a very long time. I know something about this. Do NOT settle for less than you are worth. 

Ladies first: If you date a guy who bosses you around or tries to control what you are doing - watch out for that. Avoid it. Break it off with him at the first sign. It will not change.

Guys: Please do us all the favor of finding the right person, instead of taking the relationship to the next level "because it's that time." Breaks up are hard, but better than a lifetime of complaining! 

Guys and Girls: Does your date talk down to you? Do you always feel judged? Get out now. The pompous jerk/witch isn't worth your time and energy. YOU matter. You are valid. You deserve respect.

If you prefer playing the field and are not at a point of looking for any serious, long-term commitment, this may sound like it doesn't apply, but I still caution you to beware. If not, next thing you know, you have accidentally slid into a steady relationship with someone you don't really want to be with! So watch out.

If you are getting serious with someone, then any time you find yourself annoyed with him or her, consider if you can live with whatever it was that triggered the annoyance - FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! For me, chewing with his mouth open is a deal breaker. I could never cope with that habit forever. It sounds petty, but when you see someone all the time, a repeated minor annoyance can become major. And don't plan on bad habits changing. I mean, they might, but don't bank your happiness on the hope that they will!

I've known many - MANY - women who tend to be attracted to men who "need fixing". I've seen it so very, very, very, very often. "He'd be perfect if he wouldn't..." "If only he would ... this would be a great relationship." Stop it! You cannot change anyone except yourself, and the sooner you recognize this, the happier you will be.

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

14 April, 2018

Meditation

Meditation has become part of my daily morning routine: Get up, start the electric kettle, sweep, make my lemon water, lay down my yoga mat, meditate, yoga. Boom. By then my husband is up and the rest of the day has no consistent order.

For me, meditation is the pause at the end of a prayer when you listen for a response.
I realized that and THEN I found this on pinterest!


As a Christian, it's kind of sad to me that all the meditation memes include images of Buddha. I think the Christian community is missing out! If you hear a Christian mention meditation, it's usually tacked on to "prayer and" but I feel that the meditation aspect is often lost. It's so vital!

Regardless of your religion or lack thereof, taking a few moments to sit quietly and clear your mind can be deeply centering. 

I think many people don't try it because it's so hard to clear your mind of thought. And it is. The best advice I ever found is: thoughts will come; just don't let them stay. Ease the thought into and out of your mind, and eventually you will settle into stillness.

The longest I've sat in meditation is about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, my mind is actually fairly clear. 


(Another Pinterest gem.)
I haven't gotten here ^^ yet. I do not act always from a center of inner peace, but I do notice a correlation between my time in meditation and my peace of mind.

Have you ever tried meditation? What is your version of meditation?

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

13 April, 2018

Lagging Behind

I feel like I'm lagging behind in this A to Z challenge, so for the letter L I'm taking a break from my Life Wisdom theme to mentally catch up.

"But Red," you say, "Today is L, and you have an L post. You aren't behind!" Well, thanks for your support. But "just on time" means I have no wiggle room for a catastrophe to happen.

 ~~ I mean, living in China means my day begins 12 hours ahead of the official A to Z bloghop, so I have an extra grace period built in, but I don't count it. I've been writing daily, about a day in advance. I'll even schedule the post in case I can't get back in to check it. When I get up, I do a final proofread, maybe add a picture, publish, link-up, visit blogs, reply to comments on mine, and start on the next day's post.


This morning, I got up, opened K to add a picture and change the color (Yellow on black or black on yellow are the most easily readable colors.) and suddenly all of K was gone. GONE! No longer in my drafts. Nowhere. I had to re-write as close as I could remember it. That, to me, is a day behind.

Since my Friday is busy non-stop, I absolutely have to have this one ready to go in advance.


Also, I found some new blogs that I liked early in this challenge, and at first I tried to return to them daily. But I also make sure to hit at least 3 new blogs each day, and the list of ones I like keeps growing, so I can't visit all of them every day. I'm lagging behind.

Also, I'm lagging in the rest of my life. I'm taking Mandarin, and instead of spending 2 hours a day on it - or even 1 hour - this week I barely got my homework done. I'm lagging behind.
I'm not getting as much exercise as before, and my body is getting soft. I'm lagging behind.

I'm trying to track all the steps we are taking on this crazy train ride over the cliff that is our imminent move, and every day feels like I'm choking. I can't say I'm lagging behind there, in all honesty, but knowing that I don't even know everything that I need to do makes me feel like I'm lagging behind.

How do you cope when you wish the world would stop for you? Any tips?

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

12 April, 2018

Know Yourself

I am a big believer in knowing yourself outside any relationship. If you define yourself based upon the tastes and views of your Significant Other, what happens when that relationship ends? Will you merely morph into the next SO and the next?

To the young people in my life, I highly recommend taking some time ON YOUR OWN. Be solo. Be single. Figure out your loves and hates. 

This image recently showed up on social media, with this statement: "You have been dating someone for a month, and it's going great. Finally, they invite you to their place, and you see this. What would you do?"


That ^^ is a deal breaker for me, and I said so. As I read some of the comments, I saw one person said they would inquire what caused the mess and help clean it up. I had a moment of guilt for being an uncaring person, but only a moment. I know myself.

That image creates the physical sensation of a panic attack in me. I can't even shop in department stores that are too cluttered for the anxiety it causes. My husband once tried to get me to watch the show Hoarders (the extreme one) and I almost vomited it was so gross.

I am all about helping someone clean up a mess. I have done that before. But this deep of a mess? For the rest of my life? If I'm dating someone and see this, I know that it will probably happen again. At least, I know that there is the possibility, and I cannot live like that in the long term. If this relationship (hypothetically we'd been dating a month when I saw this, remember) has an expiration date on it because of something like this, I'd rather end it sooner than later.

This is just one simple way knowing yourself helps in regards to romantic relationships. How do you see yourself fitting into the world? Have you ever taken time to discover yourself? Have you just always known your own mind?

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)

11 April, 2018

Jedi Wisdom

Here is where I get my nerd on.
I hope non-nerd followers will not abandon me based on this. There truly are a lot of very wise aspects of the fictional Jedi religion, if you will allow me to introduce some specific thoughts.

Still here? Thank you for your trust! 
Yoda, specifically, provides the best samples. (I could write a post about misconceptions and poor interpretations of various Jedi characters, too, but that's for another day.)

I have yet to find a book of Jedi Wisdom, and an online search will yield a comprehensive list of Yoda quotes, but not everything he says is a gem, so I recently rewatched Empire to collect my own Life Wisdom from the mouth of Yoda.


1. "Try not! Do. Or do not. There is no try."

If I catch myself saying I'll try to do something, or achieve something, I stop and think: is it possible for me to do this? If so, I will do it. And I commit to it. Saying I'll try to do it is a cop-out.


2. "All his life has he looked away - to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. What he was doing."

Are you waiting for the perfect circumstances to achieve your dreams? "I'll save for retirement when I have a better paying job ." "I'll create a home when I move into the house of my dreams." "I'll be able to focus on my personal work later when I don't have a 9-to-5 job." What are we all waiting for? Focus on the here and now. Do what you can in this time and place. The future isn't guaranteed to any of us.


3. "Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.

Sometimes life takes us to places or situations that challenge our view of reality. Is your view something that was taught to you? Do you truly view life and the world from an open perspective? Are you willing to have your view challenged and accept a new reality?

I'm trying to keep these A to Z posts short, because I know many of us are blog-hopping and don't want to spend too long on any one blog, so I'll stop here. I have a list of 23 gems that I could use, and that's a lot of writing and reading!

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)



10 April, 2018

Instincts - Follow Them

In a dance club in Chicago, a guy I had met and was enjoying - dancing - suddenly asked me if I wanted to get a drink, and took my wrist as I said no. He took my wrist and pulled. Somewhat firmly. I'm not a wimp. I pulled away and said, "I'm not interested. No." And I lost myself in the crowd. He may have called me a bad name as I did so.

Was he a bad guy? Maybe not. Maybe so.
But I wasn't about to wait around and find out the hard way!

Not just about relationships. No.

When I was looking for apartments, I knew the first place I looked was right for me. My gut knew it. I still looked into two more developments, to please everyone else and their standards. "You can't just take the first place you look." Why not? Sure enough, I took that first apartment. My instinct was correct. I only moved out of that perfect place because I was getting married and we needed a bigger place.

I am an advocate of taking a night to "sleep on it", however. It's a kind of gut-check, I guess.

I was looking for jobs and had two promising interviews in the same week.  The second one was the one that excited me.  The first one gave me a solid offer first. I waited, and called the second one to see how close they'd be to making a decision. In the end, after sleeping and praying on it, I said no to the offer I had, even before getting an offer from the second place. I followed my instinct against the advice of those around me.

What are some occasions you made an instinctive decision that turned out well?
Did your gut ever steer you wrong?

(If you're visiting from A to Z, please include the name of your blog as it is on the Master List so I can return the favor!)