Getting Philosophical As I Prepare To Take A Month Off From Blogging

Pretty blurry striped colors make for a lovely image* at the top of this post, my last one for 2019.

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I LISTENED TO THE LATEST Hurry Slowly podcast from Jocelyn K. Glei.

In it she introduced her new vision for how her podcast will evolve during Season 3.  In a nutshell, she’s loosening up about who she is and will be focusing less on productivity and more on authenticity.

I look forward to hearing what she says as she shares her transformation and her realizations about what matters to her now.  And therein is the nugget of wisdom that I gleaned from her podcast.

It’s all in the now, the person who you are in this moment and how you will manifest as such.  It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about how you’re doing it and why.

Always the why.

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AS YOU MAY REMEMBER MY #OneWord365 for this year is streamlined.

Since I adopted it last January I’ve thought on it, not necessarily daily, but weekly as I organize my life, hoping to create a clutter-free home and the conviction that I can do things smoothly.

However, if I’m to be truthful here I’ve had a rocky year with this one word. It’s come to mean expense [roof, windows, computer] and idealistic dreams [the basement and garage are still harboring too much stuff] and, by the looks of the inside of this house, half-finished projects strewn about the rooms in messy heaps of indecision.

On the one hand I feel like I’m a failure about implementing the streamlined concept, but on the other hand I wouldn’t be as far along the path to becoming who I want to be now if I hadn’t focused on it.

So there’s that.

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I’VE DECIDED TO TAKE THE month of December off from blogging and instead focus on Susannah Conway’s December Reflections Instagram prompts.

I enjoy writing but feel that I need to get away from my ordinary routine, allowing me to reflect on how and why I’ll be doing what I plan to do in 2020 AND to decide whether or not my attempts to be streamlined have been a personal transformative experience or just another screwup.

Thus all that is left for me to say here is please enjoy whatever it is you do during the month of December. Make it a fun one. Take joy!

Later, kids.

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* Because someone is going to ask: I made this image by photographing a page from Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. I then enhanced the photo using ‘Rainy’ in Waterlogue [here for Apple] or [here for Windows].  

I put that enhanced image into Photos on my iMac where I edited it by adding highlights and cropping it into a rectangle.  It was work-y, but turned out pretty darned cool, if’n I do say so myself.

Three Thoughts Thursday | Doing. Organizing. Watching.

This is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.  

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ONE

I think that this month I’ll try Susannah Conway’s The August Break [#augustbreak2019] photo prompts on Instagram [also on Facebook if that’s your jam].

Janet at Janet’s Smiles made me aware of this challenge. No pressure, no hype– just a chance to do something creative and different than my usual lackadaisical approach to sharing pics over on my IG account [@thespectacledbean].

I’ve never tried anything like this before, so I anticipate some anxiety at first, but I imagine I can follow through and do this more or less daily.

TWO

I think that the idea of learning to batch your time is intriguing.

A friend mentioned this concept to me so I did some research.  According to a productivity hack from Brazen, batching: “allows you to take advantage of your full concentration by grouping a bunch of similar activities together and doing them all at the same time.” [More here and here.]

I’m sure I do this naturally in some areas of my life already, but I could apply this concept to how I blog.

THREE

I think that Dead to Me is a wonderful TV show that just goes to prove great TV is possible.

I watched the 10 episodes in a 2-day binge.  This show, starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, is funny + sad + clever + outrageous.  I won’t go into the deets about the plot, the characters, the settings but I will say that I didn’t see the ending coming.  And I loved it.

There’s nothing better than being pleasantly surprised by something unexpectedly smart.

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Questions of the Day

Have you ever tried a monthly photo challenge on your blog &/or on IG &/or in FB?  And if so, how’d it go?

What do you know about batching your time?  Do you do this?

Got a suggestion for another wonderful TV show that you’ve found to be amazeballs?

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Three Thoughts Thursday | Laughing. Drinking. Watching.

This is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.  

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ONE

I think that Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund is hilarious.

When I came upon Crusoe and his brother, Oakley Dokley, I was in puppy dog heaven.  Their YouTube channel, currently featuring their interpretation of Game of Thrones [#GameofBones], is clever and creative and verifiably wacko.

Highly recommended if you’re having a down day or just like to see little dogs in costumes.

TWO

I think that Stella Artois Spritzer is good and I’m surprised.

It’s a light refreshing alcoholic beverage that is a new take on the old concept of a white wine spritzer.  That is, it’s pub cider with carbonated water.  Available in a slim can and described as a blend of apple and hibiscus flavors, we found it refreshing, not too sweet.

I’m sensing this is our house drink for the summer.

THREE

I think that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a delightful movie based on the novel of the same name.

I watched this movie one lazy afternoon and enjoyed it, not because I was being lazy but because I truly enjoyed the book when I read it and wanted to see the movie.  I won’t address how the book differs from the movie, but will tell you I thought it was worth the time I invested in watching the movie.

Not all movies need be blockbusters, right?

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Questions of the Day

Don’t you wish you were as clever as some of these people who can turn their pets into YouTube and IG stars? Got a suggestion for a summer drink? Do you have issues with movie adaptations of books?

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One Martini & I’m Rebelling Against My Own Arbitrary Rule

Busy week, fast story…

You know how you say you’ll never do something for one reason or another, then one day you do that which you said you’d never do and nothing bad happens to you.

And you begin to wonder why you had the self-imposed rule to begin with and you become somewhat distraught mildly perturbed because you cannot remember why it seemed important to you to not do that which you just did.

That’s what I’m talking about here. All of that.

So what did I do that I said I’d never do?

Ah yes, good question. Thank you for asking.

You see the fastest way to explain what I did is to refer you to the photo at the top of this post. Saturday night I took that photo of a Pear Martini, my new favorite cocktail, while we were sitting at a table in an upscale restaurant.  The drink tasted & looked so good that I pushed aside all hesitation and pulled out my cell phone to take a picture of it.

And that is something I said I’d never do.

Early on when I got a smart phone I declared, oh yes I did, that I would never be one of those people who takes pictures of food and drink while in a public place.  Yet, as the above photo proves, I am now one of the collective.

Like a Borg, but only for Instagram. Resistance is futile.

Which brings me to an epiphany about who I am now.

While you may think that I’m going to wax on about my wonderful Pear Martini, I’m going to tell you that whilst sipping it and musing upon my arbitrary rule to never snap a food or drink picture in public, it dawned on me that I was caught up in some sort of generational way of thinking that no longer served me.

Who cares if I take a fast photo of a drink? Absolutely no one, myself included.

I caused no harm, I had some fun, and I realized that, with a hat tip to Bob Dylan: “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

If I Text “Hi!” To You, How Does That Make You Feel?

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PEOPLE BE WEIRD.  If I say that once a day I say it ten times.

So keeping that thought in mind, let me tell you what’s floating around in my brain this morning.  It’s not a big thing, but one that’s got me a’wondering…

How far out of touch am I?

Or alternately…

How self-absorbed are people these days?

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HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED.  Instagram suggested that I might want to follow a new-to-me person so I went to see who this was.  In the process of doing so I came upon a long conversation in a comment section below a photo there.

The conversation in the comment section wasn’t about the photo. No, the people commenting were talking about how they hate, hate, hate receiving one specific short text from their friends and family.

The offensive text was: “hi!”

That’s it.  Nothing more.  Just this one word was enough for these commenters to feel put upon…

To the point of complaining about it.

And the people who sent it to them.

And the awfulness of such a rude text message.

When I read through these 30+ comments my first thought was that certainly someone here is going to defend the sender of the allegedly disruptive text message, but no one did.

It was universally agreed among these people that this “hi!” text was a bad. thing. to. do.  And oh the vitriol about it.  Oy vey!

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I SHALL CONCLUDE.  I get that some people gotta have something to whine about no matter what, so maybe this was an example of that.

I also am aware that some friends and family don’t understand personal boundaries, so they can be a bother until you tell them how it’s going to be.

But honestly I’m confused about how a “hi!” text could make any person so miserable that this person would feel the need to bash the person who sent it.

Couldn’t you ignore the text– or answer it with a “later” reply text?  I mean if you leave it to me, EZPZ problem [if there really is one] solved.

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So what am I missing here? In what way is texting “hi!” offensive? ‘Cuz to me this seems like a text tempest in a teapot. 

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