You Decide: Behaving Hypocritically Or Showing Sound Judgment

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I CAN SEE WHAT HAPPENED FROM TWO PERSPECTIVES 

On the one hand I believe people can change and that’s a defining characteristic of humanity.  As we gain experience and knowledge we are able to change, preferably for the better, as we go along.

But on the other hand I like to keep my distance from people who have demonstrated they’re irony-impaired and don’t have the sense God gave a goose, regardless of whether they may have changed or not.

Judge me as you will.

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I WAS ON INSTAGRAM WHEN IT MADE A SUGGESTION ABOUT WHO I SHOULD FOLLOW  

When I saw the name I recognized it immediately and shouted “HELL NO.”

Literally.

Shouted those words out loud.

Then I started laughing because I hadn’t thought about this woman, Zelda, in years.

I met Zelda, an author wannabe, through a mutual acquaintance who knew that Zelda was creating her author’s platform which was to include a personal blog.

Our mutual acquaintance thought that I might be able to answer some of Zelda’s questions about writing a personal blog. And I did.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

~ • ~

YOU SEE, ZELDA WAS GOING TO WRITE HER MEMOIR

It was to be about what she’d learned about how to get along with people while living on four continents.

She had stories to tell about her experiences while overcoming language barriers and adapting to the idiosyncrasies of the cultures around her.

There was a charming Kum Ba Yah hippy vibe to her thinking and Zelda was a wordy girl, of that I have no doubt.  She could talk up a storm about the book she had yet to write.

The thesis statement for her proposed memoir was something to the effect of: by taking time to listen and understand people you can connect on a deeper level regardless of your background. It just takes effort.

Being proactive, she’d started a blog for her author’s platform.

Oh yes she had.

~ • ~

BUT THERE WAS A PROBLEM

She couldn’t figure out how to attract readers.  She knew that as an author-to-be she’d need to be able prove to a literary agent that she had a loyal online following.

This was something that had not happened despite the time she was pouring into her blog;  she was clueless as to why this was so.

In an attempt to get to gain perspective on her problem I asked her which blogs she followed and commented on. She seemed baffled, genuinely confused.

She replied, you mean I’m supposed to pay attention to other blogs?  

I said, yes, that’s the deal. That’s how you connect in the blogosphere. You pay attention to other bloggers, leave thoughtful comments, then those people become your readers. 

To which she said, why would I do that? I don’t care about those people. All I want is for them to pay attention to me so I can sell my book.

And therein was the crux of the problem for this author wannabe/newbie blogger who wanted to tell YOU what to do, but had no intention of making any effort to do so herself.

Go figure, huh?

~ • ~

NOW I GRANT YOU ZELDA COULD HAVE CHANGED

It’s been years since I met her, but looking at her IG account I saw no evidence that she’d written her memoir or that she had a public personal blog.

Instead I saw an Instagram feed with selfies– and not much else.

Knowing what you do now, would you want to follow her on social media? Hmmm? 

Am I being hypocritical by not allowing her the opportunity to show me that she has changed OR am I protecting my personal boundaries/sanity by not following her?

Discuss.

The One About Demolition & Dust, Home Improvements Have Begun

“Patience is what you have when there are witnesses.”

I don’t know who said it first but I like that saying.  Seems like the subtext of my week, both in real life and blog land*.

After months of waiting for our home improvement projects to begin, they began.  And I’ve been here at home for it, having a noisy, chaotic, dusty week of people and stuff everywhere.

BUT I’VE BEEN A PARAGON OF PATIENCE

The fact is I’m giddy to finally be underway so I’m attempting to overlook the inconveniences that I knew would be part of this experience. This isn’t my first remodeling rodeo, kids.

Below are a few photos that show some of what has happened thus far. Further updates on these projects and my blood pressure as they develop.

• • •

Out with the OLD, in with the NEW.  To protect them from damage the carpeted stairs have been covered. It’s difficult to walk on them now, but I’m not complaining.

• • •

I’m happy to see the end of the OLD tub, toilet, and tile. It was builder grade and ugly, but we lived with it for 22 years.

• • •

The OLD cabinet, countertop, and sink are gone, but the plumbing stays in the same place. Nice touch with the paper towel, eh?

• • •

This is our guest bedroom as it looks today filled with lovely, beautiful, NEW pieces of bathroom.

• • •

Shiny copper pipes in place with NEW bathtub installed immediately below. I’ve yet to see the fabulosity of the tub because it’s protected with plywood right now.

• • •

This is where there will be something NEW, a shelf niche in the shower. My interior design-y heart is thrilled with this upgrade.

• • •

Thanks to everyone who has checked in with me this week to make sure I’m hanging in there. I appreciate your moral support.

Happy Weekend, everyone. May it be all that you want it to be, which in my case is calm and quiet– and not stuck at home.

I’m sure you understand.

* The blog land saga is that my WP media account was hacked for the second time in half a year.  One of my unpublished photo was stolen, then used as the image on a blog post that referred back to my previous post, the one with all the interesting links.

Why? Because to someone somewhere in this world that seemed like the thing to do. To what end? I couldn’t say but it has been the icing on the cake of a difficult week.

The Happiness Engineers, btw, tell me WP takes no responsibility for any photos/images you have in your media account.  WP protects your words, but your images are your own problem.

Just dandy, huh?

In Which I Grumble While Waiting For Home Improvements To Begin, For Real

INTRODUCTION

As I’m sure you, my little paint chips, can imagine I’m tired of waiting for our home improvement projects, planned last fall, to begin.  In fact, last week was A SERIES OF DISAPPOINTMENTS, not earth-shattering large ones, just a never-ending parade of things. not. going. right.

I felt exhausted and defeated.

However, in spite of all that isn’t happening, I will tell you the skinny about what is SUPPOSED TO BE GOING ON at Chez Bean sometime soon. There is, of course, no precise answer about when ‘soon’ will be so it’s still a puzzle.

THINGS TO TELL YOU

🔜  Supposedly in mid-May the renovations will begin on our two bathrooms.  This, of course, is contingent on THE INFERNAL SUPPLY CHAIN that has limited my style choices and slowed down delivery of the tile, faucets, cabinets, sinks, toilets, a tub, et cetera, et cetera, we need to get going.

🔜  We’re still waiting to hear back from the concrete company that we contracted with last fall to make OUR NEW SIDEWALK in March.  Alas & alack we have no new sidewalk because said company seems to have disappeared.

🔜  Meanwhile the new oven and cooktop are somewhere on this planet, perhaps roaming the high seas aboard a ship, like pirates drinking rum and sporting eyepatches.  In other words, no update about the whereabouts of OUR KITCHEN APPLIANCES so no timeline about when they might be installed and we could once again bake in an oven with an accurate thermometer.

🔜  Earlier this winter I mentioned scratching noises in the attic and guess what?  WE HAVE MICE living and breeding up there.  Thus we have contracted with a professional extermination company to murder them.  Then that company will remove their carcasses + the fusty dirty attic insulation, patch holes in the house, clean the attic area with boric acid, and finally install new insulation in the attic.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What are you WAITING for? Literal &/or figurative answers are acceptable.

Does waiting make you tired, worrying about what might go wrong, leading you to DESPAIR? Or does waiting energize you, anticipating the best, leading you to HOPE?

Thinking about the verb “to wait” which of these three idioms is your favorite? Do you prefer: TWIDDLE ONE’S THUMBS or HOLD ONE’S HORSES or COOL ONE’S HEELS?

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About being lost and the kindness of strangers:

“My dad, who is 82 years old, purposefully goes to a store and stands there looking lost until some nice person offers to help him, and then he asks them for what he needs and basically has a personal shopper for free. I’m just saying that you’re onto something.”

~ Colleen Martin

“Once a friend of mine and I drove to Myrtle Beach on the way back we got lost, of course. We stopped and asked for directions and were told to turn left at the Burger King. We drove up and down that street for God knows how long unable to find the Burger King. Stopped and asked again…turns out the Burger King is now a KFC.”

~ Gigi

“Just last week someone pulled over as we were walking the kids to school to ask for directions (we live in a small university town) and it made me feel so happy to have the answer to their questions. There is something so satisfying about strangers helping out…”

~ Elizabeth

~ ~ 🏡 ~ ~

Parsing The Meaning Of A Sign + Completing My Photo Project

THE SIGN PART

I was on Instagram looking at photos of bathroom renovations.   Our bathrooms are still on schedule for renovations to begin in May.

As I was scrolling along, IG started showing me other photos, in this case ones of home offices.  [The algorithmic ways of Instagram are mysterious, I’ll say that for it.]

I stopped to look at one particular office because it was a good use of space and natural light.  In the office on the shelf above the desk was a sign that I believe was meant to be inspirational.  The sign said:

DO WHAT THEY THINK YOU CANNOT DO

I started laughing because this seemed like absurd advice to me.  For one thing, how do your know what THEY are thinking?  Are you a mind reader?  Or did THEY text/email/tell you that you cannot do something?

If so, why?

But beyond figuring out what THEY think, I was entertained by the idea that someone felt vengefulness would be an appropriate touchstone to use as a way of giving your spirit a boost.

What are you, a Klingon?

To cheerful little me the message on the sign seemed like an odd, somewhat spiteful, point of reference on which to focus your energy whilst pursuing a goal that may or may not be in your best interest, according to THEY.

But then maybe an ‘I’ll show them’ attitude is more motivating than I understand.  And perhaps, it is possible that THEY need someone to give them their comeuppance.  So who am I to say that this sign was bad advice?

Thoughts, anyone?

THE PHOTO PROJECT PART

Last April I started a one-year monthly photo project in which I stood in the same place on our deck and snapped a photo of the tree line.  The first installment is here.  The second installment is here.

These are the last two photo in this project.  I give myself props for following through on this project, but it’s over now.  I may do something like this project again, just not looking at these trees.

Suggestions, anyone?

FEBRUARY

MARCH

~ ~ 💚 ~ ~

True Confessions In A Snap: Some Photos You Dislike, Some Photos You Like

This is a photo of a blooming amaryllis that first bloomed in late December and has now re-bloomed in mid-February. Let’s give it up for this likable go-getter.

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I FIND PEOPLE FASCINATING, although I’ll admit that what people do is much less interesting than why people do what they do.

Therein is the start of many a good conversation. N’est-ce pas? 

You can tell me every stinking detail about WHAT you do in your life, but if I have no idea WHY you do what you do, I’m much less inclined to be interested in you.

To be clear I’m not here to fix people. I figure my job is to observe [what’s up] and understand [as best I can] and help [when asked] and report [in this blog] on them.

This brings me to the point of this post.

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FRIENDS HAVE TOLD ME the following three reasons WHY they dislike some photos their friends + family post on social media, but these friends will not tell their friends + family that they dislike the photos.

[And I sure as heck am not going to tell them.]

I’m not saying these are the most rational ideas, but they are enlightening and have made me smile as I listen politely, nod my head encouragingly, and murmur nondescript soothing sounds of understanding.

 Friend A dislikes photos of food.

This would be any food, either plated, for sale, or in the process of being made. Friend A feels these photos are something that could potentially make her fat because they trigger her to want to eat, which she is always trying not to do.

Friend A is thin.

She doesn’t like food photos so much that she won’t join IG where she feels too many people share photos of food, but does admit that she likes seeing people sitting around a table on which there is food.

 Friend B dislikes selfies.

She thinks they’re are an egotistical show of shallowness that distracts from any relationship. She wants to see what a person is looking at, not what the person looks like while they are looking at something.

Friend B is artistic.

Because of her firm conviction about the wrongness of selfies, she ignores them as best she can which means she’s ignoring a lot of people. This reality, she admits, gives her pause.

 Friend C dislikes photos of paths in the woods.

She says that all paths look the same, all woods surrounding a path look the same, and therefore if you’ve seen one path you’ve seen them all. Why anyone would bother to take these photos is beyond her.

Friend C is studious.

She extends this principle to photos taken of city sidewalks with buildings on either side, but seems less harsh with her criticism allowing that sometimes those photos are interesting.

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THUS HAVING SHARED THESE three character studies based on the truthful mutterings of generally kindhearted people with a need to vent, I’m reminded of Eeyore’s wise words: “We can’t all and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”

This, of course, leads to me to asking you, my gentle readers, a few questions as catalysts for discussion about photos you see on social media.

Or as I like to think of the comment section here, it’s true confessions time!

When it comes to the photos your friends + family share, do you have a strongly held opinion about any one type of photo you dislike seeing?

Do your friends + family know that you dislike seeing that type of photo and WHY?

Or to put a positive spin on this conversation, do your friends + family know which photos you prefer to see and WHY?

• • + • •