Thursday, March 2, 2017

The first 48 hours

After 48 hours with no television or Facebook, I noticed a few things about my day.  I'm getting stuff done around the house before I go in to work, so it is not waiting for me when I get home or on my days off. I am less stressed because I don't hear as many people shouting or fussing. I'm not bombarded with commercials or things being repeated over and over. Instead of hearing a message over and Over and OVER that I can lose weight if I use this or that product or eliminate a chronic disease that I probably don't have if I take this or that drug, I am doing things that are healthier. I'm not sitting around as much...I am moving. I'm eating pumpkin seeds, eating salad and drinking red wine instead of consuming high carb foods and sweets. I am enjoying the quiet. Another benefit...time to think and write!

So far, the hardest thing to get used to was eating without television, followed closely by going to non social media websites. So far, I haven't noticed any negative things about my choices.

I think social media misses me more than I miss it because a few minutes after being off it for 48 hours, I got a notice about someone's status...no one I am close with, and my life would have continued blissfully without knowing about the update. 8 hours after that I got a summary that I had 24 updates, etc.  I just filed both notification and will keep them until I decide to go back as a regular, just to see how many pleas to return I get.

In like a...out like a...

It's a saying that I learned in childhood.  In like a lion, out like a lamb (or the opposite) can accurately describe the transitional weather in the month of March. I wonder what the originator of that saying would think about the weather on March 1, 2017. The temperature was, warm, like late April or early May with a high in the low 70s and low around 50. That could be described as lamb-like (or maybe lambish or lamby even though they are not recognized as words). Otherwise the day was more like a roaring lion with gale force winds most of the day and occasional heavy rain. It makes me wonder what the rest of the month and the end of the month will be like. For an area that had very little snow, will it be a snowy, icy month, or will Spring stay around. If the theory is true, perhaps March 31 will be chilly but calm. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Trying again...

Well, it looks like this year, I am trying the same things I have attempted in the past...freeing myself from television and social media for the best part of at least the next 6+ weeks, or longer if I like the results of my disconnect. Today is day one of my attempt, and so far it went without any withdrawal symptoms. I literally unplugged my television at 5 minutes to midnight, just in case I was tempted to turn it on. One noticeable benefit was the fact that I got several small but important things done around the house. Multiply that by 30 or 40 or more just over the next few weeks, and that should really make a difference.

Hopefully, I will get back to more blogging. I plan on checking in with social media and television about once a week for an hour or so, but restoring balance seems like something I need to do, and that means keeping certain things in check that were getting out of hand.

I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted, but at least I made it in less than a year, which is better than the 3 year absence from before. It feels good to be back here.

Friday, March 4, 2016

I knew it had been awhile since I had posted a blog here, but didn't realize 3 years had passed. In that time, I left my nearly 20 year career in retail and now work for a credit union, where I regularly interact with people on the phone and via eMessage. The ratio is about two parts phone time to one part eMessaging.  What does the future hold?  I have no idea.

The pay is better, and so are the working conditions, and I feel that I am where I need to be at this present moment.

I regret not having written here for the past several years.  Much has happened I could have shared and I could have learned much about myself and my experiences by just writing about them. But, I have not mastered time travel, so I accept what I didn't do.  I can't promise what I will or will not do, but at the moment, the spirit is moving me to write.

One thing I have learned recently is the importance of  a balanced life. It is great to help others and maybe even wrong to ignore their needs, but it is just as important that we not neglect our own well being. This well being can take the form of the state of our house, the number of things on our "must do" list, as well as our spiritual, psychological and physical health. We are allowed to say no if we need to, and we are allowed to (and should) reach out for help if we ourselves need it because we are burdened with helping others so much that we neglect our own needs.

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's not too late!

I have some good news:  If you are reading this, it is not too late!  Too late for what?  Almost ANYTHING.  If you are reading this, chances are you are alive. :-)

Are there things you wanted to change in your life?  Do you have habits that you wanted to let go of or establish?  Just because it has been difficult or or you've failed many times doesn't mean you signed a lifetime contract to do things a certain way.  As long as you are alive, you have the chance to change yourself.  It is not too late.  

Is there someone you need to forgive, in order for you to move on?  Do it now, while you still can.  Forgiveness is much harder after someone dies, but if you are still alive, do it now.  It may make the other person feel better, and it will make you feel better because you will be able to get on with your life.  Is there someone to whom you need to say "I LOVE YOU."?  Do so now.  Perhaps that person needs to hear it and it may change their life.  Again, it is so much easier to say that now, than after someone's death.

Have you let your house get dirty?  Go ahead and clean it up now.  Are you out of shape?  Change your diet and get active now.  If it's something you want, go ahead and do it.  Do you want a different job?  Go ahead and apply for one.  If you find that you don't want it after you learn more about it, you can always decline if you get an offer, but at least you will have looked.  Do you want to learn something new?  Sign up for a course.  Many online courses start monthly or any time and they are very flexible.  Have you given up on your New Year's resolutions?  I have more news for you:  TODAY IS THE START OF A NEW YEAR!

Have you fallen short of your goals for Lent this year?  There are still a few days left to do what you can.  Even when Lent is over, it will not be too late to try to build up character and virtue.

I have fallen short on some Lenten goals this year and have met or exceeded other goals.  

If you would like to share other ideas about what you can do at any time and without reason, feel free to leave a comment.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

After a tenth of Lent

As I write this, it is four days into the season of Lent, 2013;  One tenth of the way through the season. 

This time of year seems to be like a second chance at New Year's resolutions.  The difference is that with New Year's resolutions, people seem to give up on themselves if they break their promises to themselves.  If we break a promise to ourselves, how can we expect to possibly keep a promise with an often hidden God?  Still, we promise to do this or that or give up this or that.  Fortunately, with Lent there seems to be a stronger conviction to try again if we fail to keep our Lenten resolutions.  We can choose to abandon our Lenten resolutions or we can choose to try again because we feel guilty or because we know that it is only temporary, or we can be even more determined to make a permanent change in our lives. 

So far, this Lent, I have partially fulfilled my hopes for the season.  I had hoped to give up Facebook and Television, except on Sundays.  Instead of giving them up entirely, I have cut way back on both.  Of the two, television was the easiest to let go, due to a lack of good programming.  Facebook was harder to let go, but at least I no longer check it while on lunch or break at work and I just skim through it and update my status only sporadically.  While I could still further increase my prayer life, so far, for the most part, I have been faithful at starting and ending the day with prayers.

In addition to using by time better by writing more and cleaning house, I have also volunteered my time for something for later in the Spring which I hope will have long term benefits for a few people in my area.

I have a long way to go this Lent, but it is off to a fairly good start.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Balancing work and life outside of work with co-workers.

I have often been the type of person who has many friends, many co-workers, gets along well with many people, but sets rather clear boundaries.  It is rare that co-workers cross the boundary into my non work social life or other areas of my life.  I have never worked with people who were my friends before work.  I have never worked with family.  Friends from church do not work with me, nor do they participate in my family life.  I could go on.

While I am still mostly the same in this regard, in the past month or so, I and several people who work in my department have met for lunch outside of work.  Two weeks ago we met for lunch at a place that sold tacos for $1 each.  Today it was a place that had an all you can eat buffet of Chinese food for a reasonable price.  In prior years, we had attended once a year cookouts or helped move furniture for one another, but now it seems that we are socializing outside of work a lot more often than before. 

The result of this seems to be an easing of tensions and hostilities at work.  We seem to work better as a team at work.  We make it a point to invite as many people from our department as we can to these gatherings.  Of course work related subjects are discussed and I admit there is gossip and opinions exchanged, but there is just as much non-work related discussion.  The most noticeable difference I've seen at work is the fact that we tend to view one another as human beings instead of machines.  We do not have a perfect working relationship, but it seems to help our departmental morale if nothing else. 

I still have my well defined boundaries.  Work is work and my life outside of work is still that, but investing a little time every now and then seems to be worth it.  I'm sure too much of it would not be a good thing, but it seems we have found the right balance for now.