#FPQ #76: satisfaction

Are you satisfied with your life at the moment. If so, what is it that brings you the greatest satisfaction? If not, what might you do to achieve satisfaction in your life?

~~ #FPQ #76

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Thanks Fandango!!  Being vigilantly self-absorbed conscious of how I spend my time and what I’d like to do with my life; this is right up my alley.

I am satisfied with my life at the moment and that may be a surprising answer considering my more recent posts but I, unlike readers, have the broad view of my whole life in comparison to “at the moment” and right now, this life is a cake-walk. I am a walking testament to the admonition don’t make a permanent solution to a temporary problem because if we just keep in mind that nothing (except death) is forever, life can and does get better.

My greatest satisfaction is my age – which I never thought I’d see, never. Getting older is so rewarding despite the over-rated disadvantages of aging which is almost all vanity anyway. The only ‘real’ disadvantage is physical limitations some of which is my fault; lack of stretching and routine vigorous exercise such as cardio workouts and yoga. My intentions are good but we all know how that paves out. And some of my limitations are just a part of living, for example, cancer and the consequences of chemotherapy and surgery. But this is how I look at aging in the age of agism; our body is the vehicle for our soul, it’s not meant to last forever and the scars it bears upon death is a testament to the battles we fought. The reward of aging is that I have learned enough to care less; it’s all temporary and a matter of perspective and everyone is a soul just trying to live in this world within the body and the circumstances in which they found themselves…just like me.

Achieving satisfaction? Achieve is a verb and a verb means action. Life evolves and there is no end-game (again, except death) so achievement is not a destination, it’s a pit-stop.

I’ve come to realize that it bodes better for me if I have a shortlist of goals than a long range destination that is a pinprick of light in some future made-up world that may never come to pass. Shit happens and it usually fucks up the best made plans. How do I deal with dissatisfaction? Being aware of what is “good” in my present day, being grateful for the where-with-all to work on changing what I do not appreciate, and recognizing that it’s all a process that transforms over time. I have learned to simultaneously embrace the “good” while working to modify the “bad” – it’s not a single laser-focus on that with which I am unhappy because that is depressing. It’s a balancing act. It’s accepting that life isn’t all one thing or another – it’s both, and I’ve discovered that that is a good thing. A well-earned feeling of satisfaction for what I’ve already accomplished in my life combined with the anticipation of work that I have yet to do because I chose to do it.

But satisfaction is not based on what I have or what I’ve accomplished. Satisfaction is the awareness that I have options and the freedom of will to decide how I want to navigate in this life. That’s a very liberating realization.

 

 

 

 

Fandango’s Provocative question.

FANDANGO’S PROVACATIVE QUESTION(S):

Which pre-pandemic activities are you ready to resume (or have you already resumed)?

Socializing with friends. I’ve had one friend (couple) who had resumed socializing without mask/social distance. My other friends are still in varied non-socializing modes.

Which, if any, pre-virus activities are you likely to continue to avoid?

I don’t really do much else with my out-of-work time. Hiking is solo and a non-issue re: covid. I don’t shop. Kayak; same as hiking. I guess dining out (inside restaurants) but it’s so expensive that I am glad of the restrictions – so I guess I’d say I’ll still not dine out.

it’s another ‘why blog’ question

#FPQ: 67

Earlier this week, Dr. Tanya, over at Salted Caramel, posed a question in her Blogging Insights series that got me thinking about what it is that makes bloggers tick.

In my post in response to Dr. Tanya’s post, I wrote that I am curious about what purpose blogging achieves or fulfills. What internal needs does blogging meet? What part does it play in their daily lives? How important is it to them? If they weren’t blogging, how else would they spend their time? On a scale of one to ten, with ten being blogging is their entire reason for being, and one being that, meh, they have nothing better to do, how does blogging rate?

As a blogger, when it comes to your blog, what makes you tick?

~ copy/paste from Fandango’s Provocative Question post.

I’ve written about this topic ad nauseam but I’ll do it again and I’ll not just speak for me but I’ll hypothesize for others also. I have no idea how blogging started…I could Google it but I’m not that curious. What I thought when I first heard of ‘blogging’ was that it was an independent (of magazines, newspapers) column by a writer and I don’t remember how I happened upon WordPress but I was leery to even start the process of initiating my own blog. I’m a reader and I love quality writing (which I can’t even explain what I mean by that) or writing that just ‘sucks’ me into another world and when I am ‘involved’ in a good book I always think that I wish I could do the same, write like that. I’ve ‘written’ for as long as I can remember – not a lot but little stories here and there over the decades. I like to write out my thoughts because it helps me declutter, see another perspective and also make decisions. I have tried to keep a journal so many times that I’ve finally given up; I don’t care to keep volumes of my thoughts on paper nor do I reread what I’ve written. My writing is really more of an exercise; some people have a partner or best friend to hash things out with but I’ve always leaned toward a loner lifestyle and my friends have ALWAYS been unavailable (in one way or another but mostly geography) so I’ve used writing as communication ‘outside’ my head. I started (a different blog) years ago just writing down my thoughts just as I do now. I have not ‘grown’ in any discernible way, I’ve not limited my writing to a theme nor have I attempted to increase my visibility (although participating in challenges does do that) or ‘readers’/followers. I’m come to the conclusion that what I do, my ‘writing’, is online-journaling but with the connection of a community or tribe who sometimes give me feedback. I think one reason I like the community of blogging is the same reason many people, not all, blog for themselves – it’s a connection, an expression of ourselves (beliefs, thoughts, whatever) that is usually anonymous and, therefore, liberating. We can say exactly what we want staying within our comfort zone and we have no fear (physical) of reprisals from readers; people can comment whatever they want and we can chose to publish/respond or not. I’ve read many times, “This is my blog and I’ll say what ever I want. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.” I think we live in a very noisy, messy world where people no longer actively listen, people are apathetic, people want to express themselves but not necessarily ‘hear’ what other people have to say, most of us do not have an open, sincere, unconditional connection with another human being where we can be vulnerable, different, and faulty but still have that someone who will always support us, listen to us and be there no matter what year after year. So we write our hearts out and expose them figuratively to the whole world and maybe someone will respond and say that they feel the same way or they like how or what we write and maybe we will create a ‘friendship’ out of people we don’t know and will never meet but we have the superficial idea that this means something – and it does for as long as it does but…if I stopped writing today…no one is going to call me and find out how I’m doing. Some of us maintain this lifeline because it feeds a part of us and our lives with that something that we are not getting in our ‘real world’. Others, I know, enjoy the writing, expressing and the connection is entertainment or fun but they have a meaningful and intimate life/family/partner so the blog is a hobby, a creative outlet. I can get lost somedays writing like participating in the A2Z challenge; I found the daily writing was using up a lot of my time and I decided that I’d continue but at my own pace and that was a liberating moment; I decided that I’d complete the challenge but I don’t have to follow rules set by someone else. I write when I feel like it or when I need to but I don’t want or allow the blog to take over my time. I’d say my blog rates as a #4: it has it’s place but it isn’t, nor can I allow it to be a routine. I’ve even considered not blogging but I thought, why give it up? it doesn’t have to be black or white, all or nothing.

G & FPQ – and all that

Are you the same person on your blog as you are in real life? Do you like yourself more in the virtual world than you do in the real world?

#FPQ – See the background story to this question before you answer.

Before I launch into my post, which will have little to do with respiratory, health, wellness nor any other focus within my ‘themed’ wheelhouse…I just want to say…

Good-Fucking-Grief! Some of the stuff I am reading and hearing about politics in the last few days, I cannot imagine how any sane person, who has been following the ‘snooze’ and seeing what “our government” is doing while the population of this country is trying not to die and has been ordered to not leave the house or congregate in groups, has not decided to become a martyr for their country and formed some sort of militia group and bombed the fucking white house. That’s all I have to say about that.

Am I me while I’m here in Bloglandia? Yes. I usually say stupid shit (see above), stuff no one really cares about or even understands; I march to my own disynchronized drum-beat without even noticing other people; I can be coherent and informative when my mind is focused on something but otherwise I just spew whatever is crossing my mind and regardless of who, if anyone, is listening. I know I am mostly not taken seriously when I am NOT invisible – which, considering my age, gender, physical characteristics (butt-ugly) and haircut, I may as well be wearing the Cloak of Invisibility – which I have come to love, BTW.

I have had uncharacteristically perfect weather the last two days off so I’ve taken advantage and done some grueling outdoor work (and, therefore, NOT been blogging -or reading- the alphabet challenge)  and I’m not sorry. I may, for shits-N-giggles, play catch up even if it’s not the correct day or I may just let it all go – doesn’t matter as I may be dead in a month or so (probably not but, hey, you never know). I suppose I, no – WE, should all take advantage of the lawful ABILITY to speak our minds here or anywhere as it seems very soon that may go the way of our right to vote by ballot if we need or want to, the way of meeting in public in groups, the way of leaving our house to travel or walk where ever, whenever we want, the same way of going to the hospital and having life-saving equipment or even staff to care for us, the way of a woman’s right to her own body or the right to choose, the way of equal rights for black people only on paper, the way of clean drinking water and clean air, the ability to work and/or make a living wage to pay for a home, food, utilities, etc., …

Anyhoo…I am really feeling fine. I just had to rant a little. I am becoming more and more aware of how the book of Revelation and today’s world seem to be merging as one. This does not invoke fear in me; the common denominator for us all is death. Knowing that to be the truth, anything that happens before then that may or may not lead up to death in the greater numbers is in alignment with the prophecy of the last days. If this pandemic (let’s call it what it is: plague) repeats itself or is followed by some other deadly micro-organism, killing off millions of people and leading to hoarding & food shortages, riots, brother against brother, love of the greater numbers cooling off (or something like that, not a quote), governments in complete dysfunction with ensuing chaos and the rich distancing themselves to save themselves…well, so be it. I’ll just pop me some corn, butter it up and watch the show. It’s not like we haven’t been warned, it’s not like we don’t see the handwriting on the wall (what’s going on right in front of our eyes) and going about our life as usual, it’s not like history has NOT had some form of this very thing before to be ignored by many, following along like sheep to the cliff edge. I really do not feel bad about all this insanity because we have brought this very situation upon ourselves; our obsession with ‘reality TV’, with ‘celebrities’, with getting rich quick, with not caring about other people – ME FIRST, with numbing ourselves with TV/electronic devices/alcohol/drugs/sex, not daring to speak up on behalf of someone else that does not look like us, putting our heads down and flying under the radar lest we become the object of ridicule, bullying, ostracization, and not fitting in, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. We deserve no better than what we have and if we don’t like what we see then we need to re-evaluate what we do and don’t do in our every-day lives and decide to make a change.

BTW: all this news about the primaries: IT’S THE GENERAL ELECTION that will really count…well, as much as our individual vote actually counts anyway – which is not much considering that Hillary actually won in 2016 but that didn’t matter.

Okay…I gotta get my ass off this couch and do some laundry, etc. before the day is done. Stay safe everyone – and by that I mean, in addition to keeping your distance from anyone else – stay away from the friggin’ news so you can remain SANE and emotionally healthy in this insane world.

#FPQ: comment address

I wrote a response to Fandango’s Provocative Question which was a clip of Don Lemon referencing and showing clips of the president’s evolutionary response to the virus. My post was regarding Trump’s behavior in general more than specifically regarding this virus. A reader, whom I consider a friend and who also happens to be a supporter of the president, commented on my post. I realized from his comment that I had used a broad stroke brush with my post and I wasn’t clear that my own opinions – as that is what they are – were more about the current leader’s character in general while using this prompt as an anchor or example.

I really appreciated the comment, first and foremost, because it was reasonable and worded diplomatically. There was nothing in the comment that was not true (except that, historian, I am not, we’ve had pandemics before so government guidelines (should) exist but every pandemic is unique, so I’ll give that). It also made me think on it…long after I read it.

I have heart felt empathy toward my friend. He supports the current president; I can’t say more than that because I don’t know more. When I submerge into my emotions about a ‘sensitive subject’ to me and envision that “subject” being ridiculed, dragged over the coals, mocked, demoralized and victimized, my blood pressure rises. I can feel myself getting angry and defensive. When I delve deeper into the layers of social problems, using my subject, when I look at areas where there is plausibility, areas that I cannot conscientiously ‘justify’ or ‘overlook’ or ‘excuse’, this is the area where the “opposition starts to make sense” or, in other words, they have a point. That’s the gray area where compromise can and should be made; this area where both parties are a little right and a little wrong. If only people were not so staunchly for or against as if all matters were black and white.

I believe President Trump is doing the best he can and that was, albeit opaque, my point about his character; blaming, deflecting, rationalizing, conflating and, yes, lying. That is who the man is…that is who he is because his whole life has been outside of the ‘norm’ and that is all he knows…and, it’s worked out well for him. Trump is not a lawyer nor a “professional” politician (he is and always was a politician at heart) so, no, he does not know what he is doing – nor should any of us have expected him to know what to do as the “leader of the free world.”

Many elected him explicitly because he was not a professional politician and the expectation was that he would disrupt the whole game in Washington and this would send a message to those still taking up seats in government. Well, that has happened. But what no one saw coming was that he would be embraced by the very swamp monsters that EVERYONE is sick of, not just Trumps fan-base, and these parasites would then use this novice politician for their own selfish purposes. Therefore, the man that rose above all others in the political game is now the scapegoat for all that is ‘wrong in America.’

I’m not giving a pass to Trump himself. He has faults galore that many of us, if we exhibited these same traits, would not have jobs, likely not many friends either. Recently I read something about our ability to judge people (judge as in being able to quickly determine if we should trust) and what it boils down to, as I understood, the more we are exposed to and get to know someone, the more unable we are to judge them correctly. That’s seems obvious because the more we know someone – more to the point, the more we know someone as they want us to know them (the ‘face’ you allow others to see) – the more we share in common, the more we like them, the less open we are to their faults, the less we trust our own instincts when something isn’t quite right.

This, I feel, is one explanation of Trump supporters; people who are good people, people who want the same things we all want, people who are tired of being marginalized, ignored, overlooked and, politically speaking, victimized by our government in whom we expect to have our best interests in mind when they make choices that effect all of us. The choice was made and the more the president speaks about how he is going to make America great again, the more rallies he holds where he speaks directly to (his) people, the more they want to believe that he speaks the truth.

We all default to where our sympathies lie and, therefore, we don’t see the cumulative ‘evidence’ to the contrary until the tipping point is reached, the point where the change is going to require more effort and time than we have to give. At this point it’s easier to choose our reality than face it. The more attacked we are for our choice, the more we dig in to defend it, the less likely anyone is going to be receptive to open-minded exchange.

The pandemic isn’t Trump’s fault nor the Chinese. It’s one of many, many problems we share in this world and, I will challenge, there are many more to come. We’ve become divided and self-serving, intolerant and defensive, indifferent to how each of us effects others and the earth. We don’t handle doing things or sacrificing for the greater good over our own personal gain and comfort. I’m not a doomsday person but I feel that we are going to experience more and greater global catastrophes until we either learn our mistakes or perish. Death is the common denominator: it can come earlier or later, but it’s coming.

 

 

 

 

 

#FPQ based on a 12 min. CNN news segment

The 12 minute news clip with Don Lemon at CNN breaks down from January until last week various commentary from Trump claiming that the CoronaVirus is a hoax and less deadly than the flu and that it will one day soon just disappear then later we have it under control and finally I’ve known it was a pandemic even before they said it was a pandemic.

There is nothing new here except Don Lemon states that the president is “gaslighting” everyone. I had to look that word up: “manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.” I am not sure about other people but I don’t think any intelligent, grounded reasonable human is second guessing their own sanity. I know many are wondering what the hell these other government representatives are doing following Trump’s lead.

There is nothing new here folks. NO ONE who has even only average intelligence should be surprised by Trump’s behavior or statements: he is doing what he ALWAYS does; deflect, blame others, minimize, take credit for any thing that is ‘good’ — basically out right lies. I don’t believe he does this on purpose. I believe he is a psychopath and a pathological liar. His history of histrionic personality disorder goes back to his early years in the rich & famous circles and spotlight. He hasn’t changed during these four years of assumed ‘responsibility for running the country’ and he is not going to change if/when hundreds of thousands of American citizens die from this virus; it’s just a numbers game to him and he probably hopes that most of those will be liberals and democrats and any one who most likely wouldn’t vote for him AND he’s just ignorant and self-serving enough to actually even state this at some point in the future at one of his rallies.

I appreciate Don Lemon and CNN for their sober televised announcement but it is nothing we haven’t already deduced.

#FPQ: 61

#FPQ 59

What does it mean to you in the 21st century to be well educated?

I’m not “well educated” nor am I an educator so this will be simple.

  1. Kindergarten for all five year olds that focus on exploration, curiosity, imagination, manual dexterity and the basics like counting, colors, shapes, manners, cooperation, following directions, socializing…all good things that are the foundation to future learning.
  2. Get rid of the over-simplifying education as if we are training dogs to do tricks. Humans vary in how they learn, what/how they see and interpret, speed of learning, etc. It’s understandable that we all should know how to count and recognize letters (not that anyone writes any more) but this ‘check the box’ style of teaching is not working.
  3. If a child isn’t grasping something then adaptation is needed on behalf of teachers and our educational system. There is much more involved with young people who are unable to grasp learning things such as poor home environment, poor diet, insufficient sleep, learning disabilities, mental/emotional (disorders) situations, etc. My children were grown before the whole “no child left behind” mantra so I’m not real familiar except the complaints I hear from others but that seems to have caused more problems than solutions. I’m also not holding our education system accountable for family issues, health issues, etc. but, since every child goes to school (or should) it’s a great filter for what is going on in our communities and could be addressed, if we really cared about education.
  4. Again, I’m not an educator but I am sure curious about how and what other first-world countries are doing that they supercede us in education. Why are we so afraid of taking some cues from countries that out-perform us? Oh, wait…that’s right, I forgot …we’re the best and greatest and strongest and richest country in the world.
  5. And finally – once we can get a handle on how to educate properly and thoroughly and adequately – we should definitely be pro-higher education and I’m going to include trade schools here also because I like to be able to find a plumber, electrician, carpenter, mechanic, etc. when I need one; a good one.

When we start believing that knowledge is power and an education is the way to get there – for most – a way to improve our whole society, then we’ll be willing to invest in our educational system.

Okay, this was longer than I intended but this is a sore spot with me: we don’t value knowledge as much as we value celebrity, sports, power, entertainment, wealth, and status. We don’t truly appreciate a well-rounded education because it’s been an avenue mostly for the elite and fortunate – not EVERYONE. The desire to learn and explore are not part of our early education so ‘school’ is just something to ‘get through’ before they start their real life…..

Okay…this post is basically garbage but I’m publishing it because I’ve spent time writing it.

 

 

 

#FPQ: 58

What is something you’ve long believed to be true, but you now realize is not true?

fpqI’ve been sitting here thinking about this for several minutes…read a post or two, come back to it..think some more whilst staring out the window. I can’t really think of anything that I’ve long believed to be true that now I realize is not. I think the skeptic in me has always seen everything with smoke-colored glasses…and a big question mark hanging over it. I suppose if I’m to stretch, reach for something it would be that ‘truth wins out’ or something to that effect. Maybe even now I still have some lingering idealization that – eventually – truth does prevail but…

it doesn’t really, does it?

#FPQ

Are humans better at creating or destroying?

#FPQ

We are great at both but it seems whenever (we) create something that is for ‘good’ someone comes along and figures out how to use it for ‘bad’.

Splitting the atom

social media

capitalism

tracking devices (phones, cars, etc)

opioids

and on and on….

It doesn’t matter what it is…someone will find a way to profit from it or use it to gain power and control.

That’s what we are best at….create to destroy.

#FPQ: would you want to know?

That’s so random and wide open, naturally most of us will immediately reply, it depends on what it is. To know something in/from the past that I don’t know now? To know something about the future? To know everything; omniscience? And would the knowing change anything or not? If I were omniscient I’d know that.

My initial reaction is; super-power! Yes, I’d want to know, then I can prepare. So I ask myself questions to test my answer: if I was going to win the lottery sometime in the future, would my knowledge make a difference? No. If I were to have foreknowledge that I’d lose my job in the future, would that change my actions? Yes; I’d save more money, I’d diversify my skill set (because which job in the future will I lose?) and I’d be mentally prepared. Would I want to know if I were going to become disabled? Again, yes. Would knowing that there’s going to be a famine in the future? Yep. What about WWIII? Sure, why not?

Preparedness, emotional if nothing else, would be key for psychological survival/health. I can’t think of anything that I would not want to know (and I’ve thought of some things that I don’t want to put in black and white). It’s the preparedness, the using time more wisely, maybe even the attempt to thwart ‘fate’ with that knowledge. I guess I’m so pragmatic now that I feel I can deal with anything and being forewarned is being forearmed.

fpq
To know or not know?