Quotes Part 3

Today is going to be a quote day.  Enjoy!

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” – C. S. Lewis

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”― Martin Luther King, Jr.

“People will forget what you said. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

“The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.” ― Pope John Paul II

“We are so accustomed to the comforts of “I cannot”, “I do not want to” and “it is too difficult” that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.” ― Pandora Poikilos, Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” ― Shannon L. Alder

“The best things occur when you challenge yourself and face your fears. If you think of your greatest achievements and take an inventory of the times you have demonstrated to yourself (and others) just how strong you are, you will notice it has never been while remaining within your comfort zone doing things that are easy and familiar to you.” ― Miya Yamanouchi

“Winning and losing is not an external game. It is an internal battle over telling yourself the truth vs. lies regarding why you haven’t stepped into the life you dreamed of.” ― Shannon L. Alder

“We cannot expect to grow if we are too afraid or unwilling to change and face challenges. When we exit our everyday, mundane lifestyles to do something different we can experience growth, undiscovered strength, and new abilities within ourselves.” ― Ashley Ormon

“As I go off into the big black abyss of my future, I have to admit that I am terrified and also a bit insecure in my decisions. But, I also realize that anyone who has ever gone off into uncharted waters must have felt similar to the way I feel now, which gives me a small ounce of comfort. I don’t know how to do what I am doing, I have no way of knowing if this is the right way or not. But I guess I’ll never know until I get there. So, this is me, being a pioneer.” ― Leigh Hershkovich

Happy Monday!

Listening to: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Reading:  Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness and Cress by Marissa Meyer

Quote of the Day:  Pick any of the ones above.

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Managing Expectations

I had a few things happen to me personally over the weekend.  They weren’t bad things just annoyances that are still hitting me today.  When I came in this morning for work, I was talking to a friend about them, and about something else too.  I forget the exact words, but we ended up talking about managing expectations.

See, I have expectations for things in my life.  When things don’t meet those expectations, I get upset.  Normal human reaction, especially for someone with control issues.  Here’s how all this came up though.

My expectations for this weekend:

  • Make between $300 and $500 this weekend ridesharing.
  • Finish at least one book that I was reading/listening too.
  • Walk seven/eight miles.
  • Pick up the remaining things needed for vacation.
  • Post two videos: One wrap-up video and one book tag video

One… One thing out of those actually happened.  The others were partly done or not done at all.

My expectations for life:  That people are open enough that my lifestyle shouldn’t bother them.

I’m gay.  I get that there are people out there that don’t like gay people, aren’t okay with, etc.  I hadn’t really met any of those people.  I’ve met people that don’t agree with my choice to not have children (at one point I did, but now I have three.  I’m good.).  I’ve met people who make comments about my day job and how I couldn’t make it in the private sector.  I’ve met people who wouldn’t even say “Hi” to me because of my size.  I’ve met people that I didn’t feel comfortable telling I was gay to while they are stuck in a car with me.  So my expectation I guess had become that more people than not are okay with my lifestyle.

Yeah, no.

I was talking about my son going to Marines this past week to a couple from NC.  When I got asked if I was a nervous wreck, I said, “No, but his mom is.”  *Confused looks*  “But you said ‘your son?’” “Yes, my wife has three boys, so that makes them mine too.”  *Subject change*

Needless to say it was awkward after that confession.  I did it to myself by being proud of my relationship and our son.  I stopped talking so much after that trip and just drove.

I’m waiting to hear back from my application for Amazon Flex so I can give up rideshare driving.  Between that instance and people abusing the system (UberPool and Lyft line are for two people per trip.  Please stop trying to get away with 3 or more people.  Please order the right vehicle for your party, too.  OMG, the horror stories people…horror stories–See this upcoming Wednesday’s post).  I liked the money but I’m over the people.

Sigh.  Come on Sunday!

Listening to:  Human by Raggin Bone Man

Reading:  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Quote of the Day:  “There’s a certain grace in accepting what your life is and embracing all the good things that have been – but there’s still an expectation of good things to come. Not necessarily what you expected.” ― Emmylou Harris

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Life Update

It’s been a while since I posted something… I think close to 17 days so two weeks.  I haven’t had much to say and there’s been several shuffling pieces that needed to find a home before I could get back to writing.

Have things been sorted out?  Hardly.  Do I really have much to say today?  No, not really.

Why?

Because there seems to be a grieving process happening; a couple of them actually.  I don’t deal with change very well and after stressing so much to make the money for the house, suddenly, there isn’t much to stress about.  To me, that leaves a bit of void, even though I should be able to relax and calm down from there.  A major change happened though.  No longer are we in a small apartment, now we have about double the space and we aren’t tripping over people, except when it comes to the bathroom.  One bathroom for five, soon to only be three, people can be rough.  So there’s one part.

The other part is the soon-to-be lack of people in the house.  Life changes.  People grow up and change with it.  I think I already said I don’t handle change well.  I’d gotten used to things and now, things are flipped upside down and I’m not very resilient.  I never really have been.  But the lack of people because the kids are moving on and heading off on great adventures… I’m scared but excited for them.  This if why I can’t have biological kids.  I would be the parent that never wants to let go.

So two grieving processes:  One for the void of stressing about moving and one for life changes when it comes to kids.

Simple things in the grand scheme of things, but things that are important to me.

Twelve days… Hopefully sunshine and beaches help shake this feeling.

Then off to planning the next great escape, both personally and professionally.

Listening to:  My off-line Amazon Playlist

Reading:  Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Quote of the day:  “Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ― Rumi

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September Goals

Holy crap, it’s September 1st!

August was a mess.  We focused on getting the house, so I’ve ignored just about everything else other than reading and working.  It’s was an awkward sort of month and I didn’t do any bullet journaling for two weeks, which has helped with the stress levels but also helped me lose track of where I should be.

August happenings:

  • Miles reached: 729.91 (190.09 miles to Lothlorien.)
  • Weight lost: Unknown.  I didn’t weigh in this morning.
  • Books read: 9
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Vlog Posts:  7
  • Participated in Read-a-Thin and Tome Topple.
  • Close on our house.

September’s goals are fairly straight forward, although there will be a lot of travel and more work going on.

  • Reach 850+ miles.
  • Lose at least 10 lbs.
  • 12 blog posts.
  • Finish reading 8 to 10 more books.
  • Spend 2 hours 3x a week this month writing.
  • Build emergency fund back up.
  • Upload 14 vlogs.
  • Buy Yule Ball tickets for December 15th.
  • Unpack and organize our new house.
  • Figure out new degree program and sign up for school.

That’s it for right now.  I’m helping Ray with a few things for her school stuff so I’m going to get back to doing that.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Listening to:  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Reading:  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Quote of the Day: “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ― Randy Pausch

 

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Socialism and Nationalism

Over the weekend, there was a riot/protest in Charlottesville between white nationalists/supremacists and everyone else.  The BBC News article can be found here.  The rally was around “Unite the Right,” extremely right-wing thinkers who believe the ways of the past without the ethical standings America stands for today and a smaller government.  Welcome to the New American Era.

Last summer, I took a history class that talked about how WWI started by exploring Europe’s bloodiest history.  I really wish some people would pick up a book, even if it’s just George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia.  Book is really brutal in how it nationalism and war in Spain is very different from the front lines and the town in which Orwell returns to.  I’m mentioning this class and this book because WWI and WWII were fought over nationalism.  Sound familiar?

Look up “American Nationalism.”  New York Magazine did an article about three different kinds of American Nationalism.  Disengaged people, the smallest group of those interviewed, where those who “professed particularly low levels of pride in state institutions, and because they appeared to refrain from wholesale engagement with a national identity.”  Restrictive Nationalists “expressed only moderate levels of national pride but defined being ‘truly American’ in particularly exclusionary ways.”  Ardent Nationalists are the traditional flag-wavers in almost any crowd, people who view “Jews, Muslims, agnostics, and naturalized citizens as something less than ‘truly American.’”.  Creedal Nationalists believed in a “form of national self-understanding associated with a set of liberal principles—universalism, democracy, and the rule of law—sometimes referred to as the American creed.”

Where do you think the money lies in this?  The group where companies exist, where many Wall St. and Forbes Top 100 list people exists:  Capitalism.  Socialism with a major twist, where money walks and major players with bank rolls talk.

Still think I’m joking or off my rocker?  I helped on a paper that researched how marketers play mind games with the companies’ or politician’s audiences to help “raise awareness” or “hook” a new customer.  It was very interesting to see how emotions, clothing color, and portrayals actually got played on.  The next time you look at a commercial that you relate with, ask yourself why you feel you relate to it.  Why did the company do this or show that statistic in the commercial?  Am I relating because I feel a connection to the person speaking?

We live in an information age, yet we are increasing standing on one side of the fence or the other.  We are adamant about saying, “Do the research” while not doing the research ourselves.  We judge based off of our emotions and our experiences, which is normal.  But what’s not normal, or shouldn’t be normal, is the way we treat our fellow human beings.

Want more information?  Check out Crash Course’s Sociology playlist.  They’re YouTube videos that talk about sociology, conflict theory, and give real world examples in their videos.

With that said, hope you enjoyed your Monday folks.

 

Listening to:  “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.

Reading:  “The Diviners” by Libba Bray and “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.

Quote of the Day:  “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Books…

Books and more books!

This is the month of books.  So far I have read/listened to five books so far this month and it’s only the 9th.  I have two other books started right now, with several more to get to by the end of the month.  I figured this would be a good time to tell you about them because that’s pretty much what I’m focusing on this month.

I actually like focusing on books.  I love reading; I’m finally figuring out what I like outside of paranormal.  It also gives me something else to focus on besides working and the house.  I can be positive about books.  I can be passionate about books.  I can actually talk about books and the characters, the writing styles and what I like (or hated).  As a writer, that’s super important to me.  If I know the style I like to read, I can write that way too.

This month, I’m doing the Tome Topple challenge (books over 500 pages) and Read-A-Thin (thinning out your To-Be Read list).  There are also books outside of those two challenges that I am reading/listening to.  Here are the video links to my complete TBR lists for all three sets of books.

August TBR: Read-a-thin Challenge– https://youtu.be/zK8rskow3BY
August TBR: Tome Topple– https://youtu.be/U0hWaQBLk_A
August TBR: Other books– https://youtu.be/lvI5ZxrG_g8

Overall, there were 18 books.  Now, there are 20 because I added a buddy read book that I wasn’t expecting and one of my Overdrive holds became available.

That’s what’s going on my life right now.

Listening to:  Eclectic Reads’ Coffee Book Tag

Reading:  Physical book–Shadow the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (great book!) and Audiobook—Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Quote of the Day:  “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” ― Frank Lloyd Wright

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August Goals

Happy August!

I did not do much goal related this past month.  Mostly, July was spent focusing on us moving and making enough money to move.  I was actually surprised at how much did read, watched and drove around.  There is something to be said for not worrying about school right now.

July happenings:

  • Miles reached: 645.17 (274.83 miles to Lothlorien.)
  • Weight lost: 8 lbs (Down to 266.8 from 274.8 on 7/1)
  • Books read: 10
  • Blog Posts: 7
  • Vlog Posts:  10
  • Participate in BookTubeAThon, a week long tribute to reading and books.

August’s goals are fairly straight forward.

  • Reach 750+ miles.
  • Lose at least 10 lbs.
  • 12 blog posts.
  • Finish reading 10 more books.
  • Spend 2 hours 3x a week this month.
  • Build emergency fund back up.
  • Upload 14 vlogs.
  • Sign up/Upgrade Baltimore Half to Baltimoron (5k plus Half).
  • Buy Yule Ball tickets for December 15th.
  • Participate in Read-a-Thin and Tome Topple.

Hopefully, we will know where we are moving to soon.  This whole house process is really, really frustrating ways.  Make sure you have several thousands of dollars saved up.  We thought we had enough but turns out we were wrong.  Hence why I didn’t mark anything off my list this month.  Better luck next time, huh?

Listening to:  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.  Book is super cute right now.

Reading:  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Quote of the Day: “Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.” ― Napoleon Hill

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