Happy Father’s Day!

I hope it was as won­der­ful for y’all as it was for us. 

While Dad­dy was tak­ing a nap, I did a lit­tle work on the site here, con­tin­u­ing the process of migrat­ing things from the old for­mat into Word­Press. It’s going to take more time, but even­tu­al­ly all the pages will be uni­form. Real­ly! If you find any­thing that isn’t work­ing, though, please be patient and leave me a com­ment about it?

The Great Outdoors

Plinky asked, “When was the last time you enjoyed the great out­doors?”

Sea-swim­ming (Medi­um)

Does a sub­ur­ban pool count? Because I was in one today, play­ing with my niece and nephews, chat­ting with my broth­er and sis­ter-in-law and par­ents. It was a love­ly part of our Father’s Day week­end cel­e­bra­tion.

It has been a few years since I went out to any­thing that could be called wilder­ness, but I’d like to do so again, now that I’m get­ting stronger and my allergies have improved along with the rest of my health. I haven’t been to a beach (oth­er than the import­ed one at Lake Lanier) in almost 20 years, either. That’s anoth­er thing I’d like to do.

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Half-full, Half-empty?

Today’s NaBloPo­Mo prompt: “Is the glass half-full or half-emp­ty?”

It’s half-full, and things are get­ting bet­ter all the time. 

Last night as I was sleep­ing
I dreamt — mar­velous error!—
that I had a bee­hive
here inside my heart.
And the gold­en bees
were mak­ing white combs
and sweet hon­ey
from my old fail­ures.
Anto­nio Machado

Where I Hope to Be in Three Years

Plinky asked, “Where do you hope to be in three years?”

The future

I hope that I’m no longer dis­abled, that I’m ful­ly func­tion­al, tak­ing few­er med­ica­tions and see­ing few­er doc­tors. I’m work­ing on that goal now. I plan to be work­ing full time either for myself or in a posi­tion equiv­a­lent to the one I had back in 2000, when I last worked. I want to be attend­ing school, unless I already have my degree. And final­ly, I hope to be liv­ing in a blue state or mak­ing seri­ous pro­gress towards get­ting there or even emi­grat­ing.

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An Old Friend

Plinky asked, “Which of your friends have you know for the longest amount of time?”

2009-05-23: Morn­ing Sky Green­ery (rest) IMG_9780

I’m just going to count peo­ple I’m reg­u­lar­ly in touch with offline who are not close kin, or things would be very com­plex, as there are lots of old friends and rel­a­tives on my Face­book friends list.

I’ve tech­ni­cal­ly known Tate since high school, but we didn’t get to know each oth­er very well until this past year. So I sup­pose James, who I met via Sam back in 1998, wins the prize for being around the longest, poor guy. 

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My Top 5 Strengths

Plinky said, “List your top five strengths.”

strength

1) When I give my word or my heart, I don’t change my mind. I’m loy­al to a fault.

2) I can learn just about any­thing I care to learn. Intel­li­gence is use­ful.

3) I don’t lie or mis­rep­re­sent myself. I’m the same per­son online and offline. I prac­tice rad­i­cal hon­esty.

4) I inherit­ed cre­ativ­i­ty from both of my grand­moth­ers. I’m great with col­ors and am a tal­ent­ed stitcher.

5) I’m a sur­vivor. I’ve expe­ri­enced some ter­ri­bly painful things start­ing in child­hood and haven’t allowed them to ruin my life.

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Jump

This month's NaBloPoMo theme is "Jump." All the prompts have been centered around that theme, but I haven't yet used them. I'm going to play catch-up here.

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word jump?
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word "jump" is a family lore that said I could not manage to jump as a child. I tried and tried, but I just couldn't get off the ground without something to jump off of (I was fearless then, though). 1 Maybe that's one reason I'm just not terribly excited about this month's theme.

What is something you recently jumped into?
I jumped back into playing the ukulele, after some contemplation.

How do you feel about starting new projects? and How do you feel about new people jumping into your life? and Do you need to look before you leap?
I'm not fearless at this stage in my life. I definitely look before I leap, especially regarding bringing new people into my life. I don't jump into projects, either, although I would probably be more likely to do that if I had more money available. I'm hoping to return to work soon and improve that situation, at least.

What is something you'd like to jump into if you had more time/money?
As I mentioned in a recent post, I would try weaving. I might even try spinning.


1 My maternal grandfather, Daddy Boots, said that my legs were so short the family should sue the city for building the sidewalks too close to my rear end.

Tired

I’m so tired of all the depress­ing sto­ries in my Face­book news feed. Every day there’s more news about all the ground lost in women’s rights (espe­cial­ly repro­duc­tive rights) in this coun­try, or some­thing like the ter­ri­ble results of the Wis­con­sin efforts to recall Gov­er­nor Walk­er, or some child gone miss­ing, or peo­ple shot dead while doing some­thing innocu­ous like attend­ing a funer­al (that hap­pened in Dekalb Coun­ty, here in the metro Atlanta area, yes­ter­day).

So I delib­er­ate­ly try to find pos­i­tive things to coun­ter­act all that neg­a­tive stuff. I’m always on the look­out for them, and would love any sug­ges­tions y’all have for such.

  • Pos­i­tive Press, home of the Pos­i­tive Quote of the Day list, Pos­i­tive News list, and oth­er resources.
  • The Dai­ly Good is an entire web site full of good news, with a mail­ing list you can sub­scribe to in order to get a dai­ly dose deliv­ered up to your mail­box. Of course they’re on Face­book, too.
  • Open Your Mind is a Face­book com­mu­ni­ty full of good stuff.

Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain is the single most striking book I've read this year. I really want to talk about it with someone else who has read it, but I don't know anyone else who has. GoodReads says that none of my friends there have read it or marked it to-read, so I'm hoping to convince someone else to read it by raving about it.

To be honest, I fell upon it purely by chance. I was looking through the library's selection of non-fiction audiobooks that were currently available for check-out, wanting something to listen to while I stitched. I checked it out along with Michio Kaku's Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, and just happened to click on Quiet first when I was ready to start stitching. Nothing against Kaku's book (which I'm listening to when I stitch now), but I'm glad of my chance click.

I'm an introvert. America is one of the most extroverted countries in the world, and my family is a typically extroverted one. I'm the only introvert in the family, so my preference for reflection and need for quiet time in order to recharge is markedly different from the rest of the clan's outward-directed ways.

Introverts in general are less valued than extroverts, seen as being too quiet, as somehow failing, as being less social or even labeled as anti-social. But we are, as Cain points out, just differently social. Introverts tend to feel things deeply, often seeking out the company of those who others belittle or ostracize in order to comfort them. We don't necessarily have poor social skills, but we don't always choose to use our social skills in the same ways that an extrovert would. We do not seek the same goals, necessarily. Introverts aren't necessarily shy at all, although there are some shy introverts, of course.

Introverts can also be excellent leaders. In fact, research shows that they are better leaders for groups of proactive people than extroverts are. Extroverts, in contrast, excel at leading more passive people.

Cain interviews many experts, including Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, for the book. Aron says that about 70% of HSPs are introverts, which I found interesting.

Of course, most people have a mix of introverted and extroverted traits, and even the most introverted people can put on an extrovert mask for short periods of time when necessary. I know that I can, but it is extremely draining.

I've barely touched the surface of the points the book makes, skipping around a lot without presenting the research or arguments behind the points, of course. Please, if you're an introvert, read or listen to this book. If you manage or love an introvert, at least give a listen to the abridged version. If you parent an introverted child, take time to read the entire thing, as there is an entire chapter devoted to the care of introverted children.