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.

Energy Boost

Plinky asked, “What ener­gizes you?”

Trans­par­ent Role­play­ing Dice

I strug­gle with major depres­sion (actu­al­ly, treat­ment resis­tant depres­sion), so it’s dif­fi­cult to find much that ener­gizes me. How­ev­er, real­ly great con­ver­sa­tion with just a few peo­ple does it quite well. The same goes for sto­ry games, or a real­ly good table­top role­play­ing ses­sion that focus­es on char­ac­ters and plot rather than hack and slash. 

Being around too many peo­ple drains me of ener­gy, and I need alone time to recu­per­ate. A nice soak in the bath with nobody else around, time with a good book, or time to enjoy some qui­et music are all plea­sures I use to help recov­er from being drained.

I’m def­i­nite­ly an intro­vert, as evi­denced by what ener­gizes me and what drains me. I used to be able to fake extro­ver­sion for short peri­ods of time, but I’m not entire­ly sure that I could do that right now. 

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Recent Reading

I've fallen out of the practice of writing book reviews, for some reason. There are two little widgets there to the side of the blog that always show the covers of the books I'm currently reading and some of those that I've recently read, though.

Yes, I do keep that many books going at once, because I keep one ebook in progress each on my Nook, phone and iPad in addition to an audiobook and a dead-tree book or two. I really hate being without reading material, so that way I know I've always got something good at hand. The book on the Nook is pretty much always fiction, while the others are usually non-fiction.

The most noteworthy of my recent finishes is Reamde, by Neal Stephenson (one of my favorite authors). No, I didn't misspell the title, but the spelling is an important plot point. Those who enjoyed Cryptonomicon are especially likely to enjoy this one. I recommend it to everybody, though, including those who think they don't like science fiction.

I'm continuing to slog my way through George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, recently finishing A Storm of Swords and immediately picking up A Feast for Crows. Reading the books while watching A Game of Thrones has been interesting, as it brings the changes into sharp focus.

The book I've been reading on my phone for quite a few months (I seldom have reason to read on that) is Michael Shermer's The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. It is interesting material but written in an excessively dry manner, and I'm starting to think that perhaps I should have chosen to listen to it as an audiobook.

My iPad reading is relatively new, Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment by Tal Ben-Shahar. While Ben-Shahar isn't as well-known in popular circles as some other authors, his work is integral to positive psychology and the study of happiness as a phenomenon.

I find it peaceful to listen to audiobooks while stitching. My current audiobook is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I'm finding it so rich that I keep having to go back and listen to bits over again, or pause the recording to reflect. I strongly recommend this one to absolutely any introvert or anyone who deals with introverts (that means everybody). I may well write an entire post about the subjects it brings up later.

My main print book is Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners by Deborah Anapol. I owe thanks to Uncle Ron for loaning me his copy of this one, but I really need to get my own copy. More thoughts on this later, as well.

My second print book, which I intend to review for Fibrant Living, is The Fibromyalgia Dental Handbook: A Practical Guide to maintaining Peak Dental Health by Flora Parsa Stay.

With all the darkness and the huge size of the Martin books, I'm starting to crave some light reading, so I'm seriously considering putting Feast on hold for something fluffy. I don't think there's anything incredibly fluffy in the Nook, but I'm sure I'll find something before too long, even if I have to stoop to a light beach romance or the like. There's only so much death, doom, and despair one woman can stand!

What are you reading? What do you suggest I read?

Broken Bones

Plinky asked, “Have you ever bro­ken a bone?”

Gs cast

Not a full break, but I’ve had a hair­line frac­ture in my left elbow and right fore­arm. I remem­ber trip­ping and falling down steps at someone’s wed­ding and crack­ing the elbow, but I no longer recall how I hurt the forearm.

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Defining Love

Plinky asked, “If you even­tu­al­ly break up with some­one, was it ever true love?”

Divorce and Chil­dren

What sort of sil­ly ques­tion is that? If a per­son dies, was he tru­ly alive? 

Yes, rela­tion­ships based on true love some­times end. That doesn’t mean that they are fail­ures, any more than lives that end are fail­ures. The “hap­pi­ly ever after” thing is for fairy tales, and the idea of “one true love” should stay there as well. 

It’s clear that most peo­ple are only pay­ing lip ser­vice to monogamy now by prac­tic­ing ser­i­al monogamy, so I don’t see why these out­dat­ed ideas hang on to cause mis­ery for so many.

I have been in many rela­tion­ships. I have loved each of those peo­ple. I don’t con­sid­er any of those rela­tion­ships fail­ures, nor do I doubt that I loved those peo­ple sim­ply because we are no longer togeth­er and don’t feel the same way about each oth­er now. I feel some affec­tion, at the very least, towards most of them, and more for some of them. That doesn’t both­er me at all, as a polyamorous per­son. It doesn’t set up any sort of con­flict. I’m not going to act on those feel­ings, because there were valid rea­sons for the end of each rela­tion­ship — but where there was deep love, there’s always some­thing left.

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Recent Finishes

I’ve been stitch­ing away late­ly, and while I can’t talk about my most recent project yet, I did add my most recent two fin­ish­es to my long-neglect­ed Fin­ished Works page today. The first piece is a for-no-rea­son one, the sec­ond a baby gift which was also my first coöperative project (and a big success). 

I’m cur­rent­ly work­ing on a Mother’s Day gift (why yes, I’m late get­ting it fin­ished), the hymn “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”

What are you work­ing on?

Date Tonight

This is a cheater post, but it is a post. I have a date tonight and almost for­got to make a post for the day! It does, how­ev­er, count as a post. I’ll just ask a ques­tion — what would any read­ers out there like to see me write about instead of answer­ing prompts?