Sunday Gratitudes #11

Recently scientists have begun to chart a course of research aimed at understanding gratitude and the circumstances in which it flourishes or diminishes. They’re finding that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:

  • Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
  • Higher levels of positive emotions;
  • More joy, optimism, and happiness;
  • Acting with more generosity and compassion;
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated. (x)

I’m grateful for…
✍ – Looking back on my work week and realizing a point when I was overly paranoid in a social situation, but didn’t act on it and maintained my composure. 
✍ – Opening a new carton of Tazo chai to have with breakfast.
✍ – Parfait wraps – the breakfast of choice when I want a parfait but don’t feel like getting a bowl dirty.
✍ – Spring! And spring showers. 
✍ – Doing well on a seriously “oh shit” last minute project and presentation. 
✍ – The GPS on my phone. Without it, I would’ve had a panic attack trying to drive in San Francisco rush hour, with all of its taxis and one way streets. 
✍ – Having the presence of mind, when I had a headache at work, to take two Advil and spend my half hour of lunch break napping in my car. 
✍ – Free valet service. 
✍ – How cute our cat is about drinking from her own water dish instead of the dog’s, now that it’s up high on the cabinet and not right next to her food bowl. She is… not a neat eater. Now that her water is out of range of her crumbs, it stays clean and tasty, haha. 
✍ – Holding my partner’s hand while we go for a drive to run some errands. 
✍ – Sleeping in on weekend mornings. 
What have you felt grateful for this week?

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Monday Musings #9 – Library Mobile

I am a bookworm. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found I don’t have as much time for it… Less time, more apps. I have apps for reminding me to meditate, for reminding me to drink water, and alarms set for feeding the dog, leaving for work on time in the morning, etc. etc.

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Look at this weird thing. I don’t even know.

But you know what I never remember to do? Go to the library website.

You know what I just downloaded to my phone? Library apps. Like an idiot I’ve tried to log in through the Chrome browser app and it’s just been awful, all tiny and with lots of weird scrolling. And it never kept me logged in. Randomly, in the social media marketing class I attended today were some folks from one of the public library systems near where I used to live, and they told me that they do have an app. Lo and behold, the library where I live now has one too! The one where I used to live still doesn’t I checked.

I’m very, very happy that apps like these exist. Maybe it’s because I was raised in the Silicon Valley, the main tech and nerd hub of the United States, but I knew they would.

I mean, they had to.


Side note… Can anyone tell me how to edit my categories? I want to rename a couple of them but can’t figure out how, and the Google machine is failing me.

Sunday Gratitudes #10

“Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.” (x)

I’m grateful for…

☕️ – My teapot being right up front in the dishwasher, where I could get it out with dirty hands without disturbing any of the other clean dishes.

☕️ – Warm, sunny days.

☕️ – The first paycheck at my new job.

☕️ – Someone using the hashtag I made up for work. I love it when crowdsourcing new things to post really works.

☕️ – My first guest post being accepted and posted!

☕️ – Warm showers.

☕️ – Dark chocolate covered cherries, cranberries, and blueberries from Costco.

Continue reading “Sunday Gratitudes #10”

A Rose By Any Other Name (Guest Post)

I am very excited to present my first guest post ever! The Caffeinated Writer is a blog that I always enjoy reading, and it’s really cool to have a post up there. Yay!

We’ve all been there. Standing in line, either scanning the menu boards to decide what we want or already with “the usual” in mind, waiting to inch up to the cash register and step into the spotlight. Only it doesn’t come when you place your order; it comes when the cashier asks, “Can I get […]

https://queenofblank.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/a-rose-by-any-other-name/

Wednesday Words of Wisdom #6 — A Writer’s Rituals

“When you’re writing, you’re conjuring. It’s a ritual, and you need to be brave and respectful and sometimes get out of the way of whatever it is that you’re inviting into the room.” ~ Tom Waits

My first thought upon reading this was of some of the books I’ve read that involve summoning demons. Which is the sort of thing that typically you’d only do when you’re staring down a big problem and starting to get desperate, or your the evil mastermind who might be a liiiittle too cocky…

As a writer, I have at times felt I fit both those descriptions. Sometimes even at the same time.

But also typically, if you’re thinking far enough ahead you build plenty of safeguards into your summoning circle and take a healthy step back as soon as you’re done casting. The methods you use are important, because for better or worse they will shape the overall outcome. There often is a great deal of ritual involved, perhaps because in any situation it’s more comforting to stick with something you know and consider tried and tested, rather than taking the risk of totally making things up as you go along.

(How far can I carry this metaphor? This is already farther than I expected to get when I started writing, to be honest.)

You have to be brave. Some things are easy to botch, whether it’s summoning a demon or trying to make what’s on the page as grand and complete as the vision in your head. If you allow yourself to be intimidated, it makes the task that much harder.

You have to be respectful. Granted, the characters in your imagination are less likely to bite your head off than infernal hellspawn, but minding your manners and giving them what they consider their due is probably the simplest way to get them to cooperate.

And sometimes they’re just gonna roar on out of there, and you’ve got to do your best to just get out of the way and let it happen. The most interesting characters are sometimes the most willful ones, and the most demanding to have their own story.

So… yeah. I’m going to go sit at my desk with a cup of tea (still steaming, with milk and honey) and a cat in my lap (trying to keep her off of my keyboard), and do some conjuring.

Daily Writing Progress #10

A little late in the day, but it is indeed still Tuesday!


Tuesday, March 8th

  • Missed this day

Wednesday, March 9th

  • Missed this day

Thursday, March 10th

  • Missed this day

Friday, March 11th

  • Missed this day

Saturday, March 12th

  • Project: Potential post
    • Word Count: 630
  • Project: Private journal entry
    • Word Count: 862
  • Thoughts: Good work, self.
  • Tomorrow’s Goal: Write more. I need to get cracking on more of those April posts.

Sunday, March 13th

  • Project: Potential post, editing
    • Total Word Count: 589
    • New Words: -41
  • Project: Monday Musings post
    • Word Count: 647
  • Project: Future post D
    • Word Count: 310
  • Project: Future post E
    • Word Count: 656
  • Project: Future post F
    • Word Count: 407
  • Thoughts: I know there’s a negative number up there, but it’s a better piece of writing for it.
  • Tomorrow’s Goal: Go with the flow.

Monday, March 14th

 

  • Missed this day.

 

 

Monday Musings #8 – Online Consent

Last week, a fellow blogger‘s post got me thinking. The post itself was about a personal struggle with being entrusted to read other people’s writing, but what struck me is that her main example dealt with a request from a friend who had sent both the request and their writing in the same message.

We all have to give each other some benefit of the doubt when it comes to the internet. To me sending the request and the writing together is presuming you’ll get a yes, or a sly end-around to being turned down by making it that much more uncomfortable to do so… I will admit, that was my initial thought because I’m a bit of a cynic sometimes. But it could just be the awkwardness of a fledgling writer seeking out serious feedback for the first time.

So dole out the grains of salt, because not doing so might lead to online attacks and shows like this, but at the same time there are some things about consent that I think we should hold each other more accountable for.

consentFor writers seeking out beta readers, always ask if someone is willing to read what you’ve written before sending it. Even if it seems like that just takes more time, and it’s a hassle sending and keeping track of all these emails. Especially if they’ve never read anything for you before! And even if they have, it’s only polite to ask, “Do you have time for this right now?” Because we have to respect the fact that we each have our own lives to deal with, too.

Another (somewhat unrelated) thing that pings my radar a lot is baby pictures on Facebook. And anywhere, really, but that’s where I see it most often, especially with grandparents and new parents eager to show off their new arrivals. It’s cute and sweet and I’m happy for you — but that picture is on the internet forever. That infant or toddler or cute little kid is going to grow up and realize that they had an online presence long before they even knew what that was or had any control over it. Is that scary? That seems a little scary to me, and I say that as a card carrying millennial.

And it’s not just kids. I haven’t been tagged in a photo in a while so I don’t know if Facebook has changed the way this works, but it at least used to be that if someone tagged you it gave you the option of whether or not to make that tag visible to anyone else and include it in your account’s collection of photos. But even if you declined the tag, that picture of you was still there, online, for anyone inside the poster’s privacy filters to see. What if you were uncomfortable with that?

With photos as with beta requests, I personally feel that it’s only polite to ask first, then act with consent. With adults, let them know in advance if you’re going to post a specific collection of photos and give them an opportunity to say whether or not they’re comfortable with that. (Like, if it’s something they might not want their boss to see, they might at least want to ask about your privacy filters.) With kids, I don’t know. I’m not sure what age they’d start being able to really understand and give consent.

This has been a rant. But consent is important to think about, especially as the concept of an online life becomes more “normal” to incoming generations. How transparent do we really want to be online? To what extent do we inadvertently make that choice for other people? What’s the social protocol here? That’s especially hard to nail down given the global nature of the internet, but so necessary for every individual on it.

Sunday Gratitudes #9

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” ~Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez


I’m grateful for…

 

🌧 – All of this rain! It’s rained basically the entire week, that must be making a difference in the drought. That said, I’m also grateful to not live in a part of the county prone to flash flooding.

🌧 – The shiny new keyboard and wireless mouse that came in for me at work. Now I can do basic shortcuts like cmnd+c, cmnd+v, cmnd+k, etc. (Not having those is surprisingly detrimental to my efficiency, let me tell you.)

🌧 – Getting to make the magazine’s first Instagram post!

🌧 – A streak of meditating 6 consecutive days! This is the best I’ve done with my meditation practice in ages!

🌧 – How interesting I am finding this latest haul of audiobooks.

🌧 – The amazing chicken my partner made. 😀

🌧 – That Friends episode where Monica is definitely sick and trying to convince everyone that she’s not sick.

🌧 – Unloading the dishwasher, and all the dirty things getting loaded into it. It’s just so satisfying.

2015-01-10 14.14.59🌧 – Our (civilian) dog. Today is National K9 Veterans Day and I just set up social media posts for it… All the pictures and hashtags made me want to give B. a big hug.


 

What have you felt grateful for this week?