Seeking ideas for this small blog of mine, I began last month to refer to the weekly newsletter Publishous. Publishous is a little more than a year old, with about 5800 supporters. The newsletter is a collection of semi-connected ideas about content and the like and includes a writing prompt.
Formerly I would refer to WordPress’ own daily prompts before that came to an end, owing, I presume, to WordPress no longer wishing to organize their once-a-day prompts.
The prompt for the current newsletter is Resolutions. I am late because I did less work between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
As you know, the custom among many New Year’s revelers is to identify resolutions for the coming year that mark a life change. Resolutions can be in the spirit of fun, or they can be difficult to declare if a resolution requires the kind of change that is hard to make.
I kind of hate resolutions because I cannot think of useful ones. I do have a few tactics ready, for better productivity in 2019.
I was inspired in 2018 to read Robert Greene’s book The 48 Laws of Power. This book was a difficult read, but rich enough with great ideas to benefit from having read the book. Even though 2019 was far off, I thought to resolve to make some attempt to apply the book to my strategy in the year ahead.
I was not confident that I could apply much of The 48 Laws of Power until I came across a Twitter account that helps by mentioning ideas from Greene’s book– https://twitter.com/48tweetsofpower
I want to apply more commitment to the areas of work for which I am already present.
My digital social interactions are largely confined to Facebook and Twitter.
At the cemetery, we have been working together since 2011, and we soon thought that a page for the work we do would be useful.
On Twitter, I don’t specifically refer to details of the work I do with my dad. Instead, I tweet a few articles, generally about tech, and some about charity and a few other concepts. I have the idea that, if I do this, it could prove useful.
On Facebook, real “real estate” is hard to market, because of the competition among business users, to make ads which are interesting. I wish my dad and I had a marketing budget, but we don’t.
Most of the work I do for my dad’s little business is done on a volunteer basis, and I rarely include a call-to-action that deliberately invites business (you could say I leave money on the table). It’s just not my responsibility.
That’s all part of why I struggle with effective New Year’s resolutions. It is frustrating to think that life improvement could be worked out without a yin and yang down-side, that depletes the benefit of strategy in business, and in life. I want to check the work in case there is a down-side, that I am blind to, that could defeat me.
I want to blog at approximately the same pace at which the newsletter prompts are e-mailed, in Publishous. You may wish to check it out for yourself.
The spirit of the blog is to put out an “ask” identifying that I’m interested in taking “real world” work online and also that I’m capable as a creator, to use the buzzword, to keep active in a role which for now is valuable to my dad’s business in terms of the results I effect. I’m an optimist.
Thank you for reading my post here, and good luck with your own blogging in 2019. Take care, and all the best.
Charmingly, The Little Mermaid is an enduring animated Disney feature, but also a WordPress blogger who the last few months hosted “tea parties.” Each month for the entire duration of the month a theme goes into play on her site which gets bloggers interacting with each other having had written along the same lines. This month’s theme, October’s, is happiness.
I’ve joined the last couple of months, and this is my third go-round as a participant in the tea parties. I decided today would be the day I would finish up my post for the challenge.
This may seem counterintuitive, but many lifestyles that were stigmatized in previous decades have experienced the joy of stigma lifting.
However, I experience depression, I guess–but I have lots of happy hours, too, so I don’t completely know what to think about that.
Although attitudes change, I know my father loathes the thought that I would speak of such a thing as depression. In fact, that I publish something like this might bother him. That being said, I am trying to be honest with some enthusiasm about a delicate subject of conversation.
It bothers many people. Troubles of that kind can strike virtually anyone. I would suspect it conceals innate unhappiness and is often a response to external troubles.
I don’t perceive there is a terrible stigma around depression. However, it is not the best idea to make small talk about the problem. Complaining rarely works much of a beneficial result.
Channeling your energy into a positive outlet can be the experience that reverses the more difficult symptoms of a common malaise, depression. Everyone knows that happiness is much preferable.
As I explained, The Little Mermaid is an established blogger who this month thought the theme of happiness would fit her tea party series. Her posts invite networking for the love of blogging. Happiness, I think, for me, is satisfaction.
I believe people ought to be happy. That’s what I reflect upon when I’m thinking of such a matter.
Happiness is a mellow joy, I would extrapolate. The decisions opted in the course of one’s day help the individual experience what’s happy for that individual. Youtuber Jenna Marbles has thought about it. My Dogs Try On Halloween Costumes
A guilty pleasure.
I might think of happiness being connected to straight-up artistic endeavors. There are numerous hobbies that spark happiness, like loyalty to a pastime, such as to baseball, to hockey, or to the NFL.
Friends and family are other enriching aspects of happiness. Sometimes, though, you have to sit on the sidelines, waiting for another opportunity to step up to bat.
In this hemisphere, we’ve seen the summer come and go again and now, where I live that is, the temperatures will get colder and colder. We have Halloween to look forward to, which for a lot of people is literally a “scream”. I suppose that’s a pun.
Wednesday this week I asked how winter time is for a volunteer where I work. He told me in turn how little pleasure he gets from the severity of the winter season. I said a little to try to cheer him up, but his feelings about the season were steadfastly downbeat.
It helps, I would venture to say, that if you can narrow down your interests to just a few to focus on, I believe, you may get a better outcome. That way, you are more invested emotionally in what you pursue. Therefore the rewards spent in delving into your passions are rewards that you have generated in your life and reflect sincerity.
You don’t necessarily want to just trade your time for money, which is a basic approach to your work that might not be completely serving you best. I realize you probably have the responsibilities of being part of a family that necessitates and requires you to work at making some kind of living. It is just that if you can do something radical and retain everything you need, and I know that’s not easy, but if you can, I believe it is more fulfilling than if you don’t.
You shouldn’t look back at what you have accomplished and feel there is nothing more you should do. You need to keep growing every year of your life, I believe.
I write this blog because written content continues to have value in 2018. So does video content and audio, as you probably know, probably more so. I wish I had more opportunities to expand what I can do where content is concerned that is assembled myself and published.
Blogging’s one of my favorite hobbies. My efforts are almost entirely done for free and yet I don’t wish to cease them.
I wish I had clearer intentions about what I am doing. Maybe I can explore how to get to a more promising level of achievement without sacrificing the parts of the tasks that I enjoy the most.
One last thing: I was speaking to a young man and admired his research ability for searching the Internet. He told me he was sure it seemed special to me but he clarified in that conversation this month that everyone similar to him, his age, is equal to him in terms of the ability he has to research. I suppose that is true, but I hadn’t been aware of that.
I think one of my draws is that I can do research, but perhaps I need to stop and think that my niece in Grade 3 may now be similarly competent at doing research to my own ability. It’s incredible.
While the preceding example is an exaggeration, I remember that when I wanted a sales job years and years ago, I was asked to take a pen-and-paper test to demonstrate my competence as a computer user. Given my weak results writing the test paper, the office showed me the door. I didn’t get the job because I couldn’t prove that day, all that time ago, that I was adept with a computer.
I may not have been much good then, but I hope that by now, much later in life, I am better outfitted to better qualify for any kind of work that needs me to prove I am tech-savvy.
By the way, this month, October, is Inktober. I don’t have tattoos, but an interesting interpretation is to apply the month’s emphasis on “ink” to how it applies to old-school tabletop roleplaying. An ink-drawn map is often part of a tabletop RPG.
The game I am most interested in is Pathfinder, so occasionally this month I am returning to Pathfinder game materials to read rules of the game with the idea in mind that the game is usually played with ink-drawn maps. I’ve never played the game properly, but even reading some of the rules sometimes helps put me in a state of mind I enjoy.
Thank you for visiting my post. Of course, you’re welcome to “like,” comment, and/or “follow.”
Yesterday the website ZDNet reported that researcher Sam Thomas speaking at the Bsides technical security conference in Manchester alerted attendees that WordPress has been rendered vulnerable to a bug for the entire duration of the last year. While the situation hasn’t been exploited by attackers, Thomas sounded a concern with WordPress that will require a patch. This is the first, I believe, that it has been reported, which is a fact, I suspect, that lends itself to the possibility that there could be an upset connected to this WordPress bug and the suggestion of vulnerability
In a different light on what’s happening in the blogosphere, I would like to say here that I think of myself as a reasonably well-informed individual. I have an interest in being active with a blog, with Facebook, and with Twitter.
What’s come up is that the seventeenth of August, 2018, is a celebratory day for nonprofit businesses. Despite the caveat at the start of the post, it can be said that if you’re unaware of the significance of August 17, 2018, it is that this is National Nonprofit Day.
I thought I would write something to mark the occasion. I personally am part of a business that has a not-for-profit status.
About nonprofits, National Nonprofit Day recognizes people who contribute to organizations who generally rely on charitable funding to keep going. There are a lot of needs that would be underserved if it weren’t for nonprofits. Funding for not-for-profits helps with needs that otherwise would go unmet, which is great because it helps deal with active problems.
I help care for a not-for-profit cemetery that is small but pretty, named Maple Lawn.
Here is a recent photo. Me, my dad Peter and his brother, my uncle, Dave, run the cemetery.
We don’t specifically receive funding for what we do. We got involved a few years ago when Peter opted to take responsibility for a cemetery whose trustees no longer wished to care for it. Since then we have opted to care for the grounds and to handle burials.
My dad worked for many years at the municipal cemetery in the city. We generally attend to the cemetery grounds once a week, on Wednesdays, and we do additional work as needed.
There’s a church on the cemetery grounds. The United Church of Canada congregation which filled it disbanded from this church of ours in 2006. It may sound like we’re carrying out a selfless endeavor, but there are a few advantages, in addition, that I can think of.
Running the cemetery doesn’t require a huge amount of input or direction. I am on hand to do some of the grounds keeping, and I also put it in time doing research and the like as the cemetery SMM. My dad does a lot of the work that requires expertise tied to the particulars of operating a cemetery.
While many not-for-profits would operate on a fulltime basis, we write our own hours and we mostly look in our own pockets for what we need to spend. I recently returned to the popular 4 Hour Work Week book by entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss for the third time now and you can view, if you like, my thoughts on it as the following blog post I wrote
I remain partial to the notion that if I write a blog there will be a little additional interest in what I say.
I look at Twitter, https://twitter.com/findingenvirons …because of Twitter’s use as an information tool. I don’t limit my interests on Twitter to what we do at the cemetery. I explore a variety of interests outside what would otherwise be confined to a very limited niche.
Cemetery operation is too specialized, I think, to confine a Twitter account to that sole purpose.
I don’t feel that time is lost carrying out service at the cemetery. The time that’s devoted to being part of a small not-for-profit rather than working in a career in sales or the like is meaningful and, even better, enjoyable. I feel that limiting one’s energy to a volunteer position is time invested in oneself.
With the trade-off of what might be a better living secondary to time invested in the cemetery, I feel like I have something personal to me that I do, although I know a lifestyle like this is certainly not for everyone. I continue to look at the work from the standpoint that it is a lucky opportunity. There are drawbacks but I don’t want to emphasize them here in this post.
Furthermore, I appreciate that National Nonprofit Day celebrates nonprofits, people who work hard to make a difference. When Maple Lawn highlights for people what we’re doing, such as on our Facebook page for the cemetery, we often get positive responses for the care we take to keep the cemetery looking nice. Visitors to our Facebook page reward us that way.
People who work in not-for-profits may not always feel that benefactors give them the credit that they deserve, but it doesn’t mean not-for-profit employees don’t find satisfaction in what they do. I am sure that among not-for-profit personnel, many of them welcome August 17 and celebrate their work accordingly, and that’s what I’m writing about in this post. I usually represent what we’re doing at the cemetery in positive terms, which is how I try to frame it.
That is to say, I think of myself as an optimist rather than as a pessimist, despite the solemnity of the atmosphere of a cemetery. If you relate, you’re welcome to “like,” to “follow,” and/or to “comment.” In November, I will try to respond specifically to the occurrence of Giving Tuesday, the day that charities work especially hard to raise funds.
I realize there may not be such a sense of urgency that a cemetery like ours needs additional assistance, but you never know unless you ask if there is some unknown avenue to improve the standard of work in our hands. It is probably the right idea to look into getting additional help at the same time that similar organizations are delving into the same. Autumn is the time of year for it.
I hope to continue working at the cemetery while playing the additional role of nurturing Facebook and Twitter, writing here on WordPress, and otherwise keeping a hand in at our not-for-profit. Thank you for visiting my blog.
Please do not be alarmed by the idea that there is a bug in WordPress that could, in theory, render you in jeopardy if you maintain a blog with WordPress. Actually, it has been kept under wraps for an entire year.
There have been no specific problems made aware of that ZDNet reported and there is no indication that the bug will actually be exploited in the name of enemy action, however so easy a target exists. I know with this attention to the issue WordPress will respond with a patch.
I wrote this a couple of months ago, but the other day I heard remarks by Gary Veynerchuk, who I watch a little of some Monday mornings when I am starting the week with an hour of “Motivation Monday,” against the dream of a passive income. There is a Youtube video available that gives an idea of what Gary believes.
I already knew not to try to tell people what to say about content marketing on social media, because it’s a pointless maneuver, but I do want to refer to Gary’s position on passive income and note that his passion could be relevant to the decision to invest time in reading Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week.
I have read the Ferriss book three times over the years, and I think it’s an enjoyable read, but I wanted to curate what I wrote a couple of months back with the caveat that the dream of a 4-hour work week may not be right for you.
I ran into a disagreement, a stumbling block, but made a decision.
One of my uncles called me out for posting to our Facebook business page at a level above what he felt was my comprehension. I guess I was insulted, but maybe what he was getting at was true–I decided to make good on the advice and to improve my strategy for Facebook–https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
Being a very small page on Facebook is a hard bargain–to be competitive requires strong content, and there isn’t money to spend to drive it.
So, in the several days since my uncle’s observation, I revisited The 4-Hour Work Week for the third time.
It’s a 2007 book by Timothy Ferriss that is a how-to on putting together a life of travel and wealth, particularly in light of opportunities afforded by the Internet. This is about getting past the need for a fulltime job.
I realize 2007 is a long time ago, but it is an inspiring read if you the reader are reflecting on what you’re doing in the course of your career that might be unsatisfying for you.
I was holding down a job the second half of 2007, which is when I was feeling comfortable but uninspired. 4-Hour Work Week author Timothy Ferriss recounts how he never could keep a job, although he is well-known for doing all kinds of amazing activities, including writing the bestselling book that I read again for the third time.
Admittedly, I am comfortable volunteering at the cemetery which I feel serves a purpose, owing to its continued interest by visitors who have loved ones resting there and who find the tendered grounds a suitable destination for introspection and solace.
However, I did again to my delight find 4-Hour Work Week an impassioned read.
Ferriss argues for the importance of the spirit of independence. This is instead of job security, Ferriss arguing that work for the sake of work is a pointless grind and that you would be better traveling across the world, for example. That, he affirms, is a far better investment of time and resources, than being buried, you could put it, in the demands of what might be eighty hours of work a week.
Some of the ideas Ferris had for the book remain relevant, like targeting ads with Google to create product sales to get you out of the gate and in charge. Ads like those Internet offers remain a profitable activity for people to make money at when they have a product niche and a matching headspace that’s geared to online sales with the Internet.
Ferris refers in his book to Pareto’s Law, the concept that 20% of your efforts achieve 80% of the results you get. It is a quirky theorem that is popular in self-management circles. For example, Ferriss thought of ways that 20% of his interactions with clients produced 80% of the sales he needed–and invented methods to bring down the time spent chasing the 20% without sacrificing the 80% payoff.
While possibly hard to measure, you could tap into Pareto’s Law in areas of your own life that need expansion, while synchronously cutting back on activities that only mean spinning your wheels. Ferriss in the book explores how.
Ferriss’ ideas include avoiding taking phone calls by getting people to email you rather than call, and then to check email only twice a day, at noon and at four. This gets the most important communications done instead of letting them control too much of your time.
Most important, Ferriss finds that a life away from the office should never be about getting back to work. He believes in automating as much as possible, and you probably already know that automation is a vital time-saving strategy to everybody who’s pressed for time.
In the first few chapters, Ferriss recommends a five-day information fast–no more news sites, magazines, or books, and only an hour of television viewing in the evening instead of the several that he says most people watch. Five days of this with the help of his book and you’re on your way.
He also illustrates a Dreamline and points out some ways you can reduce your present list of expenses so that you can readily find the money to tick off some of the items you have on your bucket list.
It is a pleasant dream to think of a life like that.
If you need some tips to deal with a job that’s turned out to be soul-crushing, this book is a good source of inspiration. The writing is both insightful and easy to digest. What we do with our time is what we are, and a bit of fun and freedom might be the ingredients you need to reconnect with your purpose outside of work.
I am illustrating this post with a shot I took of my copy of the Ferriss book and also a photo of Louth United Church, on the cemetery grounds where I work in an operations capacity.
And, please, you are more than welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.
Like everybody else participating in the weekly photo challenges from WordPress, I also got the word that the challenges are finished. Naturally, people reacted.
It was part of my day-to-day life. I was drawing quite a bit of inspiration from the weekly essays intended to spark inspiration for bloggers taking photos.
I looked through photos I’d taken and picked a few favorites. It is the very last challenge.
I liked to write something to go with a photo. The photo challenges have been served up since 2011.
I only made it a hobby in the last few years. It has been fun.
I am sure others were far more dedicated to the hobby, but I am pleased I did as much as I did.
It was worthwhile to join in while the fun lasted, I think. It provided a little joy to be part of something like that.
I am not sure what to do next, but I know I will think of something. I’ve written it before, but my blog is tied to the operations I do at a local cemetery in a not-for-profit capacity. It is chiefly a hobby, but I am aware many businesses of all sizes utilize blogging to publicize what they do.
One photo I took, that I always liked, is a photo I took August 24, 2013. I haven’t shown it much at all, but it is the interior the church as it stood in the first several months we were working there. I liked how it turned out, and I haven’t taken that many inside the church proper.
Another photo of the interior of the church I took October 11, 2013. There was something soothing about the peace of the church, and these two photos are the ones I like best of the ones I took there.
The cemetery where I work has a small Facebook page.
Some of the photos I took where with done with the possibility they would fit into the space we have on Facebook for the not-for-profit. I learned photography “on the job” as I carried out my photos on a “trial-and-error” basis.
The end of 2017 I capped the experience I gained with the free ten-day Developing Your Eye I. The course suggested ten days of photos on specific themes, similar to the weekly photo challenges, which I was already pursuing.
Expertise is a hard road to master, and I learned a little about photography and a lot of what doesn’t work. Still, enough of the photos were pleasant such that they merited a look, I feel.
The Developing Your Eye I course helps break you out of your comfort zone, a touch, and teaches a little more clarity about the matter of taking photographs.
As I got the weekly photo challenges tackled I got included in posts curating people’s output for the photo challenges en masse. There were dozens of links to bloggers demonstrating photos put together by people who wanted the best out of their participation in the photo challenges. That was always a pleasure.
Some very talented people participated in the photo challenges.
I’d say I’ve been left better by the experience. It was a surprise to see this week that the challenges have ended. it is nonetheless interesting to possibly view the change as an opportunity to do something new that was never anticipated at all. I guess time will tell.
Thank you for showing support to this endeavor.
It was, I suppose, bittersweet to read this week’s photo challenge by Krista Stevens
November 8, 2017, I published a post the day after Twitter began to permit tweets of a length of two hundred and forty characters, rather than the traditional hundred and forty. It was one of those days that felt to me a touch helpless, or certainly awkward, and I’m not sure I responded adequately at the time considering many people on Twitter were clearly unhappy with the decision.
That was six months ago. The social media conundrum has certainly multiplied since then.
In November I was thinking about WordPress’ Ben Huberman, who contributes essays to the WordPress photo challenges, and who wrote that bloggers should focus that week on the idea of Temporary, how it is things can be seen in the image that will no longer be there, as with autumn leaves in October.
Letting it out of the bag was a busy time. I looked back at a photo I took Wednesday, October 15, 2014, when I was purer as a blogger, meaning not seen by as many (compared to me there are a lot of good ones).
It’s the trees shielding the cemetery and you can see the lane running behind Louth United Church. Ben seems to be an understated champion of photography and also of blogging, with WordPress.
Where before I would have argued, if necessary, that the video capture look of the sky overhead reflected the idea of temporary all the more because everything that was in the sky had passed on, not content to be passively captured.
Now I think that desaturation in the photograph better suggests that the sight of the church is indeed temporary, where it had a congregation at one time but no longer does. The sky overhead no longer looks so artificial and there is a hint that with time, as the church has grown very old, so too has the color of the photo faded and dispersed.
I am a junior member of a not-for-profit that permits me some freedoms to explore possibilities with a blog, which you can see here for yourself. We care for Maple Lawn Cemetery and we’re active on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
Eventually, following Twitter’s decision in November to begin its fateful change, I decided to do the free ten-day WordPress Developing Your Eye I email course, which for me meant ringing in the New Year with it, the end of December and the beginning of January.
When Twitter began to include tweets with a character length of two hundred and eighty rather than plain a hundred and forty, I was dismayed the same as the others who disagreed strongly with the corner it turned.At the moment, I didn’t know what that would say about the future… or the past, either.
Twitter continues to prosper and while I have adjusted my strategy, I remain interested in the modicum of relevance it possesses. You’re welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.
To be honest, I took this photo about nine in the morning Wednesday, before I’d read Krista Stevens essay on the idea of “prolific.” I’d known, however, that a photo challenge would be published again that day, and I took photos with the idea they might fit into the challenge, or otherwise find use.
Prolific is a word that suggests kind of an outpouring of artistic work, like writing, painting, or music. A talented person who is prolific and is known for the creative mind they have often led the way with what they contribute to their field of endeavor. The best-known people who are successful and enduring are often found to be that way because they are both hardworking and adept.
It’s been a long, long winter, and even this morning here it’s quite cold. I guess it is daunting that the conditions are so adverse, but taking photos for fun is hard for me to resist and I think this one is possibly along the lines what Krista invited this week with the challenge, a photo of water and snow in front of the church where I help with its operations.
It has been disbanded since 2006, but it is pretty to the eye. It is unusual that snow is still on the ground in mid-April.
The reason I spend weekly time at the church, other than having an interest in religion, is that there’s a not-for-profit of which I am the junior member caring for the cemetery which lies behind the church. That’s where I apply my skillset, including photography. It happens to be a benign setting for shooting photographs.
The wind stirring the water on the ground struck me that I might get a good photo if I tried to capture it–I am a little sorry it isn’t a touch better, but the sky was a little dark even though it was morning. When spring finally breaks properly, photos will be better.
I also have a nicer camera available to me now–I will need a little practice. I just don’t want to take it into the outdoors much what with the cold temperatures. It will lend me a new mode, so to speak, of versatility when I do get to apply it.
I am also including a photo I took after reading Krista’s challenge–I took it Thursday. I photographed a spot on a local trail for similar reasons to why I took the photo of the water puddle in front of the church. Again, with skies like we have, it is hard to get a photo that isn’t too gloomy, but I don’t think it is too bad.
I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the WordPress photo challenges–they are open to all and they are easy to join. It is an advantage both to be able to think what other bloggers who enjoy photography are doing, and from the standpoint of wanting to speak in blog posts on WordPress, the daily prompts are likewise helpful to getting something tagged and published.
I feel it is a good idea, given that my chief aim on WordPress is to have fun, to look at the daily prompts now and then and to read the photo challenges. We’re a real-life not-for-profit, but there are no rules or restrictions how to participate in blogging despite the requirement to do work in the offline world.
I am not exactly prolific, I don’t think, although I am dedicated. Like many, many others, I enjoy blogging and I feel it is valuable to be “aligned” with what other bloggers might be doing or thinking. I appreciate any feedback I receive from people who see my blog.