My Most Graceful and Honest Intentions with the findingenvirons Blog

A TikTokker followed me, this weekend, with the offer of a shoutout if I were to follow her account, and to tag three friends and to share her video to get an upswing started https://vm.tiktok.com/JN4odUw/

“Are blogs still popular in 2020?”

“Yes, blogging in 2020 is still popular and is serving even more purpose than ever before.  …68% of marketers now see blogging as a useful marketing tool.”

https://techjury.net/blog/blogging-statistics/

Just so we’re on the same page.  🙂  It’s a decent rivalry.

It is now summer.  Even though the winter doesn’t usually get too severe here in Southern Ontario, we have summer which feels pretty scorching, and that is surreal.  That aspect is well-intensified by strange circumstances.  Writing this, in July 2020, I am beginning year no. 9 of writing my blog.

time and tide wait for no man

Photo by donterase from StockSnap

A blog, as you know, is long-form writing.  It’s the opposite of microblogging, like how blogging is on Twitter.  A Personal Plan on WordPress, an option on the blogging platform, lets you design a blog by choosing from among a variety of special themes, that shape how your blog looks.

On WordPress, as mine is, a regular domain doesn’t look bad, but a more ambitious blogger might start with a Personal Plan if you want a more professional-looking blog.  In fact, in WordPress, the Block Editor is the design page that helps you put together blocks of paragraphs, to make writing a post easy.

I use a lot of white space, to keep my blog readable, and to keep it feeling like typewriter text transported to a computer screen, which is what early word processing programs were like.  If you know about adventure games in the nineteen-seventies and -eighties, like, for example, the game company Infocom’s game Zork, or a different, earlier, hit game called Adventure, you know they consist of a paragraph of descriptive text followed by a blinking parser, at which you would enter a two-word command to play.  I have that period of gaming as a primary concern, one wellspring of motivation.

My intention presently is to reach several dozen people or so with each post, possibly a hundred visitors per post, which is the typical reach I have at present.  I appreciate that the odd post I’ve composed gets a couple of guests, to boot.  With WordPress, the stats dashboard gives you an idea of how many visitors have turned up for your blog posts, and what they are saying their country of origin is.

I have had this blog for eight years.  That’s the level of expertise I have with it, Level Nine, you might put it.

In the first edition of the former game company TSR’s classic game Dungeons & Dragons, Level Nine was known as Name Level.  That is the famous tabletop game.  It features in the plot of the Netflix hit Stranger Things.

Photo by Freestocks.org from StockSnap

Name Level means that your Dungeons & Dragons character has made a name for himself, as in “Merlin” becoming “Merlin the Wizard,” to take from Arthurian mythology an example.  In Arthurian mythology, Merlin is the wizard who helps King Arthur rule at Camelot.  Like Merlin and King Arthur, here on WordPress, I am leet.

Likewise, with different parts of life, you have goals with your blog, and blogging makes unobtrusive notoriety for yourself (as it is the Name Level guidelines in Dungeons & Dragons sway interaction.)

On occasion, I draw extra thoughts from patterns I see via web-based media, stages like Twitter and YouTube, and TikTok.  On WordPress, I get to blog as much as I make time for it, which is a luxury I know many aspiring writers would enjoy themselves if they had it.  With that sort of extravagance, I am happy with the opportunity to continue without too many time limitations.  I am not too hard on myself.

My intentions, also, are to keep posting in a way that other people might relate to.  When WordPress offered a fourteen-day prologue to composing verse, quite a long while back, I composed through that fourteen-day arrangement.  Actually, at the time, I was kind of pleased with a few of the ideas I came up with, as I think my approach is a touch singular.

I in some cases loan support to other little bloggers.  I have seen that quite a few bloggers do that.  Those are probably the kind of people that I am trying to reach.

Another source of inspiration, outside WordPress, is the real world Nashville Tennessee writer Jeff Goins, an inspiring voice in blogging circles.  I think Jeff Goins worked in marketing when he decided he wanted to begin writing.  In fact, for his first book, he presented the title You Are A Writer.  

The Art of Work is a book that explores all kinds of inspired case studies, of people who bring a special touch to the work they do.  It became a bestseller. I think Goins wrote that unless your heart is in your work, it isn’t right.

As well, my father’s sister’s husband, Rick, and his wife Sue, both residing in Nashville, have written some books.  They are my godparents.

To the reader, if you have ever read my blog and are returning, by all means, thank you.  Such a great hobby.  You’re welcome to comment or to follow.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific summer.  I wish you well!

I’m on Twitter, https://twitter.com/findingenvirons …but you won’t find that verified.

WordPress Discover: Book

Today is my niece Clara’s tenth birthday.  Happy birthday, Clara.
I have been perusing the April 2020 WordPress Discover articles.  This week they are again driven by Ben Huberman.
Today’s Discover Challenge:  book
StockSnap_1OBXVC1ARF
Clara is in the third grade.  At the point when I was in the third grade, I think my preferred intrigue was beasts, and obviously, she is a young lady.  However, I think my favourite book, when I was a third-grader, was the classic, The House with a Clock in its Walls, by John Bellairs.  It’s a 2018 film.
My nephew Mack, Clara’s brother, is in uni, and when I think back of books I read in college, that weren’t on the syllabus, I remember reading The Mosquito Coast, by Paul Theroux.  I think I wanted something familiar to read.  There is a film, the 1986 film featuring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren.  Harrison Ford had starred in the Star Wars films which saw son pitted against father.  I think he was following that set of motion pictures with another film that was about the idea of Father’s relationship with the child, and furthermore about the connection among machines and nature, likewise a topic in that first Star Wars three.
If my mother were to ask me, I would recommend Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life, by Richard Carlson.  It’s an antidote to stress.
For my dad, who has likewise been my supervisor for quite a while now, I would prescribe a progressively unordinary book, the novel Humans by Donald E. Westlake.  It’s a novel truly about a fight among God, and the Devil, for the whole planet.
If Kris was still with us, as she loaned me her Holy Bible, which I wish I’d demanded to return, I figure I may have gained favour with her if I’d brought her A Million Little Pieces, the splashy novel by James Frey, that transformed into contention, with Oprah Winfrey.
These books I felt were appropriate.

10 Freaky Reasons Cupcakes Could Get You Fired

TORONTO STAR ENTERTAINMENT

Tuesday morning I went in to see that Tim’s “smile cookies” are back, which are cinnamon cookies with the icing of a smile atop them–:). That evening I bought one to take to a friend, as I am a steadfast believer in the power of kindness.

I am part of an operating cemetery on a year-round basis https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

As I’m in the role of SMM I occasionally draw inspiration from the work for the blog I keep, which is what you’re reading.

September 2018 I joined for the second time in the third of three-month-long tea parties organized by WordPress blogger The Little Mermaid.

For September, the theme is the subject of “food.”

https://thelittlemermaid09.wordpress.com/2018/07

I have enjoyed browsing the tea party posts. My curiosity is piqued for what could be around the corner as The Little Mermaid posts a fourth tea party.

I have also reflected on a new idea for a post.

10 Freaky Reasons Cupcakes Could Get You Fired

TORONTO STAR ENTERTAINMENT
TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016

Monday

The Glass is Half Empty

1.You’re sugarcoating the truth, and it comes out easy over cupcakes in the office cafeteria party.
2.You’re entering a relationship with a girl who bakes for you and is challenging your fashion sense.
3.You’re juggling naysayers and gossips.
4.You’re coming home from work only to watch syndicated sitcom programming on late night cable… again. If you’re lucky, you have a dog.
5.You’re setting a bad example.

The Glass is Half Full

6.Your parents are out of town, her parents are out of town… when the cat’s away, the mice will play.
7.You’re asking can you spare a dollar.
8.You hope to set your Facebook privacy settings to Who Can See Your Friends… Only Me (in order to discourage gawkers.)
9.You and the girl baking for you are both Irish.
10.The cupcakes are a vanilla mix and seem to be challenging you to up your game.

In seriousness, now, 15 September marked the International Day of Democracy

http://www.un.org/en/events/democracyday/

You are probably familiar, to one extent or another, with the troubles in the White House. I became interested in that when Facebook came under scrutiny for the suggestion of there being misappropriated influence preceding the 2016 US Election.

Again 15 September, the United Nations has observed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for seventy years now.

The International Day of Democracy observes the importance of a democratic government for each individual member of the United Nations.

I also observed on this day the reality that I had reached the age of forty-one and a half years old. I feel reasonably good, interested in life in general and grateful for my opportunities and for my leisure time.

I am appreciative of those who “like,” “follow” and/or comment. For that, thank you.

#DemocracyDay #PeaceDay

How Struggles Can Make You Sick

Abandoned supermarket cart

Too much stress, “bad” stress, can weaken you, deplete your resources and waste scarce time if you are not dealing with your lifestyle well.  Everybody endures stress.

 

Getting older, I believe that lifestyles of Generation Z are significantly common, but I am from a small town.  It is important to obey the Biblical commandment, to honor thy mother and father.  As the father did before you, if you are of a certain age, you too need to heed that you are following appropriately in his steps.

 

That being said, there is lightness.  I think with a touch of envy of the comparative ease of the generation of young people often collectively referred to as Generation Z.  That doesn’t mean that I can compete with the energy of the young and of the attitudes which characterize them, different than for someone my age.

 

Someone like me, I feel, is part of a culture that values stress, that putting a great deal of work into a lifetime is a necessity.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Abandoned supermarket cart
Shopping cart

However, it means fulltime people endure an enormous amount of stress.  The more hours of work we take on, to make ends meet, the more stress we cope with.

 

I believe stress can easily bend one to its will rather than the other way round.  It is all very hard to manage.

 

In the film sequence preceding the climax of the 1978 feature film Superman, Lex Luthor conquers Superman with a chain of Kryptonite, until Superman makes a personal promise to Luthor’s beautiful assistant in order that she remove the powerful amulet–but a promise that puts at risk the woman who has his heart, Lois Lane.  All in all, it is an excellent film.

 

What I did, in my life, is an irregular passage through the years.  In 2008 when my employer closed its doors, I went on to work a part-time job while reflecting on what to do with my future  Then I went full time on government disability, as it was felt that I’d been “compromised” enough to give up on making a living through the avenue of work.

 

I had been reading some books on self-management and I didn’t think the stress of a new workplace was going to benefit me enough to do it.

 

A few years later, my father, perhaps frustrated by my reluctance, had an idea.  He was retiring from many years with a municipal cemetery, where he’d helped manage it from its offices.

 

A small cemetery in our town was searching for new operators.  It attracted him, and the trustees of that property were pleased to turn it over to him, so that he could direct it, pleased to have a focus in his retirement.

 

To my surprise, my dad invited me to help handle the operation of the cemetery.  We commenced in 2011.  The church at the cemetery, formerly of the United Church of Canada, had disbanded in 2006.

 

Headstones under repair
Important headstones of family generations in Maple Lawn Cemetery

We maintain the property ourselves, and work in the interior of the church in dire weather, setting our sights on attending to the cemetery once a week.  We made a not-for-profit out of it.  While I am junior, and there is no certainty how matters will proceed, in the seven years or so, lucky seven, that we’ve handled the cemetery, it has been a luxury of time and experience for me and an opportunity to enjoy the company of my father in his golden years.

 

We have had outside help from brothers of my father, my uncles.   On a few brief occasions we have talked about growth, but I don’t know if I can turn this venture into something in which I can continue in the long-term.  This post is intended to be expository writing, but working for a not-for-profit, when financial gains are generally hard-won, can lead to burnout, and to a minor degree that is what I am experiencing.

 

You see, I contribute several hours a week of work to the cemetery, and as my dad has spoken reassuringly of the flexibility to set our own hours, I have lately started to reduce my workload to a four-day week rather than a five-day.

 

I can’t help, for example, but want to relax on Saturday.  I think the decision to work less on Fridays is somewhat deleterious in that if you want to get ahead, you should probably be hustling with the same energy on a Friday that you do on a Monday.

 

I couldn’t help, in the past several weeks, to admit that the stress of putting nonprofit work at the center of my life, was making me feel a touch sick, by which I mean I was experiencing burnout.  I am sure this is common.

 

Dimensions: 5456 x 3632
Photographer: Ylanite Koppens

Whether this transition, to four days of focus on the cemetery rather than on each and every business day, will contribute to a soul-searching decision by my dad to relieve me of my work, I don’t know.  I think what will determine my chances of staying on are the quality of work I can produce in the time I devote to the not-for-profit.

 

How this has me feeling, perhaps, “sick,” is that I do care about working and I do feel some prestige enjoying the privilege of doing work that is shaped by our own efforts.  This is in contrast to working for a firm that is structured in predictable ways, with employee equity and positions and demands which could easily contribute to a high-stress load.

 

I am taking this risk because I believe I can do better work if I make strategies to cope with the burnout before there are related consequences.  I am counting on my own experience and abilities to do the same quality of work in a four-day structure than I would be getting done by committing the entirety of the work week to headway and progress.

 

I am sick to think of losing what I have worked for, and I am sick to think of bringing shame onto my father if the quality of my work does suffer because I am having trouble being afield of all that we do.  I feel like I should write something about feeling troubled by what I have to do to manage my role as operator, and maybe even think on how I could express an appropriate apology for how I am feeling.

 

Writing is the act of discovery. – Natalie Goldberg

 

Dimensions: 4635 x 3090
Photographer: Freestocks.org

If my father does finally decide, which I know he won’t do lightly, that I should be dismissed, it will be a sad day and for that, I will pay a price, of having the failure on my shoulders.  If that scenario comes to pass I will take time to mend.  It may be a self-centered attitude, but the best that can be done in the face of failure is to learn from what happened.

 

Everyone has experienced failure, and usually many, many times, sometimes with adverse consequences.

 

If you have never failed, you have stayed well inside your comfort zone.  Life needs to change and grow.

 

If my role in the not-for-profit does end in failure, I will at least have work experience.  I think I can draw on the time spent at this to draw conclusions that will inform my life in the future.  The situation that I think could result, however, is not going to be completely ideal.

 

It will be back to being “sick,” resorting to making ends meet with the help of a pension for disability, and with the support of my mom and dad.  Ain’t no one got time for that.  I will have then have the opportunity to look for a job if I feel I can weather the stress, or return to freelancing and try to find my niche doing that.

 

Dimensions: 2500 x 1995
Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Many members of Generation Z work as freelancers in the digital economy, and I would be competing with all of those people, which is daunting.  That being said, there are a few paths ahead for me to take and I will have to ask for guidance from fate and the intentions of The Lord.  I know I shouldn’t emphasize feeling sick about all this and I know I shouldn’t take on a job post that gives me more additional stress than I can handle.

 

For now, I will bide my time–for as much clarity as I can muster.

 

You are welcome to like, follow, and/or comment if you have feedback.  Lately, the blog has been fairly quiet, in terms of visits it receives, but you never know when some I’ve published here will pique the interest of a reader.

 

I appreciate the time of those who are visitors.  I have been tying my blog to the not-for-profit, and also trying to be jovial as I know it is as yet an amateur effort.  I feel blogging will continue to play a role in the time I have to write, as it is a splendid little spot of fun that has a pragmatic purpose.

On My Desktop: Jarte Word Processor and Its Benefit

Single glove left behind

Blogging is a hobby I have my hand in–I like to write a little.  WordPress.com is the home for my blog, as you already know.

Single glove left behind
Fallen glove

One of the blogs that I enjoy reading is that of is the Christian blogger beautybeyondbones. Beautybeyondbones writes of her path in life with the guidance of Jesus, of her personal recovery years later from a troubles with anorexia, and, rounding out these themes, she blogs her recipes that connect her readers to an additional source of goodness in her life.  She writes a message of hope for troubled and confused women, along with insight into her faith.

 

On top of that, she adds recipes that lend themselves to preparing food, right from her kitchen.  She should consider being an entrant on Top Chef!

Dimensions: 5616 x 3744
Photographer: Aidan Meyer

I believe beautybeyondbones goes “live” Monday evenings, Wednesday evenings, and Thursday evenings.  Her latest recipe from her blog is here:  https://t.co/34JoyrFSye

 

What I have found interesting about beautybeyondbones is her writing style.  She is clearly writing from the heart, and her vigor and elegance are clear.

 

I think of myself as a fledgling writer.  Sometimes I use a free word processing tool I downloaded called Jarte.  It is a comparatively simple program (compared, say, to the Office Suite from Microsoft).  I think if you are writing a straightforward document, as, for example, for blogging, Jarte’s been around a long time and matches many of the most important features that you can find in a word processor.

 

For example, you write onto the Jarte window the way you do most other word processors, and if you want to select a feature there are drop-down windows that facilitate this.  It is very ease to use.

 

If you want to write a list, you can organize a list in Jarte that’s either bulleted or numerical.  If you are listing ingredients for a splendid recipe, like you might find in the beautybeyondbones blog, you could write a bullet list of what’s necessary to make the dish.  Or you could combine bulleted and numerical lists together, as in, perhaps, the method of preparation by number, and then a bullet list of the ingredients going into the recipe.

 

To make your recipe clear, you could introduce more than one font into your Jarte document to emphasize different sections of your recipe in a way that is visually aesthetic.  As you probably know, the font is the visual aspect of the text in your document.  You can change the size of the font and also italicize, make bold, or underline.

 

The font of your title could be underlined, for example, and the bullet list of ingredients could be one font and the numerical steps to do the preparation of the food could be in a third font.

 

The Jarte word processor can handle more than one document tabs, so you can have more than one document open at the same time you are working on them.  If you are organizing your recipes, you can have several of them active, for instance, so that you can go from to another by clicking on the tabs for each at the top of the Jarte program window.

 

The Save and Save As features work similar to how they do in other word processors.  To keep a copy of your recipe or of other documents on your device, you select Save.  If you want a second copy with a different filename you select Save As.

 

I picked Jarte for the word processor I sometimes favor because I am familiar with it and because it is a free download that runs efficiently and appeals to me.  The design of the word processor is intuitive and all of its commands are easy to find.   The drop-down menus in Jarte are not unlike those of other small word processors.

 

You can run more than one instance of the Jarte software and close one Jarte window without negatively impacting the other.  It never ever seems to give me an error and the performance of the program is consistent.  As well, it doesn’t seem to trouble the user with software updates like some computer tools that frequently ask you to download a new update.

 

Jarte is freeware and if you are starting from scratch, you could do worse!  I make use of Jarte on a frequent basis.  You can download the Jarte word processor here:  www.jarte.com/download.html

 

Remember that if you are interested in recipes or have someone in your life or you yourself that is troubled by the impact of anorexia, beautybeyondbones is an excellent resource to turn to.

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Photographer: Aleksandar Spasojevic

Beautybeyondbones has also published a book inspired by her diary when she was afflicted the worst in her life by anorexia.  The title of this book is bloom and you can find it on blurb:  www.blurb.com/b/8086385

 

I appreciate very much the encouragement that beautybeyondbones has given me when she actually kindly left “likes” on posts of mine that spoke true to her.

 

You are likewise welcome to select like.  Or even “follow” and/or comment.  Have some fun in the kitchen, too!

 

Thank you for taking an interest in my blog.  All the best to you in terms of your mental health, in your faith and in your blog or other writing.  Good luck to you all the more if you are a blogger and on WordPress.  Take care!