Mermaid’s October 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Louth United Church, St. Catharines

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.

Join In The Fun! Join In The October 2018 Tea Party!

To Reach Personal Happiness

Louth United Church, St. Catharines
School bus parked in front of disbanded church

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.

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Photographer: Javier Molina

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.

 

I was inspired in this by successful capitalist Warren Buffett.  Warren Buffett – The World’s Greatest Money Maker

 

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Photographer: Raymond Sam

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.

 

D&D
D&D game in a window display

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.”

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.

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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.

Twitter Refreshing How the Platform Looks and Making It Easier

I am curating a post I wrote June 15, 2017, which I am distinctly unsatisfied with.

The WordPress Daily Prompt was the word, “Total,” and what for me was the “total” mind-blowing news that Twitter was undertaking a major step on route to what a lot of Twitter users hoped would renew success for the platform. That sounded dramatic, but Twitter did become visibly different. As expert Susanna Gebauer blogged again on February 28, 2018, it could have meant the end of Twitter, or success as a social media platform. In short, I wonder will it turn out like Myspace or Yahoo!, or will it get back its status as an enjoyable user service.

I am obviously on Twitter and I enjoy it. In case you need to find me on Twitter, you can here: https://twitter.com/findingenvirons

What’s more, I am sharing links both to an article which explains the change which was happening when I originally wrote this post in June, and also to Susanna’s post which explains where Twitter was coming from with the change on the twenty-third of March to restrict Twitter users with several accounts from automating the same tweet more than once.  I myself slowed down on how I was tweeting by dramatically slowing down how often I would tweet links to what I think might be relevant to people following and otherwise changing the pace at which I tweet.  It would be a gigantic bummer if Twitter failed and I do hope Twitter stays alive and well.

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Photographer: WDnet Studio

If you’re not on Twitter, maybe you should consider joining in the near future. It can be a lot of fun. I am curating this post to improve its accuracy, to provide the additional source of Susanna Gebauer’s February 28 blog post, and because if you do find it relevant, which I hope a few do, you’re welcome to, “like,” “follow,” and/or “comment” this blog post.

Thank you for noticing, and all the best to you, whatever you do, in your personal life, and in business.

Source: Twitter Is Refreshing How the Platform Looks and Making It Easier for People to Use

Source: Twitter’s Fight Against Spam, Bots and Bulk Tweeting – And Why You Need To Know About It

Brief tips for keeping up

Church at cemetery

I am updating this a year later–this is the early morning of August 12, 2018, and I published this post after curating it from something I did October 20, 2014.  I am the SMM and junior operations director for a small not-for-profit cemetery.  I have my hand in as a blogger to complement my research and social media skills.

We’re on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

How is your content doing?  Are you keeping records?

There’s nothing intuitive about being outfitted for killer content.  It’s Internet 101.  There’s engagement and then there’s conversion.

  • Be relevant in a sprawling web environment

You won’t be able to see the horizon on the world wide web.  It goes on and on, and your time can disappear into it the way tree leaves lose their pigment and then fall.

I hope that you have a plan because goals are incredibly important.  You have an uphill battle to face already, and without clear goals for you to pursue, you are spinning your wheels and going nowhere.  I definitely wish I’d tackled it more systematically years ago.

Try challenging yourself by investigating new techniques for setting goals, and see what you can put into effect.  I realize this is advice for a beginner, but if you are new and you read this, please understand that I am doing my best to run over some basic tips that you can put into practice for yourself.

You can prioritize what you want to achieve if you put some planning into what you are about. If you have the spontaneity and creative mindset to be headstrong, I’m sure that’s ok. If you are overwhelmed, and you could be, you need to throw down some controls on what you are doing.

Church at cemetery
Louth United Church
  • Read success stories and compare them to yourself

The world wide web is cool, so don’t fret.  You do need a plan of attack.

Organize your efforts so that they resemble the kind of list in which you might write what groceries you want to buy.  It’s a start!  

Don’t dismiss the inspiration you find by learning about what people who are achievers did to get where they are today.  Above all else, there are plenty of people with good intentions to who you can reach out on your journey across the Internet.

  • Find release in a second hobby

The world wide web has a lot to offer, but you probably need a second hobby if you’re feeling troubled.  Something that you can do in the outdoors might be good, to keep your mind active on more than one front (on more than just your life computing).

Maybe you should be writing offline, to keep your engine fresh.  Reading real-world books is a good idea, especially if you can learn something from them.  That’s a concrete example of how and when doors will open for you.

Speaking of the real world, interaction outside the digital corridors of the Internet has its place for you, distinctly.  Don’t go too far afield by forgetting what’s out there physically.

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Photographer: Burak Kebapci

Are you struggling with your brand identity?  Leave a comment for me if you think of something I strongly need to see.  I’m curating this based on a blog post I did the twentieth of October, 2014, which rather needed an update.

I wouldn’t mind hearing of others’ efforts as you keep on descending into the backwaters of the Internet.  I know readers may be reluctant to comment, but you’re very welcome to note here where your online journey has taken you.  And if you do relate, and in fact have found help.

You can “like” and/or “follow” as well.  Thanks!