This has been a different kind of month for me in the blogosphere. Obviously, the province which is my home is on lockdown, but as you may know, Ben Huberman helped devise the WordPress Discover challenges again for April, which were lacking for some time as, I suppose, the nature of the beast changed. Don’t take it from me.
I finally began to rest where most previous days of the month I published something in response to the challenges, and it isn’t because of them, it is just a lot of work to keep those up again and again. That’s why it’s a challenge, though.
I looked today, and the test was distributed the previous evening. I weighed my options and decided to read what the challenge had to say.
The WordPress Discover day by day challenges has been important for developing as a blogger. It is pleasant that this was available last night, and I looked at what the challenge is, and I noted that Ben actually went so far as to say in the post that the decision to put it up early was deliberate and that he hoped participants are making good use of the time.
I made a mental review and weighed how effectively I actually did spend last night, against what would have been best. The list challenge had what I perceive was the intended effect, of jumpstarting interest in the winding down Discover challenges.
The word last night for today is List, so I took a dice game score sheet that I was keeping on hand for an occasion like this, and made a random list of the some of the more effective pursuits I made in the time between last night and this morning, that was, perhaps, shaped by the continuing interest in being part of the blogosphere, and of being motivated by the Discover challenges. I could hypothesize whether I am attempting exercises because of the endgame of searching better for being in the blogosphere, yet I don’t think so. The activities I was, you might put it, afoul of, were only what I might pursue with an interest in amusing myself.
I wasn’t deliberately mindful that the test had just begun. Ben included the line “we hope you make the most of the extra time!” regarding the decision to present today’s challenge early. Indeed, even without the cognizant exertion of setting up a post, I thought about whether I could make the contention that I was getting ready for the post by attempting typical kinds of exercises I embrace if I was effectively mindful.
The challenge is good, too, and even though I stated previously that I expect the reason for the early availability is to galvanize participants into writing, I also think Ben felt he had a strong idea on his hands and he wanted to give a solid opportunity to address it, by making bloggers interested in it more eager and more thoroughly than they may have if it only became ready this morning. I can’t say for certain, but I know at least that he is aware that we’ve been looking at these Discover challenges all month and now we are beginning to wrap up, and he felt we all merit a strong finish.
I would prefer not to state an excessive amount, however, I might rehash my appreciation for having gotten the open door for WordPress prompts every single day of April. I haven’t written this in a while, but you are welcome to follow and/or to comment.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.