Day Of Reckoning Not Fast Enough

The last few days have had some posts about lack of honesty.

Maria Popova, in her blog Brain Pickings, talked about how the Huffington Post over-aggregated a post of hers, i.e., “reposting a reworded article with no substantive additional reporting and no prominent via-link for proper source attribution.”  She went on to a thoughtful analysis of the conflict between price and value, of consumer expectations to pay nothing versus the creators need to be paid.  Maria also gave this link to another good article on over-aggregating.

David Gaughran, in his blog Let’s Get Digital, discusses how Penguin Publishing has launched a self-publishing service that over-charges significantly, something an inexperienced writer might not be know in their dealings with this old and established publishing house.  I learned a great deal about the pitfalls of self-publishing and what to be careful about.  For a positive personal experience on self-publishing, check out Christine Grote’s Random Thoughts From Midlife.  A great resource about creating an e-Book can be found at Blogging by Amy.

Lastly, Talin Orfalli has a short but powerful post on dealing with two faced people with concrete suggestions for staying firm in who you are and evaluating the people in your life who do or do not support you.

What’s frustrating to me, is that so often the day of reckoning might not come fast enough for situations like this.  Relationships can be destroyed through the interference of people who have slandered you (see my story at the end).  If too many things are stolen (embezzled, plagarized, whatever), businesses can die, destroying dreams and families.  Taking things into your own hands can provoke the law of unintended consequences, where something worse gets triggered than if you left it alone.  But sometimes, leaving it alone makes it worse or destroys you.

There’s no easy answers, even in hindsight.  You never know if you should have acted faster or done nothing and see if it blows over.  How would you know?  You have no perfect knowledge.  You don’t know if you’re dealing with a bully that will punish you long past the event is over or a bully who will turn tail and run.

I had this happen years ago, at a then local gym.  The trainers there knew my favorite boy toy and myself.  One day I went to exercise after work and two of the idiots came over to tell me that my boy toy was there with another woman.  Really, I asked them, really?  They spent a fair amount of time telling me that he was cheating on me and I shouldn’t trust him.  They were serious too, trying to stir up trouble.  She was quite the looker they said.  He touched her.  Inappropriately?  No, no, but he touched her showing her the equipment.  What else could she be but a girlfriend.

Finally, after a few more minutes of this, I said – was she tall?  Blond?  Really hot?  Yes, yes, yes.  YOU IDIOTS, I finally yelled at them, THAT WAS OUR DAUGHTER (who at that time was college age and yes, quite hot).  I wished I had a camera to take a look on their face.  I quit the gym not long after – that I did not need and I took my business somewhere else.  Marriages need support, not tearing down, especially not from casual acquaintances.  What would have happened if I was mad at my boy toy already?  Or we were having a rocky time in our marriage?  Did these guys even care what they were doing?

We all struggle with this problem of people who deliberately or carelessly try to wreck our lives.  It helps to know others have or had the same issue.  It helps to hear stories, to know what to look for and give thought how you’d handle it yourself, whether it’s  to prepare your defenses, strengthen your resolve to be yourself or to not let let the little foxes ruin the vineyard (Song of Solomon 2:15).

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and families!  Travel safe if you’re on the road.

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Word for tomorrow – BLOGGER’S CHOICE.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

Moo Cards Explain Me

Occasionally I’m asked about my blog or how to reach me, so a few months ago I had some Moo cards made up.  They are soooo cool.  They’re a bit pricey, so if you give out a lot of business cards, they’re not the best option.  For someone like me who gives out 2 to 4 a month, they’re fun, have a lovely tactile feel, and a great way to enjoy my photography.

On the back, I described myself as an adventurer, philosopher, and observer.  I also used a quote from J.R.R. Tokien that describes my philsophy in a nutshell:

Not all those who wander are lost.

So why did I describe myself like that?

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Adventurer – My favorite boy toy and I are constantly off exploring.  We’ve moved to states where we never visited, let alone lived.   This year we explored Pennsylvania, eastern Virginia, and West Virginia.  I got to better know the local botanical gardens, Hollywood Cemetery, and Williamsburg.

We’re always up to pack up our camera gear and take off.  It’s a bit harder with the dogs; we try to preplan having the dogsitter come.  Sometimes though we just have to watch the clock and come home.

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Philosopher – I enjoy explaining life to myself and others.  I seek wisdom through my faith, my readings, and contemplation.  I think that sharing my life helps others to see their life better.  Sometimes they find answers, other times it’s the comfort of knowing that others have gone through what they are experiencing right now.

One of my most noteworthy posts was about my cousin with Down’s syndrome, in which I explained why cultural norms and expectations are NOT the way to live a life.

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Observer – Writing in my journals has really helped with this.  By recording the events of my day and what’s happening in the natural world, I’ve increased my powers of observation and recall.  It also helps me sort out my feelings, see patterns, and identify things to work on or consider further.  My photography helps too since it brings to recall what I saw that day and often, what I felt as well.

For example, one of my observations is that spring doesn’t come until you see robins shivering in the snow.  Even in Virginia, it’s true.  The robins come back, it snows one more time, then spring comes.  I’ve spent numerous hours observing and recording my garden with my photography.

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Wanderer – The connotation for this word is that it is aimless.  It is and it isn’t.  No, I don’t start with a definite goal in mind.  But I enjoy what I find and have fun doing it.  The same is true of my career.  What will I be doing five years from now?  Who knows?  What opportunities will present themselves?  Nothing happens in a straight line, so I need to enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination.

I encourage you to live your life fully.  I leave you with a final thought from Henry David Thoreau:

Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.

Have a good week!

Word for tomorrow – DOSE.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

Lengthen The Gap Between Desire And Reality

The calendar on my desk this year is from the book, Women Who Do Too Much by Anne Wilson Schaef (I’ve linked to the 2012 version).  I’ve like it much better than I expected.  It  has a great deal of wisdom, most of it gentle.  It’s true, it makes sense, but it doesn’t make me feel guilty or upset.

Yesterday had a quote from the author, Iris Murdoch, that said:

But for most of us the space between ‘dreaming on things to come’ and ‘it is too late, it is all over,’ is too tiny to enter.

The goal then, is to lengthen that space.  Here are some specific things I’ve done to help do that:

  • Identify what my priorities are
  • Figure out what I’m willing to give up to make them happen
  • Ask for help and support
  • Do it

Identify my priorities – this is where writing out goals in January and September help me.  I list everything I think I might want to do.  I look for patterns where I’ve written the same thing several different ways as that is a often a sign something is important to me.  I look for repeat goals that I’m not getting done and consider whether to drop the goal or finally get it going.  Finally I pick several to start with and adjust my goals as needed because either my priority did not bring satisfaction, the timing was better for a different goal, or I accomplished it and did not wish to pursue it further.

Give up something – to meet my goals, I usually have to give up something to have the time.  If I cannot, then I have to live with not accomplishing my goals.  And some years, that is my reality.  Then I try to give up the goal(s) without whining.  To blog, I’ve given up my personal journals and a fair amount of my reading time.  In exchange for my photography, I no longer needlepoint.  I love my reading and I love my needlepoint, but I’ve done plenty of both and want my public writings and photography to be a priority at this time.

Ask for help and support – this one is hard.  I am blessed to have a husband who does his share of work around the house.  We’re paying to get the lawn mowed this year and in exchange, he’s taken over cooking and grocery shopping for me.  When I asked him to do this, I pointed out that I could not be out wandering on the weekends, plus do laundry, bills, and cleaning AND the cooking too.  He agreed and took this from me.  My house cleaning is spotty and he is fine with that too.

Do it – it is so easy to come home from work and just vegetate.  But I have to sit and write my blog posts.  I have to take my walks during lunch to get those pictures.  If I want other objects of attention for my camera, I have to get out of the house and go take them whether the local botanical gardens or going up to West Virginia for a long weekend.  Doing something, even if only a short while a few nights each week, is much better than doing nothing.  Momentum is a great help also; once I get going it’s easier to keep going.

I recently read an interview with the author, Darlene Foster.  In it, she said that she wrote for two hours a day, including marketing and research.  She sets attainable goals such as completing one chapter a month.  Even with her modest goals, she’s published two children’s books already!  I was in awe of her accomplishments.  I might not be able to write for two hours every night, but I bet I could do a chapter a month.

So put together a plan and start acting on it.  Adjust it if needed.  If you fail, get up and try again.  If you succeed, enjoy your accomplishments.  Keep with it.

Lengthening the gap between desire and reality is not the only thing getting longer these days.  Shadows are lengthening too, like this one I took of myself and then Photoshopped so I didn’t look so fat!!

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Word for tomorrow – DISTILL.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.