Yesterday the prompt was “what does living boldly mean?”. I had a negative reaction to that. I thought, perhaps unfairly, that the prompt creators were trying to get people on to reveal their edginess. Ways they stand out. I am not edgy or bold. Not even a little bit.
Bold, bright colors are okay.
But I’m getting a bit tired of our cultural obsession with boldness. I get that it makes good TV, YouTube, TikTok…But, maybe, that shouldn’t be our primary aim in life.
Today’s Bloganuary prompt is: What are 5 things you are grateful for today?
People say things like “count your blessings”, but I don’t think of them as finite entities you can count one, two, three.
Most things have both good and bad aspects to them. You can’t have the good without the bad. But, in my experience, if you focus on the good your life will be a bit less frazzled. I actually started hosted a new blogging challenge related to this today before I read this prompt, info below.
I don’t know why, but today’s Bloganuary prompt “what makes you laugh?” took me to a funny place (funny odd, not funny haha). Perhaps it was that yesterday was the anniversary of a brutal attack upon the US Capital. It felt like many of the attackers thought they were being cute and funny, with their braggy social media posts.
It wasn’t funny. People died.
We seem to be unable to discern between serious and humorous because they both induce laughter.
Today’s prompt: Who is someone who inspires you and why? Really hasn’t inspired me.
But I had a few thoughts related to the prompt that aren’t really a response to it.
First: You can choose who you admire.
My mom is not an inspiration. She has some emotional health disorders that have been scarring. Including some form of narcissism. She acted and coached me to believe that she was some sort of example to live up to. Someone to listen to and admire.
When I was in my mid 30s I realized that, despite my coaching, I didn’t really admire my mom’s life choices. I discovered this because I realized that I was working with a woman named Sue who had had a number of parallel early life experiences with mom. But had chosen to move on; getting a degree in engineering and moving on with her life. Mom was last I knew still playing the blame game. Everything was always someone else’s fault.
Sometimes just walking into the room is outside my comfort zone. I have some sort of social anxiety disorder. Sometimes just going out to walk the dogs feels a bit much.
When one’s comfort zone is small the issue isn’t whether to step out, you have to to function. The issue is how to create the habits and mechanisms to make stepping out as close to the edge of my comfort zone as it can be.
The most recent time I had a dramatic stepping out was my trip to France in September. But it wasn’t getting on the plane during a pandemic. I wore KN95 mask and a face shield. No one really expects you to be outgoing in the airport or on planes. It wasn’t figuring out the logistics of getting around in Paris. It was when I walked up to the boat for my river cruise alone.
Today’s Bloganuary prompt is “What is a road trip you would love to take? (I skipped yesterday’s because I have absolutely no clue what advice I’d give to my teenage self. Way too long ago.)
Driving trips are not my favorite thing
I am not a big fan of road trips. Things go by too fast.
I am better now about pulling over, but I still feel like I miss too much. For some reason, a mix of my personality and up-bringing make it hard for me to pull over easily. Driving takes too much of my attention to let me see things well and I don’t react fast enough to opportunity. I’m often well past before I decide I want to see something better.
But I digress…
There’s no place like home
There are many places to see and things to do in the world. I’ve been blessed to do, perhaps, more than my fair share. And there are more places I’d like to go, but my only recurring road trip ambition is to explore all the nooks and crannies of my home state: Washington.
Even though I posted a sunset yesterday, a sunset seemed like a good way to end this month’s project. But maybe this one with clouds just after sunset is even better. Somewhere in the shadows in the water is the turtle I’ve been watching this afternoon. Just knowing that it is there makes this photo even more lovely for me.
Gan Xingfu (chasing happiness) 赶兴福
This November I am chasing happiness by photographing and sharing one lovely thing I see each day. I do edit the photos, often with an artistic effect like the one above, because playing with a lovely thing makes me happy.
Note: My son checked with his co-workers and, while they haven’t heard the phrase gan xingfu, they thought it was just fine to use.