Here I Sit, There I Sat

The mall is not really where I want to be. We left the kidlets, our daughter and family, and began the drive home when my wife determined she needed something she could only get at the mall. My future flashed before me, I knew where my day was headed, certainly my morning.

I shouldn’t begrudge her the mall visit I guess. We didn’t really have an opportunity to do any shopping as this was a short visit to essentially get some ‘Madden time’ and do a little babysitting so our daughter Ayron, and son-in-law Stefan, could get out and have a quiet day sans Madden. I guess what annoyed me was I purposely tried to get us on the road early so we do all of our 3 1/2 hour drive in the daylight.  Leaving Kelowna around noon or later could seriously impact that desire.

All that said I spent some time in Chapters while I waited for her, browsing the shelves and perusing books I liked, heck even wanted to buy.  I considered hitting Starbucks, and getting a coffee or Americano, but since I already had a couple cups of  joe at Ayron’s I chose to forgo the treat.

I primarily scanned books on WordPress, and in those I specifically peaked at sections on child themes and self hosted blogs.  If I understand it correctly a “child theme” is like a sub-theme of your blogs primary theme. More research needed obviously. I have this real yearning to get more involved in web development and that kind of thing lately.

I came away from the book store empty handed though. I couldn’t, I can’t, justify spending the $25 or $30 on a book I’m really only interested in 2 or 3 chapters of. Especially if the book is already 2 or 3 years old.  That 2 or 3 years is a lifetime in computer related stuff. So empty handed I left, to sit on a mall bench awaiting my queen. If nothing else I could start this post, while I sat.

So much Activity, So much Noise

Although I’m looking forward to camping and seeing family this summer I hope the hubbub doesn’t get to me, and there’s a good chance that at some point it will.  The activity and noise will wear on me and I’ll likely withdraw somewhat and retreat to my safe place.

I’m a very private person, some would say reclusive and others may think snobbish or stuck up.  I don’t think I’m either of the latter, I just don’t mind my own company and I’m easily overwhelmed by activity, especially if I feel as if I’m thrust into it.  It’s just the kind of person I am and that has to be ok.  I’ve heard it described as gifted, or over-excitable but whatever the reason the intensity of a group interaction is often stressful, sometimes very much so.

Camping in Pioneer Park

My wife has grown to accept this characteristic of mine and when we family camp we always take our own site rather than sharing a double site or trying to squeeze, with others, into a single.  Frequently we’ll take some private time camping before or after the family camping so we can re-connect and share alone-time together.

I need my space and am much happier when left to read or otherwise bond with myself.  I can write or journal, putter on something like my bike, the trailer or truck, or just have a beer and chill.  It’s the closest thing I can find to Nirvana and I’m perfectly happy being left to my own devices.

The rest of the family also appears to accept it and although I’m not sure how my alone-time is explained to my nieces and nephews it is still respected.  “Uncle” (me) is still asked if he wants to go on bike rides or walks and I will frequently accept.  I still love my family and cherish our relationships.  It just has to be in smaller doses than it may be with other families.

So despite the activity and noise I will adapt, I will enjoy the camping and family time holding to the thought that they won’t always be with us.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that life is short, and fickle.  Enjoy the moments while you can.

Too much Input, Keep your Momentum

Today was going to be an errands day, a day to catch up on some those tasks that had somehow found themselves on the back burner. I created my list and began my journey just before 11.

After accomplishing a few of my tasks, one of which was taking my car in for service, I walked book in hand to Tim Horton’s for soup and a sandwich.  There I would wait for for my car and try to have some downtime, read my book and perhaps catch up on some of the blogging I was getting seriously behind on.

I collected my lunch and sat, trying to read, but the noise, the din is pulling away my focus. A mother was singing to her baby at the table adjacent to me, and an old couple was talking loudly beside me, trying to make themselves heard.  There was other general noise and compounding that was the incessant clatter of dishes being collected by the staff.

Momentum, keep your momentum, was the current topic in the book at hand.  Once you start writing, it said, you need to keep it up or you chance losing your speed,  Once you lose that momentum it may be hard to get back.  I can certainly agree with that, I’ve experienced it firsthand, and in fact am continuing to experience it as I sit here.  The noise, this current busy and noise ridden environment is handicapping my ability to think, to focus on the particular tasks at hand.

While the thought was good, to read at lunch, my choice of time and location was not.  Hopefully lesson learned and my next attempt will be more successful.

At a Loss for Words…then not

At the initial writing of this I seem to be at a loss for words, wanting to post, hoping for enlightenment but not achieving it. Perhaps reading some of my book will spark an idea, a thought to build on, and it has. I have an idea, I can write.

While I was traveling last week I went for dinner with one of the consultants we were working with.  His name is Kim, I’d like to be able to call him “friend”, I hope he would consider me the same.   We talked about careers, his in particular, and the past he has had.  He was trained in the German navy where he achieved a Masters in Economics and held some senior roles in managing projects.  He was very frank with me and shared that his involvement in one particular project demanded a significant portion of his time and energy, such that he ultimately suffered burn-out and in order to heal emotionally he took over a year off.  At some time around then, and I’m not clear on the timing exactly, he went back to school and earned a second Masters, this time in Communication Psychology.

Wow, I’m impressed, I knew he was bright as you could just tell the way he carried himself.  I had thought of a career in psychology myself I told him, but “changing careers at this point in my life was too late for me.”  Now I’m questioning that comment and think maybe it’s not so true.  If my Mom can write a book, and 2 or 3 at 75 years old no less, then I could probably manage another career at 55, maybe, kinda.  Daunting thought I’ll admit.

In the book “Gifted Grownups” it mentions how a man’s son recounts that his father was a gifted man, working in a steel mill, and he had a desire to read/learn more.  He worked toward that goal but “the steel mill killed him”, I assume figuratively speaking.  I took from that comment that the son thought that working in the mill took his Dad’s drive, removed his energy to complete himself and reach all his goals.  I may be wrong but that’s my assessment nonetheless.  Perhaps that’s because that’s partially how I feel, like my job is “killing me”.  That is why I thought it was too late for me to pursue any dreams I may have.  I’ve swung a bit away from that now, keep the pendulum swinging.

Here I go Again – 5 characteristics of gifted people

Here I go again, when reading a book or article and some passage or concept strikes my fancy and my mind wanders, and wonders, and I feel the need to get down some thoughts. And need is not too strong a word. I almost cannot stand it and find it very difficult to focus on the task at hand, reading to understand. I promise myself “only a quick post, I’ll just jot down some ideas and get back to my reading”. Sometimes it actually happens.

So here it goes, I’m reading an article called “Can you hear the flowers sing? Issues for gifted adults”, on the SENG website. It talks about 5 characteristics or traits of gifted people. I can’t help but not start to think about how I fit,  I have to get my thoughts down so again I put down the book and start to post.  Essentially I’ve just put down some notes and I’ll fill in the rest later.

Later, Done – I’m going to take some literary license here and copy a brief description of the characteristics. It in no way describes the trait completely, see the article for full descriptions.

Here’s the traits in italics, and how I match up after each.
Divergency. A preference for unusual, original, and creative responses is characteristic of divergent thinkers. The positive side of the trait includes people who are often high achievers, innovative in a number of fields, task committed, self-starters, and highly independent.

I believe I do think out of the box, and I’ve been told that by a number of people in various aspects of my life.  I cannot say however I am a high achiever, in fact I’d have to say the opposite.  I have been an underachiever, note the past tense.  This is something I want to work on.

Excitability. High energy level, emotional reactivity, and high nervous system arousal characterize the trait of excitability. Although excitability and hyperactivity may seem to be similar, they are fundamentally different in that gifted adults with the trait of excitability are able to focus their attention and concentration for long periods of time, to use their energy productively in a wide variety of interests, and to do many things well.

I do not have a high energy level, although if I am working on something I enjoy I can put a lot of energy into it.  In some ways I’m excitable, I can focus or concentrate for some time but I don’t think I could say “for long periods”.  It is likely quite situation specific.  I do have a very wide range of interests and I am able to do many things, and well.  I suspect that is also a relative comment as well.

Sensitivity. A depth of feeling that results in a sense of identification with others characterizes the trait of sensitivity. Gifted people form deep attachments and react to the feeling tone of situations; they think with their feelings.

I am very sensitive, I pick up on most things quite quickly.  My understanding of women may be lacking somewhat in this area though, they are more challenging to understand.  I have few deep attachments and to expand this area of my life would be beneficial.

Perceptivity. An ability to view several aspects of a situation simultaneously, to understand several layers of self within another, and to see quickly to the core of an issue are characteristic of the trait of perceptivity. These gifted adults are able to understand the meaning of personal symbols and to see beyond the superficiality of a situation to the person beneath.

This is something that at times can be a curse, just ask my family.  Each wants me to see and take their side.  I can see each side however that makes it generally more difficult to take a side.

Entelechy. From the Greek word for having a goal, entelechy bespeaks a particular type of motivation, inner strength, and vital force directing life and growth to become all the self is capable of being. Adults gifted in entelechy are highly attractive to others who feel drawn to openness, warmth, and closeness.

I aspire to grow more in this area, to become more fully grown and aware of myself and my potential.  To become more realized is the correct term I think.

Feelin’ pretty good

I feel pretty upbeat this morning, better than many mornings lately.  Not that I have felt poorly just not as “up” as today.  The trick now will be to determine why, if there’s an external reason or if it’s strictly a function of meds operating on my body.  Gloria (my therapist) has said many times that I will have good days and some not so good and one of the benefits of journaling is that I can refer back and see progress, comparing with those days when things were not as good and I was less “up”.  It seems to me that there is a subtle distinction between most good and not as good days.

Doing a little armchair psychoanalysis would lead me to believe that part of the reason is that I was active yesterday, mowing the lawns and otherwise puttering around outside.  The “outside” part may be significant as well, getting more sun will elevate many peoples moods, I believe an increase in the uptake of vitamin D is one factor.  I have been suffering (another word I dislike) from SAD for a number of years that I’m aware, who knows how long before that.  I had been extremely lethargic during our winters, craving sweets and just generally blah feeling.  I purchased a SAD light and that has helped immensely.  During summer hours and/or if I get lots of sunlight my mood improves and the symptoms go away for all intents and purposes.

Another possible reason for the mood lift is my reading, perhaps even the types of books I’ve been reading.  Currently I’m reading a book on Procrastination, How and Why, and How to Fix.  That’s not the exact title and I’ll post it separately.  Essentially I think there’s a coorelation with (and it just struck me as possible) between exercise, both body and mind, and my mood.  Things that make you go Hmmm…..

I know that when I read non-fiction, self help books or motivational books etc. that I wish to post more, to get my thoughts down on paper as it were, but the posting also interferes with my train of thought and my focus on whatever book I’m reading.  I’ve tried to post from my phone, which is marginally more convenient, but I’ve yet to come up with the best combination of reading and note taking. (as an aside, note taking for the purposes of blogging is a bit easier on the phone in that the autocorrect and auto punctuation can speed things up)

Anyway bottom line is keep fit, physically and mentally.  And Dwayne, by the way, Don’t Procrastinate.

Procrastination Book

The book I’m currently reading is called “Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now”.

A few things in it that I see apply to me are “Mediocrity Builds Contempt”, “Excellence without Effort”, “There is a Right Way” to some degree “I Can’t Stand to Lose” and “All or Nothing”.

I will elaborate more later.