Follow Random Happenings! Shabangity!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On Disregarding Others

Now this is obviously a very broad topic, and I should have probably thought of a better name for this since I'm going to be fairly specific here.  When I mean disregarding others, I am talking about being incredibly naive to one's surroundings.  Today I saw an instance of this at a parking lot.

The instance involved the actual parking of cars.  In this parking lot, cars line up next to each other as the lot fills since it is a gravel lot and does not have any parking lines.  By having the cars park in an orderly fashion, space is saved and more cars are able to fit into the lot.  Nevertheless, while cars were parking down a row, someone felt the need to floor by everyone and park in an open space near one of the corners of the lot.  The way she parked took up what would be be two spots.  It was incredibly obnoxious, and had you been able to see it as well, you would instantly agree. She disregarded the valets who were trying to make the cars orderly, and she instead had to do her own thing and obnoxiously park.

Now, I ask, what mindset allowed this person to disregard others and decide that she didn't need to follow standards/listen to the parking lot directors?  Personally, I would have a guilty conscience for being so brazen.  Who knows, who knows.

Monday, June 28, 2010

An Amazing Website

I recently stumbled upon this website that gives world statistics, from number of births in a given day to days left until we run out of oil.  Of course, it's based on equations that follow current trends and is not exact, but it's accurate and a bit eye opening.

Poll Results #3

So from our most recent poll asking, When Do You Think BP Will Stop the Oil Spill?

Within 2 Weeks - 0%

Within 1 Month - 11%

Within 6 Months - 33%

Within 1 Year - 22%

Over 1 Year - 33%

We need more people to vote!  Be sure to keep checking for our weekly polls!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Things Happening At Perfectly Timed Moments

I am writing this because two things have happened to me during the past two days that were both perfectly timed and annoying.  It is incredibly coincidental how they happened, but both were irritating.

First, while at work last night, I had to keep walking under this pipe.  The pipe was for cold water, so there was condensation that would build up and drip down every once in a while.  The drips were rare, but I got hit on the arm and head three or four times throughout the course of the night.  The chances of me getting hit once were rare, but I kept getting hit and it was statistically wrong and annoying.  After the first two times, I looked up and saw a drop.  I watched it while working, looking up occasionally to see that the drop was still there.  Eventually I had to walk under it, and when I did, it hit me in the face.  It was as though the drop was waiting for me.

The second instance of perfectly timed annoyance occurred while I was cleaning my pool this afternoon.  I vacuumed all the stuff off the bottom and skimmed all the remaining leaves off of the top of the pool.  This took a while, and it was nice to finally finish.  As soon as I turn around to leave the pool, and I mean as soon as I turned around, a big gust came and blew a bunch of dead leaves into the pool.  I had to go back and clean it up.  It was thoroughly irritating.

So my question is, how do these things happen at such perfect times?  The wind could have blown when I was cleaning or way afterward, but it didn't.  The drop could have fell at any other time, but it didn't.  Who knows, who knows.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

On the Nature of Praise

I've been thinking a lot lately about praise.  As humans, most of us like to be praised.  It makes us feel good and, at times, a bit superior since we know we did something well.  Praise is definitely a positive and constructive device, but I had a peculiar thought on the exact nature of praise.

We recieve praise for all sorts of things.  Whether it is good grades, great accomplishments, or simply behaving right.  It is this last point, behaving right, that has provoked thoughts.  We get praised for doing the right thing, but what exactly gives the person who praises us the authority to do so?  For example (and lack of a better example at that), say this girl tells her friend that she is really proud of her friend for not drinking and being a good role model.  However, the person who gives the praise has been drunk on a number of occasions.  The friend who doesn't drink feels good about being praised, but what gives the friend who does drink from time to time the right to say she's proud?  It seems hypocritical to me.  This example is not great, but in better ones the contradiction is more obvious.  In an exaggerated sense, it seems like a bank robber is praising a law-abiding citizen for not robbing banks.  Perhaps this makes more sense in my mind, but the purpose of this blog is to communicate my thoughts to others.

Now, to make things more complicated, when does that person who does do the wrong thing find themselves in the right position to praise the person who does nothing wrong? Say the girl who drinks stopped for over a year.  Does she now have the authority to praise her friend since she has stopped for so long, or are her "praising abilities" marred from her previous actions?  Does an elderly senator who lied and scandalized early in his career have the right to praise the honorable qualities in a new, young politician?  Does a person who was openly racist when they were younger have the right to praise the passing of a bill supporting equal rights?  Support is always good, mind you.  Having the support of people who in the past did wrongdoings makes the position stronger.  However, where is the line between support and hypocritical praise?  Perhaps if the racist spent time in jail or got in trouble in some other way, his debt to society was paid and he has all the right to praise without hypocrisy.  Yet, what if he never got in trouble?  Is there hypocrisy in his praise?  To me, the matter gets complicated.  Perhaps people take the solid position of "well, people can change for the better," but I am sure there are those out there who would want the once-corrupted senator to stay away from the new politician.

Of course, this does not mean to be pretentious about matters, either.  For example, if someone who typically receives B's in school congratulates a typically-A student for getting a high grde, there is nothing wrong and no hypocrisy.  To me, this is support that is productive, as the A student will hopefully praise the B student as well.

Perhaps I have this all wrong, and people, no matter what they have done or do, are free to praise whomever they want with no second thoughts.  Comments?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

On Sprinklers

Now that summer is here, there is plenty of lawn-watering action going on.  I like well-maintained lawns, and I find landscaping interesting.  However, I do not understand why some sprinklers are incredibly inefficient.

The other day, I was walking to work when a sprinkler system suddenly came on.  Instead of watering the grass, it suddenly sprayed me in the face as I walked on the sidewalk.  It seemed that this sprinkler was meant to go over the sidewalk and water the small patch of grass between the sidewalk and the road.  I found this incredibly wasteful and inefficient since most of the water was either spraying the road, the sidewalk, or me.  To add, the sidewalk had become dirty and had a red tint from all the watering (the red is iron form the soil rusting in case you wondered).  In short, they should have designed a better system.

Friday, June 18, 2010

On Posters

I'll admit that this topic is a bit random, but I really do like posters.  They are a (usually) cheap decoration and they are incredibly varied.  Recently, I bought a poster of Albert Einstein riding a bicycle, as shown on the link on this page.  It's the little things like this that really make a room (or a house, on the larger scale) more personal.  Add a $10 frame and you have got something (I ersonally use sticky-tac). 

This poster goes with a varied collection I have, and it really adds to the asthetics of a room.  I have included links to some of my favorites (Amazon has a great selection of posters, by the way).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On Anticipation

Anticipation is an unfortunate part of our daily lives. We anticipate practcially everything, from responses to questions to job offers to promotions to college acceptances, and the nervous feelings can really take their toll over time.

This past year has had its fair share of anticipation for me. As a result, I have developed a mindset to help cope with anticipation. It involves several steps, but it is fairly simple and has helped me tremendously lately.

The first step is to expect the worst. Now this sounds paradoxical, hypocritical, and probably some other words with -al endings. Of course, this isn't meant to be taken completely literally. It doesn't mean go out and build a bomb shelter stacked with decades worth of canned food in the event of a nuclear war. No. It means that you need to recognize what the worst possible outcomes are. For example, in regards to college, if you recognize the fact that you can in fact be rejected, it will not be as painful as it would be if you were gung-ho about getting in (This ties back to not living in a false reality and recognizing all possibilities - don't convince yourslef that you will get whatever you want). You should not, however, dwell on the worst. Of course it's best to be positive and hopeful, and that should be in your head 95% of the time. Every once in a while, however, you just need to remind yourself that the situation is not in your control and anything could happen. Look for the best, but know other things can happen. It lessons shock and pain.

The second step is to find distraction - a healthy distraction that is. Instead of sitting around thinking about what could happen, go out and be active. Physical activity is a great stress relief, but there are many outlets, whether they are athletic, artistic, or musical. If you focus on these activities, the anticipated "thing," whatever it may be, will not be so prominent. For the college example, focusing on other activities and not the letter in the mail will make the time go by faster and be more enjoyable.

Third, when the anticipated event does occur, you are allowed to be sad/frustrated/upset if things go wrong, but you also must recognize that everything has its purpose. You can be angry or sad for as long as it takes to heal, but if you keep having the negative thoughts stuck in your head they are affecting no one and hurting no one except for you. In a lighter example, say you asked a girl out. If she rejects, you have a right to be sad. Nevertheless, if you keep thinking negative thoughts about her, it has zero effect on her. She can't hear your rants in your head; only you can hear them. Focus on the positives, and recognize that negative thoughts only hurt you. Life goes on, and everything happens for a reason. In another example, if you are rejected from a college, simply say, "It wasn't meant to be," and move on.

Fourth and finally, you must learn from the experience. You must look back and ask, "What could I do differently next time?" if the outcome was unfavorable or "What brought about that success?" if things went well. You will be able to learn from the experience, regardless of the outcome. The next time you are confronted with the situation, or a similar one, you will be prepared, increasing your chances of success.

So, anticipation is almost unavoidable, but following these steps can makes experiences better and less stressful.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Being Really Tired And Somehow Making a Blog Post About It

So I'm tired enough that I cannot think of a blog topic. I woke up, powerwashed around my pool, went to work for six hours, went to the beach for a short time, then came home and powerwashed. Woo.

Now I said in the beginning that I would not blog about my daily life. This is one of those rare exceptions. I just cannot think of anything. I promise better things soon!

The moral of this post is that it is the epitome of bad posting! So if you start a blog, don't do this!

Monday, June 14, 2010

On Rushing

Simply put, we live in a world that needs to slow down.

Sadly, I only realized the true extent of my rushing not too long ago. I'm usually relaxed about most situations, but in some cases I always feel rushed and have a need to get somewhere as quickly as possible. For example, there may be a family party at 2, and I will be incredibly anxious to get there on time. I will get irritated that people are not ready when they need to be, and I will be rushing myself and others.

Nevertheless, the irony occurs when it is time to leave. When I want to go home, I really want to go home. I am rushing and pushing to leave a place that I had rushed and pushed to get to in the first place. It's not necessarily family parties; it could be a number of things. Sometimes I rush to get somewhere, stay as long as I want, and then rush to get to the next destination. It is not healthy to live a life like this.

I have personally calmed down, but many others need to recognize how much enjoyment they are missing out on. When you're not rushed, your mind is at ease, and you will be in a much better mood when you arrive at your destination, regardless of how late or early you are. Many a time I have seen parents rush to take kids to practices or games, driving recklessly, only to rush to get back home. It's not necessary (sometimes there are urgent matters, but most of the time it's overexaggerated and stressful). I like to take the "years from now" approach. Will it matter in years from now that you didn't get there exactly on time? No - what matters is that you went to the family party/game/restaurant. Life is meant for enjoyment - it is not some rat race to see how many things can be done in one day and how efficiently they can be done.

So, for your safety, sanity, and overall enjoyment of life, slow down!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Saying Hello

Yesterday I was mowing my lawn (and getting mad at myself for not posting in a while), when a man walked by. I waved hello to him, he waved back, I continued mowing the lawn, he kept walking, and I had an idea for a post.

We always downplay the importance of saying hello to others, or even the simple importance of being courteous. We often just pass by people and never acknowledge them, and I used to do the same thing until a man came to my school quite a few years ago and shared us a story with us.

Some time ago, a man committed suicide by jumping off of the Golden Gate bridge. People were shocked that he would do such a thing, but he was depressed and felt separated from the world. In a note he left behind, he explained how he was going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiled at him or said hello, he would turn around and go home. Just one person. Nevertheless, this never happened, and he jumped off.

I'm not saying that a person's life depends on you greeting him or her or smiling. This of course is almost never the case. Regardless, the effect that smiling or greeting someone can have is tremendous. Perhaps your courtesy could be a positive aspect of an otherwise dismal day. For example, I stopped at a food store today while leaving work to grab something small to eat, and a friend of mine was working there (I had no idea he worked there). As I was about to pay, he said, "Don't worry about it," and gave a donut to me for free. It was a small gesture, but it was really uplifting given the rainy weather and how exhausted I felt. This little gesture really had a larger effect on me.

So, say hello! Be friendly! When I go running, I greet everyone I can. It really throws people off guard (in a good way - they almost always react positively). Just a simple "Hey" or "Hi" will suffice. Your small gesture could mean the world to someone.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On Chocolate Milk

There is no deep lesson behind this post (that's my disclaimer). It is simply a warning.

A few days ago friends at another school invited me and some other runners to run in their "2nd Annual Chocolate Milk Mile." It seemed like a great idea to prove my manliness and prove that my stomach could handle anything. Sure, I hadn't drank chocolate milk since 3rd grade, but what did that matter? Sure I didn't even really like chocolate milk, but what's taste when you have a race to WIN?! I definitely experienced a bit of the tragic hero's hubris right there.

To start things off, I was running a bit late to the race. I spent about 12 minutes looking for my iPod to play in the car and never actually found it (I found it instantly once I returned home afterward). When I finally arrived at the track some 20 minutes later (Hooray traffic and 25MPH drivers in 40MPH zones!), they were just about to begin. I rushed down to the track to quickly get on the line and get a rather full cup of chocolate milk.

Before I realized it, the race had begun, and almost everyone chugged his milk in less than 2 seconds. I was left on the line sipping mine, and I started off in a decent last. I was able to pull some people back, but I was in a clear disadvantage. I chugged my next cup of milk after the first lap much quicker, and I was making up ground. Up until that point, my stomach was fairing well. I say up until that point, because my mind finally caught up with my stomach, which was yelling "Hey a**h***! Stop!" Pushing through it I made it to the end of the second lap feeling thoroughly sick. After a quick breather and a third (and very full) cup of chocolate milk, I was running again. This time I was determined. I saw one of my friends off to the side of the track puking - one of the early favorites was out! I continued to push, and as I came around the straightaway to finish the third lap, my stomach was now screaming. I finished my fourth and final cup rather quickly, and I was soon in the top five places. Then my conscience spoke. "Why are you doing this?" it asked. "You feel like crap, and you have drank a quart of chocolate milk. You don't even like a chocolate milk. I hope you're walking down the street and you get splashed by a car or the cat throws up on your rug or SOMETHING to punish you for doing this!" I sort of jogged in the last 100 meters or so because he was right. I had to swallow my pride, and my stomach's ego was shot.

And no, I didn't throw up, even when one of my friends punched me in the stomach afterward to see if I would. But I was very uncomfortable, especially in the 80+ degree (Fahrenheit) heat. One poor kid threw up every lap.

Don't do this if you have the chance. Be the cameraman (or woman) or the person who hands out the milk. For the love of God, do not run a mile after drinking a quart of chocolate milk. Thank you.

Poll #2 Results!

In Shabangity's second poll, we asked our readers when they felt most productive. Here are the results (Percentages add up to over 100% becasue people could choose multiple answers, so each percentage is the percentage of total survey takers):

Early Morning - 35%
Around Noon - 17%
Mid-Afternoon - 29%
Evening - 29%
Late at night - 29%
Extremely late at night – so late in fat that it is the next day’s early morning - 29%

Be sure to take our next poll, which will be up shortly! I hope we have our best turnout yet!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On Running Your Own Race

Now I am an avid runner, and I rarely take a day off, regardless of conditions. Nevertheless, this post is not about actual running since that topic is incredibly important to me and will be one of my larger posts in the future.

When I say "Run your own race," I mean to be in a competition with yourself. By competing against yourself, you are proving your capabilities to no one but your individual being. You can be your harshest critic, but you can also be the most forgiving one. Instead of keeping track of others and trying to outdo what your peers do, focus on yourself and see how you can outdo you (I know it's improper grammar but it sounds cooler that way). You know yourself best, so you will be able to find what needs improvement more quickly than waiting on someone to tell you. That's not to say that peer review is something to ignore, but if you have a good self-awareness and can swallow pride, you will be able to acknowledge what aspects of yourself you need to improve (Of course, if you live in a false reality this might be difficult, if not impossible, so hopefully that can be overcome as well).

By competing against yourself, you do not need to worry yourself about end rewards and what people will think of you. If you give your best and are truly determined to outdo what you have done in the past, people will be impressed. By not worrying about how others will judge you, you will be able to push boundaries and discover abilities that you would originally be uncomfortable exploiting. This could be finally ignoring others and going out on the dance floor to do your own thing, or it could be standing up for the underdog. To me, a confident person who is willing to push boundaries and possibly look foolish is far, far better than someone who cares too much about appearances and will never truly experience opportunities.

This leads me to my next point. When we push our boundaries by competing against ourselves and ignoring any worries, the end rewards will be abundant. People recognize genuine hard work, even if they do not indicate that they can at first, and this can open up great opportunities, whether it is scholarships, college acceptances, job offers, or just genuine friendship. I have followed this philosophy for a very long time, and it has rarely, if ever, failed me.

So, what is an example of running your own race? A good traditional one is academics and grades. Say Tom is always getting high scores on tests, and people are always very conscientious of this. You usually score a little below him, so no one really pays that much attention to you. Typically, someone would set their sights on beating Tom and Tom only. Do not make this mistake. Compete against yourself. Did you get a 90 on a test, and want to beat Tom's 97? Work hard, and concentrate solely on beating your last performance. By not being preoccupied with Tom, you will have more time to focus on what you need to do. If you focus on one person, you will be begin focusing on others. Soon you may learn that Sally also got a 97, and Bob got a 96. Why keep track of all this when you can devote more energy to seeing what you can do, not others. Many a time you will wind up beating your "Tom" or "Sally" or "Bob" unintentionally, as your concentration on beating yourself pushed you that far above.

Believe me, you will find a great peace of mind when you compete against yourself. The satisfaction of knowing you have performed better than you ever have before is far greater than knowing that you beat some other person.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

On Fear

This past weekend, I stayed at a beach motel with a couple of friends. On the last night, we all decided to walk over to the beach to relax and play music. After being out for 20 minutes or so, the lightning storms that were in the distance were suddenly directly over us. The lightning was a little too close for comfort, so we grabbed our things and headed back to the motel.

About an hour later, there was still lightning, but it seemed farther off. Three of my friends wanted to go back to the beach to watch the lightning, but I was hesitant to go. I was downright scared of the lightning-beach-water-(just complete open area) combination, so I was not going to go. Nevertheless, I changed my mind last minute and decided to accompany them.

By the time we got to the beach, I noticed that the lightning was so far out to sea that it could not even be heard; only the sound of the ocean surf remained. The sight was absolutely beautiful, and we watched for over an hour as the lightning flashed in the distance and drifted farther and farther away. The sky would be black one moment, and the next it would flash into mixtures of orange, white, and purple (I was a little bummed that I forgot my camera).

My lesson from this little story is to know when fears are quantified and when they are unreal and holding you back. When the lightning forst came, the fear was justifiable. The second time, however, there was no danger, as the agent causing the fear was far away. Had I listened to my fear at that point, I would have missed out on an amazing opportunity.

So, take time to dissect your fears. Which ones are real? Which ones are paranoia? Even better, which ones have passed (Are clowns really as scary as they were when you were 5?)? By overcoming unjustifiable fears, especially those in which the agent causing the fear is far away (i.e. the lightning), you will most likely find something beautiful or new.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On Isolation

Isolation. The state of being separated. The word isolation usually gives off a negative connotation, but in terms of lifestyle, it is vital to maintain happiness and rid yourself of stress. Stress comes with being overwhelmed and simply being annoyed by obnoxious individuals who for some reason always are able to pluck a string that sends you overboard. When frustrated, the best solution I realize is to isolate yourself from others and find a productive activity to do that allows yourself to enjoy yourself. Too much time is devoted to spending time with others and worry about what other think or want. Sometimes, you need to just isolate yourself and pick up an activity that you love.

My activity is cycling, or commonly known as bike-riding. It is the perfect activity to indulge in because of its invaluable benefits. What is nicer to do on a beautiful sunny day than ride a bike through mother nature, taking in the the sights and sounds that she has to offer? Nothing else brings a smirk to your face in times when you're frustrated than to take in some fresh air, reminisce on all your thoughts and feelings, and get yourself in shape at the same time. If you haven't taken up bike-riding and you feel that you need time for yourself, I highly recommend it. Not only is it enjoyable, but it also makes you feel like a fresh, new person. It's just refreshing.

I could continue to go on and talk about all the different types of activities and the things I like to do to just get away, but each person needs to experience something that he/she loves on their own. I just want to say most importantly: take time for yourself and find your own happiness. By doing this, there will be a new self that you will be happy with. Knowing that you can escape from your troubles and take up something as pleasurable as cycling is important. So please, try out that activity that people would make fun of you for or something you have never had time to do, because in the end, you will feel like a completely new person. Have fun and REMEMBER...Indulge yourself.

On Complete and Absolute, Full-Fledged Rudeness

I was about to begin writing something else, but I just realized that rudeness is actually a part of false reality. Some people are completely ambivalent toward their environments and are self-centered enough to not realize how obnoxious they can be.

The other night I was at an awards ceremony for varsity sports - nothing fancy, but it was a nice ceremony of sorts. Each team was called up, and the coaches would (sometimes) talk briefly about the seasons and key athletes/senior players (excessively-long speeches fall into yet another category of false reality). Everything was going smoothly, until the table for a "certain team" next to us began to talk. It started as chatter which was fine. It was a little rude since they were ignoring who was talking, and it was definitely disrespectful toward their fellow athletes. I was a little irritated, but this little chit-chatting was sonorous compared to what developed.

This team was eventually called up, they did their little go-us! speech while most listened politely, and then they sat down. Before the announcer had time to call up the next team, the chatty table was back at it, and they were going full force. The "ring-leader," a.k.a the person who was initiating conversations a.k.a. rude jerk a.k.a. the person who inspired this blog was none other than their coach. Yes, the coach, who is expected to be the most respectful, was being blatantly rude. She even made a point to turn who back to whoever was speaking at the time and talk in a very audible voice - no whispers here. Oh, did I mention that she was in the front row? In plain sight? Must have left that out somewhere.

With each successive team, this coach and three or four members of the team talked increasingly louder. Eventually, they were talking so loud that even teams that had been talking quietly and not overly paying attention began to give the pack disgusted stares. Being in false realities, of course, their naiveness (still a word) allowed them to continue on without taking any notice. Even when several people from several other teams told them to be quiet, they paid no attention (especially the coach), and continued to talk. It was pathetic.

Soon, one of them said something that they somehow found funny (Do you detect the disgust in how I said that?), and one girl laughed out loud (a.k.a. lol-ed or "lawlzed") incredibly loud.

So, if you are one of these people, get a reality check. Now. No don't wait to finish your television show or even bother to finish reading this. Get a reality check now. It was so incredibly rude and disrespectful, so please do not live under the impression that you're high and mighty and can disregard others. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On False Realities

Now this is a subject I am very interested in, so this will probably be my first of several posts on this topic.

What is a false reality? To me, it means that a person cannot grasp what their lives actually are. They convince themselves of false circumstances and view themselves in the wrong light. False reality and naiveness (yes it's a word) go hand in hand, as the person is either so headstrong (usually the case) or so unconfident that he or she is completely unaware of their actual status.

For example, there was once this person I knew who picked fights with many people, especially those close to him/her, and the disputes would drag on for very long times. Sometimes he/she would not talk to a his/her old friend for very long times, constantly expressing anger toward that person and pretending like they were never good friends. Nevertheless, this same person described him/herself as "very forgiving" when asked if they were a forgiving person. This is a false reality.

High school is especially full of false realities, especially during the college application process. Many people applied to extremely hard schools, which is fine and commendable. Nevertheless, they took it a step further by convincing themselves and bragging that they would not only get into these harder schools, some of which were Ivies, but they also thought that they would get extremely good financial aide or even full rides. These people were good students, but not the caliber to receive full rides, that's for sure. Almost no one gets those. Yet, these people were so convinced and were living in such fallacious realities that when rejection came, they were furious and confused. I'll admit, I was a bit overconfident, and rejections that I wasn't completely expecting hurt. However, I knew that college is anyone's game (for the most part) when it comes to applying, so I was not too shocked. Those who lived in false realities were very hurt, with the false reality being a prime contributer.

False realities work in the opposite way as well. I know people who are very convinced that they cannot achieve what they are capable of. This to me is the sadder and more troubling false reality. In the overconfident version, people become so boastful and let down so suddenly that it becomes comical. In the opposite version, however, I see people who cannot break free from their own mental constraints and achieve at their highest potential. These people need others to support them and show them what they are truly capable of, and they need to overcome the "I simply can't do that" excuse.

Sometimes this situation arises because others who lived in overconfident false realities put down those who could achieve since they could not stand to see someone do something they could not do. This can be as simple as someone who was cut from the soccer team telling a younger and promising player that they really are not as good as they think. It could also be as complicated as a parent who only made it to the eighth grade forcing his or her bright child to drop out at the same age because they are jealous and cannot see the child outsmart him- or herself.

Those are some initial thoughts on this subject, and there will be more to come. My advice - be aware of what you can and cannot do. Do not be afraid to push boundaries, but do not be so boastful and overconfident that when failure comes, you look like a fool and are devastated. Part of discovering yourself is escaping false reality and finding peace with both your talents and aspects of yourself that are not "ideal."


Poll Results

Here are the results of the first Shabangity Poll, asking how many hours of sleep, on average, do you get each night:

Less than 5 hours: 17%
5 to 7 hours: 35%
8 to 9 hours: 35%
More than 9 hours: 11%

Be sure to vote in our next poll! Note that there is a scroll so you can see the whole thing!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On Mowing the Lawn

Yesterday I decided to quickly mow my lawn before any of the forecasted rain came. As I finished mowing my front lawn and moved to the back, I realized how much I love mowing my lawn. Through thick and thin, my mower and I have pulled through to tame what wilderness (a.k.a. lawn) we can tame. I have been mowing my lawn for about 10 years or so, and I have never gotten bored. Never. I've been stung by bees, wasps, and hornets. I've had confrontations with angry groundhogs and have accidentally run over all sorts of things (tennis balls seem to go the farthest - they get sliced and shot out the side some 40 feet - it's awesome). Even when I'm on the verge of boredom, all I need to do is switch up my mowing pattern and voila! light/dark contrast in the grass makes cool new patterns (I've been into the square lately)! To me, there's something oddly exhilarating about chopping down the grass.

This is also a bit odd. While I have never tired on mowing my lawn, there have been many other things I have grown out of or grown bored of. I rarely play videogames anymore, even though I used to do so quite a bit 3 or 4 years ago. Even when I played one videogame would get less exciting, prompting me to move onto the next one. I think we've all experienced it, but people too can get boring or cease to be that same person you once knew. We move one from these things and people, yet there are still routines or objects that remain the same and do not lose their value.

I truly enjoy having this simple aspect of me that does not overly change. We are all constantly changing throughout our lives, but we tend to forget the basic parts of us that remain the same. I am all for looking toward the future while enjoying the present, but recognizing what beneficial objects that we still hold on to from the past is still key. These unchanging, un-boring routines or items will be there in spite of what may happen to us otherwise. They provide normalcy and usually a sense of security and calm. Mine happens to be as quirky as mowing the lawn. I encourage all to look at their lives and find something that they enjoy that does not change (positive thing, mind you). No matter what happens, you'll have something to turn to for stability.