Kindness Journey – Day 200 – Leaving WordPress

I got an email from WordPress the other day announcing price increases. That message got me thinking about whether or not just to leave WordPress altogether. I also publish my blog on Medium, and they are sometimes trying to get into my wallet. Creativity shouldn’t be for profit and greed.

I’m not a stats person, but I question the value of writing every day only to find that five people might have seen my blog on a good day, and there are no comments. If I can write for free somewhere else, that’s what I must do. The most challenging path will be shutting down my WO blog after nearly 15 years. That action will feel like tearing a part of myself out and throwing it away. But it feels like the right thing to do.

And so, I announce today that I’m closing this blog on 31 December 2022. I have had a blast. I have learned a lot, and I look forward to my next series of adventures. I’ve been double posting for some time.

My new medium blog:

https://medium.com/@dreamer9177

Kindness Journey – Day 199 – It Doesn’t Hurt To Be Kind

Kindness is calming and healthy. Kindness brings things that happen in everyday life into proper focus. Once you extend Kindness to others, it gives back to you in ways both big and small.

Kindness costs nothing at all to practice. There is no rule book, no online course to follow, and you start by treating those around you differently. For example, we have a friend who always enjoys joking around. I would joke back at him with good-natured (so I thought) ribbing. Later I found out that some things I said hurt him.

Because I hadn’t started my Kindness Journey at that time, I figured that the friend was just thin-skinned and didn’t like being beaten at humor. When I found I had hurt him, I laughed it off and moved on.

Then I had my major health scare. The friend visited me in the hospital with Hal. I wanted to apologize for what I had said and done, but I was barely in and out of consciousness with a tube down my throat, so I couldn’t even try to talk.

When I finally left the hospital, the friend didn’t visit. The main reason was that Hal and I had moved far away from our friend. Hal told me again that I’d hurt our friend, but this time the message stuck with me. I tried apologizing, but things had deteriorated to the point where my apology went unanswered.

I discovered Kindness as part of my recovery therapy. I understood that the damage needed more than an apology. I began with short texts to our friend a few times a week. Since he still talked to Hal on the phone, I never discussed anything Hal told me.

It took several weeks before our friend realized I wasn’t trying to dig at him like I used to; I just wanted to talk occasionally. All of this effort was the price I paid for my past behavior. The Kindness I showed was free, and I made no effort.

It takes more than words to be kind. If you are correcting a past wrong, it can seem impossible. All I can say is that if you have to make an effort to be kind, it is worth it. It doesn’t cost a thing.

I am almost back to a neutral position with our friend. I’m the one who has to prove my sincerity, after all. In the end, I have learned how to practice Kindness, and I’ve regained a friend.

Kindness Journey – Day 198 – Enjoying Social Media Again

I used to be addicted to Twitter. I constantly scrolled thru the endless list of posts, getting angry with posts I disagreed with and seeking out accounts that agreed with me. I was not in charge of my life; Twitter governed it.

About a year ago, I finally realized the damage I was doing to myself. Things stressed me that I read online. I knew I had to stop because I was not as strong as I used to be. Thankfully, I found the simple philosophy of Kindness, which helped me leave Twitter behind for good.

I read about Musk taking over Twitter, but it didn’t affect me personally. I checked a round and found the social networks called Mastodon and Counter Social. I joined both, but my focus was no longer on politics and social justice; instead, I only posted about Kindness and Friendship and some jokes and quotes.

I forced myself to censor everything before posting it. I try to meet a few simple criteria before posting.

1) Is what I’m about to say Kind? Or is it intended to hurt someone? It has to be Kind.

2) Is what I’m about to say honest? Is it truly my statement, or am I parroting someone else? It has to be my true statement.

3) Is what I’m about to say helpful? I don’t want to say anything that isn’t constructive.

4) Would I want someone to post what I’m about to post back to me? If I think it upsets me, I won’t send it because I want my online experience to be pleasant.

I don’t post as often as I did on Twitter because I follow the abovementioned steps. When I see something unpleasant or inappropriate, I block the sender and move on.

Kindness Journey – Day 197 – Getting back to the kitchen

I learned to cook for myself as a child, and I’ve enjoyed learning new recipes through the years. Sometimes I fall into eating out or ordering food, but I always end up back in the kitchen.

For the first time, I cooked an edible turkey this Thanksgiving. I used my new air fryer, and it was easier than expected. It was just a 3 lb turkey breast, but that was plenty for Hal and me. This experience has rekindled my passion for cooking, and I plan to cook more often in the future.

Kindness Journey – Day 196 – Contentment

Every year, the world, or at least this part, goes insane and experiences tremendous mood swings. There is a build-up to a day of Thanksgiving based on a meticulously crafted story about a group of refugees who were treated kindly by the Natives before those same refugees stole the land and killed the Natives.

I suppose the story has its origins in the sense of guilt. Still, it quickly became a story that justified the stealing of the land and killing of the Natives that followed. Forever after the “First Thanksgiving,” Native Americans were portrayed as the enemy that had to be defeated. Overnight, the Natives went from being Kind to the refugees as warm and welcoming to brutal, ignorant, and uncivilized.

At any rate, the Thanksgiving holiday is supposed to be for people to gather and be thankful for what they have, with a strong focus on non-material things like family and friends. We get all that crap out of the way because the next day, everyone goes mad for material possessions after all that Thanksgiving stuff wasn’t serious.

Now we experience the consumer-driven urge to acquire more and more things so we can be thankful for them next year. At least, that seems to be the only logical explanation for this behavior.

I opted out of the nonsense several years ago and haven’t regretted it once. I can appreciate being thankful, but I believe it should be practiced every day and not just once a year. I don’t need to blindly follow the teeming hordes as they shop for the holidays. Christmas isn’t a big deal to me, either. I will buy some small gifts for friends and family. I never expect anything in return, and in most years, that means I’m not disappointed.

I’m fascinated by the obedience to customs, where the main goal is to provide a false narrative where the ultimate objective is to separate people from their money on a seismic scale. Take part if you must, but count me out.

Kindness Journey – Day 195 -Walking Out The Door

Sometimes it is best to walk away from a situation rather than keep fighting it when it is out of my control. Experience taught me that energy and time spent arguing is time wasted. I fought too many pointless battles over principles that meant nothing to the other side; the best one can hope for is a draw.

As I embraced Kindness, I learned that how I allocate my time and energy is crucial for my health and sanity. I wasted too much arguing with others when I had no chance to change their minds because they were as stubborn as I was. Time should be about enjoying life.

I don’t want to turn into a bitter recluse

Kindness Journey – Day 194 – Safe at Home

As I get older, it seems like the world is becoming more dangerous daily. While this might not be the case statistically, it feels that way.

This year we are staying close to home over the holidays. Except for some medical appointments out of town, neither Hal nor I seem interested in joying the teeming hordes at the stores or on the roads.

I am still very concerned with COVID and whatever else is coat-tailing along with it. My health isn’t that great, and I want to stay as healthy as possible.

After a quiet Thanksgiving, we do not need to go out on Black Friday. The weather is cooperating with our choice by raining most of the day. I prefer staying home for another reason; I have a package scheduled for delivery today. Since a signature is needed, it is best to be here.

The day was pretty miserable because I had a migraine that lasted until late afternoon. I’m glad we stayed home. I’m sure we have some errands to run tomorrow, but hopefully, I’ll feel better by then.

Kindness Journey -Day 193 -Thanksgiving

The day started with a recovery period from insomnia the night before. I was glad that I had cooked most of our dinner items yesterday so I wasn’t as stressed in the kitchen. I did prep the turkey breast and got it into the air fryer without any trouble. The only things left to cook are mashed potatoes (instant, don’t judge me) and the stuffing.

I will watch sone football this afternoon. We’re in no rush for dinner. If the turkey is a disaster, we still have pork chops, or I can thaw out sone freeze-dried salmon. We won’t starve.

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy Thursday, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not.

Kindness Journey – Day 192 – Preparation Day

The picture is not our kitchen, but it conveys the sense of organized chaos on the Eve before Thanksgiving. Even though I’m only cooking for two people, that presents unique challenges. The trick is to cook enough food without wasting it in the long run. Leftovers only satisfy for so long.

Let’s start with the main course. A 3 of boneless turkey breast has been thawing for 24 hours; by the time I prepare it, 36 hours will elapse. I’ve never had good luck cooking turkey, but this time will be the first to use an air fryer. I plan to baste the bird once it’s on the spit with a mix of olive oil and a hint of hickory-flavored liquid smoke and then a quick rub with seasoned salt, pepper, and a touch of onion powder. If I fail again with the turkey, I have a backup plan of pork chops I made tonight.

A variety of side dishes consists of; stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans with onion and white pepper, mashed potatoes, and finally, asparagus. I’m deliberately not making too many of any side dishes. This menu should work out well regardless of what happens to the turkey.

I planned the cooking so tomorrow won’t be stressful. Besides the main course, everything else will be microwave-ready tomorrow afternoon.

Kindness Journey – Day 191 – Will I ever sleep normally again??

I have suffered from insomnia for years. Recently, things have gotten worse, and I am fortunate to get 3 hours of sleep before waking up with a painfully dry mouth. Sinus congestion keeps me from breathing through my nose at night. Allegedly, I am on the waiting list for a CPAP machine after my pulmonary doctor finally diagnosed me with sleep apnea. I hope that the machine will finally give me sone real rest once it arrives, but that is at least several months away.