Monthly Archives: January 2011

Technology Marches On

Well, I did it. I finally upgraded to an android phone. I am just amazed at what these new phones can do. They aren’t just phones, they are mini computers. I am just now exploring the numerous things that this new technology can perform. Not only am I impressed with the technology, but with the talent, inspiration and ingenuity of the individuals that made these things possible and the continuing efforts to push the envelope even farther.

These technologies change the way we communicate and connect with others, but it doesn’t change core human behaviors. These technologies can also allow people to isolate themselves even more by providing unending distractions. My niece got a cell phone for Christmas. She texts me often, very often and I LOVE it. It gives me a chance to connect with her. She is a very outgoing girl to begin with, so reaching out is not difficult for her. This is in addition to the social networks that abound around us. I did find that I boiled my efforts down to Twitter and Facebook.

My son is shy and escapes often into a distracting world of video games, internet surfing and music. Now, none of these things are bad, as a matter of fact, these very things can be very wonderful. I encourage him to use his interests to start conversations. I am hoping that he can use these very technologies that sometime isolate him as resources for him to connect with others.

How do you use technology to connect?

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Time To Know You

As I joined my girlfriend in viewing “The Bachelor,” I commented that I didn’t feel there was very much time to really learn about one woman let alone 30. It takes time to get to know someone. Of course, we are on our best behavior early in the relationship as we seek out love and acceptance. It is then we can choose to be vulnerable and show our true selves. Being vulnerable can get you hurt but it can also insure that you are accepted as you truly are.

I am still learning about my girlfriend. We have been together for two years and my times with her still uncover surprises. I am not saying life should be without surprises but some things should be somewhat predictable. Spending time with someone, especially long periods of time, allows you to assess personality traits that otherwise may remain hidden. Does that person: anger easily or is easy going; get frustrated and stay upset for a while or is the frustration just a momentary hiccup of their day; choose to see the bright side of things or concentrate on the rusty lining of a silver cloud; see things as always black or white, or things as always gray; always certain or always ambiguous? Is this person: appreciative; selfish, insensitive; caring; or nurturing? These are all things to be considered and are not necessarily deal breakers or sure bets. There are no perfect people – we can all have our moments. You must choose what is acceptable and what you can tolerate. Too many divorces occur because what was known and once tolerable is now too much to bear.

People change – we change – but you don’t change a person, only yourself. You can change your behavior, opinions, beliefs and perspectives. Spending time with someone allows you to learn how he or she behaves normally. This will alert you when they behave out of the norm that something may be troubling them. You could then explore what is affecting them so you can offer your support and understanding. Stresses outside of the relationship can migrate  into the relationship. It is important to recognize the source of the stress and prevent the frustration from being misdirected.

I am not advocating looking for bad behaviors. I am advocating learning about another person and observing their traits, both good and bad. Learning about another person allows you to build trust. You will learn what they are and are not capable of handling. It is simply another level of intimacy. You can trust me to make breakfast and you can also trust me to be late. Just as you should seek to understand your loved one, they should be seeking to understand you.

I looked up the bachelorette stats for the show. I was not surprised that many of the bachelorettes did not continue their relationships with the “man of their dreams” for very long.

You can only learn these things with time. I have moved quickly in the past only to learn that what I thought was true was merely a misconception on my part because I didn’t take time to observe and learn. Take your time when it comes to living with a partner. Living with someone and loving them isn’t the same thing but it is a wonderful mix when it works.

 

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Let the Savings Begin

In an effort to be more financially fit, we began our trek into couponing in earnest today. We bought a coupon organizer with a coupon of course.  Today we saved $36 by combining store sales with coupons. Hopefully, we can figure out how to be effective couponers without taking up to much time. The extreme couponers that we saw on television seemed to spend inordinate amounts of time on the process. I do not foresee us whittling down a shopping bill from $200 down to $6 using coupons, but I do hope that we can lessen our overall expenditures.

I believe that our economy is healing, but that the recovery will be slow. I think it is a good opportunity for all of us to look at our finances and do the best we can to work towards financial fitness. This also includes small extra payments towards credit debt and increasing savings.

May this be a successful year for you. Let us not forget those that are struggling in the economy and try to help others the best we can, with money, time or other resources. God bless all of you.

A New Year’s Resolution – What a Waist

   2011 has snuck quietly in tiptoeing into my life so that I didn’t notice that 2010 had gone. Time does fly. It seemed that 2010 was only a couple of months long. My girlfriend has resolved to lose weight for her upcoming daughter’s wedding in November. I am not thin by any means, so my son and I have agreed to support my girlfriend and make this a family project.

   My focus is reducing our calories in such a way that we do not feel deprived. It is amazing how many calories are packed in such little edible objects, especially little morsels that taste so good. I am calling on my creative powers with a bit of prayer to organize meals that might just pass for filling. Right now, it looks like a lot of vegetables and chicken in our future.

   A few weeks ago, I invested in a Wii Fit balance board. I am still trying to get the hang of the games. I have never been athletic, not even mildly. I spent my physical education classes hiding in the library. However, I have the mindset that I will look dreadfully silly while trying to learn to balance myself on the board so that I can play my way to fitness and have fun laughing at myself.

   I like to walk but the problem is that I live in upstate NY and it is cold, and wet, and snowy, and cold. I know there are colder places, but this is more than cold enough for me. Luckily, the Wii will allow me to walk in place for a while. I will definitely walk outside when the weather permits.

   If you made any resolutions, or resolved not to make resolutions, I wish you success and perseverance. I pray that 2011 will be a wonderful year of blessings, opportunities and that I end the year a bit on the lighter side. Have a blessed year!