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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Waiting In Chicago via Instagram

January 8th, 2018 Comments off

Waiting In Chicago via Instagram

Waiting In Chicago

A few of my fellow passengers from Chicago Midway to LAX

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Do It 2017 #13: Making Excuses

September 21st, 2017 2 comments

Do It 2017 #13: Making Excuses

Glenn Carstens-Peters

Do It 2017 #13: Making Excuses

“Stop Making Excuses,” is a phrase we often hear from our parents, our teachers, and even our employers. Making excuses is akin to be called lazy — a slacker — a loser. Making excuses isn’t the problem though. Failing to think deeply about why we are making the excuse is what is really required,

Yes, we all make excuses for a wide variety of reasons, myself included, but the worst part is that there is often a valid reason for the excuse. We might be missing an important skill. We might be missing the basic desire to do something. We might be fearful that we cannot do the task at hand. Typically, it isn’t the excuse that is the true reason we aren’t doing something, but rather something deeper. Something hidden. Something scarier. Something that keeps  you awake at night.

As bad as it might seem to others, we often dislike ourselves for making excuses, too. We know we aren’t doing the right thing, but it can be difficult to do the right thing, so we make the excuse so we can move on.

If you have recently offered an excuse for something, take some time to deeply think about why you made the excuse. Is there some smaller part of the issue that you can tease out and solve that might allow you to avoid the excuse in the future? Can you break the situation down into manageable chunks that you can address one at a time? If you are like me, you might surprise yourself with how many excuses you can avoid by taking them piece by piece and issue by issue.

First, do you have a good reason for learning new skills? Do you enjoy doing that kind of work? Sometimes it is the case that you simply aren’t interested in pursuing a particular area of work. If you aren’t, there is little that can persuade you to learn that new skill, much less become accomplished. Even if it might bring you better jobs or a higher income, you have to honest about where your interests lie.

If you decide you do want to learn new skills, how can you learn them? Can you go to school or training center? Maybe. Your next hurdle might be that you can’t afford to pay for school. Ok, that is indeed a reality for a lot of people. If you can’t pay for school, can you learn the skills you need online? Can you teach yourself from books? Can you ask someone knowledgeable to show you for free? Can you take out a loan – will it be worth that financial burden to obtain this skill?

The important part of breaking down any excuse is not to let one particular problem stop you. If you hit a roadblock, think about ways of circumventing that particular, smaller, issue. Attack each of the small issues in turn and see how far you can get. I think you will be surprised at how far you can progress through any excuse if you want to.

Of course, that is the real issue with any excuse. Do you really want to progress beyond the excuse, or is it simply easier, quicker, less stressful to use a blanket excuse and move on? I think for most of us — and most of our excuses, — we would feel better about ourselves if we made fewer excuses. It would have so many benefits in our lives, but it requires hard thinking to do this, and too many of us give up rather than face the hard work ahead. It is a constant challenge for all of us to see what we want and need from the future and how we can get there and not take the easy path out and make the excuse.

What is one excuse you have fallen back on lately? Can you break it down into smaller parts and slowly chip away at it? Do you even want to? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Typical Sunday Evening

February 13th, 2017 Comments off

Morning Desktop (Watercolor)

December 31st, 2016 Comments off

Morning Desktop (Watercolor)

Morning Desktop (Watercolor)

This is my view most mornings in watercolor as I make these posts and others. Coffee is an important part of my day and this is one of my favorite cups. Good morning to you all!

#watercolor #food #coffee #morning #home #desk #office #life #stilllife


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In the neighborhood – End of the Day for January 5, 2014

January 5th, 2014 Comments off

Eotd 001 2014

While traveling abroad certainly has its attraction, and I am ready to visit the UK or Sicily again whenever possible, there is a lot to be said for just spending some time in your neighborhood. That was exactly what we did today, in fact, we worked a bit at home, kicked back a bit and then went out into the neighborhood to run a few errands and, as it happens, pick up a new piece of furniture for the house.

After living here in the Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles for 27 years, we have our favorite places and our go-to places when we are looking for something specific for the house. The Barn, located on Sepulveda Blvd is one of those places. We own several pieces of furniture from there and today we returned to look for a small cabinet or credenza. Sure enough, after walking around for about 15 minutes we had 3 possible choices. After finding out what our “returning customer discount” would be, we picked up this Craftsman style unit that matches several other pieces of our furniture. It wasn’t the cheapest of our 3 choices, but it a quality product and looks great in the dining room. This, the nearby location, the great customer service (and the friendly store cat) keep us going back whenever we need something new. We don’t always end up buying from there — witness our recent purchase of 2 Ikea armchairs — but we definitely make the time to check it out before purchasing anything else.

Barn cabinet 

Part of my afternoon was also spent helping out a next door neighbor with some computer issues and even purchasing and setting up a new webcam so she could Skype with distant friends and relatives. (Webcam also purchased at a local store, although it is a chain.) I love this neighbor because she always has the best chocolates and sweet treats to help me through my work. (LAUGH) Today was lovely Belgian Chocolates, Armenian cookies and cakes and a nice cup of tea. We should all be so lucky to have neighbors like this!

Tea with our friend and neighbor. Lots of treats to sample #friends #familyMore treats and tea with friends #friends #family

We often spend our days walking the neighborhood, too, sometimes for the exercise and, sometimes, just to get out off the house for a while. As someone who works from home, this can be critically important to maintaining a healthy attitude and high productivity. It also gives us a chance to see what is happening in our neighborhood — things that we might otherwise miss as we speed by in our car. We play “find the kitty cat” on our walks, which are many at particular times of the day. We see our neighbors out walking their dogs at other times. We get a chance to “see and be seen” which can be critically important when neighborhood issues or emergencies arise. No one wants to be a stranger when the next earthquake strikes, so getting out into your neighborhood can be critically important BEFORE it happens.

I have sat on the patio at our cousin’s house in Mascalucia, Sicily and enjoyed it immensely, but I find I can the same solace and happiness in my own backyard and my own neighborhood, too. Yes, sometimes familiarity can breed contempt, but familiarity can also feel very much like home.

Previously on End of the Day: