Writing From the Heart: Question #15 (Time or Money?)

time or money question_marcandangel blog

Alright, people. I’m back with the Writing From the Heart blog post series! It’s time to put your thinking caps on ;)

You may have noticed that a lot of guest posts have been going up on Your Daily Dose lately. Life’s been hectic, I’ve grown quite un-fond of computer screens, and … well, I’ve had a bit of blogger’s block to top it all off.

But I feel like it’s during these times when life just seems to be passing by in a tired blur that we have to refocus and re-spark our love for life! So as I was scrolling through some inspirational questions for this post, my eye landed on this one: Time or money?

I feel like most people’s gut reaction would be to say: “Time!”

I know that for me, it is. That’s because I have spent much of my life without time — and when I say “time”, I mean time outside of work and school. It was only a few months ago that my life finally consisted of having just one full-time job. That’s it. No school. No second or third part-time job. Free evenings. Free weekends.

I just didn’t know what to do with myself.

Well, I quickly figured it out. After the first Saturday of sitting on the couch staring at the TV and asking myself if there was some work that I should be doing, I smacked myself across the face and yelled: “There is no work to do! Enjoy your free time!” (I think this conversation was happening in my head).

Once it had sunk in, I started going all out. I could pick up some hobbies! Singing! Playing guitar! Writing! I had time for it all! I could visit my friends and family more often! I could sit on the couch on Sunday and watch football all day! I could also just *gasp* do nothing at all! My God, this was what I had been missing out on all these years. This was how other people were living.

Now, that may sound like the conclusion of the story, but alas, it is not. During this time of activity and exuberance, I had still thought about getting a part-time job to be able to pay off my student loan faster and save more for the future. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it after having gotten a taste of the good life. But while I by no means consider myself to be a greedy, materialistic person, I do recognize that there are certain things that could add to the quality of my life right now that do require money over time.

So, I don’t know. Maybe the question isn’t so easy to answer. Maybe now is (still) the time to put in that extra work in order for me to feel more settled and secure a little ways down the road. And to also be able to continue going on trips around the world and drinking fine scotch guilt-free! Those things make me happy too ;)

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: Time or money? Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

- Cafe

Photo Credit: Question 15

Do You Own Your Ideas?

Janice gravatarA note from Cafe: I really wanted to thank my friend Seto for taking the time to write this post, especially given that he doesn’t write very often (and for someone who doesn’t, I think he writes really well!). In my opinion, it takes a lot of courage to put your personal experiences and opinions out there for people to judge, so I appreciate that he’s taken on a topic that I have been afraid to talk about on my blog :)

Also, my apologies for having been MIA on your blogs as of late. It’s been a busy couple of past weeks, but I’ll be coming around to visit soon!

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Being a long-time friend of Janice and a follower of her blog, I can say that she’s a diverse writer, excellent singer and has created a great, positive vibe on Your Daily Dose. I’ve always enjoyed rallying ideas with her about random topics. I’m not sure if I’ve changed any of her ideas, but she’s not afraid to put her ideas up to the challenge which is all that matters.

Which leads me to why I chose to write about: Ideas and self: Do you own your ideas? It may sound like a vague topic, but from my experience, all of my values, goals and even emotions have evolved by developing ideas into my own rather than accepting them as is. To me, ideas make the world go round. Ideas pass by us every day — some we laugh at and dismiss, while others are so rooted in our values and principles that we naturally develop tunnel vision. Continue reading

Writing From the Heart: Questions #13-14 (I Don’t Wanna Talk About It)

Today, I thought I would challenge myself and choose two questions that I originally did not want to answer for my “Writing From the Heart” series. I’m moody enough to do it. So here we go :)

This question, for me, is just asking to get into a debate about religion, which people have warned me to steer clear of on my blog. That’s why I didn’t want to go there. Well, the floor is now open.

I don’t remember when I started feeling the clock ticking, but it did happen at some point. I started thinking about other people’s mortality and then my own. Thought about how those who believe there is something else beyond this life have comfort in that. And those who don’t will feel the pressure that this is their only chance.

Is it a good thing to have that motivation? Does it compel a person to achieve more before time runs out? Or is life just more stressful and meaningless that way?

Discuss. But play nice.

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I think the question itself explains why I wouldn’t want to think or write about it.

But that’s exactly why I should think and write about it. Right?

I’ve told you about my recurring nightmares before. I’ve been having them for well over 15 years now consistently. It’s not that I don’t want to confront it. It’s not that I haven’t tried figuring out what the heck is going on in my brain. But I think sometimes we let things that have been so long-standing and a part of our lives just run its course. It becomes so tiring to analyze it, solve it, change it. And it also becomes such a normal feature in our every day that we kind of even forget how unhealthy it might be to us.

So now that I’ve publicly said it, I will make myself accountable to being more confrontational towards those damn monsters chasing me. They’re going down, I say!

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My apologies for the somber mood, but it’s been one of those weeks. I wanted to thank everyone again for helping me get my blog glitches under control. It’s really made me happy to know that people are reading and enjoying the blog! Look forward to hearing your thoughts today :)

- Cafe

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: When did you first realize that life is short? (Do you even think that life is short?) AND What issues do you continually refuse to confront? Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

Photo Credit: Questions 13 & 14

Writing From the Heart: Question #2 (First Comes Love)

Love, health, happiness, money, fame.

Maybe it isn’t as simple as it seems. But it seems pretty simple to me.

Love: I feel that for most people, finding that person who they want to spend the rest of their life with is ultimately what we work towards. Of course we don’t want life to only be about that — we want to have our own personal achievements, maybe travel the world, excel in our careers. But it seems to be human nature that much of what we do — from making an effort in how we look to finding a “good” job — are ultimately to make us more “attractive” to potential life mates. Am I sounding like an evolutionary psychologist yet?

But — and I don’t know if it’s me just being a softie at heart — I don’t know that it’s just for us to find a partner who we can make babies with to carry on our lineage (*it’s the circle of liiiiife!*). Okay, seriously, I really believe that for most people, we want to feel that love and passion that you can’t just find in a friend. I remember that even throughout all those years where I was a total man-hater *ahem* I still found myself always writing in my journal about how I wish there was “that guy” out there. Blegh, so corny. But true.

Of course, love can also be referring to the love from family and friends. I don’t see how anything can beat being surrounded by people you love and who love you. If love is not at the top of your list, I need an explanation!!

Health: I feel like this could be a hard one to put at the top of the list unless you’ve experienced what it’s like to not have good health. Doesn’t matter if you have all the money in the world — if you have to be confined to your bed or hooked up on tubes, or are constantly feeling unwell, how do you enjoy life? I’m sure there are people who find ways, but I’m going to guess that they have some serious support and love behind them, which brings me back to my first point ;)

Happiness: Where does happiness come from? The true feeling of happiness that I’ve experienced has mostly come from love, which is why this is not right at the top. But happiness does also come from having peace of mind, good mental health, a strong sense of self, and so on — things that come from inside the individual rather than from another person. If I think about it like that — happiness as good mental health, it’s actually hard for me to decide which to put on top, happiness or health (which I think of as physical health), because mental health is all-important to me. Hmm, maybe not so simple?

Money: I do understand how money can make life easier and I’d be naive to say that it’s not important at all. Money lets me have amazing experiences around the world and go out to relax on weekends. I love those things!! But I would never trade money for love, health or happiness and I know that you could be rich but still totally unhappy and feeling like you didn’t have enough! Blegh.

Fame: This was easy to put at the bottom since I don’t think I’d like the famous lifestyle. I’m actually a pretty private person and there are certain things I like to keep to myself. I could imagine myself being one of those people who would punch a nosy reporter in the face if they got all up in my biz!

- Cafe

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: In order of importance how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame? Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

Photo Credits: Question 2Love, Health, Happiness, Money, Fame

Writing From the Heart: Question #1 (This Defense Mechanism Is Toast)

I’ve been feeling some serious blogger’s block lately. For some reason, I’ve been finding it hard to get back to where I started off with this blog — brace yourself for the cheese — writing from the heart *cringe*

Okay, so moving along … I was first inspired by Shira’s blog as I knew she had been doing 30 Days of Honesty Blogging (which originated from somewhere in the blogosphere). Shira always writes from the heart. I needed to take a lesson from this young lady! ;) I wanted to do something similar, so I Googled for some ideas and came across “40 Photo-Illustrated Questions to Refocus Your Mind.” Reading through the questions, I felt the spark inside again.

So here we go … And I hope that you will also find some inspiration in thinking about these questions for yourself. They often remind us what are the most important things in life, how much we’ve learned, and how we can continue striving to improve ourselves. So feel free to join me in this journey! :)

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Today I am strong-minded enough to change.

We all have something about ourselves that we know needs to change. Maybe it’s a negative way of thinking, or something we do in reaction to things we’re afraid of that only hurts ourselves in the end. It might come from being scarred by the things of our past or from unresolved anger. It might just come from being afraid or not having self-confidence. More often than not, it’s a defense mechanism we use to “protect” ourselves. And when we’ve relied on that defense mechanism for years and years, it’s hard to let it go.

A year ago, I knew there were certain things I needed to change about myself. And there’s no question that I had come a very long way from the person I used to be when I was much younger — when I was extremely untrusting, angry, and doubting myself. But even a year ago, I still felt drawn, every so often, to my own defense mechanism whenever I didn’t really want to deal with reality, or when those negative thoughts would return.

Well, today I know that I have a different kind of mental strength than I did then. It took all of the forward progress, as well as the failures, from the last few years to get me here. But now I know that today I am strong-minded enough to see my defense mechanism for what it is and show it the door! It is not an easy thing to do, because over time it has even become your friend, always welcoming you with open arms and promising to comfort you when you want to run and hide from reality. But while you are in its clutches, you have actually lost the freedom of being in control of how you want your life to progress into bigger and better things.

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago? Or: Do you have a defense mechanism that you need to let go of? Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

- Cafe