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

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.

* * *

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!

* * *

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

Is Blogging a Waste of Time?

In the past few days, three things happened that made me question: Am I wasting my time blogging?

1. I read an article by the Blog Tyrant titled “Why Blogging is a Waste of Your Time.”

2. One of my newest visitors, Whitt, left a very thought-provoking comment on being addicted to blogging after reading about my self-imposed 4-day social media ban.

3. I came across the Freshly Pressed post “Revenge of the Ping” by cheerful.egg about the weapons of mass distraction that we need to learn how to say “NO!” to.

Were the greater powers that be staging an intervention?

Just say no.

Why would blogging be a waste of time? Most people would say it’s because it takes away from doing other things — meaning other, more productive things.

To me, blogging is productive in many ways and really fulfills a creative need that I can’t always get elsewhere. But sometimes I’m not entirely sure if I’m starting to cross the line again.

It’s a good thing to check-in with yourself on this from time to time. And if you do feel like you might be wasting a lot of time on blogging, here’s some ideas on how you might be able to keep up your blog without sacrificing all of your precious time:

1. Post on the bus. I’ve spent many a bus and subway ride typing up blog post drafts in my Blackberry notes (if I wasn’t doing that, I’d be passed out in my seat).

Email myself the note, copy and paste into WordPress, and with some minor edits, I have a new blog post ready to go and don’t have to spend time creating a whole new work of art right there on the spot.

This goes for any other time you might be sitting around waiting by yourself — like for a doctor’s appointment, or for that girl/boyfriend who is always late.

2. Post less often. Some people like to post something once a day, sometimes multiple times a day. If you have time for it and that’s what you want to do, do it. But if you’re finding that it’s taking up way too much of your time, schedule a post for every two, three or even four days.

There’s a plus side to this too. There’s a better chance that more of your readers will get to read each blog post you put out there. As much as I love my blogroll, there’s no way I can keep up anymore with reading every post that each person writes, especially if they post every day.

3. Get a guest blogger. I don’t recommend doing it all the time, because in the end your followers are following YOU and want to read what YOU have to say. But if you know someone who has something interesting to say about the topics you tend to blog about and are willing to keep up with replying to comments, it can provide a nice little break for you.

4. Simplify some of your posts. Take a photo of something interesting and just write a paragraph about it. Sometimes people would rather just look at images than take the time to read a lot of text.

I’ll try to take my own advice on this and not to say so much all the time … after this post ;)

5. Do something just to blog about it. I know it sounds kind of weird, but go out and do something that you might not normally do just for the sake of blogging about it. If you can’t pry yourself away from writing up a next post, at least make it a point to get out there and experience something new, interesting and/or exciting that you can tell all your readers about.

Make blogging the motivation to do “real” stuff, rather than let it hinder you from experiencing those things. This way, you won’t feel guilty about wasting your time and you’ll probably have a kick-ass post to blog about!

- Cafe

Do you feel like blogging is taking up too much of your time? What are your tips for balancing your blog life with real life?

Writing From the Heart: Question #3 / Lean On Me by Bill Withers (Cover) (Guitar & Vocals)

Being a good person and helping to make other people’s lives better.

It’s easiest for me to answer this question by imagining that my time had come and now here was everyone gathered at my funeral — *knock on wood* — thinking back to .. well .. me, and their time with me.

As everyone stood over my grave — sobbing uncontrollably, of course (hehe) — I’d want people to be thinking that I had a good heart. That I always tried to think of others and what it would be like to be in their shoes. That I had a lot of compassion and empathy, and that I continually tried to improve myself as a person — not just for my own betterment, but for the ones I loved around me.

I’d hope that people would feel like I had made their lives better, not necessarily in some profound way, but even in the little things. I guess, in other words, these are the things I want to strive towards being remembered for. I hope I am well on my way :)

So with that, I’d like to send you all off on your weekend with a cover of “Lean On Me” (originally by Bill Withers), dedicated to my dear friends and anyone who needs a shoulder to lean on. I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on! :D

Have a great weekend, everyone!

- Cafe

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: What do you want to be known for? Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)

Photo Credit: Question 3

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