Monthly Archives: March 2015

Letting Your Mind Go Offline, by T. Brady

We ALL need some time, to DISCONNECT from the web, especially at this day and age…

We all need to take a break from our screens, and not just to rest our eyes.  The downtime lets us get a little creative thinking done.

Executives’ toys that live on a desk to be played with, some say, are a productive distraction: Magic 8 Balls with cryptic messages; Zen gardens with the little rakes; Newton’s Cradle, the dangling metal balls that knock against one another, the ends flying to demonstrate Newton’s law of the conservation of momentum.

Such objects provoke dialogue and relieve stress, says Adrienne Appel of the Toy Industry Association, and are useful in the digital age.

“With today’s extended work hours, multiple screens and multiple devices, it’s even more important for people to step back and take that moment to de-stress,” she told The Times.

Scott G. Eberle, vice president for play studies at the Strong museum in Rochester, New York, said desktop toys can induce a meditative state.  Mr. Eberle has written on subjects like day-dreaming, and he sees creative value in objects like Newton’s Cradle.  Watching them can create a sense of detachment.

“Ideally, you need to move yourself into a state where your mind is offline,” he said, adding that lava lamps and fish tanks work as well.

Since much of our public space is being filled by the advertisers, Matthew B. Crawford reported in The Times, it’s harder and harder to get offline.

“In the process, we’ve sacrificed silence—the condition of not being addressed,” Mr. Crawford wrote.  “And just as clean air makes it possible to breathe, silence makes it possible to think.”

He noticed that the trays used to place items for X-ray screening at airports are now covered with advertisements, and he was jarred by the sight of all the lipstick colors offered by L’Oreal when he put a memory stick in the tray.

This noise blocks out the silent moments we used to savor when traveling, which contribute to the creativity and innovation, Mr. Crawford argued.  Silence is now marketed as a luxury good.

“In the business-class lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport, I heard only the occasional tinkling of a spoon against china,” he wrote.  “I saw no advertisements on the walls.  This silence, more than any other feature, is what makes it feel genuinely luxurious.”

His neck muscles relaxed, and he felt revived, after just twenty minutes.

These days we don’t have much chance to relax, Teddy Wayne wrote in The Times, because of ICYMI (In case you missed it.)

Twitter and online alerts appear every few seconds to bring links to the attention of those who may have missed them.  The news industry is publishing stories twenty-four hours a day, entire seasons of TV shows are released at once and most movies are available at any time.

It’s impossible to keep up.  But it’s also possible to access any of these things at any time “so there is no excuse for missing one—and, therefore, a more urgent compulsion to catch up,” Mr. Wayne wrote, “in case you missed it.”

Manoush Zomorodi, the host of a New York radio show called New Tech City, which examines how technology affect our lives, complains she hasn’t been bored in seven years.

She traces it to her first iPhone in 2007, Ms. Zomorodi, 41, started a project called “Bored and Brilliant,” which asked participants to avoid their devices and embrace idleness, hoping the wandering of mind is a more creative one.

Of course there is an app for it.  “We’re trying to embrace the ridiculousness of it”, she told The Times.

So, looks like we’re ALL kidnapped by these modern day inventions, huh?  Because we feel this need to stay connected (it’s still the individual’s problem if you ask me!), and so, we’re, tuned into whatever everybody else is doing, and thus, we find ourselves in the midst of this information overload, and, we wanted to unplug, but, how can we, we’d become reliant on these systems, these modern day technologies, and, it’s still due to the lack of control that people have over themselves, if you ask me, but hey, WHO asked Y-O-U again???  EXACTLY!

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Filed under Addiction to High-Tech Products& the WWW, Awareness, Connections, Cost of Living, Dependency, Emptiness of Modern Man's Souls, Life, Messed Up Values, Socialization, Vicious Cycle

Took Care of My Mother-in-Law Until She’d Died, and Now, I’m Living Alone, Peacefully, as an Elderly Person

Caring for a loved one as she got older became a preparation of one’s own old age here, translated…

The year was 1949, I’d followed the service team that my husband belonged to to Taiwan, back then, my in-laws didn’t want to leave their homes behind, but they were convinced and persuaded by their wonderful son, fearing, that if the two of them elders stayed behind, they will be pressured by the Communists, and so, they’d come along with us too.

After China was taken, just as my husband had suspected, a lot of elderly people who’d stayed behind were kicked out of their own homes, and, they’d, starved to death.

Living in Taiwan for sixty years, at first, things went smoothly.  After a long time, my father-in-law died before my mother-in-law, my mother-in-law had lost her partner for life, she felt lonely, and, became stressed out day and night, and quickly, she’d become, troubled with depression and bipolar.  Since, my mother-in-law couldn’t even recognize her children and grandchildren anymore, and couldn’t take care of herself in daily living.

She’d tied up her sheets and quilts every single day with a rope, mumbled, “I’m headed home.”, it’d made us all feel bad, and, we had no idea how to help her out.

What’s most difficult was, back then, there were NO adult diapers to be bought, and so, I could only use those old sheets, and cut them up, and change my mother-in-law several times a day, and, if it was a rainy day, and, she ran out of clean cloth diapers, I’d had to add a pot of coal, to dry it up, and reuse.  I’d done all of this, more than enough, until she’d passed away.

My mother-in-law had always been very strict toward her daughter-in-law, she had twelve children, whom she’d overseen the births of, after she’d wiped down her children, and wrapped them all up after they were born, she’d immediately returned to the fields to work again.  She’d even said, “giving birth to me is like taking a difficult toilet break, I never even had the chance to stay in bed all day long, like you, to recover.”

And now, I am already ninety, and because I’d gotten my share of the hard times, caring for my aging in-laws, and so, a decade ago, I’d made the decisions to leave all of my kids, I didn’t want to trouble them at all.  I’m really glad, that the place I chose for myself to live until I die is very peaceful and quiet, with the weather being nice.  The thyme, osmanthus, and flowers I’d planted, allowed me to live in the nature long-term.

And because this woman had the previous displeasures of caring for her ailing, aging, demented mother-in-law, she’d decided, that she wasn’t going to impose on her own children, which was why she’d chosen to live up in the mountains, and, she’s healthy enough to live on her own too, so, that was, a blessing, perhaps, for caring for her demented mother-in-law for a very long time, who knows???

 

 

 

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Filed under Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Observations, Old Age, Perspectives, Planning for the Future, Properties of Life

When the Milestones of Your Lives Became Myths

Because let’s FACE it, those milestones are only meaningful, to just Y-O-U, and the rest of us, well, we don’t feel the same way that you do!

When the milestones of your lives became myths, there’s NOTHING you can do, to make them real again, after all, they’d already, been, mystified, and, once something becomes mystified, well, there’s NO way it’ll EVER, come back down to EARTH (where we ALL live!) again.

When the milestones of your lives became myths, because there’s NOT a set age which everybody IS to get married, to have children, because, we don’t FIT, inside that small “cube” of the “norm”, and, those of you who fitted to the “norm” are simply, WEIRDOS!

When the milestones of your lives became myths, there’s NOTHING you can do, to de-mystify them, because, once something becomes myths, well, you’re gonna have, a HELL of a time, proving them to be truths again, and, you can try to, but, you will NEVER be, successful at it, so, just, give it up already.

When the milestones of your lives became myths, because, although there’s a “set schedule” for the average person to develop, but, you’re NOT “average”, you’re always gonna be below, on some of the matters, and, above, on others your whole life, and so, there’s NO use, chasing what’s considered as “normal”, in OTHER people’s views, just like how babies don’t all start saying their first words at the age of nine-months, do they?  Nope!

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Filed under Awareness, Being Exposed, Cause & Effect, Child Development/Education of Children, Expectations, Life, Maturation, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life

Too Late to Divide Up the Assets Evenly, the Married Couple for Twenty-Six Years Had Separated, and, They Both Wanted the Assets that Was Rightfully Theirs

The splitting up of assets, that came too late, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

A man, Lu had been separated from his wife for seven years now, three years ago, the couple split up the assets; Lu believed, that since he married, he’d given his wages to his wife, that he’d given her over four hundred thousand dollars already, and, as they’d decided on splitting up the assets, he had less than $3,000N.T. in his bank accounts.  The District Court in Shihlin used how he’d sued his wife just last May, and that the case had past the statute of limitation of two years, found him lost.

Lu once worked as the senior manager of a life insurance company, and had often given speeches on his successes publicly, but, he’d lost his job, because his wife said that he’d forged someone’s signatures on the paperwork; Lu’s wife is a teacher at an elementary school.  They were married for twenty-six years, with two children.

Lu said, that at the time when they were married, the couple had filed for their assets to be combined, three years ago, he’d asked the courts, to file their assets separately, because he was in debt, owing taxes, the houses he’d bought were under his wife’s name, and he’d handed his earnings to his wife monthly.  Lu estimated, that his earnings from 2001 to 2008, that he’d placed into his wife’s account was around $20,000,000 N.T.s, subtracting the living expenses, there would be at least four million dollars N.T. remaining, including the properties, his wife owns over sixteen million dollars N.T. worth of assets.

Lu’s wife said, that her husband cheated on her with his secretary back in 2007, and never returned home afterwards, and didn’t pay the child supports for his children, in order to make up for her kids not having a father, “she’d spent it all”.  She’d suspected, that had her husband known about the extra money since the start, why would he have waited until last year to file for the claims?

And so, this, is what happens, because the husband cheated on the wife, and, the wife wanted what was hers back, but, she’d filed for the claims, too late, because it was past, the statute of limitations.

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Filed under Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Cost of Living, Divorces, Expectations, Legislature, Lessons, Life, News Stories

The Beginning of the Pursuit of Dreams, from the Workforce

Translated…

As my eldest graduated college last year, because he was overweight, he’d skipped his draft calls, and went straight into the workforce.  He’d sent in over ten résumés, but, only one company called him for an interview, but unfortunately, he didn’t get the job.  My son told me he was sad, I’d told him not to worry, that the most important thing now for him, was to lose weight, because after he’d gotten his health in check, he can then, face up to the challenges in his life.

And so, my son went on his diets, and looked for work, but, he just couldn’t get the chance to get interviews, I’d asked him why these corporation had not given him a chance?  He’d told me, that he was with NO work experiences, NO certifications.  I’d recalled how I’d once gone through my job search with the employment center, and told him to go to the center to get registered.  He’d gone, and filled out the application for a worker, but the people at the office told him, that he was part-timing, and with a college degree, that it’d be a waste, the worker suggested that he’d apply for job trainings hosted by the government: encouraging those who are fresh in the workforce, to up their abilities; it’d offered youths from ages eighteen to twenty-nine, who had served their army terms, or exempt from serving, money, for training, up to $120,000N.T.

For this training, you could pay a fee, to take the courses, and, after you’d finished the courses, you can take the receipts to the government, to ask for tuition supplementing.  After my son learned of this, he’d immediately signed up, and, was prepared to get his certification in six months.  I’d recalled how he’d wanted to own a computer shop when he was younger, and now, he’s marching towards his dreams.  The assistance of $120,000N.T., gave way to the start of a young man’s dreams, it’s enough!  We saw how our son was willing to take this first step out, we feel very proud of him.

My son told us, that among his classmates, who’d looked for a job in a hurry, and ended up working for a falsified company, and in the end, not only did he not earn anything, he’d also gotten sued, and must pay fines; and, there was one, who’d crushed his pinky at work.  I felt so awful for them after I’d heard, I’d told my son, that he needed not worry about our finances, just go for his dreams, and not care how much wages his boss paid him, and ask himself, how many Ks am I worth?

A certain entrepreneur said, that entering the workforce at the age of twenty-three is simply too cruel, but, I think otherwise.  Because you’re young, and you can withstand your failed attempts, after several failures, my twenty-three year-old son would know, what his goals in life are, and what skills he needed to hone up on.

And so, this, is a great way, to encourage the younger generations, but, most parents are pressing their young, to GO find work, after graduation, after all, the parents are worried about their offspring’s futures, but hey, your children’s futures are already SET, and, you parents, worrying over what their plans are for the future is not going to help their transitions into adulthood easier, so, just let go already, because, everything HAS its time, just like the above had proven!

Is the Degree Really Useless?

Views on life, translated…

My students told me something odd; he’d wanted to take the government position exams, and, after he’d passed, he’d planned to drop out of school and start working, then, used his time being employed, to study, and finish up his college education, and work on the level examinations, then, work at government post until he retires.

What I was shocking was, that this student was originally, the most outstanding student of the class, he’d originally planned to take the judgeship examinations after he graduated from college, so, where did this huge change in him come from?

Turns out, other than the influences from his family, the society also had a huge impact on him, changing his mind.  How was he supposed to live off of just 20K a month?  Plus, if he wants to finish his college education, he still had to pay up his student loans for the four years, and so, he was hurried, to get himself into the workforce, so he could lessen the economic strains on his own family, as well as himself too.  I wanted to ask him, that if this, was actually what he wanted to do, or, was he pressed, by the economics?

Actually, his decision had made me feel, recalling how back in my twenties, I was, a carefree college student, although I’d nickeled and dimed my way through school, at least, I had no worries for my future, believed, that after I’d graduated, I should be able to find a job, I need to enjoy living, as a college student for the moment!

And still, with the changes that comes, the environment is no longer the same, and, the thoughts changed too, and, this current generation is filled with the uncertainties of the future.  I’d wanted to tell him, that college is for discoveries, and to contemplate one’s own future, it shouldn’t be a stepping stone to a job; there’s a lot of experiences to be had, and one must take advantage of it.  The early onset of being pressured by the economic burdens can cause one to forget about the passions one once held, and, end up, missing out, on this beautiful time of learning altogether.

And so, this student is focused on getting himself into a government post, as having a government post means that you’re SET for life, and that, would be the direction where a lot of the students now are working towards, and, they FAILED to realize, that college is a time for exploration, your last year of learning, after all, once you’re out of college, you’ll be, bombarded with the demands of the adulthood years, and, if you didn’t take full advantage of those schooling years, then, you will, end up regretting it.

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Filed under Coping Mechanisms, Expectations, Life, Planning for the Future, Properties of Life

Is the Degree Really Useless?

Views on life, translated…

My students told me something odd; he’d wanted to take the government position exams, and, after he’d passed, he’d planned to drop out of school and start working, then, used his time being employed, to study, and finish up his college education, and work on the level examinations, then, work at government post until he retires.

What I was shocking was, that this student was originally, the most outstanding student of the class, he’d originally planned to take the judgeship examinations after he graduated from college, so, where did this huge change in him come from?

Turns out, other than the influences from his family, the society also had a huge impact on him, changing his mind.  How was he supposed to live off of just 20K a month?  Plus, if he wants to finish his college education, he still had to pay up his student loans for the four years, and so, he was hurried, to get himself into the workforce, so he could lessen the economic strains on his own family, as well as himself too.  I wanted to ask him, that if this, was actually what he wanted to do, or, was he pressed, by the economics?

Actually, his decision had made me feel, recalling how back in my twenties, I was, a carefree college student, although I’d nickeled and dimed my way through school, at least, I had no worries for my future, believed, that after I’d graduated, I should be able to find a job, I need to enjoy living, as a college student for the moment!

And still, with the changes that comes, the environment is no longer the same, and, the thoughts changed too, and, this current generation is filled with the uncertainties of the future.  I’d wanted to tell him, that college is for discoveries, and to contemplate one’s own future, it shouldn’t be a stepping stone to a job; there’s a lot of experiences to be had, and one must take advantage of it.  The early onset of being pressured by the economic burdens can cause one to forget about the passions one once held, and, end up, missing out, on this beautiful time of learning altogether.

And so, this student is focused on getting himself into a government post, as having a government post means that you’re SET for life, and that, would be the direction where a lot of the students now are working towards, and, they FAILED to realize, that college is a time for exploration, your last year of learning, after all, once you’re out of college, you’ll be, bombarded with the demands of the adulthood years, and, if you didn’t take full advantage of those schooling years, then, you will, end up regretting it.

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Filed under Cause & Effect, Cost of Living, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Trends, Values

Do Look More at Your Spouse’s Better Qualities

Translated…

Last weekend, I’d asked along a couple of good friends, and, we took all our kids to Dahu Park, on the one hand, our kids could have each other’s company, and, on the other, it’d given us, mothers, a breather, to chit chat with each other, to reconnect with one another.

Mei-Jun who arrived late to the gathering came, complaining about how her husband would just sleep in on the weekends, rarely helped out around the house, nor does he schedule outings with the children; and, she’d become responsible, for the kids’ recreational activities on the weekends, and, from time to time, when her husband came along, he’d only acted as the chauffeur, drove everybody to the spot, then, headed back home to sleep some more.

After Wen had heard, she’d started envying Mei-Jun, turns out, that her household was exactly the opposite from Mei-Jun’s.  Wen who keeps everything tidy wanted the weekend, to clean up, but, the husband believed, that the weekends should be spent, away from home, whether it be going to the movies, or to sightsee.  Although Wen knew, that going on outings as a family is an amazing experience, but, when she thought of how much work that needed done around her house, she couldn’t help, but feel worried.

Then, Yu-Jen joined in the discussion too, even though her husband doesn’t have that many bad qualities, but, he is reactive, needed to be told what to do; but, the things that she’d missed, her husband ignored.  In the end, everything big and small in her house, relied on Yu-Jen, as the “commander” to handle, and, her husband became a pawn that just runs the errands.

Hearing my girlfriends started describing how displeased they were at their husbands, I couldn’t help, but smile, turns out, based off of the standards my good friends had set up, my husband is a perfect ten, hard working, and can cook (although he rarely had any chances to), and on the weekends, he’d taken the kids out exercising, cycling, camping, climbing, and would also accompany my children as they worked on their art, or practiced their piano.

But, this sort of a perfect husband has a weird habit, he’d wanted to order everything, books, shirts, pants.  He’d ordered everything in his closets by sections of shirts, pants, suits, and, lined his clothes up based off of length and color too; on his bookshelves, he’d ordered his books by the types of books he had, then, sorted them out by sizes.  The bathroom and living room slippers must be orderly, so it would be convenient, to the next person who uses it.

After my husband heard, they’d all shook their heads, thought that this precise man can impose a great deal of pressure on his family, and, everybody all of a sudden felt, that their husbands in their daily living, are actually very good, despite how messy they can get.

I’d smiled and told them, “each couple have differences in upbringing, if you can respect and cherish one another’s good qualities, then, you’d gotten along nicely.  Marriage is not changing the other person into another you, instead, it’s making sure, that your qualities complemented each other’s, so one plus one is greater than two.”  As for who gives more to whom, don’t nickel and dime, after all, love is the point, so, we’re all, giving to our families, willingly.

And so, each house has its separate issues, and, what you see as a good quality in someone else, may not be a good quality, to someone whom the person is close to, so, stop envying one another, and just cherish what you have.

After I’d Lost My Job

Gives you a brand new perspective on things, after you’d lost your job, and now, after you’d reexamined yourself, you can start again, on a fresh note, translated…

As everybody is ushering in the brand new year, I’d had to face the facts, of my company closing down, and being out of a job.

Losing the job during the Chinese New Years is an awful thing, and, all of my friends and families had commented, “That’s such a shame, there goes, your year-end bonus!”

Recalling just six months ago, when I’d realized, that my company was laying off the employees one by one, I’d already started planning.  After all, I’m getting older, and, the opportunities won’t come at me like they used to.  Even so, I’d still held that positive attitude, study at home, or, apply for new job.

This year was just the year when my son is taking his entrance exams for high school, I’d busied myself in and out daily, chauffeuring him every single day; my daughter who’d come home for her winter break got to sleep until she wakes herself, and enjoy the home cooked meals prepared by her mother.  See how happy she looks, this, was the small-time happiness she never had the chance of experiencing since birth.

Is it scary, to become unemployed?  I’d asked myself this a lot recently.  Because I’d lost my job, I’d had more time, to prepare the meals for my family, to tidy up the house more; because I’d lost my job, I’d gotten more time to stay at home, and, after having that honest heart-to-heart with myself, I’d realized, my past mistakes.

Losing my job became a turning point for me, I expect that I will be able to face my unknown future with more bravery, because I’d gotten beaten, losing my job and all.  Carrying on with this positive mindset, and, embrace the bottom half of my life that is solely mine.

And so, you’d carried that positive outlook on life, even though you’d lost your job, and, it’s that positive attitude that will help you in the futures to come.

Childhood Sweethearts

The BEST of times here, translated…

Not identical to that crush, back then, we still don’t know the meanings of love yet, with the heart of adoration, but, we were, more confused at that age.  Sometimes, we were inseparable, at others, we were, enemies, and the very next day, we’d gone to school together, sat on the same rows.  We were, childhood sweethearts, and, we were saved, in one another’s memories as young, naïve, pretty and naughty.  That, was the faces of the time from kindergarten to elementary school, so close, and inseparable, and afterwards, when we’d thought about one another, that smile would, slowly, creep up onto our faces.

Those faces, had, walked into, the elementary school reunion, thirty years later.  Released, exploded, if our own children see us, they would still not believe it, turns out, that their parents, were once, young children like they are too, they were, rowdier, than those classrooms, without the teachers watching over the classes.  Those we’d lost touch with after we left the elementary years, we’d taken a look at one another closely, and, we’d all managed, to return one another, back to when we were still just children again.  That naughty boy who’d once taken his own sunny side up, and shared it with that little girl, that generous girl who’d won the love of all the boys in her class, those who’d traded candies and toys smiled at one another, and, those who’d fought with themselves are the happiest now.  Reconnecting, the women started talking with their childhood girlfriends about the happenings in the girls’ lives, and, the men shared those old days of making trouble as boys with each other too.  We’d all grown, all became strong, with our separate life experiences too.  Our statuses and our positions, our occupations don’t matter at all, we were, competing with one another, who’d gotten punished the worst by our instructor back in the day, who’d made fools of themselves the most number of times, and, those troubles in our past became, a beautiful song that we shared with one another.

Childhood sweethearts, the hearts were true back then.  I’d once followed and traced their footprints, Googling them, tracking them in secrecy using Facebook, silently prayed, that they’re all okay, that after she’d fallen ill, she could cherish what’s important more, that he’d grown stronger, after getting up from his falls.  The over thirty years of absences from one another’s life, were traded, in secrecy, and, we’d continued, holding on, picking up where we left off, in our childhood years, smiling more radiantly for her sake, giving him a louder applause, although we may be far apart in physical distances, we could still connect with one another, still give each other kudos.  The reunion of the younger years, can make people escape their current life situations temporarily, to allow you, to realize, that those who’d shared your ups and downs from way back when, should be the ones you’d cherished the most.

Looking at the sign-in books, and, the times we’d shared all came back to life again, and, it’d showed a picture of that pasture in our childhood years, the wind woke a pair of young childhood sweethearts from nap, the childlike, the shy, the words that filled our hearts, just wouldn’t, come out, articulate, and back then, we’d all just said, “It’s nice to meet you.”  Without realizing, that thirty years from then when we’d met back up again, we’d stated it simply, “So glad to see you again.”

Turns out, this group of seven, eight year-olds who’d mowed the grasses by the fields, those laughter, those silently slacking off, we were, practicing, for the happiness and the sorrows, of our current lives.

So, that, is how much, the childhood days can affect a person, huh???  And, the writer went from talking about his elementary school reunion, and, connected it to how those childhood experiences, had made him into who he is today.

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Filed under Expectations, Family Matters, Life, Marriages, Observations, Obstacles in a Relationship, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Story-Telling, The Observer Effect