TSAONGAF 1

pointless meanderings

TSAONGAF is the abbreviation for Mark Manson’s self-help book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’ve read MM’s articles with some regularity, and last week I read his bestselling book. It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot. As I said earlier, I’m going to blog about some of my thoughts on his various concepts.

What does MM mean by not giving a f*ck? He points out that most of us are wrapped up in caring about so many things that we feel perpetually entitled to a perfect world and freak out when things don’t go how we want. I guess you could say that our giving f*cks too freely has turned us into a bunch of whiny Karens. MM suggests we drill down to our basic values (and change them if they aren’t working for us), and then find the few, important things to focus on. “Let the little things go.” We’ve heard that before, right?

Obsessing over way too many unimportant details has been a huge problem for me my whole life. I can’t simply decide not to and that’s that. “Don’t do that” is a negative statement, and when you focus on a negative, well, you know what happens. “Don’t eat potato chips”… now all you can think about are potato chips. I’ve been trying to substitute the negative statements with positive ones. Focus on work. Pay attention to family. Engage in self-care routines. Get more sleep and exercise. Read more books.

Focusing on these positives has had the effect of pushing some of the trivial crap away. It really does work. I don’t have time (or the inclination) to engage in social media arguments (a huge source of past stress) when I’m in the middle of a good book. If I’m filling my time with pleasurable activities, I’m less inclined to click on a new dating site “just to see.” I know that leads down a bad path. I can step back now. It’s a bit harder in some areas, such as driving ~ I still get enraged when someone does a dangerous maneuver. What does MM say about that?

It’s okay for life to suck sometimes, is what he says. We are not entitled to a perfect life, and there’s no need to feel inadequate when something fails to be perfect. So I had a frustrating drive to Los Angeles. That’s just how it is some days and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me or the way I’m living my life. Sometimes traffic is sucky and frustrating. That’s okay. I literally had this ridiculous conversation in my head the other week. I was so stupid for letting my daughter go to UCB. She had a full ride to UCD and wouldn’t have met her future husband there probably. I’d have more money now and wouldn’t have to make this horrible drive when I want to see her. God, I’m so dumb!

But then I got to her house (a half hour later than expected) and had such a great time with my family. I’m not “dumb” because there was a detour and some other drivers were being rude and awful. It’s okay for things to suck sometimes. I’m not entitled to perfection. It’s hard though to keep that mindset all the time… I’m constantly reminding myself to stay positive and not dwell on small annoyances. Being positive is more of a habit now than it used to be though, so I am improving. Slowly.

Okay, that’s the end of this PoiMo. I’ll do more MM musing another time. 🙂

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image originally found on Pixabay.

30 Day Book Challenge 5

June book challenge

I did this challenge in groups of 6 and this will be my last post in the series. It was a lot of fun!

25. A book villain I actually love would be Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones. I mean, come on, the guy is a total creep, banging his sister, and throwing a little kid off a tower when he witnessed them. But except for those minor details…

26. I’m not big on “shoulds,” and I also can’t recall reading a biography–they were all autobiographies. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin was probably my favorite. I do recommend it for his fans. Papa John by John Phillips was also interesting.

27. I don’t reread books yearly, but Where I’m Calling From, a short story collection by Ray Carver, is a book I’ve read a few times.

28. Watership Down by Richard Adams is a classic on my to-be-read list.

29. I love the cover of Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things and the stories inside as well.

30. The book I’m reading right now is Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’m about half done and it’s fantastic. Wish I had read it sooner because I’ve already learned a lot.

Great challenge!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

Philosophical Share

Melanie gives us some brain-crunchy Q’s this week…

1. Must we have evidence to know the truth?

I do, but lots of other people just go with “faith.” If I don’t have tangible evidence of X, or a collection of behaviors/events (including emotional states) to make X obvious, the truth of X remains an open question. I may still take action though. Sometimes you have to.

2. How much control does a person have over their life?

None. Isn’t that freeing? I just read about this in Mark Manson’s book too. Control is an illusion, but you are responsible for all your choices, including your emotional reactions.

3. What is gravity and how does it work?

It’s the irresistible attraction of a pen to a kitty, who must knock it off the table to see if it will fall to the center of the earth.

4. Can a person be happy if they have never experienced sadness?  How about vice versa?

No. You need opposing states to compare, which is why I quit dating.

Gratitude:
Please feel free to share a song, a poem, a quote or an image or photo to show what you were grateful for during this past week.  (Optional as always).

This seems appropriate for these times… so grateful for friends who hook me up with interesting music!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Inheritance, Part 4

[Earlier episode here.]

Deep within the castle’s empty halls and silent rooms, its furnishings long ago sold for coin, was a solid oak door, locked from the inside. At the bottom of a rickety staircase was a second door, also locked, but without an obvious place for a key. Simon chanted the arcane words he had learned long ago from his grandmother, and the door slid open into the wall.

“Welcome to my shop!” Simon said to Mandy, the reporter who was blackmailing him. She had threatened to expose his past, linking him to a recent murder, unless he gave her a chunk of his inheritance.

Mandy’s eyes grew wide at the vista spread before her. This was a home within a home, complete with bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and what appeared to be a chem lab. “Wow! What’s going on in here?”

“I’m searching for the formula to remove the curse from the treasure,” Simon said. “Without it, the gems are useless except for perpetuating evil, as Belinda was doing.”

Mandy nodded. “The police were closing in on her for the killings of those children. I received a tip about it, but then she was found in the river.”

“I couldn’t convince Grandmama to give me the counterspell, so I stopped Belinda another way.” Simon’s mouth twisted at the memory of dumping her body. “It had to be done. She was too far down the devil’s path to change. I didn’t know the police were onto her.”

Mandy rolled her eyes. “That’s the problem with vigilantism. What’s that smell though?”

“Cookies!” he announced. “You mentioned you love peanut butter, so I baked some.”

Mandy reached for a thick, golden brown cookie from the plethora on the plate Simon presented. She bit into the sweet and salty treat with pleasure. After her second one, she said, “You didn’t put anything weird in these, did you?”

“Who, me?” Simon smiled.

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 72.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Monday Peeve 42

The Monday Peeve

Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the #TMP tag, link back to me (or not), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen. I have feelings!

This week I’m continuing to rant about people on social media (don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll have another boring driving peeve soon). In particular, I have an issue with those who wish death upon people with different opinions. I know, right? But people are doing that constantly. Now, let me make clear that I am not talking about wishing death upon mass murderers or leaders whom you feel are genocidal maniacs, or whatever… I am talking about those who get so enraged that another poster/commenter disagrees with them that they hope the person dies. WTAF? I know. I know.

This is a bipartisan complaint, btw. I have learned to shrug off folks on the right who regularly wish earthquakes and tsumanis upon California. They can’t bear it that we’re a bunch of liberals out here and they wish the ocean would swallow us all up so they could be free of the burden of our opinions. I find that disgusting and horrible, but it’s old news. Newer news (for me) is the fact that some people on the left are now doing the same thing. They say they hope that supporters of the current President catch the virus and die. I have read versions of this statement countless times now and it’s just as awful each time. Since people tend to cluster with the like-minded, most of the time I see such outrageous statements pass without a peep from anyone saying hey, hold on.

Well, I’m here today to say I find these comments not only terrible but also proof that you’ve lost the argument. When you can’t muster a coherent rebuttal to whatever issue and instead resort to a 5-year-old’s “I HOPE YOU DIE” type of comment… you’ve shown that you have nothing intelligent to add to the conversation. Nanny nanny boo boo!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image originally found at Pixabay.

Bingo Update 11

Read previous update here.

For the bestseller book, I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I loved Manson when he was much less popular… found him early on when he gave mostly dating advice. Then I began to resent him. Who was this brash young guy (obviously privileged) telling everyone all this crap? And making bank off it. I quit reading him for a few years. But he was still around ~ peeps were always quoting him. Annoyed, I developed a conspiracy theory that he wasn’t even a real person but a character created by a publishing team. That still could be true… who knows.

Then my FB friend Barbara linked to one of his articles when I was depressed. I clicked. Whatever I read that day (don’t remember now) helped me so much that I subscribed to his blog by email. I grudgingly began to admire him again, so much so that I finally bought his book TSAONGAF. I didn’t read it until this challenge however.

Mark’s book is truly amazing. It’s a joy to read because he speaks to you as a friend, not as a high and mighty shrink. He admits to messing up in many areas before he began to view life much differently. He says he too is always growing and learning, and he doesn’t act like he has all the answers. He uses examples from his own life to illustrate his points, which makes his writing feel real and down to earth. Maybe the examples are made up, but regardless they are a great device to draw you in to the topic of each chapter.

My plan is to discuss in detail some of the TSAONGAF concepts that resonated the most with me in Pointless Meanders as time permits. That’s not a substitute for reading it yourself… I already feel better having finished it, and I highly recommend it in its entirety. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Two left! 📚

PS: I have no idea what happened with my phone’s pens, but I couldn’t find the right one for the checkmark, hence the slash.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image from Kriti and Ariel.

SLS ~ Cool/Freeze/Heat/Melt

Song Lyric Sunday

Thanks again to the host of Song Lyric Sunday… Jim Adams. He does a great job putting the SLS event together every week. This week’s prompts give us some fantastic musical choices. I’m going to deviate from the exact words just a tiny bit because I have a song that’s perfect for the theme. Please allow me to present Pat Benatar’s “Fire and Ice!”

This 1981 song was the lead single from Pat’s third album, Precious Time. It was written by Pat Benatar, Tom Kelly, and Scott Sheets. Pat won her second Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance in 1982 due to this song (she has 4 Grammies now). It went as high as #17 in Billboard’s Hot 100 and #2 on Mainstream Rock.

Fire and Ice

Ooh, you’re giving me the fever tonight
I don’t wanna give in, I’d be playing with fire
You forget, I’ve seen you work before
Take ’em straight to the top, leave ’em crying for more
I’ve seen you burn ’em before
Fire and ice
You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder
Fire and ice
I wanna give you my love, but you’ll just take a little piece of my heart
You’ll just tear it apart
Moving in for the kill tonight
You got every advantage when they put out the lights
It’s not so pretty when it fades away
‘Cause it’s just an illusion in this passion play
I’ve seen you burn ’em before
Fire and ice
You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder
Fire and ice

I wanna give you my love, but you’ll just take a little piece of my heart
So you think you got it all figured out
You’re an expert in the field, without a doubt
But I know your methods inside and out
And I won’t be taken in by fire and ice
Fire and ice
You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder
Fire and ice
I wanna give you my love, but you’ll just take a little piece of my heart
You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder
Fire and ice
I wanna give you my love, but you’ll just take a little piece of my heart
You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder
Fire and ice
You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder
Fire and ice

As an extra, maybe some of you will enjoy Robert Frost’s 1920 poem of the same name.

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image created by Jim Adams.

Inheritance, Part 3

Gloomy castle at night

[Please read Part 1 and Part 2]

Simon was awakened by a loud pounding. Then the bell’s sonorous chimes vibrated through the room. Blasted thing! Should be abolished. He struggled to become fully alert through his hangover. Good thing he had fallen asleep in his clothes! Whoever was out there seemed to be breaking down the door of Gloomhaven.

He stomped through the castle and flung open the front door, glaring at the woman standing outside. “What is it?” he snapped succinctly, not bothering with the usual politeness.

“Good morning!” she said brightly. “Are you Simon Shadows?”

She was pretty, thought Simon, but he didn’t want to encourage her. He had a long day of important tasks ahead. “What of it?”

Undeterred by his rudeness, she smiled sweetly and said, “Nice to meet you! I’m Mandy Mirth, a reporter for the Daily Crier.”

Gah, a reporter was the last thing Simon wanted to deal with. “I’m not giving any interviews,” he told her. “I’m in mourning for my grandmother.”

“I’m so sorry about her passing,” Mandy said. “She was an unusual person and so very interesting.”

Simon nodded once. “All right then. If there’s nothing else?” He began to close the door.

“What do you think about the dead body found in the river?” Mandy said.

“What?” Simon tried to process this. He hadn’t checked the news all weekend due to sorting through ancient books trying to find the formula to lift the curse from the stones. It was imperative that he find it before–

“Oh! You didn’t know,” Mandy said. “Sorry to startle you with bad news. But one of Dr. Dopple’s rescue dogs found it. He trains them you know, as a hobby.”

“What… what kind of body?” Simon definitely needed to hurry up and find the counterspell, but he also had to know if anyone suspected him.

Mandy continued cheerfully, “A human one! A woman. And my contact at the lab says that she may have been poisoned first because she didn’t drown, nor did she have bruising or wounds.”

“Well, that’s terribly disturbing,” Simon said truthfully. “I am aghast that there may be criminal activity in our village. You may quote me, Mandy.”

“I don’t want to quote you, Simon.” Mandy stepped forward, her tone now serious, her green eyes narrowed. “I want a share of the inheritance.”

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Pixabay.

The Stars Won’t Come Out… [socs]

If they know that you’re about
Cause they couldn’t match the glow
Of your eyes…
🎶🎶🎶

(“Candida” by Tony Orlando)

Romantic couple in restaurant

While flirty banter and pick-up lines sound cheesy to me when spoken aloud, the same words in a song can be meltingly romantic. Weird! But true. Eons ago I noticed that some songs seem deeply poetic and/or philosophical, but if you simply read the lyrics as text… meh. How about this one?

“With every step you take, I’ll be watching you.”

Omg stalker! That definitely does not sound romantic outside of the song by the Police (written by Gordon Sumner). It’s not the only one either… there are tons of creepy lyrics that seem fine when sung.

One way or another, I’m gonna find ya
I’m gonna get ya, get ya, get ya, get ya
One way or another, I’m gonna win ya
I’m gonna get ya, get ya, get ya, get ya

Yikes, Blondie, take a chill pill! And how about this lovely ballad?

There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
With eyes as black as coal
That looks down in my soul
And starts a fire there and then I lose control
I have to beg your pardon
I’m going to pick that rose
And watch her as she grows in my garden

Get a restraining order stat! Those lines do not sound romantic when read as text. They are scary, right? Dang, I’ve always loved that song (written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector). Let’s go with Rod Stewart for the grand finale.

You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul
You’ll be my breath should I grow old
You are my lover, you’re my best friend
You’re in my soul

Think that’s over the top too? Nah, it’s just about football (soccer). 🤣🤣🤣

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Pexels.

Friday Night Q’s

Butterfly at night with flowers

Lovely Di @ pensitivity101 has offered us some interesting questions…

1.  What is your first childhood memory?

Waving goodbye to someone. They were on a train and my mom held me to wave. It was probably my father’s parents. I was around 2 years old.

2.  If you dive, what was your first car?

I don’t dive… I dislike going in the water at all. 🤣 I drive though, and the first car I owned was a Renault.

3.  Do you prefer sweet or savoury foods?

4.  Before the lockdown, were you comfortable in a crowd?

I was okay with small groups of friends, 4-10 being the ideal number. I may never go to a fair or concert again because I can’t imagine ever feeling okay about a huge crowd, not that I liked them previously.

5.  Are you a night or day person?

Lately, my sleep schedule has been all messed up. I probably am most productive in the late afternoon and early evening.

6.  Favourite past time?

Writing and reading.

7.  What makes you laugh?

Wordplay mostly.

8.  What makes you cry?

Thinking about my mom…

9.  Compared to your school days, are you more or less creative now?

About the same.

10. What is you pet hate/peeve?

People! 😡

11. What kind of blogs interest you enough to follow?

I like eclectic blogs where the blogger writes poetry and/or short fiction, maybe has a prompt going on to share, and also talks about themselves a little. I don’t like blogs that link news articles (as a whole post) and/or blather endlessly about news in an impersonal way. I don’t want to read conspiracy theories nor will I tolerate even the slightest hint of racism or antisemitism. And if a blog is about selling me something, it had better be interesting and funny.

Timer at night

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Happy Color.