Happy=Home?

“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.”

— Dr. Samuel Johnson

What do we think about the quote?

True?

False?

Is everything we do in life somehow tied to being happy at home?

Well- I guess that depends on what happy at home really means. And it needs to be what it means to you…as each person’s definition of happy is unique…

What makes your home a happy place?

Think about it for a minute: what do you need to be happy at home?

My must have list is something like this:

  1. An actual place to call home- walls, plumbing. electric, kitchen, bathroom, place to sit and place to sleep
  2. Food
  3. minimal fighting and arguing
  4. a feeling of safety
  5. a feeling of security
  6. health

Do I get these things via ambition?

Well, having money is a definite need.

Does ambition get you money?

I’m not sure if this goes hand in hand. I know plenty of people with jobs who lack ambition. I also know some people with ambition but no money. So I’m not sure about this one.

Does ambition get me the other things on my list?

Does ambition bring safety and security and a family that gets along?

No. I don’t think so.

Perhaps my definition of ambition is lacking. When I think ambition I think of doing well in school, a profession, or a pursuit such as being an Olympic skater…I think of ambition as having a goal, seeing something that you want, and just reaching out to grab it.

Is that what ambition really is?

Maybe ambition is making sure that your family has the necessary things like food, water and shelter.

Maybe ambition is seeking to create a quality of life where your home is a harmonious place, most of the time.

But enough about what I think: What do you think?

  1. What is your interpretation of the quote?
  2. What does “happy at home” mean to you?
  3. What does ambition mean to you?

Discuss

A or B or C or none of the above….

As some of you may know, we got a recent addition to the household- our puppy Betty.

cue AWWWWWWW sounds….because she is cute.

But along with cute, comes the fact that she is a living, breathing creature…

A living, breathing creature that must be loved and nurtured and cared for and trained….

Puppies must learn what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is not… As I write this I here my husband saying “No. No.” I’m assuming that Betty is nibbling a bit because she is teething.

Nibbling while teething is a natural behavior- their teeth hurt and they are trying to make themselves feel better. However, no one wants themselves or all their belongings to be used as a chew toy, so Betty is given a chew toy to nibble on when she needs to. We keep things off the floor, we make things unattractive for her to chew on and replace it with something acceptable.

You could say that this is a battle that we choose the fight: teaching/training the puppy to only chew on certain items.

With a puppy we have other battles that we need to fight:

  1. going bathroom on the wee wee pad
  2. eating meals at certain times
  3. not drinking after 9pm
  4. sleeping in her crate at night
  5. not barking at inappropriate times
  6. learning to sit calmly in the dog carrier
  7. being brushed
  8. cleaning her butt
  9. dressing her in a coat if it’s cold
  10. sit, stay, lay down, etc…

Trying to train a puppy to do all these things is exhausting and tiring…

But do we need to do all those things?

Do we need to fight all these battles?

What battles you want to fight are entirely up to the individual

The same theory can be applied to just about anything…

You might know what needs to be done, you might know the “right” or “wrong” way to do something, but you might not choose to follow all the steps…

For example- I know that the dog sleeping in a crate at night will probably be the best thing for her. But I know my Husband is a big sucker and will let her sleep in the bed once she is potty trained.

Do I want to fight that battle with him?

What about the commands?

Am I going to spend that much time teaching my 3.4 pound dog to heel?

When you have a seemingly endless list of battles to fight, how do you choose which ones to follow if it feels like you can’t follow them all?

Right now I know all you dog owners are thinking- “Well- you have to do all these things, otherwise the dog will be a mess.”

But again- extrapolate…

Are there things in your life where you choose one battle over another, or decide not to fight certain battles at all because it’s just too much?

Do we need to fight every battle we face?

Which battles are the most important?

How do you choose?

Which battles have you decided are just not worth fighting?

In ______ We Trust

A few years ago, my Goddaughter came to town for a visit. She was probably about 23 at the time. As we walked down the streets we heard someone tell a tale about how they had cancer, and needed 23$ for the bus ticket back home where maybe the Mother who abandoned them would reclaim them…

or maybe they just lost their job…

or maybe their wallet was stolen…

And my Goddaughter asked me: Are any of these stories true?

TO which I replied: My guess is 99 out of 100 are lies…

When did I become so jaded?

Maybe it was when I was 23 and commuting to work. I didn’t have much money then, so I would bring lunch from home. I saw a homeless person on the subway saying they were hungry. I gave them my little bag containing a sandwich and an apple. They promptly threw in back to me and asked for money only.

One Saturday I was using mass transit to go to Long Island. A woman got on the train saying that her wallet was stolen and she just needed 11$ to get home. Sounds sad, right? You imagine yourself in the same position- how would you get home?

But see, the problem is, the weekend before I had seen the same woman on New Jersey transit. Again her wallet was stolen. But this time home was New Jersey…

The guy who sits on the corner of 23rd St and 6th Ave with a sign saying he needs 49$ to get the bus ticket home. Problem is, he’s been on the corner for about five years and I’ve seen him get money everyday, yet that 49$ never goes down….he’s never gotten on the bus home….Did I mention that I once saw someone give him an actual bus ticket?

So how do we learn to trust when a story is true, or if we are being played?

Ok- this was all about people that we don’t know….

What about trusting your partner in life? They buy things without your knowledge, they lose their job but don’t tell you, they keep a bottle of vodka behind a book on the bookshelf, they have their bookie on speed dial, they cheat on you….

How do you learn to trust them again?

Say that you can’t: do you let another person into your life?

I have a friend: 3 exes behind her- about to walk the plank aisle with another: How does she do it? How does she have the space in her heart to trust another person to be her life partner?

Business partners….roommates….friends….

Is trust just another form of faith?

Do we just will ourselves to believe that most people will be truthful about most things? Most of us start out like this- we trust that things are as they appear…

But at what point to we lose our trust in someone, something?

Are there people who never lose their trust?

What makes them different?

How trusting are you?

Do you let intuition guide you as to what to believe or not to believe? Or have you learned the hard way?

Trust- what are your thoughts.

Discuss

Highlights January 3

As they start to stock up for Valentine’s Day…
A little Chinese on New Year’s Eve- Cumin Lamb– Kung Pau Chicken- Tea Smoked Duck Fried Rice- Sparkling Wine
Betty isn’t so sure about her new coat

Should authors/writers only write main characters/protagonists/heros that are representative of themselves?- ie a male writer can only write about men

PercentVote Count

No

100.00

depends on the subject of the book

0.00

Haven’t thought about this

0.00

Yes

0.00

Today’s poll (which may only appear on my actual page is about resolutions.

Gratitude Saturday January 2

I usually get a really fun, rather large planner each year….

And then came 2020-

My planner sat mainly unplanned….I made a valiant effort, yet…. what should have brought me joy brought me heartache and angst….

So this year, I bought a toned down version of a planner. 25% of the cost. 25% of the bulk.

I still have my week on two pages spread, including full days for Saturday and Sunday. This one has the full month on one page with the opposite page for notes, which I think will be helpful.

I am looking forward to having things besides my blog posts to plan for…

Therefore:

I am grateful for my planer…

I am grateful for my apparent optimism about planning…

Finally!

Cheers to 2021!!!!!

This Will Be Our Year

The Zombies

The warmth of your love’s
Like the warmth from the sun
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

Don’t let go of my hand
Now darkness has gone
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

And I won’t forget
The way you helped me
Up when I was down
And I won’t forget
The way you said
Darling I love you
You gave me faith to go on
Now we’re there
And we’ve only just begun
This will be our year
Took a long time to come

The warmth of your smile
Smile for me little one
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

You don’t have to worry
All your worried days are gone
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come

My, my, my

C. White

For non-commercial use only.Data from: Musixmatch

The Last Day of the Year

Let’s give a little look at my blogging stats this year:

As of Monday December 28:

346 posts

60,979 views

17.2K visitors

25K Likes

Average Likes per post: 71

20.5K Comments

Average Comments per post: 59

Total Words: 116K

Average words per post: 337

3,564 followers

Top 5 Posts:

  1. Defund
  2. Nueve- Masks
  3. Gratitude Saturday September 19
  4. A Tale of Men and Women
  5. Thought for the Day

Far and away most of my visits come from the United States. Canada and the UK are next.

Thank you for all the support, insightful comments and amazing conversation!

And I will leave you with a song:

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, but

I’ll be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
I’ll be there for you
(Like I’ve been there before)

Writer(s): Wilde Danny C, Willis Allee, Solem Philip Ronald, Crane David L, Kauffman Marta Fran, Skloff Michael Jay

My Year in Music

Thanks to Spotify, I can give you an idea as to what I listened to this year:

My top genres:

  1. Rock
  2. Pop
  3. Show Tunes
  4. Classical Performance
  5. Art Pop

My Top Songs:

  1. Blinding Lights The Weeknd
  2. Make you Feel My Love- Adele
  3. God Only Knows- The Beach Boys
  4. Fix You- Coldplay
  5. Someone Like You- Adele

My top decade was 2000s

I listened to 1,863 different artists this year.

My top five artists were:

  1. The Beatles
  2. The Beach Boys
  3. Harry Styles
  4. Moses Sumney
  5. The Lumineers

This is my 2020 top played songs playlist:

My Favorite and Least Favorite Reads of 2020

As you can tell by my very clever title, I am going to tell you the best and worst books from this year.

My Best Books– these books are in the order that I read them this year- I could not give you a favorite of my favorites. The bottom line is that all of these books made me feel something-

  1. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
  2. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  3. Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
  4. The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
  5. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
  6. Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
  7. The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
  8. Here for It by R. Eric Thomas
  9. Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
  10. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

My Worst Books- again just in the order that I read them this year. Though, some of these made the list because they were SO OVERHYPED and did not meet my expectations. There are also 14 instead of 10 because I couldn’t decide which were actually the worst.

  1. The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes (Moyes should stick to what she does best and not delve into historical fiction because she’s convoluted at this genre)
  2. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins The most interesting thing about this book was all the hype surrounding it.
  3. Writers and Lovers by Lilly King- Nothing worse than a book that tries to be literary fiction
  4. Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown- First- this book was not what I expected, so this is a case of it being tagged wrong. Secondly- the ending was horrendous and didn’t make sense with the rest of the book
  5. Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore- This was sooooo boring. I really didn’t care.
  6. Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey- Clearly this was the worst book I read this year. It’s so full of itself. Again, a case of literary fiction gone soooooo wrong
  7. Conjure Woman by Afic Atakora- Just bored me
  8. Normal People by Sally Rooney- Over hyped- Don’t know what the big deal is/was over this book
  9. The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard- I don’t think I like multi generational sagas
  10. Parakeet by Marie-Helene Bertino- Tried to hard to tell a story but failed to tell a story
  11. THe Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis- Ridiculous non historical historical fiction
  12. Death by Tea by Alex Ericson- I like cozy mysteries. I don’t know what this was
  13. The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams- I get very bored by books that rely on sex to get from point A to point B
  14. The Cold Millions by Jess Walter- I do not know what people like about this author

Let’s take a look at my Goodreads stats:

I read 177 books.

Total pages: 55,261

Average Book Length: 312 Pages

Average Rating: 3.6

My reading goal for 2021 will be 100 books.

If anyone would like to be my Goodreads buddy, email me at:

wakinguponthewrongsideof50@gmail.com