Tag: present

Improve Your Life and Conquer Your Monday

By Joshua D. Glawson | United States

Many people fear their Mondays. They suffer the week just to live it up on the weekend, and then dread the return of the workweek once it arrives. Of course, not everyone has the same “Monday,” as it pertains to being the beginning of their working days. In either case, many people still fear the start of the week as reality and duties hit each of us, seemingly all at once, like a slap in the face.

It is time for you to help change that mentality and conquer your Mondays!

 

 

I, too, used to live the life of the humdrum, mundane, workweek with the fears that come with the return of Monday and all the responsibilities it accompanied. Instead of getting through Monday with gloom and depression, by just pounding cups of coffee and surfing the web when I got home, I decided to make some changes to reward myself for successfully making it through the day.

This began a shift in my understanding of Monday, as before I had always complained, both sincerely and half-jokingly, about it being the beginning of the workweek. Once I began rewarding myself on this day, I quickly saw the day as being different, unique, and now special.

By rewarding myself on this day, I don’t mean splurging, or doing anything that would completely harm my Tuesday morning. Rather, I sought enjoyable personal hobbies to partake in on Monday, which is something I thoroughly enjoy doing.

(NERD ALERT!) I first started going to a weekly chess club, playing in official tournaments. I was making friends, winning some tournaments, and improving my chess-playing abilities. After a few months, some friends told me about some free dance lessons that took place every Monday. So, I began oscillating between chess and dance for a few months, and eventually just attended dance so that I could start my own chess club on Thursdays instead. At dance, I made more friends, learned so much about the art and my own body movement, and the amazing people there helped me advance in my skill while we each honed our craft.

Unfortunately, I had to move in pursuit of higher education and accomplishing my other goals in life. Amazingly, once I moved, I found out there was a free comedy show near my new place that happened every Monday and without a drink minimum. I really enjoy watching stand-up comedy and people progress over time. I made several friends at the comedy show, just from attending, and I believe comedy is also great for the brain. Who knows, I may find other great activities on Mondays besides just comedy shows eating pizza and drinking beer, but I can honestly say that I now love Mondays and I look forward to every Monday.

This shift in thinking has led me to now be grateful for every day of the week, even the days that I do nothing but work, study, read, write, etc. It has helped me to realize that if I am willing to put in 8 hours for someone else, I should also put some time in for myself, and helping me to grow and expand my network. As cliché as it is, we do only live once; so, why should I let a day of the week and my responsibilities get in the way of my happiness and growth?!

Take control of your “Monday.” Find things to do in your area that are both fun and helpful in your growth as a person. Don’t let your life pass you by. Don’t let the arbitrary days of the week be the stresses that hurt you and stunt your development.

Some ideas:

  • Search meetup.com for groups to join in dance, chess, comedy, improv, public speaking, martial arts, book clubs, learning a language, cooking classes, etc.
  • Search your social media for events such as SoFar Music, or ask your friends and family if they also feel the same about their Mondays and see if you can do something together.
  • Check to see if ToastMasters is in your area to better public speaking.
  • Have a family day every Monday, playing board games and eating fun foods, or watching movies, etc.
  • Search if there are music or comedy shows every Monday in your area.
  • Try a new restaurant every Monday.
  • Try learning to cook a new dish every Monday.
  • Go on a date on Mondays.
  • Attend your religious institution every Monday.
  • Start your own club or meeting every Monday if you see there is a desire and a need.

What are some ideas you have for conquering your Mondays and looking forward to them every week? Leave your comments in the comment section below.


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Lost in Self: Digital Photography and the Emptiness of the Western Soul

Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

I was in bed when the phone rang. My old roommate had sent an email with a string of text and a photograph that looked oddly unfamiliar. It was me, a long time ago. Ruthlessly stoned and sporting a clean jaw without the hair that would come to dominate my chin in later years, I stood proudly holding my little white Shih Tzu ‘Beaufont.’

“Strolling down memory lane,” read the first line and as I lay dreaming of that distant past on the hill above the rushing James many memories crawled through my mind’s eye. The sensory feeling of discovering yourself again in an image that you never knew existed is a peculiar and funny one. In the age of instantaneous photographic manipulation & gratification, a film still from the past feels like the time capsule of the modern age. A photograph, like many new loops in our western web, simply doesn’t hold the same substance and bravado as it once did. Before, its lens captured time in a way that was dogmatically definitive and without falsehoods. People might have their picture taken only once in an entire lifetime. What was, was.

Now the camera, the photograph and the porcelain statues of existential subjectivism have been reduced to a never-ending diary of lost meaning. What is there to show when we have seen it all? What face is worth looking at when everyone is aware of the phone flash? How many more days and months and years can it go on like this? Somewhere, in the back playground of our lost dreams, the beauty and magnificence of time are still present. People smile with a frankness of being & their eyes flicker shut at all the wrong times. Now, you enter a museum and it is not the painting that matters but the shameless rendering of its fat on the end of a selfie stick.

This dulling of our artistic and emotional selves has been sold as the latest convenience in an age of exponential technology. The camera was once a machine operated by masters of time. Today, the democracy of the lens has reduced its philosophical weight to that of an empty plastic bag. Our relationship with photography today has morphed into a meandering & expressionless pit that pitches our own sharp emptiness outward for the world to see. We say the things we already know to be true:

“Look at me.”

“This is what I am doing.”

“I am so happy.”

“These are my friends.”

“I am on vacation.”

“I am eating dinner.”

“I have fun.”

And so on and so on. Forever and ever it continues as an exercise of mental and creative vapidness. I do it, you do it, we all do it. Orwell, Kurzweil, Huxley and many others had warned of this spurious cliff and yet here we are at the bottom looking up. How did we get here? With our arms out and our wallets emptied we allowed it to happen. Fallen prey to the phone and its robotic brain.

The email continued. My friend told me of the bizarre anxiety he felt when late one night he dropped his cell phone into a toilet. Thousands and thousands of pictures gone in a flash and yet, now, he could not remember one of them. An archive of nothing. An empty time capsule. When a device has the memory capability of a thousand years what does a single moment mean? When we can fill our little phone screen with the nightmares of every waking hour, what does it mean to be fully awake?

Where is the western soul? Is it lingering in the subhuman heat of the broken blacktop? Is it dancing poolside with a Chanel bag in tow? Does it eat from the same shattered plate of love & misery? Is it calling out from the cracked egg land that begs for water but has been written by the dry sun? What people have we become? What is there left to show?

I look up from the page and someone is taking a picture. I look down on my phone and it crosses the screen.


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