I died again

woman at computer

I died again

I put down the joystick and look out the window

The blue sky is mocking me

You should be happy, go outside

 

I go outside

The sunshine burns my skin

The birds are in chorus

You should be singing, free as a bird

 

I look in the pond

My reflection shows a young beautiful girl

I shake my head and walk back into my parent’s house

You should be going out with your friends

 

I unpause the video game

Ready to die again.

 

This poem wrote itself. I am not addicted but, many people are addicted to computer games, phone games, and screen time. Young people think they can get make a living playing games or they just want to live off of mom and dad. One might think that this is a Gen Y issue but that is not true.

My niece, Alyssa, told me that her brother records himself playing computer games and others will pay to watch.  She said this is a way that some people can make a living.  Zachary, my nephew has made a grand total of $12.00 (friends?).  This type of job is similar to the one in a million chance that we have of making the NFL, being a top recording artist, or an oscar winning actor.

About ten years ago, I had an intern named Robin who I thought was interested in training and development.  As we were walking to a training session that I was facilitating I asked her if she would like to facilitate one day.  She said, “No. I want to do what my brother is doing.”  I was happy that she had goals, but when I asked what her brother does she told me, “He plays video games all day long at my parent’s house.”  He was 23 years old.

My former husband played computer games constantly during our marriage.  This is one of the reasons we divorced.  He said that it was his way of relaxing.  He once reasoned with me that I escape in a novel when we go to the beach.  Granted, that is true and I see his point, however, I am pretty sure he was addicted to the screen.  In 1995 I was in the process of writing a book called, SMASH the monitor or how to live with your computer addict.  I did not finish or publish because I did not want to hurt my husband.

Being addicted to video and computer games is an issue in US society that is not discussed because it is so new.  Addiction is a strong word.  It means that your life does not “work” because gaming is getting in the way.  I believe that this addiction is growing.  People are too tired to work, get a job, or take care of themselves.  They do not realize that they should have limited themselves when binging on Netflix or playing first person shooter games.

Even though I am not addicted, I try to limit my screen time.  I don’t play games at all but I still connect on Facebook, text my friends, and watch Youtube videos.  I also get lost on the Internet while researching.  One click can take me to far away places or educate me on how to make a bird house.  I’ve lost hours in my years of researching.  Have you lost hours?  Do you have issues online?  I have decided to limit my screen time (except Game of Thrones on Sundays) each day.  I vow to work on my relationships by visiting and talking to people.

I challenge you to limit your screen time.  How will you do this?

#screentime  #addiction  #computergames  #gaming

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Thinking about Change and Purpose

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I just can’t understand how a person would never consider why they are on this earth.  Since I was a young girl I have always wondered, “Why am I here? What is my purpose in life. I’ve read so many self-help books… How to find your purpose in life.  What is your mission in this universe?  Why are you here?  I was amazed when I spoke to a friend and she told me that she never wondered about any of these questions.

One beautiful spring day in the Washington, DC area, I was sitting on my deck writing in my journal. In was in my mid thirties and still contemplating my mission in life.  Then, I heard it clear as day – in my head.  You’re only here to help. For some reason, I was truly disappointed that I was not here to solve the world’s problems, cure cancer, or do something to help all of humanity.  ONLY here to help.

Even so, I continued to set goals, to get better at my profession.  To be a better person ala Ben Franklin.  I journaled, I read, I learned about how to win friends, get rich, make a difference in the world. I changed, evolved, and transformed.  I volunteered, I donated, I listened. I thought that allpeople in the world wanted to know more about themselves so that they can be better at what they do best in order to help the world become a better place.

Why would I think this crazy idea?  I hear the news.  People do things that are immoral, illegal, and unethical all of the time.  Some people are just out for fortune or fame. Lyrics to popular songs send horrible messages.  There is a drug epidemic because people are depressed, anxious, and can’t cope with life. There is so much self-medication with alcohol, food, retail therapy, etc.

Some people think they can’t change.  Some people don’t even try to change.  Some people do not even consider that they would ever want to change for the better. I can’t even imagine not reflecting about my life.  I hope it is not because I am self-absorbed.  I aspire to think that it is because I want to find out what I do best and do my best to help the world.  I just want to find my place to make the world better.  And when I say the world, I mean maybe just my little piece of the pie.  People I meet.  People that I get to know.  People that I love.   NOTE: After reading this paragraph again I counted the number of times the word “I” was written (13?)

Finally, I embraced my purpose of being “only here to help”.  Have your embraced yor purpose? Do you want to learn more about yourself?  Do you hope to find out what you do best and why you do things?  Do you wish to learn more in order to make yourself a better person?  To live a more purposeful and intentional life in order to help those who you love?  Why are we here?  How do we help other people?  How to we transform to get better?  What is better?

How do we win at this game called life?  Do we needto win?  Do we want to win or just hope to be?  We are human be-ings.  Maybe we shouldjust be.  I am not sure I can just be.  I know I can be me.  At least I know who I am, what my values are, what I believe, what I love.  And I am still learning more about myself.  I enjoy challenging myself.

I think about these questions most of the time.  How can I do better?  What can I do to help others?  Where am I supposed to go next?  How can I figure out a job where I can use my experience, knowledge and wisdom to help other people do what they wish to do best?  How to I help other people love better?  How do I help other people learn more about themselves so they can figure out how they can help the world?  I think that is what this world is about.  We were put here for a reason.  People come in and out of our life for a reason, both good and bad circumstances happen for a reason.  The reason? I think it is to learn and grow. Maybe life is about learning, growing, and loving.

Maybe each of us can figure out how to adjust to our circumstances in life with grace and kindness. Not just adjust to our situations, but to make the best out of all that we encounter.  We should strive to make each interaction a loving, peaceful, and respectful moment.  My wish is that we start with self compassion and then help other people in our own unique way.  What is your purpose?  What is your passion?

#questions  #self-awareness  #emotionalintelligence  #lifelonglearning

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What is refreaving?

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I was a military brat for 13 years from birth.  Dad was a marine and we were never in one state for more than 2 or 3 years.  That made it difficult to keep friends and I was not one to write letters or think of relationships at that young age.  I went to high school and college in Michigan after he got out of the military, but as soon as I had my degrees I quickly moved some place warmer, the Washington, DC area.  I moved around the DC area from Maryland to DC to Virginia.  My husband, then an FBI agent, was at the whim of his “military”.  We moved to the Dallas, Texas area for 3 years then back to headquarters in DC. I now live in Florida. I’ve lived in a lot of states.

When people ask me where I’m from, I tell them the United States because I have no “home town.” Most people can say they are from somewhere.  Many of my friends had the opportunity to live in one place and now have friends that they have known since they were born.

How am I so lucky to have friends that I can talk to like we just talked yesterday?  Even if it had been more than ten or fifteen years between? Susan McDonald1 calls this a “picking up where we left off” lifetime kind of friendship.

Larry, my dear friend from Texas, emailed that he will be in town for 24 hours.  I had not seen him in over 10 years and of course, I said “Come on Down!”  When he walked in the door, I gave him a big hug and we talked like he was just here yesterday.  We had both gotten “blonder” hair but, still had our back and forth banter.  This is when I realized that I have quite a few friends where I can “pick up where we left off”.  In fact, I knew that Larry would be the perfect person to help me figure out a word for this concept.

We went back and forth on the word “re-connecting”, but this concept of “picking up right where we left off” encompasses more than connecting. In fact, we didn’t even need to connect at all.  The connection was already there.  Then, there was the idea of time or the lack of time passing.   He called it “time losing its length.”  We decided that there is no word for this, so he and I floated many ideas in the air between us.  It is amazing how Larry and I, two extraverts, can actually “see” ideas “floating” in the space between us.  Fortunately, for me, I have a few friends with whom I “bat around ideas.” But, that is a subject for another blog.

The two of us decided that soldering and bonding were good words but we landed on weaving.  Friendships are woven and we can keep weaving new material into the tapestry of our friendship.  So, we settled on friendship and weaving…Freaving.  But, we still needed to add the concept of “time losing its length” and meeting again.  Refreaving is what we decided to call our new word.

Refreave is the new word to use to stand for the “picking up where we left off” in a relationship after much time has passed.  It can be used in many different instances.  For example, my friend Robbin and I see each other about once a year, at one point it had been over 10 years.  We seldom talk on the phone or text but when we do see each other, we experience refreaving. See?  This word describes the concept in only one word and not an entire phrase.  Larry and I talked about how we refreaved on his trip to Florida.

Is there another word to express this concept or have we created a new word?  I challenge you to find that one word or to jump on the bus to new word creation!  The young adults and teens of today are creating all kinds of new words.  I was “on fleek” the other day – or was it just my eye brows?  How about “buddymoon?”  This describes a honeymoon to which the married couple’s friends are invited. And we can’t forget all of the words made up because of technology such as:  google, laptop, flash drive, cell phone, iPad, PowerPoint, email, and many others.

Let me know some other words that are brand new.  Share a concept or idea that needs a new word.  Let’s get going!

1https://www.providencejournal.com/entertainmentlife/20160811/susan-mcdonald-why-picking-up-where-we-left-off-friendships-last

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