Cancel Culture: The Gaming World and The University Connection

Last week I wrote about Cancel Culture: How to build a Tranquil Spirit in a Chaotic world.

This week I came across a couple of new sources for information on just exactly how Cancel Culture affects people. The first video is from the gaming world. If you are not in the gaming world, but have kids, you may find this helpful when discussing the subject with them.

The second video is aimed at the University level and views the same problem through the “Safe Spaces” controversy on university campuses. Although aimed at parents, this is useful information for anyone looking to get a degree. I don’t know when this is going to be available for everyone, but if you google it there are plenty of articles and interviews that are worth investigating.

We need to counter this harmful movement before we find ourselves in a country where we can’t talk freely to each other anymore.

I’m running late this week, so this was a short post.

Until next time. 🙂

Mind/Body Health: A Day Off with Friends

A Beautiful Day on the River

I think one of the worst things that happened to this generation of workers was that, because of high unemployment, they were mistreated with terrible working schedules. I think the pay problem has been covered extensively, but the brutal changeover of shifts, sometimes with less than 10 hours turnaround, and very few days off have led to all kinds of physical and mental problems.

You can’t keep working without a fixed schedule and have a balanced healthy life. You can’t sleep well, sleeping at different times of the day is very difficult. Also, it’s hard to find a way to eat and exercise properly.

In the ’70s and ’80s, there were studies done that showed shift hour changes made people unproductive and unhealthy. Back then, shift schedules were made on a weekly or monthly basis. Today, shift changes can occur within the same week, often multiple times a week. I find it unconscionable that this isn’t considered worker abuse. This may be the new 24/7 work week, but it’s inhumane.

For those in this situation, you need to find a job with steady hours and you need to insist on them whenever and wherever you can. People need stability in their life and one of them is a set time to go to work and a set time to take care of themselves and their family. It’s bad enough that it’s getting harder and harder to celebrate holidays or have a single day off that everyone else has.

Blue laws also known as Sunday laws, are laws designed to restrict or ban some or all Sunday activities for religious or secular reasons, particularly to promote the observance of a day of worship or rest. Blue laws may also restrict shopping or ban sale of certain items on specific days, most often on Sundays in the western world. Blue laws are enforced in parts of the United States and Canada as well as some European countries, particularly in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Norway, keeping most stores closed on Sundays. (Wikipedia)

People were so happy when the Blue Laws were lifted in all the states so that they could go shopping on Sundays. Has it really made life better? With all those stores and businesses open on Sunday it meant other people had to work on Sundays to fill all those jobs. Now it seems most people are working on Sundays, except at Chick Fil’a. And now you want it open, don’t you?

“People who work night shifts or varied schedules that disrupt their sleep may be more likely to develop depression than individuals with 9-to-5 jobs, a research review suggests.” Shift work tied to poor mental health (Reuters)

I doubt we can turn back time to recapture that single day off together, but we can work towards making it happen. There would be many personal hurdles. For one, you might be at the time of your life where you need to work a difficult schedule because this is the career you’ve chosen and there isn’t another path. Or you are working off debt and have no choice. These are priorities and I am speaking more to people with established careers and managers.

Does it matter anymore what day we take off, so long we take it off together? I believe it restore a sense of community. It seems like a small, yet impossible thing to do, but I think that if you can pull it off for yourself, your family and others in your circle you would begin to see an improvement in your relationships. It’s worth trying.

Until next time. 🙂

One-Pot Chicken and Rice (plus a tip on making perfect rice)

Whatever you do for a living, wherever your heart is, you still must eat. Having some basic skills will smooth out the rough spots in the day. Every week I add basic recipes to this website. These are early days, still in building this site, so please be patient with me.

This recipe is one of the easiest chicken meals to make and involves very few ingredients. I have added suggestions for vegan alternatives. It’s already gluten free. And the best part is that there’s only one pot to wash when it’s done. 

Perfect Rice: Everyone has a favorite way to make rice. My secret formula is to cook the rice in two stages. The first stage is 10 minutes long at medium high and the second stage is 10 minutes long on low heat. In this way, the pot maintains enough heat for the rice to absorb the water without burning the rice on the bottom of the pot. And that’s it! Perfect rice every time.

[To print this recipe, please click on the link below to bring you to the recipe page. Or, you can use the drop-down menu above under Recipes.]

One-Pot Chicken and Rice

Time: This recipe takes about an hour to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole cut-up chicken or 4-5 chicken breasts.
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • Pinch saffron threads (Optional – this is expensive. It’s great, but not necessary)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (if I’m short broth, I add water to make up the difference.)
  • 2 cups long grain rice (you can use other types of rice, but adjust your liquid if necessary)
  • 1 cup or more frozen peas and carrots (or any small cut up vegetables you like)

Serving options: A wedge of a lime as a garnish.

Continue reading “One-Pot Chicken and Rice (plus a tip on making perfect rice)”

Poor Sitting Posture Causing Your Tension Headaches? Try these exercises…

If you spend many hours at a desk, you have probably experienced neck pain and tension headaches. There are many things that can contribute to these painful problems. One of them is could be poor posture.

Continue reading “Poor Sitting Posture Causing Your Tension Headaches? Try these exercises…”

Cancel Culture: How to build a Tranquil Spirit in a Chaotic world.

There are times we don’t make progress in our work because something in our personal lives is holding us back. We may not feel worthy of the dreams you have for yourself. Even if we realize that this is the starting point of many heroic stories you find it difficult to place yourself in those stories. So, this is something we must begin to gain control of in ourselves. Our own dignity is worth cultivating, and that must begin within each of us.

I believe that there is nothing that can happen to us in life that can keep us from “starting over.” I don’t mean physically. Aging and any physical damage to our bodies are obstacles to be overcome. What I am talking about are things that damage our psyche and our spirit.

Especially now, in the new “Cancel Culture,” where people are bullied out of their jobs and are often cut off from family and friends there is so much fear of being singled out for humiliation. Many of us, who are of the baby Boomer generation, feel fortunate that the worst antics of our youth reside in our friends’ memories and not on video online somewhere. Still, we are all vulnerable. Our words can be taken out of context. We could be caught on cell phone video at our worst. We are all worried about being judged in a bad light.

Life, even at its worse, goes on. Even at our lowest point, we must move and think and start again. It may a great effort, but it must be made every day.

We must have faith we can return to life, though it may be different than it was before. The human spirit can overcome terrible events. It’s important that we keep that thought close to us when anxiety threatens to overwhelm our minds.

If there is something that you have done that is wrong and continue to do, even if you were compelled to do it because of your circumstances, then you must struggle to change that part of your life. If you can find help then get it.

Continue reading “Cancel Culture: How to build a Tranquil Spirit in a Chaotic world.”

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Muffins

Here’s a fun and healthy treat to bring a little fall cheer to your table. These muffins are hearty and tasty. Add chocolate morsels or dried fruit and nuts into the mix, or just serve them plain. I also love to spread fruit jam onto them after they are baked.

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I used steel cut oatmeal for my daughter, whose diet is Gluten Free for health reasons. This makes the consistency similar to corn muffins (which I love). For those not concerned with gluten you can use rolled oats instead.

The pretty silicone baking cups are reusable. I bought them Amazon and the link is below. (Please note that I get a commission on this link if you click on it) Prefer Green Reusable and Non-stick Silicone Baking Cups/Cupcake Liners/Muffins Cup Molds in storage Container-24 Pack

You can use the drop down menu at the top of the page or find the recipe here: Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Muffins.

Until next time 🙂

Becoming a Writer: From elusive thought to the written page…

Why is it your best thinking is done in the shower or driving to work, but when you sit down to write your mind is strangely, stubbornly blank?

Where did those thoughts go? How do you get them back so that you can write them down?

Our brains are divided between two operating modes. We have two hemispheres in our brains. We, the general public, call them the right and left sides of the brain. In popular culture, our artistic half resides on the right side and the calculating, logical side resides in the left. This is not quite correct as neuroscientists have recently discovered. Though, it is true that one side of the brain tends to dominate certain activities and the other different activities that roughly correspond to a “creative” side and “deductive” side, the communication between both hemispheres of the brain is greater than what we used to think.

When you are doing those mundane, mostly automatic tasks such as taking a shower or driving a familiar route to work, your right side (where wordless, creative thought goes on) is free to wander around in your consciousness. Those wonderful, swirling thoughts begin to stray into your left side and take the form of pictures, ideas, and conversational forms. In effect, they surface from your unconscious to your conscious mind.  So, what happens when you sit down to write and those thoughts scatter? It’s because your critical, conscious mind takes over again. It says to your whole brain: “Here is a task that I must concentrate on” and banishes the arty, unconscious part of the brain to the recesses of your mind, effectively cutting you off from the unconscious mind where those thoughts originated. This response, from what I have read, is an evolutionary development that is a normal survival response. So, is there a way to coax those thoughts back from your unconscious to your conscious mind in such a way that they can be expressed concretely?

Turns out that you can….if you follow the instructions in the book, Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande.

[Please note that I get a commission if you use the Amazon link. There is also a free .pdf copy of it here: Becoming A Writer ]

AmazonBook Description: Becoming a Writer remains evergreen decades after it was first written. Brande believed passionately that although people have varying amounts of talent, anyone can write. She also insists that writing can be both taught and learned. This is Dorothea Brande’s legacy to all those who have ever wanted to express their ideas in written form. A sound, practical, inspirational and charming approach to writing, it fulfills on finding ‘the writer’s magic.’

 

I was surprised to see that even back then the understanding of the divided brain was not so much different than we understand it today. Truthfully, we still don’t know much about the brain and our ideas of the structure and biological processes change over time, but the basic idea that our brain attends to problems in a divided manner remains the same. Exactly how it works is something left to science. Why it works is best left to philosophy. Getting it to work? Fortunately, for us, exactly how the brain operates is not necessary to understand how to train it to help us get the creative side of the brain and the stubborn, skeptical part of our brain to communicate more effectively.  It simply takes a good teacher and the willingness to practice and modify the practice to fit your needs.

I’ve had this same problem for so many years, and the past year seemed to be the worst. I wouldn’t have believed there was a way to get at these thoughts. I almost gave up. But, in just the first week of practicing the lessons from this book, I wrote down a dream, a number of ideas for essays, descriptive writing – which has always been hard for me, and a piece of dialog that I thought I had lost forever.

Keep in mind that what this book promises is help in recalling your thoughts in a way that you can dump them onto the page. What comes next is the actual craft of writing. The ideas and words that come still need to be shaped into a finished form. But, if you are like me, the first block to writing will be overcome. It is a remarkable feeling of liberation.

The blog I found this book on is a writing blog called: Writing About Writing (And Occasionally Some Writing) And I am eternally grateful to the blog’s author, Chris Brecheen, for bringing it to my attention.

Until next time…😊