Chicanery

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CHICANERY

I’ve always thought of this as silly, naughty, or clever pranks, but I was wrong. Merriam-Websters says it means deception by artful subterfuge or sophistry: trickery.

So here’s my example:

Sales Man
With his suave manners, overblown promises and financial chicanery — he called it “creative accounting” —  he was able to convince a number of seniors to invest in his well camouflaged Ponzie scheme.

 

Those ‘To-Do’ Resolutions

Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning:  NEW BEGINNINGS
Word of the Day challenge:  RESOLUTION
The Daily Addictions word for today:  STOP

Good morning everyone!

I see we have a fine choice of seasonal prompt words this morning, reminding us of the resolutions we’ve made this week. Good news for my readers: my one resolution this year is to ALWAYS preview my posts before hitting PUBLISH. Maybe I can weed out those devious typos that want to creep in.

START WITH A LIST

I’ve read a couple of different articles recently saying that if people want to work smarter and accomplish their goals, they should make a To-Do list every morning. According to these time-management experts, making a list is the best way to zero in on your priorities. Even if you don’t get through the list, they say, even if your day gets sidetracked, it’s still advisable to set down on paper the things you want to accomplish. And keep it nearby, where you see it often. This help you to sort out and focus on the most important tasks.

I believe it. I’ve been told by some very efficient people that they make a To-do list every day. In fact, some people have their days and weeks regulated FlyLady style. As in, every Monday: one load of laundry; vacuum this room; wash that floor; clean this closet. And so on through the week. (I imagine the rule is: no hobbies, no blogging until these tasks are done.) This system becomes an ingrained habit and you never have to wonder “What am I going to do today?”

I’ve never been a list-maker. Yes, I usually think every morning of a couple of goals for the day, but I tend to waste time on fiddly things. Looking back, I’ve found that on days when I’m preparing for something special like dinner guests or a trip, and make a To-Do list first thing, I have gotten much more accomplished. But usually I tend to meander through my day with only a few vague goals.

So if I want to make a NEW BEGINNING, I can start with the worthy RESOLUTION to make a To-Do list every morning. Join the Fly-Lady and organize my week. STOP wasting time and work at accomplishing some main goals.

Sigh… Like the proverbial “Lose ten pounds,” this resolution has been made different times and abandoned. This system clashes big time with my attention-deficit tendencies and I end up just hoping there’s a place in this world for disorganized, inefficient, and scatter-brained people. 🙂

MY WEEK SO FAR

This week has definitely been a drifting one with no big accomplishments. My sister’s death still seems unreal, for one thing. I keep thinking, “It just can’t be! Surely she’s still there and we’ll see her the next time we go that way.” Also, “Why didn’t we talk a lot more? And talk about the important things of life?”

Also, on Monday I started feeling an infection coming on. I was hopeful for a quick recovery but was feeling so weary when we were shopping in the city Thursday. By evening I knew the infection was winning and I needed to see a doctor, so I went back to the city yesterday. You know how it goes: sit for two hours at a walk-in clinic; spend two minutes with the doctor; he verifies the problem and gives a prescription.

This antibiotic is amazing stuff! Kicked in right away. I hadn’t realized how ‘blah’ I felt until I started getting better and my energy started coming back. So maybe today I can tackle that To-Do list.

PRAY FOR RAIN

My petty worries are trifles when I read what’s happening elsewhere. This week blogger Frank Prem has been posting poems about the fires in Australia, the smoke blanketing his own community. I’ve looked online and seen maps — and was horrified to see they are fighting fires all over the continent. Read one of his verses here.

My heart aches for them — the lives, the homes, and all the flora and fauna being lost in those many blazes. I’m thankful that Canadian fire fighters have been sent to help combat this catastrophe, and praying for rain in Australia is high on my priority list these days.

Clock of Life

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in “Tomorrow,”
For the Clock may then be still.

Robert H. Smith

clock-359985_640
Gerd Altmann – Pixabay

The Daily Addictions prompt word this morning: CLOCK

Can A Popular Person Be Lonely?

Fandango’s One-Word Challenge today is POPULAR

This brings to mind a conversation I had twenty-some years ago: three other women and myself were having coffee together and in the course of conversation I mentioned that I was never part of the “in-crowd.” One by one all three of my friends responded with, “I never was, either.”

This was a shocker. I always was an odd kid, raised apart from my birth family, ridiculed by my foster dad and made fun of by my peers. I became a loner — but surely these three were exactly the types to be leading an in-crowd!

Lise, a French-Canadian nurse, wife of the town vet and mom to three, was as lively and friendly as they come. Same with Diane, also a nurse, the wife of a school teacher and mother of a son and twin girls. They could visit with anybody. Ruth, the United Church Minister’s wife, university-educated, outgoing, cheerful, also sharing her thoughts freely. I loved visiting with each of them and could imagine they’d have been the most popular girls in any school.

If these girls weren’t part of “the in-crowd,” who was?

Take comfort, those of you who aren’t so popular at school. Teens who are not part of the in-crowd can still become friendly, moxie people with active minds, maybe even more caring and sharing than those who agonize about fitting in.

Yesterday Pastor J S Park posted a great article: “LONELINESS, The Unnamed Pain.” He’s given me permission to reblog it, but for some reason that isn’t working as it should, so I’ll copy and paste. If you struggle with loneliness this is a must-read. And he says yes, you can be lonely surrounded by other people.

LET’S TALK ABOUT LONELINESS”

I’m not a therapist or doctor, but as a hospital chaplain, I’ve seen the terrible and awful effects of loneliness on mental health. The problem is that it’s tough to admit, almost embarrassing to say, “I’m hurting from loneliness.”

Loneliness is a double-bind in that in order to find comfort, it requires reaching out to people or for people to be near. But some of us have been alone so long, it’s unthinkable that we can connect with another human without risking rejection—which fuels more loneliness.

“WHY DON’T YOU JUST MAKE FRIENDS?”

The unhelpful reply I hear to “I’m lonely” is “Why don’t you just make friends?” But that’s like saying, “Why don’t you just get rich?” or “Why can’t you just go to the gym?” We’re already in deficit, a lap behind, because we fear connection in proportion to how alone we feel.

It’s difficult to make friends and keep them. It’s hard to have real friendships that are not just functional transactions. Even when someone is surrounded by crowds or well connected, they may be the loneliest people on earth, because all their “friends” are transactional.

“THE OPPOSITE OF LONELINESS IS COURAGE”

I don’t know the answer to loneliness. But I know what the answer is not: We can’t just snap out of it. We can’t just cure it with a party, a bar, a church, a dating app. It requires intentional investment and yes, the risk of rejection. The opposite of loneliness is courage. It takes courage to reach out, to enter each other’s orbit, to risk trust, and to be alone in our thoughts and fears.

Friends, this week may be lonely. This season can be brutal. They can remind you of all that’s missing. As trite as it sounds: You may feel lonely, but you are not alone. May you find the courage to reach out, to enter the possibilities of love in all its heaven and heartache.

Flourish.plainer
Many thanks to Pastor Park for allowing me to share his encouraging article.

 

Buoyant isn’t the Word

Hello Everyone,

The Ragtag Daily Prompt yesterday was BUOYANT. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling buoyant enough to write anything — even though it was the prompt word I chose.

I did get some suitable pictures from Pixabay to illustrate the concept, like this cute hot air balloon:
air-balloon-festival-954908_640

Thankfully, I’m feeling much more buoyant today and almost completely recovered from the cold & sinus woes that laid me low for almost two weeks.

But life hasn’t been bubbles of joy this month for other reasons, too, as my sister has been in hospital for over three weeks now. She went in with pneumonia & infection and had a rough time of it, according to her husband. But things were looking up; last week he thought she’d be out by the end of the week. However, when I talked to him last night, he said she’d caught another infection and would remain in hospital until the end of this week for sure, right through Christmas.

Rose had treatment for lung cancer and reacted to the first chemo, so was in hospital most of December last year. To them and their family this is going to seem like a sad repeat. I’d love to visit her but, being sick as I was, I decided it wouldn’t be a kindness. and this week I have to work more shifts. So I’ll continue to send good wishes through her husband and hope next week will bring a good day to go.

I’ve tried to contact my sister Donna several times in the last few months, but she’s either moved or cancelled her phone service. It’s during seasons of “family visits and goodwill” that I really wish for closer ties with my siblings, but we did grow up apart and live such different lives now, too. Though we always had contact and spent the summers together, I was raised by my Uncle & Aunt Forsyth from the time I was three months old, mostly several hours away from my family.

In case anyone reader is interested: My brother Jim is 11 months older than me; as children we were really close. I come second; Donna is 3 1/2 years younger. We were close, too. Rose is 5 years younger, but lived with my Aunt and Uncle, too, for three of her preschool years because of her health issues. Wilma is 6 years younger than me and Lorraine 11 years younger than me. I’ve had very little contact with the youngest two.

Now back to the present: I’m breathing easier, hacking less, and I have the day to myself. Maybe I can get some things accomplished here at home, including posting something for this morning’s Ragtag daily prompt. Here’s wishing you all vim, vigor, and a buoyant holiday week.

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