Oddly Satisfying Videos

There are times when I still get sucked into social media for hours on end. I don’t really know how or why. But I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

I sometimes fall down a rabbit hole of “ODDLY SATISFYING VIDEOS”. Everything from wood turning to glass blowing to brick stacking. Seeing those menial tasks that people do on a regular basis bring me joy. especially when they’re good at what they do.

I also watch these videos muted. I prefer to read captions and not listen to the generic music used. I do find that if I listen to the videos I don’t watch as many. So maybe that’s a catch 22. I should turn the volume up and not watch as many.

Do you enjoy “ODDLY SATISFYING VIDEOS”?

Stopping To Admire The Flowers

I enjoy pausing during my day to admire nature- even if it is for the briefest of moments. It helps to put me in a state of comfort and contentment. “It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world.”

Usually I try and snap a picture. Many times I’ll share it on Instagram. Look at the beauty I just saw in nature! #sharingeverythingisee #iloveusingfilterstomakeitlookbetter

Taking a deep breath and smiling on the inside works wonders for the mind. Seeing flowers bloom and trees grow foliage makes me happy. I’m out there watching the world go about it’s business while I’m just here for the ride.

A ride that has many sights and sensations waiting to be savored. All I need to do is hesitate momentarily and smell the flowers.

Bonsai

I have always wanted a Bonsai. I tried to make one about 15 years ago, but I failed miserably. Mainly because I didn’t put in the care and effort needed to keep it alive. So why not try again..? I am using this as a zen inspired activity. Keeping it watered and trimmed from time to time will help to calm and relax.

I picked up a small juniper since they are the heartiest and easiest to form. I took it out of the plastic pot and planted it into a new clay pot. Unfortunately the pot I do have is a tad large for the roots. A healthy bonsai needs to have the roots trimmed as well as the branches. Unless I want the tree to grow fairly large. So another transplant may occur by the end of summer. We’ll see how it does.

Then came the time to trim away almost everything. A bit of wire was used to help form the branches. This is just the start of my bonsai. Keeping it trimmed and cared for will be ongoing for the remainder of my time. And a desperate hope to keep it alive…

Wish me luck in my Zen Adventure.

Sunday Walkabout

Yesterday was one of the nicest days we have had this year. Warm and sunny as if Spring was peaking its head around the corner. A big change from just over a week ago when there was snow on the ground. My wife wanted to take full advantage of it. So we headed into Fort Langley and walked a part of the “Fort to Fort Trail”.

Partway through our walk, my wife realized that it was far warmer than she expected it to be. The gloves, toque and hoodie came off after about a kilometer. As we walked, we talked. It was nice as we meandered along the path passing numerous other people enjoying the day. It didn’t surprise me much as Fort Langley is a busy little arts community that is often crowded.

The path took us behind the Fort Langley Golf Course. This was the course my father used to have a membership to. We cut back up to the road to the entrance of the golf course. Every few months, I’ll stop in for a beer. Yesterday was no different. Many of the pubs and drinking establishments in Fort Langley were crowded. People were taking advantage of sitting on the decks with a cold beverage. The pub at the golf course was empty. Which was perfect for us to grab a table and take a break halfway through our four kilometer walk.

After wetting our palates, we wandered back to the busy hub of Fort Langley. A train had passed through and caused large crowds waiting to cross the tracks. That moment was one of the moments that my wife expressed why we could never live there. Crowds aren’t my thing usually and I can only take them in small doses. I have always wanted to live in Fort Langley, but I can see why on weekends it wouldn’t be overly enjoyable.

However, if yesterday was a sign of things to come- this spring and summer will be a pleasurable one. We will take more walks throughout the Lower Mainland and enjoy the talks together. Did you enjoy the sun yesterday? What did you do?

The Zen Of Joe

Zen.

It’s something I’ve been practicing all my life. Just enjoying the moments all around me. Having fun without causing harm or emotional distress to others. If anything, I think I bring a smile to others by jumping out of a comfort zone and just… living.

I’m comfortable just being me and experiencing life’s moments. I also love to embrace personas and put on different hats to truly embody this. From how I act to the clothes I wear- I enjoy being me. There is no “one look” that defines who I am.

If I can bring joy to others while being who I am, that’s a bonus. I also act compassionate and kind as I forge my way through this world.

My enthusiasm and characteristics are effecting my children’s personalities as well. Especially our middle child. She has moments where she just wants to entertain herself and others.

When all is said and done, I’m glad I haven’t been afraid to just live the way I have.

Sing Away the Stress!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years- it’s that stress can trigger a multitude of emotions from people. Especially in a work environment. I’d like to think of myself as a calm individual at work. Which is great and relatively true. I tend to walk away from situations if need be.

But sometimes at home I lose it. Which really isn’t fair or fun for the family. I hate the fact that I lose control for even the briefest of moments. Losing my cool happens every few weeks or months, which is far too often by my standards. It’s usually because I have set high standards for my vision of my family. That sounds odd, but it’s true.

I need to let my children grow and make mistakes. I can only guide them so far before having to let them figure out the rest. Even if it means they don’t do things the way I expected.

It’s hard to remember that life isn’t a race to the finish line. We’re all going to get there at some point. No need to allow stress to get you there faster. It’ll make a person crazy trying to control everything in their lives. Especially if it means trying to control other people.

I think we should all sing away our frustrations. I enjoy writing nonsensical songs and singing out the lyrics in order to keep calm. Maybe it could be the start of a new musical.

I shall call it “STRESS“. Maybe I could steal some music ideas from “STOMP” and make a ton of noise with office equipment. Smashing of staplers, the hard slam of the photocopier door as you try and figure out what is wrong with the toner, the sounds of twenty people clicking pens in harmony… Who wouldn’t want to sit in an auditorium after a hard week at work and hear those types of sounds set to songs?

Million dollar idea right there.

Barefoot

What is wrong with me these days? I’m choosing to not wear shoes more often. That is not me at all.

At home- I am loving the feel of the moss underfoot. Or the sense of the wood floor and carpet inside my home.

The other evening I walked around the block on the warm pavement barefooted as well. I had simply forgotten that I should put on shoes when I left my house. I only noticed when I stepped on a pebble. But by then, I was too far gone from the house to turn around. And our dog was happily trotting beside me- I couldn’t force him to stop his walk.

On Wednesday, I dipped my feet into the Hayward Lake. It was so warm and refreshing. The sensation I experienced as I sat on the dock watching the sun go down was tranquil and mesmerizing.

The one thing I’ve noticed about being barefoot, is that every step taken is giving me a unique feel of the earth. With each barefoot step, the contrasts underfoot brings me a sense of well being and calmness as well as a connection to the world.

Is this what it was like to be a hippie back in the 60’s?

You know, they may have been onto something. I’m feeling youthful and fun again.

This Flight Tonight

Holy crap. The day is upon us. Time to hit the skies over the wild blue yonder. My wife’s anxiety and fears have turned to excitement and fun. Now it’s my turn for the stress…

We did online check in yesterday and had an early arrival at the airport today. Our bags were dropped off 3 hours early and our stress level was turned down. I grabbed a candid shot of my wife and son as they waited in line.

We enjoyed a late lunch and we were off to pass through security. We were first at security and my wife got a secondary screening. But it was still quick. We found our departure gate and grabbed a seat by a large chessboard.

Our kids kept themselves occupied without the use of electronic devices (even though we had those with us). Lots of smiles and smack talk as they challenged each other. People watched from the distant sidelines as the games went on.

At one point, I chose to take my shoes came off for a breather before we boarded the plane. No one wants to have smelly feet for ten hours. Only a few minutes remain now until we board. Last chance to use the restroom and wash up. I want the stress feeling to go away.

I’m not worried about the flight- which is good. I’m worried about every other aspect of our trip. Argh! It’s almost time to board! Stress sweats… ugh. No! We can do this. It’ll be fine. It will be fine.

And fun. We have companions. So a bit of silly photo fun is being had. These guys will make a few more appearances during this trip.

Off we go! See you on the other side of the world!

Calm, Cool, Collected

Today could have turned out better for everyone. However, in the end, it turned out just fine for me.

I had a bit of a moment where I was in the right and stuck to my guns. But the person who was wrong became more belligerent as the realization was coming that he was wrong and made mistakes. I was waiting for him to figure out the solution to our dilemma. That was proving to be difficult as he tried to muscle his incorrect opinion as the right one.

So I remained calm. I could have blown up. I could have said derogatory words. I could have attacked his character. But I didn't. It's not like me to do that.


I remained cool. I repeated my stance without raising my voice. I explained why it was the right thing to do. But every time I did, all I heard from him was "You're f**king up the parade, José." He was trying to beat me down to a level where I would concede to the wrong decision.

I kept myself collected. It's not easy to know when to pick a battle of wits. Today, I knew the mistakes were his. During his defamatory comments, I figured out a solution. One that he had missed because all he could do was tell me that I was "f**king up the parade" by not taking the easy route. Had he remained calm, he would've seen the same answer. Funny thing was that it was an easy solution as well and got the best results.

Being right felt good. Being both right and staying calm felt great. In the end I was right and my way worked out. I know that one day he and I won't see eye to eye again. Perhaps then he will be right.


Remaining calm is an easier way to find solutions. It always is. I am slowly earning the nickname Superman that has been given to me.

Life is Too Short

Sometimes you just have to take what’s dealt to you in life. Some things are out of your control. So why worry about it? Why freak out cursing and swearing?  It doesn’t help. Unless you are like me and enjoy over exaggerating the situation and pretend to really lose your cool. 


But I am usually pretty calm in stressful situations.  I have this uncanny ability to figure out resolutions to the problem. I can walk away for a moment, then throw my hands in the air, and shout, “Fuck this shit! I’m out!” Only I don’t mean it.  


There is often more going on than what you first see. It’s how you react to problems that defines what kind of person you are.  I am calm, cool and collected.  I can have a person yelling at me over the phone and losing their shit, and I’ll wait until they pause just long enough…. then I’ll ask if they are done and want to talk like adults.  I understand that some people need to vent.  I also understand that some people need to lie or manipulate.  I’m good at reading people even with just a quick phone call or interaction.  I’m the “People Whisperer”- just kidding.  But I don’t let things bug me.  


Like the graffiti I once read: Life is too short for soft core porn. That may not be relevant to what I am talking about. In fact it really has nothing to do with tonight’s post.  But it sure is funny. Life is too short to stay angry.

The Day Drags On

Today is one of those days that just seems to be going on forever. This is the kind of day that just passes by until bedtime.  No ambitious projects.  No plans to go out.  Not a lot of anything. It’s as if I’m just waiting for something to occur. But nothing will.

I started dinner a few hours ago. We are going to be enjoying a smoked brisket and potato salad in a few hours.  Perhaps that’s the reason it feels like the day is just sauntering along.  I am checking the meat about once an hour as it slowly cooks. The red potatoes for our potato salad have been boiled & peeled and are cooling off. Now we wait.  And wait. Then wait some more.

My wife is planning on doing some gardening over the next couple of hours.  I don’t feel like getting dirt under my nails today, so I will be avoiding this.  Most likely I will either nap or play some video games. I may even do both.  Those are my plans.


It’s just another lazy Saturday for me.  I enjoy these.  It’s been a while since I had a Lazy Day.  I’m going to relax and just float through the rest of the afternoon and evening. Then suffer a meat coma and pass out.

It’s good to be an adult sometimes. You can make these choices and not feel guilty.

What Were The Skies Like When You Were Young?

I don’t think I remember what the sky looked like when I was younger.  In the past few years however, I’ve looked onwards and outwards more often.  The beauty that this world has to offer stretches far beyond the horizon.

This morning had another beautiful start.


This morning I paused for a moment with my son as I drove him to school.  I admired the sun as it was coming up, but he didn’t care.  It was just another day to him.  I thought about my youth and how I was always seeking the next moment, never indulging in what lay before me.  I still do that instinctively.

The sky over Nevada 2015.


Last year we took a more scenic road trip back home from California.  Through Nevada, the roads stretched on forever, sometimes meeting with the sky.  It has been my favorite drive to date.  The flow of the roads and the lay of the land- I just went with it.  

Sunset in Hawaii, April 2012.


The same sky that I have looked at and ignored for so many years has shown me more than enough beauty that I am ashamed to have missed it in the past.  Now- every trip we go on, I take a snapshot of the every changing landscape.  Absolutely breathtaking.

Storm clouds on a drive home from work.


Sometimes even the worst weather can share with us a glimpse of wonder.  Our daily grind keeps our heads down focused more on each step to the next goal.

Sunset along the river just north of our home.


At the end of the day, as well as the start, the earth turns and showcases the light bouncing around from the sun.  Not every sky is clear.  Some are dotted with clouds.  Other days there are streams of colour, bursting all around us.  


But we forget.  We forget to enjoy the moment.  We forget what it’s like to stare off into the sunset.  We forget that we need to let go and allow the alluring sky to take hold on occasion.

Not everyday is a rush to get to the next location.

Sometimes, you just need to watch the clouds roll by and remember what the sky was like when you were young.

The Early Bird

I love where I live- the outskirts of the suburbs on the fringe of the farming community.  It’s peaceful and somewhat secluded, but still close enough to society that we can get where we need to go.  Trees and animals are everywhere.  Every other home has a large dog and we all greet each other as we walk around the neighborhood.  It’s peaceful and serene.

Home amongst the trees.

Today, I was called for an early morning shift at work.  Saturday mornings are doubly quiet in my neck of the woods.  There was a fresh rainfall over night and the world was glistening with water droplets.  The only sounds I could hear were the chirping of the birds as they awoke.  Their songs echoed a serenade that I have enjoyed many times before.

In my later years as a teenager, nearly every night in the summer, we gathered together and enjoyed bonfires.  We would head to a beach, or a campground or our favorite place that we called “The Dunes”.  A procession of cars would be lined up down a dead end road and about twenty or more of us would cross the train tracks and hike up the sand hills.  Armed with folding chairs, cases of beers, some firewood, & things to smoke- summer never felt like it was going to end.  Most nights we would leave around 01:00am or so, but occasionally we would pull all nighters.  On those nights, we would watch the sun rise and hear the sounds of the birds as they began to sing.  I vividly remember my friend saying, “Just listen to mother nature’s orchestra.”  

A bird in the hand…

Last year, a hummingbird
flew into our house and got trapped by the skylight.  With some effort and help from my wife, I was able to carefully capture the bird and release it back outside.  I held her gently in my hands and felt her heart racing against my palms.  It was a surreal moment, feeling like I belonged in a Disney movie, as I opened my hands and the hummingbird took a moment to realize that she was being set free.  I was one with nature at that moment.

Before the hustle and bustle of the daily grind- take a few moments one early morning (or really late night) and enjoy the sounds.  Hearing the birds in perfect unison, calling out to each other in stereophonic sound is fascinating to say the least.  Spring is in the air and summer soon to follow.  Take a deep breath and remember that there’s more to life than just work.