Lesson On Social Skills?

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During the holiday gatherings, one of the stressors interacting with others is on awkward subjects. That could include jobs or economy if you were recently laid off, relationship if you broke up with your significant other or have remained single for awhile, religion or politics if you felt like the black sheep of the family.

The questioners are usually well intentioned. And the topics themselves are benign. Trouble is that as a receiver how we  react can make a dig difference. Some may attribute social skills as the key to success in these scenarios. But there is usually an emotional element that serves as an overarching driver of our reaction. Commonly known as the hot-button issues.

In response, one possibility is to deflect the question and turn it into something that is more palatable. Politician does it all the time. How good? That’s a different question. One method I have tried with some success is to focus my attention on the others. So if the question is: does the inflation make retirement living difficult? I would reply,  “sure, doesn’t it affect everything? How about you?”

And be sure to remember the emotional element.  Instead of being snarky, I try to establish a genuine emotional connection with the questioner, seeking to understand their point of view. On certain topics I would have to take a pause just to let my blood pressure settles first. But with preparation and practice, it is manageable.

Any tips you would share on handling those awkward moments?

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Winter Exercise Rut

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Looking at the phone through my sleepy eyes, the forecast says it’s cold outside which makes the bed feeling even more nice and warm. Going out for a run in the winter takes a special persuasion.

Similarly, holidays are great, but they add extra demands on an already full daily regiment. Traveling, shopping for gifts, preparing relative’s gatherings, all take time and compete for my will.

Any wonder, I’m facing winter exercise ruts? No coincident that  gym membership always goes on sale after the new year capitalizing on the nagging guilt: need to lose weigh, get fit, and pay that membership fees.

Ultimately what gets me out the bed, seizing the time, onto the run is my purpose of maintaining my health. That deep inner yes. Nobody is going to do that for me (other than my wife’s cooking).

Not easy. But I don’t give up on exercise during the winter. Even a little is better than none. Wouldn’t you agree?

Do you get into a winter exercise rut? How do you avoid it?

 

 

 

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What About December?

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With today being the last day of November, only December is  left for year 2022. In the past, folks would be gliding toward the New Year with Christmas crowning as the main event in December. That jubilant mood however has been wiped out for the past two years due to Covid.

By the look of things this time  may be no different. Perhaps  worse. On top of the on-going pandemic, companies are laying off people the worst possible time before the holidays, inflation is sky-high squeezing families on fixed income to make tough choices , and energy crises in Europe are causing catastrophes  there not seeing since the World War II.

Seems little will change in December, the last month of the year 2022.  Or will it?  I wish my assumptions are wrong. That something can and will bring about change, hope, and inspiration. Even just on a personal level. Something that could make a difference in 31 days. I am all ears if you got suggestions. 

What’s you plan for December? 

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Rail Worker Strike?

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The US Rail workers will go on strike if an agreement is not reached by 9 December 2022. That is in 10 days time.

More specifically, four of the 12 rail unions are pushing for more negotiations on, among other things, paid sick leave. A rail strike would have a devastating impact to the US economy, 1 billion dollars in just the first week.

President Biden averted a rail strike back in September by brokering a pay raise. But he is now asking the Congress to step in and pass a legislation that would force a settlement between the unions and the workers. This Congressional authority is unique because the railway serves as the lifeline to the nation’s economy (Railway Labor Act of 1926).

Of course, asking the Congress to act is never easy. Let alone to act in short-order. Never mind that it is in the nation’s best interest for the Congress to intervene and to put aside partisan politics for the greater good.

Opportunist could hold the public hostage in exchange for personal gain. Won’t be the first time if  that happens.

Do you think a rail strike will happen? Or should the rail workers be allowed to strike?

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Time Passage

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Right about now, end of November and beginning of December, I feel this passage of time like loose sands slipping through my fingers. No matter how hard I try to hold on, it flies, like a roll of toilet paper, faster and faster toward the end.

With only a little over a month left in this year, where has the time gone? Just the thought of it feels like a bad dream. Cold sweat start to breaking out. You see, through daily blogging, I attempt at slowing down the time so it won’t be a blur. But . . .

So much of this year resembles the last. Except it is worse: Covid is still around, inflation is sky high, and the Ruski is messing with Ukraine and causing food & energy crises throughout the world.

Could it get worse before it gets better? I suppose so. Human nature suggests as much. Many struggles have followed similar path. And people survived somehow. So while the light at the end of the tunnel is not visible, it will. Keep that hope alive.

How do you feel about the time passage? 

 

 

 

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Week In Review – 27 Nov 2022

Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday, this year has folks back on the road traveling and in-store shopping. Woo-hoo!

Could it be that we are ready to return to the pre-pandemic mode? Hell yeah! But that urge must be tempered with the data from actual Covid case count which will be revealed later.

For now, I am running around mostly visiting my kids.  And my actual running was sacrificed to accommodate the Thanksgiving week schedule. That’s why I am destined to be a lone runner, I suppose.  

Whether you feel me or not, hope your Thanksgiving was a joyful one.

Stay safe & have a nice week.

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Do You Feel Me?

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Do you feel me?  

A four simple word question that’s difficult to answer.

Yeah, it’s tempting to just say ‘yes’ but that would be a lie.

For no two persons feel the same, let alone feeling for others.

But at times saying ‘no’ seems inappropriate or impolite.

Should one be honest or a white lie will have to do?

Do you feel me?

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The Urge To Shop

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Today is Friday after the Thanksgiving, also known as the Black Friday when the biggest shopping season for retail business in the US starts. It is no laughing matter. Holiday sales from this period can make up 30% of a retailer’s annual revenue (Source).

But with the Covid pandemic many of the sales have been shift to online and start earlier in November. With offer of big discounts, shoppers are lured to open their wallets and become customers. The urge to shop is real and hard to resist even in the face of Covid, inflation, and unemployment.

The urge to shop was unmistakable. And I saw it with my own eyes. Yes, after abstaining it for two years, I partook in this annual tradition again today. I would say that it was almost back to the pre-pandemic level. The sales were big: 60% off the entire store at one store. The crowd was there: parking lot was fairly full.

If you missed today’s sales, no need to fret. There is still the Cyber Monday. Besides, statistically the Saturday before Christmas is the biggest shopping day of the season. So plenty of time and opportunity to spend your money, help the economy/ employment, and liberate your own sense fighting the pandemic.

Do you prefer the online or in-store Black Friday shopping?

 

 

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Happy Thanksgiving (2022)

2022 Thanksgiving in San Francisco

This is our third Thanksgiving under the pandemic and a trying circumstance for many.  Could it be inflation, unemployment, or something else?

No matter what political persuasion, religious conviction, or economic standing, relish this moment snd be thankful for what we have.  Say it out loud if that helps.

Hope you‘re enjoying a well deserved break from the urgent. Spending the Thanksgiving with family, friends, or whomever your significant others may be.

Together, we shall overcome.

What’s important to you on this Thanksgiving?

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Thanksgiving Travel

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Today commences one of the busiest travel seasons in the US.

AAA estimates 54.6 million folks in the US will be traveling during this time.  Out of which 4.5 million will travel by air. The numbers are nearly comparable to the pre-pandenmic (2019) figures. Quite encouraging if you ask me. We are not letting the pandemic hijack our holidays.

Having said that, we shouldn’t let our guards down either. Face covering, hand washing, and social distancing are still good ideas regardless if one is vaccinated or not. For sure that breakthrough and long Covid are lurking around looking for their victims.

So if you will be in a crowded space like an airport or airplane, indoor gathering with family or friends, remember to exercise your liberty and protect the vulnerable among us. So we can enjoy the holidays in a safe and fun manner.

Are you traveling during the holidays?

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