Showing posts with label Rest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rest. Show all posts

July 19, 2019

Shabbat Shalom Y'All


(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 18, 2019

When People Can't Admit They're Wrong

So he's a story from the pool today...

I'm doing my laps minding my own business.

And this guy gets to the pool, sits down, and immediately pulls out his cellphone.

Then he proceeds to literally yell into his phone for probably a good half an hour. 

I'm doing my laps and I can hear this guy yelling:

- At his end of the pool 

- ALL the way at the opposite end of the pool

- With earplugs

- AND even underwater

And he goes on and on and on. 

Doesn't stop for even a breath of air. 

Now, in all the years swimming, I've never had to approach someone about their behavior like this.

BUT this was too much as my head was pounding from his incessant yelling.

I waited until he finished his call. 

And it happened to coincide with me finishing my laps. 

I come out of the pool and grabbed my stuff. 

I have to pass him on the way out. 

And I'm still debating with myself whether this schlemiel is even worth it. 

My head is still throbbing from his yelling.

I stop in front of his chair. 

Now he's pulled out a book and is trying to read. 

I say:
Excuse me.
He knows he did something wrong, and he barely looks up, trying to ignore me. 

I say again:
Excuse me. Did you intend for everyone at the pool to hear your ENTIRE conversation?

He starts murmuring something, and then says throwing it back on me:
What's the problem?

So I say:
You were speaking so loud, I could hear you all the way on the opposite end of the pool.  I could even hear you under the water. 

He's agitating now and he says:
Well, I was speaking to someone 85-years old who doesn't hear well.  You get it?

So I say respectfully:
I am sorry that he doesn't hear well, but does everyone else here around the pool also need to hear the conversation? 

Then he says:
So what--I don't care if everyone hears.

I try one more time.
Do you see all these other people trying to read, rest, swim--do you at all care?

He still can't get himself to come around, and instead doubles down and says, 
Well. I'll do whatever I want!

Now, I've had enough, and I say:
So basically you don't give a shit for ANY of your neighbors, do you?

Finally, he must of been embarrassed enough at his terrible behavior, and he backs down and says:
Next time he calls me, I'll take the conversation inside!

At which point, he goes back to his book, and I complete my exit. 

It took all that just to get him to say he'll handle it differently next time and basically be respectful of his neighbors and not a selfish pig!

It's amazing--some people really just can't own up to when they are being a jerk.

But I was glad this guy finally came around--maybe there is still hope. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 19, 2019

Everyone Loves A Good Massage Chair

What can you say, when you see these luxurious, zero gravity, massage chairs?

Yes, ah, that feels so good!

Seriously, you know you want to try it.

Yes, you do. 

And you even want to take one home. 

Costco's got these. 

You've seen others at Sharper Image at the Mall. 

They're not cheap.

This one was like $4,299. 

Can you resist the urge to splurge on the ultimate in comfort and relaxation?

Take off your shoes. close your eyes, let yourself drift away. 

It's a better place. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 31, 2019

Tie Dye Hammock

Loved this tie dye hammock by Enonation (Eno) from Australia that I saw at REI. 

It's called "DoubleNest," so I guess that means it fits 2 people. 

So open, colorful, and inviting to rest and relax in. 

Sillily, the store only carries the hammock and not the stand...so good luck with that. 

Also REI clumsily filled this gorgeous hammock with Nalgene bottles--on sale 30% off!

Uh, if you make even the nicest stuff look like junk for storage, you're not gonna get the brand image you want. 

Anyway, the hammock was awesome!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 23, 2019

Fire Alarm, Now What?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called "Shabbat Menucha." 
Friday night–the start of the Shabbat–oh, thank G-d we made it (and TGIF). Usually such a wonderful time to catch up on some extra sleep from the whole week of work. But last night it’s different…the fire alarm suddenly comes alive and the voice over the loud speaker tells everyone to exit the building immediately. It is 1:00 AM in the morning.

Carrying a head cold, medicated, and sleepless, this is what happened to me.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 15, 2019

Shabbat Shalom!

Love this picture that my daughter took in Israel of the Challahs for Shabbat. 

So fresh and delicious. 

Plenty for all. 

G-d's blessing for a restful Shabbos.

Thank you for sanctifying us with your mitzvot. ;-)

(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)
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August 31, 2018

Bugsy says Shabbat Shalom!

Bugsy the bug says Shabbat Shalom.

A weekend of rest and peace to everyone. 

And Happy Labor Day weekend!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 22, 2018

Everyone Deserves A Day of Rest and Happiness

So someone I know came over to this country and literally has to work 7 days a week for months at a time!

They don't want or need to work that much, but their employer insists that's the way it is. 

On top of it, they don't even get overtime for all the unbelievable hours they have to put in. 

One day, this person actually just broke down in incredible tears, just asking to get a single day off. 

Finally, finally, finally--the employer gave in--for just a single day!

The person was so happy--one day of freedom; one day to enjoy; one day to regain their inner beauty and humanity. 

I was so happy for them!

Every person deserves at least one day off per week. 

Every single one of the major religions in the world that is anchored in the Bible--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--have a holy Sabbath as a day of rest.

There is a divine and ancient wisdom to this. 

People need a day to rejuvenate.

Everything is nature does.

Even the fields have to lay fallow every 7th year so the earth can revitalize and replenish itself. 

There is a natural cycle to things--peaks and valleys--and we need to have some rest and relaxation--to work for something and not for nothing. 

The joy on this person to just have a day off--it was so incredible and touching. 

It spoke light years to me about treating people right--just--humanly--with compassion--and doing good over evil in this world.

What does the employer need to wring an extra days work out of their employees for the rotten greed of money and profits?  

Better to care for your people, and they will be better off for it and thus to the needs of the business and its customers. 

Care for people--they are people. 

Love people--they are G-d's beautiful children. 

Treat others as you would like to be treated. 

Let everyone have a day of rest and something to look forward to--to enjoy, to have some happiness, to get time with their family and friends, to get back to themselves, to attain a deserved and proper peace of mind, body, and soul. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)  
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June 16, 2018

Shabbat Risk

I haven't played Risk in years. 

But my daughter and her husband came for Shabbat, and we sat down and had a great game. 

We distributed the countries. 

Placed our enemies. 

And went to battle, army to army. 

By the time it was over, my daughter had conquered Europe, Africa, and North and South Americas.

It was so good to see her taking country after country from my son-in-law and me. 

My son-in-law joked that he had underestimated her. 

We had a good laugh and nice time just sitting down at the kitchen table and playing a board game. 

Afterward, we went down to the pool and relaxed in the deck chairs and then my wife and I took off our shoes and walked in the grass in the garden. 

I laid down on the beautiful green lawn and looked up watching some planes jet over in the clear blue sky. 

It was absolutely beautiful weather and a marvelous day today with my family. 

In the morning we went to Synagogue and the sit-down kiddush with our friends.

I am grateful to G-d for all this and for the peace of the wonderful Shabbat! 

Also, what more can a man ask for Father's Day. ;-)
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January 9, 2018

Cat Nap

What a great place to take a cat nap!

So many gorgeous cats in Israel. 

They don't run away either. 

So friendly and happy. 

Sort of got a feeling like they were old souls inhabiting these cats. 

Old souls are very often wise souls.

Cute and wise cats.  

Enjoy!

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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November 6, 2017

Begone With Daylight Savings Time

Daylight saving time is one of those ideas that should be relegated to the dustbin of history. 

It serves no functional purpose and is actually a negative for society overall. 

Originally devised to have longer daylight in the Summer months by moving the clock forward an hour, it was also thought to save electricity by having more daylight.

However, research on the energy savings have had at best mixed results and the extra hour of sunlight in the evening in Summer with sunset extending to after 9 pm is necessary why???

Let's face it...it is stupid to move the clocks twice a year "springing forward" in the Spring and "falling back" in the Fall. 

Aside from the nonsense of actually having to move the clocks, it is disruptive and unhealthy to our sleep and other bodily patterns--was anyone else up too early for work this morning and hanging around until it was actually time to go in?

And it's not only people's bodily cycle that gets messed up, but animals too. One of my colleagues complained this morning about their dog needing to go out for their walk early this morning--apparently, the dog didn't get the message about daylight savings time. 

Time is not something to mess with--it should be stable like the other natural cycles of good 'ol Mother Nature--that we depend on as the "Laws of Nature!"

We don't change the number of days in December from 31 to 32 (taking it from perhaps October, which we can easily cut back on to 30 or 29 days) to extend the joyous holiday and  the shopping season which is good for economy.

We also don't mess with the number of days of the week--perhaps, for example, we should shorten the week from 7 to 6 days, so that we can have a more frequent rest cycle and rejuvenate our bodies and minds more frequently. Who wouldn't vote to get rid of Mondays and just start the week with Tuesday instead. 

Change is a good thing when it actually has a net benefit to society and it is more than negligible, but continuing to move around the dials on the clock, just because someone woke up one day with another cockeyed idea is not something to keep repeating.

It's time to recognize the bad idea for daylight savings time for what it is and restore stable time like a tick-tock that we can all set our watches consistently to. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 24, 2017

Steak or Peanut Butter

Ok, so yes this is not the best looking steak and peanut butter...

But that's not the point here.

I was talking to a workman who has a seasonal business. 

"Business is doing well," he said.

During the busy time...they can work 80 days straight without a break. 

And also work until midnight.

But the flip side is that for many months in the year, they have very little work at all.

It's literally feast or famine. 

As we were talking about this, he says to me:


"We really have to make it during the busy season, because that determines whether we eat steak or peanut butter the rest of the year!"

It struck me how difficult this must be too depend on a few months for how you live all the year round. 

Sure, it must be nice to have a slower season and have some rest, relaxation, and maybe some fun. 

But if, G-d forbid, you're not earning enough to support yourself for the duration of the year and you're stuck eating peanut butter because you can't even afford a steak anymore, then that must be pretty darn tough. 

Just something to think about and be grateful for if you can eat what you want and when you want to. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 17, 2017

Lying Down and Looking Up



So yesterday, we did something that is really fun for me...

It was such a magnificent sunny day out. 


The air was slightly warm, but at the same time there was a refreshing cool breeze.

We went outside, and just laid down in the wide open grass and looked up into the sky. 

I put some music on for us from the iPhone and just let it all sort of be.

There was a father and son flying this beautiful kite that looked like a huge butterfly. 

There was other people riding bicycles and running.

It seemed so freeing to be in the open space under the big blue sky. 

And to have the blessing of time and the luxury to relax a little and enjoy it. 

Thank you G-d for your mercy and wonderful gifts that you bestow on your people. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 31, 2016

Driving Your Organization Off A Cliff

So life is generally supposed to be a series a peaks and valleys. 

There are highs, but also lows.  

No one and nothing can perform at peak all the time. 

Like the commandment to keep the Shabbat, everyone needs a rest. 

And studies have shown that getting a healthy dose of sleep, pause, and rest in life is healthy.

When we force ourselves or others to perform past their "designed" limits, then we risk a breakdown. 

Machines break and people can break. 

The risks are either explosion or implosion: some people can frighteningly "go postal" and others end up on psychiatric medication or even sick and in the hospital. 

What is key to remember is that you can push the limits of performance so far, but then no further without a healthy, recuperative rest period and down time. 

If you want to raise the bar on yourself, others, or your organization, you need to do it strategically so there is a surge forward and then a normative recovery and energy buildup again. 

As we all know, life is a marathon and not a sprint, and the journey is as important as the destination. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Alan Levine)
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October 7, 2015

Outskirts City Life

Liked this piece of art, which I am calling Outskirts City Life. 

In the background, under cloudy skies, the tall city buildings--sort of wobbly with all the people and goings-on, which in a way we want to leave behind for some peace and quiet. 

In the foreground is a bridge and park with some sun and trees and people talking, sitting and laying in the grass and a lonesome car driving by.

The colors are vibrant, the shapes are almost like three-dimensional cut-outs making a sort of fairy tale feeling to the whole landscape. 

The picture is overall one where we balance hectic life in the city with the restfulness and tranquility of surrounding nature. 

It's a life where harmony is made by conscious choice and actions to promote a healthy body and mind amidst what we seek to do and accomplish and all that which we are asked to bear for it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 2, 2015

Insomnia Hurts Like Hell

Insomnia is a horrible ailment that many people suffer with and they do this in the dark and in silence. 

Because when the rest of the world is sleeping, you are lying in bed like a log awake--and not sure how you going to get to sleep or stay awake the next day.

What follows are sleepless nights, sometimes groggy days, and anxiety about even going to bed at night. 

How do I know this?

I've been battling insomnia since my hip's deteriorated painfully, and I had a number of hip replacement surgeries, and a lengthy recovery process, including lots of swimming. 

Despite melatonin, warm baths, and even some sleeping meds, my nights were filled with plenty of staring at the ceiling alternating with tossing and turning in bed. 

I was almost at the point of giving up hope on being able to sleep normally again, and then something occurred to me. 

Stop the meds and just pray!

Over a few days I weaned off the sleep meds, and was feeling really crappy and headachy. 

But the real difference was when I got into bed, I remembered and recited the prayers of my youth from before bedtime. 

And I added for G-d to please help me sleep normally again.

The very first night...I slept perfectly!

Now, it's been three nights in a row--in Judaism, we call that a chazakah (something that is established). 

I am so grateful to G-d for returning me to restful sleep-filled nights--thank you Hashem!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 7, 2014

Lighting The Shabbat Candles

Wanted to share this beautiful picture

The mother is ushering in Shabbat.

The children are gathered around.

The father is in synagogue.

The mother lights the holy candles.

She covers her eyes, and makes the blessing.

"Blessed are you, G-d, King of the Universe, who made us holy with his commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Shabbat light."

She then blesses her loved ones. 

Shabbat is here, and it is time to stop all the routine, mundane things from the regular weekdays. 

There is no work on the 7th day--it is the day for Hashem!

Rest, peace, and spirituality are upon us. 

Let us celebrate together and rejoice. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 19, 2014

It's Friday

It's Friday.

You worked hard all week.

And you deserve a little break.

Relax, sit down, read a good book, be a bit of a pig (but not too much).

Enjoy...the weekend is starting. 

Also, thank G-d for helping you make it through.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 10, 2014

Why Innovation Is On The Decline

You've experienced it firsthand, innovation is slowing down (and yes, it's quite disappointing!).  

Do you feel compelled to get a new smartphone, TV, or just about anything else...or do you already basically have the latest and greatest technology, even if it's a couple of years old now?


But imagine, if something great and new did come out...we'd all be dancing in the streets and eager to buy. 


That's right, innovation is not what it was...according to the Wall Street Journal, there is "An Innovation Slowdown At The Tech Giants."


The question is why is this happening?


No, the tech companies are not copying Washington politics (sleepy, sleepy...)! 


But instead, we may have become our own worst enemies to our ability to innovate anew. 


The New York Times today explains that our minds have a toggle switch between being focused on a task and being free to let your mind wonder and innovate. 


You can't do both at the same time, no you can't.


And these days, we have so flooded ourselves with information overload with everything from 24/7 work and "big data," email/texting, social media, and thousands of cable stations and billions of YouTube videos, and more that we are forever engaged in the what's now, and are not allowing ourselves to rest, recuperate, and think about the potential for what's new. 


If we want more from the future (innovation, creative problem solving, and sound decision making), then we need to allow some space for our minds to restore itself.


Whether that means daily downtimes, weekly walks in the park, monthly mediations, or semiannual vacations...we need to stop the diminishing returns of constant work and information arousal, and take a little mind breather. 


Instead of chugging along our insane nonstop routines of endless activities and firehose information engagement, we will do ourselves and our children and grandchildren a great service by pulling the train over for some rest and relaxation...and only then will real innovation begin again. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 8, 2012

Hospital Wake Up Call


Sunrise
So recently, I was in the hospital for something. 

G-d, I hate hospitals, but this time something was going on and I knew I had to go. 

I admire all the doctors, nurses, and other health professionals that work there helping people--it is definitely not an easy job.

I watched the other patients--on gurneys, in wheelchairs, laying in the hospital beds, and getting various procedures--and it is eye-opening. 

Many people, who are otherwise strong and able-bodied, are reduced to needing help with feeding, going to the bathroom, getting around, and some even just turning over in bed.

I watched the people out of their everyday clothes and forced into hospital gowns--one of the most awful things in terms of our human modesty and dignity.

Then there is the need to have to ask for everything and being reduced to poking, prodding, and vitals checkups at all hours of the day and night. 

In one case, they even woke someone up to give them a sleeping pill, true. 

Also, when you have to share a room with a stranger with their own various ailments, the quiet time and the privacy to deal with your issues is even less. 

Hospital are not a great place for getting rest or for feeling confidant in your abilities--let's face it, you're confronting very helplessness itself.

In these circumstances, I found myself getting down about the circumstances and my wife, G-d bless her, said something really smart to me. 

She said, "You are better than this," and I looked up at her feeling physically lousey and emotionally spent, and she repeated, "You are better than this."

I stopped to not just hear what she was saying, but to really listen--and it was amazing. 

She was right, there was nothing to feel bad about. I needed to have faith and believe that all was for the best, and that I was stronger than this test. 

A short time has passed, but I will never forget my wife's words to me--she gave me a great gift and I will always be grateful what she did for me. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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