Archive for the ‘Flexibility’ Category

Service of How Flexibility Enhances Your Life

Monday, July 8th, 2024

At my first magazine job, a fellow editor led a set, structured existence. If you said to her on Tuesday, “I have free tickets to theater for tomorrow, want to come?” She’d reply, “I can’t. I wash my hair on Wednesday night.”

When I launched a single person’s life after a divorce, I asked a friend to alert me if I ever said anything like that. You miss so much by being inflexible. As an adult, the woman in my example had never shared her life with someone else which may have fed her intransigence. Her job seemed to emphasize the situation.

The woman in my example was a copy editor so she had more control over her workdays than most. Unlike the other editors, she was never in search of last-minute props for photography or asked to dash off 700 words to replace a freelancer’s late or unacceptable copy.

If you work in PR–where my career took me next–you rarely stick to a daily plan or schedule. Something or someone almost always sends you in another direction. There are many jobs like this—doctor or lawyer for starters.

Here’s an example of the benefit of flexibility. Yesterday was fully planned, including time to write a post for today. In my email box was a surprise. A friend, who was ill, offered me her ticket to a Broadway musical. My first thought was “what about today’s projects, starting at 10 a.m.?” and my second was “don’t be a dumbbell. Figure out how you can fit some of them into Monday’s plans.”

What fun I had at The Great Gatsby a New Musical—the sets, singing, dancing, costumes, and characters were fabulous.

Do you think inflexibility is a personal trait? Is it impacted by living alone or amplified by the job you have?

Waiting for the show to start.

Service of Good & Bad Houseguests

Thursday, August 11th, 2022


Image by 5460160 from Pixabay

I’ve been both host and guest many times, the latter since childhood when in addition to packing my clothes my mother sent me off with clear guidelines. “Check the bathroom sink and leave no hair in it;”  “Make your bed in the morning” and if there was a cook, “Thank her as well as Mr. and Mrs. ___ when you leave.”


Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

An acquaintance awaits a two week visit from someone who doesn’t sound like house guest material. Long before arrival she announced demands regarding her accommodation reflecting countless quirks including dietary ones. For starters: “I need silence to sleep. No light.” Her host’s apartment is on a main thoroughfare. On learning about her foibles, were I the host, I’d suddenly develop chronic migraine and postpone the stay until 2035.

Most have had some memorable house guests. For this post I dredged a few out of my memory that mercifully had otherwise been long forgotten. There was an American stationed in Ankara, Turkey, who stayed with us in Adana for R&R. He sat for hours in the living room, drank whiskey and smoked nonstop without paying attention to where the ashes went. I envisioned holes in upholstery and rugs not to speak of fire and he wasn’t good company.

There are those who make a shambles of your home, leaving their stuff all over the place and the guest bedroom a disaster. If you’ve planned a dinner party coinciding with the unfortunate visit, and you like to entertain in a tidy home, the stress on the host is palpable.

Still others act as though you have hot and cold running help. I’ve lived through them too. That’s why, on the last morning of my visit I strip the bed and ask for clean sheets to prepare the guestroom for the next visitor. I volunteer for KP as sous-chef peeling and cutting as instructed, offer to wash dishes and if appropriate, invite the hosts for a meal.

I was told by someone who owns a shop that guests don’t bring house gifts anymore. Do or would you? Have you had spectacular house guests–either good or bad? To be a welcome house guest a person needs to be flexible, don’t you think?


Image by Anna Moskowitz from Pixabay

Service of Voting for One Issue: What’s the Thinking Behind it?

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

If I insisted on having to agree 100 percent with friends, and if each one needed to act the way I would in every instance, I’d have none.

My parents didn’t always agree about politics, how strict to be with me, what film to see or event to attend, so there was plenty of lively conversation in my childhood home. This, I suspect, is why I am unlike some friends who say “If a person felt this way about __________ [name the subject such as global warming, religion or a political figure] I couldn’t be friends with them.” [There are obvious exceptions of extreme nature: If someone tortured people or animals for example that would be a deal breaker.]

Early voters NYC, October 2020

On the other hand, if most everything about a person is abhorrent to me–their behavior, beliefs, lifestyle, actions and ethics–we wouldn’t be pals even if we share one passion or background.

This is why I don’t understand how people support a politician when they agree with him or her about only one issue when the person otherwise exemplifies everything else they oppose.

For example, on social media, @americamag, The Jesuit Review, asked: “Do we have to ignore the fact that Mr. Trump sometimes behaves in a manner unworthy of a president of the United States, and ignore the damage that he inflicts on the rule of law in our body politic, just because of his good pro-life policies?”  America Media describes itself  asthe leading provider of editorial content for thinking Catholics and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking.”

Pro-life initiatives are left in the dust by traditional “pro-lifers” who vote that issue alone such as health care for all, food for the hungry, clean water, keeping immigrant children with their parents, simple attempts–enforcing masks and social distancing–to control Covid-19 and the like. The irony is that you don’t have to partake in gambling or ingesting marijuana or taking prescription drugs or drinking alcohol if you disagree. What’s the difference?

Have you voted for someone for a single issue?  If people don’t see eye to eye on most everything else about a candidate, how do they justify their decision to vote for her/him? Are you inflexible in your friendships, refusing to see someone based on disagreement over one issue when you like most everything else?

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