I’ve never really ‘given-up’ anything for Lent. I was raised Lutheran/Christian, which doesn’t require you to sacrifice any sweets, T.V. or other bad habits. I call Lent, “New Year’s Light”, as you’re not abstaining from something forever (Resolution), you’re only giving it up for 40 days… Not including Sundays. Hmm. I smell a loop-hole! Does that mean you can cheat on Sundays*?
I’ve also recently decided that Christianity wasn’t a good fit for me and have recently decided that Druidism fits my vibe. Druids don’t do Lent.
There is a good use for Lent though. Testing your willpower. I have become pretty dependent on Amazon.com… I’m even a Prime Member! Amazon contains a plethora of things to make me happy =-) There are very few things that I can’t find on Amazon, however I’m not afraid of eBay, Etsy or even Walmart has an app now. Why should I waste my time driving to a store, dealing with wacky people and possibly getting sick when I can have it delivered to my door after hitting a few buttons? Duh. (coughDemophobiacough)
The UPS and USPS delivery folks bring packages to my home at least 3 times a week. I basically buy everything online, aside from my groceries. I think the only other store I go to regularly is a hardware store.
Then, why have I decided to not order from Amazon for the next 40 days? Because I feel like I need to see if I can. It isn’t a monetary thing, my Amazon credit card has a limit of $500. They keep trying to raise my limit, but I keep telling them no. My sacrifice is strictly to see if I can pull this off. Wish me luck!
Is anyone else observing Lent or just testing their willpower?
*So for realsies… Can I cheat on Sundays???
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl
Blue Monday began in 2005, when Sky Travel, hired a former professor of Cardiff University named Cliff Arnall. Dr. Arnall created an equation that determined the year’s most depressing day, which seemed to correspond to when people book vacations. The equation demonstrated the third Monday in January is the most depressing of the year because of a combination of elements such as weather conditions, debt level, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. Using that equation, Sky Travel dubbed January 24, 2005 as the first Blue Monday.
The news and media markets took off with this information and it continues to buzz through the internet… (Where do you think I found it 😉 I truly though that the MOST depressing day would be today, January 4th, or the first Monday in January. I posted this today, as that is my opinion.
Let’s see how I stack up using the equation:
W=weather, D=debt, d=monthly salary, T=time since Christmas, Q=time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, M=low motivational levels, and Na=the feeling of a need to take action.
- W ~ Weather conditions have been quite grand! We’ve been about 10 degrees above normal. A bit of snow, enough to cover the bland landscape, but nothing on the roads.
- D ~ My debt level is a non-issue. I’m well in the black.
- d ~ My salary is intact… for the moment.
- T ~ I will be returning to work after a 16-day hiatus.
- Q ~ I don’t make resolutions, however, I will say that I really wished to be farther along doing something else, career wise.
- M ~ Motivation… Um, what is that?
- Na ~ To do something other than what I’m doing. This is a fatty for me.
- X10 ~ I’d also like to add a special variable for me as this is also my birthday week.
I’m no mathematician, however by my calculations, I do truly conclude that today, Monday January 4th is indeed MY saddest day of the year. I also know that after it is over, the rest of the year is usually better.
Since the unveiling of the equation, there have been no studies or evidence that have proved any one calendar date is more unhappy than another and the equation no real scientific basis. Opponents have argued that assigning indiscriminate or short-lived causes (such as bills arriving, returning to work or the end of the holiday vacation) to clinical depression could adversely affect how depression is viewed. In essence, depression could be cured by booking a vacation and not a true disease.
I don’t think this means anything of the sort. Although there have been others who have used the phrases ‘Blue Monday’ as a basis for their cause, I don’t think people really believe someone with true depression just has a ‘Case of the Monday’s’, that they can be cured by making more money, more time off or any of these factors in the equation.
How does one get over a Case of the Monday’s or even the Saddest Day of the Year? Here’s some answers I found across our vast internet:
- Wake-up early and while shaking your fist yell, “Monday, you suck! You really fucking suck.”
- Have a protein breakfast that will keep you going through the long day.
- If no eggs are available, put Rumchata in your coffee.
- Morning sex.
- Take a long shower.
- Take some vitamin B, to help keep you spry throughout the day.
- Keep Monday’s schedule light.
- Hope for sunny weather.
- If you can muster it, complimenting others works for some.
- Realize that it is finally Monday & it will be over soon.
- Start making plans for Friday.
- Just be happy you woke-up on this side of the grass…
Please share how you beat your Blue Monday today in the comments!!
Copyright ~ Ilex Farrell
Please do look into professional care if your whole week seems to be row of Mondays.
I found this post in a Reddit forum:
I wonder if to women, who seem to live in a world of subtlety and nuance, we men just look like great big oblivious walking bricks. We are astoundingly literal creatures.
“Let’s go back to my place and check out the new wallpaper in my bedroom.”
“New wallpaper? Why the fuck would I be interested in that? Dumb girl.”
Ladies, take this to heart. When your guy is not picking up on your subtle hints, it’s not because he’s being deliberately obtuse, it’s because we’re just not built that way. If we miss hints that would lead us to poon-tang (which we’re interested in), then we’re sure as hell not going to pick up on hints regarding whatever random household chore we have apparently failed to do. Glue a post-it note to our forehead, write it across your breasts, but don’t simply hint at it and then get frustrated if we don’t catch it.
Yes, I have been with my man for 12 years, however that doesn’t mean that I understand what the hamster that runs the wheel in his brain does. After staring at the situation in the photo for three straight days, I decided to do a bit of research into why this situation wasn’t remedied with my husband’s first trip to the bathroom.
It comes down to men not getting the hints we lay out and not wanting to deal with the nagging that usually ensues after said hint is not picked up upon. Here are the two techniques that I have tried to implemented at our home and seem to be working:
Remember to say please and thank you—be sure to touch him when you do
No one enjoys being bossed around, especially by spouses, so there’s no point in throwing down orders like a spoiled diva. All it does is stirs up memories of their mothers nagging them to clean their rooms.
Therapists concur that we need to approach our husbands not like children, but with the calm, respectful manner we would friends. Be sure to ask, not tell. One day I said to my husband, “The fucking garbage?!” That sentence didn’t even get a reply. I tried again. “Could you please take out the garbage? It’s totally rank.” I could have left out the last part, I suppose, but I did get a response, although it wasn’t the one I wanted: “I’ll do it when this show is over.”
Later, when the garbage remained unchanged (and still smelly), I took the advice of Toni Coleman, LCSW, a relationship coach from McLean, Virginia. “Husbands will respond better if you place a persuasive hand on his arm or back. Men really respond to physical touch.”
So, I leaned in closely, but not close enough to block his view of the T.V., placed my hand gently on his shoulder and using my sweetest voice, I said, “Honey, could you please take out the garbage now that the show is over?” Not only did I accomplish getting his attention, he got up and took care of the smelly mess straight away. He seemed pleased (and a bit shocked) when I thanked him with a kiss afterward.
Granted, I don’t get a kiss, box of chocolates or diamond earrings when I clean the bathroom, however this technique takes very little of my resources and, more importantly, IT WORKS!!
Play the empathy card
Another handy tactic is getting your spouse to empathize with your situation. It is better to say that you can’t relax and scratch his back until the dinner dishes are washed than, “Why don’t you ever help with the dishes?” Not only do gentler words persuade your husband, they allow him to come to your rescue—something men take pleasure in doing.
One day I asked my husband to bring the crates that were filled with camping gear down to the basement for the winter. One day went by, then two… then on the third day, I nagged again. I was told, “Why don’t you put the crates down there yourself!”
I realized that my husband didn’t understand why I was asking (OK, nagging) him to do something I could do myself. I told him it’s difficult for me to lift the crates and carry them down the stairs. The next morning the crates were put away.
Ladies, I know it’s difficult to communicate with our men, but hopefully after utilizing these two techniques at your home, the garbage will never be full and smelly again!! =-)
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl
They like to visit the puddles in the yard at work.
I found the life cycle of the Monarch very interesting…
Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year. It’s a little confusing but keep reading and you will understand. The four stages of the monarch butterfly life cycle are the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. The four generations are actually four different butterflies going through these four stages during one year until it is time to start over again with stage one and generation one.
In February and March, the final generation of hibernating monarch butterflies comes out of hibernation to find a mate. They then migrate north and east in order to find a place to lay their eggs. This starts stage one and generation one of the new year for the monarch butterfly.
In March and April the eggs are laid on milkweed plants. They hatch into baby caterpillars, also called the larvae. It takes about four days for the eggs to hatch. Then the baby caterpillar doesn’t do much more than eat the milkweed in order to grow. After about two weeks, the caterpillar will be fully-grown and find a place to attach itself so that it can start the process of metamorphosis. It will attach itself to a stem or a leaf using silk and transform into a chrysalis. Although, from the outside, the 10 days of the chrysalis phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge. The monarch butterfly will emerge from the pupa and fly away, feeding on flowers and just enjoying the short life it has left, which is only about two to six weeks. This first generation monarch butterfly will then die after laying eggs for generation number two.
The second generation of monarch butterflies is born in May and June, and then the third generation will be born in July and August. These monarch butterflies will go through exactly the same four stage life cycle as the first generation did, dying two to six weeks after it becomes a beautiful monarch butterfly.
The fourth generation of monarch butterflies is a little bit different than the first three generations. The fourth generation is born in September and October and goes through exactly the same process as the first, second and third generations except for one part. The fourth generation of monarch butterflies does not die after two to six weeks. Instead, this generation of monarch butterflies migrates to warmer climates like Mexico and California and will live for six to eight months until it is time to start the whole process over again.
It is amazing how the four generations of monarch butterflies works out so that the monarch population can continue to live on throughout the years, but not become overpopulated. Mother Nature sure has some cool ways of doing things, doesn’t she?
© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl
The sandhill crane occupies a variety of open habitats, occurring largely in freshwater wetlands such as bogs, sedge meadows and fens, as well as grasslands, pine savanna and cultivated areas.
Cranes build their nests in developing vegetation in shallow water or close to water. Both parents work together building the nest, a mound of plant material which is secured to the surrounding vegetation. Both parents incubate the two eggs. The young leave the nest within a day of hatching and follow their parents out into the marsh. Chicks remain with their parents for their first nine to ten months.
The sandhill crane is a monogamous species and is noted for its elaborate courtship displays. Experts have identified five steps in their pairing dance routine:
- Upright wing stretch
- Horizontal head pump
- Vertical leap
- Vertical toss
There are also courtship displays that are used exclusively by paired adults to maintain the pair bond and synchronize reproductive development. These are the Bill up, Copulation and the Unison call display.
The oldest Sandhill Crane on record was at least 36 years, 7 months old. Originally banded in Wyoming in 1973, it was found in New Mexico in 2010.
© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl