FINDING MY TOPIC

Here I am two weeks out from my next blog post and I can’t decide what it’ll be on.

I feel like I’m staring at a restaurant menu. Whether everything looks great or nothing looks good, I’m having a hard time choosing. So, let’s get into it and see what happens. So often things become clearer as I write about them. You too?

 

‘You’ve been studying the menu since early morning, surely you must be ready to order!’

 

Ramadan, the month-long Muslim holiday begins this year on May 16, the post date I’m aiming to fill as I sit here in late April. I like it when a post coincides with an actual holiday since holidays are a large part of understanding cultural differences. Those of you who have been with me awhile might remember My Ramadan post of two years ago, where I took on the Ramadan fast.  To stay with my menu metaphor, I’ve eaten that dish before and I know, at least, that I want to try something new.

May contains a wealth of other holidays: May Day on the 1st, Cinco de Mayo on the 5th, Mother’s Day on the 13th, and  Memorial Day on the 28th this year.  I posted on Mother’s Day in 2015, of the commercial gold mine that has risen from its sad history.  And none of the others grab me; I’ll wait until they each fall on a Wednesday (post day).

May 18th is the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring and it’d be fun to write about Alexander Dupcek and what he meant around the world for the democracy movement liberalization within the Communist party. In fact, this would fit nicely as my May contribution to those monthly “Fifty Years Ago” posts I’ve been doing this year. I’m sorely tempted.

But no. I’ll not choose the Prague Spring. Somehow, the political fervor of those times is not calling to me — probably because we’ve got enough political fervor here at home at the moment.  Besides, this story will fall better into the “Fifty Years Ago” theme come August when we can look at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that brought an end to the Prague Spring, a sad day in history. I wonder what folks will be writing about our state of affairs in 50 years’ time.

On a more positive note, the week of May 14 through 18 is “National Old Friends/New Friends Week.” I’d love to learn more about this and use it to celebrate my friends, old and new. I could probably find a YouTube of the old kids’ song, “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other, gold.”  Research is one of my favorite parts of writing this blog. Of course, the only research I’m doing at the moment is reading my calendar. And again, I’ll pass on this one too, because …

August 5th is National Friendship Day and I plan to talk about friendship then. (It’s one of the running themes in my memoir.) But, for those interested in featuring this special day on their own blog, here’s the link to their website.

Current events are always a possibility for And So It Goes. 

This is the part of the metaphor where the waiter is getting impatient. The rest of my party is ready to order and the pressure is on.

Thanks to pixabay.com for the image.

 

And poof, just like that, my metaphor is gone. Replacing it is a memory: we’ve recently returned from two years in the Peace Corps, and I’m standing in front of the dairy section of the area’s largest food store. Fat free? 1%, 2%, lactose free? (what exactly is that in milk, anyway?) — you’ve been there. I’m overwhelmed and I haven’t even looked at the butter yet.

This coincides nicely with a growing body of research that having too many choices makes us miserable, which follows nicely from last week’s post on the value of gratitude in finding happiness. The slew of articles — thanks to TED.com’s blog — tell us that the simple act of making the damned decision is all that is needed to bring a sense of elation (however tiny). Just “pick one” and go with it. OK.

My decision is made. My blog post for May 16 is done. I’m happy. Maybe even elated; I can’t be sure.

How about you? How are you with making decisions? 

NEXT WEEK: ANOTHER LOOK AT CULTURAL DIVERSITY as we celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity.

 

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15 Responses

  1. Ally Bean
    | Reply

    I’m getting better at making decisions. I used to dither like a dandelion seed in the wind, floating around with no place to land– but now, for some reason, I seem more confident about what I’m doing. Maybe getting older has its blessings, eh?
    Ally Bean recently posted…#MAYkingItWork: If You’re Not Having Fun, Then Why Are You Doing It?My Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Oh my yes. There are perks to being older. Perspective is certainly one of them. I loved your “dither like a dandelion seed in the wind.” Very visual. Thanks for that, Ally
      Janet Givens recently posted…FINDING MY TOPICMy Profile

  2. Carolyn
    | Reply

    I dunno (teehee). I have no problem with making decisions about buying food, drink or clothes. Where I dither is when asked “What do you want to do today?” or “Where do you want to go?”. Truly, I usually have no idea but it causes friction because the questioner thinks I’m being polite or stupid

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Oh Carolyn. I can relate to your questioner’s point of view here. Often when my “questionee” responds with an “I don’t know” or “I don’t care” I get frustrated. For making the decision, no matter how inconsequential, can get tedious when you’re the only one making them. Which route shall we take? What movie shall we see? Who shall we invite? No matter how inconsequential, making these kinds of decisions over and over — those poor little endorphins just can’t keep up.

      But, next time I go clothes shopping I’m taking you with me, vicariously.
      Janet Givens recently posted…FINDING MY TOPICMy Profile

  3. Fancy
    | Reply

    I like the fact that you gave lots of choice rather than writer’s block. I am like that too. Once I get to write at all, I have a lot to write!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Oh yes. This was no writer’s block. I think I’ve never met a blank page I couldn’t fill quickly. ‘Course, I follow those old words of Hemingway, I write ten pages and throw nine away.
      Janet Givens recently posted…FINDING MY TOPICMy Profile

  4. Tim Fearnside
    | Reply

    I, too, can be overwhelmed by too many choices. Give me a supermarket aisle with three toothpastes or a restaurant menu with a handful of entrees, and I’m fine. Of course, admittedly, I’m not always great with decisions, my tendency being to consider everything and over-think. I’m much better under pressure, when there’s no time for such mental gyrations!
    Tim Fearnside recently posted…One Big LieMy Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      But isn’t it a great feeling (though for me it doesn’t last long) once we actually choose? I too love deadlines. And knowing that sometimes good enough really is good enough. Thanks for joining us.
      Janet Givens recently posted…FINDING MY TOPICMy Profile

  5. Pamela
    | Reply

    I’m told that I’m an easy friend, because I leave all the decision making to my friends. What movie shall we see? Where shall we meet for dinner? What book shall we read for book club? What time should we meet for a walk? My answer: Up to you. They think I’m being easy for them – giving them that control. In reality, I just don’t want to make any decisions. 🙂
    My 5-year-old grandson came over the other day singing “Make new friends” song. I hadn’t heard it for years, but he wanted me to sing it with him. He patiently taught me every word to the song (he knew all THREE verses – I didn’t know there are more than one). It’s wise, melodic, and sweet.
    So may we all make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other’s gold. xo

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I didn’t know there were three verses either. I’ll have to google it. Thanks, Pam. Perhaps I’ll use it for the Friendship Day Post. I hope you make a few decisions this weekend; you deserve the buzz. 🙂
      Janet Givens recently posted…FINDING MY TOPICMy Profile

  6. Kate Pill
    | Reply

    Always love reading your blog posts. Food for thought (an accidental continuing of the metaphor!)

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      And I always love seeing you here, Kate. Thanks for making the long trek, all the way from down under.
      Janet Givens recently posted…FINDING MY TOPICMy Profile

  7. […] FINDING MY TOPIC shared by Janet […]

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  9. friendshipday.info
    | Reply

    And I always love seeing you here, Kate. Thanks for making the long trek, all the way from down under

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