Monday, September 29, 2014

Inspirational Quotes - Boost or BS?

If you're like me, you get the odd "inspirational quote" on your Facebook news stream or, heaven forbid, sent in an e-mail from a well-meaning friend. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it's good to read them and be reminded that having to empty the dishwasher isn't the end of the world. More often than not however, I read them and think "What on earth...?"

I mean, take the Maya Angelou quote I got yesterday. (Not wanting to speak ill of the dead here, but she was starting to get on my nerves a bit with the preaching.)

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you". 

Really? Really? There is nothing worse than having a book in your head that you can't, won't, or just never got round to writing down? Agreed, it's very frustrating when you think you have a great book idea but you don't have the wherewithal to get it down on paper. Believe me. I have about four swimming around right now, and every time I try to even draft the plot, a million questions come into my head and spoil everything. I have huge admiration for fiction writers who can spin a good yarn, develop great characters and keep readers turning the pages.

But still - "nothing worse"? Tell that to the millions around the world who have to walk miles for a gallon of water.

And then I got one from Maya Angelou's favorite student - none other than Oprah.

"Think like a Queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness".

Hmmmm. Now, given as how I don't know any queens (of any description), I can't say for sure that they are afraid to fail, but I would think it would be a bit of a no-no for Elizabeth II and it certainly wasn't an option for Victoria or Elizabeth I. I agree that you can learn and move on from failure; whether or not it leads to greatness is another moot point though. But seriously? Why can't these people just say "Learn from your mistakes"?

And then there's this one from Doug Ivester, (Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola in the 1990's) -

"Never let your memories be greater than your dreams."

OK, I get what he's trying to say; always have aspirations, etc. etc. But if you've done fabulous things and are getting a bit long in the tooth, wouldn't it be exhausting to always have to have another big dream or plan? At some point surely you earn the right to take your teeth out, sit back and reminisce fondly about the glory days.

Like I said, there's nowt wrong with a good inspirational quote, but let's make sure it actually make sense. Like this one....

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Things You Need a Shoulder For

No, not a shoulder to cry or lean on, but a real shoulder to do things with. I seem to have developed some sort of shoulder problem - the rotator cuff, I believe it's called. It happened on the other side about 6 or 7 years ago and I ended up having to have months of physical therapy. What a bore.

Don't know what I've done. I exercise a lot but not by playing anything that needs to be held and smashed around by my left hand. I haven't done any gardening recently - that's the culprit for the three months of tennis elbow I had all summer.

This is a bugger though, because I can move it forwards and still lift reasonably heavy things - as long as no diagonal motions are required. It's the cross-movements that are really painful, and lo and behold, there are a lot of cross-movements going on in our everyday life that I'm sure we all take for granted.

So here's a list of the things I can't do (without a lot of pain) because of the left shoulder being somewhat out of action -

- take anything off over my head. I can get them on, which is half the problem because it never  occurs to you as you're putting a pajama t-shirt on that you won't be able to get it off if you're on your own the following morning. (I eventually did get it off but the result wasn't pretty. Sitting on the floor, wincing with pain and sweating profusely.)

- wash my hair. Think about it. Washing your hair with one hand? Almost impossible.

- dry my hair. Actually, that was a non-starter. We're going for the bed head look today.

- take a bra on or off. So it's saggy bed head look then is it?

- put a seatbelt on. I'm sitting on the left hand side of my car remember. Driving the little guy anywhere this week is going to be a challenge. It's not so much the safety element, or the possibility of getting caught by the police - it's the damn pinging noise that goes on and on and on until you get the seat belt fastened.

- walk the dog. Well, I can but if she does the walking behind me then criss-crossing in front of me thing I'll be in trouble as I usually have to pass the leash from one hand to the other. I will also have to figure out how to scoop the poop and tie the bag with one hand, while still restraining her from her squirrel patrol.

In short, I am having to pass all effort and responsibility on to my right arm and shoulder. I'm going to end up like Popeye down one side at this rate.

Just remember to love your shoulders before it's too late.

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