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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Blogging 101 – Add something new to your post – Take life by the Horns

Stand up and look around you?  What do you see?  For me, my first impressions of my hectic home office, are clutter and chaos, and hey, that may very well represent many of our lives – both in the obvious and the sublime.  But look further, through the chaos and ask yourself the same question?  Wait, its hard isn’t it? Todays Blogging 101 assignment is to publish a post for your readers and include a new to you element in it. Something that you have not included before, a photo, video,

Life is interesting, to say the least.  You blink, you may have missed an opportunity, you pause for what seems like a moment, and not only has a few hours past, but days, weeks, months, heck, even a year can race by.  Yet life can surprise you — unexpected and unbelievable moments like reading a Tweet that you won a monster of a Gaming Computer system (see my post here) while in the line at Starbucks and your heart racing for the next twelve hours as your Twitter account erupts with congratulatory most and kudos, or a compliment at just the right moment that makes you realize that, yes, there is more to life than this moment.  What we expect, rarely materializes, what we least expect — surprises us, and what is completely out of our control, scares us.

However, what do we expect from life?  For many of us, we grew up with that vision of the Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) family – that perfect, not so perfect, typical, North American family.  Family, children, white picket fence, wait, we are talking generation’s X, Y, and Z here, or not so white picket, condo, childless, world adventurer.  No matter what your fantasy life is, or how successful you have been at achieving your vision of “success”, how do we react when the world grabs you by the ankle and gives you a shake, is critical.    Wait — to be clear, I am not talking a little shake, how are you doing, or poke in the shoulder, but a whirlwind of … well, simple life, that makes; no matter on what side of the fence your metaphorical or spiritual beliefs fall; to look straight up into the sky, and plead “Whuzzat?! Hello, universe? It’s me, Mark!  What the #$%^!” ¹

So here we are, back staring at our chaos.  Now ask yourself again, what do you see?  I know — I have set you up for failure, haven’t I?   The truth of the matter is that — we have little or no control over life; was it a choice that my pancreas decided to semi-retire or my immune system begin to duke it out with my intentional track (I have type-2 diabetes and Crohn’s disease) and as little control over the choices others around us make.  However, what we can control is how we respond to the chaos.  Are we Teflon or that icky sticky stuff those fly traps you see hanging from the ceiling are made from?  Now ask yourself, what do you see? But before you do … This visual quote is always inspirational.

For me – life has been a challenge.  Not just yesterday, or the past year or four, but life.  What is interesting, is that when you stand back for just a moment and push through through the chaos, it is interesting how much we can learn about ourselves, about life, about the world.  This may not change the chaos around us, this may not change that witch of a neighbour or the yappy dog that keeps you up at night, but what it can do is change your perception, change how you respond, react, engage.  No matter where you are in life, every moment is a building block to the next, so let’s not react, but embrace each moment, and build on those experiences, after all, the universe has  a lot to teach us, however, for most of us, the chaos around is deafening.

So stand up and look around one last time?  What do you see?

A little note:  This article was inspired by our Blogging 101 class. The truth is, what can I put in here?  I suppose I could scour the internet for some video that may or may not fit or simply … ask you to take a moment and pause .. look … listen … and listen to the chaos around us.


from the Douglas Coupland novel, “Worst. Person. Ever.: A Novel ”  A hilarious funny novel, that made me an instant fan of Coupland.  Read the first five pages and you to will be hooked.

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Mark Hanlon


Mark is an avid photographer, Starbucks addict, motivated cyclist, struggling runner, and rocking single parent living outside of Toronto, Ontario. Living with two chronic ilnesses, Crohn’s Disease and Diabetes, life for this Transportation Planner and Registered Professional Planner (RPP) can be an interesting mix.