Saving things for later is another form of procrastination

For Mothers Day my husband gave me a gift basket which included a bath bomb.  I had never had a bath bomb before but it looked like a larger version of the bath cubes I used to have which took forever to dissolve.  In my mind, I planned to save it for later.  Save it for a time when I would take a really long soak.  

Today I finished a fantastic leadership/public speaking course called leadership from the heart.  My feet were sore, my voice was shot, I was physically drained and still on an emotional high.  I realized this would be the perfect time for that long soak in the tub.  I turned on the water and dropped the bath bomb in.

It was a bomb, alright! There was a plop and a POP!  The bath bomb exploded and the scent of wildflowers filled the room. 

I realized that I had mistaken what the gift really was.  I had preconceived notions which limited my desire to use it.  I thought it was going to fizz and take a long time to dissolve.  Instead, it was quick and because I was not mindful in the moment of it’s use, I missed seeing it explode, I heard it and saw/smelled the result. 

Since I was still in that coachable mindset, I saw the parallels.  How many times have I procrastinated things thinking that they would be long, arduous processes?  What if that was incorrect thinking?  What if things things I’ve been thinking are big hairy monsters are actually cute little puppies run through my scary filter? How many times have I missed things because I was not fully present in the moment? 

Even worse, how many times have I judged people from things in my past experience instead of who they are really?  How many times have I stopped seeking to understand based on something they said or did that triggered me?  And turning that around, how many times have others stopped listening to me because they judged me?  

To end on a lighter note, I will definitely be getting more bath bombs and using them frequently. 

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And NPR announces the top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy books of Summer

The ones I’ve completed are in bold and those attempted in italics

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury – – Everyone should read this.

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley – one of my favorites

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein – another favorite

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut – started 3 times in different phases of my life and still haven’t finished it.

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley – The monster is never called Frankenstein.

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick – Better known as Blade Runner

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

25. The Stand, by Stephen King

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury – Probably the only Bradbury series I haven’t read.

28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein – – Do not watch the movie, the book is great the movie stinks.

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams – love the word for car.

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein – – One of my favorite all time books. – Gravity is a weapon.

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny – Another of my favorites – he died way too soon.

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy – Did not like this one much but apparently Oprah did.

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks – -HATED, HATED, HATED these – felt like a ripoff of Tolkein and Donaldson combined.

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore – need to borrow these from my kids and finish them.

74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey – Okay, I read the first one and have the 2nd on my to buy when I’m working again list so I figure that counts.

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury – – LOVED IT

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire – – GAG!!!

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde – and the rest of the series is even better.

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe – – Women are banned from the torturer’s guild – they enjoy the work too much.

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson

96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

I’m sad that none of Patricia McKillip’s work made it on the list. I love Song for the Basilisk.
So I haven’t touched 40 out of the 100, not a bad ratio.

Hypothetical vs. rhetorical

I heard part of the interview with Jay Heinrichs about his new book, Thank you for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach us About the Art of Persuasion. I listened to him talk about how the meaning of words change; about rhetorical and hypothetical questions. A rhetorical question used to mean a question that was so obvious everyone knew the answer. Now it’s “A question used for emphasis” according to Dictionary.com. I didn’t hear his definition of a hypothetical question but to me it’s always been a question used to lead a person to the point on which you want them to agree with you. Apparently the definition that I use for a hypothetical question used to be the point of using a rhetorical question. Heinrichs credits the doublespeak and changed meaning in our language to the curriculum changes during the last century when grammar, rhetoric, logic, public speaking, and debate were eliminated from the public schools.
Personally, I would add the change from considering music a science to considering it an art. It all comes down to we no longer teach our children the importance of words. We don’t teach them that “how” you say it is as important as “what” you mean to the expression of your message. We barely teach them to write and then we have teachers who are starting to accept the text mail shortcuts as appropriate classroom communication since it is symbols on paper that are intelligible. I remember about 10 years ago the fuss about allowing junior high students to write in gang script or graffiti alphabet. Today even that would be preferable since uniform spelling was still enforced.
“R U Hear?” Does not mean “Are you here?” in the classroom and should not be accepted as correct. If the teacher were accepting the assignments by text message that would be a different story. But around here at least, cell phones are banned in class and the shortened text script should be banned as well.
I hear parents complain that school doesn’t teach children to think, yet they complain about teaching the tools that would give the children a foundation on which to build the arguments and theses for logical thinking. But then what do I know, after all, I’m more concerned with the logic of the education rather than how the kids feel about themselves.