Posts Tagged ‘behaviors’

What are your fears?

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

I’m not a very fearful person.

I’m not scared of bugs, or rollercoasters, or flying, or snakes, or public speaking, or traveling alone, or so many of the other common fears people seem to have.

The creature-related fears come up a lot since I volunteer at the National Museum of Natural History and I handle caterpillars, grasshoppers, hissing cockroaches, various beetles, Australian stick insects, butterflies, moths, tarantulas, and vinageroons/whip scorpions. I’m constantly amazed at the folks who are grossed out or terrified of these guys. Obviously if we have them out at the museum, they’re not going to hurt you. Yet children still cringe and cry when a butterfly circles them with their erratic dance and adults still make a face and stay ten feet away when they see a live insect or arachnid on someone’s hand.

Or take my friend, who is afraid of traveling by herself. Granted, this is probably something a LOT of people have not done or may never do. But the limitations you put on yourself when you can’t bring yourself to strike out on your own can keep you from a certain independence and self-discovery. I love my time traveling on my own, especially in foreign countries. I find those the most rewarding experiences to look back on. Should fear of some stranger in the world hurting you stop you from trying this? Or should you plan carefully, be vigilant and smart, and go for it?

Things like these make me wonder why people are so fearful. Of course, I’m not without my own fears, which generally are related to dying and pain, like falling from really high up (so stable buildings are fine, but if I have to balance on something to cross a chasm…) or not having some stability in my life (financial, emotional, or otherwise). But my fears don’t come up very often and they don’t make me shake or scream or cry or run away. So how do people deal with these fears they have that probably come up pretty consistently?

You’re bound to find a spider or two in your home at some point. You’ll probably board a plane to travel. You may not have to do massive speaking events, but you’ll probably have to present in front of a group occasionally.

So if you’re afraid of these things, what do you do? Do you spend exorbitant amounts of time worrying, fretting, sweating? Do you try to avoid them at all costs? I’m curious.

For me, when my fears come up, it’s more about planning for the future. This usually means that I spend some of my time concerned about the idea, but that allows me to consider how to prevent unwanted situations. I imagine having to deal with death and maybe I cry at the thought, but then I think about how I would get through it. I think about what life would be like if I had no money or I was all alone and consider the hard choices I might make. These are the types of fears I tend to have, about things that haven’t happened. It makes it a lot easier to deal with since I have time to think through possible reactions and courses of action.

My fears are mostly things I may never have to go through. I find it fascinating all the fears of things people have do have to contend with. Why am I not afraid of them? Why are so many people? And what are your fears?

I prefer to air dry

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve used a blow dryer once on my hair. I couldn’t figure out this whole brushing hair and blow drying routine. It just didn’t make sense to me and I ended up blowing a lot of hot air at nothing. Afterwards, my hair felt like straw, it looked like a mess, my ears were burning, and I decided this wasn’t for me. That and I just don’t find it very useful to spend time in the bathroom getting ready. So all my life, I’ve air dried my hair.

Sometimes I comb it a certain way, braid it or tie it up. Sometimes I shake it all around and sort of let it fall. At night, I sleep on it any which way. When I get up for the day and it looks dreadful, I comb some water through or tie my hair back. I like showering in the evenings but my hair tends to fall better if I shower in the morning. I try to drag myself up when I can (not often successfully). Alas, I’d rather air dry my hair than spend time brushing and blowing it out.

For rather different reasons, I’ve also started to air dry my hands after washing them. At work, I go to the restroom many times a day since I tend to go through many mugs of drinks. Each time, a twinge of guilt hit me when I wiped my hands on paper towels. I tried bringing in one of my People Towel hand towels, but I kept forgetting to bring it with me. So eventually, I started to walk back to my desk without wiping my hands. By the time I got there, they were pretty much dry and I’d apply some lotion and be done.

You know, despite my reason for air drying hair to be due to laziness and my reason for air drying my hands to be due to environmental consciousness, they sort of have the same result. I save a bit of time and effort while conserving resources. I’m perfectly fine with that! Now you may notice that I did not mention air drying coming out of the shower, but since I’m reusing towels I feel like it’s far less wasteful. Plus it’d take a much longer time to air dry than just soaking up the water with a towel.

What do you think? Am I odd for being like that or do you air dry as well? If you don’t, would you consider it?

How to discern a person’s character

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to tell someone’s character is by how they treat those they don’t particularly like and don’t (think they’ll) need.

So often, people focus their attention on those they want or need something from and neglect all others. They may be nice to their family because of the intrinsic tie, to bosses because of their influence, or simply to people they like because they enjoy the company. But it’s easy to be good when you want to get something out of it.

What would you do when you ran into someone you did not get along with? Would you duck your head and go another way? Would you grit your teeth and try to be cordial? Would you sneer a bit and let them know how you feel? Or would you attempt to make a friend or at least acquaintance of them?

I’ve met some people who really rubbed me the wrong way. I remember one girl who had a good heart, but she was just so needy with attention that she went out of her way to get it. She’d bake you a cake or buy you something to try to win your affection. Some people were wooed by that, but it grated on me because it felt so fake. I mostly tolerated her, but every now and then when it got extremely excessive, I honestly shared my opinions with her. Admittedly, I’m not a very patient person and if our social lives did not intersect, I would have steered clear. I find it better to avoid conflict like that.

A few folks I’ve known weren’t quite so nice. There was one girl who would target me whenever she had a complaint about my friends and I, as if I was the only person causing the problem. I think it was because I was the only name she knew. I found it very rude the way that she haughtily came to ask us to change our behavior, like she’d never had a day of fun in her whole life. In fact, I’m not sure she ever smiled and she had the worst resting face I’ve seen. It always looked like she was fuming or glaring at you. When she finally moved on to somewhere else, she never even told any of us that she was leaving. You can tell she didn’t bother with making any friends there.

Another one in particular was rude, disrespectful, and outright mean at times. I don’t know where all that hate came from, but I can’t stand that sort of thing. What really bothered me was the fact that she was two-faced, putting on a smile for people she liked, respected, or needed to get along with. Me? I had no impact on her life and she did not like me, so she held little back. Normally I’d keep my distance as much as possible and not waste time thinking about her awful personality, but sometimes our paths inevitably intersect and I can’t help but wish that more people would see through her facade.

This then begs the question: would you rather be ignored and not noticed or ridiculed when noticed? Which is the lesser evil here? In a sense, if you’re being bullied, you’re being noticed. What if you mattered so little to people that they didn’t even pay attention to your existence? What scenario would make you feel more inferior?

I personally would prefer to be ignored. At least then you’re not subjected to cruelty. It may make you feel small to not be noticed at all, but it’s easier to deal with. With bullying, try as you might to convince yourself that you’re being targeted because of an innate security from the bully, or even jealousy, it’s hard to accept that mindset. What do you think?

I’m trying hard to not let negativity like that into my life. It’s sad that they are so lacking in positive emotions and healthy relationships, but I can’t help but mull over it more than I ever should. I always wonder if there’s something I could do to make things different. Ultimately, it’s up to them to stop perpetuating that negativity and it’s up to me to keep those influences out. If I have to, I might need to remove myself from the situation that keeps me tied to these poisonous people. I’d rather be happier somewhere else.

Cat vs pizza box

laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , , ,

We don’t get pizza much, but when we do it’s almost guaranteed that our food will be crushed by the cat. She also happens to enjoy destroying the box… #lifewithcats

cat crushing pizza box from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

cat ripping cardboard with teeth from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Sleeping positions

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

How do you like to sleep?

Since Panda sleeps much earlier and I sit in bed on my computer, I’ve noticed some strange sleeping habits and positions that he’ll get into. He loves to be tightly tucked in under the blanket, complete with a tight tuck under his chin. It shuts in the hot air so much that he’ll sweat at night and I recently observed a drop of sweat making its way down his face and neck (ick). I prefer more air flow and will sometimes lay on top of the thick blanket with a light blanket or have various body parts sticking out of the blanket (typically my feet or one leg). I also like to have one leg bent up and one straight out. Since I leave a low light on, Panda will sometimes find creative ways to block the light – usually he’ll crook his elbow over his eyes, but I’ve found him with my nightgown wrapped around his head like a turban before.

There are some commonalities we share though – for one, we both like to sleep with our arms laying next to our heads, elbows bent. Perhaps we like airing out our armpits? We also like to take up a lot of space. For me, this generally means spreading out and draping my leg over him if necessary (he hates that). For him, it’s usually some strange contortion he managed to get into while twisting in his sleep. I’ve had to provide photo evidence of his transgressions to prove how he overran the bed and left me no space!

cat sleeping on bed with body twisted in strange positionI also like to keep things fresh by changing where we sleep in the bed. At first we’d swap sides every now and then. A few times we oriented our heads and feet the opposite way. Most recently we are sleeping sideways, parallel to the wall that the bed is against. Each time we change, Panda complains and hates the idea, but I’ve found that if I keep pushing, he tries it out and ends up enjoying it. Then that new spot is the default and the next change is another little battle (it’s like he forgot he didn’t want his “spot” the last time we changed either).

Even the cats have their funny sleeping preferences, like Smokey’s “happy nap” where she lays on her back in the middle of the floor, belly up and all paws facing the ceiling. As soon as she notices someone trying to take a picture of that, she quickly rolls over and runs off. When she’s in boxes, she loves to prop her chin and one paw over the edge. Meanwhile Missy is a huge fan of crawling in under the covers to snuggle up next to you. Or, if she’s on top of the blanket she’ll often end up belly up, chest to the side, and head twisted back. That’s when you know she’s really sleeping well. 🙂

So do you also have your own sleeping quirks?

Deep food coma

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The first few days we got back from the UK, I was doing pretty well with the getting up in the morning thing. I’d wake up around 5 or 6 and decide that it was too early, so I’d let myself slowly drift off again until about 7. By then my body couldn’t take it anymore and wanted to get up. Because of these earlier starts, I also got tired earlier in the day. In fact, as soon as we’d get back from dinner, I’d jokingly wrap up in my new sherpa throw and say, “Good night!”

curled up on couch with new super soft and comfy sherpa throw blanketNext thing I knew, Panda would be getting ready for bed and turning off the lights. For some reason that always woke me up, though I very easily slipped back into sleep. Then another hour or so later I’d wake up and force myself to get up to blog for the night. I am dedicated to my craft, after all! If the only thing I get right is that I post every time I tell myself I will, at least I will have that. Most recently I have a goal of one post a day in addition to my 365great post at the end of the day. I’ve been doing quite well and throwing in posts about random things, mixing in reviews and pictures and whatnot. I was not about to let some strange sleep schedule jeopardize that! 😛

But what I’ve learned is that jetlag + sherpa + dinner = major food coma/crash. I mean, 8 PM I’m sound asleep as if I’m 5 again. Actually, I’m not even sure I slept that early as a child. It’s just not my thing! So I’ve got to say, this sherpa and plush blanket is one magical thing to get me to fall asleep so well. I can’t get enough of it and I’m already thinking about getting more (much to Panda’s chagrin, lol). I’ve had to resist using it tonight for fear of falling asleep before either of my blog posts are up. Alas, work now keeps me busy in the day and I need to write posts at night! This will take some getting used to.

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