What is the worst day of the year? There are several to choose from but I think there’s one that tops them all.
When we used to live in Yellowknife, one of the worst days was when winter would arrive in force. Blowing wind, snow, bone-chilling cold. Never get used to that. That day was made worse because it was the herald of six months of winter.
Christmas is pretty bad. I used to think Christmas was pretty good, when I was a child. In college, I couldn’t get to Vancouver to see my family for Christmas so I was alone, the consumerism of it really came home, and there was nothing to do. Note that was before I became a Christian but I still don’t like it today because nothing’s changed. Plus Jesus’ wasn’t born on December 25 so it’s all kind of stupid. Actually, every holiday could be put together into “worst days of the year” award.
This next one is a tie. The first day of school/the first day of exams in school. To be fair, this worst day combo is balanced by the last day of school/last day of exams but still. One of the worst.
Step on the scale day. To be honest, this happens more than one day of the year. Maybe I need to write another blog about “The Worst Day of the Month.”
Any day that a bill is due. Do I need to explain? Running very close to this worst day is the day after payday when, the funds that were in your account a mere 24 hours previous, have almost completely disappeared due to aforementioned bills.
This one is kind of an oldie, before streaming and iTunes, but one of the worst days was when a favourite show was supposed to be on TV but it would get bumped because of a stupid hockey game in overtime or blah blah blah post hockey game commentary (let’s show that play another 100 times).
What could be the worst days ever is the day when anything close to your heart dies. On the other hand, I do believe in a God of life who is the resurrection. That means that as bad as a death is, one day this age of death will be over and I hope in seeing my loved ones again.
So what’s the worst day of the year? You may not agree with me on this one, regardless, I feel confident saying I’m right…
The worst day of the year is my birthday. I think it started being my worst day of the year when I turned 16. Sixteen is a big year for a young man – it’s when we move past the idiot years of the early teens and a driver’s license can be obtained. We can start getting “real” part time jobs. High school is almost over. Lots to be happy about. When I turned 16, all I wanted was to have dinner at a fancy restaurant with my family. Due to one family member’s work life, we were delayed and the dinner never happened. It was pretty clear where I was as far as priorities go. Over the years, each time it comes around it’s just gotten worse. All the greetings from people you never hear from all year. People fussing about this or that which is uncomfortable and unwelcome. Having to fake smile and say thanks. The lack of any decent presents and so having to buy myself a present which sounds like a good deal until I remember that the reason I have that present is because I had to buy it for myself. As a bonus, there’s the ever nearing icy hand of the grave…
So my birthday has my top vote for worst day of the year. And this time around, it’s the worst of the worst! Maybe it’ll be like the expression goes, once you hit the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. Of course, we can always hit bottom and die there.
What’s your worst day of the year?
Do you ingest supplements – vitamins, amino acids, etc? I have. I’ve tried all sorts of supplements for all sorts of reasons – muscle building, fat losing, more energy, and so on. I believe none of them have ever made a difference or manifested the results promised on the bottle.
I recently shared an article by Alex Hutchinson on water and exercise. I also found this article on supplements called, “The Pills We Pop.” I encourage you to read the whole article but here are a few quotes that stood out to me.
…the supplement industry has mushroomed since a 1994 law that effectively hobbled Food and Drug Administration oversight of the industry…
There were an estimated 4,000 supplements on the market in 1994, he notes, compared to 55,000 in 2012.
…the National Institutes of Health was investing $250 million to $300 million per year in supplement research, the vast majority of which found no benefits (or, in a few cases, increased risk).
…advertising claims don’t have to be vetted by the FDA, and you can choose whatever flimsy evidence you want, even if it’s contradicted by a mountain of evidence.”
Alex Hutchinson also wrote the book, “Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Fitness Myths, Training Truths and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise.” Hutchinson takes 111 common (and uncommon) questions about fitness and digs up the current state of peer-reviewed knowledge. If you’re into exercise, I recommend the book because it cuts through a lot of junk.
(Just in case you are wondering, that’s not me in the picture.)
In my ministry, I have the blessing of working with people as they process situations or important decisions. I prefer to not tell people what to do, although I will ask them if they’ve done what they said they’ll do. Instead, I listen, I pray with them, and I try to give perspectives, alternatives, options, that help them see the best path they can take.
As they journey, it’s good to see God do what only he can do in their lives, to watch them grow and go deeper in faith, to experience recovery.
One thing I really like, after they go through their experience, is when they say, “You were right all along.”
The problem is, further down the road, when I remind them that I’m always right all along, they get annoyed.
People are weird.
Have you ever been given an apology? Have you ever apologized? We apologize to smooth things out with someone who is advantageous to us. We apologize to save face; to try and protect or preserve our reputation. We apologize because we are in trouble and we’re trying to get out of it or at least minimize the damage. A genuine apology from a repentant, humbled, heart is rare.
We apologize from our own selfishness so often we don’t recognize when we are doing it or when someone is doing it to us. In fact, fake apologies sound pretty good if you don’t think to hard about them. So what’s the difference? It helps if you have or hang out with kids – they are fake apology experts! If you haven’t had the pleasure of that experience, here are some tips for adult fake apologies.
The major giveaway of a fake apology is there is an emphasis what the offender wants. “Oh baby, I JUST WANT YOU BACK.” “It BOTHERED ME that I didn’t get to say sorry.” “I JUST NEEDED TO GET THIS OFF MY CHEST.” So basically, there is little regard for the one offended; what’s important is that the offender gets what they are after.
Beyond the selfish emphasis (do you really need more?), there are a few other tell tale signs: a lack of sincerity, passive-aggressive comments, guilting the offended person, self-pity, and usually flattery.
Now, please apologize to yourself for trying to use fake apologies to get your way. We’re all guilty and we need to forgive ourselves so we can grow out of it. If you’re ready, how can you start giving genuine apologies?
You start by acknowledging your offence. Wait a second, he said he was sorry for hurting me – it must be genuine! Not so fast. A genuine acknowledgement will spell out the offence. In fact, if the offender is vague or dismissive regarding what they have done, that’s a big red flag they are not actually repentant – they are still the same person!!
The next step is the apology. Sincere, heartfelt, humble. No self-pity or guilting and most importantly, the focus is on the one offended. Compare: “I apologize for the harm I caused you” vs. “I just need to say I’m sorry.”
Finally, there is making amends. A fake apology will not include amends (watch out for things that sounds like amends such as “how can I make you like me again?”) Making amends is scary, requires vulnerability and humility. That’s why most people go for the fake apology instead. Making amends goes like this: “How can I make amends for what I did?” Then the offender shuts up, listens, and acts on the information provided. An offender giving a genuine apology will follow the offended person’s instructions and timeline. There is no rush just to smooth things over; it recognizes that wounds take time to heal. This is the loving way.
Now, go apologize to someone.
I feel compelled to complain about a popular song. I realize nobody likes the guy who complains about popular songs. And complaining about a popular song only seems to make it more popular. However, as a cultural atheist I can’t just stay quiet as we all mindlessly sing along to catchy lyrics. Maybe you’ll thank me later.
It’s great to see the recent surge of self-acceptance, positive body image, and anti-Photoshop messages. Of course, I would really like to see people discover their true acceptance, value and worth in God. Baby steps, baby steps.
When I first heard Meghan Trainor’s song, “All About That Bass” I thought it was cool with it’s upbeat and somewhat funny lyrics sending out a positive body image message. And then I listened more closely.
One of the key lines is:
“My momma she told me, “Don’t worry about your size…”
What an awesome mom! But wait, that’s not the whole message…
“My momma she told me, “Don’t worry about your size,
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”
What?!? I had to double check this with my wife. I asked her if she’s telling our daughter to not worry about her size because boys will like to hold her booty at night. She says that’s not advice she gives our daughter. Personally, it sounds like something one of those moms would say as they sell their daughters into prostitution. Is that being judgmental?
Besides being a weird message from a mom to her child, listen to what she’s saying: Be okay with your body, not because you are intrinsically valuable and beautiful, rather it’s because guys like a curvy butt.
One step forward, two steps back.
We interrupt the series on The Three to bring you these 12 Reasons Why I Quit Attending Sports Events.
1. The coach never came to visit me.
2. Every time I went, they asked me for money.
3. The people sitting in my row didn’t seem very friendly.
4. The seats were very hard.
5. The referees made a decision I didn’t agree with.
6. I was sitting with hypocrites—they only came to see what others were wearing!
7. Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some songs I had never heard before.
9. The games are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.
10. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
11. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches, anyway.
12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.
— From Josh Hosle
I found this today and wanted to share. I don’t know who Josh Hosle is, but he makes a compelling argument.
I recently stumbled across a newer version of the Midnight Oil song, “Beds Are Burning.” 80’s music burned itself on my teenage brain and this was one of my favourite songs. Actually, I tend to be partial to a good protest/social awareness song.
Media evokes and provokes. However, producers seem to want us to believe that media can only produce good. Think of all the money raised by “We Are the World.”
Now if you have the audacity to suggest that some of the media that is produced has a negative effect – even just the effect on a child’s worldview that may not be our collective best interest – you will be accused of being hysterical, uninformed, simplistic.
Is it really possible that media works only one way, for good and never for evil?
By the time you read this Oprah will have had her interview with Lance Armstrong and he will have admitted to drug use as part of his training and competing in cycling. Is this really a surprise?
It’s highly unlikely that any elite athlete today hasn’t tried or regularly used some form of enhancement. Even a cursory review of the history of performance drugs reveals that many drugs were made specifically for sport. This doesn’t diminish their natural talent, gazillion hours of training, and other sacrifices to be the best of the the very best. Drugs don’t make an elite athlete; they help make elite athletes more elite.
While I don’t support drug use, the reality is that the consumers (you) want bigger, faster, stronger and they want that year after year. We buy the shoes, shows, and whatever else their bigger, faster, stronger is used to sell us. Along with this, we don’t want to know how they do it; we want them to lie to us so we can believe in a reality that doesn’t exist.
It’s hypocritical to be shocked and angered when an athlete is found to have used drugs. We are just getting what we are paying for.
As part of my mid-life crisis I have been going to the gym on a regular basis. I used to be a “gym rat” so it’s kind of same old, same old. However, what’s really interesting is that these days, everybody (say 98%) are wearing headphones of some kind. Now, I’m not knocking listening to music or whatever while working out. It’s just that, it seems we are losing all our third spaces.
A third space is a place other than home or work where we have community. Think Cheers, where everybody knows your name. In the olden days, a work out buddy would encourage you, maybe even shout at you, even give you a hard time if you slacked off. It was more than that – we talked about life, work, family. The gym was a third space.
Today at the gym there were two guys who are obviously workout buddies. And yet, both had earphones and they barely spoke with each other. I wonder how many other third spaces are being degraded by our constant need to be plugged in?