Facebook Messenger Privacy Uproar

Facebook MessangerI CHOOSE NOT TO INSTALL Facebook Messenger, but it’s not for reasons relating in any way to paranoia. There are many apps that request the same permissions, including the Facebook app itself. I choose not to install Facebook Messenger because it’s unnecessary and will consume even more of my time.

People are posting news articles and blog posts about one side if the issue (that of privacy) without considering both sides. I did research both sides and while I didn’t go directly to Snopes myself, this article on Snopes did appear in my search results.

They did a nice job summing up the issue. In a nutshell … If you’re going to be paranoid (I’m sorry … concerned about your privacy) about the Messenger app, you should consider the permissions you’ve allowed on the other apps you have installed on your cellular devices.

I have a cell phone on which I can receive text messages and phone calls. Huh! Imagine that! A device that receives MESSAGES. Why do I need another method of receiving messages? I can also access my email through my cellular device if any remembers that method of private communication. My cell phone number IS on my Facebook About section, so friends who wish to send me a private message with hope that I will receive it quickly CAN do so. Of course, I have my Facebook privacy set to Friends. Sorry, people around the world I do not know, you’ll have to settle for leaving a comment on my blog. ;)

Technology is supposed to make life easier. In many ways, it does. However, when it comes to managing and keeping track of the many ways in which we are contacted, I don’t consider that easier. It’s just more time consuming.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

St. Louis Cardinals vs Colorado Rockies

GAME 3 IN COLORADO ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, and I was there with my girls to cheer on the Cardinals on the Rockies’ turf. There are a lot of Cardinals fans in Colorado judging by the amount of people in red (ourselves included) and the noise they made cheering the Cards on!

We nabbed $14 seats online at the last minute. They were in section 204, row 4. If only five more rows up were available, we would have been in the shade. Luckily, we had cloud cover for at least half the time. The view was great!

Coors Field | Rockies vs Cardinals

The photos above were taken about 20 minutes before game time, but you can already see a lot of red in the seats! We were surrounded by Cardinals fans in our section, too.

Baseball is my second favorite sport to watch. Hockey is my favorite because it’s fast and intense. :) Baseball is more leisurely. In Wednesday’s game, this was especially true in the bottom of the 9th. Maybe it just seemed that way because the Rockies were down by 3 runs and while it was possible, the odds of pulling off a win were slim.

Perhaps most exciting was watching Colorado native, Marco Gonzales, make his rookie debut on the pitcher’s mound, strike out Tulowitzki in three pitches, AND hit a line-drive double on an 0-2 count in the third inning! I love this article about him. :)

It was an afternoon game, and I had the day off so why not! I felt a little guilty sitting there for 3+ hours enjoying the game and not multi-tasking or getting anything done that needs to be done in my house. I shouldn’t, though! I finally got to experience something that’s considered to be one of America’s favorite pastimes live, and it was the perfect game. :D I had a great time, and I have no regrets!

The Desire to be Wealthy | Is it worth it?

The Bible is said to be the inspired word of God. Whether you believe that or not, it’s certainly full of common sense and goodness. Many of us know the following verse to be true:

Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
~Proverbs 23:4-5 (NKJV)

money flying awayWho has not known this to be true? How many of you out there have worked hard to build up a savings only to have something unexpected happen to wipe out a huge chunk (if not all) of that savings? How many of you find yourselves so close to the top of a hole only to slide back down and have to begin your ascent all over again? Viscous cycle, huh?

You can’t take it with you. Don’t be afraid to enjoy it while you can. Don’t go nuts and blow it all in one place or at one time, but you should use some of your hard-earned money to do things that bring you joy and happiness. For some, that may mean world travel. For others, that may mean going to the movies or to a baseball game or even simply buying a new outfit.

Sometimes this gets tricky if others are aware that you may be in a tight financial situation. They are confused when they’ve been told you can’t afford one thing yet you’ve spent money on something else. They may not realize that you set a goal and saved specifically for that thing you spent money on long before they presented their idea or situation to you. In an incident like this, it’s hard not to feel guilty about seeing your goal through and making that purchase instead of dipping into those funds and setting your goal back even further.

I realize the preceding paragraph may be a bit cryptic and hard to follow, but I hope it made sense. We found ourselves in such a predicament this year, but I’d rather not be specific about that right now. ;)

I’m not encouraging anyone to spend every last dime they earn. I’m just expressing the importance of spending a few of those dimes on yourself no matter how tight the budget may be.

Spent: Looking for Change Documentary | Money Matters

Nev Schulman shared this documentary, ‘Spent: Looking for Change’. It’s heartbreaking, eye-opening, and infuriating all at the same time.

I guess a lot of people hide what’s going on in their financial worlds. I know we certainly try to keep our financial situation fairly private. There are people who don’t have a clue how tight things are for us. They see us with two cars, a house, clearly not starving, and with occasional new things. That doesn’t mean we have an endless supply of money (or credit) to go crazy all the time. Only those who have read my previous blog posts or whom we have chosen to trust with our story know.

To know that this is becoming the new “normal” is disturbing. I say the prez should push a delete button to wipe out everyone’s current credit card and personal loan debt so we can all start over!

In case you’re curious about those previous blog posts mentioned above:

Between the documentary and the above reading material, I’ve probably kept you here close to an hour. o_O I hope it’s been insightful!

 

Do You Trust Your Intuition?

I recently wrote about a new direction I’m headed with my career. The thought process that pushed me to take that first step in pursuing it was omitted, though. I thought I might expand on that in case it might help just one other person out there who may be hesitating to try to make a change out of fear.

Intuition

An internal posting went out to all employees about two positions opening in another department, and the opportunities were open to current staff who work from home. The day I saw it, a light switched on inside of me … for just a moment. Then the moment was gone. I was far too busy to think about it. Besides, I spent 3.5 years getting to my current “rank” of Senior Agent in my department. My supervisor said he was trying to figure out where I could advance from there but that it was going to take some time. That advancement could have been to another Lead position that may be added at some point, but there were no guarantees.

So my brain returned to my daily tasks as I closed the email announcement … until the next day. I opened it again. This time I thought fast and decided to go for it. What pushed me to take that leap? Intuition. That’s what it had to be. Something inside wouldn’t let it go and led me back to that announcement. I had to “act now and think later”. So I applied the day after the openings were announced.

Only after that did I really think about it. What had I done? The position is essentially lower than my current position, which was created out of necessity. I pioneered my current position. Why would I want to leave that? Ultimately, the decision wasn’t about status. It was about stress relief.

I’m 47 years old. I’m not driven by a desire to climb some glorified career ladder. At this point in my life, I’m fine with clocking in, doing the job, and clocking out. I’m done taking my job to bed with me. Yeah! It haunted me with nightmares plenty of nights.

Smart employers do whatever they can to hold onto their strongest employees. When I looked at it from that perspective, the praises and raises made sense. They were wooing me to keep me right where I was. As enticing as praise and higher raises are, I had to break free from the chains holding me in place to battle a monster. I actually referred to myself as a dragon slayer when talking about my job.

New position good news: they didn’t have to cut my pay. The not-so-great news: my raises may be lower. I guess I’m kind of expensive. :D This is not a deal breaker. The benefit of much lower stress far outweighs receiving a higher annual raise. That’s a small price to pay for leaving anxiety behind!

I’m glad I listened to intuition and trusted my instincts. I was already counting how much longer I absolutely had to keep my job, so in the back of my mind (OK, more toward the front) I already wanted out. Maybe this position will allow me to work for the company longer and hold onto some pretty great benefits AND afford to finally travel to England someday!

One more day slaying dragons. I had volunteered to work on Memorial Day, and that will be my last day in the department. Then it’s bye-bye monster – hello new adventure!

Do you trust YOUR intuition?

A New Direction

Until about six weeks ago, I felt stuck in a job that was literally sucking the life out of me. At the end of each anxiety riddled day, I felt completely drained and could only melt into my couch until bed time just a few short hours later. This was a job that I used to love and often proclaimed exactly that to whoever would hear it. Along the years, however, it has evolved into a bit of a monster.

Then …

This Way

I saw a sign!

An opportunity presented itself, and I had to give it a try. I applied for a position in a different department. After just over five very long weeks, I was offered one of three openings in that department. I accepted!

Beginning next week, I will be working in a different department of the same company with no change in salary and all the same benefits! It’s rare that an opening is offered to remote (work-from-home) employees, and this was. What a blessing!

The light at the end of the tunnel is suddenly much brighter!

Colorado Weather | Spring Snow Storm

SERIOUSLY, COLORADO! I thought we were friends. :(

It's Spring! Nope.

I know not to even think about gardening until late May or early June here, but this is ridiculous! What did we do to piss off Mother Nature? Good grief! I’m growing quite weary of spring snow storms and extended winters. I love Colorado, but come on! There are many power outages in northern Aurora currently. It’s taking a toll and causing power surges elsewhere, which is wreaking havoc on my work (from home) computer. :(

Meanwhile, in London…

London 12th May 2014

…currently 54°F. Sigh! Someday!

Mother’s Day 2014 | The Older Years

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mom’s in the world!

It’s the 100th anniversary of this American holiday, the idea of which Anna Jarvis first conceived in 1908 as a day to honor sacrifices mothers made for their children. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Soon after becoming an official holiday, florists, card companies, and other merchants quickly began to capitalize on this day. This displeased Anna greatly, and she tried to get it removed from calendars as a national holiday. She completely disowned the holiday.

See also Mother’s Day’s Dark History.

But enough of that … cut to today: Mother’s Day – May 11, 2014

I’ve never been one to make a big to-do over any holiday. I’m not very good at planning things out and carrying them through. It’s not that I’d rather dismiss all holidays. Not at all! I just like to keep things low key and not go overboard.

Some seem to measure happiness based on the amount of hoopla surrounding special days. For me, it’s not about that. It’s about realizing the bliss that is right here naturally.

Bliss - Eat Pray Love

It stung a little when I learned through a social network post that one of my sons spent time yesterday at his future mother-in-law’s house, where her daughters planned a surprise indoor picnic. There was fun, laughter, and even dancing involved. But then I thought, “Why should that bother me?” He did try to see me, but I wasn’t home when he stopped by with flowers. I found them on my kitchen table when I returned home. I thought that was very special! A simple visit, a nice sentiment – that’s all it takes to warm my heart.

I was told to take off my shoes and put my feet up last night while my husband and daughters went out to pick up dinner so I didn’t have to cook. This morning, I received cards and chocolates. BLISS! I spent a large chunk of the day creating images, including the one above. More bliss!

And now… back to more blissful creating! Enjoy the rest of your special day, moms everywhere. May you find your bliss!

How Much Does Size Really Matter?

I cleaned out our bedroom closet this morning and came across a box of photos. Among the photos was this one, which our real estate agent took of us in front of our house when we first moved to Colorado.

Our HouseOf course, I had to post it on Facebook for “throw back Thursday”.

I think there’s only one other model in the subdivision that may be smaller, but that’s still so much bigger than houses in England. It makes me wonder why Americans feel they need so much space. Is it a symbol of status or wealth? More space equals more to clean (or more area to fill up with things we don’t need).

This is a 4 bedroom/3 bathroom house with a bonus room in the basement. It’s only a partial basement, the other part being crawl space. The bonus room didn’t have a built-in closet so I don’t think it can be considered a bedroom, but we did use it as a bedroom for a while. It’s now my office. Bedroom #4 is now my husband’s “office” (it’s really his play room). Aside from a few design issues that I’m sure were a man’s doing, I love our house. :)

It has since been painted, and there’s a tree in the front yard.

Our House 2014

Rumbi for One

image

My first mobile post!

It’s my day off, and I’m spending it alone out & about, starting with lunch. It wasn’t planned. I just hopped in my car and ended up at Rumbi Island Grill. Yum!

One frustration right off the bat with this WordPress app … I can’t format my paragraphs to my preference of both sides justified. Minor issue I suppose. Let it go! :)

Now I must SHOP!