Inevitable Choices of Aging

  1. Chooser or Victim

Making Choices or Feeling Powerless

  • Adaptable or  Rigid

Adapting to Life’s Stages and Circumstances or Being Captive to Futile Habits

  • Aware or Oblivious

Fully Aware of Physical and Emotional Realities or Hiding Behind Diversions

  • Purposeful or Adrift  

Having Satisfying Purpose or Drifting in Search Of Pleasure

  • Fulfilled or Surviving

Meeting Basic Human Needs or Settling for Survival

  • Real or Roles

Showing True Self in Relationships or Presenting Acceptable Impressions

  • Peaceable or Contentious

Seeking Harmony in Mind and Relationships or Being Constantly Aware of Irritations

  • Spiritual or Physical

Attending to Intangible Influences or Heeding Only Physical Reality

  • Helpful or Self-Absorbed

Helping Others or Obsessed by My Own Needs

  1. Together or Solitary

Part of Genuine Community or Emotional Separation

Thought Starters, Sept 24, 2020

Our goals and aspirations are an important part of our life stories. An account of how we grew up and lived our life includes the goals we have had and the things we have been striving for. For some persons, goals may remain the same throughout life, but this is not necessarily true for everyone. Experience may have taught us that we should change our goals or trade in our aspirations for new ones that better fit with the realities of our lives or our changing values. What have you been working to attain or achieve in your life, and what kind of person have you tried to be?

  1. When you were a child, whom did you want to be like, or what kind of person did you want to become when you grew up?
  2. Did your role models change during adolescence? In what way?
  3. Where did you find your models – in the family, movies, or other sources?
  4. Which characteristics of your ideal self or ideal model were most important to you – accomplishments, athletic ability, appearance, money, reputation, creativity, philosophy, religion, or something else?
  5. How important were your teachers and education in shaping your goals? Did they lead to changes in your goals and your ideas about what you wanted to achieve in your life?
  6. Have you changed your goals during your life? How?
  7. What experiences or major events influenced the changes?
  8. What do you think have been the most important achievements of your life?
  9. Looking back over your life, would you now pursue different goals? What would they be?
  10. What aspirations do you have now, and what goals do you have for your future?

Meeting Format on Thursdays, 1:00-2:30 pm on ZOOM

This group is a fellowship of men and women who share experience, strength, and hope with each other so that we will all learn how to maintain happiness.

We remind ourselves of choices that lead to happiness. (from Older, Wiser, Happier by P. Clay Carter).

We are likely to be somewhere along the continuum rather than at one extreme. By reading, we remind ourselves of the crucial choices that are affecting our well-being.

  1. Chooser or Victim

Making Choices ___________________or_____________________Feeling Powerless

  • Adaptable or  Rigid

Adapting to Life’s Stages and Circumstances __or ___Being Captive to Futile Habits

  • Aware or Oblivious

Fully Aware of Physical and Emotional Realities __or____ Hiding Behind Diversions

  • Purposeful or Adrift  

Having Satisfying Purpose ___________or Drifting in Search Of Pleasure

  • Fulfilled or Surviving

Meeting Basic Human Needs _________or________ Settling for Survival

  • Real or Roles

Showing True Self in Relationships ____or______ Presenting Acceptable Impressions

  • Peaceable or Contentious

Seeking Harmony in Mind and Relationships or Being Constantly Aware of Irritations

  • Spiritual or Physical

Attending to Intangible Influences_____ or Heeding Only Physical Reality

  • Helpful or Self-Absorbed

Helping Others ____________________or _ Obsessed by My Own Needs

  1. Together or Solitary

Part of Genuine Community _________ or _______ Emotional Separation

  • At this time we will give our names and share what has our primary attention at this time.
  • Relaxation  – 12-14 minute guided relaxation

Ground Rules

  1. We respect and maintain the confidentiality of the group. What is said in the group is not to be repeated or discussed at any other time or place.
  2. We may share what we have said or felt in the group, without reference to other group members.
  3. We listen respectfully and avoid giving advice.
  4. We have the right to ask questions of the group, but refrain from asking probing questions of other group members.
  5. We accept people just as they are; we avoid making judgments.
  6. We give everyone an opportunity to share.
  7. We have the right to speak and the right to remain silent.
  8. We give supportive attention to the person who is speaking and avoid side conversations.
  9. We avoid interrupting. If we do break in, we return the conversation to the person who was speaking.
  10. We talk about what is present to us now and avoid telling lengthy stories about the past.
  11. We do not discuss group members who are not present.
  12. We each share the responsibility for making this group work.
  • Speaker for the Day and Topic for the Day
  • Members are invited to speak as they wish, keeping in mind our ground rules.
  • Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

Thought Starters, Sept 17, 2020

  1. Chooser or Victim

Making Choices or Feeling Powerless

  • Adaptable or  Rigid

Adapting to Life’s Stages and Circumstances or Being Captive to Futile Habits

  • Aware or Oblivious

Fully Aware of Physical and Emotional Realities or Hiding Behind Diversions

  • Purposeful or Adrift  

Having Satisfying Purpose or Drifting in Search Of Pleasure

  • Fulfilled or Surviving

Meeting Basic Human Needs or Settling for Survival

  • Real or Roles

Showing True Self in Relationships or Presenting Acceptable Impressions

  • Peaceable or Contentious

Seeking Harmony in Mind and Relationships or Being Constantly Aware of Irritations

  • Spiritual or Physical

Attending to Intangible Influences or Heeding Only Physical Reality

  • Helpful or Self-Absorbed

Helping Others or Obsessed by My Own Needs

  1. Together or Solitary

Part of Genuine Community or Emotional Separation

Boredom

A boring tool was a kind of drill that worked slowly and repetitively. In the 1700’s the term “bore,” meaning “to be tiresome,” became a popular slang term.

SYNONYMS. weariness, ennui, lack of enthusiasm, lack of interest, lack of concern, apathy, uninterestedness, unconcern, languor, sluggishness, accidie, malaise, world-weariness.

The opposite of boredom is peace. Boredom can be stressful in that a person is resisting the now, thereby creating inner tension. If boredom is resistance to how we experience the present, then the opposite of being bored is non-resistance to the now, which is peace.

Opposite of the state of feeling or being bored:

awe

ambitious

amusement

animation

challenge

cheer

competitive

concern

contentment

curious

diversion

empathic

encouragement

energy

entertainment

enthusiasm

excitement

exhilaration

fascination

feeling

gladness

happiness

hopefulness

incitement

inspiration

interest

invigoration

joy

liveliness

motivation

pleasure

provocation

reverence

refreshment

serenity

stimulation

sympathy

tastiness

variety

vigor

 

Reducing boredom requires that individuals solve the problem that produced it: not having sufficient activities or mindsets that are both meaningful and optimally challenging.

To prevent boredom and keep it away, we need to find solutions that provide lasting meaning and challenge.

1. Remind yourself why you’re doing this

     People generally prefer doing something to doing nothing. As staying home is the most effective way to prevent the further transmission of the coronavirus, it is meaningful to socially isolate. However, it may not always feel that way.

     Like all emotions, boredom is about whatever you’re thinking at the moment. That means staying at home will only feel meaningful when we’re actively thinking about the greater good it does. For instance, in studies, when students were prompted to reflect on why their schoolwork mattered to them personally, researchers found that their interest in learning increased.

In other words, reframing our activity changes how we feel about it.

Creating simple reminders, such as a note on the fridge, or a morning meditation, can help us keep the big picture in view: Staying home is a sacrifice we’re actively making for the good of others.

2. Find a rhythm

     Routines structure our days, and provide a sense of coherence that bolsters our meaning in life. People’s lives feel more meaningful in moments when they’re engaged in daily routines.

     We lose those routines when we give up going to work, or volunteer activities, or when we are laid off. Even retirees or stay-at-home parents are disrupted by closures to cities, restaurants and schools. This loss of routine can foster feelings of boredom.

By creating new routines, people can restore a sense of meaning that buffers them from boredom.

 

3. Go with the flow

     Figuring out what to do when faced by long days unstructured by work or school can be hard. A recent study of people in quarantine in Italy found that boredom was the second most common issue, after loss of freedom.

     One thing that makes such situations hard is that it can be tricky to find activities that are just challenging enough to keep one occupied, without being too demanding.   This situation can leave people bored and frustrated.

     It helps to keep in mind that what counts as too challenging, or not challenging enough, will shift throughout the day. Don’t force yourself to keep at it if you need a break.

4. Try something new

     Boredom urges many of us towards the novel. Embrace that urge, judiciously. If you have the energy, try a new recipe, experiment with home repairs.

     Doing new things not only relieves boredom, it helps acquire new skills and knowledge that may relieve boredom in the long run. For instance, we feel a surge of interest when we read an interesting novel or go through complex experiences, but only if we have the capacity to understand them.

     Evidence shows that embracing new experiences can help us lead not only a happy or meaningful life, but a psychologically richer one.

5. Make room for guilty pleasures

     It’s okay to binge on television, if that’s all you can handle at the moment.

We sometimes paint ourselves into a box where our most meaningful hobbies are also mentally taxing or effortful. For instance, digging into a classic Russian novel may be meaningful, but it doesn’t necessarily come easily.

     Similarly, well-intentioned suggestions for how to cope at home, such as hosting a virtual wine-and-design night, may be simply too exhausting to be pleasurable at a time when many of us are already struggling.

     Give yourself permission to enjoy your guilty pleasures. If need be, reframe those moments as much-needed mental refreshment, nourishing and recharging you for a later date.

6. Connect with others

     Finding easy meaningful alternatives – bite-sized options that don’t take much effort, but that we find deeply rewarding – can be a challenge.

     Luckily one good option is open to us all: connecting with others, whether virtually or in-person.

     Looking at old photos or reminiscing with a friend are simple meaningful actions most of us can take even when we’re not feeling our best.

     One does not need a reason to call up a friend. Our best socializing is the kind that happens casually, in the unstructured time between scheduled activities.

     Create room for that virtually as well. Next time you’re pouring a glass of wine or watering the plants, call up a friend while you do it. Make dinner together. We don’t have to be bored when we’re all in this together.

Thought Starters For Sharing:

  1. When have you experienced boredom?
  2. What situations seem to create a feeling of boredom?
  3. What are the emotions that you associate with being bored?
  4. What do you say to yourself when you are bored?
  5. What strategies have worked well for you in coping with boredom?
  6. What patterns in your life keep you from being bored?
  7. What tips or thoughts in the material above seem helpful?

God, grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.  Amen