October 11th, 2018


Emotional Intimacy Question: Personal Problem

Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. I'm starting with this list.

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

*chuckle*  That's pretty typical of our Hard Things discussion, sometimes.

I don't have a major issue at the moment, but we can discuss politics.  That's always a head-banging disaster these days. :/

How to Prevent Compassion Fatigue from News

This article talks about the issue of compassion fatigue from watching the news. The problem is very serious and can cause a lot of collateral damage -- if people stop caring, that doesn't just hurt them, it discourages them from solving other problems and then more people get hurt by those.

I deal in data. I have always had an interest in history, and I got kicked out of a lot of classes when I mentioned embarrassing massacres. I learned, very young, some ways of handling harsh ideas without injuring myself. Just think of this like you do the hotpads in your kitchen: use them properly and you won't get burned.

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Insomnia Treatment

This one advocates using the bedroom only for sleep and sex.  

But there's a flaw not mentioned: it presupposes that everyone has somewhere else to be.  In America, the minimum wage generally doesn't pay for a one-bedroom apartment.  So where are people living?  Many are stuck in studios: one room with a bed, a kitchenette, and a tiny bathroom.  Most of those are about the size of a normal bedroom.  Obviously, someone who doesn't have a separate bedroom and living room cannot reserve the bedroom only for sleep and sex.  So the treatment is only feasible for people above a certain living standard, just as it is also feasible only for people able to establish a regular routine. 

Now flip it around.  What if the structure of living space raises the risk  of insomnia?  By forcing many people to live in or near their bed, society could be running up the rate of a ruinous health problem.  This could be right up there with things like artificial light and city noise as a contributing factor.  I'd love to see a study exploring whether housing size / shape makes any difference in rates of insomnia.  But to get away from the socioeconomic factors, you'd have to isolate a group of people for a while and then mix them around in different apartments.  That's hard.

Modeling for Chores

The most effective way to get humans to do something is to do it in front of them: that's modeling. If you want kids to do chores, you have to start when they WANT to mimic everything they see adults doing, which is the toddler phase.

You know that thing we're always seeing T-American folks do, when they just reach over and pitch in without being asked or even really thinking about it? There's a word for that:

"Volunteering to help is such an important trait in kids that Mexican families even have a term for it: acomedido.

"It's a really complex term," says Andrew Coppens, an education researcher at the University of New Hampshire, who collaborates with Rogoff. "It's not just doing what you're told, and it's not just helping out. It's knowing the kind of help that is situationally appropriate because you're paying attention."

It's not just a Mexican thing, either. Around here, it's Amish. I've seen half a dozen Amish kids swarm a carriage to wash it, with the toddler doing the wheels. If you're shopping in their store and you drop stuff, someone will help you pick it up.

I see it in my audience, too: if somebody mentions a problem or a need, and someone else has a solution then they'll pipe up and solve it.  This is great.  I squish you all.

Thursday Yardening

Today is sunny, breezy, and much colder -- a beautiful fall day. :D Birds are much more active at the feeders. I saw two goldfinches, a lady cardinal, and a house finch. Robins are fluttering around the patio too.

I planted 25 Giant Yellow Jonquils for Naturalizing in the streetside yard, within view of the driveway.  These are in fact naturalized into the forest setting there.  \o/  Digging after yesterday's copious rain is much easier than when the ground is hard and dry.

EDIT 10/11/18 -- I planted  20  Technicolor Daffodil Mixture in the savanna. Some went in a ring around the contorta hazelnut, and the rest around the redbud tree. I am almost done planting the bulbs I got from my father. I just have the Spanish bluebells left.

Poem: "Close to the Brokenhearted"

This is the free epic for the October 2, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl reaching the $200 goal. It came out of the August 7, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alexseanchai and [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron. It also fills the "counseling" square in my 6-4-18 Mixed card for the Winteriron Bingo Adventure fest. This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

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