Little Moment, Big Step

Yesterday morning, something huge happened.

When I got up to take our nine year old to school she had a terrified look on her face.

I asked her what was wrong and she told me that she had killed a spider.

Our nine year old saw a spider in the bathroom and killed it. That may or may not seem like a big moment to you, but for us it was.

Before now she would have most likely woken us up screaming about the spider. You see she has a history of crying upon seeing a spider, screaming for help, or closing a door and pretending the spider doesn’t exist until someone else finds it.

Instead, she took care of it herself and I doubt she even is aware of how big a moment this was.

In a space of heartbeats, when she took care of things for herself, she grew up. Not completely, but she definitely made a jump forward.

If you had told me this would happen, I would not have believed you. I hate to say it, but I didn’t have that kind of faith in her. She’s not usually an independent child, and sometimes struggles to accomplish simple tasks like rinsing her dishes or cleaning up after herself.

This event is causing me to have to rethink, because she showed the initiative to take care of this on her own, without having to be told to do so.

I’m proud of her, so proud.

She doesn’t know it yet, but either today when she’s out of school or tomorrow sometime, I’m going to take her out for a shake, smoothie, ice cream, or something like that to celebrate this moment with her.

Maybe she’ll never remember that day she killed her first spider, and I might not remember what day it happened on, but this is a day that will impact the rest of her life.

Not necessarily in some big way, but as a road sign/footnote that pointed her towards growing up and taking care of herself. It’s the kind of simple thing that tells me that we are raising someone to be able to take care of herself and that she won’t be dependent upon us the rest of her life.

The oooShiny Network

Back in the day, I used to be extremely active on Twitter, and as a result ended up with multiple accounts. Each extra account had it’s own purpose, with one where I shared what music I was playing and following bands and musicians, another for live tweeting movies and following actors and actresses, and so on.

At some point, I began calling my accounts the oooShiny Network, as #oooShiny had become my signature hashtag. Later, when I started TORARADICAL.com, I declared it the home for the oooShiny Network, specifically it’s entertainment area. Even with the end of that site, the network continued to exist as my various social media accounts.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I started this blog. Shortly thereafter, a series of websites came into existence, along with Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for each of them. Some were my old Twitter accounts and some had found previous existence when I was on Pinterest a lot. This time around they exist as a series of websites and a hub, all entertainment focused. So far, most of the writing is mine, but a couple of people have joined me while a few others have said they will.

The hub is called The oooShiny Network and for now is a way to link the sites together, along with my own blog, and show social media information. In the future, we hope to add blogs by other people as well as podcasts. The other sites are all titled oooShiny then what they specifically entail, for example: oooShiny Movies, which was the first site and has had the most people join me in writing. It was followed by: Music, Sports, Treats, Gaming, History, and Books. We’re also considering adding other entertainment areas, but are focused on building what we have.

Later, the goal is to get back to having a news site, as well. That one won’t be called oooShiny, as I want it to sound more professional, but it will be linked. A return to helping with missing persons is also something I strongly desire, and will see eventually.

For now, we’re looking for more writers. So I ask you this, do you enjoy writing on any of the topics that I mentioned earlier? Or do you simply have a strong interest in one or more of them and would want to try writing? If so, let me know, or message the specific site you’d like to write for.

Even if you aren’t a writer, you can help us out a lot by reading the articles on the site. Views matter and sharing our articles will do a lot to help us grow. So please, go like and follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and maybe consider signing up to receive new articles in your email.

Do You Know How To Relax?

It might seem like a dumb question, but do you actually know how to relax? Do you truly know where to find that pure relaxation that brings tranquility, peace, and fulfillment? Or are you stuck in a habitual form of relaxation that just brings momentary happiness? Do you even know how to tell the difference? Those are some important questions and ones that I believe are very much overlooked.

For many in our modern society, relaxation is found through movies, TV, gaming, watching sports, or such media heavy things. Those can definitely bring you joy and a bit of time away from reality, but they aren’t very likely to bring any kind of actual fulfillment and inner peace.

We’ve forgotten that true relaxation requires being alone and not just burying one’s mind in a screen, which really is being lazy, not relaxing. Though sometimes we need to be lazy, but that’s not what we are discussing today.

Even as much as I love books, I’d say that they too can be a distraction from true peace. They allow us lost ourselves from the world, for a time, but aren’t always the right answer.

I also want to differentiate relaxation from natural highs, caused by endorphins. Both can feel equally great, but the natural highs are caused by doing something. Whether it be running, singing, extreme sports, sex, or many other things; you feel great, but you truly haven’t let go.

True relaxation is found in only a few places, and it’s generally found when we are alone and allowing ourselves to fully stop from doing anything. When we let our minds clear, not just be distracted. So where is this “true relaxation” that I speak of? There are three places that it can be found.

The first is the closest and easiest to accomplish, in modern society. Go take a bath or shower in the dark. Maybe with some classical or trance music, perhaps some nature sounds, or just in complete science. If you allow it to, your mind will focus and then clear until you get a few minutes of pure relaxation.

The second, and possibly most obvious option, is meditation. For some people it comes naturally, for others it is a real struggle. But once you find your way there you can find that contentment. Meditation’s main advantage is that you can do it pretty much anywhere, even for just a couple of minutes.

The third, and what I think might be the most potent, is nature. Go out on your own, into the mountains, the beach, a forest, or whatever makes you the happiest. Go find a quiet place, away from any other people, sit or lie down, and just enjoy the natural world. Listen to the water, the animals, the wind moving through the trees. Let your breath and heart beat match the pace of the natural pace of things.

A final thought, for this blog. Don’t just go seek relaxation when you feel stressed. Make it a regular part of your life and it will help you avoid feeling stressed. However, don’t make it something that’s the same time every day or week. Then it becomes either just part of the routine or a tedious thing you feel you have to do. Change it up, keep it real, and remember to take care of yourself.

Birthday Music Challenge

Last year, on this day, I created a new playlist on Spotify. I decided I wanted one of just artists who share my birthday. It was easy to start with the ones I knew: Johnny Cash, Juliet Simms, Fats Domino.

But I wanted more, so I went to Wikipedia and went through the list of people born on February 26. Let me tell you, there was a lot, and it took me a while to search through and find all the musicians.

Once I had done that, I went through Spotify, searching for those who I had found. Some were artists I had heard of before, but wasn’t aware of their birthdays, like Michael Bolton, Erykah Badu, and Corinne Bailey Rae. There were long dead composers. Others were international artists who I wouldn’t normally have found out about otherwise, such as: Najwa Karam, Natalia Lafourcade, and Keisuke Sakai. And then there were other artists who fell somewhere in between.

This is a playlist I may only play once a year, but it is fun knowing that I have this connection with them, of having the same birthday. It was also great expanding my music library in this specific way.

Here’s my challenge to you, go do the same. Go to Wikipedia, search the births on your birthday. That alone could lead to some finds. After that, go to Spotify and look for the musicians who share your birthday. Find out something you might not have known. Expand your horizons. Enjoy life.

O, and Happy Birthday to all the February 26 kids!

Dreams of Bathroom Privacy

As parents, there can be a lot of things we miss, from before the time we had kids. For me, bathroom privacy is probably what I miss the most.

Something no one took the time to warn me about is that babies and toddlers can’t handle you going to the bathroom, without them in the room.

Sure, you can close the door with them on the outside, but that just leads to complete blowout crying. So unless you want that, you either bring them in with you, or once they’re walking, leave the door not completely closed, so that they can join you.

baby-in-bathroomOnce they’re inside the bathroom, you end up spending half or more of the time trying to keep them from playing with anything in reach. Conditioner, shampoo, bodywash, etc. along the bathtub rim aren’t safe. Nor is the toilet paper or anything on the edge of the sink’s counter.

The most fun is when anything but being held leads to crying. Then sometimes it’s actually worth the tears, instead of holding them on your lap while trying to utilize the facilities, which is completely awkward.

Lately, our thirteen month old has taken a lot of joys with shutting and opening doors, in any room. She’ll shut the door, up to the point where it’s about to latch, then pry it back open and giggle about it. For me, it just adds to the feel of invasion, even though I do love her joy.

I’m sure there will come a time when I look back on these times fondly, or at least with humor, but this is not that day. For now I just look forward to those blessed moments when someone else is home to watch her, so that I can actually enjoy some privacy. They are too far in between, when you’re the stay at home parent.

Changes

Changes are a constant thing in our lives. Some of the time they are carefully planned and orchestrated, but often they are sudden, unexpected deviations from our attempts at planning. These changes can be good, bad, or just different. No matter what, change of some sort can always be counted on to happen.

For me changes have been plentiful, throughout the years. Over the last couple years, I had two laptops die on me, not just cutting into my ability to grow my site, but basically ending it’s ability to go anywhere, and resulting in it’s end. Now I’m trying a different route, by starting again with blogging. Though, over the next weeks we’ll see some other things pop up. The last couple years have also brought about the change of going from single, to married with a step daughter, and then last January gaining a daughter of our own.

Since then, I’ve gone from being restaurant manager to being a stay at home dad, who runs a household of four and has learned a lot about being a parent, including things I had never imagined. More on that later, as I’m figuring on some blogs specifically about such things. But it all has kept me busy, dealing with changes.

Anyways, as aforementioned, I will be blogging again. For now, the goal is to at least be weekly, if not a couple times a week. My hopes are that it’ll end up daily, but we shall see, and I do have other things planned, with the oooShiny Network looking to make a comeback, in a bigger way. Look for stuff to be popping up from there, by the end of February. So stay tuned, follow me here or on one of my social media accounts.

No matter what, it is good to be writing again, and I hope you’ll enjoy or gain something from what I write.