Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Resisting Temptation


By the time we enter the third and last phase in life (over 60), we should have learnt  to deal with temptations coming from our encounter with  food,  travel, shopping (to name a few). 

Food and Travel bring us great joy and pleasure, but  might often  leave us weary and dependant on 'doctor appointments'.

Most people choose to go along with the temptations and are willing to pay the price. They"ll say: 'life is short', 'we live only once', 'we're but human'  - 'let's taste life and enjoy it from all its angles'.

That's all right, provided they're  aware of the choice and take responsibility for the consequences; that is, not constantly blaming  other factors such as genetics, age, stress, luck (albeit each of these factors does influence our well-being to a certain extent).

Me, I'm trying to resist temptation without fighting it. It's not easy, but it's possible, with the right willpower and a few helpful tips. The reward becomes visible if and when you  manage somehow to protect  your health,  and on the way,  save the money that usually goes to those temptations.

On various occasions, I'll also use sayings (see the above) to justify my choice. For example, I'll say about sightseeing - 'oh, well you've seen one, you've seen them all' - which, is of course, not true. The various attractions and places of interest (museums, parks, churches, markets etc..) differ from each other;  the ideas behind them, however, are more or less similar so, I'm probably not totally lying to myself.

The two and a half years of Covid in the background, have inserted a certain balance into our heads. Let's hope it stays there. Avoiding excessive/processed food, skipping crowded places, being selective at buying things, and practising good sanitary habits - that's the way we should always follow, covid or not covid.


Still wearing a mask.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Sky Is The Limit

'the sky is the limit' sculpture


'The sky is the limit' is the name given to the above  public sculpture placed at the very beginning of a major street in a town adjacent to mine (Ramat-Gan town). Whenever I'm in the area, I pause to have a look at it, and each time I discover some new and exciting detail.

The sculpture , donated to the city by the internationally renowned israeli painter and sculptor, David Gerstein , is made of a laser cut metal frame, and hand-painted wooden figures (one in each of the  spaces) in playful daily life scenes. On top of it, a human figure symbolically pointing at the sky.

placed at a busy intersection of two major streets

The area surrounding the exhibit comprises some of the tallest sky scrapers in the country. Two lovely coffee shops, one at each side of the street offer their customers a nice view of the colorful sculpture and of  the street with its passersby and car/bus traffic.

and the flowers - oh, the flowers!

There are two stone plaques at the bottom of the sculpture: one mentioning the name of it and that of the donor, the other with a warning message (do not try to climb on it!).

name of sculpture and donor in hebrew and english

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Shortage?! Famine?! Not Likely, But...


Whenever I complain about the high prices of food, I'm told to keep quiet as the worst is yet to come. Shortage and even Famine are next.

I already notice shortage, but not of essentials. We still got plenty of bread, milk, eggs, fish, veggies; yet... being a country  based on import, we should worry. Covid and Ukraine are not without global consequences. It is well-known that epidemics and war disrupt both the production and  distribution of food, through damage to production means and transportation routes.

Of course, there are always the usual causes such as population growth and natural calamities ( drought, flooding, cold weather, etc..). We cannot control natural causes,  but we could prevent shortage and famine by trying to prevent war,  fighting epidemics, and especially giving high priority to local production of food.

Our government does little  to encourage local agriculture and industry. It appears, so far, to have supported the importers in their making big money - buying cheap, selling expensive.

I always  check the labels on products - and it makes me sad. Most of them are imported. It's more profitable for the big firms (like our Elite coffee firm) to import  stuff rather than  produce it locally. However, it's not only the cost that matters, but also the food security. There's no such security if the country depends on outer sources. It is a well-known fact, and yet highly ignored.

Anyway, let's hope for no shortage, for sane prices  ,and for increase in local production of food .

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Toxic Positivity

We often hear and read about 'toxic negativity', but there is such  a concept 'toxic positivity' as well. It is when we force ourselves and others to always look at the bright side of things ('think positive') and ignore the other sides. It can be harmful to our well-being almost as much as toxic negativity.

Positivity does not exist in a vacuum;  it needs to be rooted in reality for it to be helpful. Just as we need to manage our negative feelings, but not deny them, we need to manage our positive emotions without practicing fake cheerful attitudes.

It is not easy to oscillate between the two  aspects of life (positivity, negativity). In fact, it's quite a struggle, especially in old age when time, mobility, health, opportunity and everything that matters - are limited.

A positive outlook is said to help those with a major illness; it brings relief to suffering, hope to the patient. It is also believed that focusing on the positive, might help those grieving, to move on and find some solace in their loss (usually  a tragic loss of a child or a young sibling).

I wouldn't really know much about that, as I turn to God and pray for help whenever I'm in distress. What helped me in the past, and helps me in the present is my belief in God and His miracles. Yes, miracles. He did some for me over the years, and I'm forever grateful to Him.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Customer Service

 I got myself a new desktop PC, with Windows 11 operating system. I had some trouble at logging in, and then at trying to approach my blog, as I constantly got messages of  'wrong password', 'wrong account', or 'wrong code'.

Since Microsoft has let me down with its support, I had to figure things out myself, and....thank God, it worked. Hopefully, no more issues ahead.

Microsoft offers at least five ways of  contacting them: phone, email, fax, chat, internet. None of them was helpful to me.

It seems customer service is getting worse everywhwere. They have all adopted the 'mantra' :"We're here for you". You'd better not believe it. They're there for you before selling you the device, afterwards you're mostly on your own.

My mobile phone company used to have representatives in physical stores. Whenever I had a problem I went to the nearest place and got it solved on the spot. Not any more. Everything is done by phone (putting you on hold), email, fax. Moreover, when one finally gets to a real person, one often becomes unpleasantly surprised by the lack of professionalism and patience that the person exhibits.