Happiness is Simple

What have I learned?  The answer is in the title.  I have learned that the path to happiness is different for everybody.  But for me the path to being happy started when I stopped trying to buy happiness.  I used to buy a lot of worthless crap and invested a lot of money into going out and having fun with my friends.  I am not saying that going out with my friends was not fun but it is not something that needs to be done that often.  For me happiness comes from the simple things.  Here is one more TED talk that you should watch called “Less Stuff, More Happiness.”  I think that I will tell you about some of the simple things that make me happy.

A few years ago I started to get up early.  I work early every day so I decided to set my schedule.  Most of the time I do not go out on weekends because I don’t want to ruin one thing that makes me really happy.  Waking up early on the weekend, going upstairs, eating breakfast, and enjoying my coffee.  No rush.  Just taking my time and enjoying the quiet.  This cup is far to small but the picture has the right feeling.

morningcoffee

The next thing that brings me real happiness is to be able to accomplish goals.  Even if they are small goals like chores around the house.  The big goals like getting a better job, graduating college, or moving to the right place are pretty wonderful as well but the little things can make you feel pretty good.

And then there is sitting on my front porch.  I love it on a cool fall evening.  The American Flag flying five feet away, a lawn chair, a good beer, and a good book.  I could sit like that for hours and only get up for the two things that I am pretty sure I don’t have to explain.  Enjoy the peaceful evening and a delicious beer.  I love beer, and not in the alcoholic way.  I love the taste.

booksbeer

That, to me, sounds like a nearly perfect day.  I won’t say it is perfect because someday I might find something that makes it better.  I have found that my happiness is not in possessions.  The things that make me happy are the same ones that did when I was a kid, excluding beer.  Family, Friends, Good Drinks, Good Food, and Laughter.

Daily Create 6-12

 

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Mr. President, Trump reversing all of your policies is not a reason for me to take him down. -Batman <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ds106?src=hash”>#ds106</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/tdc1772?src=hash”>#tdc1772</a></p>&mdash; Eric Holmes (@EHolmes86) <a href=”https://twitter.com/EHolmes86/status/798181008780632065″>November 14, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Creation Tools

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I would say that these creation tools could be pretty handy.  I have always kind of wondered how people created these posters, flyers, and such.  I figured there was some kind of tool out there but I didn’t think that it would be free on the internet.  This may come in handy one day when inviting people to something like, oh say, graduation.  I really might use it.  I think it is handy enough that I could make it funny and get the word out where people can meet me after the ceremony since I don’t have Facebook.

This could also be a very useful tool for kids in school.  We talked about digital activism a few weeks ago and this seems like a good tool to help with putting together a representation of their ideas so that they can get it out in emails.  Maybe even print them out and go hand them out to people on the street.  They might have to venture out to the office store to print out flyers.  It would be useful to them to know how to make invitations for their events and put them out to all of their family.  I could see this being a very useful tool for a lot of people.

Like we discussed a while ago, creativity is something that needs to be fostered in young people so they don’t grow up like me.  I am not very imaginative.  It happens.  The comic strip creation tool could be a great opportunity for teachers to utilize the internet to bring out the creativity in their students.  Its like the newer and much better version of making a collage on paper.  Although, while googling how to spell collage I did find that they have a tool specifically for that on the internet.  Damn internet.  Always out thinking me.  Does anybody else remember that awful time in your lives when you were given a box full of magazines and told to make a collage that represented your life.  Maybe you actually enjoyed it but I didn’t.  The comic strip creator would be a pretty neat way to make something that appeals directly to the student and they are not hindered by what pictures they can find and bartering to trade with somebody else for a better picture.  It would be a fantastic tool for a student to express themselves and create something that is far more specific to them.

Daily Create 1-5

 

Podcasts and Digital Stories

podcast

Both of these things are pretty foreign to me.  I had heard of podcasts but never listened to one.  One of my favorite sites to waste extra time on, which happens pretty rarely, is The Chive.  They have a podcast but I have never been motivated to listen to it.  Maybe I will now that I know what it is.  One of the things that made me feel like podcasts could be a good learning tool was in the article “What Teens are Learning from Serial and Other Podcasts.”  One of the teachers in the article said that they had not heard the Podcast “Serial” before they and their class were listening to it. I think that this would make for strong conversations.  One of the new standards for common core is the listening skills of students and this helps with that but it also puts them on the same level as the teacher.  I think one of the hardest parts of being a teacher would be to get students involved in conversations about the subject matter.  The teacher already knows the information.  But in this case the teacher is learning right along with the student.  The information is knew on both ends so the conversations and projects would be new to the teacher as well.  The teacher would need to be constantly monitoring the class to make sure that the projects are applicable and interesting.  If all you do is sit there and listen to podcasts and talk about them then there is no proof of teaching for state standards.

The Digital Story telling thing is a little weird to me.  When we first talked about it earlier in the course I was under the impression it would be pretty worthless but now I can see the merit to it.  I don’t know if anybody wants to hear my voice narrating anything.  I did find a story that I identified with.  It was about a woman who took up running as a way to make herself feel better.  I did the same thing a little over three years ago. Lost a bunch of weight and even though I had never been a runner in my life, I really enjoy running now.  The story was called “Run Your World.”  It was an empowering story about taking control of your life for the better.  I like the digital story telling now because it is personal and it takes a lot of creativity.  Creativity should be a large part of education.

My Attention Log

I find that I am very good at paying attention and staying on task.   It seems like I have been very busy the last few weeks so I am getting more of a feeling like I am sinking even though I am really not.  I don’t spend a lot of time doing what you would call “surfing the web”.  It is just not my thing.  I tend to get on the computer with a goal.  When that goal is to do homework then I do not stray much from that.  I do realize a lot of times when I need a break and I will stop and go watch a Youtube video or two to let my mind relax.  Youtube would be my only distraction that I can say comes up at any point when I am busy.  It doesn’t come up often but it does.  Mostly movie trailers and funny talk show clips.  The problem is that when I am focusing on something I want to be close to the situation.  This means that while I am sitting at a computer I tend to sit with very poor posture.

computer-posture

I can feel it in my back.  I am trying to make a conscious effort to stop sitting like this and sit up strait but it only works when I pay attention to it.  If I am paying attention to how I am sitting then I am not one hundred percent focused on what I should be doing and if I focus in on what I am doing then I end up sitting like this.  It is very disappointing.  I will say that I know that life can not be all work and no play.  i will give myself breaks and Youtube a couple videos.  I let myself get distracted for two and a half minutes the other day and watched a video over the difference between effect and affect.  It was actually quite helpful.  I have a little bit of time every morning while I eat breakfast and before I go to sleep to go through the things that I enjoy.  While I do not send a lot of Snapchats, I do like to look at the stories and the snaps I get from my siblings of my nieces and nephews.  Most of the rest of my free time is invested in the Chive.  Maybe 15 minutes a day if the app is lucky.  I like the random pictures and funny content.  I would not describe myself as an interesting internet user.  For the most part I only use it to accomplish work but I do enjoy a little Youtube and The Chive time.

Digital Mindfulness

The internet is a major distraction.  I agree with Leo Babauta when he talked about deleting Facebook in his blog titled Simplify the Internet.  I remember when I first got Facebook and it was a cool place where I could see all of the things that my friends and family posted.  Then it started to develop into something more.  I started having everybody I ever met try and add me to Facebook.  Years later it was to the point that I couldn’t even remember where I had met some of these people that were supposedly my friends.  One day a few years ago I went through and cut my friends list down drastically by deleting around 50% of them.  The funny part was that immediately afterward they all started to try and add me back because I popped up on their possible friends list.  People that I had met one time in a bar when we were 21.  I didn’t understand it.  I deleted Facebook almost two years ago.

cuttingties

It had just grown to the point where it was 90% crap and 10% almost useful information. I can say that I was without social media until we started this class.  I am not saying I can go offline for a year like Paul Miller talked about in his TED talk, “A Year Offline, What I Have Learned”.  That would make being a full time online student very hard.  I Don’t think I could ever really drop it all.  My work functions on email and the National Guard depends on it for communication about drills.  I would not say that I am a very connected person though.  If I had to guess how much free time I dedicate to the internet it would probably be somewhere in the 5% area.  I like to watch movie trailers and funny talk show clips.  I also am very good at using google to answer questions when I get them in my head.  It would be rough to have to go all the way to the library and check out a book to find the answers to my questions that take less than two minutes to answer with my phone.  I find it really easy to not be on my phone or the internet when I am otherwise engaged.  If I am out doing something sometimes I forget to check it for a few hours at a time.  I have a couple general rules that I like to live by when using my phone in the company of others.  Keep it very minimal and if you are at the supper table or in direct conversation with somebody then it should never come out of your pocket.  We should try everyday to build on the relationships that we have with the people that truly matter in our lives.  Put down the phone and be present in the situation.