Five-Minute Friday: Joystick

(Note: “Five-Minute Friday” is an activity adapted from Kate Motaung’s blog. Each week, I use https://randomwordgenerator.com/ and write for five minutes straight with the word as a prompt, free-write style with no editing and no over-thinking.)

Well, if ever anyone thought I was hand-selecting my “random words,” this week’s gem ought to put the suspicions to rest!

Joystick. When I was younger (I’m guessing 10), I begged and begged and begged my parents to buy us a Nintendo gaming system. They were resistant, knowing even then – before all the research and the experts and the books warning against “screen time” – that introducing such a device probably wouldn’t be a good idea.

I can’t recall the specifics of how my sister and I finally wore them down (let’s be honest – it was probably just me – I’ll leave Kara out of it), but I do remember LOVING Super Mario Brothers and devoting quite a bit of time to advancing my levels.

But that was about it. Once I conquered the game, the magic was gone. I remember the other games in the pack – Duck Hunt, for one – but I don’t recall them having the same pull. I’m sure I was glued to the tv in my pursuit of reaching the princess at the final round (level 10? Who knows anymore), but I don’t remember losing whole weekends to it or wanting to spend my entire summer break on the thing.

We never bought another gaming system after that, so we certainly weren’t keeping up with the upgraded technology. Was it because our household had two girls?

Everything I’m reading now identifies the gender differences in media/screen time usage pretty distinctly: girls use social media to connect with friends, and boys using gaming to connect with friends. This description fits my kids’ usage habits fairly accurately.

Time’s up? Thank goodness. I didn’t find much “joy” in this word!

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Five-Minute Friday: Drug

(Note: “Five-Minute Friday” is an activity adapted from Kate Motaung’s blog. Each week, I use https://randomwordgenerator.com/ and write for five minutes straight with the word as a prompt, free-write style with no editing and no over-thinking.)

First, let me say I am certainly not anti-medicine. When I have the first inkling of a headache, I reach for my Aleve without a second thought. When I’ve broken bones, I have not thought twice of having an xray and proceeding with whatever the doctor tells me next.

And yet.

Someone famous, who I cannot recall right now because I am supposed to be writing nonstop for 5 minutes and so cannot stop to look it up, someone famous said something about food healing us. The idea is that all we need to “fix” what ails us is in what we ingest, and certainly the inverse is true: when you aren’t feeling great, look at what you’ve been putting on your plate.

I get it. And I really want to subscribe to the idea that the body can heal itself if we just let it do what it knows how to do and treat it right.

Any yet.

Today, I learned I have a herniated disc, and this explains quite a bit. The doctor reviewed options with me – steroids, injections, surgery (extreme treatment he didn’t deem necessary at this point), and I was close to tears because I am disappointed these are my only options. (Physical therapy? Tried that a couple months ago. No better.)

I’m not sure what I wanted him to say. Had he told me to get more exercise or continue with PT, I would have been even more frustrated, but I’m disheartened that the only course of action is drugs or surgery.

 

Five-Minute Friday: Network

(Note: “Five-Minute Friday” is an activity adapted from Kate Motaung’s blog. Each week, I use https://randomwordgenerator.com/ and write for five minutes straight with the word as a prompt, free-write style with no editing and no over-thinking.)

I recently took a few online actuarial quizzes that supposedly predict your likely age of death (do not ask why, though those of you who know me well didn’t even bat an eye at that sentence). Now, the quality and thoroughness of these questionnaires varies, but I was surprised that one question was on almost all of them (okay, yes, I took more than “a few”).

“Do you have a network of support?”

And, related and just as important, “Do you have friends of different generations?”

I am a proud introvert. I enjoy a very small circle of people I would call friends. I do not do small talk. I cannot work a room. You forgot to add me to the networking dinner at this conference? Aw, shucks – whatever will I do with myself now? (Answer: rejoice!)

I used to think these statements made me deficient in some ways, but I don’t see it that way any more. (Susan Cain’s book Quiet is worth a read if you think these are deficiencies.) I can appreciate those opposite me on the outgoing extrovert spectrum and even include some of them in my small circle of friends.

That’s my network. It’s small but varied and because of it, I’m apparently going to live to see 90.