Archive | October, 2020

Wednesday:) Wellness, Words of Wisdom and Be Wary of the Narcissist

22 Oct

“Narcissists have poor self-esteem, but they are typically very successful. They feel entitled; they’re self-important; they crave admiration and lack empathy. They are also exploitative and envious. The malignant types never forget a slight. They may kill you ten years later for cutting them off in traffic. But they act perfectly normal while plotting their revenge.”

— Janet M. Tavakoli

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I’ve done a lot of reading and research on NARCISSISM these past few years, for obvious reasons. Today, this story was in my inbox from a site I follow at healthyresearch.com. It confirmed a lot of information that I already knew and have already lived. But, I didn’t realize that they suggest that narcissists cannot learn from their mistakes. Basically saying, they will rarely, if ever, change their ways. It does make sense now because they don’t feel they make mistakes. Everyone else makes the mistakes. Duh!

I’m sure everyone has come across, has lived with, or has dealt with one or more narcissists in their lifetime. (Don’t even get me started on politicians.) I read the entire article and the best advice came at the very end…

“You cannot expect narcissists to learn from or admit to their mistakes. Ultimately, you may benefit most by caring for yourself as you interact with the narcissists in your life. For additional guidance, talk with a mental health specialist.”

In other words…”Run, Forrest, Run!”

Wellness Pursuits

Read Wellness Pursuits to live life to the fullest.

Why Narcissists Cannot Learn From Their Mistakes

(WellnessPursuits.com) – Most of us learn when we’re kids about the importance of admitting our mistakes. As we grow, we also acquire the ability to look back on and learn from those errors.

However, a new study has shown that narcissists feel so superior to other people that they do not own up to their mistakes. Moreover, the researchers discovered why narcissists cannot learn from their errors.

Why Narcissists Never Learn

When we make mistakes, most of us reflect on what we did wrong so we can avoid similar errors in the future. But researchers found that narcissists don’t believe they made mistakes. Rather than look back at the past in order to recognize what they could have done differently, narcissists blame others.

The act of reflecting on previous actions to analyze what we could have done differently is known as “counterfactual thinking.” When we engage in counterfactual thinking, we mentally envision a different scenario to learn from past mistakes.

Narcissists, however, put the blame for any errors on external forces, according to the study’s researchers. They protect their own egos because they truly believe they are superior to other people. As a result, narcissists are unable to learn from their mistakes.

The researchers noted that we all occasionally protect our egos by taking credit for success while putting the blame on others for failures. But few of us consistently protect self-esteem in the way that narcissists do.

Inside the Narcissist Study: ‘I Think I Am A Special Person’

Researchers at Oregon State University – Cascades formed four groups of participants. To rank the participants’ narcissism, they had them choose between two statements:

• “I think I am a special person” versus

• “I am no better or worse than most people”

Participants were then asked which hypothetical job candidate to hire. After reading how the employee performed, they had to answer questions about whether they made the right hiring decision.

The researchers used their responses to determine if the participants used counterfactual thinking and if hindsight bias affected their counterfactual thinking.

Hindsight bias is when we falsely believe we know the outcome of something before it happened. Someone experiencing hindsight bias will say, “I knew it all along” — even though they didn’t actually know. For example, if you were to make a bet with a friend and they lose, they might try to convince you they knew all along that they were going to lose.

The study’s researchers found that narcissists:

• Were more likely to exhibit the “I knew it all along” mindset when their predictions were inaccurate, a tactic they use to protect their egos.

• Do not believe they need to change.

• Do not take part in self-criticism.

All of these characteristics explain why narcissists are unable to learn from their mistakes and make better choices in the future the way the rest of us are.

How Can We Deal With Narcissists In Our Lives?

Does that research study remind you of any acquaintances in your own life? Those of us who know people with narcissistic tendencies may face challenges in maintaining relationships with them.

It’s helpful to understand that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is considered a mental health condition. However, experts say that some individuals may have narcissistic qualities without NPD.

For example, we may know people who seem to require constant admiration. Other individuals with narcissistic tendencies may appear extremely egotistical, or seem to lack the ability to respect others as equals.

Experts say that we can deal with individuals with NPD or narcissistic characteristics by following these precautions:

• Observation: Individuals with narcissistic tendencies may concoct grandiose promises and concepts. By observing these types of people when they are not performing in front of others, we can be watchful of toxic behavior, such as disrespect or manipulation, and know to keep our distance.

• Self-Care: Narcissists don’t just seek the spotlight. They feel they deserve it. Take care of yourself by recognizing your own needs and strengths. Make time for yourself.

• Support: If you are working with or for a colleague with narcissistic tendencies, focus on building healthy relationships and a support system outside of work. If this individual is a family member or friend, consider expanding your support system through activities such as volunteer work or a class.

If you have a colleague with narcissistic tendencies or a loved one diagnosed with NPD, you may wonder how you can help that person. However, as essayist Mason Cooley cautioned, “Withhold admiration from a narcissist and be disliked. Give it and be treated with indifference.”

Before you try to change a narcissist, remember the NPD study results: You cannot expect narcissists to learn from or admit to their mistakes. Ultimately, you may benefit most by caring for yourself as you interact with the narcissists in your life. For additional guidance, talk with a mental health specialist.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!

Copyright 2020, WellnessPursuits.com

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Toni’s Tuesday Time-Lapse Painting Video-Horse at Sunset

21 Oct

“What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.”

― Simon Sinek

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I was going through a mess of art messes yesterday, in an attempt to straighten up my work table upstairs and get some ideas on what to paint today. I had seen a cool painting on Pinterest a while back and thought I’d use the idea. An experiment. I’m not sure how they did their painting, but now I now how not to do it. But, it was a fun attempt.

Spray paint… open window, ceiling fan, and a mask. Stinky up there. I should have done the spraying outside, but it’s dark out. Maybe I should do some plein air painting next time. Live and learn.

First I did a large watercolor background, adding just a touch of acrylic to spruce up the trees. The paper was very large and the watercolor made it buckle up a bit. The good part is, I painted one ahead of time so it could dry before I did the time-lapse video. (Sometimes two steps and drying time are necessary for one project,) So, I have one with the spray painted black background and one without.

I thought a soft spray of black paint would let some of the background show through, and it did, but the jury is still out if I like this concept.

“What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.”

― Simon Sinek, Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration

Well. I experimented… now… to change the world.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

19 Oct

“You gotta know when to be lazy. Done correctly, it’s an art form that benefits everyone.”

― Nicholas Sparks

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Wow! What a crazy lazy Monday I’m having. Hey, what’s wrong with that? Oh yah, that’s pretty much my day every day. “No rest for the wicked.” I’m safe and well rested.

A week in a lazy peek…

Happy Monday, my friends!

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

19 Oct

“Once I acknowledge that life owes me nothing, I have positioned myself so that I can begin to enjoy everything.”

― Craig D. Lounsbrough

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Another beautiful Sunday, a walk in he park with the dog, check on the neighbor’s cats, shower and get ready for church… on TV… in my sweats.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the Pharisees trying to trick Jesus into commenting negatively about the census tax imposed by Caesar. He didn’t fall for it.
Tell us, then, what is your opinion:
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
“Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax.”
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”
They replied, “Caesar’s.”
At that he said to them,
“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”

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Well, that was pretty smart thinking. My take on it… Sometimes people try to trip you up with their words and questions. And don’t even get me started on taxes. Too many people pay too little and too many pay too much. It should all be fair, but it isn’t. But, I do agree with paying what is expected of you here on earth. Money belongs to man, and how we live our lives and love one another is how we belong to God.

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The rest of my day was splendid. I made some yummy quinoa for dinner. It had sautéed onions, sweet potatoes, chicken, with dried cranberries. It was SO delicious. I just used chicken because I had left overs to use up, but next time I’m going vegetarian with it.

Then of course, my marvelous Sunday tradition of FaceTime with the granddaughters. They are just so adorable. I get to watch them run around screaming and laughing and being silly.

Another wonderful Sunday. Thank YOU for being a part of my “vortex.” You know who you are.

A Super-Duper Spectacular Special Saturday

18 Oct

“Did you very have one of those days where absolutely everything was going right? Well, me either. But, today was pretty close.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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No alarm to wake me today. I fed the dog and let her out back, then did some meditation. Then, off for a morning walk with the dog around the pond. My neighbor is out of town for a few days, so she asked if I’d keep an eye on the cats, feed them, etc. Sure, why not? I am the neighborhood pet whisperer. Animals love be me.

Here’s the cool part… when I was feeding the cats the other day, I noticed Miss Kathy’s garbage disposal was broken. Dead as a doornail. As per instructions, I’ve always put the old cat food down the disposal. Oops! That wasn’t working.

Last year, or earlier this year, I don’t remember, maybe you do, my disposal stopped working. I googled to see how much it would cost to have one replaced and it was crazy expensive. So, I did some research and watched some YouTube videos and after one trip to Lowe’s for the right tool, I fixed my disposal. I decided that I’d give it a try on Miss Kathy’s.

I fed the cats, came home and got my tool that I had cleverly taped to the disposal under my sink and went over to give it the old college try. The hardest part was getting my old cranky knees and crinkly body down on the floor and under the cabinet, after removing all the bottles, cleaners, and stuff.

I remembered what I did with mine, and put the tool in the right spot and turned a few times, pressed the reset button, then crawled and strained to get up to test the switch. Nope! Dang!

I had my phone, so I did what most folks would do… I sat on the floor and watched a few YouTube videos on the subject. Back under the cabinet, more twisting, turning, unplugged, plug back, and say a few prayers to St. Joseph, (Patron Saint of carpenters and fathers- I didn’t have time to research who is the Saint for plumbers-St. Vincent Ferrer-just looked it up.) I dragged my old body up again and tested the switch. Voila!!!! Fixed it! I took a video and sent it to Miss Kathy, just saying, “I fixed your broken garbage disposal! I am AMAZING!” She replied… “I know you Are!”

Well, I was SO proud of myself, I could barely fit my big swollen with pride head out the front door, and my back was sore from patting myself on the back. A perfect start to my day.

Later, back at the ranch…my house… I was going through closets and boxes looking for more things to take over to church for the St. Vincent DePaul donation drive. I already had a ton of stuff, but I wanted to take three or four king size comforter sets that were upstairs in closets. When I grabbed the last one in the guest room, under the black trash bag that held the comforter, I found the long elusive crate with Joe’s 30 year old Dick Tracey lunch box and action figures that I had been desperately searching for to send him. It was under the bag. If I hadn’t been generously donating items, I wouldn’t have found it. Yay… thank you St. Anthony.

I was on a roll. I packed up the car and headed over to church with my donations. I met Helene over there, as she was donating, too. We stopped for a Coke and a chat.

I stopped at the store and got a great sale, eggs were 49cents a dozen, a case of water 3 for $5, and I had a coupon for free bananas-3 pounds, yes free! (Is there a saint for that?)

Now, even more good luck. I decided that if the line wasn’t too long outside Fire Station 5 on my way home, I would do my early voting today. Yep, perfect timing. No wait at all. In and out in less than 10 minutes.

Then, home to walk the dog… again… and catch the perfect sunset.

Now, wouldn’t you say that was a pretty darn good day? (And it’s not over yet. I know… I should have bought a lottery ticket.)

Happy Saturday, my friends!

Friday From My Kitchen:) Another Baking Frenzy

17 Oct

“Some people say they are addicted to sugar. I’m addicted to making and baking and sharing the sugar. Does that make me a “sugar pusher?”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Well, she’s at it again. I had a big bowl of lemon cream cheese frosting left over from last week, so I had to use that up, right? So I made more mini lemon cheese cakes. But, cream cheese was on sale at Kroger this week, and not everyone likes lemon, so I decided to make a batch of my infamous mini no-bake peanut butter pies.

Please don’t ask for the recipe. I don’t use no stinkin’ recipe. I don’t even measure the sugar anymore. I just eye ball it. Haven’t had any complaints yet.

I think I ate two of these and gave the rest away. I don’t make them to eat them, I just need to make and bake and give them away. OH NO! I am a “sugar pusher.” I wonder if there’s a support group for that? S.P.A. Sugar Pushers Anonymous.

It was a fantastic fun Friday. The air was cool and crisp, and the sky was crystal blue. I didn’t catch the sunset for a photo because I was on the phone. But, even better, I got to FaceTime with my adorable granddaughters.

A perfect ending to a perfect day, Black Russian Friday. Cheers, my friends.

Quarantined Karaoke Thursday:) Sunrise, Sunset

16 Oct

“Some parents can’t wait until their children grow up and leave the nest. I wish I could have put a padlock on that nest and never let them go.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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What an amazing Thursday this has been. It was a dark, cloudy, blustery, and overcast day, but I loved it. I walked in the dog in the park, several times, met with some friends, went to the store, did some household chores, and enjoyed the day. The best part, of course, was a really awesome phone call from my sister. It was great to hear her voice and catch up.

The days go by too fast, and our children and grandchildren grow up too fast. There wasn’t an amazing sunset tonight, but last night and a zillion Other sunsets inspired my karaoke song for tonight…

Wednesday:) Well, What’s Been Happenin’ On The Square?

15 Oct

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

― W.B. Yeats

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Magic and beauty and amazing adventures are happening all around us, right before our own eyes, in our own home town. All we have to do is open our eyes. Voila! There it is.

Yesterday was a very awesome day. I got up early for a long walk and to walk the dog. Then, Helene and I made plans to scoot over to Holy Family School to take our donations of snacks and goodies for the little ones. Miss Sondra and the staff are always so appreciative of our little donations and our visits.

The construction for the Community Kitchen and Garden behind the school is coming along. It will be so nice for the community to have fresh home grown vegetables and meals available to them. Cool!

After our visit, we wandered over to the Square for lunch at The Pantry. Oh my goodness. I always get the chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes/gravy and fried okra. SO much food. We always have leftovers.

Of course, I needed a phot op in front of the mural painted by our friend, Andrea Holmes, on the side of Fair and Square Imports across the street.

Then, off we went to visit Kim Guthrie at her studio on Virginia. She’s always busy at work by her window. Perfect for a photo op and a visit. Her awesome whimsical style has captured the hearts of all of McKinney and beyond.

Another artistic stop at The Last Gallery on Louisiana. We were greeted by another artist friend, Leslee Ortega. Leslee has a brilliant eye for color and composition, and has also mastered the art of painting with coffee. (Yep…coffee. It’s a blast. I love it too.) The gallery has become a fantastic artist co-op that features the finest artists in North Texas. (Most of them are friends of mine, so I’m a little biased.)

It was a great busy day, and what better way to end my day than a nice walk at dusk to capture one of God’s greatest works of art. The evening sunset. (I really need to paint some of these scenes. But, I have SO many. Where do I start?)

Have a great day, my friends.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Time- Lapse Video-Painting Birch Trees

14 Oct

“Time-lapse videos make my paintings look so effortless, even though I spent several hours and I’m covered in paint.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I saw some cool birch trees that were painted using string covered in white paint and stretched and swiped across the paper or canvas. All I could find was some twine and that didn’t work, so I used an old AAA plastic card instead. I did a practice painting before recording, and just the trees looked kind of boring, so I decided to put a moon behind it. Good idea.

Fun project. I hope you like it. The good part is it only lasts a few seconds, so it won’t take up a lot of your time.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

13 Oct

“Someday is not a day of the week.” —

~Janet Dailey

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Another great week! Happy Monday, my friends.