Archives for the month of: July, 2012

I thought Off The Map was going to be just another medical drama on TV. It’s hard to beat Grey’s Anatomy or House MD which seem to have cornered the market on medical-themed drama. I don’t think the Off The Map quite beats another of them but it seems to be a self-sufficient and interesting series which stands on it’s own feet. The characters are interesting and the plot lends itself well to the chosen settings and characters. It’s not dark or intense like House and it’s not a big complicated series of love stories like Grey’s Anatomy. It does bear some resemblance to GA more than Hpuse because Off The Map has the same executive producers as GA however it holds its own due to the setting of the medical practice in the jungles of South America which presents its own unique set of challenges and adventures and with this unique setting, the characters unfold and grow. I enjoy watching Off The Map and I look forward to Season Two.

(c) Niconica 2012

It’s not easy to be an introvert in a world which values extroversion and which does not reward introversion. It is often said that opposites attract and while this may be true during the initial stages of attraction, it often does not hold up in the long haul without quite a few bumps and bruises if so.

If one is an introvert, a relationship with a fellow introvert will be more harmonious since there will be more in common. The same holds true for extroverts. This is not to say that a relationship will not be possible or will not work out. There will definitely just be more things to work out if the enjoyment of social contact is at different levels for each partner and this may probably turn out to be a point of contention within the relationship.

Extroverts are fun and vibrant and as an introvert in a extrovert-centric culture they certainly hold a certain appeal since this quality is one of the ideal qualities extolled by modern culture. During one’s younger years, there will be less misgivings in entering a relationship with an extrovert since the priority would be attraction and infatuation and perhaps even what can be thought of as love, with all the youthful idealistic belief that everything can be worked out when both parties are in love.

However in one’s thirties, reality comes knocking and one’s criteria for what is important in a relationship gets revised accordingly through experience and the humble beginnings of what can be hoped as maturity. Aside from love, compatibility is an essential consideration in a relationship with the realization that sometimes love isn’t enough to sustain over the long haul.

It is during this time when one is less flexible and have more ingrained habits and therefore finding a partner who has the same enthusiasm for going out or staying in would make for a more harmonious relationship. During our thirties, we most likely don’t find the idea of editing ourselves for the sake of our partner very appealing for whatever reason and trying to keep up with an extroverted partner’s zest for initiating and maintaining social contacts and connection may wear on us, even as much as we admire their gregariousness.

We may eventually feel that we are disappointing them by preferring to stay in on most nights and weekends instead of socialising or interacting with people. We may attempt to keep up with them as we accompany them to different social events and activities even as we feel drained by dealing with many people. We may start to worry that they may find us boring and eventually lose interest. We may be concerned that they would feel that getting us to interact more with friends is too much of an ordeal–which it is because being out and about often saps our energy. These issues may eventually crop up in the relationship.

Many people mistake introversion as being unsociable or anti-social but it is not the case. Being an introvert, one gains energy or feels revitalised when one is engaged in solitary pursuits while extroverts feel for energised when in the company of many people. Introverts can be well-socialised and congenial folks who simply feel drained after social interactions and who need alone time to revitalise themselves.

Keeping up with an oppositely inclined introverted/extroverted partner can put a strain on the relationship with an introvert since the choice of activities during one’s free time including weekends and holidays would differ greatly and a lot of compromise would need to be given.

The varying preferences might also mean that less time is spent together and this might affect the quality of the relationship altogether. This might be something to consider when starting a significant relationship.

(c) Niconica 2012

Going vegetarian is definitely not without its challenges. It has been my aspiration to turn vegetarian for around a decade already and apart from giving up consumption of certain meats gradually, I had not made the big leap until recently and even then I initially had second thoughts as to whether I would be able to make the commitment to continue being vegetarian.

In my case, motivation was key. It was essential that I have the right motivation in being vegetarian, otherwise there would be a very real probability that I would succumb to my old habits of consuming my favorite foods which include meat. There were psychological withdrawal symptoms in the first few weeks and I almost thought that I would not be able to make the shift.

It was very difficult to outgrow the habit of craving for my favorite dishes in my favorite restaurants. This was compounded by the fact that there were very few restaurants which carried vegetarian dishes in their menu except for a few nominal salads or sautéed vegetables–hardly enough to make vegetarianism appealing. This took some joy out of socializing or eating out since there would often be not enough vegetarian options, much less appealing ones on the menu.

On the home front, it took a bit of adjusting but it was easier to make the personal switch in one’s grocery buying habits and eating options than when one goes out for meetings and/or socializing and come across the sad fact that one may not be frequenting one’s favorite restaurant anymore because they don’t have a decent selection of vegetarian dishes. It can be quite frustrating to realize that the vegetarian segment of the population is often overlooked or disregarded when people open their restaurants and plan their menus.

This, of course, leads to some shuffling about of restaurant options when dining with friends. It would be so much easier if there were more vegetarian friendly restaurants and not necessarily just pure vegetarian restaurants because when dining with family and friends, different diets would have to be considered and it would be good if regular restaurants would take vegetarians into consideration so that dining with non-vegetarian friends, family, and colleagues would be even more enjoyable.

It’s lovely to discover pure vegetarian restaurants too here and there because they have a more extensive or comprehensive selection of items to sample.

I feel qualitatively lighter (not necessarily equating to body weight) since I’ve turned vegetarian and I’ve continued including vitamins and good supplements in my daily intake to be able to make sure that The essential vitamins and minerals my body requires will be complete. I am mindful that being vegetarian is not as simple as giving up eating meat, it has to be done in a nutritionally acceptable manner so that we maintain and improve our health.

I’m still in the adjustment period of my new vegetarian lifestyle and I’m still reading up on it and learning more about it. In order to keep up with my commitment to be vegetarian, I am still constantly renewing my motivation which includes compassion for all living beings and not wanting to consume their flesh which carries residual traces of their energy.

Having said this, I would have to admit that I do still sometimes get tempted by the smell or even the thoughts of my old favorite dishes which I am not able to partake of anymore. I am not immune to remembering delicious smells and tastes from the past. I do realize that this new chapter simply indicates that it’s perhaps time that I discover and develop new favorite dishes and restaurants. I’m not partial to change so it won’t be a walk in the park but I’m looking forward this new adventure and discovering vegetarian or vegetarian friendly restaurants/institutions/establishments.

I am quite pleased to have finally become vegetarian, after years of aspiring and attempting to do so. Being able to meet all the body’s nutritional needs notwithstanding, I am also curious as to how being vegetarian would affect me qualitatively.

May the new chapter begin.

(c) Niconica 2012