8/19 課堂筆記: Redefining Normal

Closing Statements:
Well, I think it's always hard for people to change, because of the fear, we are not sure about the change afterwards, if its going to be better or worse. But in my own experience and in my friends' experience change usually gives us a better life. just like one of my friends quit her job for over one year at the age of 40, that takes courage, and actually she had a very good job. But now she already started her new job, and after this one year of refreshing herself, I think her life will be different. and from my own experience i have the same feeling. Before you change, you feel so scared, it's too hard for people to change, but it's always worth the effort, and the struggle, if you want to change, I mean.

Just like she said, if we want to change, we will be scared, or uncertain, so actually I don't like to change.

I don't think anybody does.

But I think some people, they like to change their style often.

But that's minor.

But how do we define the change, if it's minor, that's okay, but if it's a big major change it matters, i think. Actually, when I moved near the school, that led me to do my experiments, but then I can't sleep in my soft bed. Because now where I live, I don't have a fridge, it's very inconvenient, but I'm getting used to this lifestyle, so maybe the change is not so bad for us, but we fear the uncertainty of the change i think. So if we conquer the difficulty of the, it's hard to say, but maybe it's not so difficult to fact the change itself.

I think it's easy to me to make change, and it's difficult for me to make change. it depends on what's the question, or the item. I'm really freestyle, I follow my heart, my feeling, so if I want to change, I change all the time. I just tell myself, just try it, if i don't like it, just go back. it makes the decision more easy. but it will make me not so easy to keep a good habit, because it's freestyle. if I don't like it, then I'll go back, so...

you're a flexible person.

yes, I usually don't force myself to maintain in some situation, or some decision.

that's good, i think!

I don't really have the strong will to make some big decision, or some kind of big change. so, when I make a change, if I don't want to go back to the old style, I will rearrange my life, and make me very busy. I won't think about going back or regret the decision, but if I really want to go back to the old style, I'll go back. i'll follow my heart to lead the life I want.

but actually when you go back, it's a new decision, to change back.

what if there's no way to go back.

like what!!?

well, if you get married, and you want to divorce, but your husband doesn't

find a lawyer!

For me, it's the same. it's hard to change, because you need a lot of bravery, you have to prepare your effort to struggle with, to fight again with others. so most people dislike change. but like stacy said, in most cases, change will make life better. so, in my own experience if we all prepare ourself well, and just keep going on doing some efforts to make ourself happy, I think change could be easier. and i will say, even the result are not meet our expectation, ti's better not to regret, it's better just look forward, and find anew solution, whether it's just going forward or change back.


you know, one decision you can't go back on, is having a baby.

yeah! you can regret it, but you can't go back!

you can't put it back in!

so you should think about it a lot before having a baby!


Discussion:
1. What is normal?
Don't need to make a lot of effort to keep things the way they are.
it's what everybody does
it's not out of the ordinary

2. What are some of the things in your everyday life that you consider normal?
going to work
taking elevators
working overtime
thinking about what to eat for lunch or dinner
taking the bus/subway
watching tv
walking everywhere
hang out on the internet
hang out on facebook
a cup of coffee or tea
eating out
eating icecream in coffee houses

3. What do you normally talk about with people you know?
work
life
complaints
gossip, about celebrities, coworkers, friends
food

4. What sorts of things do you normally see in the media?
gossip
politics
advertisement
fashion
violence
tragedy
drama

5. What are some changes you’ve chosen to make in your life?
hairstyle
what I eat (no wheat, little milk, little sugar, no coffee, tea etc. little alcohol)
stopped carrying a credit card, to stop spending so much
quit staying up late, go to bed by ten

6. What are some changes you’ve been forced to make in your life?
to stop eating wheat
to stop reading the internet until 3 in the morning.
to get back to single life after a break up (heartbreak!)

7. When you’re dealing with change, who do you talk to about it?
my parents
my girlfriend
my sister
my friends, good friends

8. What are some of the things you do when you’re faced with a sudden change?
I run to the internet and read a lot of silly things = I escape
watch a bunch of/a lot of television
have a cup of coffee
i talk with people about it
I don't know what to do for a long while, I just think about, "Why?"
"what to do?" "did I do somehting wrong?" "is it my fault, or some one else's fault?" "should I try to fix it?" "is there something i should be doing to fix it?" "What's the next step?"
adjusting, like trying to accept it
psychological adjustment, like persuade myself to accept the situation

9. What are some signs that you have to make a change in a relationship? In a job?
unhappy
uncomfortable
want to escape
feel tired, like you have no energy
get angry easily, lose your temper all the time
feeling empty in my mind, there's something really wrong
the difference between friends and family is you can cut ties with friends, but your family is always your family.

10. What makes you decide to move house? Change how you eat? Get a different job? Begin or end relationships with people?
when I don't feel like going home anymore, I'll move house
when eating things made me feel sick, I decided to change.
I felt very bored, and I couldn't find the confidence or acheivement in the job. I began to feel like a loser in this job.

What was the trigger point?
When I feel unhappy about my daily life, I'll try to discuss the situation with my boss, but if I felt the situation can't change, like my boss can't come up with a solution, or the conversation is not very happy, then...
I just feel like, 'mm!'
there's like a line in my mind, and when it gets touched, that's it. Like if my boss, he or she is so often moody, or confuses me too often, then I just feel tired and want to quit the job.

Is it easy to change a relationship?
when you're no longer who you are, people change. when you are in a relationship where you can't be yourself...
but it depends, because lots of people will stay in that kind of relationsip?

11. What kinds of feelings do you have that make you start to think about making these kinds of changes?


12. How does normal feel? Secure? Easy? Boring? Predictable?
no feeling!
peaceful
like air, water
you can't feel it, because it's normal!


13. How do you feel when things don’t change very much over a long period of time?
boring
tired
empty
comfortable
before, I used to feel comfortable, but now I've changed, when things don't change very much, I feel bored, and try to find something new, so I went out and spent money.

14. What does going through a change feel like? Unsettling? Exciting? Nerve-racking?
sometimes i can't stand it
I look forward to it, but sometimes I also feel its sad or unpleasant. And food doesn't taste good. It makes me angry.
it feels exciting, because its like going on a new adventure.
sometimes I will feel lost.
confused.
a little fearful, a little afraid.

15. What sorts of feelings do you have when your circumstances change suddenly?
happy and nervous, depends

16. Does change feel the same when you’ve had to change because of a change in your circumstances as when you’ve made a decision to change?
yes. one is proactive, and the other one is forced on you

17. Do you find it easy to make a decision to change?
not easy

18. Do you find it easy to stick to a decision to change?
not easy
usually I'll go through a long process before the change, but if I change, i change. I'll think about it a long time. like when i became a vegetarian, there's no looking back, I don't feel like eating meat anymore
how much time did you take to make the decision?
several months.
I seldom make a strong decision to change, and I'm easily affected by others.
if I really want to make a change, I have to make sure the people around me are supporting that.


19. What sorts of feelings do you have when you’ve made a decision to change but find it harder than you expected?
frustrated
I get frustrated and change back
i beat myself up for going back to the old behavior
I hate myself for not being a strong enough person


20. When you’ve just gone through a change, and things start to settle down into the new way of being, what does that feel like?
I feel fresh
tentative, like i'm feeling my way through
it's not that difficult. before you change, it feels like it's going to be so hard! but afterwards, you're like, it wasn't that hard.
hey, that feeling is how I know i've made it through!

21. What motivates you to make a change?
it's like a lightbulb turning on
your dreams
intuition

If someone makes a change along side you, is it easier than making change by yourself?
so if someone changes with you at the same time?
yes
for me it's easier
like going jogging together with my mom
yeah!

22. What motivates you to stick to doing things the new way?
when you feel better afterwards
or when you fail and you feel crap
peer pressure, when people ask you about your decision.
"So, are you still..."
when everybody knows about something, so you feel silly to be seen not doing it

23. What do you do to help yourself keep doing things the new way?
I tell everyone that i'm doing it
I don't tell anyone till I'm sure it's going to stick
find someone to do it with me

24. What do you do to help settle in when you’ve gone through a change in circumstances? or any kind of change?
i'll tell myself to be open minded and just try it.
i make little rules for myself, then throw them out when they're not needed anymore
I look at the change a lot to try to get used to it.
I will force myself to repeat doing it several times, and then i can get used to the new situation.



Today's Vocabulary and Phrases
I'm in a working mood.

I'm in the mood to work.

I'm moody today.= my mood is very changeable today

it's beyond our expectations = it's 110%!!! cool!
it's even worse than we thought
it's even better than we thought
it's even more complicated than we thought

it's beyond our imagination = we're too dumb to be able to imagine this /= amazing
we can't even imagine that
it's unimaginable
it's unimaginably cool
it's unimaginably stupid
it's unimaginably expensive
it's unimaginably cheap
...hot
...cold
...complicated
...

if someone stops eating meat, then...

it takes less care = it's easier to care for

fading out
the friendship is fading out
I decided to phase out our friendship
I decided to cut ties with (that person)

the rack = a torture device where you stretch someone till they die.
nerve-racking = your nerves are stretched to the breaking point from stress
"my nerves are stretched to the breaking point!"
"I'm stretched to the breaking point!"

you're all talk and no action
You are all talk!
you talk the talk, but you don't walk the walk
you have to walk the talk.

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