The Daily Challenge

Each of us probably has something he or she considers a daily challenge. For some people, it’s getting up in the morning. For others, it’s getting to sleep or staying asleep all night. And then there are people who are challenged by having to stay awake all day.

Some challenges are more serious than others. Putting up with impossible work situations, trying to solve financial problems that just won’t go away, making important decisions when none of the alternatives seem right–these are just a few of millions of difficulties a person might have to struggle with on a daily basis, and each one is important to the individual, even though it might seem less important to someone who has a different problem.

I have one or more of my own daily challenges. But the one I want to talk about is quite different. In fact, it’s not even a “daily challenge,” but “The Daily Challenge.”

I don’t recall when I first signed up for The Daily Challenge’s, uh, daily challenges, but I’ve been getting them for years now. Unlike other challenges I might face on any given day,  I can easily ignore one of these if I want to. And occasionally I do.

In fact, I would probably discontinue the program if I hadn’t made several good cyber-friends I would really hate to lose contact with.

If you’re not familiar with The Daily Challenge, you’re probably wondering what in the world it is. But first let me tell you what it isn’t. It is NOT a news item about something we need to start fretting about.

It IS about something that relates (sometimes questionably) to health and well being. The partial screenshot below is an example of one of the challenges that–to me, at least–was of questionable value. I’m sure some people complete these these challenges just to get the points, but I see less point in acquiring points than I do in some of the challenges themselves.


Don’t get me wrong, though. I’ve learned (and, unfortunately, forgotten again) some nifty exercises. And it feels good to mark a challenge “Done” when it’s something I’m already doing. Like eating whole grain bread that day or a fruit or vegetable that contains a particular nutrient.

Today’s challenge (I’m writing this the Friday before I post it) was to have a meatless meal. What sacrilege! By the time I saw that, it was too late to leave the tiny piece of ham off of my breakfast sandwich. But I’ve recently started having peanut butter sandwiches fairly often, and what could be more tastefully and tastily meatless than that?

Please don’t let the fun I’ve poked at The Daily Challenge keep you from checking it out. Who knows? You might learn something that will help you with one of your more serious daily challenges. Learn about it at this URL.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,

Looking Back: Mr. Matney

I participate in an online program called the Daily Challenge. It presents something for its members to do of a health-promoting nature–often physical, but sometimes mental and emotional. Participants receive points and work their way up the ladder to higher and higher rungs. I can’t say that I always find DC to be beneficial, but I’ve made friends with some of the people who exchange comments with me.

Today’s Challenge–I’m writing this three days before you see it–was special. To share one’s favorite class or school subject from way back whenever and list three reasons it was so special.

At first I was stymied, as I often am by that type of Daily Challenge, but once I thought about it, I had to mention two classes rather than one.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Government class in high school; I guess they call that Civics now. My teacher was a wiry little fellow named Keith Matney. (It seems strange that I would have even known his first name.) That man was energetic, and that was good. He could keep me awake even while other kids were dozing. I’ll never forget an impromptu speech he gave about the fact that nobody is free unless everyone is.

I don’t recall the details, but that made me want to become a teacher. A teacher of Government at that.

When I transferred from junior college to senior college, still firm in my conviction that I wanted to follow in Mr. Matney’s footsteps, I took a class called The American Political Party System. We were required to attend a particular political rally–1966 was an election year–and that was my initial introduction to the realities of American politics.

Forget teaching Government. Especially if it meant taking more classes like that one. I’d been naive enough to think that majoring in Political Science was all about the kinds of things I’d studied in Mr. Matney’s class.

Nonetheless, I didn’t lose my desire to teach. Since I’d accumulated more English credits than anything else in junior college, I changed my major to English.

Once I started teaching, I learned that the one thing my education classes had failed to to teach me was how to teach. I’m greatly relieved to hear periodically from former students on Facebook who remember my classes as beneficial.

But I was no Keith Matney, and I changed careers shortly after the beginning of my seventh year.

I have to admit I never totally lost my interest in teaching, though. I taught a computer programming class once at a Black and Decker plant in Easton, MD. I taught guitar off and on part-time for a number of years. I did a little bit of Sunday School teaching. I gave technical presentations at nationwide computer user conferences and even taught a full-day class once in Australia.

Even now I’m tutoring/mentoring a writer friend on a regular basis.

Maybe I do have at least a little of Keith Matney in me after all.

What about you? What was your favorite subject in school? How about leaving a comment?


I’ll be back again on Wednesday with a post about my other favorite high school teacher. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.
Best regards,


The Daily Challenge

dc-1   dc-2  dc-3  dc-4.  shadow
(click on thumbnails above to see full size)

A few years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to “The Daily Challenge.” I joined and receive a health-related challenge via email every day. There are thousands of other participants. Today’s Challenge was to describe how to use a whole grain product for breakfast. Often, the challenges relate to things I already do, as with this one. The challenges may include some type of exercise or something specific to look up information about (e.g., where to find a local electronics recycling place or what the symptoms of diabetes are).

Clicking “Done” in the message takes me to their website to describe how I did the challenge and indicate that my comment may be shared with everyone. Then I may be asked anywhere from one to three of the following questions (there are more, but these are the ones I remember):

  • Did you experience the following feeling during A LOT OF THE DAY yesterday: Sadness?
  • Did you experience the following feeling during A LOT OF THE DAY yesterday: Happiness?
  • In the last seven days, on how many days did you exercise for 30 or more minutes?
  • Did you experience the following feeling during A LOT OF THE DAY yesterday: Physical pain?

From that point, the Challenge gives me a grade for my wellness in specific areas (e.g., physical health, emotional well-being) and asks whether the Challenge was fun, whether it helped my well-being, etc.

Hmm. A harmless exercise…and sometimes quite good.

As a Christian who depends on God’s help day in and day out, at least I don’t have any reason to view life itself as a Daily Challenge. Life for me isn’t the shadowy existence represented by the far right photo above.

No matter what happens on any given day. It’s all in God’s hands. He may allow certain things to happen I’d rather avoid. But I have faith that He’s using everything for His—and my—ultimate good.

God is a loving Father. How could He not want the best for me—even when circumstances are less than ideal? The ultimate reward is yet to come.


Please leave a comment if something in this post has spoken to you. I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

By the way, “On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I use “As I Come Singing”check it out here--to post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. Check here to see the list.

Best regards,