Featured

How To Quit a Job

Main picture credit to How to Quit Your Job – Lisa Cherry Beaumont.

I do not think there is an exact science to quitting. I know that many of us want to walk into our boss’s office and just let them have it. I know many of us to want to write a long and detrimental email to all management on how horrible they are and where they can stick their 2% raise and weekly pizza parties, but is it the right way to quit?

I mean nowadays with this whole fad about “quitting quietly” or “acting your wage” phenomenon it could be a way to just tell human resources exactly what you think on your exit interview. I am sure many have been in the position where we just can not take it anymore and want to run out screaming from our job, but what holds us back or what holds some of us back from doing this?

I am sure you stop and think, well I have a family to think about or maybe you have to think about your lifestyle, your bills, and what you are trying to accomplish in your life that it makes more sense to suck it up and stick to the job than trying to start somewhere else.

Many of us simply just take it, maybe you do it because you are comfortable where you are and change is not needed, but is it worth it to feel sadness, stress, and frustration instead of happiness. Can we just simply get out from where we are that is not making us happy. I think most of us can.

I have to say though that quitting angrily is not the best way to go about it. I think at the end of it all, just simply resigning and doing it professionally and calmly is the best choice. Why you may ask well because I believe it shows that you are the better person or employee and let me tell you but an employer gets frustrated when a good employee leaves on their terms and happy.

I recently worked for a company for 18 years and gave my heart and soul to the company. Always went above and beyond my duties, following all the rules and doing what my managers asked of me and told me to do for me to get ahead. What did I get out of it, was nothing but frustration, stress, more work, 2 % raises, and the last 5 years’ “NO raises”.

Now, I had mentioned this in one of my posts a while back, and one of the comments from a reader was, “Well they were probably trying to get rid of you, maybe you were not leader quality”. I thought about that comment and thought, well if that was the case just tell me and at that point, I could have looked elsewhere. The thing is that I was told by many executives that I would be a great leader, I had immense knowledge of the business and people simply seemed to love me, but there was always the same excuse.

Well, after 18 years and feeling unappreciated, and undervalued, I found a company that by simply looking at my resume, and interviewing me felt I was worth a lot. Not only did I get a 30% increase in my base salary, I will be given a 10% annual bonus, 18K in stock every year, and a 5 to 10% raise (merit increase) every year – of course depending on my performance, but that did not worry me because I am the type of individual that puts their heart and soul into what they do, and I really enjoy doing what I do.

So, my recommendation is to resign professionally, give at least a 5-day notice, do not talk trash about management or other employees. If you get an exit interview, offer suggestions on things that could be different, do not mention names, just state in general. The reason I say this is because they may say something like, “if it does not work out where you are going, you can always come back” – that is what happened to me. Also, they told me if a position happens to come up while I am gone and my name comes up as a potential candidate if I would be willing to come back – I said of course, all depending on what is offered.

Picture credit to QuotesGram.com.

I know what we really what to say when we quit a job that has sucked the life out of us, but hold yourself back and do it professionally, I promise you will feel really good without having to make it a bad experience. With that, I leave you with this thought, “Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing – Anonymous.”


Featured

Job Change – Scared and Excited

Main photo credit: Career-Intelligence.com

I have been working at my current employer for 18 years, and for the last 5 years, I had not received any raises, except for a bonus on two separate years which taxes tore me up on. This year after taking on the work of two additional employees, I was told I met requirements and my raise was 2%. I lost my mind and could not believe what they had told me.

Of course, after mentioning that I was going to start looking, they worked on getting me an additional 8%, plus a promotion, which I already held, but somehow over the years, it was diluted. Even after that, they had the nerve to through it all in my face, I couldn’t believe what management was saying. Of course, I kept my search on for a new job, a new home.

I went through many interviews, sometimes meeting with the same company multiple times with multiple individuals only to be told that they found another candidate. I did lose hope for a second, but I thought to myself that I was worth a lot more than I was being given. I continued my search and eventually found an employer that truly cares about its employees.

I was offered a 30% increase on base salary, plus an annual 10% bonus by only meeting expectations, plus an annual compensation of nearly 20K in stock options, plus, full health, dental, vision, retirement, and unlimited PTO – wait I still was able to get a 5-10% raise every year. I was also told that my previous management skills were what they needed since their goal was to increase their size 5 fold by end of the year. I had the opportunity to move into a leadership role. Anyone in their right mind would have taken that, right. Well, I took several days to think about it, just because I did enjoy the people at my current employment.

Picture credit to Crazy Cat Lady Corner.

For some reason I was always overlooked for a promotion, not sure why. I mean if someone thought I would not be a good leader, I wish they would have been straight and just told me. But I never heard otherwise, instead, people always said I would be a great leader, and offer the steps to get there, but it never happened.

After a few days, I accepted the offer in a new industry, and well it was a leap of faith, because I don’t know what is in store for me at the new company it could be more of the same, but I thought if I don’t try I will never know. At least from a financial point, it places me in a better position to help my family.

All I could say to anyone who is thinking about leaving a toxic, unwelcoming job, “Do it!” at the end of it all you will feel like a weight was lifted from your shoulders, and if you know you are a great employee, take that with you to the new job and I am sure the new employer will appreciate all that you bring to the table. It might be scary, it was for me, but it all feels so much better and now that I write about it, I am extremely excited for what is next.

Photo Credit to QuoteFancy.com.

Thanks for stopping by and I leave you with this thought, “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails – Bertha Calloway.” Best of luck with everything you do in your life.


Featured

Blogging What Da F***

Main picture credit to SlideShare.com.

Of course, the last time I blogged was on August 23, 2022, regarding the 10 commandments of blogging and one of them was “Blog Often”, well I think I totally blew that commandment. I think it can be safe to assume that I was going through one of those moments, well wait, it was one of my down moments, so that meant that I really did not want to do anything.

The funny thing is that I realize that topics regarding side hustles, side businesses, and extra income are huge with people and I get the most likes from those posts. Take for example my post on Etsy, just recently called “Etsy Business – Follow Up” it got quite a few likes compared to my other posts.

What gets to me is that there are millions of blogs, websites, single capture pages, and social media videos on doing a side business and people just like to read about them. I mean I know maybe posts like this do not hit people like the side business posts, but shouldn’t we read different types of information?

That is just crazy, but you know I will keep writing what I like, and try and post more often, and maybe just maybe I can get the momentum to begin writing my short fiction stories. It is just a matter of me getting motivated enough to take that first step.

Picture credit to Pinterest.com.

Anyhow the reason I am writing is that I have not posted anything online, meaning I did not take my own advice, so I am simply trying to make a point. Life might be tough, and sometimes things will get in our way of progress, but we need to hunker down, well I need to hunker down and get back in the grove, maybe I need a to-do list – I do not know, I need something.

So, I am still looking at my Etsy account and so far, no-sells, but I will keep an eye on it and keep you posted. The thing is not to give up. Oh, by the way, I applied for a new job and went through several interviews, including a panel interview and it seemed that everything went well. I mean the very next day I got a call from the recruiter letting me know they want to move forward with an offer, that was two days ago – so I guess I will not believe it until I see it.

That sounded weird, because I have been with my current employer for 18 years and it seems weird to possibly leave them – can comprehend that right now, and I really do not want to because I have not seen the offer letter. I will keep you posted on that as well.

Picture credit to QuoteFancy.com.

I am humbled that you stopped by and read my post, I hope it brought some sense of reflection that we all go through low points in our lives and it is just a matter of getting up and stepping forward. With that, I leave you with this thought, “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around – Henry David Thoreau.”


Featured

10 Commandments of Blogging

Main Picture credit to blog.red-website-design.co.uk.

If you do a search on the internet about the 10 commandments of blogging, you will of course find tons of blogs that give their perspective about what they think or believe are the top 10 commandments of blogging.

Now, I looked at several and pulled out what I saw was similar and a couple that I thought made total sense, at least for me and my experience so far. Now, I linked them below, and feel free to take a look at what other bloggers think are the 10 commandments for blogging.

Picture credit to freeworkathomeguide.com.

The following are what I believe are the 10 commandments for blogging.

  1. Blog Often: This was from Jeff Goins, and I agree on this one. I think this one is big, and the reason I say this is because I noticed that when I do not post say in a couple weeks or days, I see a decline in the number of visits to when I have posted continuously for a week. So, posting often should be a goal. I say if you can get one every other day, it is a good start. Eventually leading up to posting daily, whether it is directly as a post, maybe a YouTube video, or a podcast should be the goal.
  2. Use Paragraph Breaks: This was from Jeff Goins, and I agree on this one as well. This one I learned the hard way. Now, I say this because at first, I was posting long-winded stories and some of my paragraphs were, I am pretty sure, way too long. So, after looking at other bloggers, I realized that they were breaking them down into bite-sized paragraphs. What I mean by this is maybe two or three sentences per paragraph. This gives the reader time to absorb what you are saying without getting lost in the words. So, keep it to 2 to 3 sentences per paragraph
  3. Use Pictures and Videos to add Visualization to your Posts: This was from Jeff Goins and I agree on this one. This one is coming from an old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. I believe this before as I do now. Adding a relevant picture to your post adds readability to your post, in my opinion. First, it allows the reader to visualize what you are saying. Second, it breaks up the reading allowing the reader to take a break from the reading. So, I highly suggest adding pictures to your post, I like to keep it to only 3 pictures per post. This also saves space in your server.
  4. Keep it Short: This was from Jeff Goins, and I agree on this one. This ties to number 2, and what I believe is meant here is that you need to keep your story short and to the point. I have seen other blogs and I come to realize that if I keep my posts to the size of one normal 8×10 page, it works out beautifully along with the bite-size paragraphs. I know sometimes you have a lot you can say on a topic, trust me it happens to me, but I think here is the perfect opportunity to hook the reader, and have them come back to read the rest of your post/thoughts – just an idea. Of course this post is not the norm.
  5. Tune the Noise Focus on Your Self: This was from Blog Genesis, but I interpreted it as; don’t get so hung up on what the other blogger is doing that you lose sight of what you wanted to do all along. Stick to your ideas, and your plan, focus on what you want, and during that pursuit, you will need to make adjustments, which is ok.  The goal here is to not jump on a viral bandwagon, but instead focus on you. It doesn’t mean you cannot use someone else’s idea, but you need to make sure that you turn that idea into what you believe, your story, you.
  6. Be Genuine and Be You: This was from Blog Genesis, but I interpreted as; I think this one can be a bit tough because I have seen where bloggers say you shouldn’t use your blog as a personal journal and sometimes some of us simply want to share our experienced and we might reveal a bit more than we should have. I think the trick, and works for me, is to simply write all your thoughts, everything that comes to mind, just write. Then step back, reread what you just wrote and make the necessary adjustments to make it fit what you intended your blog to be. I think being genuine, being yourself is what gives a blog its personality – so be you.
  7. Embrace Change: This was from Blog Genesis, but I interpreted it as; understanding that if you are just starting out it isn’t going to be easy, and you’ll probably make mistakes, which is totally ok. Just remember, with anything, whether you are starting a new job, making a recipe for the first time, being a first-time parent, or being in your first year of a relationship, you will make mistakes, but understanding that change is necessary will get you through these times. So whether you replace the salt in a recipe with another ingredient, learn a new application at work, or change your first diaper, just remember it is all a learning process and change is inevitable – just be ok with it.
  8. Always Express your Creativity: This was from Compukol: Carolyn Cohn, but I interpreted it as; writing about something important to you, what inspires you, drives you, and sharing that. Now, make sure that you present it in a way that is creative as you know you want to be because sometimes we tend to hold back, but just set yourself free, never forgetting that whatever you are writing about provides the reader a solution or answer. It will come to you, and you be amazed at what you can come up with if you simply let go and express yourself.
  9. Post with a Consistent Format: This was from Victor Mochere, but I interpreted it as; writing in the same manner each of your posts. What this does is, it lets the reader know that the next time they stop by your blog and you have something to share, it will be laid out in the same manner, this brings familiarity to the reader and we all know that we all like familiarity. So, if you write 8 paragraphs with three sentences each and three pictures, stick to that format and it will be easier for you as well as the reader.
  10. Write to be Real, Not to Go Viral: This was from John Pavlovitz, but I interpreted it as; exactly what it says, be you and try forgetting about getting that one viral post. It’s like a boxer, trying to land that one punch, and later running out of steam and losing the fight. Instead be you, write what you want to write, and more than likely one or more of your posts will eventually go viral The thing is, that should not be your goal, instead the goal is to bring back your reader each day to read what is next, not come back when something is viral.

Here is the list of bloggers I looked up that gave their top 10 Commandments for Blogging, and I took out what I believe works. Feel free to click on the links to check out their post.

Picture credit to earningdiary.com.

With that I thank you for stopping by and I leave you with this thought, “Let nothing dim the light that shines from within – Maya Angelou.



Featured

Wearing a Metaphorical Mask

Main picture credit to ArtsMetaphor.com.

I did a search and the very first thing that came up on a Metaphorical mask, which I thought was direct; “The metaphor of wearing masks is not new and we wear them to protect our vulnerable inner true selves (ChangingMinds.org).”

I am sure I am not the only guilty person that does this, and I am even more certain that the larger population does this in some form or another. I know that for me these last 10 years or so, have been a big struggle, and getting through each day, for me, I feel that I need to wear a different mask each day.

Sometimes I wake up depressed, angry, or sad, but I put on my happy mask. Then I have those days I wake up ready to go, but I end up putting on my Angry mask. I think I do the latter because I want t keep people away that day, but am not sure exactly why.

The thing is that many of us find it easier, especially in today’s society of social media, to put on a metaphorical mask just to get through the day. I think this whole lockdown, and restriction have created a society of mask wearers and somehow many just can’t get out of it.

I know that wearing a Metaphorical mask has been around for ages, but I think that this phenomenon has been increasing more over the past 5-10 years. I know that for me, I don’t recall wearing a Metaphorical mask when I was younger. But it doesn’t mean I did just to fit in. The thing is that lately, the Metaphorical mask wearing is no longer just to fit in, but to hide from everyone else.

Picture credit to geckoandfly.com (Shimika Bowers).

Then how can someone get to know us for who we really are, if we are so caught up on what we think other people may think about us? Our minds become convoluted, and we lose sight of what really is and what is not. Think about this, and it might be a bad example but let’s say that your boss pissed you off, and you are responding to an email he sent you. Well, I am sure that many of us had other thoughts on what we should respond with, and what we would really like to say, but we know that society or the norm tells us not to do that. Of course, the main reason would be not to get fired, but we have all been there and thought about this, how it would feel to just say exactly what you are feeling.

Right, but we know that if say exactly what we are feeling, it will come back and bite us in the butt one way or another. It makes being yourself a tough thing to do. Now, don’t get me wrong, we should all be ourselves and not worry what other’s say, but how many of us truly are ourselves?

My Metaphorical mask wearing these days is simply to put on my happy face around my kids, so they don’t get traumatized about the relationship I have with their mother. I mean we are not at each other’s throats, but just hanging around our house over the weekend, you’d think we were roommates.

So, this Metaphorical mask wearing is very difficult to get rid of completely, because I think that there are maybe some cases where wearing a Metaphorical mask is necessary, sort of like a “little white lie”, you know. It doesn’t make it acceptable, but it can serve a purpose, as long as you don’t get lost in this Metaphorical mask.

I know I am struggling and for the most part, the only person in my household that listens to me is my daughter, and even though she is aware of what is going on in our home, she understands and does her best to keep me real – something I truly appreciate. For now, I will continue to wear my Metaphorical masks, but I will also remember who I am and that I am a good person.

What do you think about this whole Metaphorical mask thing, let me know your opinion on this subject. I would really love to hear someone else’s perspective.

Picture credit to Pinterest.com.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by and I leave you with this thought, “Confidence is not “they will like me”, Confidence is “I’ll be fine if they don’t” – inspiringandpositivequotes.com.”



Featured

Etsy Business – Follow Up

Main picture credit to GreatB2bMarketing.com.

It has been over a month since I started to sell digital products on Etsy and even though I have seen a few people add my products to a wish list, no one has bought anything – yet. Take a look at my July post called Another Side Business – Etsy.

Now, I have of course neglected Etsy, not by choice, and of course, I feel bad. So, I went ahead and added some eBooks to my Etsy store. As for the description, and title of the new eBooks I listed, I think I upped my game by making them catchier or what is the word, more search Etsy application friendly – that is 4 words, I guess.

I am going to see how my new eBooks work out and of course, I am going to build some more of my own documents to add as well, whether it may be art pages, spreadsheets, or something else that individuals can use in their everyday lives and of course are in demand.

Picture credit to transformationacademy.com.

If I see interest in my eBooks, then I will start adding more to my Esty account. I mean for 0.20 to list, that is not so bad. If I list says 100 eBooks at 0.20 each, the cost to list would be $20. Of course, once they sell everyone gets their piece of the action, but overall, the profits won’t be too bad.

Like I said I am not looking to get rich overnight, or even get rich. What I would like to do is replace what I make now with one or more of my side businesses. If I ever made what I make now, I think I would continue to work at my current 9-5 job and pay off some debt, make some upgrades to my house, add to my kid’s college fund (retirement fund), and of course save for my retirement, then once I am in a good place, I would quite my 9-5 job.

The time that I would have now I would dedicate to my family primarily, and then my side businesses hoping to grow them. I think a lot of us would like to get out of the rat race and try to enjoy some of our life while we are still young – that is my thought.

Picture credit to Side Income Man.

I will of course keep you posted on my Etsy adventure and let you know how my eBooks are doing. With that, I leave you with this thought I found in one of my books. How I found it was interesting because all I did was pick up the book, and just opened it to a page randomly, and the quote popped, here it is, “A new attitude invariably creates a new result – Anonymous.”


I think you might enjoy this book, I believe they have it for free if you have the kindle subscription. (I might go ahead and purchase it myself, I will let you know)

Featured

My Personal Mission Statement

Main picture credit to ArtsandCraftsHomes.com.

It can be a struggle for some writers to get through whatever they may be writing about that day, but I think that as a community we can help each other out, which can potentially lead to one of us flourishing and providing the community a new avenue of literature or things to read about

Writing comes in many forms, whether it is a poem, a short story, a news blast, and so on but whatever that may be the writer needs to write it in such a way that the reader will be captivated and intrigued which will, in turn, bring back the reader.

I thought about this prompt on writing a mission statement, and it was tough because well I do not really have a business, or product for say. So, it was a bit difficult to get going, but then I realize that my writing, and all other writing, is some sort of a product.

Picture credit to QuoteFancy.com.

So, I pieced together what I thought would be my mission statement regarding my writing. I thought about what I would like my mission statement to mean, and at first, I had a huge paragraph. Then I read it all and pulled out the pieces that meant more to me.

So, with that, I present to you my Mission Statement, in regards to my writing and what I would like it to mean. I am sure like many companies; I will need to tweak it as I progress through my blogging life. Without further a due, here is my mission statement.

“To bring inspiration and motivation, inspire and fulfill the readers' curiosity, provide the best answers to people’s everyday questions, to be my readers’ favorite place to come, provide a safe place where readers can give and receive ideas, and bring the world closer together one reader at a time.”
Picture and Quote credit to Will Rogers.

As always, I would like to thank you for stopping by and I leave you with this thought, “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today – Franklin D. Roosevelt.”


My son is off to college for his junior year, we got him this mini fridge, I think you would like; take a look.

Featured

You Need To Read This! – My Favorite Blogger? Why?

Main picture credit to Andrewtham.com.

I have been blogging for some time, even though I did take some time off, but overall I have been writing for a while and the reason for my blog is to express myself as a man, father, friend. co-worker, husband and anything else I need to be. Maybe not a normal man, but a man that has been through a lot and I realize that over the years I have worn many hats to get through my days.

I think there is a need for me to shift my focus to maybe starting up on my actual fiction writing, as I have been talking about, or maybe writing more about my side business adventures because they seem to grab people’s attention. I have to work through things and for me to move forward with my fiction writing, I do try and read other bloggers, and of course fiction novels.

There is one blogger in particular that I happen to come across in my search, and I was totally taken back by his writing, his stories, it simply mesmerized me and I hope to possibly one day write as he does, maybe not as good, but get to a point where my writing will grab the readers attention

Picture is a snippet of Sebastian Website. The picture is his and credit to http://www.relatocorto.com.

His name is Sebastian Iturralde, I promise if you take a moment out of your day, well hopefully after finishing my post, you will totally be taken back by his writings. It is fictional, but the stories he tells, and how he tells them are just captivating. I sometimes get caught up on one story, only to end up reading another story, it could get dangerous hanging around his site, but it is well worth it.

Of course, there are thousands if not millions of bloggers, novelists, or writers out there that you can find. I think that many of us experience only a handful that catches our eyes and our hearts and we stick with them. That doesn’t mean that we cannot expand our reading to other wonderful stories, whether they are about business, side hustle, relationships, home décor, garden, or cars I mean the list goes on, and with that the possibilities are endless.

We all have the opportunity to search and find that one blogger, that one writer, that one YouTuber, Podcaster, or whatever it might be that will take our senses to the next level. I, like many writers out there only desire to captivate our audience, keep them entertained, informed, and coming back to our site so that we can continue to engage with them at new levels. I know that is my goal, to have you the reader coming back for more.

It is going to take time, and some finessing to establish exactly what you the reader are looking for and maybe one day I will be the topic of someone’s post, on how much they love reading my stories, we shall see, because that my friends is my goal.

For now, please take a moment and visit Sebastian Iturralde at Relato Corto. I am sure that you will find a story among the many he has that will take you to another place, another world, that will have you coming back for more, just like it does for me.

Picture credit to Pinterest.com.

With that, I leave you with a thought from Sebastian’s site, that I found to have a lot of meaning and you can see it on his About page, which says “A writer deeply feels that writing is for him the best thing that has happened or could happen, as writing for him is the best possible way to live. – Mario Vargas Llosa.


Featured

Does This Happen to You?

Where and When I Get My Best Writing Done?

Main Picture credit to ImgFlip.com.

I realize as writers we have a tendency at times to get writer’s block, or maybe we simply get lazy. The thing is that over the years, even at my day job, which is technical writing, I realized that I do my best work when something dramatic happens. For instance, at work, we might get audited by the government and there is a need to research, locate, and updated documentation in a very short amount of time to meet any federal or state laws. This means that I need to push myself beyond what needs to be done but it makes for great work or outcomes.

As with my personal blog whenever I get into an argument with my wife, teen, or even something that happens at work, I storm off to my office (or I am in my office) and my brain starts providing context. The flood doors open and ideas, thoughts, or experiences start to pour out and I just start typing away like a zombie.

It could get a little messy after my dump of information, maybe I just babble, but in many cases, after I read what I had just written, to my surprise it is good. Of course, the ever-so-often comment left behind by a reader also confirms the post caught their eye, which is nice. Whether it is a positive or negative comment, it just feels good.

Picture credit to quickmeme.com.

So this brings me to where and when I get my best writing. You see when something dramatic happens, and sitting in my home office are the two variables that allow me to do my best writing. Of course, I do have a lot to learn, so my writing is a work in progress. The thing is now I have to figure out how to harness that feeling and apply it almost at will.

I think that once I have a handle on that feeling, I will be able to sit down and write more often. I do know that I need to jazz up my writing visually, you know in regards to changing fonts, or the layout, that way when a reader comes to my page, they visually get excited and want to stay and read several posts. I think that would be any writer or blogger’s idea right, we want to bring in, and entice readers to our blog or site.

As I said my best writing comes when something dramatic happens and I head to my office to let it all out. My question to you is, when or where or both do you get your inspiration to write? Maybe it is not writing, maybe it is music, art, whatever that might be, what triggers you to do it?

I come to the end of my post, and you know what this means, my thought of the day, “Inspiration comes in many forms, it’s a matter of finding what is the cause and then taking control of it so that you can apply it at will. Best of luck to you in all you do.”


Featured

My First Sonnet – Child to Adult

I was looking through some of the blog prompts and I came across the prompt on writing a Sonnet. I thought to myself, why not? I use to write poems when I was younger and I really enjoyed it. After doing some research I found out that a typical rhyme scheme of the English sonnet is, ABABCDCDEFEFGG.

So, here is my attempt to writing a sonnet. If you could take a moment out of your day and leave a comment and let me know what you think. Good or bad, I don’t mind. Here it goes.

Bright Lights and crazy sounds are the starts of a new life

First steps, first love, and first loss are sometimes sad

Depression, anxiety, anxiousness, cut through like a knife

Lessons learned, experience, society makes you mad

Yet we continue to push forward towards the light

And there are days the world does not flow

But it does not stop and continues in flight

These are the days for an opportunity to grow

Let no one hold you back on the quest

This is your time to shine, rise, and dream

If it is your desire to simply be the best

Then work, rest, shine like a beam

The day will come when all will come together

And the journey is remembered forever

Picture credit to LoveThisPic.com.

As always, I thank you for stopping by and I leave you with a thought, “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work on becoming yourself. – Anna Quindlen, Writer.”


From the celebrated author of Inward comes a new collection of poetry and short prose focused on understanding how past wounds impact our present relationships.
Featured

A School Counselor Changed My Life

Main Picture credit to Pinterest.com.

I feel like a lot of my posts are a bit depressing, but I realize that even though they are somewhat depressing that my posts let people know that everyone is probably struggling through something, but like in my case I am still here each day posting away and sharing my experiences, feelings, struggles, and whatever else comes to mind.

Just remember that whatever you might be going through, if you look in the mirror, you’ll see that you have somehow gotten up, put on your clothes, and step forward. It might be only to the kitchen, or living room but you are still getting up. Now it is just a matter of finding a way out of whatever you might be going through.

Trust me there is a lot of help out there for you and me, and other people just like you and me going through difficult times, but let me challenge you, as I will challenge myself, tomorrow morning get up, get dressed, go to the couch or living room, but instead of sitting down, step outside for about 5 minutes and take in all the outside world, it will be ok.

Today’s topic was supposed to be about a teacher that changed my life, but what stood out in my mind was not a teacher, but a counselor that took me from the depths, pulled me up and set me on the right path, well at least he pulled me out of whatever I was thinking back when I was 16 years old.

You see as I said, my childhood was not pretty and when I started to work in my Freshman year in high school, the money that came in took me on a different path. You see I had to stand in front of a Judge when I was 15 to see if I could work, to help my mother. He allowed it, but with the condition that my grades were never to go lower than a B.

Picture credit to NaturallyMoi.com. The article attached is a good read.

Six months into my work, I started to see how money, and life, worked. I was a straight-A student, had honor classes, and yeah, I was a teacher’s pet. I was one of those kids who took those courses in college during the summer of my 6, 7, and 8th-grade years, which were my middle school years. They had this summer program at a local community college for kids to take courses in computers, science, biology, anthropology, speed reading, typing, and so much more, loved those days.

Now, during my sophomore year, for some ridiculous reason, I decided to drop out of school and work full-time. Three months into this madness, I got a visit from my counselor, Mr. Finesse. He caught me outside my work one day and sat me down. Told me that I was making a mistake and that I had a promising future, and he continued to talk. It seemed like hours went by, and I felt like my soul had left my body and all I was hearing was the voice of Charlie Brown’s mom.

That night I talked to my supervisor and told them I was heading back to school, and the next morning I drove up to school. It was a strange feeling like I never left, but I did. As soon as I parked my car, and started up the long staircase, some of my friends started to notice me and it seemed like everyone was looking at me.

I walked into the main office and the administrator saw me, she smiled and asked me to sit. A few minutes later Mr. Finesse came around the corner and hugged me. He walked me to his office, but during the walk through the campus, I could hear whispering, and people looking at me. We reached his office and pulled out a slip of classes from his drawer. It almost seemed like he knew I was coming that day. Of course, I had some catching up to do, but with the big brain I am, it was no problem – just kidding.

If it wasn’t for Mr. Finesse taking the time to go to my work and just talk to me, I might have been in a totally different situation today. The funny thing is, that a few years out of high school, I ran into Mr. Finesse at a gas station. I was pumping gas and heard a familiar voice when I looked over it was him. I broke down in tears as I walked over to him, and I could see that he was tearing up as well. The embrace was powerful, I didn’t want to let go, but when I did, I looked him right in the eye and said “Thank You”. That was the last time I saw him. Mr. Finesse truly changed my life.

Picture credit to QuotesGram.com.

With that, I want to say thank you for stopping by and leave you with this thought, “Every day is a struggle, it might be small, it might be big, but whatever it is, you got this. You came this far, so now is not the time to give up.

Sometimes My Day Feels Like This

Featured

Returning Home

Main picture credit to Bridgewaycommunity.org.

I am sure you if you have had the chance to read through some of my posts have indicated that I had a rough childhood. Now, there was a moment in my life as a teen when I did what probably many teens do and that is leaving home at an early age.

You see when I was 17 I decided to leave home, and the reasons were that it was tough at home, really there was no structure, no support, and I found that outside the home with friends. So, while in high school, my junior year, decided to move out and I moved in with a coworker and his wife.

You see I worked throughout my high school years and it so happened that one of my coworkers bought a new house and he mentioned that he was looking for someone to rent out one of the rooms in his new home to help offset the mortgage. My ears perked and I thought why not.

I believe the rent was 300 which included utilities, like water, and electricity, and I was able to use part of the kitchen. Now, actually, instead of using the kitchen they always included me in their dinner, which was really nice. Of course, I did help around the house, with a lot of things, which was a good deal when you thought about it.

Picture credit to Lovethispic.com.

Now, maybe 3 or 4 months into me moving out, my mother found me, well she said she always knew where I was, and told me that she had cancer. It was then that I decided to move back in with my mom and help her out. I remember packing and loading up my 1977 Datsun B210 and driving back home – it was really weird.

Now, even though it was only a few months, it felt weird because of the reasons I moved out. My mother was a wonderful, amazing person, but I saw too many things and just thought it would be best to pull away from it all, but now that I returned home I realized that I am a real chump.

I should have never left, and I think my teen hormones were getting the best of me, I simply did not understand what she was going through and was selfish in a way. The feeling I had returning was like a weight was lifted from my shoulders, I am not sure why, but it felt good coming home. I mean I felt like I left a kid and came back a young man.

I am glad I came home, that was the best year of my life, reconnecting with my mother. It was both amazing because we connected a whole different level and it was sad, because I watched her deteriorate  because of the cancer.  I have to say, that that experience was something I will never ever forget, she was everything and I just wished she could see me now.

Well, maybe not, because I do have some issues which I am trying to work through, but every time I think I have it beat, I get kicked right back down to the ground. It is a struggle, but I would return home all over again.

Picture credit to Pinterest.com.

Once again thank you for stopping by, and I leave you with this thought, “If you remember the past it does not necessarily mean you are dwelling in the past. The experience from the past builds the character you are and remember you came this far, you can keep going forward – best of luck to you in all you do.


Featured

Job Interview Recommendations

Main picture credit to Dribbble.com.

It’s been over a decade, at least, since I last did a job interview. I know things have changed, the way a resume looks, what you say, and what you ask is important to compete with the younger generation. I recently got my resume redone by a professional, and the good news was that for the most part, it was up to date in the question of the format, and the information that is provided.

Now, of course, as you and I know with all things in life, you can always be sure to find some video on how to do great in an interview, on the internet. I took the journey and sat through several online videos, teaching what to say, how to ask, what to ask, how to sit, my posture, my demeanor, and so on so that I would be one of the top candidates.

Of course, as with everything, preparation is not a bad idea and most interview gurus do mention that you should practice in front of a mirror or with someone and do some research on the company you are about to interview with. I think that when it comes down to it, all that works, but I believe if you are honest, straightforward, and have a smile, things should go well – that is my opinion. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

So, I started to look back at my interview and I realized a few things I did that were not good. For example, I do know that I tend to speak quickly, and over the years I have learned to slow down. The thing is when I get excited, I tend to start talking faster. During my interview, I believe a few of my answers to the questions went a bit too fast, and probably seem that I was jumping around. Even though I did get my point across, it was probably done in an around about way.

Picture Credit to EventGreetings.com.

I did do my research on the company and one of the questions asked was why I wanted to work for the company and why I was leaving my current position – it was a two-part question. I started out slow, and provided details about why I wanted to leave the company I was currently at and then I started to speed up when I spoke about why I wanted to join their company. Now this happen after they provided some information about what they were looking for, what they needed and what they currently had, which just lit up my brain and I got excited.

The opportunity is this, they need someone to help them establish the area I am applying for, they are not sure what they need, but they have a vision of what they would like, they just need someone to execute their vision. I lost it, I was like, this is exactly what I can do for you, I have built these skills over 30 years. I know that with the right tools, I can get you where you want to be.

I hope that my over-enthusiasm was not a deal breaker and that my resume, my skills, and my years’ experience show through and I am given the opportunity. I was the last candidate on their list, they will let me know by the end of the week or first thing next week if I can move on through the process. I am crossing my fingers, and hope that if I get a second-round interview, and hopefully it will be an in-person interview, but if not then online will be fine. I just want the opportunity to have them see me and allow me to give them what they are looking for, we shall see. I need this in my life right now, because I just had a fall out with my current manager and I don’t think the future looks pretty besides I think I need something new to get me motivated again, in all parts of my life.

With that, I do recommend a few things if you do an interview but have been off the market for a while. First, make sure your resume is formatted because things have changed over the past decade. Second, look online for some videos on preparing for an interview, just watch several of them, and pull out the pieces that make sense to you. Third, practice, I know this sounds silly, but practice. I am sure some websites have example questions that are done during an interview, so read them and practice answering them. Lastly, when the day comes, take a deep breath, you are the expert, they called you, and remember to slow down when you talk and it is ok to pause for a second when answering questions. This lets the employer know that you are truly thinking about the answer.

Picture Credit to Pinterest.com.

Thanks for stopping by and with that I leave you with this thought, “It can be a little scary to do an interview, but you know what think about it, they called you for a reason, now all you have to do is tell them that reason – you got this and best of luck. “


A few books and video on Interviewing success, you might like. There is a lot more out there – Good Luck!

Featured

Life Lesson Learned While Cleaning My Floors

Now I was going through a list of prompts I have and I came across one that said, “Share a life lesson learned while doing something seemingly mundane, such as cleaning your closet.” The funny thing is that I had posted something similar back on May 18, 2021, which was called “House Cleaning”, but I realized that the post was solely dedicated to the bathroom. I am not sure why I wrote that piece back then, I think I was trying to do like a tutorial of some sort. Mine happens to be about, cleaning a bathroom.

I was thinking about this prompt again and thought, why not talk about what I do or the lesson I have learned throughout the years when I clean my floors. I happen to have a small marble entrance, wood floors throughout the house, and tile in the bathrooms.

The lesson learned for me was the products that I used for each type of floor. It sometimes consisted of many different brands and products, and most of the time I was not really happy with the results. So, after trying many products throughout the years, I finally found one that had everything I wanted and made all my floors look nice.

I like to use Bona products, only because I have seriously tried a lot of other products for my floors and they always leave a streak, smudges, or really don’t clean all that well. Bona, in my case just happens to always work, so far, the results have been great each time I clean the floors, and I have to say that we do clean our floors with the products once a week, but we do dust every day.

To clean my marble floor and tile bathrooms I start with Bona Hard Surface Floor Cleaner, which is a gentle formula that is perfect for cleaning sealed natural stone floors, tile, laminate, and luxury vinyl. I then follow up with Bona Stone, Tile, and Laminate Floor Polish which simply adds more protection and of course gives the floor a nice shine.

For my wood floors, I like to start with Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, which is a little pricey, but I promise it will be well worth it. You know your floors are an investment and they need to be kept up, in my opinion. I follow up with Bona Hardwood Floor Polish, now this product is for all unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane-finished wood floors. They do have a product for oiled and waxed floors. It comes in two formats, High Gloss and Low Gloss. I like my floors to shine, so I go with the Bona Hardwood Floor Polish High Gloss.

Of course, before I start, I like to remove all the objects I can, like chairs, mats, etc., from the floor. I then do a thorough cleaning or dusting of all the floors. Now, I do happen to use Bona dusting products as well, like their microfiber pads and their Hardwood Floor Premium Mop. Trust me, having only to remember one name brand makes cleaning a lot easier. Also, when you have your kids help out, they don’t need to keep asking you which product to use, because all the products clearly indicate what they are for.

Note: I have about 2000 square feet of wood floors and that spray bottle lasts me a solid two months cleaning once a week.

So my lesson learned is the use of Bona over the years for all my home floors. I did link the items below. Now I am not trying to sell things, but if you happen to like one of the products or would like to try them, why not help out a fellow blogger, just saying – no pressure.

Picture Credit to Pinterest.

With that, I thank you for stopping by and I will try to leave you with a thought that is related to cleaning, “Cleaning is never fun, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Test new products, find a brand that has it all – maybe Bona. Turn on some music and rock that floor – happy cleaning.


Here are the items I use to clean my floor

Featured

My First Crush

Main picture Credit to KrazyInLove.com.

This is probably one of the stories I repeat a million times to everyone that listens. I am not sure why this is the very first one that comes to mind, from all my first crushes, when someone asks me if I remember my first crush. It’s funny, I do remember my first girlfriend, or my first time of you know what. This one crush just always brings a smile and now that I think about it, it is the first time I thought about a girl or thought about someone other than just friends.

My first crush was my third-grade teacher whose name was Ms. Fox. She was the most amazing teacher, very caring, always attentive to all her students, and she just knew how to reach her students so they would listen and learn. I remember my fourth-grade teacher and it always seemed that someone missed class, but not in Ms. Fox’s class, students seem to never miss a day.

I remember her dark long and semi-curly hair, she had this smooth peach-colored face, and her smile was just amazing. Whenever she smiled a felt and I am sure other students did as well, a sense of calm all over me like there was not a worry in the world while in her class.

Here’s the part where I think that my hormones were starting to activate. You see Ms. Fox always wore pants, they were shiny black and well tight pants. When I close my eye I could picture her silhouette, I even remember they were like pin-stripe pants, and well she just looked beautiful every day I saw her.

Credit to DesiComments.com.

What comes to mind immediately is Ms. Fox’s blouses, they always seem to be buttoned a few buttons lower than you would see on most adults, and well, whenever she came over to my desk to see how I was doing, it was a beautiful sight. I am pretty sure that she did catch me a few times, but she never said anything. Now that I think about it, I think I saw a smile when she did catch me.

I was pretty sure that I raised my hand quite a bit, even though I did not need any help, just to have her come over to my desk. I would simply lean on my hand and watch her lips move as she explained the lesson of the day, and of course, ever so often my eyes would slowly wander away from her lips and straight to her bosom.

The funny thing is that I still get chills thinking about Ms. Fox, besides her being a great teacher she was just beautiful. Now that I think about it, it was very possible that I mistakenly attempted to compare her to a new girlfriend, which never seem to go well. I am pretty sure for the longest time that Ms. Fox would have been the type of woman I would have liked to marry, that crazy.

My first crush, I am sure we all went through something similar, but it is one memory that I will never forget. A teacher I would never forget and the first woman that stole my heart. Wherever you are Ms. Fox, thank you for being a great third-grade teacher and a beautiful woman.

Credit to EventGreetings.com.

I appreciate you stopping by, and with all posts, I do try and leave you with a thought, “There is nothing wrong with remembering, whether it is good or bad, these memories will bring smiles, laughter, anger, sadness, love, and many more other emotions, these memories will or have built who we are.”


Featured

31 Blog Writing Prompts to Break Your Writer’s Block

Written by Katrina Kirsch

One of the things I do struggle with is content, you know what should I write about without getting too personal. Like everything else, we can find thousands of ideas for our next post on the internet. Of course like everyone else I found several locations or other bloggers that offer up ideas, and this one happen to be one on my list. I think you will enjoy the prompts, now of course feel free to visit the original article, “31 Blog Writing Prompts to Break Your Writer’s Block”, where Katrina offers a whole post about blogging and how to get through any writer blocks, that many of us go through.

Picture credit to Pinterest.

Here is the list of 31 Blog Writing Prompts:

  1. Write about values that matter to you.
  2. Explain a problem in your industry and offer a solution.
  3. Describe a time you were challenged and how you faced it.
  4. Write about the idea of self-care and what it means to you.
  5. Recount a tough lesson you’ve learned lately.
  6. Tell a story about one of the following words: success, fulfillment, growth, and achievement.
  7. Write about how a mentor has changed your perspective.
  8. Describe an event you remember from childhood and how it shaped your career.
  9. Share a relationship that impacted you.
  10. Write about the goals you’d like to work toward in the next five years.
  11. Reveal a superpower you’d love to have and what you’d do with it.
  12. Describe your definition of happiness.
  13. Write about your opinion of the world.
  14. Share a list of your best career tips.
  15. Discuss how flaws can be seen as strengths.
  16. Write about a time when you were incredibly happy or sad.
  17. Share the most recent thing you’ve learned about yourself.
  18. Choose three of your beliefs and why they matter to you.
  19. Dive into life lessons you believe everyone can benefit from learning.
  20. Describe your daily routines and how they impact you.
  21. Imagine your own secret lair and explain what’s inside.
  22. Tell a story about achievement.
  23. Describe the trip of a lifetime.
  24. Share your ideal way to spend a favorite holiday.
  25. Choose three photos with different scenes and create a story to tie them together.
  26. Write about the ups and downs of your first job.
  27. Select a cause you’re passionate about and explain why it matters.
  28. Pick one of your dreams, and describe how you’d bring it to life.
  29. Write about a person you admire.
  30. Explain what makes you feel fragile or strong.
  31. Write about something intangible: faith, magic, energy, power, or creativity.

Some of these prompts are deep and could potentially cause some readers to get upset, scroll away from your post, or maybe provide a witty comment – who knows, but it shouldn’t matter because as bloggers we just want to get information out whatever that may be and it might not necessarily be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t please everyone right.

Picture Image Credits: [HubSpot] [The Gingerbread Gem]

Thanks for stopping by this quick post, I will leave you with this thought, “Write from the heart, write as though you are right in front of the people you are speaking to, tell it like it is, be you.


Featured

I think I finally Know Why?

Main picture thanks to Star Wars

This is going to be a short and to-the-point post, but also enlightening. So, a lot of my posts talk about my marriage and how it’s been for the past 7-10 years, let’s just say it is not an ideal marriage, but definitely a typical type of marriage situation that a lot of couples go through.

The thing is though my writings about my marriage I have found insight, into relationships, and the whole family unit thing. Having children, raising children, the beliefs, the dreams that couples share, the whole package of a relationship, I have learned or experienced. I am pretty sure I am not the only one going through this exact situation, not the reason for me not moving on, it may not be what you would consider a reason, but it hit me the other day.

You see, I have in my writing had people reach out and told me to move on, maybe do a couples therapy, talk about it with my wife, and so on, and I do appreciate everyone’s comments and messages, but I realize what is holding me back from moving on is probably the dumbest thing you will hear or see on the internet.

I do not want to move on because I do not want to live in an apartment again – period. Not that apartment living is bad, because obviously my first several years of marriage we lived in an apartment, and of course, as a kid, I lived in an apartment, but at my age and the amount of work I have put into “Life”, I do not want to go back to an apartment.

Picture credit to 1mhowto.com.

I know it sounds dumb, but I personally, my own feelings and desires, simply do not see myself in an apartment at my age. I don’t feel like I have worked and suffered so much to end up back on square one. Now, the issue here is not so much the maintenance of owning a house, which I can, the issue is getting into that second house.

You know the market right now, home prices and high-interest rates, well they are not in my favor. So two things from this and probably dumb reasons not to move. The first reason for looking to buy another house is to have me or allow me to move on with my life as I feel I deserve and the second reason would be to leave something of value to both of my kids.

I know, that these are probably the worse reasons to stay in a marriage, and I know I would be fine living in an apartment, I know that but I think with this post and me writing it out, it makes sense to me, and for now, I will be a little bit happier knowing why I am in this relationship at this point. That sounded bad right, “a little happier” but it is not what I meant, but that now I can step forward, be more alive, and not so down or depressed because I just gave the reasons why.

I can now focus on the goal of buying a second home and not worry so much about anything else that is troubling in my relationship. I think with this I can definitely move on, exercise, and focus on my side businesses with newfound energy. I might be more successful in one or more of my side businesses – you never know. It was strange writing this piece, not sure how or why it came about, but I feel good about myself.

Picture credit to Quotesgram.com.

Hey as always I do appreciate you lending an ear, and with that, I leave you with a thought, “If you are in a bad situation, stop and think about why you are putting up with it, and then focus on the solution. I promise, that you will find a new level of energy at that moment, and eventually you will be where you are meant to be – best of luck“.


Featured

Start With $10,000 and Retire a Millionaire by Jonathan Burton

So, I had found this article and thought it was great. It is a bit old, I believe it was posted back in March of 2011, but I think it still holds value. The original article is on Market Watch. Let me know what you think.

Invest In Yourself

The 7% solution: Let money and time work for you, no matter your age.

The millionaire next door could be you.

All it takes is money and time; it always does. But what this really means is you have to save money over time, and that’s where so many of us struggle.

Reaching age 65 with $1 million saved requires strong discipline and sustained effort. You need to recognize the importance of starting early and putting money away regularly. But even if you don’t have as much time, you still have options other than a last-ditch Hail Mary pass.

It can be done — even if you start with just $10,000.

“Whether you’re 25 or 45 or even 55, you’ve got to start somewhere,” said Nathan Dungan, founder of financial education firm Share Save Spend.

Call it a 7% solution. Assume a 7% inflation-adjusted return from a portfolio of U.S. and international stocks, bonds and cash — not overly aggressive, but an expected return that requires taking some risk — and living well within your means.

“In order to save, you have to understand your spending,” said Eric Kies, a financial adviser with The Planning Center, an investment manager in Moline, Ill. “Build some awareness of where you are now, where do you want to be, and what are you willing to do to get there.”

Of course there will be bumps along the road — potholes, even, that challenge your resolve. The financial markets love to shake and stir individual investors; don’t give up, because it may be hard to get back in

“It’s less about where the money is invested and more about your ability to be disciplined,” Dungan said. “Ask yourself, What is realistic? What can I achieve? The best savers don’t have magical thinking about money. They’re honest with themselves.”


25 Years Old: Starting Out

Forty years is a long time. So long, in fact, that it’s easy to put off saving for the future. There are bills to deal with, college debt to pay, stuff to buy, vacations to take, a career to build.

Savings — sure, but who has money for that? Indeed, one of every three Americans between the ages of 18 and 33 have no personal savings, according to a recent Harris Poll survey. What’s more, 53% of this age group has zero in the way of retirement savings.

They’re missing out, big time. If a 25-year old with $10,000 invested $320 a month at a 7% annual compound rate of return until they turned 65, they would wind up with $1 million.

“There’s a reason why Albert Einstein called compounding the most powerful force in the universe,” said Jonathan Guyton, a principal at investment manager Cornerstone Wealth Advisors in Minneapolis.

Whether or not Einstein really said this, the math speaks for itself. At 7%, your money doubles every 10 years.

If saving a few hundred bucks a month seems daunting, rest assured it only gets worse. One way to make the job easier is to rely on your job — specifically investing in your company’s 401(k) plan and enjoy whatever contribution match your employer offers. Think of it as free money.

Don’t have a 401(k)? Open a Roth IRA if you qualify, and automatically deposit money into it from your bank account to get tax-free growth.

35 Years Old: Early Innings

Ten years later, the price of waiting has been high. Not as costly as it will be, but tough enough. Instead of $320 a month, you’re looking at saving $775 a month to turn that $10,000 into seven figures at a 7% annualized return.

Don’t beat yourself. Just save. Funnel money into your 401(k) so you’re not dipping into your own pocket for the full amount. Take the Roth IRA route if you can. By now you may have a young family — so do it for the kids. Show them you not only can make money, but also know how to handle it.

“Children can be extremely good motivators to good financial habits,” said Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate for the CFP Board and a wealth adviser in McLean, Va. who specializes in financial planning for women.

Teach the kids sound money habits, and teach yourself at the same time. Said Blayney: “It induces you to be financially smart.”

45 Years Old: Halfway Home

At 45, you’re likely established in your career, with a decent salary. You may own a home, and the kids are thinking about college.

It’s good you’re making money, because you’ll need to add $1,850 every month to that $10,000 base in order to reach $1 million in 20 years.

“There’s a greater sense of urgency; your window for taking advantage of time is starting to close,” Dungan said.

Yet one in four Americans between the ages of 46 and 64 have no retirement savings, the Harris Poll found. Another 22% have retirement savings mostly in bonds and savings accounts.

With so little saved at this point, you would do well to reevaluate your expectations for retirement. Are you saving and investing accordingly? You may have to weigh the purchases you make today versus a stable retirement.

“Now’s your chance,” Blayney said. “Don’t blow it.”

55 Years Old: Winding Down

At 55, the amount needed to reach $1 million with a $10,000 bankroll is both comical and sad: $5,700 a month for 10 years.

Maybe you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, and life has been good. You’ve got a nice house, a fancy car — but no savings.

In short, you have a big hat, but no cattle. The millionaire is next door, and he isn’t knocking.

This is your moment of truth. You may not become a millionaire, but you can live like someone who is on the way to being one.

Here’s how: Cut expenses, save what you can, and work longer.

“If a client is in their mid-50s and hugely behind, we start to focus on lowering expenses by paying off debt, restructuring debt, or lowering housing costs,” said Guyton, the Minneapolis financial adviser.

“If that change lowers their expenses by $1,000 a month, that’s more beneficial than helping them accumulate an extra $100,000,” Guyton said. Indeed, cutting $12,000 a year from expenses equates to what roughly $175,000 in assets would produce at a 7% yield.

And take care of your health, Guyton added. You’re going to need it in order to show up at work.

“It’s a whole different matter when you have to stay on the treadmill,” Guyton said. “We don’t mince words. We try to make it manageable and realistic, but there are some options that aren’t on the table anymore.”

Just a little will go a long way.

With that I leave you with this long thought, “It’s never too late to start something, even if you put aside a measly amount, but having something is better than nothing. If you can, you should start on your children’s retirement, give them a leg up in life.”


This is a 1# Best Seller in Wealth and Management. Every bit of information helps.

Featured

Another Side Business -Etsy

Listen to the Podcast

Ok, so I am sure you have seen it all over the internet, social media outlets, and so on about making money doing something you are passionate about. There are tons of ads on Tik Tok videos, Facebook, Instagram, and well all over the internet and apps, we use about people making an insane amount of money doing a side business – some kind of business. They normally tell you that it takes some work, you won’t be rich overnight, or you get those ads that tell you to follow my step-by-step plan and you’ll be making 100K a month. But really, really, I mean I am pretty sure it takes money to make money. Most of us don’t have the luxury to spend 1,000 to 10,000 a month doing some kind of advertising to get our business in front of the masses. Now, unless you are lucky and some video you posted goes viral, then you probably have a good chance of starting a business, or product, like most content creators do, and start making money.

Now, as you think about it and I knew this, most of those people make money, not a whole lot, selling their ideas or someone else’s idea of a business out to the masses. The few that maybe do affiliate marketing, eCommerce business, or selling on Amazon, or an affiliate program, can make money, but I am sure it will take some time to build that. But you still have to drive people to your site or sites or business or products somehow, and when you have millions of online sites, funnels, catch pages and so on, it can become difficult.

So I am a Technical Writer and I have been in the industry for over 30 years. I have done everything from private to government work in multiple industries such as aerospace, automotive, unmanned drones, destroyers, software, legal contracts, and the list goes on. Now, I consider myself an expert at what I do, and I decided to follow that path and start selling on Etsy electronic/digital forms or spreadsheets for example a monthly budget tracker, a chore list, and so on. These are all fillable electronically or they can be printed and filled out by hand.

Note: If you signup with an email address with Etsy make sure it is your business name or one that you don’t mind will be seen and used by prospective buyers.

An Example of a Digital Product – Not Mine

Anyways I created five digital templates/forms for different needs, and then create one bundle package with a discount. I signup at Etsy, which was pretty easy. Of course, once you want to sell, it requires a bit more information, which is also fairly easy. Now once you want to list something to sell there is more to just placing a listing, you need to come up with a product description, and some pictures/thumbnails to represent the product, or in this case the digital product.

That did take some thinking, but of course, I took a look at the top sellers for that niche/product and how they represented their digital products, with pictures and product descriptions. So, I just copied, well not copied, but followed their example. It was at this moment that I realized that I need to work on creating better high-resolution quality pictures.

Now the cost to sell on Etsy is 0.20 for placing the listing which is for 4-months and every four months it is another 0.20. Then there is a transaction fee of 6.5% plus the credit card transaction fee of 3% + 0.25 (example below). To me, it feels like eBay, without the auctioning part.

Example: 5.99 – 0.20 – 0.39 – 0.40 = about $4.97 give and take a few decimal places.

Just so you know there are tons and tons of sites or videos on how to register on Etsy, and even how to set up your store or a listing. You can’t go wrong, but be aware that there are millions of sellers on Etsy the competition will be tough, just like starting an online store, affiliate marketing, or anything for that matter, just be patient – I am trying.

Now, of course, you need to drive people to your listing and Etsy does offer an advertising product, but like a said not everyone has money to throw at advertising, or maybe not that much. I know, I know, if you spend 15 to 20 dollars at Starbucks then cut back on one of those coffee runs and invest in your business – right. I personally do not do Starbucks. Anyhow there are excuses, but then there are real people with not too much to spend/invest in a business and it can get tough to compete.

With that said, I went ahead and took on another side of the business, doing something I like to do and feeling that I am good at it and see where it takes me. Maybe this is the side hustle/business I need, because my Alidropship Exact copy of a successful online store with all the marketing material and user guides, has produced absolutely nothing – nada. I am up to about 5k in ads since last December or January of this year, it has been tough and I am running out of ideas or not ideas, but I am running out of hope, ok I am getting dramatic here -sorry.

Picture credit to lovethispic.com.

I will definitely keep you posted, and maybe do a quick write-up on the listing process, give you some ideas on description creation or something. With that, I do leave you with a thought, “It will seem dark some days, and some days you just want to give up, but stop, take a deep breath, count to 10, and move forward. Something will give and it shouldn’t be you.


Featured

Happy 4th of July – Be You

Main picture credit to pbgrc.com.

Listen to the Podcast

Yesterday we went to our neighbor’s house across the street. If you recall I mentioned that they built this beautiful oasis in their backyard and well we haven’t been over for at least a year or so. They are a very casual, chilled family, they have a daughter in college and a son in high school. They really do not do much, they keep to themselves and well their parties are usually only a certain time, like from 2-6. I only say that because when we do parties or events, we usually start around 4 and go late into the night. Not that it is a big deal, but this is one of the opportunities where I can chat with someone. (First and foremost, sorry for the picture editing, I was not really thinking about how to get rid of the people in the picture).

Pool and Jacuzzi at the top

Throughout the post, you’ll see pictures of their backyard. They have a pool with a volleyball net, jacuzzi, they have a place to play cornhole, and to the side, they build a putting area that transforms into a batting cage. They have a built-in grill and griddle, fridge, a place to sit, and outdoor television – it is nice.

Sitting Area with a TV and the grill, griddle in the background, with a fridge.

So, we were tasked to make potato salad, and my wife decided to take drinks for the kids, called Jaritos, which is a Mexica drink that comes in many different flavors. The host will be making chicken thighs, or burgers and brats. The neighbors to their right will be bringing their famous salad, and a big piece of meat, tri-tip I believe, to share with everyone.

Corn hole and sunbathing area

We came back from the party at 8:40PM. and well they ended up making Turkey burgers and brats. They had broccoli salad and we had our potato salad. For dessert, they had brownies and some kind of ice cream pie, which was ok. The brownies were amazing, but I think I am loyal to chocolate.

Putting area that convert to a batting cage

It was nice to get together with real live people, have adult conversations, laughed and of course, reminisce a little about how things were before the pandemic. We talked about the shootings, the gas price, the economy, and how difficult it is to find people to work. It was interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts about everything that was going on and no one got upset or offended, it was nice.

Picture credit to zazzle.com.

I know that in Chicago Illinois they had an incident and my heart goes out to the families, friends, and community. As for everyone else, I hope your fourth was full of laughter, love, and good vibes. With that, I leave you with this thought, “You didn’t come this far to only come this far. – Cynthia Chmra (Pinterest).”


Featured

Am I In Denial?

Main Picture credit to QuoteFancy.com.

Listen to the Podcast

I made a horrible decision and bought an Xbox X. I know why I did it, but I am not sure it is the right reason. As you know my marriage is a struggle, each day I am not sure in which direction it is going to go. Some days it looks promising, then some days simply start out bad from the morning coffee.

The whole thing is very simple, I want someone I can talk to about everyday life things, aspirations, goals, things that happen, etc. The thing is that all she does is play her online game, and chat all day with her sister, I mean all day. Every morning they start off with a good morning, have a great day, then throughout the day they message about stupid little things, like what she ate for breakfast, what one of the kids did, and what she did in her game. She even talks to her sister, who lives in Baja California, about US news, like what the Governor did, the price of gas, and the price of groceries. They exchange recipes.

My wife even shares with her sister the dreams she has, what she thinks they mean etc. My wife also prefers to ask her sister or brother about everyday things like what light bulb wattage should we use in the bathroom when she can simply ask me, but for whatever reason, she doesn’t. What does her sister in Mexico know, think, and feel about US news? How does she know what it feels like when gas prices are going up in the US? In Mexico gas prices are pretty dam good, the prices are so good that people in the US are crossing the border to get gas. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying she is dumb, only saying is that there is someone closer to home that my wife could talk to, but decides not to.

These are the things and so much more that I wish she would talk to me about, but like I said I am not sure at what point in our marriage this all took a turn. Take for instance right now it is 7:00 PM at night, and as  walk out into the living room I see my son on his phone, and my wife on her phone messaging her brother. You ask how I know, well because she is telling me what he thinks about what happen today during the bathroom remodeling we are doing.

There is another prime example of how I am not included or considered for anything. She decided to remodel the master bathroom, I am not sure where the money is coming from, but that is not my point here, my point here is that all the choices for the bathroom she made herself with the help of her sister. How come I cannot help in deciding, and what do you think that does to me. Am I wrong in feeling alone, left out, unwanted, or unneeded?

The everyday struggle

Wait, the funny thing is that when it comes to the money situation, everyone comes to me for money, and honestly, I feel that is the only reason they have me around. I wonder what would happen if I wasn’t around. The income I bring in to the family, would it make a difference if it was gone, would they miss it, I don’t know.

Anyhow, back to my Xbox and denial. After a few times of things happening around the house, and me feeling all alone I decided to do something besides the side things I do. Now, I know I could probably dedicate all that time to my side businesses or things, but then what am I left with, nothing but all work and no play. So, I decided to get an Xbox and started to play. The funny thing is that I have had the Xbox for about 5 days and even though I play for a few hours, I eventually get bored. I am not sure how kids can play for hours at a time, man I simply want to have a conversation with someone – live.

That is where I think my denial is at, you see, I am sure I could dedicate more time to my side business, but I feel like all my effort into these businesses will only get me nowhere. Yes, it might bring in a little extra money that is always welcomed, but I really don’t think I should have bought the Xbox. I did it because I was angry and sad about where my life is at right now. I think I need to step back and not care and focus on me and what makes me happy, but I have to say it isn’t as easy as it sounds – really. My denial is my sadness, my loneliness, my feeling of not mattering, and there are days I push through and there are days I really just want to run out and scream and keep running and never look back.

My son is old enough, my daughter is only in middle school, I think if my daughter was bigger, I might have a different idea about my marriage and where it needs to be, but to be honest a divorce is a costly thing, especially with today’s economy, inflation, rising rental costs, rising interest rates. It seems that if I tried to move on, I would be back where I was when I was 9 or 10 years old; looking for food in the back of a Safeway – square one. You think though that I would be happier, maybe, but I would certainly be struggling more than I am now or would I? The sad thing is that I have no one to call for help, and if we did get a divorce, I am sure her nine brothers and sister would be at her side immediately.

How do I feel, is buying my Xbox a sign of denial, should I do something about it, I don’t know anymore? I am enjoying the racing game I download for free. Even though I play for an hour or so, it cannot replace my need for a casual conversation with a live person.

Emmanuel Dagher.com

I appreciate you stopping by, and well I will end my post on a positive note, “Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win – Bernadette Devlin.


Featured

Daughters School Workspace – Product Review

Listen to the Podcast

During the start of the pandemic, when all the kids had to attend school online, they were all provided a laptop and their school books. Now, we realized that my daughter did not have adequate space to do her homework, and the laptop she was given blocked a lot of sites, which was ok, but it did not allow her to do certain things she needed to do her homework. So, I had to purchase a new laptop and a new desk for her.

Now this review comes about 2 years after making the purchases, but I did check and all these items are still on Amazon, but of course, a few have made some updates to their products. I just thought that this was a great time to provide a review on these things since it has been a few years and my review would provide an accurate opinion on how they are doing so far.

Let’s start with the desk. The thing is that my daughter’s room is mostly white and of course, she asked if we could get her a white desk, but also not too big. So, after going to a few places locally and then looking online, she decided on a desk from Amazon called Winsome Wood Delta Home Office White.

The desk is very sturdy, has a nice middle drawer, some drawers to the side where she could organize her school stuff, and one large cabinet (Pictured below). It was a bit hard to put together, but overall, the desk is really nice and my daughter is very happy with it, for now. Keep in mind that the desk is small, so besides her laptop, and the one she got from her school, it does not provide too much space to write, that is why I bought the desktop shelf apart. She could hide one of the laptops below the monitor, of course she did not use the shelf as it should be used, but it works. This gave her enough space to do any writing that she might need to do, and I mean any because most of her homework was done on the computer and turned into a classroom hub or dashboard of some kind. Update: Her school laptop was turned in, but she use to place it where you see the other laptop at and then place her laptop right front of the schools laptop. The school laptop would display on the screen.

The Winsome Wood Delta Home Office White Desk from Amazon
  • The cost of the desk was $168.10 and is priced as of 07/02/2022 for $232.40
  • The cost of the shelf was $19.00 and is priced as of 07/02/2022 for $17.00

As for the laptop, I did some research, because of course we all know that there is plenty of information out there on all kinds of products, plus I am pretty good when it comes to computers. So, after doing my research, looking at reviews, and thinking about what she will be using the laptop for, I decided on the Lenovo Ideapad 3 15” Laptop picture below. It came with 12GB of DDR4 Ram, 256 GB SSD (hard drive), and Windows 10. The laptop has been nothing but great, with no issues, she can log in to the school platforms, surf the net to do research, and many things without lagging too much – it is a perfect fit for her needs.

  • The cost of the laptop was $554.79 and is priced as of 07/02/2022 for $589.00 (There are 5 left as of 07/02/2022)
Lenovo Ideapad 3 15” Laptop from Amazon

To make everything work, I also purchased a 23-inch monitor, which was the Acer R240HY, and a Plugable USB 3.0 Universal laptop Docking station. Her setup has been nothing but great, and so far, no complaints. The monitor itself is crisp and clear, and the plugin dock station was perfect to connect the laptop to the monitor, keyboard, and mouse – see her workstation below.

  • The cost of the monitor was $128 and is priced as of 07/02/2022 for $139.99
  • The cost of the dock station was $94.00 and is priced as of 07/02/2022 for $139.00

I recommend any or all of these items because it has been at least 2 years since I purchased them and so far, no complaints or issues. Remember the laptop is just enough for her to do her school work, it really is not meant for gaming, even though she does play Minecraft on the laptop and she is happy, I wouldn’t recommend it for gamers. I provided links to all the items I talked about. When you click on the link it will take you to the items, but of course, you might see a new version of the item somewhere in the description.

Daughter’s Workstation

I did want to share one more thing my daughter did tell me. You see she went ahead and upgraded to windows 11, without asking me, but it is a lesson learned. The thing is that she is not happy at all with Windows 11. I know that some applications and websites might recommend it, but I am sure you can still do things with Windows 10 – just throwing that out there for those that might be considering getting the laptop with Windows 11.

Picture credit to FunLava.com.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, I try and leave you with a thought, “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open – James Dewar.”


Desk

Winsome Wood Delta Home Office White.

20″D x 47.25″W x 30.75″H


Shelf

Mind Reader RECMON-WHT Wooden Monitor Stand Riser for Computer, Pc, iMac, Printer, Speakers, Screens, TV, and More, White

9. 5 (L) x 21 (W) x 3. 25 (H)


Monitor

Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-Inch IPS HDMI DVI VGA (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Monitor, Black


Laptop

Lenovo Ideapad 3 15.6″ Touchscreen Laptop Computer, Intel Core i3 10110U up to 4.1GHz, 12GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, 802.11AC WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, Abyss Blue, Windows 10 S, BROAGE 64GB Flash Stylus


Docking Station

Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station Dual Monitor for Windows and Mac, USB 3.0 or USB-C, (Dual Video: HDMI and HDMI/DVI/VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 6 USB Ports)

Featured

Habitat for Humanity – Playhouse Build

Main picture thanks to Habitat For Humanity – They Rock!

Listen to the Podcast

Yesterday the company I work for had a Habitat for Humanity event. We had the opportunity to build playhouses, which was a lot of fun to do. The thing is that even though we built the playhouses under a canopy, it was very hot and humid, but it was well worth it. It was pretty well organized because the location had all the pieces already made, pre-built, and all we had to do, like a puzzle, is put it together.

We put up the walls, then started to paint.

Now, this was the first time since 2019 that we were able to participate in an event for Habitat for Humanity, the last time we did was a building or help build a house. I worked on the window frames of the house and help dig a large trench along with the president of the division, it was a pretty cool experience.

We also had the opportunity to meet the family who was getting the house, and I have to say it was a very emotional moment. They expressed their sincere gratitude to us for taking the time to help build their home. It was a family with three kids and you could just see in their eyes how grateful they were.

The playhouse build had 22 volunteers from our company, and we built 2 playhouses. It was nice to see everyone, you beside just on Zoom. I did hear a lot of catching up among everyone, about kids, family, co-workers and of course the many changes the company was or is going through. The company provided Panera sandwiches, chips, a cookie and of course some cold water. Overall, the event was a success and everyone left the event feeling good. I do have to say though after the event my plan was to work out, but I think 4 hours in the sun, drilling, painting was equivalent to my T-25 workout for yesterday.

Moving right along.

These are moments in my life that certainly help, especially with the things I am going through. Anyhow, so back to the playhouse we built. The foreman told us that we needed to come up with a theme for our playhouse, and after some conversation, I told one of the managers that we should do a Minions theme since the new movie was coming out. Well, she loved the idea and decided on the colors.

Now, unfortunately, as things always go, she took the credit for the idea, and I was a bit upset about it, but then I realized that I allowed it to happen. Next time, I will definitely speak up and make myself heard when a good idea, like mine, is given.

The finished playhouse – not bad huh?

Just wanted to share this experience and mention that giving back to the community brings a good feeling all over, and I recommend you take a moment out of your busy day and volunteer in your community. I bet once you are done, you’ll feel really good about yourself or just in general.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and story, and with that, I leave you with this thought, “To find something you can enjoy is far better than finding something you can possess – Glen Holm.


Featured

Can You Believe This!

Listen to the Podcast

So, my wife has family in Ensenada, Baja California, and she usually goes once a month. I haven’t gone in at least 4 years, up until this weekend. I am not going to get into a pity party here, but this weekend I had an “Aha moment”, and hopefully it will not be one of those aha moments that I start and later somehow just don’t do anymore. Let me get into what happened and what aha moment got out of this trip.

Every time my wife and kids go, they always talk about where they went to eat, where they visited, and things like that, it always sounds like a busy and fun weekend. There are times that she only goes to get her hair done or the hair of our dog, pepper, and she hangs out at her house. You see her sister and she inherited their mother’s house, and well that is another story, but that is where she stays when she goes to Ensenada.

The house is not fancy at all, it is pretty outdated and well, it needs a whole lot of work, but at least the roof doesn’t leak, mostly, there is running hot water, mostly, and it is clean, mostly. It is a mess because her sister runs a restaurant on the bottom floor, and the top floor is a bedroom, bathroom, and small kitchen, but my wife’s niece lives there, mostly. There is a bedroom and bathroom built in the back of the house where my wife’s niece used to live. That bedroom is nice because my niece’s stepdad paid to build her that room and bathroom (See the picture below).

So, what happens is that my wife now stays in that bedroom when she visits Ensenada. You see my wife and daughter stay in the nice bedroom and when my son goes with them, he gets to stay upstairs, because my niece gives up her tiny apartment for him, and she simply goes to her boyfriend’s house, that’s is another story. On the bottom floor where my sister-in-law runs her restaurant, there is an ugly, as heck, bathroom used by her employees and it is disgusting, plus a bedroom slash storage room where guess what – I get to stay (See the picture below). Now I did not take a picture of the stored stuff, it is to the right of the first picture.

My thing is I totally understand my daughter should not be sleeping in a storage room slash bedroom, but the tiny apartment upstairs is good enough for me and my wife to sleep in the room and my son or daughter can sleep on the couch, then someone can take the nice bedroom downstairs – don’t you think?

Like I said I am not trying to start a pity party, but how am I not supposed to feel like I do when crap like this happens to me. Wait-wait, so when we first arrived in Ensenada, we did go out and get tacos, they were amazing, but that was it. As soon as we got back from the tacos, which was about 1, they all jumped on their cell phones, and then they all fell asleep. Around 5 pm, they all finally got up because guess what they were hungry.

We went to get dinner at a restaurant located on “La Primera”, which is the tourist area of Ensenada. We had a delicious dinner, see picture below, and then we headed home. Now, we got home and started a movie, but everyone was just on their phone for about an hour, not paying attention to the movie, then my son left to go to bed and my wife and daughter fell asleep during the movie, I don’t know when. All I did was, snuck out of the bedroom and went to my bedroom slash storage.

Fresh Catch of the day, and a cold Michelada.

What I am trying to say here is that they always talk about the great things they do when they all go to Ensenada, but as soon as I tag alone, nothing, nada, just sitting in the room and everyone on their phones. If I wanted to do that, I could have just stayed in the comfort of my own home. I mean my wife chats with her sister every single day, and she chatted a lot with her while we were there; I could barely get two words out of my wife, and we haven’t slept in the same room for at least 10 years – sorry another story.

I mean why would I want to drive hours to go to Ensenada only to be treated the same way I am at home, I might as well stay home and get ignored. In my mind, all I could say is “Can You Believe This!” Hold on so while I was in the bedroom slash storage I heard rats in the wall, man I was blown away, and of course, I could not sleep at all – go figure.

My Aha moment; it was then that I decided to stop worrying about what everyone did or thought they did to me, and start worrying about myself, my thoughts, my everything. So this past Monday I started to work out again, I am doing the T-25 workout program, and then I follow up with some weight lifting, and end it with a 10 minute meditation session. I am going to tell you, it has been two of the best days I have felt in a long time, now let’s hope I can stick to it.

Picture credit to Pinterest.

Anyhow, enough of my story, I hope you had a great weekend and I try to leave you with a thought, “I believe that all relationships are tough, whether it is friendship, co-workers, couples, business, etc. they are all tough. The thing is that I truly believe that communication plays a vital role in any relationship. So, whatever you do, keep talking.”


I think you’d enjoy this book.
Featured

My Mother

Listen to the Podcast

I think this is going to be one of the most difficult posts I will write, and not to keep it short is going to be even more difficult, because there is so much to say, but I will do my best not to make this post too long – here it goes. You know what, what a better day than today “Father’s Day” to post this.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my “About Me” page, it says a little bit about my mom and our experiences in the US. You see my mother came from a wealthy family, and I believe my great grandfather was in politics and was actually a good Politian. We lived in Acapulco for my first 5 years, and we had a beautiful house, a cook, and a servant, but they were more like family. I was in a private school and on my time off we would go water skiing, and boating, and just was a time I remember full of happiness. My mom did not work and spent her time either helping others, volunteering, or of course having lots of fun. Her family owns or owned a hotel in Acapulco, and my mom, of course, would be in the club, or restaurant having a blast. I would sometimes go there and visit her while she was partying, it was beautiful, just good happy memories.

Let me go back to before I was born. My mother traveled a lot, and I believe in one of those vacations, she met my father. They had a hot and steamy relationship and if I am correct, she got pregnant with me. The sad thing is that my father did not want to deal with his new family and found it easier to return to the United States. My mom had me and we lived in Acapulco. Her family supported her through everything and they told my mother that my father was not a good man and she should forget him. Well, unfortunately, my mother could not forget my dad and it seems that she kept in touch with him throughout the years. I remember one day, out of the blues, my mother told me and my brothers that we were moving to the states.

Picture credit to wallup.net.

The sad part here is that her family told her if she moved to the States with my father, she was going to get cut off financially and un-inherited from the family fortune. Guess what, my mother did not care, packed us up, and moved us to the US. The trip was long and treacherous since my mother had very little money, but I will have to write a separate post about that.

Once we arrived in the US and found our way to where my father lived, the horror began, and no I am not making this stuff up, it was a childhood that I cannot get out of my mind, and possibly sometimes it comes back and haunts me.

My father told my mother that he owned a few houses, but when we arrived it was actually a few trailers that he owned, and they were ugly, dirty, and disgusting – my father lived like a slob. From the first day, we arrived my father was cold and mean. He immediately told my mother she had to start cleaning, he began to throw out some of her own stuff she had brought with her and told me and my brothers that he did not want to hear one sound from either of us. After maybe a month the abuse began, both mentally and physically.

We were there for just over a year when my oldest brother got sick, and they had to remove his tonsils. Unfortunately for whatever reason, he died on the operating table that day, and that is where my mother’s life changed for the worst – she was never the same and started to drink heavily. Sometime just a bit after my brother’s death, my father kicked us out onto the street; we had nothing, no car, only the clothing on our backs, and of course no money.

I am not sure how, but I think that my mother contacted her family in Mexico pleading, telling them what had happened; the loss of her son, my father kicking us out and they sent her some money. Later I found out that they asked her to come back and they would take care of me and my brother, but my mother was not all mentally there and she told them no. I think to myself what would have happened if she had said yes, what kind of life would I have had – of course, I will never know.

Now, my mother even though she never worked a day in her life, adapted quickly, found a job, and an apartment, and we moved on. Over the years my father appeared ever so often, sometimes he was nice, and other times he was abusive. He was physically abusive towards my mother and not us, but there were times he would certainly put a whooping on me or my brother, as for the mental abuse he inflicted on us – there are no words.

My mother held all kinds of jobs, she was a car salesman, she ran a doughnut shop, she was a hostess at a restaurant, and so many other things, but she had a drinking problem which later led to a gambling problem, and then a smoking problem which always ended in her losing her job. Through all this, I never understood why my mom did the things she did, was it the pain from the loss of her child, was it because of the abusiveness of my father, was it being an outcast by her family, I don’t know, but now that I am older with a family, and what I have been through as an adult, I totally get her.

I was 15 when my mother was diagnosed with cancer in the bones. She lived out her last, almost three years, with me, you see my brother dropped out of school and disappeared for months at a time. As for my father I hadn’t heard from him in years, not one word, one happy birthday, nothing. I watched my mom go from a beautiful woman to a 90-pound skeleton. Just one month before my 19th birthday, one month after graduating high school, my mother passed away – I was left, literally, all alone in this world.

Today, I think back on all that my mother had been through, and I know for a fact that she was one of the bravest, toughest, kindest, most loving woman and mother that walked this earth. I lived a very hard life as a kid, but you know what (Crying), I would do it all over again with her at my side. I love you, mom. Mom, I think I turned out ok, I do have my corks, but I know you did your best, and you raised me to be the man I am today.

Picture credit to quotesgram.com.

I am all choked up, but I hope this post was too long, but I definitely want to leave you with a thought, “Life is not always kind to us, and we will experience happiness, sadness, fear, depression, anger and so much more, but if you step back a moment, take a deep breath, and look at yourself, you made it this far, you are an amazing person and never forget that.

Father’s Gift Idea, Arrives Today.
Happy Father’s Day To All The Dads

Featured

An Hour that Changed My Life

Listen to the Podcast

In one of my last posts called Business Ideas – What I’ve Done the Past 30 Years. I talked about the many types of businesses that I ran or still running. In that story, I mention the fact that I started flipping notes and I have to say that seminar that I went to was an hour that changed my life. I still cannot remember the name of the seminar but I can remember the energy I felt when I first walked in. There had to have been at least 600 plus people. The room was monstrous, and they had three humongous TV screens where you could see the speaker. Now before all that, I had to sign in at the registration table and to be honest I was extremely nervous. You may be asking why, well because the cars that showed up to that seminar were Rolls Royce, high-end Mercedes, some high-end sports cars, like Ferrari, and well I was driving around in a 1977 Datsun B210. Plus, you know the clothing, yes you could tell these folks were of money. Now, some didn’t dress up, but just by looking at their sneakers or watches, you could tell. Now, as for me, I think I went dressed inappropriately for the event, I was overly excited. You see I wore a three-piece suit, and nope it wasn’t that same suit I talked about in my post An Outfit that I Associate with an Important Memory, but all these things, the car, the clothing, really made me nervous and I felt as though I did not fit in, but that all changed as soon as I sat down.

At the registration table, they provided the participants a nice portfolio notebook with a few pens, and a bottle of water. As I headed towards a seat, I wasn’t sure where to go, should I sit at the front or the back or somewhere in between. I mean I think I looked like a lost puppy, and by looking at the attendees, I could tell you that I was probably the youngest person there. Anyhow, after what felt like an eternity, I finally decided to sit in the front row, why, well I thought what a better place for me to be to absorb all the information that one hour was going to bring, and well to be honest if people stared at me, I would not be able to tell because everyone was behind.

I was pretty much the first person to sit in that front row, but as they were testing the microphone, one of the staff spoke into the microphone and said, “Oh come on folks, come closer we don’t bite, and look there this young man sitting all alone up here, come join him.” I had this sensation of extreme embarrassment come over me, it was so much that I was about to get up and leave but at the moment my legs were pushing me up, and older gentlemen came up and sat right next to me and introduced himself. He wore this huge cowboy hat, had a pair of dirty jeans, and a crumpled up paper and maybe a half of a pencil, with no eraser. I introduced myself, but I think my voice squeaked, and hardly could say my name, but he smiled and asked my age. I looked at him, with embarrassment and said, “I am 21”. He gasped and told me, “Son that is amazing; I wish I could get my kids to join me in these events. Let me tell, you are in the right place.” I did not know what to do or say and just had this silly smile on my face.

The event started and they introduced this guru of flipping notes, he came out blazing guns, making jokes, and telling everyone that this was the place for you to be if you are serious about making money. As the event continued, I was like a high school nerd taking notes, I think I took like 10 pages of notes in the first 15 minutes. It was then the man next to me, told me, “I remember my first event, I was just like you taking notes on everything the speaker was saying.” He had this smirk on his face, that felt more like admiration and not making fun of me kind of sense. I continued taking notes and was immersed in what the speaker was saying. He was throwing around numbers like 50 thousand, 100 thousand, and that just took over my mind, my body, my soul. Now what came next I think really pushed me over the edge and changed my life. During the brief break, the gentlemen next to me told me that I should definitely read about flipping notes and create a plan. He told me that in his previous business endeavor he had lost 150 thousand dollars, but he said it like it was no big deal, but that he has been flipping notes for some time and it is great money. He was at this even to see what was new in the industry.

After the speaker finished his amazing presentation, they directed the people to the back of the room where they had tables set up. There you could pick up your free gift, which was a sample of the course and a book that contained sheets of paper with a preformatted layout that you filled out as you progressed in flipping notes. Now, at these tables, they also offered three courses, which were three different levels at three different prices. They had 200 dollars, a 500 dollars, and the most expensive was 2000 dollars, but if you purchased it then and there, it was half off, and only 1000 dollars. Me being a first-timer, I was not sure what to do. I noticed that the majority of the people were going for the 1000 dollar package, so as not to feel like I drove a 1977 Datsun B210, I purchased the 1000 dollar course. As I walked out of the event I felt like I was on top of the world, and whatever was in these pages was going to change my life, that my friends, was one hour that I believe changed my life.

Picture Credit to QuoteFancy.com.

You know my story, something always gets in the way, and I am left on the sidelines once again – go figure. Hey, as always I appreciate you hanging out this long, with that, I leave you with this thought, “We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm – Winston Churchill”.


Book You Might Enjoy
Featured

What “Reincarnation” Means to Me

Main picture credit to UFO Insight.

Listen to the Podcast

Reincarnation. Noun: the rebirth of a soul in a new body. Synonyms: rebirth, transmigration of the soul, metempsychosis, samsara, transanimation.

What does reincarnation mean to you? Besides the definition and what most people know about reincarnation or believe what reincarnation is; people have different details about how it all comes about. Some cultures believe that we reincarnate into animals or that reincarnation depends on how we behaved in our previous life, if you are bad, you might come back as a rat or snake, and if you are good, you might come back as a lion, eagle, etc. I guess it all depends on what people believe is bad or good. Some people believe that we are simply reborn and our new life depends on how we behaved in our previous life if we are bad maybe we come back to deal with many struggles, but if we are good, we may come back with no or fewer struggles this time around.

Picture credit to Live Tray.

When my kids were young, we had dinner together all the time and made sure everyone put their phones down and just talked. Sometimes our conversations would get a little out of hand, but they were always fun. I remember a time when we talked about reincarnation and what each of us thought it meant; so, we went around the room and everyone gave their opinion on what they thought reincarnation meant to them. Now, not to make this a long post I am going to give you the basic idea of what we all thought. We all believe that we do come back, but not as an animal, instead we would come back as different people with different life.

My children both agreed that when a person died and saw that light at the end of the tunnel, it was the birth of a child. You see they believed, and so do I, that the light that people supposedly saw when they were dying was the light in the hospital, right about the mother when they were being reborn. We believe that we will leave our body to go into another body.

Now, my daughter took it further and said that when a baby is crying in the hospital, they are crying because they were remembering what just happen to them in their previous life; the faces of those they last saw and the memories they had was all crashing down on the baby, which made them cry. To take it even further, we all believe that our new life will depend on how we acted in our previous life, so it is important to be good, so as not to have a new and burdensome life.

Picture credit to Quora.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I leave you with a thought about reincarnation, “I am a firm believer in reincarnation for people who either have more work to do or have so much debt to pay back that they have to be there – Prince”.

A Book You Might Enjoy
Featured

A Style I Would Like to Steal for a Day? Why? What I Would Wear

Listen to the Podcast

I don’t know if any of you ever thought to yourself that maybe you were born in the wrong era. I think I should have been born either during the Western or the 1950s. I have always loved the history behind those eras. I mean I know that there was a lot of racism during those times and it was tough, I know that. The thing is that even today we still experience racism, so much violence, and uncertainty, but apart from that, the thing I like from those eras is the fashion.

The 1950s is really the era I will base my post on, and I won’t get into any historical details about fashion. I am going to simply talk about one style I would definitely steal for a Day? Why? What I would wear. Let me start out easy, do you recall the movie Rebel without a Cause? The actor was James Dean who shocked the United States with a performance that still electrifies the screen twenty-five years after his sudden death before the film’s release. The fashion or costumes presented in the movie was something I find simply amazing. You can see where I am going with this right, well the style I would most definitely steal for a day would be that of James Dean’s.

1950s Fashion

Why do you ask, I think the simplicity of the clothing says it all? A simple pair of jeans, a white shirt, a leather jacket, and a pair of black boots – you can’t go wrong. I heard that the sales of white T-shirts shot through the roof when the movie was released. The thing is that since I was a kid, I have always liked simplicity when it came to buying my clothes. I wasn’t into loud or expensive clothes and I usually could match a shirt with several pants, or a pair of pants with several shirts. I always keep a pair of black shoes. I felt and still do that black shoes go well with just about anything. Even to this day, I find my wardrobe to be made up of jeans in dark blue and light blue colors, with one pair of black jeans. I do have a black jacket but also have a flannel jacket as well, which happens to be red and black. I do have a pair of brown boots, which I wear occasionally. The reason behind my fashion steal would be because of its simplicity. I really don’ like to struggle to try to figure out what I am going to wear each day. I mean we have enough troubles in our life without having to figure out what goes with what, and then worrying about if it matches or if anyone will notice. I like it simple, and straight to the point. I mean come on, when you go out to a fancy dinner, or a function, what is normally worn, black attire – right. It’s a fashion that just won’t go out of style and has been around for a long time.

So set me up with a comfortable pair of jeans, a white shirt, black boots, and of course a black jacket – preferably leather, and I can’t go wrong. So, whether I go out on a date, go shopping, go out to dinner, or hang out with some friends, I like to keep it simple like James Dean, and “A Rebel Without A Cause” and that is the way I would go.

Picture Credit to Pinterest.

Hey, thanks for stopping by and I would like to leave you with a fashion quote, “A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.” – Hardy Amies

Another article I think you’ll enjoy is An Outfit that I Associate with an Important Memory.

Featured

What Is Our New Generation Thinking?

Listen to the Podcast

My son came down this weekend to visit from college, actually, he’s out of his dorm this coming Saturday. Anyhow, so like most parents, I think, we have a budget for him while away in college. Since he doesn’t work, a least this year he didn’t, we try and budget the money as best as we could. He gets a certain amount of money each week for groceries and personal things, like toothpaste deodorant, etc. My son has his own debit card right, which is tied to his mom’s account somehow, which means that mom could see pretty much where he spends his money. So about two weeks ago, he spent $58.67 in Ulta, and mom freaked out because she wasn’t sure what he bought for nearly sixty dollars. She gets a hold of him and finds out that he had run out of shampoo and bought shampoo at Ulta. Mom was like why would you buy a shampoo worth nearly sixty dollars, well he explained to her that the shampoo he bought, according to an App, he downloaded, was the best shampoo that did not contain anything that is harmful to the body. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t want our kids to be exposed to anything harmful, but a 60-dollar shampoo was a bit much for us and definitely not in the budget.

Now, let me get back to the present day, while he was visiting us and what happened. It seems that he downloaded the App Yuka, and when you scan the barcode of a product it breaks down the ingredients and explains each one, then it provides a review of the product and I believe a rating letting the user know if the product is good or bad for you. I believe it even tells you about the ingredients and how they can affect your body directly, like your pituitary gland, a woman’s reproductive system, possible hair loss, cancer, and so on. Now don’t get me wrong, I am glad he is looking out for himself, but where does this stop?

Social Media Platforms

I mean when I was growing up, I would drink from a hose, fall off my bike, scrap myself, and ride 2 miles back home to get either rubbing alcohol or something else splashed on my scrape. Guess what I survived, and I have two kids and a full set of teeth, and as far as I can see I do not have an extra limb. I got a bit sarcastic with him about it and said maybe we should wipe our butts with a leaf, and an organic leaf at that; well, he didn’t like my sarcasm, but I was taken back by what he was saying. We told him that he could not be purchasing 60-dollar shampoos and that he needs to step back a bit and take life a bit less seriously. I told him he can’t go through life worrying about every little thing. I mean, I told him, look just read the reviews of a product like on Amazon and see if anyone has had a side effect using that product, but other than that, come on really you can’t be taking this too far – and we definitely cannot afford it. We told him, that when you graduate, find a job and pay for your own stuff with your earned money, heck you can buy whatever you like. Look we told him, to use the App, maybe initially, but then read the reviews on the product and see if anyone has experienced any side effects, if nothing is out of the ordinary, then you can decide to buy it or not, but solely counting on an App to make your decision, is going to leave you either poor or with a lack of options.

My beef here is that, with all these Apps and social media platforms, it seems that social media has a grip on our younger generations, it almost seems as though they cannot decide without confirming on an App, Instagram, or some media influencer. My thing is when and where does this stop? The worse thing is that he sort-of blew me off, and kept on talking to his mom, man, he even downloaded it on her phone. Hold on, wait, and to get the app working you must create an account, so there you go, another place on the worldwide web where he put in his information. Ok-Ok, you are thinking that I am one of those conspiracy theorists that doesn’t like using social media, apps, and so on, but that’s not the case. I just feel like we need to be a little cautious about whom we give our personal information– that’s all. I mean come on, I use social media, I am on Tik Tok, I have Instagram, and so on. I do use a few apps here and there, but I don’t allow social media or any apps to run my life. I do read and look for information that may stand out, and go from there, but to solely rely on an App for my important decisions, I will simply not do it. What is that saying nowadays, “Ther is an App for that”, I get it, but why not trust our fathers and mothers and grandparents when it comes to certain things, like shampoo. I mean he has lived in our house for 20+ years and used the shampoos we have bought him, and look at him now, and he is just over 6 feet, smart as heck, has a good head on his shoulders, can hold a conversation with any adult, and has come this far without generating a third limb. So, what is the deal, when did Apps take over his life?

I think the younger generation is slowly moving to rely more on electronics, social media, and the internet for life decisions and it has me worried, well at least for my kids, because in 15 or 20 years where will they be, will our society be so different that communities will live on Apps? I am not trying to push my ideas onto him or my daughter, and I totally understand that times are changing, and certain things are becoming easier to access over the internet. Heck, I know there are great videos out there or information on many things. I even refer to a video on how to change a radiator and followed the video with my son, and it was great. I totally appreciated it, but I won’t stop using a product because some app tells me to. I might investigate a little further, but if up until this day I have been using a product and nothing has happened to me, why would I stop now, and why wouldn’t my kids believe the product is good if I have been using it for decades and I am ok. That’s my point, if someone you know uses something and has been for a long time, why not believe them instead of an App. Relying on an App, which I am sure is great and provides great information on the ingredient, can lead to worrisome and a lack of options. Imagine being afraid of everything, where will we be. I can’t even phantom this notion; I have enough trouble with regular stuff in my life and now worrying about the shampoo I have been using for 20 years, will take me beyond that darkness I have been fighting to get out of – wow that is mind-blowing, saying this out loud.

All I am trying to say is that we need to be careful not to rely so much on Apps or social media for our decisions, instead use the information along with input from family, friends, and product reviews to help you make a good decision, one that you will be happy with, not anyone else or anything else.

Picture three Credit to Pinterest.

Well, I come to the end of my post, and as always, I appreciate you stopping by and taking a few minutes out of your day to read my post. As always, I try and leave you with a relevant thought for the day, so here it goes, “Do not rely on social media to dictate your happiness or you will not be able to fully enjoy life”. (Watts, 2017)

Citation: Jaime Watts (October 2017) Don’t Depend on Social Media for Happiness. From The Daily Illini. Article linked here.

“Do not rely on social media to dictate your happiness or you will not be able to fully enjoy life” Jaime Watts (October 2017) Don’t Depend on Social Media for Happiness. From The Daily Illini. Article linked here.

Featured

Book Review – Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Strom

Listen to the Podcast.

I am not sure where to start; I did a search on the internet to see what is the best way to do a book review and well, I hope that I can do the book justice. So, here goes my first book review and hopefully, I can give you enough information that will help you decide if maybe you would like to read the book. I mean simply me saying that, “you should” is not enough, right? So, I will try and keep it short and not reveal too much about the book.

As I mentioned before, I found myself in a dark place, and I wasn’t sure how to get out of it. I struggled for nearly a month and half until I was finally able to write a post, but even now as I write this post, I feel the lingering of the darkness around me. I picked up the book Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through The Strom by Thich Nhat Hanh. Now, I am not familiar with this author at all, and I did not realize that he is a practitioner of “Mindfulness”. I wasn’t sure what this really meant, I mean I did have an idea, but not a true definition of mindfulness, so I decided to look up the definition of Mindfulness.

Mindfulness:

“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique” (Powered by Oxford Languages)

Thich Nhat Hanh shortens the meaning, with, “The Practice of living fully in the present moment” (Hanh, 2012). He starts out by talking about how we can be surrounded by all the conditions of happiness, but still not be completely happy. It made me think that maybe I must step back and look at what I have now at the moment, and maybe I have been missing out on everything that happens each day. He talks about the fears we carry with us every day, like, will I have enough to pay the rent or mortgage, will I lose what I love, am I safe, my children, friends, family, and pets safe, what will I do tomorrow, and why did I do that yesterday – we have a tendency of not living in the moment and worrying about the past, and the future while ignoring the present. He also talks about fears and that they don’t necessarily come from outside forces but can come from inside. He tells of a story while he was in Vietnam, and how he ran into an American officer and compassionately asked if he was afraid of the Viet Cong, which were Vietnamese communist guerrillas. The young officer immediately touched his gun and ask him if he was Viet Cong. You see every American soldier coming to Vietnam had learned that everyone in Vietnam could be a Viet Cong. They were conditioned by outside forces that everyone could be Viet Cong which created fear in every American soldier.

The first part of his book talks about fear, and how we can handle it if we just invite it and be aware of it. He further says that if you can deeply understand your fear, then you can really live. He provides several great meditation practices you can do, which consist of breathing and saying some phrases. Goes into explaining the “Original Fear”, which he refers to as the day we were born. From that birth, the original fear is instilled within us, but then the “Original Desire” is also born, which is the desire to survive. He believes that a lot of what we fear in our daily lives stems from the Original Fear and Desire. Fear of loneliness, being abandoned, growing old, being sick, and so on. Our desire is to have a partner and never be alone, someone to take care of us like our mother or father.

I found that this was one of the pieces that were dragging me into that dark place, the fear of being alone, the fear of not having enough when I get older, the actual fear of getting old was trench deep within me and slowly coming up and taking over my life. I did not realize that the things I said and worried about were the same things that were putting me in that dark place, I was mindless about it. He continues about practicing mindfulness every day, even in the smallest things. Like being mindful of each meal, each step, each breath. He talks about how the fear and desires are tied to our birth, that inner child that feels helpless and is always looking for that reassurance from our mother. He tells us about how we need to talk to that inner child and let him or her know that everything is ok. He continues to talk about the original fear and how fearing the past can be like watching a movie, I think you will like the analogy he used, it really puts things into perspective, and he does it with something as simple as going to the movies.

He talks about reconciling with our past, our ancestry, and how we are all one and the same. He talks about no birth, no death. I think we all go through this daily, we have some small and some very big fears we deal with each day, and we let them consume us and forget to live in the present. I know by reading this book that I have quite a few of these fears and I was not aware of them until I read this book. It’s funny how we can just go about our days, with all these fears within us, without really taking the time to deal with them, before they take over our lives. I think I have been doing this for many years and during the covid lockdown, I think these fears manifested into something bigger and put me in this dark place I am now in.

I could write a book here about what I read, and how I think I can apply it to my daily life, to hopefully get me out of this dark place. Now, I know I am sounding doubtful but I think it really comes down to me making the effort, the push to get out, it is all on me to apply these practices of mindfulness. You will say to yourself when you read this book that you have read about these concepts, or ideas, from other authors, and you and I know these exist, but why do we need another book to tell us what we already know. The author is great don’t get me wrong, and I am not saying he copied something or someone, I am just saying that the teaching of his writings we have all, if not all, at least I have read or seen somewhere, in some format. Maybe not explained as he did, but I have an idea that I fear getting old, I fear not having enough money for retirement, I fear sending my daughter to school, these are the things we all live with and are aware of, yet we need another book to tell us. Now, wait, I am not saying that this book is just like all the others, and that is not my intention. The book has some wonderful meditation practices, which I have already implemented in my life. I take 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening to practice his meditations, and maybe nothing has really happened yet, since it has only been a few days, but I am here in front of my computer again, typing away.

It’s tougher than it looks to write a book review. I want to talk about everything, and I think too much summarizing won’t give you the information you need to decide if you want to read the book. Now, I highlighted a lot of paragraphs, sentences, whatever you want to call them, in the book, things that caught my eye and made me think, dang that-that is me, this is what I am going through, this is what I need to do. I am going to write down a few of the things I highlighted that made me think about what I am going through.

“In addition to getting caught in dwelling on events that happened in the past, we often walk around in fear of what will happen to us in the future.” (Hanh, 2012)

“When we suppress our fearful thoughts, they continue to fester there in the dark. We are driven to continue (food, alcohol, movies, etc.) in an attempt to forget and keep those thoughts from surfacing in our conscious mind.” (Hanh, 2012).

“We cannot enjoy life if we spend our time and energy worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow.” (Hanh, 2012).

“But destroying someone doesn’t reduce that person to nothing. They killed Mahatma Gandhi. They shot Martin Luther King Jr. But these people are still among us today. They continue to exist in many forms. Their spirit goes on.” (Hanh, 2012)

The book talks about society, building communities, connecting with yourself, body and mind, nature, the past, the future, but most importantly the present. There is a reference to Christianity and Buddhism, which I thought was cool because you got to see two points of view or ideas.

I believe that along with reading the book, following the meditations in the book, and understanding the deeper level of mindfulness, this book is a great read. It opens your eyes to something you probably already knew, but couldn’t get to come out from wherever it has been hiding. I can go on talking about the many thoughts, and ideas in the book, but overall, I recommend the book. It took me about 7 days to read sporadically – so if I hunkered down, I could have probably finish the book in a couple of hours, depending.

With that said, I know I got a little carried away with this post, so if you made it this far, I appreciate your hanging out. I wanted to leave you with one last reading from the book, “I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough to be happy.” (Hanh, 2012)

Last Picture credit to Etsy.

Click below to purchase the book, I believe you will enjoy it.

Here are a few similar books, and I was thinking for my next book it will be number 3.

  1. The Meaning of Happiness by Alan W. Watts
  2. 37 Motivational and Life-changing Lessons from Thich Nhat Hanh by Christine Jay
  3. When Things Fall Apart; Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön

Citation: Thich, Hanh. (2012) Fear Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm. HarperOne, an Imprint of HaarperCollinsPublishers

Featured

An Outfit that I Associate with an Important Memory

Enjoy the Podcast

Not sure if you have had the chance to read some of my earlier posts, where I talk about my early life and when I lived happily with my mother in a nice house, a nice life, just so very happy. That all changed when my mom decided to follow my father to the United States, and my life went from a beautiful happy home to the depths of the city sewer.

I really struggled when I arrived in the States. I mean I was just a child and did not know what was going on, but each day brought a new and terrible experience, but of course, there were happy times and good experiences as well. That’s where the title of my post comes in. I remember one day in my life when something I wore created an important memory, which I believe was an event that also placed me on the path I am now on.

Picture credit to Jason Pugh.

As I mentioned before we were very poor and nice or new clothes were not an option. I mean we struggled to get new clothes for the new school year. Most of my clothes came from a thrift store, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but kids can be cruel; some of the clothes came about from donations. Now, I remember my 8th grade graduation, it happened to be the first time we were able to get something new, and in this case, it was a nice three-piece suit for my graduation. It consisted of slacks, a shirt, a vest, a jacket, and of course a tie. I also had the opportunity to get a new pair of shiny shoes. I remember showing up at school that day and remember that even my friends could not recognize me. I even got a few looks from the ladies, which of course never hurts a young man’s ego. I remember how I felt, as though I was walking on air, like one of the cool kids. I got compliments from friends, fellow students, and even teachers – it really felt good. I never wanted that feeling to go away. It was the first time in a very long time that I felt as though I belonged, I was accepted, as though I was part of everything around me. That was the second time in my life that I knew what I wanted, and where I wanted to be. The last time I had this feeling was in a very different situation if you recall I was in the back of a Safeway with my mom searching for food and I had an “aha moment”. That night behind Safeway and my graduation day were the same feelings that I wanted to have for the rest of my life.

For some reason that suit made everyone treat me different, even though I was the same poor kid underneath it. People acknowledge my presence and it felt good. Does that make me a bad person, wanting to belong, and be recognized? It is sad, but even today, I noticed that if you go anywhere looking like you just got up or hadn’t showered in a long time, people look at you differently than when you get dressed up. If you think about it, you are that same person underneath both types of clothing. We hear and see a lot about not judging a book by its cover, but many still judge, even the ones that say they don’t, still secretly do it under our breath.

That three-piece suit was a powerful memory, one that I believe had something to do with where I am now and maybe where I wanted to be when I was younger. That three-piece suit was my first set of new clothes, it was the first time I felt important, that I belonged; it made me feel really good – my three-piece suit.

Picture credit to QuoteMaster.org.

For all the memories we all have, good or bad, I leave you with this thought, “Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action – Helen Gahagan Douglas”.

Featured

My First Haiku – What Do You Think?

Main picture credit to Thinlink.com.

Enjoy the Podcast

I was thinking about different possible post ideas and I came across the idea of writing a Haiku. I knew it was some type of a short poem, but I did not know exactly what a Haiku was. During my search for Haiku, I came across this website, Haiku Poetry, and was really intrigued by what a Haiku is I wanted to give it a shot and see how I do it for my very first Haiku. By the way, I do recommend looking at that website I found, it gives you a brief explanation, not too long, of what a Haiku is, and of course, it provides a lot of examples. So, without further ado, please take a look at my first Haiku.

Unrelenting Winter:
My life is frozen in Time,
Yet all is constant.

This was a lot tougher than it looks. I probably did way too much thinking about the word choices and it’s possible that my Haiku did not come out, all that naturally. I was overthinking, trying to get the right words that had the right breath for each of the three lines for what I thought I wanted to say. Not sure how I did, but I guess with any kind of poetry, you really cannot go wrong – right. Here is another example.

Picture credit to PoemHunter.com.

Anyways I do appreciate that you stopped by to check out my first Haiku, and you know what, I would really like it if you could take a moment out of your day and let me know what you think about my Haiku. Please feel free to leave either a compliment, criticism or a brief thought about what I wrote and maybe what you think I meant – all comments are welcomed. With that, I leave you with a famous Haiku, from that website I found Haiku Poetry.

My life, –
How much more of it remains?
The night is brief.

– Masaoka Shiki

Featured

What I Am Reading Right Now and Why

Main Picture credit to Maries Blog Life.

Enjoy the Podcast

In one of my last posts called, “Love Letter To Myself“ I wrote about what I am going through at the moment and how I am not able to get out of this dark place that I am in. Towards the end of the post, I mentioned a book, I had found, called “Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh”. I am in the process of reading it and so far, it is mind-opening. Now, I know that there are many times that we try and look for information, products, books, or solutions for our everyday lives, troubles, sadness, stress, and so on. And we can get overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, you know, all the freaking recommendations, the book reviews on hundreds of sites. I mean it can get overwhelming and at the end of it all, we are still not sure what to read or listen to. So, what do we do, we read the reviews and hope that possibly this product, book, or whatever you are trying to figure out is right for us? So, I just happen to stumble across this book during my search on how I can get myself out of this dark place. I mean there were a lot of results when I did my search, and I read many reviews on many books, and even with those reviews it was tough to decide because you never know right, one person’s likes are not necessarily other people’s like. The summary or synapsis of the book, whatever you want to call it, caught my eye and I figured why not give it a shot, it wasn’t too long of a read, so I went ahead and purchased it. This is what caught me, which I just grabbed as-is from the search I did on the internet.

Thich Nhat Hanh shows us that by looking deeply and embracing our whole experience with acceptance, love, and understanding, we can go beyond fear and anxiety to find fearlessness and inner peace.

Credit to BayArt.org.

The reason I grabbed this book, was because for the last maybe month and a half I have been struggling to move forward with my blog, my online business, and pretty much everything. If you have had the chance to read any of my posts on my attempt to start an eCommerce business, you would know from the last post about it, that it hasn’t produced any sales at all, well one sale, but it ended up being a refund. Work right now isn’t giving me that satisfaction I use to get from the job, and I am not sure if I should move to a new company or not. I know, I know, I am lucky to have a job, I get that, but once again I think I need something else – I am not sure. Now, like I said these last few months I have not been motivated or have had any drive to move forward and all I find myself doing is getting up at 5 am each morning and working at my day job, then signing off and either taking a nap for a couple of hours while my wife finishes her daycare, or I just sit outside looking at the kids until they are all gone. It has become a routine, not a good one necessarily, which takes me from the bed to my office chair, back to my bed, or sit outside, and then repeat.

I know it was the same post that I talked about the book, “A Love Letter to My Body” that sort of gave me that “Aha moment”, which made me think I needed to step back a minute and try and figure what the heck is going on with me. I am sure I have been here several times in my lifetime, but this time for some reason it felt harder, sadder, and more disappointing to me and I wanted to get out of it. I wasn’t sure what to do and my first thought was, “Hey why not see if there is a good readout there to, you know, get you going again”. As I am reading the book, I am opening up my mind to what the author says, and many times the words that I am reading, and the concepts that are being presented have been in front of me in one format or another, but maybe the way the words are ordered is what is catching my curiosity so far. I am just two chapters in, and it has been an eye-opener thus far. Once I am done with the book, I do intend to talk about it, let you know what I think, and how it hopefully helped me in my time of need – so far so good.

In the meantime, I do appreciate you stopping by and of course, as I always do or try at least, leave you with a thought, “Nothing is easy to the unwilling. – Nikki Giovanni – Poet.”

I started to read this book, and so far, it is eye opening.
Once I am done, I will go ahead and post what I think about it.

FEAR: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm

Disclaimer: Ipapito is reader-supported, if
you happen to click on the link above to buy the book,
I might earn money, which
supports my blog. I do thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Featured

A Friendship I Wish I Had

Enjoy the Podcast

I saw this title and immediately remembered a friend I had once back in high school, and I thought to myself, man if he was still alive, I am sure we would have been hell-off friends. Here is the story.

During high school, as I am sure many of you also experienced, I was a nerd and really awkward. Never had much chance with the ladies. I mean I did join football with the intention to try and be more popular, you know, with the ladies, but that still didn’t work. I was the one kid in class that teachers loved, and the jocks always looked for to help out with homework. Well, the thing is that I had a close friend the first two years of high school that help me out. I mean we were inseparable, and people even though we were brothers. We did everything together, went to football games, basketball games, rode our bikes to the beach, played basketball and pretty much hung out all summer long. Whether he was at my house, or I was at his house. My mom would treat him just like another son, and the same thing with his mom. Anytime I went over she would ask if I was going to spend the night or stay for dinner. I mean I remember a few times where my mom would take us shopping for clothes and she would ask for my friend and buy him stuff too. Of course, his mom was the same way with me. It was an amazing friendship, and we always told each that we would be friends forever. We even joked about our kids and that we would be the godparents for each other, it was funny what we talked about at such an early age. I know and I feel it in my heart right now, even back then when I was a young teen, that we would have been friends till we grew old. The sad thing is, that he lost his life one night after a high school football game.

You see, one night we both went to a football game, and every time after the game, I would either go to his house or he would head over to mine. I am not sure about that one night and why we both decided to go our separate ways after the game. Even to this day, I can’t comprehend why we decided that night after all the prior times of hanging out together after the game. I am not sure if anyone has had a friend that just made a huge impact in their lives, you know that one friend that was there for you in thick and thin, a friend that would make you laugh, help with homework, and never ever judge you. The type of friend that would ride his bike 50 plus miles to go you see you because you had to move. A friend that when you went to those school dances, made sure you had fun and a friend that would have your back in an instant if anyone ever tried to start something. I think, I feel, and I believe that if he was still alive today, our families would be tight, and I know that I would mentally be a lot better having him there to listen, support, and do the crazy things I like to do, you know the friend that matches your energy – that was him.

So, one evening after a football game at school, for whatever reason we decided to go our separate ways after the game, and I would have never imagined what that night would bring to me and his family. I remember getting home, and my mom asked if Jermy was coming, and I said no. She did ask why, but the conversation sort of ended. As I was getting ready to go to sleep, I remember our house phone ringing. When my mother answered her voice was happy, she knew the person on the line, it was Jermy’s mom, but then my mom’s facial expression changed, and she began to cry intensely. When she handed me the phone, all I remember was a lot of mumbling and hysterical crying. I sort of phased out and I felt like I left my body. I stood there like a statue not knowing what to do, say, act – I was in shock. You see after the game my friend Jermy headed home, and while he was walking a car was racing and swerved out of control, running him over. On one side of the campus, there is a slight upward slope, and the school built a retaining wall on that side. According to the police he was hit so hard that he flew nearly 50 feet into that wall and died on impact. It was later discovered that the car was being driven by one of the high school students that just left the game and was under the influence. There were 4 teens in the car, plus the driver, and all four teens died except the driver and of course my friend Jermy. I ask myself what would have happened if I decided to go to his house, or what if he decided to go to my house as we have always done. I think back and sometimes blame myself for what happened, but his mom made sure that I did not feel guilty. During the remaining years in high school, I would still go over to her house once in a while and visit, where we would chat and reminisce about Jermy. I never really knew how to act around her, how to console her. I even thought maybe I was just bringing back memories that would hurt her. Eventually, I graduated, and I heard that she moved out of state, and I never heard from her again.

So, as I think of the title of my post, I immediately think about Jermy. I know that would have been a friendship, without a doubt, that I wish I had.

Credit to Pinterest.

Thank you for stopping by and like always I try and leave you with a thought and this one is by Wendy Feireisen, “You don’t get over it, you get through it… It doesn’t get better, it gets different…Every day, just like me, Grief puts on a new face.

Featured

Love Letter to My Body

Enjoy the Podcast

As you know I found this huge list of hundreds of ideas for a post, and this one happened to catch my eye, and not for the reasons you might think, as to what the title indicates. You see, as you have read some of my posts lately, I have been really struggling to get going again, with my flop on Day Trading, and my online store not producing I really have not had my heart into writing. So, for that reason, I saw this title and thought to myself what can I say to myself, that maybe get me started again, and possibly get me out of this dark place I am in. So let us see what I can come up with…

Dear Body,

I am not sure if remember the days that you use to work out, lift weights and run at least a couple of miles every other day – what happened? I mean I know that you work long hours, and you have kids and wife that take up quite a bit of your time, but has it really gotten that bad that you are simply neglecting yourself?

Come on, I know you have seen the news, social media, and whatever else is out there that blows you up with information, but there are thousands, if not millions of other people going through a lot worse than you are, and yet they keep pushing forward. I know you are simply done with it all, and you don’t feel like anything is working in your favor, and even when you do try, it all seems to fall apart at the end. I know that you have been through a lot, and maybe a lot more than normal people have, but look around and see what you have accomplished. If you don’t think it is enough, you are absolutely wrong, because there are a lot of people out there that wish they had but an ounce of what you have, think about it. You have a roof over your head, food on the table, a job, maybe not the best job, but a job, you have a great pair of kids, one in college, which you are paying for and one in middle school that is already shining bright like a star – you need to think about these things and really step back and look closely, that you are doing just fine, maybe better than just fine.

Take today, for instance, you got up like you always do, went to work and worked hard, and there are those days that you share a bit of your experience with someone younger. Come on, look at that recommendation you got from a previous co-worker, it was amazing. You inspired them to do more and guess what they did, and they thanked you for it. Success might not be at every corner, and there might be days, weeks, or even months where a dry spell might happen, but if you look back at your life, you had a lot of those dry spells, and guess what, look at where you are at now, in front of a computer, trying each day and pushing forward. Your attempts are not futile, they place you closer to where you need to be if you believe. I know, I know, you are simply done with it all, and maybe you are right, maybe it is time to just throw your hands in the air and just go with the flow, like a robot and pass on to the afterlife as though you might not have ever existed.

Is that what you really want, truly want for yourself, to destroy the dreams of that young kid that had to go with his mom to the back of a Safeway to look through the garbage and see if there was anything not spoiled that you could eat. You told yourself that day, that this wasn’t going to be you when you got older. That kid had a dream, had a goal, and yes it has been a lot of struggles throughout the years, some of them nightmares, but I believe that you have enough within you to get you through these final years and place you at the point that that kid wanted to be at when he got older. So, get your freaking self-up, stop your whining, and do what that kid set out to do all those years ago. Your mom is watching, you know that right, so it is time to forge ahead.

Love,

Myself

Picture credit to quotefancy (David Beckham)

As always, I am humbled that you took a moment out of your busy day to read my post, and with that, I would like to leave you with a thought by Frances Willard (1839-1898) who was an educator, “I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.”

I just purchased this book, and it will arrive tomorrow. Once I am done, I will go ahead and post what I think about it.

FEAR: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm

Disclaimer: Ipapito is reader-supported, if
you happen to click on the link above to buy the book,
I might earn money, which
supports my blog. I do thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Featured

A Letter to My Younger Self

Picture credit to My Pretty Pennies.

Enjoy the Podcast

The other day I was talking to a friend about parenting, and how kids never seem to listen to their parents, and just do what they want. The thing that bothers me most is that I wish I had someone that had provided me guidance or tell me what to do or not do when I was young. I mean come on if someone told me when I was 18 that if I put away 100 dollars a month in some type of investment, I could end up with a nice amount depending on the rate of return. If someone told me that every Tuesday lightning strikes on the east side of the fence, I would be sure to avoid the east side of the fence on Tuesdays. Then you get those adults that tell you that you need to let go of your children and let them learn on their own, allow them to make their own mistakes – look you turned out ok. But why does everything need to be learned the hard way, why can’t some things simply be learned by us while we are kids that could potentially help us out somehow in our future.

Now, I am not sure at what point in time I would want to write to my younger self, but I think that the best time for me to write to my younger self would be when I was wrapping up my senior year in High School. I think that point in my life happens to be one of the most difficult times in my life. Now, as I said, children never seem to listen to their parents, so I am not sure if my younger self would listen, but if I could write anything, except of course for lottery numbers, Stocks, things like that, that personally could change my life, such as a decision in some point in my life, this is what I would say.

Picture credit to David Kush.

Dear future me, where do I start? In about a month, mom will pass on. I know you have been taking care of her for the past two years, and trust me, you have done everything that an 18-year-old could do. The months that follow mom’s passing are going to be extremely hard and you will be alone, but do not be afraid to ask others for help. If you are not sure where to buy a couch, a bed, a dresser, and so on, just ask someone, preferably a reliable adult, maybe ask the waitress at your job, I am sure she would be happy to help. You will be changing careers, but you are asking yourself how that can be if I am still in college, well, about the second year into college it will become tougher to study and work but don’t worry, you will be fine. Keep going to college, you will meet certain people along the way and the bit of school knowledge you get will come in handy for what comes next. You will eventually come across several business ideas and start a few on your own, my suggestion is to not give up, even though it seems hard, and you will eventually come of age to start clubbing but keep doing the businesses. You will eventually have a few, do them all, the work you put into them now will provide you with what you dreamed of and deserve. You won’t be rich, but you will be happy with how it all turns out. As you go through life, you will fall in love and get heartbroken many-many times, but don’t let that stop you from being you, because you will find love.

Now, about love, during your clubbing days, on a Tuesday (trust me you will know), you will meet a lady that has been staring at you and you at her for some time. You will ask her to dance and will dance a few sets, but whatever you do, please do not walk out after the last dance, stick around, and see what happens. There will be a couple of instances where you will meet someone that you consider just a friend, but there seems to be more than just a friends connection, and the signs will be there, but you are going to be hesitant, because you do not want to lose what you have with them; well do not think about that and just go with it, trust your gut, and see what could possible become of it – I have a feeling that something extraordinary could come about from one of these instances.

There will come a point in your life where you will begin a blog and will think about not continuing the other business, whatever you do don’t stop running the other businesses and keep going with the blog. It might seem like a lot and there will be people telling you not to do it, so whatever you do or what anyone tells you, please do not stop blogging or stop running your businesses, these are things that you truly enjoy. So, no matter who tells you to stop, don’t listen to them, keep doing it and even if you need to cut back on your TV time a bit to put in a post or run an ad. I promise that blogging and those businesses will be big, and you will have a decade of experience into this phenomenon – don’t stop whatever happens – whatever happens.

You will end up getting married and will have children. The only thing here that I can tell you is, please talk to your wife and make sure that she does not open her own bank account. Go to another bank if she does not like yours, trust me, the day she opens her own bank account is the day that all the troubles in your marriage will start. So, work with her and make sure that you keep your finances together. I promise you that your marriage life will be a whole lot better.  The last thing I want to say is that there will be times you are utterly feeling alone, but I promise you that you are worth more than you could ever imagine – you are special, and you will go a long way in life. Just stick to your businesses, and blog and you will see nothing but results. I was going to say “Best of Luck”, but instead I am going to say, “I love you – Love Your Self” it is not selfish – love yourself.

Picture credit to Power of Positivity.

As always, I want to thank you for stopping by, I know it has been a while since I posted, I think I am going through one of my lows, but I think I am back, and with that, I leave you with this thought by James A Froude, “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one”.

Featured

It’s been a Spell

Main picture credit to The Okelo. Check out the article, I think it goes great with mine.

Enjoy the Podcast

I wanted to write a quick message, and just say that it has been quite a spell since I last posted. Actually, it’s coming up on almost a month, and well, I know for a fact that I am going through one of those moments in my life that is “A Downward Fall”. I am not sure how I got here, and I have been struggling to get out. Funny thing is that I had a post ready to load to my blog back in April, but each time I opened it I changed the date and simply didn’t post it. I am not sure why, but I think everything sort of hit at once, well, maybe it has been hitting for the past several years, but somehow it finally knocked me down this round. Even funnier is that it is a letter to my younger self, and I talk about several moments in my life, except for this one, which I wasn’t sure how to even talk about it. The reason I don’t talk about this moment is that I don’t know what the heck is going on.

Always Push Forward Street Sign. Pic credit to iStockphoto.com.

Anyways, for those that have stuck around my blog, I truly appreciate it and I hope that I can find it within myself to start blogging again. With that, I am going to leave you with a thought, that I think I need to follow, “A moment’s insights is sometimes worth a life’s experiences – Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) Physician and writer”.

Featured

Describe Myself as a Tree

Enjoy the Podcast

The oldest individual tree in the world is a 5,066-year-old Great Basin bristlecone pine. It is located in the White Mountains of California.

It’s been a while since I posted, and I think I went through one of my low points in my life, and I sort of threw my hands in the air and did not really care these last 16 days or so about anything. Anyhow, we were given a “Well-being” day at work, and I was just sitting around the house and not really doing anything, so I decided to go ahead and see if I can write about, describing myself as a tree – let us see it goes.

This tree is real. Very, very real. The gigantic man/human-shaped tree actually exists in a forest in Bulgaria.

So, I am sitting at my computer looking at the title of my post but nothing really was coming to mind, on how I could describe myself as a tree. I was thinking maybe a poem would do it, but I mean there are some ideas and feelings that I have, but I am not sure at this point how to put them down on paper. Maybe I just need to start writing and see what I write. The thing is, I consider myself an old tree, with deep roots, a tree that has been through fires, droughts, and so much more. Unfortunately, I was uprooted without warning from everything I knew at an early age. I was brought to a new location where I had to start all over. As a young “Whip” I was left alone and only counted on the kindness of those around me. I continued to grow and became a place where kids would hang up their swings, climb all over, and play hide-in-seek. Birds, squirrels, and other animals and insects made their homes in my branches and trunk.

I am a large tree, with strong roots, and many branches. I stand tall, but now you can see the years starting to show. I might not be the oldest living tree or the most famous tree, but one thing is for sure, I am here ready to protect you from the rain, and wind, and provide a shady spot during the summer months. You can lean on me to read a book or listen to your favorite music. Maybe you wish to show your love to someone special by carving their names on my trunk to remember for all eternity.

Credit to the randomvibez.com

I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend, and I leave you with this thought by Henry James (1843-1916), “Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”

Featured

Why Do I Write?

Listen to the Podcast

I think I mentioned this before, but like many writers, sometimes I get writers’ block and I really don’t know what to write about. I think about my day or my past experiences and see if anything is interesting that I can write about. Of course, when something does happen that I feel I need to share immediately, I turn on my computer and start to write. But there are days of course just like anyone when I just cannot think of something, and well I decided to take a trip on the internet and see if there are ideas to write about. We all know there is of course and I happen to find a list of prompts that I could write about, and this happens to be the very first prompt. Now, I got the list from another blogger, “See Jane Write”, and to her, I would like to say thank you for this extensive list which will definitely come in handy with my future writings.

Writing is a constant change

Let’s move on with the very first prompt which is, “Why Do I Write?” Now the funny thing is that as a kid I really hated to write, and I wasn’t really that good at it. I really did not like English and I think my teachers did not like me either. I struggled through school with it, and even into college. Now, there did come a point while completing my degree when I began to see improvements and professors began to praise my writings, which was nice. Well, I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to writing etiquette, but I do try and I will continue to learn as I continue to write. It wasn’t until I started my first blog, back maybe 15 years ago or so, that it really hit me that writing was a way for me to express myself and share my experiences and in many cases vent without feeling judged. I know that I can still get comments on my posts and I had some criticism on some posts, but I take those comments as a way to learn and grow. I reflect and think about how I hated to write and remember those teachers that always got me for a missed period, an uncapitalized word, a missing comma, and so on, I never thought I would end up with a blog. Now I have to say that I truly enjoy writing, just like right now, I feel that I have a skip in my step as I write these words.

Let me get to the reasons I write. I do it because of two things, the first reason is that it gives me a way to open up or talk about something that is bottled up inside me or bothering me, it gives me a sense of relief from my crazy life. As I mentioned before I do not have anyone to talk to, and now that we are working from home, the few times I had the opportunity to talk to someone, are all gone. Now I am simply locked away in my home office, typing away day in day out with no human interaction. The second reason I write is to share my experiences, and maybe somewhere in my writing there is a flicker of light or hope or answer that someone else can either relate to and not feel alone, or maybe somewhere in my writing there is a solution or option they can apply to their problem, issue or whatever they may be going through. These are the two main reasons I write, and they both help me out each day, better said each time I write a post, it gives me a sense of relief, a sense that something has been lifted from my shoulders.

Now I am thinking there will be a third reason I write, but I have been contemplating whether to start or not on this third reason, which is to write short fiction stories. The idea is not an original one, but my take on it will be all me. Until then I will continue writing as I do, and now that I found some prompts to help me along the way, I will be able to post more often, or at least not find myself with writer’s block.

Last Picture credit to wisefamousquotes.com.

As always, I would like to thank you for stopping by and I try to leave you with a thought, but this time it will be from Danny Kaye (1913-1987), “Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint on it you can.”

Featured

Pure Bad Luck – Really

Listen to the Podcast

Look I am just saying, that it seems that I just have bad luck in general. Why do you ask, because every time I try to do something, whether it is starting a business, taking a day off, buying something, talking to someone, something always bad happens that shoots down whatever I am trying to do? Let me start with what just happened ok so, I had plans to go to lunch with my son since he is visiting from college, but my wife’s employee just got up and left. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him, you know man to man and I took some time off from work to do that. Look, I have just over 200 hours of paid time off (PTO), and there comes a point that I can no longer accrue time off, so I need to use it sometime. I planned to take a few days this week to spend time with my son and do some things on my blog and online store. I also had plans to take off next week a few days so that I could spend time with my daughter, plus do a few personal things at home. Now the thing is that except for spending time with my kids, I really do not due anything with my PTO, why you may ask, well let me tell you.

This coming August I will be married for 25 years, and even though the first say 7-10 years were amazing, the last 15-18 years have been one bad thing after another. It has gotten to the point where if I take time off, my wife gets really upset. The reason I know she gets upset is that she cannot simply take a day off from the daycare and it pisses her off when I do. Look I have been married 25 years, and like most men, we know when our wives are angry or don’t like something – ok. Now she does have vacation time, but she just can’t take a random day, so I think when I do it, she doesn’t like it. Now you wondering that I may be exaggerating, but I am not. Whenever I take a day off and say I try to go out for lunch, she looks at me with that look that all men know too well, which is, “it’s ok, go out and have fun”. We all know what that means, and it has gotten worse over the last 5 years. Unless of course, I do things around the house, she is fine with me taking a day off, and then people or anyone that might listen to me, understand why I feel like I just have bad luck. I can’t take a day off without getting reprimanded. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming my wife for her employee just getting up and leaving, of course, it’s not her fault, but as I was saying I simply have bad luck everywhere I go, every moment of my day.

Picture credit to My Maxims.

These past several years, more since this pandemic, trying to find workers has been tough. I know this because my wife has been struggling since this has happened. My employer is struggling to find employees that are willing to stay and even work. Every candidate, whether here at the daycare or the company I work at, demands so much and for some reason, this pandemic has created a society of workers that feel they are entitled to everything, yet when they get hired, they don’t a dang thing – nada. For example, my wife has had three employees in the past 8 months, and each time they come to the interview they tell her everything she wants to her, but a week into the job, they get lazy, they show up late, they don’t do things right and that makes me wonder why would a candidate tell an employer that you want this and that and that you are all that and a cookie, then revert to being lazy. Now wait this happens at my company as well, just recently they hired an individual in my group, an Industrial Designer, and for the first couple of weeks, she rocked, now she is barely online, doesn’t complete her work on time, calls out at least once a week. Now you are wondering how I know this, it’s because the other coworkers tell me, they complain. The reason the other employees get mad is that more than likely she got hired on for more money for the same amount of work. Now, wait, the thing is we are all working from home, and from a few team meetings everyone on the team does not want to go back to the office, so I have a feeling when we do have to go back to the office, some folks on my team will be leaving. The thing is that employees or candidates are not the same anymore and I feel that this is going to get worse before it gets better.

Anyhow, back to my thing, as I was saying, with all that happens around me, I just don’t get a break, and just when I think I am ahead, bam something happens, knocks me right back down. Maybe it is in the universe, or the moon, or the air, but trying to get ahead seems to be out of reach for me. Maybe, just maybe the universe or something is trying to tell me to stop trying and simply live each day (paycheck-to-paycheck) and hope that whatever I have saved up is going to be enough to carry me until I pass. I have a feeling that I am going to have to work until I croak at my desk or wherever I am working.

Picture credit to Quotefancy.com.

Crazy huh, well I appreciate you stopping by and I leave you with this thought, “Listen to the things around you, they could be important for you to move on to the next thing in your life or it could be a sign to let it go and just go with the flow – who knows.”

Featured

Ukraine – My Thoughts

Listen to the Podcast

I am sure you have seen the news about Ukraine and I wanted to write my thoughts, carefully about this. Now what I am saying is simply my opinion and I just wanted to share them with whoever will listen. I would not wish war on any country, even if there are reasons, which I am sure there never should be, to attack a country, especially the areas where civilians are. Now, we hear all sorts of reasons why Putin is attacking and my post here is not about the reasons. I simply disagree with any country attacking another country, especially in today’s world. The thing that bothers me is that our government can pass a bill, or whatever it’s called, to give 13 billion dollars in aid to Ukraine, but it takes months, and sometimes government shutdowns to help the American people. I am not saying that we should not help Ukraine, and urgently of course, and yes, we are not under attack, fleeing our country, and you are correct we are lucky, but how many of you are feeling the cost of everything rising in our Country. Is anyone going to worry about the American people?

DONETSK, UKRAINE – FEBRUARY 26: Destroyed cars are seen near the Donetsk airport on February 26, 2015 in Donetsk, Ukraine. The Donetsk airport has been one of the most heavily fought over pieces of land between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian rebels. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 540106859

Housing prices are going up, gas prices are rising, food costs are rising, everything that is tied to our basic needs is on the rise. Once again, I know we are not under attack or fleeing our country, but after the war is all done and we along with other countries help Ukraine rebuild, who will help us the American people and all our friends that live here? It is getting tough to live and before long, we will see a rise in homeless individuals, bankruptcies, and possibly repossession of homes and autos. We are already seeing a rise in crimes across the country, people have been locked up in their houses for nearly two years and there is still a feeling of uncertainty in the air about many things.

The company I work for has started a fund to help our Ukraine neighbors, and I believe they have raised nearly 1 million dollars worldwide, if I am correct, so we are doing our part, but who will help us when this is all over. You see the news about Ukraine civilian casualties on the rise, the utter destruction of cities, homes, schools, hospitals, parks and so much more. Some videos show before and after pictures and the difference is scary to see – debris where a building once stood. I feel that this war on Ukraine is somehow all tied to some kind of business, someone or some country is getting greedy and found the pandemic to be a perfect cover to start a war and exchange money, at what cost = people. The sad thing is that on socials media you see so much hatred about the war, why it is happening, who to blame, and so on. It is sad to see anyone losing everything, fleeing, or dying because of some higher power deciding it was ok to attack a neighboring country. I think this whole war along with this pandemic is something someone, somewhere thought up – just saying. I am sure I will hit some nerves on this last statement.

Your Thoughts About the war on Ukraine.

Anyhow, thank you for stopping by and taking a minute out of your day to read my post, and I leave you with this thought, “what do you think about this war on Ukraine? Is it something valid (war should never be valid), do you think it was something someone made up that had another agenda behind it; what are your thoughts?

Featured

My Son Wants a Motorcycle

Listen to the Podcast

My son is visiting from college on spring break, yes he’s not much into going out and getting drunk like millions do for spring break, he rather come home and get some sleep. I guess he had some tough finals this round and he would rather sleep, don’t get us wrong, we love having him here, he has grown up so much. I just wonder where the years have gone. Anyway, while he was here, he asked to talk to me and his mom, so we sat at the table and he began by letting us know that gas prices were crazy and the car he has now does not get good mileage and he is spending a lot of money on gas. Quick, my son got his mom’s 2009 Flex. She bought it new, no miles on it, and we have kept up the maintenance, it is a nice-looking car. When he moved to college, he told us if he could sell the car and buy a sports car. Well, the sports car he wanted was expensive and we just couldn’t afford it. So, it was the Flex or nothing at all and he took the Flex.

Ninja 400

He went on and told us if he could sell the Flex and get a motorcycle. He even did the research and found out he could get about $5,000 for the flex, and the motorcycle he wants costs $6,000. We would only need to come up with $1,000. He even went as far as to explain the difference in what we would be spending if we had a new car payment plus insurance to only having motorcycle insurance. He also pointed out maintenance costs and so on, he did his research. The thing is that my wife and I are extremely skeptical of him driving a motorcycle because of the fear of him crashing not making it. He told us that he could as easily crash in a car, but we told him that the chances of living through a car crash to a motorcycle crash, are different. His mom went on to say that just recently the neighbor’s sister got into a motorcycle accident and died. She had been driving for 20 years and was a great driver, but the accident was the fault of the driver, of the car that hit her.

We told him we would rather get him a cheap, but a new car, say for example a basic mustang, or a Kia, which he was fine by either one, but he did not want us to have more bills. I could see my son is thinking about us, and we do appreciate it. Now, here comes the part during the conversation that made him cry. His mom started out by saying that, if anything were to happen to him, she would die. She would blame herself for buying or allowing him to buy a motorcycle and something happened to him. She was in full tears, and my son began to cry, it was at this point that I told him, this is what I wanted you to see, something that cannot be explained, but do you see the pain in your moms’ eyes. If anything happened to you, it would devastate her, please understand. If we were a family that rode bikes, then I could see the reasoning, but no one rides in our family. Also, in today’s world of increasing road rage incidents and cars on the road, we believe you would be a safe driver, but what about everyone else on the road. He understood but explained to us that he would hardly drive the motorcycle. Right now, he says that he takes the bus or rides his skateboard to campus and most other places. He only drives once a week to the grocery store, and when he comes home. So, he told us he would barely be on the road. We listened and we told him, look let’s take this one step at a time. How about you look and take some motorcycle driving courses, and figure out the DMV requirements. Then we can in a few months talk about it again, maybe we can paint the Flex, sell it for a bit more, and by then you would have your training and see if you still want a motorcycle. If you do, we can look at the options and decide. I made it clear to him, that this was not a “No”, but he needed to show us that he was serious about his safety and look for the courses, to see if he would like to drive a motorcycle anyway. I mean he could take the course and decide this is not for him; he said he will look into it – we shall see.

I will keep you posted on the motorcycle decision and with that, I leave you with this thought, “If you treat your kids, whether small or old, with the same respect you want, the conversations you will have with them will be a lot better and they will always feel they can talk to you and be treated fairly. Allow them to grow”.

Featured

I Wish I Could

Main picture credit to lifeaccordingtofrancesca.com.

Listen to the Podcast

You know for the past 30 years or so I have been trying to find a way to truly make some additional money each month. Look I am not trying to get rich, I just want to build a nest for when I retire, where I won’t be a burden to my kids or wife for that matter. Maybe the opportunities have presented themselves over the years, and possibly somehow, I just blew it. Now, the other day I was scrolling through social media, I believe it was Instagram, and this ad or wait, a post appeared. It was the story of a woman who began day trading and within a year she was able to have her husband quick his 9-5 job and the rest of the video shows them living the life. Of course, within the comments, people mentioned that they tried as well and were not successful, and maybe she was doing something different. Well, she replies to that one comment about doing something different she talks about “mindset” and goes through this whole story about it. I thought about what she said and maybe there was some truth behind it, well at least in my case, but then I thought about it more and I said to myself, “no, no, no that’s not it, what I lack is support”. I am not going to get into a pity post, but I believe I lack a support system in my life, and by that, I mean those people around me, that should support me so that I could dedicate the necessary time to these business ideas and get them off the ground. Instead, what I have in my life is whether I bought them something, what am I going to make for dinner, are you cleaning the kitchen, are we going anywhere for spring break, can you do laundry, and so on. I honestly believe if the support system was there since the beginning, I would be in a different place, and maybe one of these business ideas would be generating income by now, well enough income to allow me to save for retirement without sacrificing my current life. Right now, I work paycheck to paycheck, barely squeaking through each month while trying to save for retirement. It is a lot and somehow, I am doing it, but I am stressed, and sad at the end of the day. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am blessed, but for some reason, I don’t feel umm, what’s the word, umm, “fully Realized”, “Accomplished”, I don’t know. I feel like I have this hole in my soul and I just can get past it.

Partner up.

This is where the title of my post comes in. I wish I could pay off my mortgage, only my mortgage, because then I could do so much, and that would alleviate a lot of the money concerns that my wife and I are having. I am not sure if you remember but my division at work was on the chopping block and they were going to give me a nice severance package. Now. during that stressful time, in the back of my mind I had this idea of starting a brick-and-mortar business, if I was let go. I was thinking of a restaurant or possibly a bar. I was going to look for a partner and go for it. Of course, the company kept us and I am still working my 9-5 job.

Now, the other piece that goes along with my post title, and I might regret posting this, because I am sure I am going to get a lot of direct message or comments, but here it goes. During my short-day trading endeavor, I signed up with this day trader that was doing the same trading method I was, and he had a lot of good reviews and seemed to be successful – I believed him. But after my failed attempt, I said to myself why can’t I find someone (honest) that is really doing this well in their niche that is willing to take my money (to say) and duplicate their system for me and keep, say 40% of what they make on my account. For example, Fred is a day trader, who is honestly making 10k a month, he started with 10K so that is what he needs from me. Now, let’s say Fred is willing to duplicate his efforts on my account and keep let’s say 40% of the revenue, profits, whatever. So, if Fred makes 10K on my account simply by duplicating his great system, he keeps 40% of 10K which is $4,000 and I keep $6,000 – this is my,” I Wish I Could” statement.

Another example, Barney is a great affiliate marketer and makes 40k a month, right, that is what we see a lot of in social media isn’t. These folks claim to make 40k a day and things like that – right. Let’s just say for the sake of this example that Barney is truly making 40k a month with his system. Barney started with say 15k for his business and that is what he needs, from me, to get things going and successful. Barney duplicates his efforts, maybe I can help somehow, and the site or whatever his or her niche is gets to the point of generating 40K a month – WOW – right. So, Barney is a tougher negotiator than Fred, and he wants 60%. So, 60% of $40,000 is $24,000; I keep $16,000.

Now, wait I know what you are thinking and I have seen those ads or commercials or whatever you call them about companies or individuals looking for partners to launch an eCommerce business that generates a six-figure income. They do all the work, manage, advertise, and so on, but they want you to give $25,000 to $50,000; sounds like what I am looking for the right, but then you read the fine print and there are no guarantees, yadda-yadda, yadda-yadda, yet they are making constantly six-figures – so how does that work? I know, I know all businesses are different, all individuals are different, all scenarios are different, etc. Now you also hear everywhere that you need to think about the investment as something you can afford to lose. I got that, no worries, but imagine these folks selling 15 people a year on this dream, that is $25,000 X 15 = $375,000; of course, they make six figures from those 15 people that got the no guaranty – who wins here.

I am just saying, and honestly, if I had some system that truly generated 1k, 5k, 10k, 40k, or even 6-figures a month and I could duplicate it myself, I would invite people and do the work myself. Of course, I would negotiate a reasonable percentage, but along the way, I would show them exactly what I am doing so they can keep doing it. Hey this sounds like all the ads we see day in and day out, yet I am sure there are thousands of people taking a risk, buying into these so called business opportunities doing the work exactly how they were told/taught, but never getting anywhere. Then when they ask for help from those individuals that sold you the idea, they give nothing, or they simply tell you that individual performances differ from person to person. The thing is, I still believe, besides selling dreams to people, that there is a system that will truly generate extra income that we are all looking for, whether it is 1K, 5k a month, or six-figures a year – it’s out there.

I don’t know, my drop shipping business gets about 800 to 1000 visitors a month, but no sales. The affiliate links I do have are doing ok but I just can get them past a certain point. In my blog, I am trying to put more content, but some days my life gets the better of me, but I do keep trying, and maybe like the one individual said, it could be my mindset. All I know is I wish I could pay off my mortgage, find a partner to start a business or find someone that has a system that is willing to duplicate what they are doing – truly duplicate a successful system, because I am sure there are a lot of scam-artist out there and people fall into their traps – sad but true. I think I fell into one of those traps with AliDropship; I spent $700 for an exact copy of a site, have spent thousands in promoting the site using their material & guides, and have had but one sale, which was refunded. Now wait a minute, I haven’t given up on the site and I was thinking, that maybe I will try my hand again at Day Trading, but this time with a different mindset (laughter).

Picture Credit to Matthew Oldridge. Which do You SeeGreat Article.

Hey, thanks for stopping by and I leave you with this thought, “There are a lot of scammers out there, individuals and companies. Just do your homework and whatever you invest it, you must think about it as money you already lost, invested in your future. Don’t give up on your dream, because there is something out there.”

Featured

Business Ideas – What I’ve Done the Past 30 years

Listen to the Podcast

The other evening after dinner I was sitting on the couch watching some TV, well, to be honest, I was watching a Novela (Soap Opera), probably not the best way to spend my time, but oh well. While I was sitting there, I realized that my drop shipping business was not doing a dang thing, and I was just throwing money and time at it, and then it hit me like a cold bucket of water. I started to remember all the business ideas I attempted over the past 30+ years. I looked around the room, and yes, I do have a roof over my head, my health, good kids, a dog, a bearded dragon, a snake, and a job, but I felt as though I haven’t gotten to that place that I would like to be at, and I don’t know why, but it hurt for some reason. Maybe I am thinking all wrong, and I should be contemptuous with what I have, but since I was young, I always thought I would be at a certain place in my life when I reached my current age. Maybe I have, but I don’t know.

Hopefully, this won’t be a huge post, and I will cover each of the things I attempted to do over my lifetime, but not in detail. If you read my earlier posts or the “About Me” page, you would know that when I was a kid, my mom came from a wealthy family, and we had a good life, but that all changed when my mom decided to follow my father to the states. My childhood as a kid in the states was a story of a very poor kid with lots of struggles. At a very early age, I had a vision of where I was going to be when I reached a certain age, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, even as a kid, but I had a vision. All I needed now was the vehicle or path, to take me to where I wanted to be.

I had a rough childhood, and my mother passed away from cancer when I was 18, just a month after I graduate high school. I had no one, and I did not know a thing about anything. Now, I was accepted to MIT on a partial scholarship, but unfortunately, I did not have the money or support to go to MIT. Back then there was no internet, and I simply did not know about grants, loans, etc. I was left all alone at 18 and I had to learn everything the hard way. I did go to a community college for almost three years, but of course, I had to work and things got hard, very fast. With a full-time job, unfortunately, I had to stop going to school. Now, that did not stop me from trying to figure something out with my finances, and my first business idea came from a late-night infomercial.

Not sure if you remember a guy late at night letting you know, through the TV, that you can make money by placing tiny little ads in newspapers – yes Don Lapre. I remember getting off from work late, not being able to sleep, and seeing this infomercial for the first time. He was talking about the dream, and everything he said, was what I needed to get out of where I was and where I wanted to be. I remember opening the box when it arrived, I was excited and ready to go. I read the books a hundred times and placed my first ad in the local newspaper. I did this for a while and along with the other hundreds of similar ads, I was making some money but nothing to write home about. During that time I came across another ad about having your very own 1-900 number. Who didn’t like calling in on those Datelines or Read Your Future line? I purchased my first two 1-900 lines and began running ads for my two 1-900 lines in the same local newspapers I was placing my tiny ads. It was generating some income, but I wanted more. My youth got the better of me and if I could go back and tell my young self to keep on that path, I think my life would have turned out differently. You see during that time I discovered Vending Machines, and I purchased three existing routes. This is where I made the mistake, I think I took on too much. I had a full-time job, worked on my Vending Machine routes, had two 1-900 numbers, and continued to place ads. What happened was that I came of age to go clubbing, and I took another turn. The workload, plus the nights out, got to me and after about almost two years with the vending machine routes, I sold them. I did sell them for a profit though and that was the same time I got a job in a corporate world. Keep in mind I started this when I was 18, so in a short time span of just over 3 years, I already had attempted three business ideas.

Joining the corporate world brought to me the idea of a 401K, which immediately I started when I had the chance and began to learn as much as I could about stocks, mutual funds, etc. During my personal learning of stocks, I came across another gentleman, named Ken Roberts and was immediately intrigued with futures trading – remember the movie Trading Places? I purchased the Ken Robert course and opened a practice account and started my journey. Now, I practiced for at least 9 months and continued reading other courses, but work took over my life and I placed that business idea on hold. You see I became a supervisor at my job and I was working 16–18-hour days, plus weekends. I was still placing tiny ads and advertising my 1900 number, but then marriage popped into my life. I was with the company for about 5 years now and I met my current wife. Married life took a lot of time up, and my wife did not like me working 16-18 hours days and then working at night trying to figure out the ads, so guess what, I stopped placing tiny ads and advertising my 1-900 number. I wonder if they still exist?

About the second year into the marriage, I realized that I wasn’t on that path to where I wanted to be at a certain age, again, so I needed to do something. I found a job posting to work as a broker and went to an interview. During my interview some of the new guys were telling about how they were making 70K to 150K in their first year, if you hustle that is. You know what, this was the path, but it was shot down quickly. You see the company that offered me the broker job was going to train me and help me pass the Series 7 exam. The thing is I needed 2-weeks to complete the training. Now I had the accumulated time off, but my current employer would not allow me two weeks off for vacation, so that idea was out. Now I did do my own training and applied some ideas to my 401K, you know the piece to research companies, etc. So, I was able to adjust my 401K to perform better. With the broker job gone, I continued to search for something else, and during my research, I came across the business idea to Flip Notes. Now I don’t remember the name of the company I used, but I purchased their course and began the journey. I remember my first note, meeting with a client and closing it out to a nice profit of 9K, but of course, I was still young in my marriage and my wife did not like me working the long hours. I did close 6 deals and made about 35k, but that ended. A bit of time went by and I had another of those A-Ha moments where I did not feel as though I was going on the right path. So, after speaking to my wife I started to sell Music CDs and a few other collectibles on eBay. I found this wholesaler where I was able to get CDs for 0.15 to 0.75 cents and sell them on eBay for 3-5 dollars. I had tons and I was literally making an extra 1k a month, with a few months hitting almost 3k. I remember selling a beetle’s CD that I purchased for 0.50 cents to someone in Japan for 75 dollars, plus they paid for shipping and handling. I had to set up the eBay product, keep an eye on bids, package the CDs, and ship myself. It started to become a lot of work, but it was paying off. Well, guess what, we had our first child, and besides marriage taking up a lot of time, imagine a newborn. Between my full-time job of 16-18 hours, and weekends, plus my eBay business it left no time for family, so I had to place that idea on hold as well.

Life moved on and before I knew it, my son was heading to kindergarten. I had a different A-Ha moment. I was working 100+ hours a week and felt I was going nowhere. We started having marriage problems and I had no one really to talk to, you know a friend or someone. I wanted to know if there was a way for me to talk to someone, share my day with a stranger sort of speaking and this is where my next idea came about – blogging. Blogging wasn’t a huge thing yet, but I started my first blog and this allowed me to share my experiences and vent. It came at a moment in my life that I needed it most. During this time, I learned about affiliate marketing. Now Amazon was not on the radar yet, but there were hundreds of affiliate programs out there which meant that there were ways to generate income. Now that I had a blog, I incorporated these affiliate links. Later Amazon hit and I joined their affiliate program as well when it became available and I incorporated it into my blog. The sad thing is, I think my story is starting to sound like a broken record, because a few years into my blog, we had our second child. Once again, I had to place my blog and affiliate programs on hold.

The years flew by and I had left all my business ideas behind, but one good thing came about during this time and that was that I ended up getting my degree in business. The thing is I still felt I wasn’t on the path to where I wanted to be at a certain age and now my ideas seemed old. Now, I had to jump into the crypto current fad, so I decided to invest in crypto currency. And if you have read any of my posts, just last year in 2021 I dipped my foot into Day Trading, which after some time I ended up losing almost all my initial investment. This brings me to my latest business idea, that we have all-seeing or heard through social media and the internet, which is, “owning your very own drop shipping business”. You know the story so far about that, it has produced nothing and yet in about 30 minutes, I am going to research some products, load them to my store and set up the next advertising campaign.

As you can see over the past 30 years, I have attempted quite a few businesses, and on many occasions I was successful, but for some reason or another, they came to an abrupt halt. I mean you can say that I don’t have discipline, drive, focus, and you might be right. I don’t know what it could be, I personally think I just have bad luck (laughter). One thing I do have to say is that I keep trying and maybe one day, even when I am 80 years old, something will be kind to me and provide that passive income, or side hustle income that I have been searching for so long, but has eluded me all these years.

Picture Credit to Muscle for life.

Hey, this was a long post, and if you are still here, I bow down to you and thank you for sticking it out. As always, I leave you with a thought, “All those times you think you failed, you really didn’t. It might seem you gave up, not followed through, had no discipline, or whatever anyone says why you did not make it. I think it was just another step towards where you were meant to be. Keep pushing forward, you need to believe in yourself because I believe in you – Best of Luck.

Featured

My Thoughts on a Vegetarian Diet

Listen to the Podcast

The other night my wife made cauliflower rice, which we hadn’t done in some time. It was a nice change because normally we do have rice, whether it is white or Spanish. Not with every dish, but this main dish happens to go with the rice and she served cauliflower rice instead. Anyhow, so when she served the plates and I saw the cauliflower rice I had asked her if we were ever going to try to do vegetarian again.

Picture thanks to Food Network

Let me tell you the back story before I get to her answer. We did try a couple of weeks to buy groceries for vegetarian dishes and I have to say we normally spend about $125 in groceries a week, but that time our grocery bill came to $275. You are wondering that sounds a bit high, but after talking to a few parents from the daycare, they confirm that that was about how much they spend a week. Well, we went with it, and the food we had recipes for was delicious, but there was one problem, we had a 17-year 6-foot Hockey player and at each of the evening meals he always ended up hungry after dinner. We did try shopping one more week and adjusted the groceries to get foods that would fill him up (we were learning), but the bill was even larger.

We did talk to some parents and they made suggestions, but the grocery bills were a bit too much for us. Now, we did keep a few recipes, like the cauliflower rice to change it up, but we went back to our normal weekly meals. Don’t get me wrong, we actually eat pretty healthy and have healthy snacks, but for some reason, the cost is cheaper so we threw out the idea of going vegetarian.

So, what did my wife say to my question, she only laughed and started to eat. I take her laughter as a “No”. Like I said there are a few dishes we do make and replace one side dish every so often with a vegetarian side dish.

Here is a cool recipe I found in Food Network for cauliflower fried rice.

Once again, I thank you for stopping by and I leave you with this thought, “I recommend trying out some dishes that are outside your comfort zone. You might find a dish or two that you like, and meals can be a fun thing again if they aren’t already – Bon Appétit.”

Featured

What Do I like Most About My Writing?

Listen to the Podcast

I was thinking about this title and the first thing is first. I am by no means a professional author or writer, and I am still learning some of the common writing rules, on how to use punctuation to mimic the way a person would read or speak. I try to write as though I am speaking to someone in the room, and a lot of the times when I run spell check or Grammarly it corrects things that I thought were correct. But as with anything, the more I practice the better I get – well that’s the concept.

So, what I like most about my writing is exactly what I said above, which is trying to write as though I am speaking to you in person. The whole punctuation thing, I know can vary and as I do read other blogs, I find that certain formats or styles of writing pop up at me. For example, a fiction writer, introducing a character or writing a dialog between characters, is interesting to see the different styles out there. I know that there are days I really do not wish to write, since I have been in front of a computer all day, and it shows in my writing. I begin to reread what I wrote and I say to myself, that’s not what I was trying to say. I am still learning and, in the process, I am trying to find my style, that one thing that will make me stand out from all you wonderful writers (giggle). I do plan to have a page on fiction stories, I just haven’t got around to it. It’s one thing after another that gets in the way of me starting it out. The funny thing is I do have the page ready, the storyline, and the characters ready, even broke it down to chapters and titles, but the content itself is still somewhere in my head, and I just haven’t gotten it down on paper.

Besides writing as though I am speaking to someone, I do like the fact that I can simply share my thoughts, experiences, and ideas to anyone that is willing to read, or possibly listen. It almost feels like a session with a psychiatrist. I imagine myself lying on a couch and sharing my life. I could even see the individual jotting down notes. The only thing is, I don’t get any feedback, but that is ok because the simple thought of talking about it, or in this case writing about it helps me out quite a bit. I feel that writing allows me to vent, and instead of keeping all that bottle up inside and possibly exploding, it brings me back to earth, back to a sense of calmness or better yet “Inner peace” with myself.

I think those are the two things that I enjoy most about my writing. As for the content, well I never really meant my blog to be a way to pitch anything or sell anything. I mean I have noticed that when I mentioned some type of business or investment I do get a lot of likes in comparison to a story about my kid’s school. Now, that is totally fine with me, because I am sure that everyone has their own content they like to read, see, or listen to. So, my blog might not necessarily be the right content for everyone, but maybe one story, just one will make someone smile, give a piece of advice, or think about whatever I wrote and relate it to their lives and how it might help. The idea behind my blog was to share my experiences with anyone that would listen, and provide a solution or option to some related issue or life problem. I know that I need to focus on issues within my content, make them clearer and provide a solution. As I said I am still working out the style and the content, but I am confident with a little more time it will all come together and folks can drop by to read something that might just put a smile on their face or help them out with a life problem – well see.

Last Picture Credit to Dark Silence In Suburbia – Alicia McBride. For original artwork see Pinterest.

Once again, I come to the end of my post and I would like to thank you for stopping by, and like I always try to do at the end of my posts which is to leave you with a thought, “There are all kinds of writing styles out there, you can see it throughout the millions of books, literature, stories, etc. Writing is like a fingerprint; your style of writing is simply your fingerprint.

Featured

#WordPrompt – Bridge

Listen to the Podcast

Not sure if anyone else gets these emails from Word Press, ok wait a minute, I am sure you do, what I meant was, does anyone reads these emails. You see the other day I received an email from Word Press with a word of the month (#WordPrompt). I am sure that I have received these emails before, but I probably just deleted them. Now, for some reason, I decided to open this email and found out it was a prompt. This one happened to be the word “Bridge”, and it said to all writers, video creators, artists, and so on to create something related to the word “Bridge” and share it. I thought this was a good idea and I think from now on I will take a moment and read these emails. So here is my take on the word of the month from Word Press, “Bridge”.

Picture Credit to Brainy Quote. Phyllis Theroux

When I think about the word bridge, I think about the connection between my life as a child and now as an adult. I feel that is exactly how my life has been, one long bridge, with moments where it felt that I was going to fall or the bridge was going to break. I thought maybe it should be more about the path we each take, but then I realize when I saw the word bridge that life is one long bridge – let me explain. We do a balancing act (Swaying of the bridge) with all sorts of things within our lives, such as work, life, relationships, goals, and so on. Eventually, these experiences connect our past with our desired future. That connection between remembering things that we went through or experienced to things we want to achieve, is really the bridge and for many of us, it has been a long swaying bridge, with many moments of uncertainty.

The word bridge to me means a connection, and what that connection is, depends on each individual and what they desire. It is and will be different for everyone, but in the end it comes down to a connection, and what a better way to illustrate that connection, but with a bridge. We hear things like, “The past does not define us”, “Don’t dwell on the past”, and things like that, and I agree to an extent because even though we should not allow the past to define us, we should not forget it either, but instead use the things we learned along the way as a tool, a way to move forward intelligently and more importantly share these with the world. The connection you make with the experiences you had, I believe if we do it correctly, we can move forward and achieve what we want. Yes, the bridge will sway, and even at times, it will feel as though it will break, but if you hang in there, I believe that once you reach the end of the bridge, it will be incredible.

Carlos De Silva

So, my take on the word “Bridge” is

the connection we have between our childhood and our adulthood”.

As always, I do appreciate you stopping by and taking a moment out of your day to read or listen to my post. With that, I leave you with this thought, “Think about what the word “Bridge” means to you and share it.”