Good Reads: Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed

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All of America’s well-publicized problems, including obesity, depression, pollution and corruption are what it costs to create and sustain a trillion-dollar economy. For the economy to be “healthy”, America has to remain unhealthy. Healthy, happy people don’t feel like they need much they don’t already have, and that means they don’t buy a lot of junk, don’t need to be entertained as much, and they don’t end up watching a lot of commercials.

Most of us treat our money this way. The more we make, the more we spend. It’s not that we suddenly need to buy more just because we make more, only that we can, so we do. In fact, it’s quite difficult for us to avoid increasing our standard of living (or at least our rate of spending) every time we get a raise.

The second part of that quote is exactly what I do, especially since I work retail. Many times, when I buy stuff, I wonder if I actually need it. Would have I actually sought out to buy this thing or am I simply buying it just because I saw it? How many times have I heard a customer say “Oh I wasn’t actually here to buy this but since I saw it I have to have it”? And yet if that person had never seen that item and had never bought it they would have never felt that loss.

I think on an innate level I feel just how much material items I have. Every once in a while I go through everything I have and just start chucking things into a give away pile. Right now there are two garbage bags full of stuff that is heading to Goodwill soon. Want to know just how much crap you have? Try moving. You never get the full encompass of just how much you own until you try to pack it all up into boxes. And like the quote states, the more money I make the more I feel I can/should spend just because I have it.

More and more I question the things I buy and continue to get rid of the things I have. I’m not trying to become a full on nomad, but there are much better things to spend money on. Read the full article by clicking the link below.

 

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek).

 

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Something Good?

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Have you ever had a moment where something “good” happens to you but you don’t know how to feel about it? It’s like all your emotional receptors have been turned off. Everyone around you is telling you how great that thing is and how excited you should be about it and when you don’t respond with the appropriate social responses people wonder what is wrong with you.

It’s not that you are ungrateful or don’t have gratitude about it, it’s simply that you don’t know how to feel. In retrospect it’s mostly because this is a “good” thing but it’s not exactly what you had wanted and honestly just confuses you because you don’t know how this fits in the big picture.

This is where I am at. While grateful I am so confused as to how this fits into the greater part of the plan in my life. That’s the thing about life, you can plan as much as want but things can come out of nowhere and just throw you off and now you have to restructure.

But that’s ok. It’s ok to not always understand this “good” thing. It’s okay if it confuses you. Take it in stride regardless and through the midst of confusion things will clear and so will your path

Legacy

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One of the great women in my life passed away on Sunday, today was her funeral. Every moment she was in my thoughts one word kept reverberating in my head, legacy. Legacy is the testimony to the life we led, to the life we have left behind. Her legacy was one of love and steadfastness.

Every time I saw her she alway greeted me with a tight hug and a smile. She always asked how I was doing, gave me a word of encouragement, and prayed with me when I needed it. She had a sharp wit and a steady strength. She was small in body and always wore those high fashionable heels, but you knew she would always tell it like it is and never hold back. And when you were down she would just love on you without hesitation.

That was her legacy. It was a legacy of love, of strength, of “nothing is too hard for my God”, it is what I remember about her the most, it is what she has left me.

You see in the end your legacy isn’t about you. In the end your legacy becomes about those who were around you and what you left to them. You can spend your whole life thinking it is all about you and you alone and subsequently your legacy will be left to no one, for who will have it? But if you give yourself to others piece by piece in the end you find that you’re never really gone because those pieces you gave continue to live in those you gave them to.

Thank you for your legacy and the piece you gave to me.

Currently Reading: The Beginning of Everything

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Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could only be moments away from disaster. That everyone’s life, no matter how unremarkable, has a moment when it will become extraordinary–a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen.

Initially I wasn’t sure if I would even be interested in this book. Having been out of high school for quite some time, I really have just come to the point where I can’t stand young adult books, especially if they are angsty. However from the first two paragraphs, the first above, I liked it. It seemed to be more about how a single moment can drastically change the direction of your life.

The main character, Ezra, was the popular jock and never really thought about life after high school beyond being recruited for tennis. Then he is in a car accident that shatters his knee and things change.

This book has a feel to it much like “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” with cool friends who go out and do outlandish things like silent raves and a floating movie club. In the end you get a sense of how the character has changed and changed for the better.

Of course there is the romance in it and teenage partying but the main aspect is how everything can change so fast and drastically but in the end things will get better and you can survive it.

Friday Fun: Popsicles and Ice Cream

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Part of the reason I work out so much, and why many other do, is because dessert is awesome. I always have some form of dessert in my house. However not all of them are created equal so I decided to seek out some that I can make at home and still be a lot healthier. Click on the recipe title to get to the link for the recipes.

1. Egg Nog Almond Joy Blizzard

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Recently I have been a fan of egg nog during the holidays and I had no idea they made a soy version of it. Now I definitely want to try this.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Frozen Fruit Pops

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The good old staple. Although sometimes I find it hard to eat it with the big fruit chunks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Watermelon & Parsley Ice Pops

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This one offers two versions incase you don’t want the parsley. It also calls for simple syrup but I would probably substitute it with something a little healthier.

 

 

 

 

4.Blueberry kale pops

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This caught my eye really fast, especially with that whole kale craze.

 

 

 

 

5. Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Popsicles – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

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Not so sure about the cream cheese and heavy cream with in the recipe. May keep it more simple and less fattening. I might substitute greek yogurt for the heavy cream.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Ice Cream (Low Carb and Gluten Free)
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This one, from the same author actually uses greek yogurt. It also sounds pretty amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Balsamic roasted strawberry and rhubarb sorbet

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Now this one is a little intensive for the recipe and of course they want you to use their brand’s sugar for it but you can use whatever you like.

 

 

 

 

8. Mango Vanilla Honey Push Pops

Mango-Vanilla-Honey-Push-up-Pops Not sure where she got her push pop containers (looked everywhere but she didn’t say) however these look and sound amazing. I sure a variation of these can be made for a popsicle instead.

Looks like there are some variations of them here.

 

 

Let it Go

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No this isn’t going be a post on Frozen and building snowmen… although that wouldn’t be so bad. This week started out kind of rough for me, especially considering I’m on day 6 of 7 days in the row for work. The thing is something happened on Sunday that got me really down. It was totally my fault but that just annoyed me even further.

It’s amazing how we can just be going about our day when BAM something throws it off kilter and suddenly it’s gone from a good to a bad day. Try as you might, you want to just let it go and move past it yet every time you think you do you something reminds you and you’re back to the depressing/icky feeling again.

People will tell you to let it go. People in church say “Let go and Let God”. It’s not always that easy. We crave control in our lives. I always want to be in control in some way or form and it drives me nuts when I’m not. Two days later it is still hard.

Letting go requires a conscious decision to say that whatever is hurting, annoying, or depressing you isn’t going to do so anymore. I am making that conscious decision to let it go because things change and this too shall pass.

Progress

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Ever have that moment where you’ve been working so hard at something time after time when suddenly it becomes easy? It’s like you just flipped a switch and was like there was nothing in between.That’s progress.

For the past few months I have been working out 3-4 times a week. Usually I go biking when I can. There are two different paths I alternate between one the has more resistance and the other more distance. Today I decided to do the resistance one but as soon as I got on my bike I noticed something different.

Suddenly the path I had been taking seemed easy almost too easy. I’m not sure if the weather or getting the tube in the back tire replaced had a lot to do with it or not. I just know that at the end of that path I finished ten minutes earlier than usual and still wasn’t ready to go back. So I decided to do the other path as well and even went further than usual.

What would normally be a 3-7 miles ride I did 13.5m instead. 

Okay so it being much later in the evening now, I’m starting to realize, and really feel, that maybe I was a little over zealous. Stairs are hard. However that feeling of knowing that I am actually making progress hasn’t left and I can only look forward to what this continued work will bring.

Is That What Successful People Do?

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Dilbert by Scott Adams

In a world filled to the brim and overflowing with self-help book, CDs, YouTube videos, and the like it’s hard to weed out just what it is that you need to know. In some cases it’s overly redundant, you read one book and feel like you’ve read them all. In other cases you read it and go “Is it really that easy? Is that really all I have to do to be successful?” Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

What I’ve learned in my journey is that you really can’t do what other successful people do or follow a motivational book to the T and expect everything to just work out. Everyone in life is on a different path and no two paths are the same. What has worked for one person probably won’t work for you.

Sure there’s the main points of working hard and taking things step by step but that’s really the only common ground. Sure I can go the route and ask “what is success and how do you obtain it” but that’s kind of like asking “What is truth and how do you obtain it”. It’s such a big thing, it’s and enigma which is why it can’t be so easily captured in a book or ten and why there is no secret formula.

So what do successful people do? Who knows? And maybe it doesn’t matter. Because at the end of the day it’s all about: What do you do?