The Cost of Getting Comfortable 

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Janice had this dream to become a great architect someday. She went to a top school and had top marks, and even a really great internship. She graduated, applied for jobs, and then… nothing. She had some great interviews even made it to second and third round of hiring fairs, yet she still couldn’t land a job.

Her six months were coming up and soon she would have to start paying back her student loans, so she started getting desperate. She went to a job fair and just applied to any place that seemed somewhat interesting. She ended up landing a lower end job in a mediocre company but was grateful to be somewhere so she could pay her bills.

Fast forward to six years later.

Janice has moved up several places in the company, she’s getting a really great salary, and she even has money to go on vacations and buy things. At work, her position keeps her busy. She is in charge of a few employees and there is always something to do. Each night she goes home exhausted with little energy to do much else.

Now and again she will stand in front of a construction site and just watch as a new building is being put up. She could stand there for hours just watching but usually she has to rush back from lunch before she is late for work. She doesn’t hate her job, there are actually a lot of moments in which she enjoys it. Yet in those moments in which she becomes really frustrated with her job she wonders why she is even still there. She wonders just what happened to her dream.

What did happen to her dream? Janice became too comfortable.

When things don’t always work as we would hope we come up with a Plan B. In this case Janice got a job so she could pay her bills. That job became her security blanket. She was able to pay her bills, save money, and go on vacations; all basic things we would all like to do. Of course she would take a nice promotion. Of course she would work overtime to get a little more christmas money in her pocket and that nice bonus. Why wouldn’t she? It was the easier thing to do.

But the thing is, the more she stayed in that job, the harder it would be to switch to her dream.  That job had created a nice groove in her life and climbing out would be hard, it would be terrifying. It would take away the sureness of her next paycheck. It could cost her everything.

Why is it that we only welcome change or push for it when we are in discomfort?

Following the normal grind is easier, it’s comfortable because it is what we know. Following your dream is hard, painful, and sometimes feels like you are being torn apart from the inside out. There are moments in which I am building my dream in which I just want to put everything on pause and internet binge for the next five hours. I’ll even suddenly create a busy lifestyle of going out just to avoid doing what i know I should be doing. That is until my introvert spirit begs for rest.

I’m uncomfortable all the time but that is a good thing because the moment I become comfortable is the moment I stop growing, the moment I stop pursuing. Let’s go back to Janice.

Janice has decided to stop being comfortable. Although she is exhausted after work she pushes herself to stay upright and apply for jobs. While she waits to hear back she continues to work on sketches and 3D renderings of buildings. She stops at that construction site again but this time she makes friends with the contractors and GM.

And at work she says no to those overtime shifts and a promotion that will require her to take on more hours. It’s hard because she knows that it is good money she turned down but she knows that her dream will require sacrifice and if she is really going to make this work than she can’t be putting her time into other things. She knows these next few months are going to be hard but in the end it will be worth it.

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My Three Day Juice Cleanse

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So I decided to do a 3-day cleanse in hopes of flushing out all the dairy in my system. I’m lactose intolerant and for a long time I had been ignoring that fact and taking lactose pills to help. The only thing is they didn’t really help and the dairy effects were only muted not stopped.

Thus came eating paleo. I don’t really have an issue with grains but I wanted to cut back in them and I knew that none of the recipes contained dairy so that helped a lot.

I had already started eating a bit healthier the past few weeks but wanted to get rid of the bad stuff I had taken in, in the past. So came the three-day cleanse. Oh boy.

Day 1
So I don’t own a juicer but I had watched some YouTube videos on how I can blend vegetables with a blender. I have a ninja… It turned it into a very delicious salsa. So puréed and thick that there was barely any juice. Yum.

So Plan B: I went to a Trader Joe’s and bought some fresh made juice, enough to last me the three days. I got this low sodium garden one. Low sodium? Holy buckets it was super salty. If that was low sodium I don’t even want to think of what the regular one tasted like.

That being said the hardest part was at night. At work I would keep busy and not really think about food or eating but at night I slowed down and my mind could only think about food. I had read several blogs about this before hand and many of them said the same thing: you will want to eat not because you are hungry but for the sake of just putting something solid in you mouth and chewing it. Which was so true.

Day 2

Less hungry and again because I am at work I can focus less on food. Usually I wake up wanting to eat breakfast but this time I felt fine. The big thing was lack of sleep though. I had not been sleeping well the past few nights and this only seemed to expand this. I would be tired and want to go to bed yet I couldn’t fall asleep.

Tried one of the single juices I had bought (I bought a red and a green one, I tried the red). It was awful I don’t know why I thought it would be good after I read the ingredients again. It was tart and had a serious back bite from the ginger and celery in it. It said it had one apple too but it must have gotten lost on the way to the bottle. Hoping the green one is better.

Still want to shove everything I can in my mouth. Time seems to have slowed down and I am counting the hours until I can have solid food again. It’s weird wanting food so badly even when I’m not hungry. And it really doesn’t help when the other person in the house is cooking corn dogs and smelling up the place, lol.

Day 3 (Thank God!)

So this is the last day. Usually I have two events that go on so I spend sometime at panera or such place writing between events. Since I am not eating food I went to the library instead.

Noticing that my focus is really off and my tongue white and feels really dry even though I am drinking water. I read that these can both be side effects of juicing. It didn’t help that it was freezing in the library either.

Other bloggers wrote that by the third day they felt refreshed, not hungry, and a burst of energy. Some even said they felt they could keep going for days. I felt none of these things. Partly because I had maybe four hours of sleep. By the end of my second event I could barely stay awake. Also really wanted to eat food.

Conclusion

The second midnight hit and the three days were officially done I celebrated by eating a banana. It felt soooo good. Overall I do notice a bit of a difference but I think most of that will come into effect the next few days. Will I do this again? Uh probably not unless ordered by a doctor. It is expensive and a constant struggle of mind over matter.

So if any of you want to try this, good luck, and let me know how it turns out.

 

Photo credited to: FreeDigitalPhotos.net Photo by Apolonia.

Video: Why Bother Going Outside

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Sure with our technology today you could make the case that you don’t need to go see or do everything. You can simply experience it from your computer screen. But why should you?

In this video explorer Ben Saunders talks about why you should go outside and be out there more often. There are things you can’t experience just by watching someone else do them. And don’t just do the things that everyone else does. Take on a challenge and get moving! I couldn’t agree more.

Dazed and Thankful

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It’s that time of year where we start to remember just how good we got it, get into the merry holiday spirit, and shop till we drop. I know I may sometimes have the perspective of seeing what I don’t have as opposed to what I do but it is always good to stop and remind myself just how good I have it.

I got to spend another awesome Thanksgiving with my family and my extended family which is always a blast filled with good food, a buffet table of desserts, and of course the usual tradition, a rousing competitive game of Taboo. Yes, we are serious about that game and if you play with us you better bring your best stuff or be prepared to hear the trash talking.

Now you’re probably wondering where the dazed part comes into play and that’s because… Black Friday, of course. No I wasn’t one of those crazies out shopping right after diner. No, I was one of those crazy retail workers. I worked 9pm-9am. Yep a good ole 12hr shift. By the time I was done I was so tired I was awake. Of course then I went shopping at Barnes and Noble because well… I’m crazy, also they had good deals, and you don’t, you know, always make the best decisions when you’ve been awake for 24hrs and counting.

So to all my fellow retail workers of Black Friday I salute you and hope you eventually got some sleep and to everyone one else I hope your Thanksgiving was awesome and you found some things to truly be thankful for.

Currently Reading: Midnight Riot

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Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

Book: Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

This book is like crime scene/murder mystery + fantasy creatures + a sherlockian feel to it. I had been reading a lot of fantasy/science fiction type books lately but I was getting kind of bored with the usual fair or vampires, werewolves, and the like. What is interesting about this book is that it is take from the perspective of a cop who isn’t really that great at his job but some how takes a statement from a ghost on his first major case but isn’t bothered by it and things go from there. The character is slowly growing but in a comical and rather human pace.

There is also a good about of references to historical facts and events. The other thing is the characters are very diverse and even though there are the usual fantasy characters they almost take on a new twist with this different perspective. This is the first book in the Peter Grant series and I definitely plan to read more.

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).

 

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

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.

Setting Yourself Up: Power of the Imagination

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I woke up this morning to the sound of a snow plow moving snow outside my window. I immediately groaned inwardly because that could only mean on thing, it had snowed. Living in the frozen snowy tundra that is Minnesota there are many mornings like this where it snowed through the night. On this particular morning I had to get up at 5am.

As I laid in bed all I could think about is how much snow must have piled up, how I dreaded having to shovel it, wondering if I will be able to get my car out of the garage, and just how late this was going to make me, having not prepared for it. Even as I got up and started getting ready for the day I still wondered how much snow will be compacted at the end of my driveway and just how heavy that snow was. As I grabbed my breakfast the dread continued to build and build so that by the time I put on my coat and boots I was already in a foul mood.

I stood on the cusp of the garage step and with a heavy sigh and possibly a slight growl I hit the button to find out my doom. What did I see. Not much. Well there was something, about a few inches, but in Minnesota terms it basically equated to just enough to make things annoying but not enough where it won’t be melted by the end of the day. And just like that my spirits were lifted. It’s as nothing was ever wrong in the first place. I promptly got in my car and drove to my destination. Now if only I hadn’t allowed my imagination to run off in the first place I wonder how that would have turned out.

The imagination is a powerful thing. It allows us to create such images that can affect us greatly. Which is why it can also be very dangerous. In my case I have dreamt up such mounds of snow that I thought I would be shoveling for hours, late to where I was going, and subsequently put into a foul mood. Essentially I was put off before I even knew the outcome. Now let’s apply that to taking on new things.

Sometimes we are put off of doing things, namely those things that are hard or unfamiliar, even prior to starting it. Our imagination conjures up such horrible images as to how everything can and will go wrong that by the time we are done imagining we have given up entirely and put ourselves in a bad mood. Instead of dwelling on the thought of snow and building up the negatives I should have just let it go and faced the challenge head on when it came.

Instead of imagining how everything can go wrong we should imagine how everything can go right. Does that mean it will? No. But going into a situation with a positive outlook sets you up better for facing the challenge even if it doesn’t work out right. So the next time your imagination decides to run off with its friend negativity, bring it back and switch your focus. That way next time your mood won’t be put off before you even see that pile of snow.