All of us, no matter what field of work we’re in, have to find positive ways to deal with stress. Whether it’s hitting the gym, catching a live show or taking the occasional weekend trip, finding ways to reduce stress has become increasingly important. As a relative newcomer to shift work, I unfortunately found this out the hard way. Luckily, after a few minor bumps in the road, I’ve found a positive outlet to alleviate some of the anxiety from my job: PC gaming.READ MORE
Why Yearning Will Do Little to Help You to Realize Dreams
I think it’s only natural to yearn for some thing, some place or even some one, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s focus on some thing. It indicates a desire to accomplish, to achieve, to seek something that is not presently within your grasp. Unfortunately, procrastination is also natural. Yearning allows us to envision the possibility of what we could have and inspire dreams that if we’re not careful, will remain as just that.
We have to begin pushing the worlds of wanting and achieving together so that we can make our yearnings a concrete reality. First, you have to devise a plan of action. To quote Katherine Peterson: “A dream without a plan is just a wish.”. Wishes are just that: immeasurable, invisible and at the end of the day, sheer fantasy.
Once you begin to take those creative visualizations and set realistic goals to achieve them, you will have put a plan of action into motion. Ask yourself the following:READ MORE
Arriving in Arusha, Tanzania after the 32-hour journey, the four of us are exhausted. And jittery, for the next day we start our six-day trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. I think back on the year. My wife Nicky coming home one day, excited, having convinced the board where she works, The GI Cancer Institute, of her idea to solicit donors keen to climb Kilimanjaro. The Institute raises funds for clinical trial research dedicated to improving treatments for patients suffering from gastro-intestinal (GI) cancers.
Finding people touched by these cancers is not difficult. Whether any of them want to climb Kilimanjaro is another matter. At first it’s us four– Nicky, me, son Benjamin (age 25) and daughter Jessica (age 23). Luckily others join, and in the end, there are fourteen climbers, who together raise $142,000, doubling our initial goal.
The next day we arrive at Rongai Gate, elevation 1800 metres (5900 feet), and pour out of the bus. We see the porters for the first time: Dozens of them, preparing for our arrival. Lunch is served but I am too excited to eat. The trail is visible, snaking off into the trees. C’mon everybody, I think, finish up so we can get started!READ MORE
How Believing in Yourself Might be the Biggest Risk You Could Take
Recently, I’ve experienced a significant number of losses in a relatively short span of time. I guess it’s inevitable that such things would give anyone pause and start them on a journey of self evaluation. It becomes clearer and much more magnified how fragile life truly is and it makes us rethink our choices, the people that we associate with, the things that we’ve put off in one way or another and without fail, the amount of needless bullshit that we’ve tolerated on an on-going basis.
It’s often thought that with age comes wisdom; that through surviving a vast number of experiences – both good and bad – that you become stronger as a result. However, once you throw in a myriad of variables, quite the opposite could happen. Years of conditioning – positive or negative – can either build or breakdown a person’s will and spirit. If the latter occurs, it could literally take years to find your way back to some equilibrium.READ MORE
My English Cottage Garden Redux
Have you ever had a vision of creating something fantastic and the final outcome only registered a “blah”? That’s precisely what happened when I bought my house in 2001. I had just sold my townhouse because I had a dream of living in at least my version of an English Cottage Garden oasis and 300 square feet of outdoor space wasn’t going to cut it.
I needed something larger, something that would allow me to realize my vision of what a garden that was situated in the Cotswolds would look like. Except, the location would end up being in a sleepy little town in North West Georgia. I can’t say exactly what drew me to a little blue and white cottage but I knew that I wanted to buy it even before the realtor pulled up to the driveway.
It met all of my requirements: It had a basement, a deck and a front porch. The deal breaker would always be the porch. As a lifelong southerner, it was imperative that I had somewhere to sit and people watch. The best part is that it sat on one acre of land. The yard was mostly remnants of what could be termed as grass but you could tell that the former owner had tried to add her own touch to it at some point.READ MORE
You know how it feels when you’re walking down the street and you catch a glimpse of something familiar. Something that you know without a shadow of a doubt, who or what it is. Your pace quickens as you get closer, so sure that once you’ve caught up with whatever you’re chasing, you will be greeted warmly by sturdy hands embracing you because your presence was missed too.
I feel that way about writing. As you can see from my utter lack of recent posts, I took a long break from it in order to pursue another dream that I felt was calling me. I am so happy to have done so because I don’t ever want to live with even more regrets. I will continue with it, but I am most certain and harbor no doubt that writing is where I am meant to be.
Writing has been a part of my life for almost as long as I have been breathing. It has allowed me to encapsulate my deepest fears and most hopeful dreams safely within the realm of a collection of bound pages throughout the years.
It gave life to words that I dared not utter for fear of judgment or ridicule. It was my sacred place to store all of the feelings that both haunted and elated me and I could come back to revisit them at my own choosing.
Are you at a point in your life where you’re constantly frazzled, burning the candle at both ends and can barely fire two synapses together because you are on emotional overload? You’re being pulled from all sides….the boss has you on an impossible deadline and so far the only thing that you’ve managed to produce is a case of the heebie jeebies (but who can afford to be out of work in this economy?). Your kids are convinced that you have tentacles that can extend and retract at will. Your significant other (an otherwise bright and intelligent person) becomes befuddled when it’s time to load a dishwasher and the mere mention of housework makes them apoplectic.
The irony of it all, is that you are stressing because of someone else. Don’t get me wrong we all have obligations, both professional and familial. While your hands may be somewhat tied when it comes to your livelihood, it does not have to be the case anywhere else. Unless that’s how YOU want it to be. A lot of the pressures that we feel come from external forces. We’re supposed to have an immaculate home, perfect robotic children, run the daily car pool like clockwork and fix seven dinners a week that would make Wolfgang Puck jealous. We are too busy living the life that others expect, in fact, demand of us.
Luckily, there is a way to get off of the crazy train. By giving yourself permission to orchestrate your life in a way that is meaningful to you, you can reclaim your sanity.
Here are a few tips to get you closer sanity:READ MORE
Everybody has a story. Each story is a mix of varying parts of happiness, sadness, hope and regret. It’s rare to find anyone who is completely happy with their lot in life, but the smart ones know that complaining never helps nor does it make anything better. If they are dissatisfied with the path they’re on, they’ll strive to make changes that will take them on a different route. But some folks worry about what others might say in response to the new attitude that seems counter the way that they’ve always known them to be.
For the same reason that pencils have erasers, you can decide to change anything about your life that doesn’t mesh with the person that you presently see yourself as…..or even want to be. Even though a pencil can erase, you can still see the vestiges of what was underneath.
It doesn’t negate what has gone on before; it just allows you to move beyond it….to clean the slate…..to redirect your path. You can change the storyline; remembering that just because it happened doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a rewrite.READ MORE
There are certain unpleasant truths in life. Racism is one of them because it refuses to die a natural death and can and will live on forever into eternity if left unchecked. Many would have us believe that it’s unfashionable or gauche to declare this fact. I suppose it’s because it’s uncomfortable for them to acknowledge it and it’s easier to either to deny or ignore the damage that it causes to the ones it’s aimed at and the one who doing the aiming. As long as it is marginalized and not dealt with forthrightly, it will continue. But it doesn’t have to.
A travel blogger friend of mine was relating how she’s constantly refused taxi service in Indonesia. Of course, there will be the requisite declarations about how difficult everyone has it. It’s one thing to suffer from the mere state of being human. It’s another to suffer because of preconceived notions about your status as a human being.
There is an old saying, “Your blues ain’t like mine”. It’s not meant to minimize anyone’s personal journey. It is meant to illustrate the difficulty and the ridiculousness of being made to pay for a deficit that exists only in the mind of the person holding false truths about someone. I’ve always felt that I can’t make everyone love me, nor would I want to. But I refuse to tolerate blatant disrespect that I’ve never earned. This same friend has been notified by her broker that the owner doesn’t want black people living in the apartment that she’s paid for six months in advance.
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou
What a familiar refrain, it’s romantic and decisive; but what if it didn’t matter? What if some things are simply out of your reach no matter how much you desire it? I’m the biggest proponent of going out into the world to fight for what you want, but there are times when fighting, no matter how valiant, is useless.
I was gently reminded of that fact on the eve of my birthday earlier this week; that just because an opportunity presents itself doesn’t mean that it will end favorably. Realizing that fact is probably the most pertinent; otherwise, you will allow yourself to drift into a state of delusion.