I Care About My Country, Not Your Feelings

This election cannot be determined by our opinions of environmental issues, feminism, gay marriage, abortion or animal rights! We must leave our petty, yes I said petty, feelings aside. Our children deserve a sensible government and the same opportunities we, and the generations before us had. We are the most selfish parents that ever came before!

Not only has a growing, overreaching government that WE elected, over-regulated businesses to death, it seeks to divide the races, classes, and religions against each other to pursue a massive power grab which will leave its citizens powerless in the end. Still we worry about our individual feelings. GROW UP!

Our children are going to have nothing left of their paychecks, and receive only the services that the government deems fit, with little competition to provide a reasonable service at best.

It seems as though we have lost our common sense as well. Every country in the world has standards for immigration, yet we let everyone in, because you know, “feelings”. I’m all for people coming here legally, but let’s be honest, it’s not the best elements coming across the border, or they would come legally. If Europe hasn’t been an example of why we shouldn’t be letting hoards of refugees come in from the Middle East, we and the politicians have lost our minds. REALLY?! I guess it’s better to be nice and politically correct than to protect this Great Nation?

It’s a sad day when “feelings” and “appearing to pity people” are more of a concern than the security of a nation and the future of it. I guess image and our fake tolerance supersedes a nations security and the people in it. Remember, a politicians votes can be bought, back room deals made to protect them and their families, they don’t care about you and your family, only the votes they can squeeze from you to keep their jobs.

It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you vote. Fire them all in the upcoming primaries and elections. It’s time to clean house! It’s time we all start yelling for term limits, and if we aren’t served, vote them out every two terms. We The People must stand together and limit our politicians. Our squabbling is diminishing our power and handing them their rule on a silver platter. Let’s join together and show them who’s boss!

Why Hobbies are Your Number One Asset

Imagine your life without enjoyment. Imagine going out with friends, meeting someone that catches your eye and having nothing to say when asked what you do for fun. Can you imagine looking at that person and saying, “I go to work, go home and watch t.v.” That night however, you happen to be at a bar, so that wonderful, attractive person you just met now thinks you’re an alcoholic. Many employers also ask about your hobbies. They don’t ask this for the purpose of small talk. Your hobbies tell them a lot about your ability to relate to others, find time to unwind and handle stress, and to find out how well-rounded you are and uncover transferable skills.

I understand as a single mom that hobbies can be expensive, but very necessary. Without an outlet to laugh and have fun, life is just pain empty. Find hobbies that you can do by yourself, with friends, and your current or future children. This offers you flexibility to enjoy your own company, entertain friends or spend family time together. Fishing, camping and hiking are very low cost, and often free; and in the event of armegeddon, you’re also a survialist. You can’t lose! Photography is great too, and can be enjoyed indoors and out. It’s expensive to start, but it is an artistic way to put your own design stamp in your home. In a nutshell, hobbies are the best road leading to independence.

To save money, in which I have become a pro at  out of necessity, browse thrift shops, pawn shops and garage sales. Many people buy items new and never use them, after growing tired ot their clutter, you score an almost new item for a fraction of the price. We all know people that do not pursue their interests and unfortunately, we often see the unhealthy results. Hobbies can mean the difference in our overall mental and physical health, keeping depression and obesity at bay, thus decreasing medical costs. Forcing oneself to set aside one to two nights weekly becomes habitual overtime, so get out there and live your life Happily Ever After, even if it’s just you.

 

Freedom in Faith, Bondage in Religion

Faith written on rural roadI was raised in a church going home and could miss a day of school with more ease than a Sunday at church. Confused by the hypocrisy of my fellow church goers, ministers and other authority figures, I fell away from my strong childhood faith in God and Christ. I questioned every teaching ever dealt to me, exploring everything from Atheism, Wicca, and everything in between. I made life altering mistakes, leaving me hopeless and financially, as well as emotionally depleted.

In my late thirties I had no choice but to go crawling back to God. I had to leave the toxic influences and people behind and rebuild my life. Although rebirth or growth is never a straight and narrow highway, it’s a necessary road one must take. This trip however was to be driven alone. I had to realize that faith is a journey one must travel alone, without man made religion, government intervention, or well-meaning loved ones. Faith is a gift found in solitude when one realizes loneliness and hardship were conquered by an unknown strength from within.

There are two things governments and religions have in common, and it’s control over their subjects hearts and minds. Some are so weak that they kill, ridicule and abuse others in the name of God or Country instead of in defense of them. Real security in ones belief system is not necessarily to lay down and agree with another, but to lay down the hatred and vengeance of another.

Peace on Earth will not be granted by a religion or government, but by us as individuals. For in our hearts in minds we have the power to choose either love or hate, perform good or bad deeds, and to provide or to take. For God, or whatever name your faith names the higher power, does not dwell in institutions, but within us.

Eat, Drink and Enjoy!

We only live once. Every time we turn around there’s an article contradicting another about what we should or shouldn’t eat. Food and diet trends come and go, yet we spend so much thought on what the medical science of the day tells us what, and what not to eat, only to find a few years later that science somehow changed.

Food is more than just nourishment. Cultural, social and family identities revolve around this complex fuel that energizes both the body and the mind. When we remember Grandma, we remember the love she put into the holiday meal. The same can be said when remembering a place, a time or a lost love. Food and drink have so much more to offer than just nutrient value, they feed the soul!

Embracing a decadent meal must be treated like a new found love, for searching deep into the character and cultural background makes a meal that much more memorable. Living life to the fullest is what matters most, so eat purely, not out of a box. Develop a relationship with your food, and don’t worry what others think or say. This after all is the only relationship you will ever have in which variety does not cause jealousy or gossip. Throw caution to the wind once in a while. You’ll be happy you did.

The Necessary Evil of Credit

A self-governing individual must achieve some degree of financial security to maintain sovereignty. Having to explain ones spending to a parent, significant other, financial or social service institution, or a friend you owe money to is not exactly freedom. I know, for I have had to answer to some of these aforementioned entities myself. Learning the skill of managing money and credit are vital to ones financial and emotional independence. It takes a lot of self-discipline to live within your means, accept accountability for your mistakes and vow to never make them again.

Establishing credit is vital to achieving the ability to navigate one’s own destiny. Without credit, or poor credit it is difficult to obtain a home loan, car loan or any other line of credit without a cosigner. Credit utilization is a huge factor in FICO scores and without utilization it is difficult to achieve a decent credit score.

A great way to obtain credit without a cosigner is to obtain a secured or unsecured credit card from your bank or credit union. Your money securing the credit is placed on hold in savings, and most personal banks will charge you a lower interest rate than a large conglomerate. It is often recommend to use only one-third of the credit, and pay all, or most of the balance off every month to minimize paying interest. Establishing an excellent payment history can increase your score rather quickly.  When your score rises you should apply for an unsecured card with the best rewards, minimal or low annual fee, and a decent credit line to increase your score further.

Once you obtain a card with a good reward structure that suits your needs, you can free up your cash flow by using the card to take advantage of the reward structure your particular card offers, as well as paying bills due between paydays. This avoids late fees, utility shut offs, or running out of gas between paydays. This offers you the flexibility of paying it off every payday, or floating some of the balance if needed if unforeseen circumstances arrive.

Credit cards can also cause a lot of problems. Late fees vary from card to card, and can add up, thus cutting your ability to save money or pay down your balance. If you are more than thirty days late on a payment it will also lower your score and affect your ability to get credit in the future, and having to make many payments with interest to several credit cards can cause a lot of debt and stress. These situations will suffocate your monthly cash flow and hinder your ability to save.

Following this advice may save you the pain I’ve suffered in the past due to irresponsible use of credit. A credit card is a financial tool, not a ticket to spend on things you can’t already afford. If the expense is not already in my monthly budget it does not go onto my card, and I also try to limit its use to the rebate categories as these are expenses I will have anyway, and I might as well get rewarded for them. I pay off my balance every payday and avoid interest charges, and if I have to carry over a portion of the balance because of an unexpected event to maintain cash flow, I pay it off as soon as possible to minimize the hit on interest as well as my line of credit.

Here’s to you on your journey to self-governing! Free thought and an independent lifestyle are the building blocks to happiness. I wish you all joy and success.

Laughing at the Rear View Mirror

Some circumstances in life we cannot control, others we can and occassionally choose not to. Looking back I either wonder, or know that I made the right choice, and then there are the self-deprecating face palms of decisions past that I will not detail to protect the innocent, as well as the accomplices.

One should always atone for actions that hurt another so that all parties involved can effectively move on. Shame and guilt cannot linger in the soul and must be released. Failing to forgive oneself inhibits personal growth, happiness and even economic success that one needs to fully contribute to society. We cannot give to others what we refuse to receive for ourselves, and sadly it took over 40 years for me to figure this out.

I no longer look back on my life with doubt, only joys and lessons learned. I realize some of my failures became blessings or a dodged bullet, and others nothing more than an educational experience that should never be repeated. The choice I do have is my perception of any given circumstance, and the attitude I choose to have navigating those circumstances. When all is said and done, perception and attitude are the most valuable tools we own.

Having it All

Friday is finally here! Except now it’s 12:17 a.m. on Saturday. I meant to sit down this evening, have a lovely cocktail after taking my son for dinner and write a little. Not how things actually went down. I’ve been plunging a toilet most of the evening.

I am a sure product of the eighties, told that we can aquire and accomplish all, raise 2.5 kids, maintain a social life and a marriage. These were not only goals our foremothers ingrained into us, but our duty as women to fulfill as to pay homage to the feminists before us.

Well happily I failed them! My ulcers, headaches, and depression have long passed, as well as the heart palpitations of anxiety. I realized that perfection was unattainable, to find that the journey of attempting to achieve it is far more fun if seen as a road trip. That Aquanet induced hallucination of having it all has passed, and I’m a better woman for it.

 

Life Doesn’t Begin at 40….It Starts Over!

I believe life begins at conception, others believe it begins when the first breath is taken, some say it begins at forty.  I would argue the latter. If one hasn’t done their share of stupid escapades, put up with a nemesis, significant other, and or kids; what did you possibly learn?

For most, forty is an approximate half way point. You aren’t young, you’re not old, but somewhere in between. One hits forty and often finds themselves laughing and crying at the same time. Laughing at the stupid things that by the grace of God you survived, and crying over what you haven’t accomplished or experienced.

At 40 one starts over, or lays a game plan in place for doing so. Life flies by and there is no time to waste. What’s done is done, but what is not must be finished or at least put into motion to be completed. One begins to take inventory of memories, lessons, defeats and victories and sets forth an agenda for the next half of life we would like to live to see.

Life starts over because new goals are set, we decide to let go of the past and start anew. We may find ourselves making rapid and drastic changes as we look back and see how fast the first half went, knowing the second half will likely move faster and with slower bodies to keep up.

Cheers to the other side of 40. May we learn to work smarter, not harder, to live in abundance even on a budget, love deeply and openly, laugh often and give more. Live in the light, focus on your blessing and drink the wine. Life is too short not too.