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.

Why Watch the News?

It seems as though with each election cycle that the media progressively becomes more like a badly scripted reality show. The media is so out of touch with most hardworking Americans, and we don’t have time for that! I don’t sit down and watch regularly anymore because I feel lied to and insulted every time I’m subjected to it; kind of like watching the Kardashians.
What the media fails to realize is that the average American is smarter than they believe, we know how to look up reliable statistics and facts on the internet, and we form our own opinions. Middle America is waking up with a really bad hangover from the bill of goods that we have been sold from both sides of the aisle. People seem to be paying more attention on their own this elctions cycle, and that is the reason political misfits like Trump and Sanders are doing so well.
When the media dumbs down Trump supporters and exhalts a Marxist like Sanders, it makes one wonder who really owns our government, academia, and our media. Rioters and criminals are given a free pass, and those exercizing their rights of speech and assembly are vilified. Common sense and compromise simply don’t exist in this “I want it my way, and I want it now society.” 
The media seems bewildered with the rise of Trump and Sanders, thus making them even larger looking idiots. Sanders is quite out there and stimulates the restless youth that have been spoon fed information, rather than facts and free thought. Trump speaks confidently and firmly, and whether one agrees with him or not, he owns his own campaign and his brash tone is refreshing to many that have had it with smooth talking politicains blowing smoke up their asses.
The mainstream media better wake up and serve their viewers, or they are going to lose more of them. Stop sensationalizing, state the facts and speak to your audience level, not below it. There are enough awful, attention seeking reality shows out there, and I don’t care to watch any of them.

Fear of those First Words

Starting a blog at my age can be a bit scary, it’s like starting a whole new career after 22 years of nursing. Oh wait, I did that! Of course I did a lot of writing in college, even high school, and also in my spare time between work and kids. The difference today is it’s out there to be shared, criticized or celebrated. I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes me.
I hope in starting this new endeavor that I not only grow as a writer, but inspire independent thinking and fearless discussion in others. I look forward to connecting with new people and receiving advice or criticism that enables me push further and do better. To buffer any stress that this may cause me, I just want you all to know that I have adequate supplies to get me through.
  1. Bottle of red
  2. Bottle of white
  3. Chocolate
  4. Coffee
  5. If I’m lucky, 8 hours of sleep. Good Night!

 

Drinking Coffee Alone

There is nothing more peaceful than my balcony in the morning with my steaming hot cup of coffee. As the steam rises I stare at the river bed below admiring the haze between the trees, contemplating my thoughts, belief system and the universe in general. It is the calm before the storm of my day; alone but far from lonely.
It is in this moment that I reflect on the radical elements of society, trying to find middle ground if there is such a thing. I’m not exactly traditional, nor am I  a man hating feminist that blames men for all of her problems, or societies for that matter. A true independent woman will take ownership of her lot in life, her emotions and ability to succeed. She thinks critically and doesn’t believe in the promises of a political party offering government assistance to aid in her happiness, or help her succeed. Government programs to help women have existed for decades, yet despite this, certain parties will still subjuate us to victim status. I find this rather insulting and it’s not buying my vote in this hotly contested election season. Ladies, if we’re gonna roar, we had better start voting with our pocket books and future generations in mind, not our one sided issues.
It is in the quiet of the morning, with my cup in hand, I drink. With only the sound of birds, I form my thoughts and opinions while I read the news in the only moment of peace before work, then coming home to play domestic goddess. This is why I drink my coffee alone.