A Different Slant on New Years Resolutions

This is different slant on New Year Resolutions. Instead of making a few vague rules about what you want to do different, I offer a change to a more fulfilled life. If you are happy with your life, I do not think you would be here wondering what I have to say. Welcome.

I am happy and content these days, living my life mostly in the moment, but I worked hard to achieve this state. I thought writing about my path may help you improve your life. Of all the lessons I have learned over my lifetime, there is one lesson that is bigger than the rest. That lesson is, we are more alike than different. The way I was and the who I am now is something people before me and people after have done and will do. You can do it too.

If you see yourself in what I write below, be patient. Know your life will change, and you will find happiness and contentment. If nothing I write below relates to your life, know that for many people, loneliness and despair is their normal life state. Reach out and touch them. They want you to see them.

Be part of the world, it is easier

Isolation can be overcome, you can do it.

It happened to me either one New Years Eve or possibly New Years night many years ago. Maybe it as early as Christmas. It certainly wasn’t later than the first week of January, as I would have my emotions under control [again] by then. This particular incident happened sometime after one in the morning, probably after two. My days and nights ran into one another in those days. Living life slowly and relaxing was for other people.

I was living out west, in the mountains. From a good vantage point, it was possible to see more stars than could be counted in a lifetime. I was walking home late at night, down a dark street. I didn’t have a car. The little town I called home didn’t have lighted streets.

Walking home, this night for some reason was different. Everything I looked at was overly sharp and vibrant. This time of night my world and thinking should have been cloudy and hazy with loosely construed thoughts. I looked up and saw a sky full of galaxies, millions of stars. I was alone in all of it. I was separated from everything and everyone. Family, friends, people in general lived in the same plane as me, though in a different dimension. We inhabited the same space separately, or so it seemed.

I remember looking to the sky that night and thinking, ‘if I could go to anyone of those living stars, I would still be an outsider, on the outside, looking in. I felt I didn’t have anything in common with the smallest speck of dust, or any of the people who cared about me and were my friends. I couldn’t have a heart to heart talk with them as none were close enough for me to confide in them. Most of all, I never felt happy and normal like people around me seemed to feel and act.

That period of my life happened so many chapters ago in my book of life, I can no longer feel how invisible I felt; how alone, how distant. When I think about my life back then, it feels like it was someone’s life I have memories from. It isn’t the me. These days, I am content. I am happy, almost abnormally so. Yet, I can’t think of single event in my life I would go back and change, because changing anything might change who I am now, I really like who I am now.

I also know that feeling so distant and separated from everything isn’t unusual. What was different for me, is I didn’t know other people felt the same. We are all very good actors. I did believe with certainty, and outside of rational thinking, there was a life ahead of me much better than the life I was living. I only had to go forward with my life and find it.

I held on to that belief through those years of my life. I watched a few friends and acquaintances destroy themselves and their lives, and the lives of those closest to them in the process. Drinking, drugs, loneliness, depression, most made it through, but a few gave up and selfishly cashed in their life. I was lucky, I, “Kept my eyes on the prize”, to almost quote a line from an old hymn.

I still have difficulty with too much idle chatter. I think more varied thoughts than most people around me. I wonder about other realities, the universe and everything in it. I think about the future and the past. The visible and the invisible.

However, I have lived a mostly honorable life. Though I may have been lost longer than I should have been. I now make my life fun, only now not at other people’s expense – that was a hard lesson to learn. People weren’t real to me, and their feelings didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t mean or vindictive, I just could not relate closely to people and their problems.

Of course I did some things I shouldn’t have done. I hurt people that didn’t deserve to be hurt. I intentionally hurt people I thought deserved to be hurt. I hurt them not knowing they were already damaged beyond anything I would ever do to them. In those early years, I lived with one way relationships, my way or no way.

I lived each day one step from letting the worst of myself lead the way. Preferring to having the best of myself shine through and lead the way. Now, “Life is good!”. I hope I don’t get sued for that comment, I hear the phrase is copyrighted, but it is the best and simplest way to say it.

I am here now, and I am better than I have ever been before. I have left most of my bad habits behind me. The few bad habits I have left, I will have forever. I made through to the other side of life, and you can too.

If you see yourself in what I have written. If you feel you have reached a point where you can’t go on anymore; If you feel so distant, alone and forgotten that you will never be found, take this on trust, life will get better and you will come to love yours.

Isolation happens on the inside and radiates outward. We isolate ourselves without realizing it we have shut everyone out. After a time, we forget we had human connections. Family, friends, people in our life, people we meet all care about is, and give us exactly what we project out.

People will sense our isolation and project it right back to us, because isolation is what we are putting out there. We humans have a polished expertise. With laser focus, we reflect back to the people what we see in them. If you doubt this think of the homeless. How do you think of them?

If you feel isolated and alone, people in your daily life will help you feel more isolated and alone. If you feel like you aren’t understood, (this is normal sometime), you think people do not understand you and your life, be patient. Live life your way, and don’t expect or need anyone to understand you. This is your life, be selfish with yourself. This is something you have to work out on your own time frame. Give other people the same leeway and respect, they have their own problems they are dealing with.

If you are like me, and like to think about serious things, do not expect people to want to talk about them with you. We are all trying to pursue a state happiness. Lighten up and talk to people on their level. Practice makes perfect. You may find you enjoy it and are good at it.

If your dress is unusual or unique, how many people do you see each day like you? How many parents with their children do you see looking like you? How many financially successful people look like you? Zero? If this is you, there are two real choices for you. Change your dress and try to fit in, or find somewhere to live where everyone else is more like you.

If you are looking for a friend or partner, it really helps to ask yourself, who are you trying to attract? Do you want a flakey fly by night friend or partner because they can relate to you in the moment, or do you want someone who will make you life better for years to come, to make you proud, and be a good parent to your future children. Life is not a movie fantasy.

What feels better to you, being alone and refusing to change, or starting to build a life you will be happy with and proud of? I am thinking you want most of what you see going on with people around you. You want real relationships, and you want to be happy too.

I started my journey with a few words written on a piece of paper pinned to the wall, placed where I would see it most of the time. Those letters were: IGTDSBIGTBSF. Quite a handful, and I would always get a questions about it: “What does that mean?” I would say, “I’m going to die someday, but I’m going to be somebody first”. Obviously by my choice of wording, I didn’t feel like someone back then.

I refused to keep the same behaviors I was comfortable with, because they hadn’t done much for me over the years. I thought any change in my behavior was an improvement over my old behaviors. Change came slowly, good change, healthy change. Life got better. Life became great!

The world is far from perfect, but the world of all is a lot better than living life in a world of one. Your life will get better, if you only let it. Let people in, listen to them, and be empathetic when they tell you their problems. Be their friend, and let them be yours.

Get out there and talk with people and find common ground with them. They need you, and you will find you need them just as much. Just don’t expect any one person to be your everything, be happy for the part of your life they fill, more people are on the way, as long as you are willing to let them in.

You will find the hollowness you now feel will slowly retreat until one day you realize, a new kid lives on the block. The old you is a vague memory. And you will wonder if that was someone else who inhabited you body and lived your life all those years.

Smart Phone Not Charging Hack and Rant

My phone has become harder and harder to charge over the last year. I changed cables and that is not the problem. The problem is around the plug in the phone itself, perhaps it’s a software thing, no way to know for sure. It was taking a lot of fiddling with the cord to get it to seat just right in the phone plug and start charging.

Then the fiddling was taking longer and longer. I would have to keep pressure on the cord seating with the phone for several seconds before it would keep charging without my pushing on the cord. I was losing patience with pressing and holding the cord, only to let go and have the phone stop charging. I thought the price of this phone was outrageous when I purchased it, so I am not about to go out and buy and new one.

Smart phones are doing pretty much the same things they have done for the last ten years, so what is the point of upgrading? What I did was find two strong rubber bands and connected them to the phone cord. Now I plug in the cord to the wall socket, plug the cord into the phone, and pull the rubber bands over the phone to keep tension on it. For now, this is a good fix.

As my phone won't charge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the same type of behavior by my previous smart phone, after about the 2.5 year of ownership mark, This phone started really annoying behaviors suddenly. I would take my smart phone out of my pocket to find the dial pad on screen with gibberish in the number section, blue tooth turned itself off, Web pages I never visited opened, settings screen opened, and other annoying behaviors.

I only have a few basic apps installed, and they are in the apps store of both majors app stores, so I think I can discount them as the cause of the problem. I don not have enough faith in the integrity of any App Store to load too many apps on my phones. It isn’t worth the risk.

At about this time period, cost of ownership was down to around $1.00 a day. If I was paying monthly for the phone, it would have been payed off for a few months. Is this the break point for smart phones? When cost of ownership reaches a certain point, a random selection of annoying behaviors appear, bothersome enough to make the owner think of upgrading?

If this errant smart phone behavior was a one-time occurrence I would think nothing of it. There is a track record of this behavior starting with my old phone from a different company. It too started a pattern of erratic behavior around the two year of ownership mark. So too have some of the smart phones of other people I know, suddenly developed this odd behavior that eventually goes away.

One smart phone maker was found out for programming this behavior into their older smart phones a few years ago to make owners upgrade to a more expensive smart phone. This is what prompted me to change brands. I wonder if my current smart phone’s maker is doing the same thing, only a little more subtle? Staying current with technology is one thing. Being nudged into buying a newer same old is another thing completely.

From the user side of cell phones, we do not have the technology or authority to be able to examine the OS code and determine whether a behavior that eventually goes away was a mistake or intentional bug to encourage upgrades. However, the price of a new smart phones and the immense profit margin has me wondering.

Judging on the length of time and the progressively degrading behavior of trying to charge my phone, I am afraid this hack is little more than a band aid fix. In the moment, I have had enough of flagship phones acting up after a few years, and will probably purchase at a lower level phone than the flagship model.

Child Neglect Via Shopping Cart

This is a serious post, about behavior that needs to stop. If you prefer not to read negative material, pass on this post.

Child Neglect as defined by Psychology today:

“Child neglect is defined as any confirmed or suspected egregious act or omission by a parent or other caregiver that deprives a child of basic age-appropriate needs and thereby results, or has reasonable potential to result, in physical or psychological harm. Younger children are neglected most, and more girls suffer from neglect than boys.”

The Child Neglect I am seeing in almost every business that has a shopping carts, is Children old enough to walk on their own through the age of preteen, and sometimes older, sitting in shopping cart baskets by their Parent(s directive. I find this practice of placing Children of a reasonable walking age in a shopping cart basket, as lazy parenting, with shades of Child Neglect.

Child Neglect in Public, and it’s getting worse every day

It is disturbing enough to see Toddlers with cell phones jammed in their faces while the Parent(s) shop unbothered about someone else minding their children via the internet. Elementary age Children sitting in shopping cart baskets watching who knows what on a cell phone or a tablet, ignored by the Parent(s). Teen Age Children sitting in shopping cart baskets  is to me, beyond lazy and should be considered Child Neglect.

Our Children according to the Centers for Disease Control has this to say, “In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Data from 2015-2016 show that nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity.”

Parents are teaching their children, sitting is preferred over using their body in any manner reflecting normal movement. Seeing Children in shopping carts is no different than seeing a Child in a Pet Carriers in the grocery store. The only difference is in the moment, one is apparently socially acceptable and the other is not.

Perhaps some of these parents are keeping their children in large Pet Carriers behind the closed doors of their homes? Doing this would really make parenting easier.

No reasonable adult would be quiet seeing a child in in a Pet Carrier. What is the difference between a shopping cart basket and a pet carrier? Nothing, other than one is open and the other is enclosed. Confinement is confinement, whether a Child is placed in shopping cart basket or a pet carrier.

Lazy and/or ignorant Parents are doing this to their Children. How distasteful and lazy to raise your Child to think it is okay for them to sit in a cage. Children don’t know any better, and in the case of the Child in this picture, the Parent is released from Parenting duties. This Child’s Parent(s) were not within thirty feet of the Child in the shopping cart. I did not know who the Parent(s) were!

Parents doing this must feel relieved of responsibility of their Child’s behavior. They probably feel like good parents as their Children are controlled. After all, what can a Child do sitting confined in a shopping cart. Parents doing this should be ashamed of themselves.

I feel this post is incomplete because I am not sure what needs to be done. I have no doubt that some type of action needs to be taken. This abhorrent behavior of keeping Children in Shopping Cart Baskets because it is convenient needs to stop.

Fast and Easy Toilet Bowl Cleaning for Busy People

Just a blip on the easiest and fastest way to clean your toilet. With caveats of course. If you have a family, or a lot of people using your toilet, this may be a method you want to skip. However, if only one or two people use your toilet, you may find this method works really well for you.

Not a lot to it. You should already have everything you need. You will need a pair of chemical resistant gloves, bottle of your favorite bleach, toilet brush, and a cleaning cloth. If there is anything in the toilet bowl except water, you will need to flush the toilet and let it refill.

Fastest and easiest Toilet Cleaning Method

1. Put on the gloves.

2. Pour the recommended amount of bleach into the toilet bowl. You are probably going to add bleach to about a quart of water, so less than 1/4 cup is all you need. You want to clean your toilet, not fumigate the whole house.

3. Wet the rag with the bleach water. Wring out excess bleach water. Wipe down the outside surface of the toilet, starting with the cleanest areas first (tank, seat and lid). If needed, rinse your cleaning cloth in toilet bowl, and wring out. Wipe the outside surface of the toilet bowl.

4. Set the cleaning cloth aside for a moment to pick up the toilet bowl brush. Scrub the inside of the bowl slowly – you don’t want to splash. Wipe up any water on the top of the bowl surface.

5. Flush the toilet. At this point, you can rinse the cleaning cloth in the now clean toilet bowl, or wherever you rinse out your cleaning cloths.

If you have never had cats or dogs in the house, or know someone who does, this might seem like a questionable way to clean your toilet. Every dog and cat that I have have had, frequently drank from the toilet bowl. Cats prefer the smell over stagnant water in there bowl. All of them lived a long, healthy life. The toilet bowl itself doesn’t get too dirty if you stay up with it.

This cleaning method has the advantage, of not having a bucket of bleach water to contend with. Everything is self contained in the toilet bowl. The time savings come from not using a bucket, pouring out the used bleach water into the toilet, flushing the toilet, rinsing the bucket, and putting it to dry.

Okay, the time savings are not ginormous or so it seems. However if you clean your toilet once a week, and save about a minute or so each week, you have about an extra hour in your life for something that makes you happy.

The American Dream is Alive and Well

What happened to the American Dream? Some people today, think the American Dream is dead. The American Dream was something older people have taken away. Something they hoard and refuse to share. Something that can be looked at, but never be a part of.

For all our access to information, young people miss the big picture. With constant access to information, little time seems to be spent reading about how many millionaires and billionaires were self made. Each and every American Dream is earned, not awarded. Generational money does not last long.

If one is ever lucky enough to observe a CEO in action, watching them is really something to see. Most start on their future before entering their teens. They read, study, and create. Some have a real business while in their teens. I like to think one young boy I mentored is going to be among the group who achieves his American Dream.

The boy was nine years old when I was to be his mentor. It was the beginning of October and the weather was turning cool. He lived with his Mother, and if he knew his Father, he never mentioned him. The first few weeks I spent with him, I wondered how a young boy coming from a poor background with so much against him, would ever manage to break out of poverty and a hard life.

Then came Halloween and my perception of him changed almost overnight. Like every kid who’s candy supply is limited by lack of funds and a candy store, he was out tricker-treating with the best of them. He told me he had about three-fourths of bag of candy for his effort.

He also told me he only ate a few pieces himself. He knew all the other kids he knew and could imagine, ate their candy as fast as they could. By the end of the week, all the kids would have a dim memory of Halloween candy or any candy. His candy was hidden away in his room.

The next week, he told me something astounding. He was selling his candy to the kids in his school! He sold the penny candy for five cents; the other candies sold for ten cents to a quarter depending on the candy. The few candy bars he had, he sold for a dollar each.

I was impressed and thought he would spend his money on a bicycle, electronic game (if he even had a game counsel), or something else he wanted. When I asked him what he was going to do with his money, to say I was surprised was putting it mildly. He told me he had bought packets of beer salt, lime flavored, a box of packets. The price worked out to about three cents a lime salt package. To say the least, I could not imagine why he wanted lime salt packets. I was thinking about all the things he could buy.

Then he told me he was selling the lime packets at his school for a quarter a piece. Sales at a quarter a piece were a little slow, so he was thinking of maybe selling them for twenty cents, and was willing to go down to fifteen cents as his schoolmates access to money was limited.

He went along for a number of weeks, until a student turned him in. He told me many of the kids were angry he got busted, as he was their goodies supplier. He tried to be sneakier, but was found out again. He changed his selling hours to before and after school.

I have no doubt that this little boy is a prosperous man now that he is grown, and probably has kids of his own. Which brings me back to being able to observe a CEO. I was fortunate enough to work for a Fortune 100 company. I never had the opportunity to observe a CEO, but we knew about him. His office was no bigger than the other offices in the building he worked out of. If you didn’t know who he was, you would think he was one of many office workers.

The American Dream is live and well, if you really want a part of it.

I was fortunate enough to see our plant manager in action however, or at least the hours he worked. He did not work as part of the company, as far as he was concerned he was in charge of the company, or so it appeared. When I worked afternoons and evenings, it was not unusual to see him at eight or nine o’clock in the evening, touring his little empire, observing and talking to low level employees.

When I went to day shift, he was onsite and wandering around at six o’clock in the morning, before most employees were even on site. When I came in on my days off, he was there. Seven days a week, sometime sixteen hours a day, this man was working. Not many people have that kind of drive, even though the payoff is huge, if money is your motivator.

He was probably worth several millions of dollars. He could do anything he wanted to do, yet he chose to spend his life working and growing his little section of a big company empire. Work was his life, there were days when I thought he would work for free. Then he hit fifty, retired and dipped his toes into a world he knew little of, everyday life. His kids were going to college, and he was just starting to be a family man.

The American Dream killer is – few people are willing to make the sacrifice and put in the work. It is easier to believe the dream is dead. There is face saving in believing the American Dream is dead. Blame society because one lacks the initiative to work harder than others for a greater reward. Blame the rich, though many of the rich started with little, and created their own slice of the American Dream.

Looking at most of the wealthiest people alive today, and for the last hundred years, many share one common trait. They had a lucky break, but they worked harder and longer than anyone they knew to be successful. The American Dream is out there for everyone. All anyone has to do is want it, work for it, and dream it – to the extreme. What is your Dream and how does it compare to those who made theirs a reality?