There are some rather big milestones built into our life that we pass through as we grow and mature into adulthood and beyond. Think “Terrible Two’s”, “Sweet 16”, gaining the right to vote at 18, the right to drink at 21, and the ability to collect Social Security at 65.
This week, I got to experience another one of these milestones that it is often neglected. The right to have a colonoscopy at the age of 50. Personally, I waited until age 51, this was not a right of passage that I was looking forward to or one that got me excited.
For the last few years, I have been reading several early retirement and financial blogs for inspiration. As I have already passed the BIG 50 milestone, extreme early retirement is not really feasible at this point but I love the concept nonetheless.
The blogs I read are written by people who maximized their income, minimized their expenses and saved like crazy. They worked incredibly hard for a period of time and socked away their money so they could retire in their 30’s. Go Google “early retirement blogs” and spend some time reading for inspiration!
Spring is in the air. The trees are budding, flowers are blooming and the grass is turning beautiful shades of green. I love spring! It is 5:25AM and I hear the sing song music of cardinals, robins and a few other birds I can’t identify. It sounds very busy outside my living room window.
I was out walking Fenway the other day and was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Back in March (when it was still cold and grey) I received a few phone calls from prospective yard work clients. I said “YES” to every request and my calendar has been booked pretty solid for April and May. I have never been one to take on more than I can handle but I guess Spring Fever had taken hold of me by my freshly spiked hair and gave me a good shaking.
According to the USDA, the average American throws away over 200 pounds of edible food every year. Yes, I said 200 pounds.
The USDA also reports that over 13 million children under the age of 18 live in households where they are unable to consistently have access to nutritious food.
Think about those numbers for a minute. 13 million children in the US have difficulty obtaining healthy food. 13 million. After contemplating that statistic for a minute, I literally teared up. If you have even 1 drop of empathy in you, I imagine you did too.
You know when Facebook asks “What is on your mind”? Well I have a lot on my mind but have been too busy to get it written down and posted on My Little Blue Kayak! Here is a snapshot of what I have been thinking about. Don’t be surprised if some of these ideas become posts in the near future!
I have been thinking how foolish it is to waste food. I used to be one of those people who would buy fresh fruit and vegetables but didn’t always consume them before they went bad. I would never in a million years throw $5 bucks into the trash so why would I toss $5 bucks worth of fruit away?
Where do you stand in regards to technology? Do you love owning the latest and greatest? Do you rush out to buy the newest fads as soon as they are released? Do you use the newest, hippest apps to pay bills, get a ride, order a pizza, and track your steps? Or are you still using a flip phone, cashing your paycheck at the bank and using an instant camera?
I enjoy taking advantage of shiny new toys that make life easier but I don’t need the latest and greatest technological gadgets. As long as my stuff works, I don’t generally feel the need to upgrade.
I have an iPhone 4 that I bought refurbished 3 years ago for $100 bucks. I figure if I get another year out of it I will have spent $25 year to own a phone. I wonder how much an old rotary phone cost back in the day? I am certain it was less than $100 and it lasted forever.
As you know, learning Tai Chi is one of my goals for 2017. I chose this goal because I want to strengthen my left knee which has been a problem for over a decade. I don’t intend to have balance issues in my old age.
Learn more about how and why I prioritized this goal here and here!
You know the feeling when you get stuck in your head? When your little inner voice just won’t quit with the negative comment and the criticisms?
Please tell me this happens to you…
It is time to turn off that voice and invite the positive voice to lead the ongoing dialogue in between the ears!
When people tout the benefits of positive affirmations and mantras they say a lot of really cool things. I look at positive affirmations as simply the self talk I need to hear in order to drown out the negative voice, the self talk that is helpful vs toxic. Mantras are a simple word or sound that you repeat to yourself over and over again. I recently started listening to OM mantras on YouTube to check them out.
This site claims that mantras can cleanse your body of stress, allow you to experience more synchronicity and serendipity and unite our left and right brains allowing us to access our gut feelings, intuition and creative problem solving.
This one states “It is our self talk that creates our self concept, and there is a one-to-one relationship between our self concept(s) and our level of performance.” In other words if my self talk tells me I am stupid and lazy I will perform at a stupid and lazy level. I have read that positive affirmations, self talk and mantras help you plug into the universe which will then conspire in your favor to reach your dreams.
I am grateful for my honey, for my mom, for my sisters and brothers. I am grateful for my nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. I am grateful for my amazing friends that I have known forever as well as for the news ones that I have only met recently. I am grateful for the unconditional love of my dog without whom life would be blah.
I don’t believe I have amazing people in my life because I am lucky. They are in my life because we have been there for each other through good times and bad. When life gets complicated and sticky; I don’t run. I compromise, I offer my assistance, I reach out for help; but I don’t run. Having people you can count on and who can count on you is critical for maximizing health.
I have read a lot of finance books and one of the exercises I completed was to write down the worst money decision I ever made. For me, this was an easy assignment as buying a house was the worst money mistake I have ever made. I lived in Eastern Massachusetts where houses are expensive. I bought an old (1790) house that was cute as a button and only 17 miles from work. 17 miles from the South Shore of Boston thru the big dig construction to Somerville which is just north of Boston. My daily commute was awful!
I didn’t have a 20% down payment and I didn’t do my research in terms of interest rates, closing costs, property taxes… I didn’t love the town the house was located in, I only knew 1 person who lived nearby. I knew my mortgage payment was going to be a huge chunk of change but I was dead set on owning a single family house with a fenced in yard.
Boy did I loved that house! It had 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 2 fireplaces and a beehive oven. It had a huge yard and a garage. Did I mention 2 fireplaces – one in my bedroom!