As a nation, we spend over $3 Trillion (Trillion with a capital T) annually on healthcare. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75% of this goes toward the treatment of chronic disease. Medicare spends 93 cents of every dollar and Medicaid 83 cents of every dollar to treat chronic disease. Chronic disease is responsible for 7/10 deaths in this country. Sobering right?
In a recent blog post, I wrote about when we get stuck going through the motions of life, not pursuing our personal destination. We become busy, busy, busy spinning our wheels but not really getting anywhere. In that post I shared that sometimes we need to slow down, slow way down by taking quiet time on a daily basis to help us stay on the path toward our destination.
What can we do when our destination needs updating, needs some adjusting in order to remain viable? As we grow, we change and what we envisioned in the past would be an appropriate path to be on is not quiet right anymore.
What happens when we don’t know our destination? What can we do to help figure out how we want to live, how we want to spend our time, who we want to spend it with, what type of work would nourish our soul?
When did busy become a good response to “how are you”? Do people take pride in being busy or is it just the state of affairs for many of us? Is it just a way to give a neutral one word response to a simple question or a reason to mutter it and keep hustling along to the next task that life throws our way?
We are busy. Busy busting our chops to earn an income, busy spending our hard-earned money on shiny new gadgets. Busy taking care of our families. Busy socializing with our friends. Busy at work, busy at home – busy, busy, busy!
If you dream of living your life in a manner that maximizes health, wealth and happiness; then I suggest you slow down. Sometimes we get so caught up in being busy that we forget to think about the big picture. We forget our true goals and lose sight of; or worse never determine our destination.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road can take you there”
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up someplace else”
I am getting ready to cat and house sit for my sister and her honey for 3 weeks while they go on vacation. I will swing by their house every day and feed the cats, scoop their litter, and give them some loving. I will also shovel snow, feed the birds, get the mail and make sure everything is fine.
My sister and her honey get a lot of mail. I bet they get more mail in 1 day then I get in a month. I receive bills electronically and pay them on-line. I hate junk mail and un-subscribe from everything as soon as I receive it. By the time they return from their vacation the kitchen table will be piled high with bills, magazines, flyers, newspapers, credit card offers, all types of junk mail and catalogues.
It is easy in life to just go through the motions of living. Get up, go to work, run errands, cook dinner, watch television, surf the internet. Days, weeks and even years can slip by when we don’t purposefully allot time and energy to the people, projects and goals we believe are important to us.
Back in 2013 I wrote out what I called “My Destination” as a roadmap of how I wanted to live my life in the pursuit of health, wealth and happiness. This idea came from “Living the 80/20 Way” by Richard Koch This is what I wrote at that time:
I completed my first Whole30 in 2017 and since that time have continued to eat in the manner the program taught me most of the last year. Since that time, I primarily eat lots of fresh and frozen vegetables along with some fruit. I eat plenty of eggs, avocados, nuts and seeds. I eat fish, chicken and some meat. I use coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado oil and vinegar along with spices. I rarely eat bread, pasta, rice or dairy. Don’t get me wrong, a few foods and beverages did creep back into my meal planning that are not compliant including beer, wine and dark chocolate. Yes, these are a few of my favorite things!
Beer, wine, and dark chocolate are the 3 foods I have trouble eliminating from my diet for more than 30 days. For the entire month of January and for 1 month last year, I did it. Mission accomplished.
With the exception of eating out on occasion, we cook and eat pretty much all meals from scratch. Needless to say, there is a lot of chopping, dicing, peeling, and mixing going on in my kitchen. Once the prep work is done I am sauteing, roasting, baking and frying my food until it is ready to devour. I read plenty of articles that say that it is expensive to eat real food. That one reason people eat prepared foods, fast food and junk food is because it is cheaper than healthy food.
I can’t quite wrap my head around that argument.
Prepared food, fast food and junk food are not in the same category as real food. They contain copious amounts of sugar, salt, hydrogenated oils and refined flour. Folks who subsist on this “food” are often overfed but undernourished. They take in too many calories but don’t get adequate nutrition. Did you know you can be morbidly obese and malnourished at the same time? When we eat like this we are gaining weight but starving for the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients that our bodies require for health. Over 60% of us are considered overweight in this country.
Do you know what it feels like to be stuck in a rut? Every day seems the same and the Joy Meter is reading empty. I hate when I get stuck like this. It is a gnawing feeling in my gut and an emptiness in my mind. I go through the motions of living but in reality I am just trying to get through each and every day. I think that in order to get out of the rut, we have to do something different. We have to step out of our comfort zones and take a small step in the direction we want to be going.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be something huge but it has to be out of character. It has to be something that makes you think, feel, believe just a little bit differently than you do when stuck in the rut.
Growing up in the 1970’s as Child #8 out of 9 meant I was always one of the “little kids”, always one of the youngest. When my whole family gathered, I always sat at the kids table, always got booted off of the couch for someone older, always wore the hand-me-down clothes. I spent my childhood wishing I was older – like a teenager! I wanted to go out at night with my siblings, I wanted to stay up late eating ice cream with Mother Fran, I wanted to babysit the neighbor kids to earn a little spending money. I seriously remember thinking “when I’m big, I am going to eat cake and ice cream for breakfast”! I knew how to dream BIG.
Those of us who call ourselves frugal have different ways of trying to reach our goal of not spending money foolishly. We have different ideas of what that means and different reasons for choosing to save vs spend money.
The definition of frugal according to Merriam Webster Dictionary is: “careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to : using money or supplies in a very careful way”. For me, being frugal means I don’t spend money foolishly. I plan my large expenditures carefully and save money in advance to pay for them in cash. If I do use credit, I always pay my bills in full each month. I hate to spend money on interest and late fees; it makes me feel squeamish to say the least.