Friday, July 31, 2015


I'm looking at reducing the complication of things in my life.

We don't really need that many things to exist in this life. Most of us definitely have more than enough. I never really got sucked into the materialistic wave of accumulation. Even though I fight the urge to add new toys and gadgets and things to my life I have still managed to collect a lot of things. My brief time in the Ukraine definitely has a lingering effect on my life. I was shocked with how little people had in the former communist state. When I returned to North America I was shocked and overwhelmed by the "stuff". There were useless "things" everywhere and everyone had to have them. It almost made me sick.

Growing up, mom and dad had a "thing" for everything. Too many kitchen appliances/utensils/things. Too many tools. Too many pictures and decorations. Too many hardware related items. Bar stools in storage for 20 years because they may be needed one day. Broken record players and 8-track stereos that were fixable, although what was the point? And sheds, garages, extra buildings, basements used to store it all.

And all those things require time and money to fix and maintain and store. It's just not worth it.

There seems to be a movement today to return to some sort of minimalist living. I'm not hopping on a band wagon though. I'd like to think I'm ahead of the crowd. I don't feel like I need to adhere to all the rules popping up like:

-You can only own 100 things
-If you haven't used it in 6 weeks get rid of it
-You're not allowed to travel
-You can't own a vehicle

But I don't find it necessary to own kitchen items like a rice maker that I'll use a couple times a year when a simple pot would do. I don't think I need 2 scales, or 10 vases, or 3 guitars, 12 pairs of shoes, etc. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Delayed Gratification

Accepting something good instead of waiting for something great.

Delayed gratification isn't easy. Watch this:

Even these kids know that delayed gratification makes sense, but they still succumb to the temptation of the marshmallow. There's a lot of "marshmallows" in life. I've been working on my "marshmallows" lately. Funny enough, marshmallows are some of my marshmallows. It's not that I could have had more later if didn't have fewer now. The whole idea is that we will take minimal pleasure from some thing now at the expense of a greater reward later. Intellectually we all know it is a bad decision, but we want our marshmallows now.

Willpower.  There's a lot that's been said about will power. I won't bother writing about that now. I'll just say that it is the ability to make the preferred decision regardless of outside influences.

I've been using my willpower to eat better lately. A little over 3 months ago I was 206 pounds. I haven't touched a donut in over 2 months. I've eaten a lot of spinach and kale. And nothing happened for the first while. But I kept making long term decisions instead of accepting short term gratification. No donuts. One month ago I was 196 pounds. One week ago I was 185. By the end of summer I'll be a much healthier 175. The result of my decisions will have taken 4 or 5 months to fully appear, but it will be much more satisfying than a summer of donuts. I'm sure my 70 year old self will thank me.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Weight

A little over 3 months ago I was 206 pounds. Today, I'm hovering around 186. I've lost 20 pounds. It wasn't easy. It was will power. I've been donut free for a little over 2 months now. That was not an easy task. I averaged about 2 donuts per day last year. This year my total donut count is at 44.When I made the decision to get back in to shape, I decided to limit my donut intake to 10 donuts per month. I exceeded that limit about 3 weeks in to the year. But, seven months later, its amazing to see the difference a few less donuts can make. I'm writing this entry wearing a shirt I haven't worn in over a year, because it didn't fit until today. I'm not so concerned about my weight as I am my health, but weight is a good indicator of my health so it is the thing I choose to measure. By the end of the month I hope to be under 180 pounds for the first time in a couple years. After that, I may end up gaining weight as I exercise and build muscle mass. Once that happens I think I'll transition from solely weight to waste size and weight.

See you at 180!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

VBS Again

I've taken a week off work to help with VBS again this year. It's good. I definitely needed time away from work. This year I am helping with the pre-school kids as well as the grade school kids. That's something new for me. I like it. The kids are so fun. I was a bit nervous as I usually work with older children but this was something that came much more naturally to me than I thought.

I'm going to be so tired by the end of this vacation.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I've been busy but things are good.

I'm moving in to a new position at work which should buy more free time. Today was supposed to be a day off work. But I got called. I was called on my day off. I was called yesterday morning at 6am. I was called on Sunday. I have a problem. I'm good at what I do. Even when I'm not supposed to be working, work will track me down for my expertise. The problem with work is that, although it is made of good people, as an organization it will always take what it can from its employees. The problem with me is that I let it. I'm learning to set boundaries. I'm learning to do the same thing in my relationships so I can stay healthy. I find it really difficult asking others for what I need. But that's changing. Today was a good day, despite work tracking me down. I said no to things that wanted my time because I didn't have time to give.