Are you asking yourself the real questions?

RuPaul is right.

The struggle is real, and it will continue to be real.

So, I’ve started asking myself the following questions;

“What pain are you willing to sustain? What do you want to struggle for?”

These are questions created and addressed by Mark Manson.

This man actually asks the real questions and some of these questions are really hard.

The basics behind this is we often share what it is that we want.

The things we share are often about having the perfect life, but it doesn’t address what we are willing to do to get it.

You can read more about this in the blog post here, or buy his book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck here.

Recently, I’ve come into a transitional phase in my life.

One where I have to address “Who am I and what do I value?”

So far I’ve been answering this question based on past experiences and expectations outside of myself.

The truth is that some of the things I want to do might seem strange.

I recently got a job as a remote customer service person.

Basically like a call center for your home.

I’m excited for this because I’ll still get to help people, even though a lot of them may be angry.

Teaching middle school, heck, even kindergarten has prepared me for this.

Now, before you get all judge-y about call center jobs let me tell you a story.

It’s about three masons, putting a building together.

All three of them are doing the same job.

The first one had the mindset of, “I’m just laying some bricks.”

The second one said, “I’m making a building.”

The third one said, “I’m building a house of God.”

The difference between the three is this; the first one saw what he was doing as a job, the second one a career, and the third one saw what he was doing as his passion.

I want to reiterate that they were all doing the same type of work.

It’s about the mindset behind the work.

Angela Duckworth covers this in the chapter on Passion from her book Grit.

When we talk about passion, we see it as something outside of what we are already doing and it comes from a place of lack.

The place we should start with is what we already do, what we like to do, and how we can use those things we like to do.

Then, we can channel them into what we already do or find other places that those things would be helpful.

So when it comes to doing this new job…

The thing that most excites me is the combination of these things while helping people understand the fine print.

If you know me, you know I read EVERYTHING.

I get particular joy reading through health plans.

If someone is struggling with anything that requires combing through the fine print, I’ll go through and help them figure out if they are justified and what they can do.

So the pain I’m willing to sustain is to help people resolve issues with medical insurance jargon.

Do I think I will be building houses of God doing this? That remains to be seen.

I’m so pumped about this, though.

That may sound strange to some people, but I’m no longer basing my life on the opinions of others.

That’s how I lost myself in the first place, and now have to struggle with questions like this in my 30’s.

Of course I’m learning that doesn’t even matter because no matter what our age we are transitioning in one way or another.

What is it that you are willing to struggle for?

Until next time.

Sincerely,

Angela

(Note: If this spoke to you or you know someone else who needs to hear that they should just let themselves enjoy the things they actually want to struggle through, give it a share. I am also not getting anything out of sharing Mark’s stuff. I just think he is asking the real questions and putting the unfiltered truth into the universe. Seriously, read his stuff. The same goes for Angela Duckworth.)

4 Simple Steps to Declutter Your Home

Do you ever look around your home and feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you’ve accumulated?

Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.

More than half of the American population— 51.8% according to ebates— engage in retail therapy.

The unfortunate side effect is more things hanging around your home.

I am no different, so I will be using these tips as well.

These are taken from Mind Over Clutter by Nicola Lewis. Grab a copy of the book here.

First, remove everything from the room with the exception of your furniture.

The reason for this is that smaller items can escape this process.

Second, sort through your items and create four separate piles.

Keep the things that you use at least once a month and sort everything else into the three other piles; donate, sell, or throw away.

If you find something in it’s original packaging, you aren’t using it, so get rid of it.

Next, clean the whole room from top to bottom.

Since all the items have been removed from the room, it’ll be easier to clean the insides of drawers and high shelves.

Finally, carefully put everything you’re keeping back into the room.

The whole purpose is bring peace of mind, so take extra care on this step.

Remember, a place for everything and everything in its place.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

Why I don’t agree with political advertising

It’s that time of year AND it’s THAT year.

The 2020 presidential election is around the corner.

That means we are being inundated with advertisements.

This post isn’t going to lean one way or the other, but it is going to be an observation and explanation on why certain people don’t win.

They don’t win because the advertisements of their opponents is focused on the negative aspects of the opponent.

It’s not about what they actually plan to do for the people using their influence.

It appeals to our emotions.

That’s what you want to do when marketing something.

However, constantly talking about your opponent is imprinting his or her name in the subconscious mind of the general populace.

There are definitely polarized people who are going to vote one way or the other, advertisements be damned.

The people that win elections are those who are unsure.

It’s a wild card because they can go one way or the other.

So when they get to the voting booth they will vote on name recognition.

It’s not people who aren’t sure that vote on name recognition, most of us do.

Therefore, if I were running political ads, my face and name would be all over them and my opponent would be nowhere near my ads.

Debates are for sharing the space an opponent not campaign ads.

Instead of focusing on what we DON’T want, we should be putting more energy into what we DO want.

Focusing on what we don’t want will manifest that outcome.

Focusing on what we DO want will manifest that outcome.

I see it in people’s social media profiles too.

The memes talking shit about the person they aren’t voting for.

I’ve seen politicians even talk more about their opponents and it’s all trash.

I’m disappointed that this is what we’ve come to.

I often talk about how our thoughts manifest into reality and how we are always co-creating our reality with others.

Look at how you’re promoting (or not promoting) about the candidate you believe in.

Are you going to like what will happen if the thing you’re focusing on becomes reality?

If not, I highly recommend changing your focus from what you don’t want to what you do want.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

Why it’s okay to not have everything figured out.

Do you often feel like something is missing in your life?

Do you feel like because you’re a certain age you should be more put together?

Well, I’m here to tell you that not everyone has everything figured out.

If someone says they have it all figured out they are lying to you or are ignoring the fact that life is a co-creative process.

Generally, when we see people, especially on social media, we see the finished product.

I’ve noticed that even those trying to be vulnerable on social media still look like a finished product on some level.

I’m not saying I don’t do the same thing.

If I don’t do my videos live, I redo them until that strand of hair stays in place or something.

I’m not knocking it, being vulnerable is hard.

The point is this, we have more time to compare ourselves to other based on social media because we are sitting at home, and it’s time to stop.

It’s okay to not have everything figured out, don’t let the outside world try to convince you otherwise.

When we attempt to have every single thing figured out, there comes a level of rigidity and extremes.

You have your meal plan figured out for the whole month, so you’re afraid to leave your house because it will derail the whole thing.

Or you’ve decided you’re going to do factory work, work until you retire, and live off a pension until you die.

Then you’re blindsided by the fact that they are moving your work overseas or are closing down the factory.

This is true with any job, but I feel like factory workers get shafted a lot, just like farmers.

When you go through life with that rigid belief can throw you when the rug is pulled out from under you.

It’s like the parable about the dude who built his house on the rock and the dude who built his house on the sand.

The guy with the sand house was sure that it wasn’t going to rain, there would be no wind, and the sand will always be there.

If you know the story you know what happened to that guy’s house.

Another great example is from the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?”

The guy who demanded the cheese comes back and kind of sits there gets into huge trouble.

However, the people who are actively looking for the cheese don’t know where it is, but if they keep walking they’ll find out.

Read the book, the author tells it better than my poor summation of the story.

If you’re sure you have it all figured out, the rigidity of it can and will implode.

Another reason that it’s okay to not have it figured out is that it gives you the opportunity for growth.

It also gives you the space to realize that not having everything figured out is not the same as lacking something.

I’ve given this talk before about how there’s nothing to fix, there are just opportunities to grow.

Feeling terrible because Brenda from high school seems to have it figured out but you don’t is a scarcity mindset.

Coming from a place of abundance would give Brenda the grace of being fallible, and giving yourself the same grace.

Because believe me, Brenda is fallible, just like you are, just like I am.

That’s okay.

Don’t ask me why I chose Brenda. Brenda is just the first name that comes to my mind when I make up scenarios.

To summarize this whole thing, it’s okay to not have everything figured out because it allows you to be flexible, to have room for growth, to come from an abundance mindset, and to be able to participate in the co-creative process with all of us other schmucks who don’t have everything figured out either.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

A favorite song lyric and what it means to me.

“What will it take to show you that it’s not the life it seems. I tell you time and time again you say the words, but don’t know what it means to be a joke…”

This lyric is from the song “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance.

“What will it take to show you that it’s not the life it seems?”

For me it was a kick in the teeth or as of a week and a half ago, a dresser in the teeth.

“I told you time and time again you say the words..”

I’m fine.

“…and don’t know what it means.”

The entire song is one I belt out when I’m having a bad day, and sometimes even a good day.

There’s really something cathartic about cranking it up and letting go.

These lyrics in particular speak to me because the words are things I want to say to people in no uncertain terms.

However, it’s not socially acceptable to tell people you’re not okay.

The fantasy that we have to be okay at all times is expected.

When you don’t fall into that line, and step off of it, you seem to be the joke.

Appearing to be okay all the time is honestly toxic and pretending that we are all okay all the time is the joke.

Sometimes it’s better to not be okay than it is to be okay. I promise.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

5 Value Quotes to Motivate You

We all know that no matter how much or how often we get into that place of “flow” where you’re motivated and everything is going smoothly, there will come a point where everything falls flat.

I believe that we all experience a lack of motivation at one point or another.

I feel unmotivated, a lot.

Those of you who know me, may be surprised to hear me say that, but I really do.

One thing that has helped me in becoming motivated or getting around a lack of motivation to get things done is through personal development.

In my personal development work I find snippets of things from various places that I find valuable.

Today, I wanted to take the time to share this value with you with the following 5 quotes.

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

Albert Einstein

Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul.

Maria Montessori

There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.

Henry David Thoreau

The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.

Jim Rohn

All work is noble; the only ignoble thing is to live without working. There is need to realize the value of work in all its forms whether manual or intellectual, to be called ‘mate,’ to have sympathetic understanding of all forms of activity.

Maria Montessori

I hope that at least one of these was helpful to you as you work through your Monday.

Or any day that you happen upon this post for that matter.

I’m always glad to pass on the things that I gather to maybe help others too.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

5 Do’s and Don’t’s for Hydration

Most people would agree that staying hydrated is important.

Staying hydrated keeps everything in working order.

For lack of a better way to put it being hydrated keeps everything lubricated.

It helps keep many bodily functions running in working order, especially in helping your kidneys eliminate toxins.

In this post I am not going to shy away from how hydration helps the body and what bodily functions are affected by it.

You have been warned.

The topic of hydration has fostered a debate on how much is enough and how much is too much.

I am going to give you 5 do’s and don’t’s around staying hydrated.

This first one, I’m just going to dive right in.

Do check the color of your urine.

This is a sure fire way to check your level of hydration and sometimes your health in general.

If it is a dark yellow color you’re probably dehydrated.

If it’s really dark, seek medical attention.

If it’s clear, like the same color as water clear, you’re over hydrated.

If there’s blood in your urine, seek medical help.

Do keep track of how much water you are drinking throughout your day.

I believe that the best way to do this is to get a decent sized water bottle to take with you.

Related: My top 5 favorite water bottles.

I recommend one where the place you put your mouth to drink from is protected.

This is important especially if you’re going to leave it on a surface at work or outside of your home.

Don’t drink water based solely on an arbitrary number.

We have all heard the recommendation to drink 8 glasses of water a day.

Some of us have heard that you have to do some algebra to determine the amount of water you should drink based on your weight.

The problem with both of these is that it doesn’t account for the amount of liquid you are getting from your food.

If you are eating a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables you should be getting some hydration from your food.

This one actually relates back to the first two do’s.

Track the amount of water you’re drinking, and if you find your urine is a decent yellow color you’re good.

Again, if it’s clear you drank too much.

Don’t drink water directly from the faucet.

I know that people survive drinking water from the tap.

However, unless you are checking your city’s water processing I don’t recommend it.

There are many affordable ways to get filtered water at home.

I recommend getting a pitcher with a filter or get one that attaches to your sink.

They even make ones that filter inside the water bottle directly.

Also, more public places are getting filtered water bottle fountains.

It’s for the environment, but also to make sure you’re getting clean water.

Do consume water rich foods.

Usually whole foods are very water rich because, well they were grown using water.

I’m talking about your fruits and vegetables.

Not only will this help keep you hydrated, but you are also providing your body with nutrient rich food.

If you want to read more on the topic of hydration, check out the following links:

Keys to Staying HydratedPolyclinic
Staying Hydrated Staying HealthyAmerican Heart Association
Keys and Benefits of Consistent Hydration– Crisp Regional Hospital

Want to know what I like to use to help support my kidneys? Check out this caffeine-free tea.

If this was valuable to you or might be valuable to someone you know, definitely share this post.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

My Top 5 Favorite Water Bottles

A good water bottle is an essential part of maintaining hydration.

There are so many different types out there, and I can honestly say that I have used a fair amount of them.

As far as I’m concerned, getting a great water bottle is a good investment.

In this post, I’m going to cover my top 5 favorite water bottles out of all of the ones I have ever tried.

Pro tip: most lids to water bottles are not dishwasher friendly.

This is due to the fact that the plastic ring that creates a seal can melt off.

When this happens the liquid leaks from the container.

The water bottle from this lunch box set.

This was the closest kit I could find to the one I got my water bottle from.

Believe me, I spent a lot of time looking for the one I have.

Mine is chevron, but this is the exact same type of water bottle.

The water bottle like this one is currently sitting on my night stand which is why it’s first on the list.

The Arbonne Water Bottle

This is another one I use a lot.

I have dropped it so many times, and it’s still good.

What’s nice about this one is that it has the ounces written on the side so you can track your water intake.

This is important because it helps determine how much water you need.

It’s also the perfect size for the Arbonne Essentials Body Cleanse.

Unfortunately it appears to be out of stock, but the Phytosport bottle is a good substitute.

Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle

This one is great because there is a filter inside the bottle itself.

That’s fantastic because you can get filtered water anywhere.

One problem is tracking when you need to replace the filter as there is no indicator for when it needs to be replaced.

The second is that the filter can become water logged, and so it makes it difficult to drink sometimes.

There are ways to fix it.

Check out this video for tips to help with this problem.

Blender/Shaker Cups

These are great for several reasons.

First, it’s a quick and easy way to take a shake with you on the go.

When you finish your shake, rinse the bottle and fill it with water.

Or simply just use it for water.

Contigo AUTOSPOUT Straw Ashland Water Bottle

This one is great because it comes with a straw.

One of the nice things also is that some versions of this protect the spout when closed so the straw is not exposed.

I love these, but I also went through a lot of them.

That’s partially because in college and in my first couple of years teaching I was REALLY rough with these.

The bottle itself is tough.

The lid is tough.

The straw in the lid though is the problem.

Once you put a hole in that it’s basically done for.

I personally thought they were worth repurchasing because they are convenient and again the ounces are written on the side.

I hope this was helpful to you on your journey of staying hydrated.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

Why we tell kids not to run inside the house.

It’s 11:30 at night, and the bedroom door starts to creak open.

I had been meaning to contact maintenance to get that bedroom door fixed for weeks now.

This night is the nail in the coffin for getting that maintenance request.

The significance of this is that our wonderful cat is not supposed to come into the master bedroom.

However, I think he figured out that he can push it open.

We have a king size bed, so once he gets in it’s hard to shoo him out.

Here’s where I messed up and why you should listen to your parents about running in the house.

Instead of rolling over the bed like a normal person, I decided to go around it.

The series of unfortunate events that follow confirm this parental directive.

I turned the corner, and changed directions with the swiftness of a soccer player.

My momentum was moving forward, and I was going to make it, but…

My second or third step my feet slipped out from under me while my body was hurtling forward.

The next thing I knew I contacted the night stand face first, more specifically mouth first.

I didn’t black out, but I rolled back onto the side of the bed like a boxer who takes a hit leans back against the ring.

I was holding my mouth, the pain not hitting yet, but still wondering if this was going to be the equivalent of being punched in the mouth by Mike Tyson.

I actually cracked the night stand on impact.

As someone who did Shaolin Kung fu for 3 years, and MMA for 6 months, the first thing I do is check to see if any teeth fell out or got chipped.

No chipped teeth, they were all attached as far as I knew.

I may have actually pushed them farther back in than knocking them out.

I was still reeling when I removed my hand.

I was bleeding.

The image in my head was still that one scene from Rocky.

It was me against the night stand and the night stand won.

I was able to get gauze and an ice pack for it, knowing that the dentist doesn’t open until 8, and the medical facility in town does not do emergency mouth injuries.

I had to wait until Chris got off in the morning and go to Mercy Hospital, an hour and fifteen minutes out of town.

Before this though, I made a terrible mistake later on that night.

I took the gauze out and looked at the monstrosity that the night stand mercilessly inflicted on me.

It was a grizzly sight, one I will not share pictures of here, but it looked worse than it felt.

I never said I was good at either of those martial arts I mentioned. I just got good at taking hits.

When we finally made it to the hospital, I thought it was funny that I was being seen for a mouth injury, which was covered by a mask.

When the intake nurse took a look at it I think she felt a little sorry for me, especially when I cracked that joke about Rocky, but could hardly laugh.

I was more or less there to make sure that
two of my teeth wouldn’t fall out because that much gum had been scraped off of them.

Also, I wanted to make sure I didn’t fracture my skull.

Neither of those things was the case, which medically proved what my parents always told me…

I’m hard headed.

Originally, I wasn’t going to take the pain meds, and obviously I wasn’t going to be forced to take them or prescribed them, but I could see this look in the nurse’s eye.

The kind of look that says, “Don’t be a hero, Billy. Don’t be a hero.”

I’m really glad I wasn’t the hero, Billy, because as the day wore on it was like my body was registering more and more what happened.

There are several morals to this story:

  1. Don’t run in the house.
  2. Submit maintenance requests ASAP.
  3. If you think of getting a CT Scan like you’re in Star Trek it’s not so bad.
  4. Don’t fight your night stand, it will win.

I hope this was helpful, informative, and entertaining.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela