Would You Prefer Feeling Underwhelmed?

I remember a year or so after I got married I called my dad to vent about issues going on in the normal hectic pattern of chaos in a new family. His response was, “You wanted it.” A bit cold maybe but he was right. I always wanted to get married and have kids. I saw him having so much fun at it I figured that was the place to be. Now, going on 13 years, it definitely is but there were times things were going so fast I wasn’t sure. Now there are other things besides family that make life hectic. In fact, I’d say now at 45 I am much more busy than I was as 34, I just know better how to manage it. This leads me to my topic: consider the alternative to being overwhelmed. Would you prefer being underwhelmed? When you have no more responsibilities, you are dead … or extremely bored, I’m not sure which is worse. As we get older we have the distinct opportunity to arrange and purchase tools that help us in our duties and challenges. 

My philosophy of life is that most the time we are meeting deadlines but inevitably we get what I call “smooth spots” in the road. This is where we coast. We really taste the coffee. You may have to go through the worst week of your life to get to one, but it does come. In that place, try and be ready because that’s where you get clarity like no other place in life. I’m a huge believer in the positive effects of relaxation. Think of the poor soul with a cardboard sign at the freeway offramp. He’s underwhelmed. Imagine what he would gice to have your stresses: go to the doctor, renew your license, go to a training (a lonnnng training), clean up for company, take the kids to girl scouts, make lesson plans … [fill in your overwhelming things here]. When it comes to this, would you want anything less for your life? Think about it … there will be a time to rest very soon I promise.

Blog Safari 3-24-15

Giraffes_at_west_midlands_safari_parkThese are some amazing blog posts I read last week on blogs I really like. Check them out!

Pancakes and Cider – The Truth is I Live a Good Life – This is a great writer who is committed to his craft. Check him out for a male perspective on family, romance, sex, and online diary writing.

Should Bloggers be Great Marketers – A great post every day or every day or so. I’ve been enjoying this writter for several months now.

3d is a Non Starter for Me but Insurgent Would Have Been the One – An ex professional journalist who now write whatever the hell he wants :) I’m in.

It’s all About Me – Corinne is up there among the bloggers I read and that I try to know as friends. Everything she writes is golden.

Career Advice from Someone who Screwed his up – John Holton is a great read every day.

Spring has Sprung 2015 – Jay is an outdoorsman in Maine.

Is it Ever Good to Take Content from Another Blog Maybe – Mitch is a bastien of wisdom for business blogging, seo, and online diary writing.

Sushi and Me

The first time I ever tried sushi was aboard a boat in junior high. My friend’s dad offerred me a slice of California roll. The rice vinegar salty, sweet, filling flavor had me at hello. Since then, sushi has played a significant role as one of my favorite foods. For me, it’s more than just an ethnic flavor, it’s an experience. After high school I picked up a gig at a sushi bar. I’d play for a couple hours and they kept the sushi and beers flowing in between songs. It was a crazy cool time. I got bit by the playing live bug and actually dropped out of college for a couple years to try and “make it” in the music biz. 

During that time, working two jobs made it tough to justify spending large amounts on sushi. I ordered a sushi making kit on the Home Shopping Network and learned about rice vinegar and nori and the ingredients for California rolls. I was a home made sushi making master. Now my family are my biggest “fans.” I settled into teaching public school and missed the music biz bus. I’m actually quite thankful for that. Now when my family goes out for sushi, I get 2 California rolls, 4 Unagis, a caterphillar roll, and a new one each time. I don’t drink beer much anymore but sushi keeps that light in my eyes that used to play 2 hours of tunes for sushi and a bit o tipsy. Magical stuff. If you haven’t tried a California roll, give it a whirl.

The Fine Art and Science of Negativity

You hear it said so much that we should “avoid negativity” but I say there is a time and place for it. If you are experienced in the fine art and usage of negativity, you can effect change. Take an example from history, the revolutionary war of America with England. When the king taxed everything to death, it took negative words to get the people to throw the tea into the harbor and show him they had a different idea. The king saw this as negative. He wanted the status quo. Americans let him know there would be a lot of negativity in his future should he continue his power mad “positive” agenda. I guess positive and negative are neutral words then and each side of an argument thinks she/he is the positive one. When you look at it that way, every negative word spoken out against the evils of the status quo has really either failed or proven positive. 

Does negativity exist? Yes, most definitely. You need to modify it however as “mindless negativity.” Statements without an intended solution or that are simply meant to be venting and/or hateful are definitely negative. You want to watch self talk like that especially. But if you are decrying something you dislike and your goal is to expose it or solve it, you should not see negative words as bad. As I run through history in my head, every revolutionary must have been seen as negative. This post doesn’t really have a place in human relationships like marriage. In that case, you had better recognize when you are inciting anger or just being annoying or your little “government” may crumble over time. There are other ways to grow on a marriage without being negative. Having said that, I do think in pop culture and government, negativity has gotten a bad rap. Let’s bring back punk like the Sex Pistols to solve public issues. Personal worlds are different. The more you learn to pull back your emotions the better. Still, some well chosen negativity really can change the world for the better and that’s a positive thing.

30 Things that Make Me Smile

This was inspired by Corinne Rodriguez‘s post.

  1. My kids having fun. Brandon, Isabella, and Julianna are very special to me. When they are having fun, I can’t help but beam ear to ear.
  2. One of my favorite songs comes on. I don’t listen to the radio, purely mp3 files. Whether in my car or in a public place, my favorite songs draw a smile out of me every time. They are like old friends.
  3. A cup of coffee. This is an almost 100% guarantee againt the blues for me. I get a café Misto, or Americano, at Starbucks or a French press prepared cup of mild coffee at home.
  4. Sitting in my jacuzzi. I don’t have millions, but this makes me feel like a rich man.
  5. Setting up a date with my wife on our phones. I feel giddy when Sarah contacts me or vice versa to go on a date. Even though we are in our 13th year of marriage, this still makes me smile.
  6. Using a new tool for work.
  7. Watching my students smile.
  8. Helping someone at work with technology.
  9. Reorganizing my classroom space.
  10. Stealing away on my lunch break to Bravo Burger. Hard on the pocketbook, but definitely puts a smile on my face.
  11. Cheese enchiladas.
  12. Flan.
  13. Hearing from an old good friend on Facebook.
  14. Floating on my back in the pool. I have become quite good at staying afloat.
  15. Finding and sharing a quote.
  16. Finding and sharing a photo quote.
  17. Eating out.
  18. Going to the movies.
  19. Driving in my yellow Hyundai Veloster. What a car! I have to pinch myself.
  20. When I realize a system is working for me. I use all sorts of tools that I make or that are from the internet. For example, when I get a reminder of a task from one of these inventions, I smile.
  21. When a student remembers a tough answer.
  22. When a student sees me out of the classroom and says hello.
  23. Playing a circular strum pattern on my guitar.
  24. Kissing my wife. She’s the best I’ve ever kissed by far.
  25. When I create a social network recipe that really works on ifttt.com
  26. Seeing measurable growth in my students.
  27. Completing a project.
  28. Getting recognized for a blog post I wrote: ie; on Twitter, etc. ;) Thanks and you know who you are.
  29. Realizing I am enjoying myself in the middle of writing.
  30. Writing blog posts! You, the invisible reader, make me smile as I hope more and more of you are there to share with!