Three Weeks of Morning Running

This morning I ran my 21st run since 12/31, and completed three whole weeks of running.  I wanted to run 35 minutes on my birthday, and that was it.  I also wanted to wake up early, and get into a stronger morning routine for 2018, versus the haphazard one I had in 2017.  I wanted to wake up before my children, and shower, and enjoy those few moments alone before the day kicked off.  I figured I would run on the 1st (because it was legit New Years Day and what better way to kick off the year than with a nice sweaty run), and then I did the same on the 2nd, and then I kept going.  I still don’t want to say I will run each day this year, but so far so good.  I feel good, and strong, and best of all – healthy.  My calves could surely benefit from a day off, but my mental game is more important to me than a day off.

Because I’m only running 20 minutes a day, I feel the main goal of staying completely healthy is possible.  I don’t want to end up with pain in my hips or feel or knees or back or anything like this at the end of this year or any year.  When we were younger, our bodies recovered from tough workouts and overexercise, and long duration and pretty much anything we put da body through.  As I age, I want to continue to build and maintain lean muscle, and do enough cardio to keep my heart strong and stronger, but at the same time, never put myself through any type of workout that will hurt my body for the long term. I do fantasize about running a longer run, and once it warms up a bit, and my bod gets stronger, I will go for it. There is something absolute euphoric about getting into that running groove and feeling as if you could run forever.

The longest run I’ve ever done was 13.1 miles, and that was on my own in 2010.  In 2017, I ran 6 miles twice, and those felt pretty awesome as well, though I ran both without being in a consistent running schedule.  It will be fun to see if I could do a longer run each week and still feel as good the rest of the week.  The temp this morning was 36, which is only cold in the beginning, but once it gets to the 50’s and 60’s, I’ll venture out for a bit longer.

My main and only goal was a more legit and stronger morning routine and that’s exactly what waking up and getting out the door has helped me achieve.  I wake up whenever my body wakes up (between 5-6am) and I go right into our closet, get dressed and out the door.  Most of the mornings my children are not awake, but sometimes they are.  Because I’m only running for 20 minutes, I don’t feel as guilty getting out the door because I truly will be back right in a flash.  Other mornings I get back in and my son is already up, which gives us some time to read a book together before shower and lunches and the morning jam. Otherwise, if they are still sleeping, I can ninja around the house, unload the dishwasher, switch laundry around, and shower and #partytime.

By 7am, I’m putting together lunches, and enjoying a hot cup of tea or coffee with my husband.  By 745am, the fam is out the door for the bus stop, and then by 830am, all kiddos are out learning and growing, and it’s work time.

The morning cardio has certainly improved my mood, and provided a nice consistent, and more stable feeling of just normal happiness, and determination and discipline in the daily goals and routine.  I am certainly sleeping better, and waking up a lot less during the night.  Prior, toward the end of last year, I would wake up throughout the night for whatever reason and have a harder time falling asleep.  Now, most days, I go to bed, and wake up and go.  There is very few times I’m waking up in the middle of the night.  If I am, because my hubby comes home from a concert, I can go right back to sleep without tossing and turning.

F4_3weeks_townsville_wordpress

These tiny little things certainly contribute to overall health and are hard to appreciate unless you know both sides.  But most of us do know both sides.  We know how good it feels to sleep well and all night, and we know the opposite.  I have worked hard to be healthy all my life, but there are certain habits I can always improve on, and I knew that nailing down a morning workout routine was indeed going to help.  Prior to children and marriage, and while living the single life, it was no big deal to wake up at 4am, and ride to the gym, and spend two hours taking care of self before work, but now we gotta fit that ish in, in 20 min!

Life changes, but we can undeniably stay sharp and disciplined regardless of the obstacles, challenges.  I actually believe that only when we have the challenges and obstacles and difficulties and NOT an easy rode presented, we do better.  And on top of it all, the gift of age, brings wisdom and experience, and that is just priceless.  I believe consistency brings about change of habits.  And it’s so much easier to change our habits, and live better habits, when we do what we need to do every day.  Not once or twice a week, but every day.  Perhaps it’s not running that fills you up with peace, but it may be yoga, or stretching, or lifting or just solo breathing.  Or a shower, or your cardio equipment that’s been sitting lonely in a spare room or the garage.  Whatever it is, get it started, and keep it going.  We are extremely strong humans, the most important part is to believe it, and then live it.

Cheers to our health, our sanity, our happiness, our goals and determination and success and most of all: peace.

Advertisements

Building from today: WEALTH, HEALTH, STEALTH.

When it come to wealth, health and stealth, it’s always a good time to take an inventory of where exactly we are right now, and know exactly where we want to go.  Where are you heading?  Where do you want to be at the end of this month?  In a month?  In 6 months (June 18th), and where do you want to be December of this year?  What about 5 years from today?

My husband and I have a lot of long term goals that we are eager to accomplish this month.  Which is both funny, and a bit crazy, but that’s how we role.  Thinking long long term for me is absolutely challenging, but a fun exercise nonetheless.  This morning in the car, we were chatting, and I said:  In 5 years, let’s make that the goal, in 5 years.  And it seems soooo far away, but 5 years will be here before we know it.

If you are reading this, this means you too are hungry for accomplishing your financial, physical, mental, and spiritual goals, and you get FED by action and progress.  Yes, progress. That’s what makes us feel the strongest and the best.  It’s not necessarily getting to the END, but it’s the daily progress, when the positive meets the persistent and together makes us feel like absolute winners

So where are you right now?  Take an absolute and honest inventory where you are right now?  And then, the next step is just to love it and accept it.

Perhaps you aren’t where you want to be.

Perhaps it’s not where you think you should be.

Perhaps it’s not as far as you know you deserve to be.

Perhaps it’s not as good as others.

Perhaps it’s not as successful as you once were.

And that’s fine.  It is what it is.  It’s where you are right now, and you have to accept it to move on and start to climb higher.

I find that as life goes on, the more honest I am with myself, the easier and persistent progressing towards success and goals life becomes.  It’s not necessarily about being already perfect in our actions, it’s about recognizing what we already do well, and moving on to do better.  I can’t stand living in the past, and sometimes my head goes there.  But as soon as I go there, I instantly think about how amazing it is to have the opportunity to acknowledge, accept and be grateful for the present, and keep moving on.  The last five years have flown by and the next five years will too.  What are you going to do start doing right now, to get there?

WEALTH.

I love myself some financial motivation that helps us get stronger and cleaner and wiser in our spending and saving choices and actions.  There is NOTHING as powerful as the absolute present and TODAY to get going.  Do you need to take things back?  Do you need to sell things? Do you need to cancel this and that?  Do you need to work on your budget and stick to this?  Do you need to pivot turn and change many habits around? Do you need to take drastic measures to get on the right track? Do you need to start small and build?  Do you need to save $50 per pay or 5K per pay?  What can you do today, to get to your goals? Do you need to have hard conversations with those you love?  Do you need to learn more?  What can you do to inspire yourself?  What can you eliminate?  What can you practice?  How soon do you want to be a millionaire? How soon do you want to have financial freedom?  How soon do you want money peace? How different, more real, more honest can you become?  How can you become more you, by spending less?

HEALTH.

Do you need to start to move?  Do you need to get to 10K steps today? Do you need to walk, lift, yoga, sleep, drink water, start off the day with meditation? Do you need to eliminate smoking, drinking, drugging? What can you immediately and right now do, to make your physical form stronger?  Do you need to tuck your phone away each evening at 8pm, so that you can rest and sleep, in peace?  Do you need to drink black coffee instead of sweet coffee? Do you need to pack your lunch full of homemade food versus take out? Do you need to spend your lunch hour taking a walk, instead of doing more work?  Do you need to shower on the daily?  Maybe shower in the AM and each PM? What can you do right now, for yourself, for your physical being, that will make you feel better tomorrow or in February? Can you juice?  Can you eat more vegetables?  Can you skip dinner, and rink water? Can you eat less?  Can you eat more greens? How far can you stretch?

STEALTH.

How can you grow mentally stronger?  How can you bring more peace to your mind?  How can you reduce or eliminate anxiety? How can you bring less stress and more calm into your world?  We’ve survived the years we have survived with the coping mechanisms we have learned and implanted into our daily lives.  What else can you do?  Can you start off your day by reading positive words?  Can you start off your day by writing out positive words?  Can you fall asleep each night by being grateful for what you already have?  What can you do, each and every single day – that will get your mind stronger, more positive, happier and determined?  What can you do for others, that is raw and bright and giving?  Can you eliminate fighting with your loved one?  Can you fight less?  Can you fight kinder?  Can you think about the pain you feel, and accept that what has happened, has happened, and take steps towards forgiveness – both yourself and others.  Can you accept what has happened, and believe in your heart that it could have been worst, and be grateful that it was not?  Can you practice this on what is currently going on, what is currently absolutely raw in your life, and accept what is currently going on?  Can you see yourself outside your current mental health, and know you can improve it.  You are in control of letting things go, and moving on.

What I love most about putting in the effort to grow our mental game stronger and better is that once we improve, it’s hard to go back. It’s hard to go back to the negativity, or bitterness, or jealousy or anger.  Once we let that ish go, we can keep letting it out.  What little thoughts can you implant into your every day, to bring you more of what most humans want:  progress, happy, peace, love.

img_6456

Just because we weren’t gifted the best of Wealth, Health and Stealth does not mean we do not desire to have the best of these three tribes.  We certainly do.  Just because we started at the bottom, and now we are here, we can still gain more.  We can gain more freedom financially, physically, and mentally/emotionally.  Don’t ever put yourself in a box, or a room, or a class, or a status, and believe that you can’t gain more. Don’t you dare let anyone else do that to you.  You can do better, if that is your wish, and you will, but the work must continue.  All the freedom and peace you want and deserve you already have access to.  You may have to keep crawling through the mud to see it, feel it and experience it – but you ALREADY have it.  Recognize where you are today, what you want, and start and continue moving there, little by little, big by big.  Until you rise up, and start walking, and then running and then living all you want.

Cheers.  And every single day we get closer.

 

 

Homemade Hot Indian Curry Meal

In December 2015 I went to India with my best friend and colleague, and it was probably one of the loveliest trips, and certainly one of the most delicious.  But years before this, I had a colleague come and visit me here in the US, and she taught me something I will never forget:  How to make an authentic Indian meal.  I remember savoring every last bite and have loved Indian food ever since.

And now, with the brilliance of YouTube, you can truly learn how to make any type of dish, step by step, with awesome accuracy and authenticity.  But unlike baking, where you need to be precise, I love cooking Indian, because you can be everything but – and this is more my style!  We hosted our friends over for a lovely Indian meal recently, and then yesterday I made another curry!

You start off with fresh ginger, fresh garlic and fresh chili peppers.  If you love hot and if you love garlic, and ginger, then not only are you getting some super super-foods into your body, but also legit deliciousness!

I don’t chop finely, because you will eventually BLEND this all up in a Nutribullet or any type of Vitamix-like blender you have.  If you are afraid of the hotness maybe go with less chili peppers, but for us – this is perfection.
img_6233

I started off by sauteing the above.  Then I added chopped red onions.  The more the merrier.  You can use any onions you wish.  I enjoy the red ones, but have used regular onions as well in the past.

img_6238.jpg

After this cooks for a few minutes, I added diced tomatoes (three cans) to the above.  I let this cook for a few minutes, and then added the following SPICES: cumin powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, turmeric powder, salt, garam masala powder, red chili powder.  All of these powders I either had, or purchased from a local Indian store (Kalyaan Market here in Jacksonville.)

After this cooked for a few minutes, I took it OFF the heat, and scooped into my blender.  I blended this up, and it made the smoothest consistency sauce/curry.

Once the whole pot of veggies and spices was blended, I put back into the pot, put back on the heat and added one can of chick peas and cubed paneer.  Paneer is Indian cottage cheese, except it looks and is nothing like the cottage cheese we are used to.  It’s looks like extra extra extra firm tofu and absolutely my most favorite grub to add to this curry.  I also purchased the paneer at the Indian store, as Publix did not have any except some in Amy’s Indian frozen meals.

how-to-make-paneer-at-home (1)

Lastly, I made myself a bowl with a side of Jasmine rice and some coconut oil (on the rice).  It was heaven and perfection and so delicious and I can’t wait to have it again!

img_6248

Here is a photo of the same dish I made the other day, except for this one, I added two bags of spinach as well.  Check out that GREEN color, it’s so beautiful, and tastes so delicious.

img_5788

Indian food is extremely comforting to me.  It is fun to make, and the spices blend so well with all any vegetables or meats or poultry.  You can add lamb to the curry, or add cauliflower, or mushrooms, or potatoes, or chicken.  Truly anything and everything. I personally like the idea that this creamy lovely spicy hot sauce/curry, is made up of just vegetables, and spices (not flour or anything extremely heavy carb).  To reduce the hot spice, you can add a bit of heavy whipping creme towards the end.  Also, any addition of coconut oil, makes the dish sweeter.

Here is a little financial breakdown of the cost of the ingredients:

Kalyaan Market:
coriander powder – $4.49 (big!)
ginger & garlic powder – $4.49 (big!)
garam masala powder – $4.99 (bag! big!)
fresh ginger – $0.48 (size of half hand)
paneer – $9.99
chili peppers – $0.20 (large handful)

Aldi:
diced tomatoes can – $0.69/can
red onions – $1.79/bag
garlic – $0.99 (for three)
chili powder – $1.19
olive oil – $3.99 or
sesame organic oil – $3.99
fresh leaf spinach – $2.98
Jasmine Rice $4.79 (1 million servings :))

As you can see, it can be a fairly cost effective meal or cost effective for multiple meals, especially since once you invest in the spices, they can last a whole year plus, depending on how often you cook with them! If you add lamb or an animal protein, the cost goes up, but you can even make this vegetarian or even vegan and keep the costs really down!

Cheers to YUM and trying something new!

The Lesson of the Conditioner: Recognizing what is necessary and what is not.

The other morning, I came back from a run, and as soon as I walked in through the door, I heard my little three year old daughter waking up.  It wasn’t even quite 6am yet, so I knew she wasn’t done sleeping.  I picked her up and cuddled her up and took her to my bedroom, and tucked her into bed with my hubby, who was still snoozing.  I tiptoed out of the bedroom like a mama-bear-ninja.  I was excited to get my day going, but I needed to shower asap.  But because our bathroom is through the master bedroom, I was left having to shower in our guest bath.  The only thing that the guest bath had in it was one lonely bottle of shampoo.  And I was going to have to do with what was in there, as there was no way I was showering and waking up my sleeping little beauty.

My entire life I used conditioner along with shampoo each shower.  I couldn’t remember not having conditioner and have never thought of NOT of using it.  It was such a tiny little thing, but it felt so awkward to just have to jump out of the shower, when I was finished with the shampoo, versus lathering up one more time with conditioner.

I share this, because it’s amazing how ingrained tiny little habits our in our lives and in our psyches.

I brushed out my hair and went on with my day.

Midday, I took a look at my head and noticed that my hair felt exactly like it did every other day.  It was smooth and shiny and business as usual. It wasn’t any better or any worst than any other days, where I have a bathroom full of everything and then some to shower and play with.  And so I started thinking about the lesson of the conditioner.

Conditioner is a nice to have, but is it perhaps always necessary?  Do I need to use it daily?  Do I need to spend $3/$4 on a bottle every other week?  What else do I think I NEED to use, but I actually do not need at all?

When in money saving mode, we have to peel back some layers of habits that have been ingrained in us to truly learn what we really need, and what we do not.  When becoming a stealth ninja saving and investing warrior – we have to build onto a raw foundation of true NEED, and at times, we have to break this foundation down.

Maybe you grew up in a family where it was taught you needed certain things. You needed to buy school pictures, or receive/give big gifts for birthdays and holidays, you needed to throw away all leftovers, or you needed to live pay to pay. Perhaps you never thought of NOT buying new clothes at the beginning of the school year, or not buying a brand new book-bag to kick off another grade.  Perhaps you always thought it was incredibly necessary to buy expensive greeting cards and anything else would not make sense.

I challenge myself, and all reading, to break up that foundation.  Bulldoze through it.  Break it up, and rebuild it with what you truly need, with what is truly important, and what is really necessary for your life.  Break it down, and build it up stronger, with more discipline, and more necessity – and teach your children to do the same, by your living and breathing example.

I truly always believed that my hair needed a daily big dose of conditioner to look good, and feel nice, and boom, there it is – it does not need it.  What else can I re-learn about needs/wants/necessities that have been inaccurate and incorrect?

I share this, because we all deserve to live in absolute financial freedom and peace, and I know that many people have no clue how they can go from living the pay-to-pay life to living the invest-most-of-your-pay-and-build-up-money-in-investment-accounts life.  I know it is absolutely scary to think that all your life you heard people complain about money, how everything is so expensive, how there is never enough, and believing they could never get to a better position, but you want it so badly for yourself.  And you can take the leap right now, today, to the side of the road that you want to be on.  I promise you with all of my heart that everything you ever need, and ever want, you already have.  It’s about recognizing the inventory that you already possess, loving it immensely, and re-building our foundation of what truly is necessary.

I grew up thinking that we always needed new cars for safety.  I don’t think that anyone said this to me in particular, but that’s just what I believed.  My sophomore year of college, I got a new Hyundai Elantra.  And for many years after, we always purchased new vehicles with loans.  But what if I had a different thought and understanding?  What if I believed that a reliable but used car was the smarter choice?  What if I understood the bs of loans and interest at 20 versus 30?  That would have saved me many years and many thousands of dollars.

What is it that you can re-think? Re-build?
What can you and your family do without, go without?  How big can you go?  And how many small changes can you make?

I’m grateful to have a partner who is on the same page along with me.  He’s actually a smarter money saver and wiser about spending than I could probably every be, but thankfully still allows me to play accountant.  Together, and as a family, we still have a lot to discover and learn about our spending, saving, investing, and building.  But remembering what the little lesson that the conditioner has taught me, helps propel us along.

Challenge yourself to undercover products, purchases, habits and thoughts that do not help you build wealth, but perhaps keep you stuck.  Break them down, and rebuild the way you see fit.

Cheers to all going strong in their financial goals.  Cheers to all breaking down what has been wrongly taught.  Cheers to all building and rebuilding as you grow smart and strong.

0351763_l

Another Batch of Homemade Dog Food

So our mini horse (a 1-2 year old dutchshepardmix we found at the Jacksonville Animal Shelter) loved the first batch of homemade dog food (which was inspired by my friend Amy on fb)!  And as soon as he was running low, we went to get some more grub, to make batch #2!

img_6119

At Aldi I purchased or used what we already had at home:

ground beef – $7.49

sweet potatoes – $1.89

celery – $1.19

carrots – $1.29

eggs – $1.35

can of tuna

can of raw pumpkin

1/2c of organic peanut butter

1/2c of organic coconut oil

Jasmine white rice (This was the only rice we had, and in the future, might buy regular white or brown rice).

The total cost was $13.21 (not including the ingredients we already had), and a big 18.5 pound of dry dog food from Aldi also cost $8.49.  Are you saving money by making your own?  No, but making batches of our food makes me feel great, and it’s fun, and a learning experience, and worth the slight increased cost.

Saturday morning my baby gal and I cooked up the rice and the sweet potatoes and carrots, and then the beef with the celery, and then started adding all together.  I also had eggshells left over from making eggs the past week I’ve kept in the fridge, and I added a dozen of those as well.  Eggshells, I read, are high in calcium.  Also, dogs’ stomachs are very acidic so that is partly why they can eat raw and garbage and not get sick.  I still cook most of everything for my pup, but don’t necessarily overcook anything.

I tried to make a video of this fun event, but as any household with two or more children who love to argue and tease each other, it became impossible.  Though, I’ll share two stills.  We had to put an end to this fun when my daughter grabbed the scissors and wanted to cut open the raw beef herself.

Instead of individually packaging the dog food in one cup containers like I did last time, I put in a big Tupperware and labeled DOG FOOD and put one in the fridge and one in the freezer.  Each morning he gets 1 cup of dry dog food, and then 1 cup of this homemade dog food.  And then each evening, he gets the same.  I saw a video on YouTube where a woman was feeding her 60 pound boxer four cups of homemade dog food, but just once a day.  I’m a huge believer of intermittent fasting, so her dog only eating once per day makes a lot of sense.

Dry dog food has a pretty intense unpleasant odor to it (especially in large quantities), but this homemade dog food smells awesome, smells sweet.  Our dog is still very young, about 64 pounds, and thankfully very healthy.  He runs or walks 2-4 miles per day, and the change from dry dog food to dry and homemade dog food has been uneventful.  We haven’t noticed any negative side effects.  Instead, his coat is shiny, and he’s happy to eat!  But he’s not picky, and will pretty much eat anything, so no big credit goes to this cooking, except that I’m sure the variety and deliciousness is a plus for the pup!

If you have a fur-ball put a few healthy ingredients together, and make your own concoction.  For now, we are still sticking to the dry store purchased dog food, because it is extra vitamin and mineral fortified, and I want him to have all he needs.  As I do more research and get in a strong dog food making groove, perhaps we’ll cut down on dry grub!

Also, the one advantage of the dry food is that it’s CLEAN when he eats.  When I fed him this in his regular bowl, the wet food kept getting everywhere because his tongue kept flinging it everywhere.  We solved this problem by giving him the food in a larger/deeper bowl.  Now, all the food stays in the bowl!

Cheers, my doggyfoodmakingfriends!

 

Two Weeks of Running

This morning I ran for the 14th straight day this year (13th this year, and last day of 2017 to be technical! :)).  I kicked off this adventure on 12/31 and ran 35 minutes that day to celebrate my 35th birthday, and every day since, I ran for 20 minutes each morning.  I didn’t know I wanted to run each day this month when I started, but I knew that I felt so good after I finished my birthday run, and I wanted to feel that way each morning since.  I love waking up, and I love coming back home after a run, and giving myself a solid reason for a hot shower!

Notice, I didn’t mention I have any love for the getting ready for a run part, or for the getting out the door part, or even the first half of the run part.  There is very little love there, just yet.  Waking up and leaving the hot bed isn’t awesome or ideal, but even though staying in bed feels pretty rad, what feels even better is that workout high right after.

So what have I learned from two weeks of consecutive running.

1 – The flashlight on the phone is everything.  All mornings the family is all still sleeping, and I love sneaking out of the house like a ninja.  The last thing I want to do is leave the house when my babies are up or need me or want to snuggle.  That would be hard.  But that Apple flashlight it’s so powerful who even needs electricity anymore!  That thing lights my way from bedroom to out the door like a boss!

2 – Weather matters.  The beginning of the year the weather in FL was cold.  Not NJ cold, but FL cold.  I found myself running in 31 degree weather, and gloves and in a headband and even rain twice.  Cold rain is as fun as a medical procedure you aren’t sure your insurance company covers.  But thankfully it does wake up your senses, and there is some positive mojo thereafter.  Yesterday morning it was 66 degrees at 6am, but the temp I enjoy the most are mid 50’s.  This morning it was 54, and it was morning running weather perfection!  The last thing you want to be concerned with while running is being too hot or too cold, that middle is everything.

Treadmill running is awesome too.  Back in da day, I have logged many miles on the good ole’ treadmill!  If the weather is frigid and unreasonable, do the work inside.

3 – It does get easier.  When out of habit of waking up early, and getting going, to do so each morning is rough.  But when you stay consistent, the consistency pays off and we get rewarded with increased ease in what we want to pursue.  Whether your goal is to workout first thing in the AM or midday or right before bed, it does get easier, but only when we keep going.  In the past, I have tried to skip workout days, and I find that when I do this, it’s hard to start back up again.  It’s better to just get going each day and create a habit that becomes a way of life.

What habits do you want to welcome as part of your erryday?  I also figure, because I’m only committing to twenty minutes per day, I know I can do it.  It’s ONLY 20 minutes.  It’s not like I’m committing to waking up at 5am, and driving for 30 min to a gym, and running for an hour there, and then having to drive home again.  That would be CRAY for me, but 20 minutes per day outside my home, I can do.

Maybe that’s CRAY for you, so maybe 10 would make more sense?  Or 5 or any time each day during lunch.  Maybe 15 min of YouTube yoga?  Or maybe weight training each day?  Or maybe it’s meditation your body craves, or a 20 pages of a good book each day? Whatever you choose, know and believe it will get better.

4 – Celebrate each day.  On day one you may celebrate the fact that you didn’t die getting out there.  The next day you may celebrate your move of just getting out the door.  The next day you may celebrate the fact that you did it all again for day #3.  I stay motivated by just pushing myself out there.  Some runs are faster, stronger, feel better than others, and I’m grateful for that.  Other days I feel like a poop emoji and the end can’t come soon enough.  But celebrate it all.  It will keep you going, and it’s a time for you to celebrate you – as you are.  With every flaw, imperfection, crack, pain and frustration.  When doing something difficult, even if it’s for a few minutes each day – we are raw.  We are as we are.  Perhaps not as fit, as great, as accomplished, as successful as we want to be.  But just perhaps we are getting there.  Whether to our desired destination, or just accepting it all, as we are.

Cheers to those on this journey, and greater cheers to those getting there!  Xoxo

two weeks.jpg

 

Taking Great Care Of What We Already Own

I find my husband to be a very interesting creature, because he just does a ton of tiny little things that make our lives better.  He has taught me a lot, and it’s always pretty cool to notice when I start doing something HE does, or has always done, or has taught me to do in the most casual and nonchalant way.

The other morning, I woke up to run (currently on a 12 day running streak).  I got home, and took my brand new running shoes (arrived beginning of Jan), and took them off, wiped them off, and put them away in the box they came with.  I had this overpowering feeling to take great care of them.  These were my new babies, and I was going to take amazing care of them.  The next morning I woke up and remembered it rained the day before.  Instead of taking out my new kicks out of the box and running in them, I took out my older shoes, and ran in those instead.  Even though it wasn’t raining, I knew running in the dark, I was bound to step in plenty of puddles and get da shoes wet.  And so, I wore the older pair instead.

From the moment we met my main guy always took care of his things.  His DJ equipment, his computers, his clothes, and shoes, and anything he touches, he takes great care of.  Throughout the years, I would find him sewing up a t-shirt or a pair of old socks (ya, old thick army like socks).  If my son cut his shirt (because scissors are so fun to use on one’s clothing for a kindergartner), he would take out his sewing kit, and sew it up.

I’ll find him cleaning the bathroom, washing this or that.  He just loves taking care of things.  He will wash the car, and polish this or that.  He’ll replace the oil before it’s due, he’ll randomly wash the dishwasher so it runs without errors.  He makes the bed as soon as he gets up, and washes the dog every few days.

Here is my AJB polishing up our son’s sneakers.

img_5700-e1515688505440.jpg

I’m always amazed by this habit because it motivates me to take better care of everything I use, and own and love.  Often, I find him teaching his children the same.  Whenever I ask him why he does this he says it’s a combination of not having in excess as a child (3rd out of 4 children) and then Army life.  The Army required the shiniest shoes, and a perfect bed, among many other things that make humans stronger.

Taking care of your things is motivating because I find it to be a pillar in growing wealth.  Taking care of what we already have, what we already own, what we already paid for, is pretty rad.  This means we don’t have to replace an item, we are less likely to break an item, we are less likely to ruin an item, and we understand the value of it.  We are therefore more able to teach by example to the little people looking up to us.

As a society we are quick to discard something, and buy it new again, but what if we turned this around, and really restored what we currently own.  My son’s uncle found him a bike as his first bike.  He just outgrew it, and we found another bike, someone tossed out.  He’s currently on this bike, and recently the chain broke.  Instead of tossing it, my husband went to a local bike shop and replaced the chain.  Coming home from a friend’s home the other night, we found two more bikes (after Christmas) that someone must have outgrew.  We picked them up, and they are more young teen bikes, that he’ll have when he outgrows the ride he has now.

And that’s pretty great.  We were able to recycle someone else’s bike, and instead of contributing to more garbage, add to our bike collection.  When my daughter outgrows these bikes, we’ll pass them onto another child.  And knowing my husband, they will be oiled up, without issues, and ready to go for many more miles.

This morning, I ran in my old sneakers again.  I ran through a short portion of a woody area, and knowing it would be wet, I opted for my old pair again.  And this time around, instead of throwing them back into the garage, I wiped them down, and became determined to still take great care of them.

(Keeping these brand new babies perfect until forever.)

What if the clothes, bathing suits, pots and pans, books, and rugs, and beds and sheets lasted you LONGER than usual.  What if they lasted you extra long, so that replacing them would not be necessary.  What if you could use them forever and ever and never spend another $1 on something – if you just took strong care of it.

We own so much, and we are so quick to buy new.  Yet, how much mulla could we all save by doing the opposite?

What can you save today? What can you take care of right now?  What are some items that you could restore and perhaps use, or maybe sell?  What habit can you institute today?  What do you love and wish it would last forever?  How can you take better care of what you already own so that your wealth grows?

I know the jump from taking care of your sneakers to becoming a millionaire may be a far reach, but the relationship is strong.  The wise decisions and habits you put together and live out on the daily, are the same habits that build up savings and assets and mindset and accounts.  It’s the same wise actions that continue to motivate a wealth creation and savings mindset.  These are the same habits that allow a person to stop and think before taking an action.  It’s the same wise decisions that help a person stay on track versus veer off to the wrong path.  Taking great care of the small, tiny, minuscule items, are the building blocks for creating a big, life-changing and free life.

Cheers to all who is putting in an effort to getting this done, and teaching others to do the same.