Day 30 – What I learned from 30 days of writing

(This is the FINAL post in the 30 for 30 Challenge.)

The end has come. This marks my 30th blog post in thirty days.  I took up the challenge just after the Christmas holiday as a way to try and see if I could create a new habit for writing. Instead of a New Year’s resolution, I had new habit forming activities in mind – things that would take me a month to ingrain, and the whole year to follow through.  There are some things I’ve learned from the experience, not only about myself, but about writing and creativity as well. Continue reading “Day 30 – What I learned from 30 days of writing”

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Day 29 – Snow Day!

(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).

For all of my friends in the mid-Atlantic states today, take care and take cover.

The last time we had snow like this in the region was February 2010, given the hyperbolic name of Snowmagedon by the media. I was living in Washington, D.C., at the time, and remember the endless snow, blowing winds, and brave (stupid?) drivers navigating the blanket of white where roads used to be. The city was pretty much shut down for a week which gave me a LOT of time at home to myself. No distractions from friends to go out and spend money. Just me at home, the white stuff coming down outside, as if by machines that someone forgot to turn off.

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Snow days 2010

Continue reading “Day 29 – Snow Day!”

Day 28 – Thoughts on Finding Meaning

(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge.)

What does it mean to be fulfilled?  To have a meaningful life?  As sentient beings, aware of our past and future selves, how do we reconcile our sense of meaningfulness in the present? Some of us find solace in religion, and resign to its teachings of  mystery and sacrifice as a way towards greater meaning. Others find meaning and purpose in how they make their livelihood, or the activities that make up their daily lives (parenting, teaching, cooking, etc.).  Still others find their deepest meaning when silencing the mind, and disconnecting from their worldly relations. Continue reading “Day 28 – Thoughts on Finding Meaning”

Day 27 – This post is NOT about Sarah Palin

(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).

The only thing seemingly newsworthy of the Sarah Palin endorsement of Donald Trump is the fact of her increasing inability to form sentences and coherent thoughts. I didn’t think that was possible based on past appearances, but little ceases to amaze me these days. My favorite headline of the endorsement which sums it quite nicely was from Slate titled “Hot Mess Endorses Dumpster Fire”.

But I will not be talking about Sarah Palin, at least not directly. Continue reading “Day 27 – This post is NOT about Sarah Palin”

Day 26 – 10 Netlfix Documentaries for People Who Would Rather Read

(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).

Today’s post is Buzzfeed inspired.  That is, I’m giving you a glorified list of things.

A little over three years ago I cancelled my cable (part of my path towards financial freedom), and decided I would read more.  Even though most evenings I would rather spend curled up with a good book, like anyone else, I still enjoy the occasional Netflix evening – minus the “and chill” part.

What I don’t like, however, is the endless scrolling through the infinite choices of things I’ve never heard of, or worse.  Passing over gems like Sharknado and Zombeavers, one can easily become discouraged and reconsider that book. But in most cases, the addiction of scrolling simply continues ad infinitum.

Not to worry.  I can save you the scrolling. Here are ten documentaries currently available on Netflix streaming that you won’t regret spending time wathcing on a Friday evening at home: Continue reading “Day 26 – 10 Netlfix Documentaries for People Who Would Rather Read”

Day 25 – A New Financial Mindset

(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).

At some point in our adult lives, we’ve all said some degree of the following: “If only I had more money, I could take care of XYZ and everything would be better.” After living with this mentality for years, and after having received multiple promotions and raises, I realized after a while that I continually ended up in the same place that I started at the end of every month- broke.

Each pay period I would pay my bills, save a small portion, and then see how much I had leftover. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but this money was a motivator for more spending. The more I had leftover, the more I felt obliged to spend it on nicer things for myself.  The way I figured it, I had done my part by saving a little and paying all my bills on time, so I “deserve” to get these other things as a young professional for my career, health, lifestyle – name your spending category.

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We convince ourselves that having more money will close the gap between having money and not having money at the end of every pay period.  If only we could see that it is not so much the lack of money coming in, but the amount of money going out that keeps us in a perpetual rat race. It takes time for most to realize this, some never do. Continue reading “Day 25 – A New Financial Mindset”

Day 24 – Black Mirror : A Look at our Dystopian Future Selves

I may be a little late coming to this, but the British show Black Mirror, currently streaming on Netflix, is one of the best pieces of dramatic social commentary I’ve seen in some time.

In this anthology series, each episode tells a different story from the perspective of a not-so-distant future “us” that has somehow allowed certain technologies to progress to their logical, albeit dystopian and destructive conclusions. Continue reading “Day 24 – Black Mirror : A Look at our Dystopian Future Selves”

Day 23 – Why is Everyone so Busy!?

(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).

Ask someone how they’re doing nowadays, and in varying ways they’ll say, “I’m so busy!” Are people actually busy, or do mindless activities consume their day which people call “being busy”? Never mind the fact the question of “how are you doing?” isn’t really asking about activity, but a state of mind. It is interesting that people choose to describe busyness as their state of mind. Rather than saying, “I’m doing well.” or “I’m really feeling good/bad today.” – they say “I’m busy.” Given the fractured and frantic nature of the average person’s attention these days, it’s no surprise that a feeling of constant busyness defines how we think about our state of mind. Continue reading “Day 23 – Why is Everyone so Busy!?”

Day 22 – Have we reached peak cynicism?

(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).

We all know what happens when excess is mistaken for progress: housing bubbles, tech bubbles, financial bubbles – name your bubble. I’m beginning to feel we are approaching the zenith of a cynicism bubble. Peak oil?  It’s time to start talking about peak cynicism and its repercussions.

Here’s why I am just as guilty of it. Continue reading “Day 22 – Have we reached peak cynicism?”

Day 21 – Pressing on – (the home stretch)

(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).

Somehow, I’ve managed to make a post everyday now for the last twenty days. Now, with ten posts remaining (including this one), I’m beginning to wonder how I’ll make it. Doubt is creeping in once again.

The act of writing is a decisively deliberate one – an activity that is all to easy to let pass us up in this mostly mindless daily toil we call “making a living”. This accepted necessity of human existence, at least for most of us, is a bulwark we must daily hurdle ourselves over (at some point or another) if ever we hope to achieve and/or maintain a creative balance in our lives. It’s a daily cycle, and the struggle is real. Continue reading “Day 21 – Pressing on – (the home stretch)”