Everyday, Vegan

Vegan 2017

The times could finally be changing.  I watched a great YouTube video this morning put out by Plant Based News called:  Vegan 2017.  It documented the shift of going to a plant-based or vegan diet and it is picking up speed worldwide.  I will let this video speak for itself.  I hope it helps to open everyone’s eyes to the changes that need to be made for all of mankind as well as for ALL life on the planet.

There is the link!  Enjoy and lets make 2018 speak even louder!

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Blogging, Everyday, Fitness

I felt consumed

I was up at 5am for some early morning speed work at the track.  It was crazy cold, with feels like temp of about 35 degrees (well crazy cold for Central Texas).  So I layered up, ate my sweet potato breakfast and was out the door.  It was really dark at the track and only 3 other people showed up.  The work was hard; 8×400 repeats at about 5k pace with 2 mins rest between.  The view was great as the sun began to start it’s day.  If camera contact lenses existed, I would have taken a picture.  We were also taunted by an owl; with each lap came his distinct ho hoo.  He probably watched us and thought we were all crazy running around and around in circles.  His day was coming to an end while I was just starting.

It felt good to have gotten that accomplished before most people had even had their first cup of coffee.  The runner’s high did wear off pretty quickly into the progressing day.  Work was taxing.  My work has never really been “hard” in the almost two years I’ve been there, but there is a first for everything.  I had the Midas Touch but in the worst possible way.  Everything I touched turned to absolute shit.  It was horrible and I let it get to me.  I could feel anxiety creeping in to take over my day.  It wound up being 7 long hours of nothing good.  7 hours that I just wanted to end more than anything.  I wanted nothing more than to come home, draw a hot bath for my achy muscles, and wash away my tears fears.

I finally came home.  It was finally time to unwind.  I went to my soaker tub, poured the epsom salt, started the hot water, and put on some of my favorite music.   I mentally eased my way into relaxation.  After a couple drags, I began to think.  I thought about the music I was listening to.  It made me think about my dad.  I wondered if he had been scared during the last hours of his life?  I think about things like that a lot.  Death is so foreign to me and so out of anyone’s control.  I felt consumed.  I became consumed by my own morbid thoughts.  But then the music crept back into my mind.  “……echoed in the wells of silence.  And the people bowed their heads and prayed……”  I really want to make a video using that song*.  I would dedicate it to my father.  I wanted to share it with the world.  Should I go back to school?  Would I be able to make it?  To learn?  To teach and be heard?  I have no idea, but I feel a need to share my thoughts.  Maybe I need to talk to someone?  Sometimes I wonder how I get around these feelings.  What was I doing?  What will tomorrow look like?  What about the space between?

I got out of the tub and finally felt relaxed and ready to end the day.  Tomorrow had to be better.  There would be another sun rise waiting for me in the morning.  There would be another workout to tackle and another day to go onto.  Another day to love my family and miss my dad.  Another day closer to figuring it all out.  I wonder if the owl has nights like this?

 

 

 

 

**Song reference was to:  The Sound of Silence, composed by Paul Simon.  But by far my favorite rendition was performed by Disturbed.  I highly recommend listening to it here if you have never heard it before.  It is very powerful.

 

 

 

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Blogging, Everyday, minimalism, Vegan

Was the Grinch a conspiracy theroist?

Have the holidays turned into a huge conspiracy theory?

I have learned a lot about how certain ideas and industries really work, rather than from the way that they are perceived in real life, from being a vegan.  I won’t go too far into that, but I don’t believe that all the facts, are always presented, all the time to the public.  And as consumers, we tend to place our heads in the sand when it comes to the things we enjoy doing, having, eating or pursuing.  Sure lots of things are “bad for you” but how many of those things do we choose to still enjoy anyways?  From foods, to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs of all kinds (legal and illegal); we want what we want and sometime we choose to look the other way even if we have an inkling that those things may not be what’s best for us.

After having many realizations that everything isn’t always as it seems, my mind often gets lost and I find myself thinking on a deeper level then ever before.  Just the other day, my family and I were in the car, on the way to dinner listening to Christmas music on the radio.  As I was listening and singing along I had a profound thought:

What if the government has hidden subliminal messages in all of our classic holiday songs that encourage us to buy more?

I know that is a pretty crazy notion, but what a genius way to trigger us to spend more… and more… and even more.  A way to boost the economy at the end of the year, so that when tax time comes around the rich get richer, the lobbyist dig deeper and you and I are none the wiser because we are all waiting to get our tax returns to pay off our holiday debts.

It would be the perfect ploy.  Think about it:  we are taught holiday carols pretty much from the time we could understand them.  We are trained like little monkeys when we are in school to perform them for our families.  And in all that time we were being programmed to always want more.

As children we  learn to associate the holidays with receiving gifts.  We are excited by the commercials on TV and the ads online and can’t wait for our moment with Santa (and what better place should Santa be stationed then in the local shopping mall).  Even children with the best upbringing are hoping to get more stuff.  And parents these days find it harder and harder to say no.  So they work more and more while little Johnny is left home alone not understanding any of it.  The greatest gift that any child needs is for their parents to be present in their lives.  I know when I look back at my life, I don’t think about the gifts that I got, but instead about the time I spent with my family (some of whom are no longer with us).  The traditions that we had and the memories that we created.  Sure I remember the year that I got the Inspector Gadget doll that I really wanted, but I would trade that in a second if I could just have spent one more Christmas with my dad now.  Just one more holiday together with the people I lost over the years.  But I digress…

I know there will be some parents who will say that they have taught their children the “real” meaning behind whatever holiday their family celebrates.  But let’s get real for a second mom and dad of the year.  If you were to ask most kids what they looked forward to during the holidays, I can bet 90% would say the toys and/or gifts they received score way above spending time in church with their second aunt that they see once a year.  I mean how many kids do you know that actually want to celebrate the holidays for what they are “supposed to be” rather than what they have become?  That magical day, that for a lot of children, all their materialistic dreams come true wrapped up with colorful paper and ribbons.  Sure some children will have it better than others, but what is the real toll that those gifts have played on their families?  How many extra hours did mom and dad have to work to get little Johnny the most sought after “what-cha-ma-call-it-imal” so that in a month or two it could be shoved in the corner and forgotten about, then trashed or hopefully donated?

Was that really the best use of time and money from parent to child?

Then, as an adult there is a shift.  You go from the receiver to the gift giver.  Feeling that you have to give bigger and better every year to “keep up with the Joneses”.  Blue collar consumers have to work harder and longer the rest of the year just to give gifts that many will forget about or re-gift to someone next year so that they can instead buy that Black Friday TV for themselves.  And the circle goes on and on while Bing Crosby plays softly in the background.  The triggers come into to the radio earlier and earlier and stores stay open longer and longer.  But your holiday bonus gets smaller and smaller while interest rates climb and you fall deeper and deeper into debt.

I am by no means an anti-holiday person.  And I love giving and receiving an awesome gift as much as the next person.  But as I get older (and try to live a more intentional life through minimalism) I just can help but shake my head at the Black Friday crowds I see on TV.  And I am disgusted by the stores that are open on Thanksgiving.  And for the love of all that is holy, please stop playing holiday music right after Halloween!  I feel like the holidays should be a time that we all slow down a little and really reflect on our lives and loved ones.  Life is too short to be waiting in line, in a tent, in front of Best Buy at 3pm on Thanksgiving day just to buy a TV that was probably already marked up so high in the first place that when the price drop on Black Friday the only person really winning in the end is Mr. Samsung himself.  Not you, nor the poor employee that is working and missing time with their family.

And so many wonder why the family system is falling apart.  Maybe the Millennial’s have the right idea after all?  Not wanting to have children and instead choosing to spend their money on living in the moment instead of for the moment you remove the plastic film from the newest fruit phone.  Some people probably spend more time with their electronic devices then their actually living and breathing family members and friends.  Or if they are spending time with their loved ones, everyone is sitting around the dinner table like zombies paying homage to their little blue screens.  Scrolling through websites or pinning the next best thing that will “make them happy”.  The next best thing.  But I digress….. again.

Anyways, just a long and drawn out thought.  I hope everyone reading this has a great holiday however you and your loved one’s choose to celebrate (or not celebrate) it.  Just live every moment like it could be your last because you never get a chance to do today over again.  And no one really needs a hippopotamus for any reason, they can be mean SOB’s!

 

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Blogging, Everyday, Running

Gotta do what you got to do

Something that I have heard a lot of writers or authors say to aspiring writers is that some days you have to sit down and write even when you don’t want to.  Today is that day for me.

Writing when you don’t have the urge to, is like try to make a baby when you are not in the mood.  Come on hunny, I’m ovulating!  I know your tired and just got done mowing the lawn but if we don’t do it now, we will have to wait another month.  Sure it could turn out to be fun, and hopefully will pay off in the end but damn if you aren’t in the mood, you aren’t in the mood.  Ugh.  Everyday that passes that I don’t write is just another day wasted towards my dreams.  If I want my writing to take off, well then I HAVE TO write.  Just as simple as that.

I’ve also been feeling that way when it comes to my running.  I am currently signed up to do the Austin 3M Half Marathon at the end of January and right now I can barely get past running 3 miles, let alone 13.1.  My training should have started a month ago and I am in need of some new shoes as well. Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I have been keeping up with my strength training twice and week but my endurance is shot.  Plus, it doesn’t help that central Texas has not decided on what season we are in yet.  Running when it is hot and humid is why I don’t run in the summer.  Running when it is warm and humid and DECEMBER is just a cruel joke.  I am a cold weather runner.  60 degrees and under is my ideal running weather.  When it is 75 degrees and just as humid, I have a really hard time moving one foot in front of the other.  I did manage to get up and do 6×100 meter repeats on Wednesday morning.  Stupid me also did my first leg workout in two weeks the day before that.  My calves felt like water balloons ready to pop and foam rolling was excruciating.  Thank goodness our new house came complete with a soaker tub in the master bathroom!  Epsom salt to the rescue (along with some well, lets just say recreational plants of choice) to really help take the edge off.  Ahhhhhh relax-o time.  By Saturday I got back out and did my first 4 mile run in months.  It was rough but just like the baby making and writing, it had to be done.  And afterwards I felt really glad that I did it, just as I do now because I wrote about it.

But seriously, I need to get my shit act together.  Whether with writing or running (no baby making for me) it’s time to get back out there.

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Blogging, Everyday

To be better

I was granted some much-needed time off from work for the next month.  The time was to allow me to start to make sense of all the changes I have been faced with in these last 6 months.  (For anyone that doesn’t follow me, to sum it up my dad got sick and passed away from colon cancer in the summer and now my mother is living with my husband and I.)  The most current change was moving into a new house over Thanksgiving weekend.  So besides my mind being a big mess, so is my house.  But as boxes are slowly disappearing and our house is feeling more like our home, I feel like I can finally get my personal life back on track.

There have been so many things that I have had come to a complete stop ever since my dad got sick.  The list of “I haven’t done this since….” has become overwhelming.  When you have to stop doing the things you love to start taking care of the heavy things in life, you can lose balance on your happiness meter quite fast.  Sometimes I don’t even feel like myself anymore.  I mean, I know that a part of me has now changed forever.  The person I was before my father died will forever be a different person now.  And that door will swing both ways.  In some ways, I hope to be an even better person in his honor but in other ways, loosing a parent has reshaped my outlook of life.  We take so much for granted and we tend to lose focus on what is really important.

Right now what has been really important for me is to get back to my writing.  I can feel this little flame burning inside of me.  I want to do something big.  Something important that will hopefully reach others in some way.  I definitely want to be blogging more again.  Through my blogging I become a better writer.  It is like a daily tune up for my skills (or lack there of).  And even though I’m not sure at all where to start, I have always toyed with the idea of writing a book someday.  Even if it is just an e-book on Amazon; it is defiantly something that I have added to my bucket list.

But I need to get motived and organized with my thoughts and dreams.  I am thinking about starting a bullet journal to help with that.  I have no idea how I stumbled across bullet journaling but I think it could be a great way to help me focus my time and my thoughts throughout the day, plus it will provide me with a creative outlet.  (Here is a great link that will help explain the idea of a bullet journal better.  And for anyone who already has a BUJO, please feel free to tell me about it in the comments!)

I would also like to take a writing class that Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalist offers to hone my skills.  The only real schooling I have had with my writing is a little dated (over 15+ years ago and very standardized).  I have always loved to write for as long as I can remember.  I won first prize in the literature portion of my elementary schools Arts Fair when I was in 6th grade.  I took creative writing in high school and college, wrote for my high schools literary magazine and have journaled for years prior.  I find it so much easier to really express myself through written words and I have a passion for reading as well.  Blogging has been a wonderful way to step into a new era of “story telling/idea sharing” but I’m not sure if my blog is at the level to really speak to anyone (thank you to each and every one of my 98 followers).

I want to make it better.  I want to make me better.

I hope to help heal myself through my writing.  I really just want to feel like me again.  I want to stop missing things and start creating new wonderful and exciting things and ideas.  I want to reach people and hope to touch them on a level that I never knew I was capable of.  I want to create.  To live.  To love.

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Everyday

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my wonderful mother’s birthday.

I wish that I could give her everything she would desire, but I know this year the only thing she would wish for is to have my father back.  He died on July 21st and both of our live’s haven’t been the same.

My mom loves to receive Hallmark cards for every occasion.  She has told me in the past that even if I was late with a gift, that I better always have a card for her.

This year, I didn’t get her a card (sorry mom).

When I was at the card store searching through all the birthday cards they all seemed “fake” and “cold”.  Something that a million dollar corporation puts out that really doesn’t cater to all of the emotions that a single person can have at any given time.  How exactly do you wish anyone a happy birthday after they have had one of the hardest years of their life?

All I can do today is to let my mom know that she is very loved and that my husband and I can only hope to live up to my dad’s last wishes to take good care of her.  I try my best everyday.  I hope you know that mom.  I love you more than you could ever know and I miss daddy too.  It is bitter-sweet.  With his death, he gave me my greatest wish, to have you in my life again and not with miles between us.

Thank you daddy and I love you.

The holidays are coming up fast.  We all will be faced with new emotions as we feel the void of our missing loved one.  I’m truly grateful that we have each other and we will get through it all together.  I promise that to you, today, as always.

I love you mom and Happy Birthday.

 

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Blogging, Everyday

Feeding my fire

I feel like I need a reset button.  A control, alt, delete for my life this year.  End task now and restart.

2017 has been a really hard year.  I’m not writing this looking for sympathy, but to merely remind myself that even though things were treacherous at times, I have to keep moving forward.  My husband tells me that I am stronger than I give myself credit for but I need a break and a hard reset.  I need to look past the sadness and come out on the other side stronger than before.  I’m not sure yet what that might look like, but I have a feeling deep down in my very being that some big changes are in my future.

This year was full of changes.  I had to say goodbye to one of my fur babies after 13 years back in the spring.  I had never felt my heart hurt the way it did as I said goodbye for the last time.  Loosing her brought me to a different level of empathy.  And just as I thought I couldn’t hurt any worse, I lost my dad to cancer.  It went undetected for what was probably years, but took his life in less than a month.  I never understood what it was like to lose a loved one; a parent.  It feels like a small piece of your very being dies right along with them.  One of the two people who made you whole, who gave you life, is no more.  My mother lost her life partner of over 40 years.  Literally half of her heart and soul.  She had been with my father longer then any other signal human being.  I cannot even begin to understand her loss.

Loosing him meant gaining her in my life.  I am an only child and I was the only family she had left.  So she chose to pack up and change her entire life and move 1000 miles away to be with me and my husband.  We have all faced an array of feelings because of this.  The three of us are reforming the small family that I came from.  Years of being apart are bring us closer together but it is tragic that we had to lose someone along the way to get here.  It is bitter-sweet.

In the last week that I spent with my father he made me promise him to keep writing.  Yell from the roof tops about my beliefs.  To make sure my voice was heard any way that I could.  He had always believed in me and I want to make him proud.  I want who he was to live on through who I am.

This is one of the first entires I have made since he died.  I have been so tired and so uninspired.  I haven’t been writing, reading, running or really anything else that I used to enjoy.  Each day feels so long but at the same time goes by so fast.  But lately I can feel a small fire inside of me that keeps pushing me forward.  It keeps me from wanting to just crawl up in a ball and give up.  If I do that, then I would fail myself and worst of all fail him.

You only need one small spark to set the world a blaze.  

 

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