Taking comfort in being ordinary

I’m okay with living what some would consider an ordinary life. The effect of social media has raised most people’s expectations of what life should really be like. 

You see nothing but the good stuff. The traveling and grand accomplishments, but not the work or the unpretty tasks that got them there. 

Or worse, it could be the opposite. Those that show constant misery, and do nothing to improve their situation. Maybe it’s the attention received from all the sympathy comments. 

It’s okay to find a spot somewhere in the middle where real life exists. The place where you find a good mix of fun derived from sweat equity. Drinking that beer in your backyard with close friends rather than some fancy downtown rooftop bar. Enjoying a nice staycation rather than maxing the credit card for that trip to Paris. 

Should I envy those putting forth the money and effort put on a fancy show when I can do the same thing at home? And for far less money? 

Don’t get me wrong here. I’ve got my own bucket list, and love a good trip every now and then, but the ads and “influencer’s” push it too far. 

I don’t need some dude standing next to a row of super expensive cars, or the seat of a private jet telling me how easy it is to 10X my life. These people don’t represent real life.   

Not every day is going to be the Superbowl. Not every month is going to see record sales, and that’s okay. Somethings need to be hard, and you need to have a bad day every now and then. The sweet wouldn’t be sweet without the sour. 

We need to know suffering in order to feel joy. You would never know the relief of shedding the weight of a major problem without first carrying the burden. 

By showing each other nothing but the best part of our lives, and allowing internet personalities to tell us what is important, we’re losing touch with reality. Setting expectations of each other that can never be reached. The truth is that life is hard and that there is no way around it. You are, however, in the driver’s seat and can decide how much it will suck. 

We just aren’t meant to be happy all the time. Don’t take someone’s Facebook feed as a true representation of their everyday life. Don’t compare yourself to others based on only what they want you to see. 

If you need someone to compare yourself too, look in the mirror. Does that look like the person your loved ones look up to? You know, those people that really matter in your life that need you to show up every day? The ones that need you to suck it up and go to another day at your shitty job so the bills are paid. 

We all would love to lead a more glamorous lifestyle. When we get the chance to do something a little more fancy than normal we rub it in everyone’s faces. Be honest, we all do it. It’s fun, and we want everyone to know we are having fun. 

The challenge is to find just as much pride in the day to day events that truly represent your life. 

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How To Leverage The Internet To Learn Anything!

You know that you can find anything and everything online. Many people spend their time online shopping or perusing social media. Why not use that time to learn something new?

There is so much more on the web that you can use to help enrich your life!

Learn new things for free

Gone are the days that you needed to pay a great deal in order to learn new skills!

There is a shift in the workplace, where skills may soon outweigh a degree. While there will always be a place for college, these days you can teach yourself just about anything for free, or very little.

Want to learn about something? Google it. Pretty simple, however, given enough time researching you can learn quite a bit.

Want to learn to code? Check out Codecadamy. Need to change the breaks on your car? YouTube. Need ideas for a DIY project? Pinterest.

There are also sites like Udemy that offer free, or very cheap ($10), classes on just about anything you want to learn.

Rather read books? While not free, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited offers access to a library of books for $9.99 per month.

Not looking for anything in particular? Sign up for a free daily email course through Highbrow. You pick a course and they send a short lesson to you each weekday by email. There are lots of topics to choose from art, business, productivity, travel… You get the picture. They have both free and premium memberships. One of these lessons leads to me starting this blog.

If you are looking for more specific topics, do a Google search for blogs in that space. You would be surprised the level of knowledge that people share for free. Some may even offer courses of their own on those topics. This brings us to the next topic…

Connect with like-minded people

Whether looking for information, or advice on an idea, the online community is a great resource. If you like the way someone looks at things, reach out to them. Collaborate and share! You can sign up for their newsletter, or contact them directly. Social media works the same way too.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”- Jim Rohn

Be careful who you spend your time with. Surround yourself with people that lift you up, and inspire you! Those that help support your goals, and hold you accountable. While there are downright awful people on the internet, there are so many great ones willing to help. You just need to find them.

Final thoughts…

Pick something you always wanted to learn, and go learn it. Anything. If you don’t end up liking it, just move on to something else. Nothing is stopping you, and most likely cost you nothing but time.

Make a commitment to yourself. Begin with small goals to ensure you reach them.

Don’t worry if you spend time on topics that don’t support what you do for a living. Everything learned in personal life will apply to business in some way. You might even start doing something you never thought you wanted to pursue. Like writing…

Leverage the people around you. You would be surprised what your coworkers know, and what they can teach you as well. Interact with people. Network. The more people you connect with, the more opportunities that come your way in the future.

There is so much content out there and ready to be consumed. Be careful not to become overwhelmed!

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12 Wonderful Truths For A New Dad

Everything you need to know about parenting you can find online!

Just kidding! I have been a parent for a little over five years now, so you would think that I’m an expert! You would be wrong. I have looked all over to find tips & tricks to make sure my kids have a great childhood, however, you will see a lot of conflicting advice. One such example is sleep training.

Raising kids is the most wonderfully frustrating thing you can ever choose to do. I did say choose, as anyone can go and make a kid, but you have to make a commitment to become an actual parent. There is no half- ass way to do this stuff.

I am far from the best dad any kid could ever wish for, but I wanted to share some things that I learned over the last five years.

#1. You get to write your own instruction manual…

I don’t care how many books or blogs you read about parenting. Nothing is going to prepare you for how much your life is going to change when that first child comes home! Everyone has their own way of doing things, and will happily tell you what works for them.

You will realize while watching YouTube videos on swaddling at 3 AM that you have to try a few things out to find a solution that works for you. Sure, all these resources will help, but in the end, it is all trial and error. You have to decide what works and what doesn’t. Eventually, you will find your own style.

Don’t worry, you will get to a point where you look at new parents and chuckle. Just as more experienced parents are most likely having a giggle while watching you right now.

#2. The first child experience…

The first kid will get all the cool stuff. All the accessories that you can find at Buy Buy Baby. The snot sucker, binkie whips, awesome diaper bag, etc. Make sure to get refills for the Diaper Genie!

This kid will get all of your attention. They won’t be allowed to eat off the floor, play in the dirt, and everyone gets to wash their hands before they are allowed to touch the baby.

You will worry about this little one constantly. Rush to pick them up every time they fall, and call the doctor about every fever.

#3. You will never sleep again…

Truth. Forget sleeping through the night, at least in the beginning. If you’re lucky you might get to sleep in when the kids a teenager. My son is a rooster and makes sure we know exactly when the sun begins to ever so slightly crest the horizon.

#4. Get ready for all the photo opts…

Your child’s early years will also be very well documented in baby books. You are going to take so many pictures of this kid it is crazy. Make sure you come up with a good way to view them all. My wife will use Shutter Fly to make hardcover books for each year that are truly awesome!

I love that FaceBook shows me memories each day. When I was growing up we never really dug out the photo albums. Having these memories shown to you automatically is great. You will be surprised how fast that kid is going to grow.

#5. You will spend way too much money…

All that cool stuff you got. All those cool accessories. You won’t use them after six months. Pretty sure that we have never used the snot sucker. You will also realize that you have been carting around a ton of stuff that you really don’t need.

You know what the best changing pad on the market is? The floor. Yep, that wiggle worm can’t fall off the floor. Once you have some experience, you can move from the floor to the couch.

Also, it is way easier to clean poop off tile or hardwood than it is carpet. Choose your spot carefully!!!

#6. Your kid is going to get you sick…

So so very sick. Nothing like the entire family ending up in the hospital with the Norovirus because you had a fun day at the Children’s Museum.  Make sure everyone is washing their hands anywhere you encounter several germ buckets in one area. Especially when you visit all those awesome public places full of other peoples sick kids.

#7. The second child experience…

All that crap about washing hands goes out the window with this kid. You won’t think twice about letting this one eat dirt. This one gets to play with that kid at the playground with green snot running down their face. You might even remember that snot sucker you have collecting dust in the medicine cabinet.

You now realize that kids are a lot tougher than they seem. They also heal extremely fast. You are not as worried about the huge goose egg on your kid’s forehead after they face plant on the neighbor’s sidewalk as you were the first kid.

There won’t be as many pictures of this kid. They sometimes get the short end of the memory stick. You will still love them just as much as the first kid, but now realize that you just don’t have as much time to spread between these two super needy creatures.

#8. Forget going out to eat…

Don’t expect to have a nice meal out to eat anywhere that doesn’t have a playground. Even bringing some books and toys will only last the kids so long.

When we first had my son, we bragged about nothing changing and going out to eat all the time. Yea, that lasted about five minutes.

Rushing to take a few bites while your spouse is walking a screaming kid around outside sucks! Taking turns walking the little troublemakers around gets old quick. Better to get take out and embarrass yourself in front of your friends at home on your own turf.

#9. Your house will never be clean again…

You are going to spend so much time cleaning, folding laundry, and doing dishes it becomes a second full-time job. Just accept it. You may want to think twice about getting a huge house. More house = more to clean!!

Watch your step around Lego’s! Stepping on a Lego is it’s own special kind of pain.

#10. Your kid’s pet is really your pet…

Having a pet growing up is great! I had a bunch of pets when I was a kid. Just realize when you decide to get an animal when you have young kids that you get to take care of it.

Maybe if the pet lives long enough you will get to teach them some responsibility.

#11. Kids really are the best thing ever…

You might be thinking that after the first ten things on this list your life is over. Truth is that the first time your kid says your name or grabs your finger with their little hand your’s hooked.

aditya romansa - www.unsplash.com
aditya romance – www.unsplash.com

There is nothing like being a parent. Life is full of so many ups, downs, and sideways. Kids do make these swings more significant in good and bad ways.

Your goals will shift. Your dreams will be centered around the little ones for the time being, but don’t forget to keep the long game in mind. Eventually, these kids will move out.

#12. Your partner in crime…

Don’t take your significant other for granted. It is really easy to fall into a routine of work, kids, clean, sleep. Remember your partner that’s tagging along on this journey with you. Maintaining that bond and connection is extremely important! When the kids have moved on to their own lives it will just be the two of you. Make sure there is still a “Us” at the end of the day.

If you are a single parent, I tip mine had to you! I couldn’t do this on my own, and can only imagine how strong you must be. Same goes for Step and Adoptive parents. It takes a special person to come in and raise another person’s child.

All that said, you will never know another love like that of your kids! Whether they are your own or adopted, these kids will force you to be a better person. You just have to do your best not to fuck them up too bad.