Tag Archives: responsibility

Decide to Decide

There’s a lot of commentary going on about President Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris climate agreement.  I’m not a big fan of this decision, but you know what?  This may be an opportunity for us as citizens.  As Bill Nye used to say, please consider the following.

Over the past two or three decades, the folks we send to Washington, D.C. have had a really poor performance record.  Each administration and concurrent Congress in that period have had their failures, many of which were spectacular.  In fact, the last recession can be laid on their collective doorstep for accommodating mortgages that never should have been written.  The current administration and Congress are not shaping up any better.  Why in the world would we trust them with our daily lives?

Here’s the thing: we don’t need anyone in Washington, D.C. to tell us how to live our lives on a day to day basis.  We do not need politicians to limit our choices or tell us how and what to think.  We Americans are by and large intelligent people who are fully capable of making decisions for our own actions, all kidding aside.  The big factor here, in my view, is that we need to collectively decide to do so.  We need to stop letting the government take over our daily lives, in this case, with respect to climate change.  It is all about personal responsibility, as are so many things in life.

We can decide to drive fuel efficient (or electric) vehicles.  We can decide to ride bikes or walk instead of driving short distances.  We can decide to insulate our homes.  We can choose to go meatless one day per week (meat production being a big methane producer and water user).  And so on.  My point is, we don’t need Washington, D.C. or the Paris climate agreement in order to make our own decisions and control our own actions.

In fact, we never did.  #MakeAmericaOursAgain

The Truth-Just Ahead!

Truth is truth even if one does not believe the truth.

Control Your Christmas Chaos

This is a tough time of the year to pursue a simpler lifestyle.  We are inundated at every turn with commercialism and its subtle guilt tripping (if we don’t buy Grammie the most expensive widget we don’t love her).  Whether you celebrate Christmas as I do, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or something else, don’t fall into this trap.  Simplify instead with these “don’t” tips.

Don’t over-extend your commitments.  Instead spend some time considering what you are reasonably capable of doing, establish some self-imposed limits, and honor them.

Don’t give in to overeating.  Instead practice portion control, treat yourself to a few goodies instead of a whole platter, and don’t forget to exercise, even if it’s just going for a daily walk.

Don’t put on a brave face for others.  If you have a hard time finding joy during the holidays, embrace what you are feeling but don’t dwell on your hard emotions to the point where they disable you.  Instead seek out like-minded people at Blue Christmas services or support groups.

Don’t overspend. Create a list and a budget and stay within it.  Those who love you will appreciate being remembered by you, regardless of how much you spend on them.

And finally, don’t forget to be good to yourself in all things and at all times.

The Best You Can Do

Sometimes, the best you can do, is the best you can do, and that’s generally good.  But sometimes the best you can do still isn’t going to be enough.  So what then?

Sometimes, you have to abandon what you were doing and try a different approach.

Sometimes, you have to go back to the beginning and start over with a clean slate.

Sometimes, you just have to be stubborn and stick it out until you come through on the other side.

Sometimes, despite all else, the best you can do, is the best you can do.  If you are doing the best you can do, then you owe nobody an apology.


My Happy Habits!

I admit that I am a creature of habit. For the past year or so I have been getting up at 5 AM Monday through Friday. I started doing this so that I could be more consistent in doing my workouts. When I was doing them in the evening I found I was being inconsistent. Not wanting to be fat again, I knew something had to change. Thus, I began going to bed an hour earlier and getting up an hour earlier.

Now I am very much in the habit of getting up early and streaming my workouts on my laptop. As a side benefit, I found that doing my workouts early in the day made my mornings much more enjoyable, even at work. Plus, I also stopped watching the morning news (unless there’s a winter storm and I need updates). Instead I listen to classical or worship music, or jazz, and I relax for a while before I head out to work.

Even if you are not inclined to exercise at oh-dark-thirty, I encourage you to adjust your schedule an hour as I did. If there is some really great TV show you don’t want to miss, DVR it or stream it a couple days later. Take the time for a leisurely shower, do some reading or writing, and relax with a cup of coffee while you watch the sun rise. The thing is, by giving yourself a little breathing space at the start of the day you can reduce your stress because you aren’t blasting around at warp speed from the moment your feet hit the floor.  Try it!

It's 5 AM and time to work out!

It’s 5 AM and time to work out!

He Who Has Two Coats

He answered them, “The person who has two coats must share with the one who doesn’t have any, and the person who has food must do the same.”  Luke 3:11

Last Sunday a gentleman showed up at my church before our early service, seeking assistance. I understand that he was without a coat and gloves, even though the temperature was in the mid-teens. While we didn’t have any cash on hand to give him as he asked, he was given one of our Agape Bags and invited to stay a while. Apparently he did stay for a little while but chose to leave before the service.

When I was told of this, the first thing I thought of was that I still have a couple jackets that I don’t need. In fact I haven’t worn them for a long time. One is a ski jacket and one is a light spring jacket. I took them out of the closet, hit them with some Febreeze, and dropped them off at church last night. The intent, which you probably already figured out, is to have them available as “emergency” coats if this situation arises again.

I wish I had thought of this earlier.  It’s truly unfortunate that this gentleman left without a warm jacket in this climate, at this time of the year.  Part of my simplification process has been to donate excess clothing to charity. But now I see a more immediately useful way to redistribute my excess, even if after the fact.