Ride the Wave
Don’t base your idea of happiness on others and what they have achieved. Life is full of forks in the road and we need to be happy with the choices we have made.
Ride the wave.
Recently, I had the opportunity to go down to Costa Rica for about a week. It was a great experience and to risk sounding cliche….it was life changing. While there, I spent a lot of my time just being in the moment. I enjoyed great food, great company and even took a surf lesson.
It was the moments after that first time surfing when it hit me. I was sitting on the edge of the jungle under a small thatch roof pavilion; looking out at the ocean. The conversation had died down and we were all sitting there on benches made from driftwood. It all sort of ‘clicked’ and came together. I felt like I found myself. I understood that what I was doing in that moment was exactly what I was supposed to be doing. It was a little moment of nirvana/enlightenment. I had achieved my inner ‘Dude’
My challenge now is: how do I keep this vibe going while I’m back home in Buffalo?
Sunday, June 2nd 2019 is going to be the first ever Dudeism services in Buffalo, NY! Fellow Dude, John W. and I are starting up a Dudiest congregation. We are still working on the official name, but that will come in time. Feel free to join us! Use our contact form for more info.
The Future of Barefoot Buffalo
Recently, there have been a few main distractions in my life. Not really distractions, as these are hobbies. I have been thinking about how I can focus on these more.
I have been performing with the improv group ComedySportz Buffalo and this has been awesome! I get paid to make people laugh which is a great gig. Definitely part of my personal legend.
I have also embarked on a journey of blacksmithing. I have set up a forge in my backyard/shed and I have begun making small items. I feel like this is an avenue for a side gig.
With the good weather right around the corner, I am gearing up for camping, buahcraft and hiking. I would like to create some YouTube videos of this. This too could be a nice little side gig. I have a preview of one here: https://youtu.be/VfS0qBkZfgs
Therefore, I would like to announce that I am going to include Wandering Cat Forge and Long Dog Bushcraft to the Barefoot Buffalo world. These two activities are a large part of me and Barefoot Buffalo IS me.
I’m excited to have a place to share all of my new adventures. Stay tuned for more content!
Long days and pleasent nights,
PS I didn’t mention the Diligent Loiter world because that is separate from.the Barefoot Buffalo.
Fair Trades: A Lesson From my Father
The year was 1993. I was seven years old. I was into Power Rangers, baseball and cartoons. I loved cartoons. I learned a lot from watching television as a kid. Growing up, I was the type of kid to try everything I saw on TV in real life. Not just the crazy stuff, but the life skills as well. I remember watching an episode of a cartoon that was teaching how to trade things. I couldn’t believe what I was learning. I knew what trading was of course. I would trade my cookie for someone’s gummy bears at lunch, or I would trade my M&Ms for someone’s Skittles, but I didn’t realize that you could trade things that you didn’t want or need for things that you wanted! This was a huge revelation. I knew a kid who lived up the street from me who had an Etch-A-Sketch. I had always wanted one. I thought that I would try trading the kid for it. I liked all of my toys; even though they were mostly hand-me-downs. I didn’t want to part with any. Then I saw it. A little red toy bicycle from an action figure set. Nothing moved on it, it was just one solid piece of plastic, but it would have to do. I really wanted that Etch-A-Sketch. So I waited in my front yard until I saw him go outside to play. I called him over to my yard to see if he wanted to play. That’s when I began showcasing my little red bicycle.
I took the 1.5 inch tall 3 inch long toy and began playing with it like crazy. I even let my friend play with it too, so he could see just how much fun it was. When he was playing with the bike, that’s when I said, “You know… you can have that bike if you want. We could trade for it!” He asked me what I meant and I said, “We can trade toys! I’ll give you this cool little bike and you can give me your Etch-A-Sketch” He wasn’t too keen on the idea of giving up his toy so I went to work selling how awesome this bike could be. I went over to the picket fence in the front yard and started doing “Jumps” from post to post with the bike. I said, “See, the bike can do jumps and everything. You’re Etch-A-Sketch can’t do jumps” He agreed with me and eventually I was able to get him to trade his awesome toy for my not-so-awesome one.
I was so proud of myself. I was able to take a worthless toy and convince someone to trade a treasure for it. I was King of the World! For about 20 minutes. I went to the backyard and sat on the swing. I was playing with my new Etch-A-Sketch when my dad came out to see what I was up to. He asked me where I got the Etch-A-Sketch from and I told him the story of what transpired to result in my having a cool new toy to play with. That’s when the cruel dark fist of reality came crashing down on my soul.
My dad told me that what I did was wrong. I pleaded with him that it was a trade and he WANTED to trade with me; he WANTED the little red plastic bike. My dad taught me that in order for a trade to be fair, both sides need to get equal value. My toy bicycle wasn’t worth the same as the Etch-A-Sketch. The kid up the street was not getting a fair deal. It was a hard concept for me to learn, but I came to understand what he meant. My dad told me that trades are like a scale. On one side you have what you are giving up and on the other you have what the other guy is giving up. You want those scales to even out. He also told me that trades can be uneven in value if the items mean something to the other person. For example: if the kid had the same toy set that they bike came from but he had lost his bike and wanted to replace it so he could have the whole set again, then it would be a more fair trade. But since that wasn’t the case I was wrong for making that trade.
My dad made me go down to the kids’ house and explain that I was wrong for making the trade with him. That it wasn’t a fair trade. It was one of the hardest things I had to do that year. 1993 taught me many things, how to swindle kids out of cool toys but also that it’s totally NOT cool to do so. It also taught me that doing the right thing usually pays off. Fast forward four months to Christmas morning. Guess what was under the tree.
This toy is similar to the one that I traded for the Etch-A-Sketch.
My Letter to the CDC Tobacco Department
I heard a PSA by the CDC regarding tobacco use. It prompted me to write them the below letter.
Comment and let me know what your thoughts are.
Long days and pleasant nights,
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is LJK2 and I started smoking 15 years ago. On May 16, 2014 I smoke my last cigarette. I’m coming up on one year smoke free. I do not have a hole in my throat, am cancer free and have no serious medical issues. I am writing you today to tell you how I was able to quit and what I found hardest to overcome.
First off, I had read a lot of articles online, read every flyer, seen every commercial, and heard every advert. I had “shock” advertisements thrown in my face. I faced public ridicule daily for 14 years. 14 years is a long time to hear that you are hurting yourself and that you are hurting those around you. It got to a point where I was so depressed from smoking that the only thing I could do to relieve that stress was smoke. It was a scary cycle to be caught in. I had tried many times to quit smoking. The patch gave me nightmares that were so intense I would wake up terrified and would need 2 hours each morning to finally calm down. The gum worked for a couple weeks, as did the lozenges. I went on the medication and ended up having to see a psychiatrist. I even tried acupuncture. The acupuncture worked the best. I was able to stay smoke free for 3 months. But none of these methods stuck with me. I always went back to my oldest friend, cigarettes.
All of these failed attempts were mainly because I was quitting because other people told me to quit, not because I wanted to quit. That is the kicker. I never wanted to quit before. I felt like I was a hopeless case. I had been smoking for so long and everywhere I looked I saw my fate. I would get so nervous about cancer and serious illness that I would need to step outside every time one of those commercials came on and have a smoke to calm me down. It was indeed a scary cycle to be caught up in.
I had heard that “dual use” and “cutting back” isn’t a healthy option to cigarettes. I was under the impression that in order to stop smoking you needed to purchase this drug or that product. I felt like it was hopeless to quit smoking. Then, one day, a friend and I decided that we wanted to get in shape. We recognized from the outset that our smoking habits would come into play down the line with our cardio so we decided to plan a quit date and come up with a plan. That plan? Cutting back and dual use. Our plan was to ration how many cigarettes we would smoke each day and how early each day our first cigarette would be. We were both heavy smokers so we started out with a daily ration of 10 cigarettes a day with the earliest being after 8:00am. The next week was 8 per day and earliest after 9:00am. It went on this way until we got to 4 cigarettes per day and we decided to keep it at 4 and move the first smoke of the day hour higher. The final two weeks, our plan was to ration 1 smoke per day, but only if you needed it. It was this final phase where I began utilizing e-cigarettes. It worked so well that the last cigarette day was a week earlier than planned. I did continue to use the e-cigarette for 3 more weeks, but only as an as needed basis.
Along the way I found an app for quitting smoking call “Kwit”. This app sends you alerts when you hit certain milestones. It was a huge help for me. This app tracked how much money you’ve saved, how many cigarettes you haven’t smoked and how long you’ve been a “Kwitter” for. This was the best tool for me. When I would get a craving I would browse the app and see how my quitting was helping me out. It was nice to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
I feel as if there are too many horror stories of people who were forced to quit after they lost everything and not enough stories of people getting out before it’s too late. It was the Kwit app, rationing and substitution that brought me to where I am today; a couple weeks away from one year smoke free. I wanted to let you know that even though my story isn’t tragic, the “bad” ways to quit are the ones that worked for me. I feel like the shock style of PSA has gone too far and there should be a softer touch. I started smoking as a way to rebel against those telling me not to smoke. It was that same rebelliousness that the shock adds made me feel. I knew smoking was bad for me. It was shoved in my face daily. But it was kindness and positivity that got me through.
Thank you for your time.
4** ****** Dr
*******, NY 14***
The Power of the Plan
If you are anything like me, you find it extremely hard to know what to do next. It may even get to the point where you say, “Fuck it! A nap sounds pretty good right now…” Well, there is a way to fix this. Instead of waiting for free time to figure out what you want/need to do, how about you make a plan!
There are 3 main phases to how I make my plan of attack when it comes to my “life’s work”. I have just begun this method and it seems to be working out fairly well for me. It would be going so much better if this damn weather would cooperate. -5 air temps are no fun.
*Hint: A large desk calendar comes in super duper handy*
Phase 1: The Monthly Plan
This is where you will plan out what you need to do this month. This can include what days your bills are due, any doctors appointments, etc. The main items that should go on anyone’s calendar. If you are an internet content creator, this is where you would set up your publishing dates. Think of the monthly plan as your Final Step for any projects. This is all of your due dates.
Phase 2: The Weekly Plan
Every week is going to be different. That being said, you should pick a day to plan out your week. I like to do mine on Saturday nights (I know, I’m lame). I usually plan through the next Sunday, that way I have more than a day’s notice to prepare for what I have planned.
For the weekly plan, you should figure out what goals/milestones you need to hit each day in order to make you monthly goals actually happen. These are not scheduled by times, just what needs to get done each day to bring you closer to your goals. For example, on Monday, your task could be to reach out to potential sponsors for your podcast. Then, on Friday, one of your tasks could be to make sure you received a response from that sponsor.
If you have a blog, youtube channel, etc and you know that you want your content to go live on Friday mornings at 5:00, then your weekly plan should include the small steps that will get you there. Some posts or videos will take more time to research and perfect. This is where your monthly plan comes into play. If you have set a publish day for each of your projects, your weeks leading up should include the small steps to get you there. When you have an idea for a project/post you can add to your weekly plan the groundwork phases for what your need to get to the final product. Once you know you are close and you can set a firm finish goal, that is when you enter that into your monthly calendar.
*I know this sounds confusing, but once you get started it seems to just come together. If I was more computer literate, I would have all sorts of diagrams, but I’m not that smart. Yet.*
Phase 3: The Daily Plan
Once you have completed your weekly plan, you need to start scheduling things. For your daily plan, you want to schedule out everything you want/need to get done. I have a full time job so the majority of my day is blocked off for that. I also like to workout regularly, so I need to schedule a time for that. I need to set aside time for what I call my “life’s work” which is all of this stuff; Barefoot Buffalo blog, my youtube channel, my podcast, everything that I am doing that isn’t my “real job”. A typical day for me looks like this:
As you can (maybe) see, is that I just block out times where I intend to work on shit. Inside each of those I have a description that tells me exactly what to work on, when that item is due to publish etc. I’m still working out a ton of youtube videos. There aren’t even on my Monthly Calendar because they aren’t even in the recording phase. Once I get the videos/posts everything into the editing phase is when they go on my calendar.
To summarize, the three phases go from the big picture down to the small picture. You plan your main items first, then fill in with what needs to get done then figure out exactly how to go about getting it done.
When you have a plan, especially like this, it becomes extremely easy to not get off track. If you have every little step planned out, you won’t find yourself with free time thinking ‘I know I want to do something, but what do I want to do?’ You’ll just end up wasting your free time trying to figure out what it is you want to spend your free time doing.
Your plan doesn’t need to be as complete as mine. I need mine to be more specific or else I end up taking naps. And naps are not productive. They feel great! But, they don’t really do much to further you along your path.
I use Google Calendar. I have my iPhone calendar set up so that I can see my Google Calendar in the iPhone’s Calendar app. It was a pain to set up, but it’s worth it. Super streamlined and accessible everywhere.
If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment and I’ll respond! I like talking with people. It let’s me know someone actually reads these things.
Long days and pleasant nights,
Personal Journey February 2015 Update
OH MY GOSH! It’s been way to freaking long since I’ve done any posts about personal legends. I have good excuses, but that’s all they are excuses. Nobody has time for excuses.
Here is my update regarding my own person legend. I was let go from my full time job. The company decided that it didn’t want to be a company anymore and everyone got the boot. Shitty. I powered through though! I ended getting a new job, this one is for a better cause. I went from a collections agency to a Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Provider Network. I feel like what I’m doing now isn’t just getting a paycheck, but helping (behind the scenes stuff) to help others get better.
On the 16th, it will be 9 months smoke free. That one is big for me. Nothing helps you move forward like leaving your bad habits behind. While I left smoking (the bad) behind, I also left some good behind as well. I pretty much had to. I had to let a part of me die that day. As a result there were some other casualties as well. I severely injured a lifelong friendship. I wish it didn’t happen that way, but all of my memories with this person had our mutual friend cigarettes in them as well. Whenever we would talk on the phone we would both be smoking. It was our way of staying connected over long distances. That has been hard for me, but it also has been good for me. He has a family now and doesn’t need to be spending time wasting it on hours long phone calls with me. I’m happy for him. He’s doing great for himself and we do still keep in touch. Just not nearly on the scale it once was.
So, I quit smoking, lost my job, didn’t go back to smoking to deal with the stress of that, found a new job, and Barefoot Buffalo came back into my life.
I admit, I had pretty much left Barefoot Buffalo to die. I wasn’t feeling it. How could someone who was dealing with so much shit, write articles about being happy? My dad had just passed away and I couldn’t handle trying to make others happy when I could barely make myself happy. I tried to bring back Barefoot Buffalo, but it never stayed. After all of that though…it seems that instead of me coming back to barefootbuffalo.com, barefootbuffalo.com has come back to me. The ideas about the cosmic energy in all of us and our personal legends all of that shit has come slamming back into me. I now understand that being in hard times is a good place to be when writing articles about being happy, finding happiness and making the most out of your life. I was living the depressed life for over 2 years. I have gained a lot of experience being down and bringing myself back up. I wish I was writing during that dark period. I would have had a lot of unique takes on being happy and how to get there. I was trying some strange ways to be happy. Of course I tried the usual coping mechanisms like stress eating…Yup. Let’s call it stress eating…. Whoops.
That’s where GYM419 came from. I had made the decision to stop being depressed and fat and just be fat. Now I’m getting all happy and shit and it’s time to not be fat too! I realized that this site isn’t really the place for posting workouts. I will be posting on twitter and possibly facebook what workouts I’m doing. I may even make a sister site. Who knows where life will take me!?
I sure as hell don’t know.
I’m just here for the ride.
Long days and pleasant nights,
Yo, if you are looking to pass some time, check out Urban Dead (Not a sponsor, I just play this game and fucking love it. If you decide to play, join my group: I Am Jack’s Smirking Revenge) Urban Dead is a free-to-play, browser-based multi-player game where you play the survivor or victim of a zombie outbreak in a quarantined city center, alongside tens of thousands of others.
“In death, the city stirs. Its borders still locked down after a sudden government quarantine seven years ago, Malton’s trapped civilians make their way through the derelict buildings, surviving the changing seasons to rebuild their fragmented society from the rubble upwards. Military cleanup squads patrol the empty streets, stationed in the city for the long haul, while embedded scientific groups continue the experiments that brought them here.
And the dead rise up and thrive, trailing through the ruined streets of the city, milling between buildings and clawing through makeshift barricades and diversions, reclaiming the city as their own.”
I suggest joining my group (enter I Am Jack’s Smirking Revenge into the group field of your settings) and checking out these links to help get you started.
Hint: Start with the “Free Running” skill. It makes the beginning of the game soooo much easier.
Negativity Breeds Negativity with Emapthy
Everyone who has any sense of wonder at the universe has at least heard of the phrase, Negativity Breads Negativity. But why is this? Why is it that when someone is having a shitty day, your day seems to fall apart as well?
I have been dealing with a situation recently where someone close to me has been crying a lot. I don’t feel like I’m in a position to ask what’s wrong. I don’t know this person on a very personal level and I have only known this person professionally for less than 3 months. It was going on for a couple days straight and every time I heard her sniffling begin I was overcome with a sense of deep sorrow. My heart felt like it sunk to the floor and I felt like I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Now, why should I feel like this? My day was going splendidly. I was happy listening to a podcast and pounding through my work, then BOOM! super sadness attack.
The only thing I can think of is empathy and the idea that humans are all cosmically linked.
Why does negativity breed negativity? Why do bad vibes fuck with your good vibes? Why do good vibes brighten bad vibes? We all have that friend who can light up a room just by being in it, and we all have that friend who brings down everyone’s mood when they enter the room. Why is this?
Empathy is when you share the feelings with someone else. You understand their emotions and you sympathize with them. You mood actually changes to match the feelings you are around. I believe that everyone is built with this subconscious mechanism to help their loved ones cope with situations. If you are feeling down and someone comes over with that slightly sad look on their face and gives you a hug, you feel better. Knowing that someone else understands how your feeling sparks that fire of happiness. It won’t necessarily make you feel happy and ready to take on the world, but it gives you that jumpstart.
Everyone is linked cosmically. We all have spirits that use our bodies as vessels to occupy this dimension. Our spirits are all linked. We can understand each other just by looking at them. Have you ever stared into someones eyes. I mean actually stared into someones eyes. If you haven’t I suggest you do. Ask someone you are close with to stare into each others eyes. Nothing sexual here, no feelings intended. You’re not holding hands and smiling at each other. It’s best if you are close enough so you can’t even see their mouths. Just eyes to eyes. Hell, you can even just stare into your own eyes in the mirror. HOLY SHIT! It’s the craziest things you can do. Tell me that we are not linked. When you look deeply into someones eyes, it feels like your souls are connecting. You can get lost in your own gaze if you stare deep enough into the mirror. It’s the craziest experience.
What does all of this have to do with negativity breeding negativity? I’ve been rambling, I know. It’s just that it’s been so long since I’ve written on here and there are so many ideas I want to write about. They all seem to be seeping out at once. But these ideas do have a lot to do with contagious moods.
Because we are all linked and our minds like to imitate others emotions we tend to drift towards the strongest emotion in the area. A negative person is typically the complainer. They like to voice their negativity. That is why you always seem to get sucked into that void of ugliness. It’s all around you when there is a negative person there. Imagine negativity as a heavy emotion and happiness as a light emotion. It’s easy for negativity to weigh down happiness.
I’m so excited to be writing that I haven’t thought out a proper outline for this post. I apologize. I got the itch and I don’t want to lose it. I’m back on track with my personal journey that I’m just diving in!
Back to my story. The coworker who was crying. I was being brought down from her “heavy” emotions. I wasn’t sure how to respond as we are not really that close. I ended up letting her supervisor know that she seemed upset and that I though it could be work stress related. I hope that when they met they were able to address the underlying causes of her being upset and frustrated at work. The coworker did end up seeming better later in the day.
If you see someone having a bad day, try to do something to make it better. Even a small compliment could boost someone’s mood. It doesn’t take much.
Alright, I’m sorry for the lack of professionalism with this post. My next posts will be more thought out. I just had to get these ideas down. I will expand in future posts. I am also going to be revisiting some older ideas and making them more complete. My personal journey took some crazy twists and detours, but I find myself back at Barefoot Buffalo…that has to mean something……..
Long days and pleasant night,
My Search For Bigfoot
It was a Thursday. It’s always Thursday. Thursday is the day for finding Bigfoot. More Bigfoot sightings happen on Thursdays than any other day of the week. Here are some pictures I took while out Squatching. I was not successful this trip but I won’t let it deter me in future endeavors.
I know my latest posts have been rather dark and angry. That’s because it has been a rather dark and angry period in my life. I’m not going to go into what’s been going on (I’ve already done that) but I will go into what has been making it better. At least a little better.
I have been trying to be more mindful throughout my day; being the moment more often. Just taking in everything around me on a much larger scale. For example: While walking to my car in the morning I take notice of the temperature. How cold/warm it is, how the wind feels on my face, the sound of snow crunching under my feet, the birds chirping away. Rather than worrying about work, if I’m going to be late today, how the traffic is going to be.
Lately I have been getting these intense “waves” of emotion that hit me like a freight train. They come out of nowhere fast and hard then leave just as quickly. I have been trying to figure out what the heck is going on and how to handle these little emotional episodes. I have learned a cool little meditation “drill” that has really helped me be in the moment and regain control of my emotions. I’ll try to explain it here:
Get comfortable. It can be sitting, laying down, walking…anything as long as you are comfy. You can close your eyes if you like. Just take long deep breaths. Take in everything around you; the sounds, the smells…everything. Once you have relaxed take each thought/emotion that comes into your head and imagine it in front of you. I like to imagine it as a mist in front of my face (about 2-3 feet out). Acknowledge that thought/emotion and let the breeze take it away. Sometimes I wave my hand to “move” the mist away. As the mist leaves…so does the thought/emotion. DON’T force it away, just let it go softly and at its own pace. Do this for about 5-10 mins a day. After a while you will be able to clear you mind as you go throughout your day. I find myself seeing that mist often and I just swirl it with my hand and let it go. It helps me get through the little episodes I have. The bigger ones need more than just being mindful of your emotions and thoughts. For that I use walking meditation (my preferred method). But serious meditation takes serious instruction and practice. This mindfulness exercise is a great little way to start being more aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Long days and pleasant nights,
Here is how I thought life was supposed to work. You grow up, go to school, graduate, go to college, graduate and then BAM! you move out, get your own place, enter the workforce and you are now and adult. I have gone through those steps. I have a full-time AND a part-time job, I have an apartment with my future wife, I pay bills just like an adult, but I still feel like a kid. Even though the calendar says I’m 26 I feel as if I’m still 19. I have all the responsibility of an adult but none of the feelings of one. I’m sure if I had a child I would be in the “adult” phase of my life, but Nicky and I just aren’t ready to have kids yet. It feels as if I’m stuck between adolescence and adulthood. It’s hard for me to feel like I’m at the right stage of my life. It’s confusing.
Just last week I learned of something new term; a new life phase called Adultescence. This is the stage between adolescence and adulthood. Right where I’m at! This phase is coming into being due to the lengthening of our lifespan. People are getting married later in life and waiting to have children later in life now. Those are the two big indicators that you have grown up and are now an adult. But what about that period just before you get married, where you still live like you are in college? That’s what adultescence is and as social scientists keep exploring this emerging life phase we will know more. I’m just glad to know that I’m not alone in my thinking and I am on track with my life.
In case you don’t believe in this; the Health Care Reform crap that’s going on right now is upping the dependent age to 26. 26! I’m 26. I could still be considered a dependent under my parents health insurance. So…am I still a kid or an adult when my parents could put me on their insurance?
Food for thought bitches,
You’re not alone.
Wow, I’ve been so busy lately. With this crazy nice weather we’ve had I’ve been doing a lot more of my outdoor hobbies. Between reading, fishing, martial arts, barefooting, working out and just being outside, it’s hard for me to stay inside to write posts.
I had lost my iPod which I would use for posts on the go a while back so I haven’t been able to do it that way. But I found it! Expect to see more (shorter) posts about my adventures again. As long as I can find some wifi I’ll be good to post.
Long days and pleasant nights!
Taking Back Control
Sometimes you have to make the tough decision of putting yourself or others first. Before you make your decision you need to look at the entire situation. Does what you want to do interfere with what you should do or is it something that you want to do to make others happy? That’s the big question right there. Is this something that makes you happy or someone else happy? You need to remember that this is your life, not someone else’s that you are living. If someone wants you to do something (move to a new area, get a different job, change your hairstyle, your fashion style, anything) and you don’t want to do it you need to ask yourself if this is part of your plan or is this simply a distraction? Sometimes it can be hard telling someone you are close to that you are going to do something against their wishes.
If you have been putting yourself second to others it may be time for a change. You only get one trip on this world so you need to make the most of it. If someone tells you that you need to do something to make them happy but in the process you lose part of who you are I wouldn’t do it. It’s hard to change your lifestyle and even harder to go against others wishes. You need to do whatever makes you happy. If you’d rather take a job that pays less, but you have more free time to live your life why not take that chance? What if you pass that by and the opportunity doesn’t come back again? Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith and stick to your guns.
When it comes to making decisions you are the only one who decides the outcome. Start putting yourself first. It’s your life so why not take control of it. Everyone has the power to lead. If you can’t lead your own life how are you going to reach your personal legend? We are not children anymore. We are the future and the future is here so let’s make a stand for what we want and what is right!
Yearly Bucket List
Let’s recap: We have learned about the Weekly and Monthly Bucket Lists. These lists are helping us to be more active and bring more excitement into our lives. The planning of these events is half of the fun. When trying to come up with something to do each month that goes above and beyond your normal activity level you look deep into yourself and decide what you can and might not be able to do. Take those might nots and go for it.
Once you decide what is going on your lists the planning starts. Figure out exactly when you are going to do these events and with whom you plan to do them with. Is it a solo run or a group one? What’s the agenda? If you are traveling, where are you staying? What else can you do on this trip? Planning a bucket list event is half of the fun. You psych yourself up so much for it that you are basically living it while you plan. You’ll see when you begin to work on the next list.
The last list that you will need will be your Yearly Bucket List. This is the list that will most closely resemble a “typical” bucket list. This is where you put the big boys.
- Sky Diving
- Free Diving
- Go to a different country
- Go to a different continent
- Go see my sports team play on the opposite coast.
You know what the big ones are and what you want to do. This is where you put them. You will want to make this list for you. If you cannot afford to travel; don’t. You can come up with cheap/free things to do for a Yearly Bucket List. If you like to camp you can try extreme survival camping. Go out with only a tarp and some string (food too, you don’t want to go outside your skill level). Take something you like to a higher level. That’s the point of this list: To take what you’ve been doing with your other lists to the extreme.
Remember. Don’t make a “standard” bucket list. A bucket list is a list of dreams with an untangible deadline (no pun intended). When you make a list of things to do before you die, you can slip into the mindset of, ‘Well…I would like to do this, but I still have time…’ When in reality, you don’t know if you are going to see tomorrow let alone next year. It’s a sad fact but that’s why I’m sharing this with you. Live your life to the fullest. Make everyday an adventure and have fun! This is your life. You only get one chance so why waste it doing shit you don’t like?
Long days and pleasant nights,
Monthly Bucket List
After you have started working on your Weekly Bucket List it is now time to move into something a little more involve. This would be the Monthly Bucket List. Your Monthly Bucket List is reserved for things that are more intense and time consuming. Items would be put on this list to get you out even more than your Weekly Bucket List. Some ideas would include:
Go see a musical.
- Or a concert. Something that gives you enjoyment and gets you out of the house. In the summer you can find a lot of free outdoor events. Just find the website for your cities events and go from there
- Go somewhere different. Maybe there is a cool state park nearby that you can go to for a day or two
- Is there a festival happening nearby
- Heritage (Scottish, Irish, German, Hellenic, etc.)
- Town Festivals
- County and State Fairs?
- Go see them!
- I live near Niagara Falls but I don’t go there at all. I’ve been in Buffalo for 6 years and have seen the falls 4 times
- Science Museums
- Art Galleries
- Having the chance to yell at the people in real life that you normally yell at on TV feels great.
Your Monthly Bucket List should be 1-2 items that you will cross off your list each month. Try not to count the same event multiple months in a row. If you are an avid sports fan and go to a professional game every month that doesn’t count for your Monthly Bucket List. The idea here is to get you out and doing something more intense than your weekly lists. Do you see the pattern yet?
Good luck working on your Monthly Bucket Lists. Let me know what type of things you are putting on your list for December.
Long days and pleasant nights,
Weekly Bucket Lists
Your life is yours to live however you want so why not live one to the fullest?
Consider making yourself a weekly bucket list, a monthly bucket list, and a yearly bucket list. They don’t need to be a long list of ridiculous things, but realistic things that will make your life more exciting. I don’t like the idea of a bucket list because you never know when your time is up. If you keep putting something off long enough, you will kick the bucket before you have taken the chance to do it.
The weekly bucket list is a list of silly things. This is the list for things that aren’t really life changing but can make you a better-rounded person. Things that would typically be on this are:
- Watch a movie you normally wouldn’t watch.
- If you like chick-flicks, watch an action movie.
- If you like horror movies, try a comedy.
- If you’re into drama, try a musical.
- Take a walk to your local library.
- You don’t need to rent anything, but if you would go to Barnes and Noble to look around, why not go to your local library and support them! Most libraries let you rent books to your Kindle too!
- Play on a playground.
- I know, you’re too old for a playground aren’t you? I don’t, I go to my local playground all the time. It’s a great place to work out and relive your childhood. Being outdoors is amazing and it feels great to get off the couch and away from the TV for a while.
- Have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
- If you have lost touch with a friend who still lives nearby, why not call them up and see if they want to grab a cup of coffee or maybe even hit up happy hour? There’s no reason to lose a friend because you don’t have “time”
- Join a book club.
- If you like to read, why not share that hobby with a group of people. Not only are you doing something that you enjoy, you may also make some new friends in the process.
- It doesn’t need to be a book club; a lot of bars have a beer club.
- If you are really enthusiastic, you could try helping out your local scouting organization. They are always looking for more people to help out with events and meetings. Even if you don’t have a kid, you may still be able to be a part of these groups; as long as you have a scouting background (i.e. Eagle Scout, your kid was a scout but moved away. You tried scouts when you were a kid and now you want to get back into it.) Just talk to these groups and see if they could use the extra help.
- Come up with something of your own. What do you want to try sometime? A new restaurant? A new recipe? Did you find out about a board game that looks awesome but haven’t had a chance to play? The possibilities are endless.
Your Weekly Bucket List should be 1-3 things that you would like to try out. These should be nothing too serious, but things that make you be more active and that’s the point. This will help you ease out of your sedentary lifestyle and move into an adventurous one.
Leave a comment with some more ideas for a Weekly Bucket List so we can see what you all are doing!
Long days and pleasant nights,
Making it Through the Holidays
The temperature is slowing dropping; some days there are even snowflakes falling down from the big gray clouds that loom overhead. The sun decides to go to bed earlier and earlier each night. It’s dark when you get up for work in the morning and it’s almost dark when you leave in the afternoon. One of the hardest things during this time of year is staying positive and upbeat. Seasonal depression is no joke. Too many people end their year in a bad mood because of the lack of sunlight and cabin fever caused by the chilling winds. Welcome to the holiday season!
Yes, the holiday season is upon us. The cheerful Christmas music is playing 24/7 on the radio to help the pangs of seasonal depression. Decorations and pretty lights help to illuminate the night sky that now starts at 4:30 in the afternoon. Yes, the holiday season may be “too commercial” but you have to admit, it is helping you get through one of the roughest times of the year so why not just jump right in and enjoy it?
First off you have Thanksgiving. This holiday is all about being with friends and family and eating until you explode. To help get through this feast of feasts without gaining 25 pounds, you’ll need a game-plan.
- First: You don’t need to be eating all day. Just because you ate at one party doesn’t mean you need to have an entire meal again at a second or third party.
- Second: Portion Control!!! Try using a smaller plate when you eat thanksgiving dinner. Take a little bit (1-2 bites) of everything that is available and when you are done with that, you can go back and have a little more of what you really enjoyed. The idea here is to eat slower than you normally would so that you end up finishing your plate around the same time as everyone else who is gorging themselves.
- Third: Plan ahead. If you know that you will be attending multiple parties, eat less at each. You don’t need to deprive yourself from having a great time and this way you won’t be faced with questions about why you aren’t eating. Eat less, enjoy more.
After Thanksgiving you have the biggest holiday party stretch of the year. If you are like most Americans you will have a ton of holiday parties throughout the entire month on December. This is going to be the most stressful, yet enjoyable time of the year. When it comes to overeating you just follow the same suggestions as for Thanksgiving, but instead of having to portion yourself for multiple parties on one day you need to worry about multiple parties during the week. The concept stays the same. Try to eat less crap and choose healthier options at these parties. Don’t go diving into pies every night when you have the option to munch on a veggie tray. It’s the little things that make a difference when watching your weight during the holiday season.
When it comes to the high stress levels this time of year, remember, you don’t need to be a super hero. If you find that you cannot be at every party, politely decline. If you are hosting a party and you find yourself struggling to get it all put together, don’t be afraid to ask your friends for some help. That’s what they’re there for aren’t they? This is supposed to be a happy time, not a stressful one. So remember: Ask for help and don’t stress making it to everything, you still need your “Me Time”
If you find that amongst all of the shopping, holiday card sending, decorating, partying, eating, drinking, wrapping presents, working, etc, etc, etc, you are losing your mind. Force yourself to take some time for yourself. You can refer to the post about this Here. Just do what you can to keep yourself in check this holiday season. Go ahead: eat, drink, be merry! Just don’t go overboard.
Who else is excited for Christmas?
Long days and pleasant nights,
Am I Dreaming? It doesn’t matter…
How nice is it to have a great dream? Not a “I Have A Dream!” dream but the unconscious, sleeping dream. I love dreaming. I love having the freedom to do whatever I want to whenever I want to. In a dream you can talk to anyone you want to. In a dream, you are the one in control. If you can do the elusive Lucid Dreaming, you have even more control. A lucid dream is basically a dream that you don’t wake up from when you know that you are dreaming. If you can figure out that you are in a dream you now have complete power over that it.
Here is an example of a lucid dream. It starts off with you working in a busy downtown office building. You don’t really like your job and want to be away from the office as much as possible. It’s almost your lunch time and your boss comes bumbling in. “I’m going to need you to work late today.” You look at the clock and you can’t seem to read it.* Needed to step away before you go off the handle and quit, you take your lunch break. Since your office is just a short walk to this really nice cafe you decide to go there and grab a cup of coffee. You walk past shop windows and then you see something that catches your eye. All of a sudden….WamBO!! ‘I am in a dream…I can do whatever I want!’ (And you really can! In a dream you can fulfill all of your wildest fantasies and even the most modest desires.) At this point you start tinkering with your dream. The stop lights all change in your favor, people aren’t bothering you and then…there’s that person you’ve been wanting to talk to for weeks but haven’t had the guts to do it until now (in the safety of your dream). You and your crush stop to chat about this and that, and then you ask if they want to go grab a cup of coffee. Of course they say yes, (it’s your dream) and when you finally make it to that coffee shop and sit down you wake up, you remember that it was a dream and nothing more. Your crush didn’t really want to go have coffee with you…or do they?
Why can’t we live our lives like we are in a dream? Why do we need to be so scared of rejection? How do you know that the person you like doesn’t like you back? Have you asked them? I challenge you to start living your life as if you are dreaming. Take chances you normally wouldn’t. DON’T BE STUPID! You can’t fly so don’t go jumping off of roofs, you are not Aquaman so don’t go trying to hold your breath for 20 mins under water. Keep things safe. Don’t go out and harm yourself or others. If your dream is to kill someone then you are at the wrong website. I don’t condone harmful actions or support those who do harm others. Do only good and only good will come to you. So, treat your life as if you are dreaming. If you see someone you would like to talk to, go do it! Don’t be afraid of consequences. A “NO” will hurt, I know it will, but how much more would it hurt if you didn’t make that first move and you find out years down the road that it would have been a “yes”???
*When in a dream, clocks and mirrors will have blurry images. This is a trick to recognizing that you are in a dream.
Long days and pleasant nights
Image from: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/meyer769/myblog/writing-2/2011/10/
Stuck in a Rut? Break the Cycle.
It’s like being stuck in a sailboat without a breeze; like wandering through a maze that has no exit. Living your life in a repetitive cycle is not enjoyable. I myself feel like I am “stuck” in my current position in life. I have had the same job for over 3 years now and not much has changed in my life during that time. Instead of just sitting around and waiting for something to happen I am being active in my own life. I am writing for Barefoot Buffalo, I have gotten my old band back together and we are playing shows again. I am doing things that make me happy and trying to find my own personal legend. I think it may be either writing a book, or it may be playing in the band. Only time will tell.
For those who do not know yet, I am taking Barefoot Buffalo and turning it into a book for the National Novel Writing Month competition. I will hopefully get the book done by December!
My plan for my hectic life right now is to take a step back and evaluate everything that’s going on. When one thing starts taking off, it may be time to put the others on the backburner. This brings me to my point this week. When you feel like the world is falling apart around you and you can do nothing to change it, take a step back and think. Your bills are piling up, your job keeps getting crappier, and you find yourself over-stressed and losing control. All these things are temporary. These problems have solutions. I know that they don’t feel like they can be fixed, but they can.
I know from experience. I was so far in debt that I was contemplating bankruptcy. I got through it. I’m not out of the hole yet, but I’m a lot farther along than I was 2 years ago. With a little patience and hard work I have made it easier to breath. Right now my job treats me like garbage and my stress levels are through the roof. I’m trying to ride out the current wave of B.S. that’s coming my way. I know that what is being done to me at work is the result of a major change taking place. This I can’t do anything about, but as for the stress? That has always been there, and I finally realized that I need to make a change. I’m working toward that change right now.
It’s been a stressful week so far and I’m started to feel a little overwhelmed. It looks like my personal legend is trying to tell me something. I need to take breath and listen to it. That is how you get through these stressful times; taking that breath and finding your options, figuring your way out of the situation.
You need to step out of your comfort zone once in a while to get comfortable in situations.
You need to step away from the cycle to break it.
Be adventurous to break up monotony.
Be who you want to be, not what others tell you to be.
Sharing and Imagination…Where did they go?
Has anyone else noticed how people don’t share anymore? It seems that people have simply forgotten how to get along. Does this sound familiar when it comes to video games?
Kid 1 “C’mon! I want to play too!”
Kid 2 “You can when I die”
Kid 1 “But you’ve been playing forever! I want a turn!”
Kid 2 “I’ll let you play when I die”
Kid 1 “You just beat that level, can I try now?”
Kid 2 “I SAID YOU CAN WHEN I DIE!”
Mom/Dad “GET OUTSIDE AND PLAY!!”
I’m not one to point fingers, BUT, this time I would like to point to finger and blame the infamous Super Mario. That’s right. Mario. Remember the days of playing Super Mario on the original Nintendo Entertainment System? If you played two player you always wanted to be Mario. It’s not that Luigi wasn’t good, it just that if the person playing as Mario was good at the game you didn’t get a chance to play…ever.
For those who don’t know, Super Mario Bros 2 player worked as follows:
1) Mario goes first.
2) Luigi goes second.
3) Your turn was over when you died.
Simple right? Wrong! The person playing as Mario is able to beat the game before Luigi even gets a chance to play. Now, this usually wasn’t the case, but what did happen a lot is that Mario would get in the groove and Luigi would just be on the bench watching the game go by. When Luigi finally got a chance to play he was cold and tended to die quicker than Mario giving the game back to Mario. Do you see how this isn’t fair? The world would be different if they added a player change at the end of each level and well as each death. That would have been fairer. Mario taught us that being Player 1 was better than being Player 2. It also made a generation of selfish Player 1s who don’t want to pass the controller over for any reason “You can have it when I die” I’m not saying that the Super Mario Franchise is evil, I’m just saying that this could be a reason for America’s youth/ young adults behavior.
My parents always told me and my friends to put the game (NES, Genesis, N64, Xbox) away and go play outside. So that’s what we did. We still loved our video games, don’t get me wrong, we played them all the time. Even when we were outside playing, we would pretend we were in the game. That’s called imagination, something you don’t see every day now when kids discover video games.
What are your thoughts on this? I hope it made sense.
Thanks for reading!
Shoeless Joe Kenyon
Reading into Omens
One thing I wish I could do better is reading omens. I know the difference between good and bad omens, but I don’t know what aspect of life they are talking to me about. I had an abundance of good omens just fall into my lap today. I found 3: 4-leaf clovers and 3: 5-leaf clovers today. I can’t wait to see what good thing(s) happen to me. It may not even be that something good is going to happen. It could mean that I’m currently doing something right and I should stick with it. There are so many things that are new in my life right now. I am one week smoke free, I have decided to spend my new free time from not smoking to doing daily vlogs and I have decided to make sure I write a new post more frequently on here. So the omens could be for any/all of those. There were 6 good omens. I have also been trying to win the lottery so I can pay off all of my debt and follow my personal legend, which I believe is to live life to it’s fullest and happiest. This, for me, means buying some land out in the country and living in a house that I build where I can be happy and with the people I love. I will keep you posted with where these omens take me.
Enjoy the nice weather!
Happy Birthday America!
I know this is a little late, but Happy Independence Day America and Happy Canada Day to all you Canadians out there. Did you all do anything fun and exciting? I had the chance to hit up a flea market and a farmer’s market. I also had the pleasure of going out to Niagara Falls for a free concert. I saw DMC of Run-DMC open for Our Lady Peace. No, I’m not on crack. I really saw that happen. I don’t know why they would have an old skool rapper open for a rock band, but hey! it was still pretty sweet. Enjoy the nice weather while you can Buffalo, you never know when you’re going to get a wicked strong thunderstorm. Just look at the weather today! No rainbows though..
I have had the pleasure of camping the last two weekends. Two weekends ago Nicky and I went to the Whitesville Rod & Gun Club with the Boy Scouts for a fishing Camp-o-ree. Even though we didn’t catch anything we still had fun being outdoors and away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
This past weekend we went to the Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, NY. This place was amazingly beautiful and had multiple trails you could hike near the gorges. With its series of waterfalls, Treman State Park offered many photo opportunities. Hopefully my friend Ali will post the pictures he took online so I can repost them here.
Words cannot describe how breathtaking some of the views were. So, let’s hope I can put some pictures up soon.
Also, I purchased some Banjo Minnows and I’m going to test them out today. Hopefully I’ll be posting a picture and a story about how I caught “The Big One” later tonight.
Long Days and Pleasants Nights,