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.
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.
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.
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***
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,
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.”
Hint: Start with the “Free Running” skill. It makes the beginning of the game soooo much easier.
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,
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.