New Years Resolutions (Thing of the past?)

So looking at social media lately…I was a bit surprised to see so many people…NOT declaring New Years Resolutions.  It seems like there is this unspoken stigma of setting “New Years Resolutions” and that if you do then chances are you will NOT keep up with them.  As a matter of fact, I believe I see more people talking about how they are setting any this year.  I think it’s interesting to see that happening.

I am firm believer that setting goals are important.  In order to know where you’re headed you must have destination.  I also believe in enjoying the ride though.  Goals are important but I think it’s more important that in this moment in time to be happy. To be thankful for all that you do have right now and for all of the things you are able to do right now.  I believe that being happy with yourself in the present can really pave a smooth path for you and your future goals.

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Feed the Hungry Experience

I had this expectation in my head of like a soup kitchen type set up before I went to this volunteer opportunity today.  To my surprise it was basically just a hand out of groceries to those that need it.  I happen to score a fantastic parking spot in front of the Salvation Army office on the street with easy access to the building (there were A LOT of people, ‘clients’) and I walked up to the volunteer with the San Antonio Food Bank. (She had to tell me I couldn’t park where I initially parked because that’s where the truck pulls in! Silly me.)

The 18 wheeler sized truck backed in and it was time to work.  We unloaded A LOT of food…crates and crates of dairy, juice, milk, bread, produce, and just a BUNCH of food.  It was a lot of people (volunteers) but somehow the great number of help really worked out although there was no set system in place we managed to make individual bags with various types of food in time to let the clients get in line and take what they need.

The things that I noticed and found a tad bit unsettling was how most of the clients did not smile or seem happy. I mean, it seemed like the volunteers were having a blast helping out and chatting amongst themselves.  …but the workers and the people that were receiving the food… it was almost too… I am lacking the words right now because I am TIRED.  It’s the holidays and I don’t know I guess I was just expecting a whole another level of cheer.  I mean, this is FREE groceries that these people are getting and the workers and the volunteers barely got thank yous and the workers they were friendly enough but I don’t know maybe I was just expecting too much.  That’s the problem with expectations you just leave room to be disappointed.  Anyway, I had a lot of fun and I look forward to the next opportunity to volunteer.  Besides, that was an AWESOME upper body workout!   Yes… I can already tell, I am going to be sore tomorrow. My arms are jello!

Volunteer to make friends?

So I’ve decided to volunteer to help feed the hungry tomorrow.  I have never volunteered before (outside of school and work) so this is officially a first experience for me.  I’ve moved to a new city and have yet to find a new job and friends.  I’m hoping to find a friend while volunteering but at the least I will be helping people and that’s good right?

My desire to interact with people really comes up in the grocery store where I find myself randomly chatting up with others for recipe advice and what-not. I must say it is MUCH easier to do this in Texas than it is in California. Whenever I attempted to start a conversation with someone out there in the store they would just give me this look like “Why are you talking to me?” or “What are you trying to sell me?” Yes in Texas it is much easier to say “Hi how are you?” then carry on a small conversation with someone you completely don’t know.

I remember back in school it was so easy to make friends I mean, you literally could go to another student ask if they have a spare pencil, comment on how cool their notebook looks and BOOM you’re friends!  I remember back in elementary an old school friend literally walked up to me and say do you want to be my friend and I said sure.  This method isn’t applicable in the ‘real/adult’ world is it?  It seems so much more difficult to make friends as an adult.  Can one walk to another person in the produce aisle, comment about fruit, and ask if they want to be friends?  Why not?

The Greatest Parents Will Never Be Famous

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I finished reading a biography of Mahatma Gandhi – no doubt this was a very influential and GOOD man… I could not help but be disappointed with how little time he actually spent with his family. Yes, he changed the world and influenced a lot of people…leaders, the poor, and everyone in between…but again, I could not help but feel almost a sadness for his immediate family.  Gandhi spent YEARS studying different religions and visiting countries and villages helping as many people as he could that were not in the position to help themselves.  He had five children but none of which he could say he was absolutely close to.  After spending so many years away from his family and even when they lived together he was always out trying to help the world – what about his children?  I wonder… did Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s father) spend many years away from his children?  Would Mahatma Gandhi become as driven to be as he was had he been raised differently?  Think of the famous and influential people you’ve learned about past as well as present.  Do you know of their parents?  Truth is in most cases, the best parents will never be famous.

What is more important – to leave this world a better place than when you first came into it, or to have off spring and guide them well enough to lead a quality life?  Does it have to be one way or the other?  Every day we are encouraged to spend money and make money so we can continue to spend it on things that we “need” or really want.  I do share the same belief as Gandhi that everyone rich and poor should work for what they need without taking advantage of others to do so.  However, in today’s world it’s not about family and helping each other lead a quality life.

You have people who go to school in hopes of getting a good job, to buy a house, and have a family, and to encourage the next generation to do the same.  Then you have the people that don’t work, that live off of government benefits, that go and have children to get even more benefits, and ultimately influencing the next generation to do the same.  Then you have people who work and don’t have any children. They work to pay for things: their house, cars, bills… everything we are conditioned to think are necessary…but what about family?

If you look up in the sky you’ll see a flock of birds probably flying or hanging out in the trees.  In the sea, fish swim in schools.  Elephants they are usually found to travel in their herd.  Almost every animal in the world stays with their family with exceptions of: panthers, Tazmanian devils, and moose.   Ok so it is argued that humans are not animals but for sake of argument what if we were to say we are ‘smarter’ animals… which one of these animal groups are we most like?

People feel sorry for those in the third world countries because they are starving and have no homes…but are they unhappy?  What if you were born poor, in a family, where you have to work for every meal in order to survive? Those that live in third world countries most likely depend on family and their neighbors, and chances are they are OK – they are surviving.  In fact, if they are surviving with family and friends – it is more than possible for them to say they are happy.  How many people live in our society that have a job, a home, a car, and everything else the media makes us think we need, that actually live unhappily?   Who are really the poor ones in this world – those without steady income or those without steady happiness?

Spending quality time together

IMG_20150606_141650In any relationship, romantic, platonic, familial, whatever it doesn’t matter; what does matter is that you spend quality time together. There is a difference between being in the same room with someone and spending quality time together. Why do people enjoy going on vacations? I think this is because this is when they actually engage with others. I think life is about making memories with other people. Whenever you get together with family or friends that you haven’t seen in a while, how often is it does someone start a sentence with “Remember when?”

If you look back at your happiest moments in life was it while being alone or was it when you were with others? I think we were meant to interact with each other but we’re a part of a society now where we now have the mindset that we should be careful. Who is going to screw us over today? Who is going to abuse our kindness? Why is he looking at me, is he going to mug me? I mean, seriously how many times do these type of thoughts enter our minds?

I know that bad things happen and there are bad people out there but I honestly believe that everyone are out there striving for something. No it’s not money. It’s happiness.  I don’t know anyone better to give me a sense of joy other than my family and friends. I just hope that I provide the same thing for them in return.

Diets do not work.

IMG_1751You know those moments when you discover something obvious, but despite it being simple common sense it hits you like a ton of bricks; suddenly it makes complete sense?  I had one of those thoughts yesterday.  I read this book called “It Starts With Food” written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.  It got me thinking: Diets do not work.

The fact is anybody can lose weight if they are dedicated enough to a change in habits (exercise and food choices).  However, oftentimes people lose the weight only to gain it back and plus some.  This is because “diets” are seen as a temporary solution to a problem (excess weight).  We know when we are overweight and some even go as far as saying that being a little overweight it healthy.  One has to ask though can you honestly say there is such thing as being “healthily overweight?”

So today I decided that I’m going to do the Whole30 challenge.  What appeals to me about this program is that it’s not a diet.  It’s more like a cleanse.  It is a process of reintroducing my body to real good food with no processed, chemically produced, product.   If it once walked or swam or grew from the ground chances are I can eat it.  I have my husband’s full support.  He eats healthy anyway but I told him all the stuff that are not compliant to the program and he has agreed that he will eat those foods (I do not want to waste any of our current food in the house). Thirty days…. this can’t be THAT bad.

Time running out… is this just an illusion?

IMG_1837It was late last night almost drifting asleep that I realized that I forgot to post a blog entry yesterday. I was too tired to get up and get one done.  There goes my streak!  Oh well, here’s a start to a new one. I really need to start writing multiple blog posts so that I can be ahead instead of scrambling some nights to get it done.  Anyway, this has actually inspired me to think about time.

What if time was simply an illusion created by mankind.  Think about it.  Sure everyone needs to go to sleep to allow our bodies to heal and our brain to reorganize.  However, imagine a life not limited by time or the concept of time rather.

Imagine getting what we need to get done at our leisure instead of by the deadlines set by others.  Sure, the immediate thought might be: “chaos” but what if wasn’t.  What if we lived in a society where everyone knew what had to get done, finish, and then just enjoy each others’ company at the end of the day? How much simpler would life be instead of constantly rushing to get where we need to be and to do what we need to do in order to buy things that we probably don’t need.  I think if we focused just as hard on our relationships and families just as hard as we do in our jobs we would be much happier as a society.  Instead of talking to loved ones and reaching out instead prescriptions are prescribed.

We have so much that people didn’t have 100 hundred years ago yet… as a society aren’t we so much more disconnected?