Archive for the ‘Easy’ Category

The older I get the more people I meet, the more places I move and it’s only naturally for me to want to visit the people and places I’ve left behind. Not to mention, there are all the places in this world I dream of visiting or revisiting. But, when I add up vacation days, money and airfare the numbers don’t always work in my favor. Plus, the amount of time it takes to actually travel somewhere doesn’t make some trips worthwhile. It is impossible to travel everywhere I want in one year and I am forced to forfeit experiences (which is difficult for me because I hate when group pictures are taken without me in them). This makes me heavy sigh. So, do I miss Christmas to go to Scandinavia? Do I skip a wedding so I can go shoot a documentary in Africa? How come Europe has bullet trains and we don’t? I wouldn’t have to choose if we had bullet trains and I think the world would be a better place.

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I’m not talking about for big things like mortgages, tuition and groceries (although my life would be a lot easier if that were the case) but what if this was the currency we used among our small personal circles? What if every time you needed a favor you had to hug the person? You go next door to borrow a cup of sugar for the cookies you need to make and in return you give your neighbor a hug. Or, you ask a coworker to take on a file of yours so you can lighten a workload and when they respond “yes” you give them a hug. Not everyone is a hugger and for some reason a lot of those people are my friends. I need to ask for hugs and even then I usually get a response of “no” so now I just have to sniper attack hugs. Sometimes when I’m fighting with someone, all it comes down to is me simply needing a hug. Reassuring me that I’m loved and appreciated. If every day, every single person such as people of power, skeazy finance guys and even you and me were randomly hugged, making us all feel loved and appreciated, I think this world would be a better place.

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Obviously, this is a dream. But, if I were in a beauty pageant and was asked what my wish was for the world, it would be this. Right now, I have a lot on my plate. I’m moving out of my loft, putting everything in storage for a few months so I can be a free bird and I have to do all of this by next Friday, which is when I leave town for three weeks. Not to mention, I’m in the process of writing query/cover letters, sending out writing samples/resumes, getting my photography onto a website as well as trying to keep writing everything that’s inside me! Plus, all the things I need to do that go along with leaving town for nearly a month. So last night, after I packed a bit more and before I sat down to write more queries, I opened one of my “special” wines (from one of my favorite wineries up in Los Olivos, CA). Even though I know I’m supposed to save my red wines, I couldn’t help it and felt it was deserving. I’m broke, stressed and in need of a little pick me up. I sat down with my glass of Petite Syrah, put on my headphones filled with Bettye Lavette and got to work. Not only was I very productive but I also danced (yes, by myself) and reconnected with my best friend (again, yes, myself). I love me and I love what I do and I think everyone should love themselves and love the things they do too! This moment that I’m living in will soon be a memory and even though I’m feeling stressed now, it may become a moment in which I look back and remember for it’s simplicity. I’m going to try my best to live in it, for everything it’s worth while dancing and drinking my red wine!

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It’s a simple fact that everyone is different so why is everyone trying to live the same life? Your neighbor’s grass looks greener from over the fence but if you got closer you’d see all the weeds and dead patches. You think you’d be happier if you were married? Well, then you get married and envy the simplicity and independence of being single. You wish you owned a home? Then you buy one and realize all the work that constantly needs to get done and your bank account dwindles and your weekends are busy going to Home Depot. You wish you had more money? Then when you have money you realize all the responsibility that comes along with it or how difficult it is to trust people. If you get caught up in this, the list could keep going…”I wish I had her body” “He has a better job” “Their mom and dad help them out more than my parents” “He’s in much better shape than me” “Her kids are better listeners than mine” “I wish I had an Aunt Sally who took me on trips to Africa” and blah blah frickin’ blah. Don’t be such a downer.

The things is, everyone struggles and everyone can thrive, the details are unimportant (to-may-to/to-mah-to). Everyone has pros and cons. So, let’s focus on our pros and make the world a better place.

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Ok, so now we’re all grown up and we’ve learned that life can suck. We have responsibilites, obligations and 401k’s. Stress has become one of those things that we manage on a day to day basis. Crinkles in our annoyed/frustrated/angry faces are beginning to leave wrinkles. But, do you remember a time when you couldn’t wait to be a grown up? A time when everything was a mystery, exciting and new? What were those things you couldn’t wait to do? And better yet, what were those things you used to love and have stopped doing? Did you play sports? Pretend? Blow bubbles? What made you laugh? I hate to break it to you but here’s the thing: you’re still that same person. Don’t stifle your fun, energy and excitement for life. You’re finally allowed to do almost whatever you want to, so what’s stopping you? Go shoot a gun, jump off a cliff (with a bungie cord attached to it), climb a tree as high as you can, travel somewhere far away or get in a tickle fight that makes you scream and laugh for your life! Do things that make you feel free and young to balance out the ball and chain of life’s responsibilities.

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Read whatever you want, just read! Listen to people’s perspectives, funny moments, horrifying experiences and beliefs. We all want to be heard but to truly be heard we also need to listen. It doesn’t matter if you agree, disagree, laugh, cry or feel nothing at all. What’s important is that you are active in the search to find something that sticks in your brain and not in your ass, hips or thighs. Junk is so frivolous, fleeting and fake. People consume that crap because they’re souls are hungry for nutrients. Nourish yourself. Read!

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This is kind of a big one and is obviously very dependent on where you might live. However, whether you’re in an urban, suburban or rural environment you definitely have options. I live in Southern California and am pretty fortunate to have local, organic everything at my fingertips however for those of you in different climates you may be closer than you think to a farm. The thing is: there are so many benefits to eating locally.

#1: Helps your local economy.

#2: Knowing where your food comes from gives you a sense of pride, confidence and control.

#3: It’s healthier.

#4: It can be a lot more fun than waiting in a long line to purchase a bunch of processed, mass produced products that perpetuate unhealthiness in America.

#5: It is something small you can do to promote a greater change within our communities and our world.

#6: It just tastes better!

Google search “farmer’s market”, “vegetable farms”, “eating local” within your area and see what’s out there. If you have kids, make them a part of the process as well. They love to be around dirt, pick things they can eat off trees and talk to real farmers who have grown the food they get to eat. The choices in your area may be restricted however if there was a higher demand-the options would grow (literally). We are stronger in numbers! Also, it doesn’t have to be limited to finding your local farms but this goes for local markets, local restaurants, basically anything that is independently owned and is not a chain.

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If everyone took a half hour to an hour or so out of their for a little quiet time our world would be a better place. Most of us get up around 7am-8am and don’t find ourselves in bed until 10pm-12am. That’s a minimum of 14 hours of talking, exercising, stressing, working, drinking and countless other small, tedious and energy zapping activities. And if you think, “Oh, well, I realax in the evenings when I catch up on my DVR”, that’s not real. TV and movies are tricky because although your body is in a resting state your mind is actually being over stimulated with all sorts of, let’s face it, crap. Just like we reserve time in our day for talking to certain people, eating meals, e-mailing, going to the bathroom we should also dedicate some time to sit, be quiet, close our eyes, take deep breathes and literally relax.

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I grew up with a dad (pictured above) who’s motto is “I’m not going to ask for their autograph if they don’t ask me for mine”. When I was younger I didn’t really get it. “But, Jonathon Taylor Thomas doesn’t know who you are.” was my response. Now that I’m a little bit (just a little bit) older I, not only get it but live it. Just because someone’s face may be a tad bit more recognizable or their bank account balance has a few more zeros before the decimal point that doesn’t mean they deserve my respect or even attention. Some could argue that I’m jealous but I don’t think that’s the case. It’s more so the fact that I try my best to earn people’s adoration and respect and I hold that fact partially responsible for me trying to be the best human being I can be. I want everyone to think I’m amazing so, I have to be amazing. So, if people weren’t so easily impressed by fame or fortune those in powerful positions would have to work a little harder to be respected and the world would be a better place.

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I know this can be a sensitive topic and I am in no way implying that I’m perfect…in fact, I’m probably far from it. The picture above is my one and only side mirror, the other one is missing due to a fight with a dumpster. Anger is an easy emotion to feel while behind the wheel and imagine, if we all we’re happier drivers we would be more considerate and the world could get a little bit better. I decided to make a little list of basics that can serve as reminders for ALL of us. Feel free to add to it!

1. Beeping is a voice not a weapon.

2. Left lane is for passing, right lane is for creeping.

3. Going under the speed limit can be just as dangerous (sometimes more) than speeding.

4. Be happy and assume people are oblivious not aggressive.

5. Pay attention, you’re not the only one out there.

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