Monthly Archives: February 2020

Hobbies, Interests, and Happiness

For about 10 months now we’ve had over 10 different succulents in our apartment, and it was actually quite a fun process to go pick them out and find the pots we thought would fit the aesthetic of our home. While buying plants at a local shop and not a department store likely cost us more than it could have, we felt better knowing the plants were taken care of and probably healthier in general. And so far, we’ve done amazing.

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Repotting them hasn’t been easy, especially since we’re new to having plants. But it was a fun process that was much needed. And that’s what I’ve come to realize about hobbies. If you’re having fun and your interest is constantly piqued, nothing else should matter. That’s the whole point of hobbies, isn’t it? Having fun and doing what you enjoy? Too often I feel like I see people forcing hobbies or forcing things they don’t actually like. And I feel sorry for those types of people who are trying to do what others enjoy or what others want. That’s not living a life for themselves. That’s worrying about what others think of them.

So when it comes to spending your time off work, I really think you need to evaluate what you like, what you find yourself enjoying, and what you’ve always wanted to do. Those answers won’t ever be the same for any two people, so own your experience and enjoy the things you love. I know that sometimes money is an issue, but let’s be honest, there’s something satisfying about a few shipping boxes showing up to your doorstep every few weeks when you’re collecting something or need more materials to continue your artistic ability.

So truthfully, this is all that should go into your time off. If you’re not relaxing and not enjoying your time, why continue the bad habits or the hobbies that are someone else’s in your life? Get online, buy a few of your favorite albums or video games or whatever, wait for those shipping boxes to arrive, and then have a blast doing what you love. That’s all it takes, truly.

Once you get to this point in your life, everything else just seems to come easier. And I’ve lived that feeling, so it’s a real experience that I want to tell everyone about. Not caring what others think and doing what you enjoy is all that should matter.

Doing What Matters for Your Relationship

This Valentine’s Day has armed me with quite a few ideas of things I want to do for my partner’s birthday. Her special day falls a month after V-Day on the dot. And the only reason I’m gathering some ideas for her birthday is because we’re hosting a listening party for a new album on Valentine’s Day. This is something we’ll absolutely buy on vinyl, and so it’s making me think of what all I can do for her birthday a month later.

One of those things? Buying her a record or two she’s been wanting for awhile now. But also, I’m thinking of a nice restaurant I can take her out to that we don’t have the time to do on Valentine’s Day this week. And since it’s only a month later, it helps to “combine” the two of sorts.

I know what you’re thinking though. “If you truly cared about her, you would take her to dinner for both days you cheapskate!” Well, that’s simply not true. If you knew us, you’d realize she doesn’t want a V-Day dinner and never has. Because it’s all just a corporate scheme to get Americans to go crazy on teddy bears, chocolates, candy, gift cards, and Hallmark cards. We’d rather celebrate our own way and then do something more special for birthdays instead. That, to me, is what really defines a relationship (i.e., understanding what matters to us).

So I’ll be ordering a few records that we haven’t been able to find for her in the past. Heck, I’ve been doing it for myself recently and ripping through the shipping supplies when they arrive on my front porch. This’ll be no different and she’ll merely think I bought something for myself again! The only difference is that shipping supplies won’t be scattered across my floor this time since I can’t reveal what I bought.

Nonetheless, I think we’re set for a nice birthday celebration for her this year, and I’ll also be looking to take her to a concert locally to celebrate. It’s something we always try to do for one another, so it just goes hand in hand with the music I’m already planning to buy.

So, how are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? We’re doing a listening party. Why don’t you try going against the grain and do something that actually matters to you and your relationship? It’ll feel really good. Trust me.

Phase Out Plastic

Plastic bags are ruining the planet. Among other things, of course, but they are a big colporate. These things used to be (and still are in some places) everywhere! The worst part is they take thousands of years to decompose. It is our responsibility to clean up the earth. Reducing our plastic intake is just one way we can help save the earth.

At first, the initiative was to recycle them. Recycling was marketed as if it worked 100% of the time. We had the mentality that every item we put in the recycling box would go to a facility, be successfully recycled, and would come back as another product. In theory this is great! Unfortunately, it just is not the case. The majority of materials placed in recycling bins are rejected and get thrown into a landfill anyways.

Why would a material get rejected? Mostly because of contaminants with food and other non-recyclable products. The biggest source of plastic bags not getting recycled are plastic bags from carry-out restaurants. Restaurants are notorious for overusing plastic when they definitely do not need to be. Sometimes they wrap containers in a brown paper bag and then still use two plastic bags! It is so wasteful and unnecessary to have just one plastic bag let alone two!

The solution to helping restaurants become more conscious of their plastic use is by not even using plastic at all! Okay, that is kind of unrealistic so they should consider reusing what they already have in their restaurants. Every restaurant gets multiple shipments in a week of produce and other materials needed for their food. Instead of just tossing those shipping boxes the restaurant could reuse them to package their to-go orders. Obviously the boxes could not be the huge oversized ones, but smaller packages would work just fine. Lots of produce and grains usually arrive in smaller packages, anyways.

I’m sure there would not be enough shipping boxes for every single order. But even if it covered even just a day’s worth of orders it would be great how much waste they reduced! The boxes could even be reused at home as well.

It is simple changes like this that anybody can be a part of to help save the earth. Little things will ultimately add up. If all restaurants start adopting this model I could not imagine the change we would start to see in just one year.

Switching Up the Pattern of Life

Any time you have a period of change in your life, a lot of stress suddenly befalls you that is almost always unwelcome. Rarely does anyone actively seek stress, though they make seek a busy schedule. Nonetheless, switching jobs can not only induce a newfound stress but also affect your sleeping schedule, your daily schedule, and also what you eat or don’t eat in a day.

Needless to say, switching jobs can be anxiety inducing and make you worry about menial things in your life that you never once thought of when you had your old job.

The other thing that comes with new jobs, though? Ambition. Responsibility. Empowerment. Self-esteem. Those things are absolutely amazing in anyone’s life, and yet they’re so easily found. It’s just that no one thinks about how easily they can access them on a daily basis, because there’s no major change in their life to spur them on to doing great things. There’s nothing that jars their everyday life enough to make them reconsider how they do other things, like interacting with strangers or pushing your skills to the limit. And if everyone would think like that, there wouldn’t be much to worry about in life. Because you’d have a serious handle on everything you do and say. You’d know what was needed on the daily. You would understand people better.

I suppose I should back up and think about another thing that no one thinks about when they get a new job. What is it? Well, no one thinks about the work of moving old materials, furniture, or files that goes into switching jobs.

More than anything, it sucks having to bag up your old papers and folders. Using shipping supplies to protect your belongings or furniture from the old gig isn’t the most fun to spend your money on, but it’s also no fun spending time on actually moving those things. That’s sweat equity right there.

Nonetheless, there are much greater things that the new career will bring you and your loved ones. It’s just a matter of taking the time to explore your options, to pack up the old things in shipping supplies, and to see where you can push yourself more than you ever have.

With change, we develop and grow more than we ever would staying in an old position or old home. Humans thrive on change, it’s just a matter of finding the change that’s right for you and everyone you love.