Escape.

Have you ever needed a little time to escape? To have peace and quiet, just to disconnect from the world around you and just hear nature? As I mentioned last night I needed that time and space just to reset and breathe. It’s never easy to admit that we might be experiencing a little burnout, that has led to us being a little down for a period of time. I took the past month to escape a little and these are a few things I used to escape.

Reading has always been something I have tried to enjoy and use as an escape. I used a little time each day last month to read a few books, my favorite being “How to Bullsh*t Your Way to Number 1: An Unorthodox Guide To 21st Century Success from the World’s #1 Fake Restaurateur and Paris Fashion Week’s #1 Fake Designer” by Oobah Butler. I have watched his videos online and felt I related to his style and sense of humor. His book was an easy read that helped me better understand how to stop bullsh*tting myself and to start being better at committing to ideas and finding success.

There are indeed times when I have thought that I have great ideas that are destined for success that have fallen flat on their faces because I let the doubts of others around me hold me back. That was something that had been grinding me down over the past months was the voices of others who didn’t see the whole vision I had and believed in. I let their doubts drown out my belief that things would go well on stormy seas.

Walking my dog without headphones in my ears sounds like a silly thing. I don’t really want to get to know my neighbors after all (wink, wink), nor do I want to hear the sounds of birds, horses, cows, and sheep. Just kidding, I love hearing all of those things along with the simple interactions with my neighbors. It’s just easy to plug in and be distant. This past month I just took my headphones out while e walked the dog and that changed things up, I was more connected to real life and all the goodness that is always surrounding me.

It really helped me out with feeling better about my day to day life, disconnect from the digital and live more in the physical. Living here and now can often be a great escape for some and indeed it has been a great escape for me. So take some time and read a book, any book will do. Take the chance on walking without your headphones in your ears and just listen to the present around you and soak up the big moments of today.

Missed.

I missed last typing my three hundred words last night, oops. I wish that I had some good reason to have missed writing something up last night but I really don’t. I made the choice to spend the night with my brother who was visiting instead of writing something up. I actually take back what I wrote a few lines before this. I have the greatest reason to have missed last nights writing time.

My youngest brother came up and spent a day and a half visiting my wife and I. He joined me in visiting a local Krishna Temple and checking in on a llama I used to use as a marketing prop at work. He also chauffered me around to get a little extra driving time as he will soon be taking his driving test, it’s safe to say the sidewalks are safe as he is a great driver! We then went and visited a jump house and bounced around an obstacle course, jumped on Olympic trampolines, and attempted to look graceful while dunking on some tall hoops. It was a blast.

Why do I recap with you what we ended up doing? Because time with my brothers is my favorite past time. I love spending time with them and seeing all they have become as they’ve grown older. I can’t always say that I was a good brother to them, but I’ve worked to become better than I used to be and I feel that our friendships are stronger than ever. We’ve been able to share better experiences as we’ve all grown up a bit more and worked together to keep our relationships strong by just spending time together as we can.

What I’m really getting at is that you may not have been the best sibling to your brothers and sisters in the past but there isn’t a better day than today to try to be a better sibling. Whether it’s a simple text, snap, or letter sent just try and start a conversation that matters and that will rekindle a friendship with a family member. Is it easy to do? Not always, but it’s effort than can pay off if you are willing to do your part.  

Barber.

I have strange hair that has multiple cowlicks and tends to act how it wants. When people have cut my hair in the past they have mentioned how challenging my hair was to cut for them. Four years ago I walked into Ray’s Barber Shop in Salt Lake City and had my haircut by my current barber, that haircut has turned into four years of haircuts and friendship.

When I originally selected my barber I asked around the office I was working at to be recommended to the downtown location for Ray’s Barbershop. I jumped online and booked an appointment with a barber with good ratings and drove downtown. My first experience set the bar high with good conversation, good laughs, and a great haircut. After that, I started stopping in monthly and became a regular customer and have since followed my barber to his new shop the Bureau Barber + Shop and continue going in monthly for a fresh cut.

What makes a good barber in my opinion? Someone who can provide a quality experience that isn’t just a haircut. A quality haircut is obviously a key component to the real experience during and after a visit to your barber. The ability to suggest a type of haircut that is stylish and fitting to ones face is a huge benefit to having a barber who knows you as a customer. Finding the right barber and sticking with them pays off as familiarity with the canvas creates better work and consistent quality of good haircuts.  

Another thing is the quality of conversation and the ability to keep conversations flowing without many if any awkward moments. I enjoy sitting down and having a great conversation with my barber, we keep up on the little things family, hobbies, sports, history topics, and much more as we talk monthly. It creates a friendship that isn’t just a exchange of haircut for money, it creates a quality experience that is worth repeating monthly.

If you have hair on your head that needs to be groomed and managed by skilled hands take the time to find someone who can help you manage it. Not just manage it but keep it looking sharp so that you look your best wherever you go.

Old: Addition.

The other day I wrote about growing old and how I’m afraid to grow old because of all the things I love about life will come to a close. I felt fairly confident about my writing that night because of the book I was listening to at the time was heavily influencing how I felt while writing and thinking about aging. Listening to the secret diary of Hendrik Groen was a great way to see what life will become, the ups and the downs of aging, making friends in your older years, and understanding the death that comes to us all.

I was feeling extremely down about it all, not overly optimistic as I usually tend to feel about life. You might even say that I was wondering what my future holds when I’m reaching my sunset years, I’m afraid of the crooked man I could become. A friend reached out to me and reminded me that growing old holds more than just falling apart and expiring when it is your time. Aging includes two additional parts that had slipped my mind whilst writing, How much you’ve learned over a lifetime and how your perspective will shift about what’s important and what isn’t as important as we thought it would be. My friends feedback inspired me to add this addition to my post from Thursday, March 7th.

Thinking about how much you’ve learned when you’re older will be quite the look back on life. Knowing where we have come from and the seasons of life we have lived through will be quite the look at semi-modern history. I personally will have lived through the 9/11 attacks, the war on terrorism that has spread from Afganistan, Iraq, and Syria. I’ve experienced the first African American president in the  United States, the rise of the internet and many more things that are yet to shape the world we will live in when I am older.

I’ll have experienced many phases of education, marriage, employment, home ownership, and recessions of the economy. Life will have had plenty of lessons learned that will have shaped my world viewpoint at that time.

Once I’m there my life perspective will be a bit different than it is now. I might finally see my glass as full or overfilling with everything I’ve lived through that I may finally want to sit down and rest for a bit. What is important to me in the future might differ slightly than it what is important to me now but I hope that I still value relationships with friends and family, good food, and a few adventures that may need to happen in an electric scooter. I hope that what is important has changed a little too, I hope by the time I’m older I spend less time trying to impress others with what I hope they want to see and hear and more time speaking my truth. I hope that part of growing old arrives sooner than back troubles and aalzheimers.

Imagination.

As a young boy, I had an imagination that could run wild for hours on end. I could see myself running with the bulls, fighting battles with knights, or running away from a pack of outraged locals alongside Indiana Jones in Latin America. If I read, watched, or heard about it I could imagine myself being apart of the experience that was being shared. Imagination was my friend that took me around the world in a few minutes helping me experience an amazing childhood of adventure.

Adding friends to these adventures allowed the worlds we ran through to expand and grow. The storylines grew and our adventures ended up having more ridiculous layers and endings. Those hours spent running through the hills above the farm, climbing the haystacks, and trotting around the river bottoms made for warm memories of a childhood spent with friends.

Life today is busy, we are on the go, and people are linked to their screens no matter where they go. We’ve become a culture that uses our thumbs to steer us through worlds designed by others. We escape into these digital worlds for hours on end and spend less time interacting with the real world around us.

We are all guilty of being distracted by screens, letting the screens control our minds and shutting out our imaginations. Our minds need time outside, time to wander and think about the world around us, time to imagine. Life is best lived in the moments where there is fresh air readily available and our mind freely experiencing the world around us. Putting the screens away and living offline allows for a life lived in real time, not staring at photos from last Friday night or throwback pictures from your favorite nostalgic moments from 90’s sitcoms.

Live life today, spend a little time letting your imagination wander, and spend a little less time looking at your screen.

Today.

Today is a great day to have a great day.

I say this almost every day and I mean it. I enjoy living the happiest best life I can each day because this day might be the last one I live. As I write this it might sound a little macabre to some but it is a true reality that we need to accept. Life is best lived today, never forget that.

Today is the day to live without fear, to stand up for what you’ve always wanted to, to start doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Whatever living your fullest best life is, go for it. If you have been wanting to do start doing that immediately. If you want to start cooking new meals do your research and visit your local store to snag ingredients for a new feast. Feel like learning a new subject, google it and read a few articles and see if it truly sparks your interest and begin a deeper study of the said topic. Been wanting to run farther, lift heavier, hike to new heights, just start today little by little to work towards what you truly want. Live today for you.

Are you afraid of being happy? Do you fear to live a free life doing the things you truly want to do? Stop being afraid and start living. Is this easier said than done? Yes, we’re worried about what others think of us all too much. If others can’t see the why behind what you are doing share it with them and help them see the vision you have of your life. Hope that they can understand and then keep living your best life.

Today is the best day. Today is known as the present, and some say that today is a gift. I tend to agree with that thought.

Yesterday.

Yesterday always plays a part in who we are today because who we were yesterday determined what we are able to do today. Today’s success started with yesterdays efforts and the struggles that we were able to overcome. When I was younger I often would hear people talking about their past and the “what if’s” had they decided to stick with career x or hobby y. The echoes of yesterday with all its former glory were holding them back from a better today, and their desired tomorrow. Yesterday is in the past, we cannot change it, we can only learn from it and move forward.

Living in yesterday isn’t healthy for anyone, yesterday was a lesson we learned and today are utilizing as we go. I think about a few things I learned yesterday and have utilized today. First from work was new policies and a better understanding of the processes we need to make things work for all parties involved in a transaction. At home, I refreshed my technique for making yellow coconut curry and a better balance of water to coconut milk in the simmering phase of the dish’s preparation. While I was at the climbing gym I practiced a few routes that I am hoping to send in the coming weeks and found better hand and foot placement for balance as I climb. These are all valuable lessons for the next time I work with someone on policy at work, invite friends over for curry, and send those routes I was practicing. All great lessons learned yesterday to benefit me in the future.

If you messed up yesterday let it stay in yesterday if you can. If its a small oops leave it there stop dwelling on the things you cannot change and work towards the things you can. We all have those experiences that have weighed us down and that we sometimes think back to with embarrassment and hope that someone else doesn’t remember it. Most of the time you are the only one who remembers those moments and it’s best for every one of you forget them too.

Yesterday was great, wasn’t it? Yesterday was a learning experience, so today lace up your shoes and use what you’ve learned to do great things.