Project(s)

In *my last post, I shared with you that I wanted to try to take on a few smaller projects and/or personal challenges instead of putting all my effort and energy to one. As I’ve stated before, that usually ends up being really exciting for a moment, followed by a sudden disinterest in whatever it was.

What I’m having trouble with now, is deciding what and how to make good on my word. I’ve started a *bullet journal with some graphs to track certain aspects of my life, so I’ll make more for these little goodies. I just keep getting hung up on how to quantify a success.

Let me list my ideas along with what I might classify as a ✔️, so you can see what I mean:

  • Bullet Journal – one entry (daily)
  • Art – one drawing (daily)
  • Writing – one hour (daily)
  • Blog – one post (weekly)
  • Vlog – one video (weekly)
  • Personal Growth Lectures – one series (monthly)
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Consumption vs Creation

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been casually tracking how often I consume things, whether it be food, media, or hobbies. Since I’m born and raised American, I’m sure it will not surprise anyone that the amount I consume far outweighs how much I create. There have been many talks, articles, and blog posts about this topic, so I won’t go into a big spiel about the pros and cons of each. Basically, it’s more fulfilling to create than it is to consume.

Just a couple days ago, I was talking with my mother-in-law, when she told me about one of her family members that’s extremely competitive. At first, I thought my normal thoughts like, “Yeah, they need to lighten up and just have fun,” and  “It’s just a game,” but she helped me gain a new perspective.

She told me that their view is that joining a team or playing a game should mean you are giving your all. If you join a team and only give the minimal amount, you could be filling a spot for someone who would be much more willing to contribute and help the team. That kinda hit me because I definitely haven’t given my all in everything I do, and I know that in some of those areas, I’ve likely cost other people an opportunity.

So, I’ve decided that I need to apply myself more in multiple areas of my life. I need to break through that sudden lack of motivation whenever I sit down to complete a task. I’m starting to realize that life is a very limited time, so I need to start acting like it.

The lyrics “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?” from Hamilton keep repeating in my head.

My goal is to start creating more than I consume. I usually try to take on one specific hobby, but then I get burned out quickly. This time, I’m gonna to step back and just focus on general creation, whether it be a drawing, short stories, or just writing a letter to someone. I just need to start on something. I’ll make a post about my plans and ideas later.

Sadly, however…

Amidst all these thoughts and revelations, my cousin, Ladonna, was killed the other night when she was hit by a car. There was no one at fault, as far as we know, but it doesn’t change the fact that our family lost an amazing woman who always had a smile and made sure that we did, too.

Rest In Peace Ladonna. 😦

Improving My EQ

What is EQ? EQ is basically your Emotional IQ. According to Dictionary.com, EQ is “a(notional)measureofaperson’sadequacyin suchareasasselfawareness,empathy,anddealingsensitivelywith otherpeople.”

One of my biggest problems is that, while I may have a high IQ, my EQ is a bit lacking. I’ve always had trouble connecting with people on an emotional level. It’s not that I don’t care. I just feel like I have a void where most people have a wealth of emotions.

Thanks to Audible‘s (not sponsored) holiday 2-for-1 book special, I was able to pick up a few self-help lecture series for really cheap. After gathering all these goodies, I decided to make my New Years Resolution that I listen to, and apply, all of the lectures throughout the year.

Now, having just downloaded several audiobooks, I had to make a decision (ironically, one of the lecture series has to do with decisiveness). I asked my wife what she thought, and we both agreed that I should listen to Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence, narrated by Professor Jason M. Satterfield.

By the time I finished listening to the first lecture, I knew that big changes were coming. I’ve been able to on identify and control my emotions at a level that I’ve never been able to before. That in and of itself is a big win for me and my family, but I’ve also been learning a lot about the incredible power of EQ. It can obviously improve a person’s personal life, but it’s one of the biggest influences on the success of someone’s career.

One of my big takeaways so far has been the “36 Questions That Lead to Love“. No, I’m not looking for a new wife. Everything is great on that front. It’s actually a series of questions that are intended to bring two people closer regardless of their relationship. As a matter of fact, I’m using these questions to help grow my relationship with my parents right now.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I lost my cousin a few years ago. He was the closest person I had to a brother, and it hurt like hell when I lost him. It really opened my eyes to how much I’ve been taking my relationships for granted, and how quickly it can all be taken away.

Unfortunately, I haven’t applied that revelation very well since then, so I’m pushing myself to grow closer to those that mean the most to me. It’s out of my comfort zone, but the benefits far outweigh the discomfort. If you have someone in your life that you want to grow closer to, I highly recommend that you use these questions to start conversations with them.

Never stop loving.

Consistency is Key

…and my key doesn’t seem to fit.

Once again, I’ve let the blog go unattended for months over a year. I have no excuse. I just lost interest and felt like I had better things to do. I mean, I did, but I could have easily made time to write a few words on here.

So what all have I been up to? I’ll try to go chronologically, but that’s a long way back. Honey, please don’t get mad if I leave something out. It’s late. I’m tired. Love me.

  1. I was transferred to a new location at my work. It was a lateral move, so no loss in pay or position. I didn’t know anyone in my new area, so that was a bit of a social test for me. I can happily report, though, that I’ve now met pretty much everyone and have moved up to a lead position.
  2. A couple months later, my wife and I found out that we were pregnant with our 3rd child. It was a bittersweet moment, as I was super tired when she told me, and my reaction was far less than desirable. I’m not proud. I have since worked very hard to prove to her that my reaction was not true to my feelings. She has forgiven me and said that I’ve succeeded.
  3. I got a Facebook account. My wife and I had been sharing a Facebook account for years. We decided to split our account because it was getting very confusing, and some of her friends wanted to discuss personal things, but weren’t comfortable talking to her with me also able to see what was being said. I always avoided looking at the conversations that she told me to ignore, and to this day, I still don’t know what any of them were about, but I don’t blame her friends for being unsure.
  4. I finally finished reading the Harry Potter series.
  5. Our little Veda was born! She was the smallest baby by far, but she came out in style. I’ll spare you the details, but just know that the nurses hadn’t experienced a birth like Veda’s before. I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about having another baby, since Atlas was so much work for his first 6 months, but Veda has been a fairytale baby. She’s calm, easy-going, happy, and super cute! Her smiles could melt any heart. I’m excited to see her personality develop as she grows, but I don’t want her to grow out of this stage.

Okay, that update was much longer than I anticipated, so I will leave my current events post until another time. I promise it won’t be like my previous disappearance. I’ll post it within the next few days. I’m really excited for it, as I’ve had some revelations and personal growth recently.

Until then, have a great day and hug those you love.

I’m a Multipotentialite

My wife was cleaning our office the other night and wanted to listen to something to help break up the monotony. She decided to listen to some TED talks on the computer, when she stumbled across this video about people who struggle with specializing in their careers and interests. After listening to it, she immediately sent me a text and told me I had to watch it, because it reminded her of me so much.

So I watched it.

She was right (yes, I said it: my wife was right). The speaker described me almost perfectly. She described people like me as “multipotentialites” because we’re always trying new things. Not only do we try many new things, but we dive into them head first.

One of my wife’s biggest complaints when we first got married was that I spent ridiculous amounts of money on hobbies, when I usually lost interest within a couple months—hardly enough time to break in all the fancy new equipment. And she was right.

I love to try new things, and every new thing is “going to be my calling” in my mind. So my mind starts racing and I start to do all the research and planning. Then, I politely ask her if I can get stuff for it, and she usually lets me get the very basics. Of course I feel let down, but that’s just because I can’t go all in like I used to.

And, big shock, the stuff I buy usually ends up sitting in the garage for months or I sell it when I find my next big attraction. So again, she’s right. I’m starting to see a pattern here.

The funny thing is, I was recently thinking about writing a post describing all the hobbies and interests I’ve had in the past, so the timing of her video suggestion timing was perfect.

So here goes. Here are all of my past hobbies and interests that I can remember:

  • Blogging
  • Golf (my current hobby)
  • Novel Writing (still in progress)
  • Astronomy
  • Disc Golf
  • Hockey
  • Journaling
  • Calligraphy
  • Learn French
  • Learn Spanish
  • Flying (ran out of money, but still going to finish this one)
  • Speed Skating (ice and dry land)
  • Curling
  • Karting
  • Wood Carving
  • Podcasting
  • YouTube Channel
  • Blacksmithing
  • Pottery
  • Model Ships
  • Model Warships (that shoot BBs and actually sink)
  • R/C Airplanes
  • Boatbuilding
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Model Roc
  • Triathlon
  • Cartography
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Navigation by Stars
  • Movie Production
  • Photography
  • Stop Motion
  • Computer Coding
  • Game Design/Development

There you have it. Those are most of the hobbies that have come and gone over the past decade or so of my life. Some of them were little more than just reading, watching videos, and taking a few lessons. Others put me in debt.

Being a multipotentialite can be expensive and frustrating to me those around me, but it also allows me to experience many new things that most people wouldn’t. As the speaker in the video said, “Multipotentialites, with all of their backgrounds, are able to access a lot of these points of intersection.”

One of the things that my wife has told me is that she’s a bit jealous that I’ve experienced so many different things in my life without hesitation. I may not be an expert in anything, except my current career, but I can use little bits here and there from my list to approach things from a multitude of unique angles.

Simply put, I’m a kaleidoscope of knowledge and experience. Each of my pieces may not make a full, logical picture, but together they make something beautiful.

My Wild

I was looking through some old emails the other day when I found this little gem from 2010. I was trying to expand my imagination by making something new out of real-life events. Much like a child does with “The Floor is Lava” or when a cardboard box becomes a house, spaceship, car, etc.

I’m not going to set forth any expectations, as I didn’t intend to publish it, so read it with a grain of salt…or a cup of tea. Yeah, tea is way more appetizing.


Day 1

Mood: Ready

I found solid ground to set up my shelter. After setting it up, I gathered some food and made dinner. I only ate vegetation for dinner. Tomorrow I will try to get some meat. I set up my shelter for both supplies and living. It’s small, but it will work. I look forward to tomorrow, hoping it will bring fair weather and good fortune.


Day 2

Mood: Tired

I didn’t sleep well last night, but I did wake up well rested. My “bed” isn’t nearly as comfortable as my bed back home. I added some more padding today, hoping it will help some. As for food, I was very fortunate. I found vegetation as well as meat. There is a good chance I will be able to get more supplies tomorrow. I found a spot that I can gather things to help out around camp. It’s not too far from here, so I’ll check it out again if time and weather permit. Good night, Friend.


Day 3

Mood: Nonchalant

No significant events. I couldn’t make it to the “supply spot” today. I’ll try again tomorrow. Today, I just went through the motions. Until tomorrow…


Day 4

Mood: Excited.

I finally made it to the “supply spot” today. I added some padding to my bed. I might have the equivalent of a basic mattress by the end of the month at this rate. I also gathered some food and enjoyed a small, but tasty, meal. Everything seems to be setting up nicely around camp. I’ll have to relax and take it all in, one day. As for now, I must continue the never-ending task of maintaining camp. I think I’ll focus on clearing the area in the morning.


Day 5

Mood: Tired

I didn’t do as much clearing as I had hoped. I’ll add that to tomorrow’s to-do list. I ate a decent breakfast and started my day with a good attitude. It’s amazing what a good attitude can do to someone’s day. I didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary, yet I feel extremely tired. Perhaps it’s unbalanced nutrition? I’ll test that theory after I get more settled and a good routine.


Day 6

Mood: Happy

Hello, Friend. I finally got the area cleared into what might resemble a small camp. Tomorrow is an exciting day. It’s Sunday, the Day of the Lord! It’s also the day of rest. With all the work I’ve been doing, I’ve almost forgotten what rest is. I’ll start out the day with God, thanking Him for helping me through all this. I saw a small “animal” today. I tried to befriend it, but it refused. That made me realize how alone I really am out here. Maybe it’ll change its mind and come back for a visit some day. It’s okay, though, because I have the Lord. He will keep me company during these hard times. He is the Great Comforter. With that thought in mind, I shall call it a night. Good night, Friend. God Bless.


Day 7

Mood: Accomplished

I got a good meal today and plenty of rest. The most important event, though, was the time I got to spend with God. I feel so distant from the world and so connected to Him out here. I feel like this is His playground, like we’ve exiled Him from our busy lives and this is where He waits for us to discover what He really is. Just looking at the trees and animals has amazed me way more than any physics book ever did. Sure, physics has laws, but out here God has reality. Truth.


Day 8

Mood: Enthusiastic

It’s officially the beginning of Week 2! Will it be exciting, scary, enlightening or just another set of days? Only God knows, and I will trust in Him to guide me to the resources I need both physically and spiritually. I’m going to start looking for things to do to keep me entertained. I know entertainment sounds like a big task to take on, but the monotonous work day in and day out takes its toll. I need something to take my mind off of it. Maybe I’ll make something. Good night.


Day 9

Mood: Happy

I woke up late, but still got everything done. It felt good to sleep in, but I need to reserve sleeping in for rare occasions. I can’t afford to waste days out here. Daylight is the only time I have to gather and survive. If I waste a day, it could be the difference between a good meal and days without food.


Day 10

Mood: Mellow

Today was eventful, but I didn’t really accomplish much. I tried to start a project, but quickly found out that I needed more tools. Now I’ll focus my attention on making tools instead of making the project. One thing at a time I guess. I’m going to call it an early night tonight due to a sore back.


Day 11

Mood: Ready

I got an early start on the day thanks to the early bed time last night. I accomplished a lot more than usual, so that was good. It started out as a sunny day, but the clouds rolled in and the wind picked up around mid-day. I was still able to stay cheerful despite the gloomy weather. It’s currently raining, but the shelter I built seems to be solid enough to keep the weather out.


Day 12

Mood: Content

Nothing out of the ordinary happened today. Just the same routines.


Day 13

Mood: Accomplished

I got a lot of cleaning done around camp and found some extra time to spend with God. It’s not Sunday, but who says we only have to talk to Him on Sunday? Not Me!


Day 14

Mood: Relaxed

Sunday, the day of rest, is my favorite day. It’s a day that I get to rest and spend time with God. It also marks the beginning of a new week full of new opportunities and choices that could make or break my time out here.


Day 15

Mood: Mellow

Back to the routines. I accomplished a lot today, but nothing new or exciting. I still haven’t found anything entertaining to occupy my time. I have a feeling that something is coming up, though. Hopefully it will keep me occupied until I leave. Speaking of which, I haven’t decided when I want to leave yet. Perhaps Day 100?


Day 16

Mood: Enlightened

God has been moving in my life. There haven’t been any miracles or huge revelations, but I can feel Him. The changes are deep within. My mind, soul and spirit are starting to open up to Him and move as He directs me to. God is so amazing!


Day 17

Mood: Accomplished

I got a LOT done today. I’m going to bed later than usual, but it was worth it. I’ll have much less to do tomorrow and the days that follow. It’s such a relief. Time for some hard-earned rest after this long, but productive day. Good night, Friend.


Day 18

Mood: Excited

I started my project today! I’m not going to say what it is, because I want to make sure I can finish it before I get your hopes up. I think I’ll reveal it when I decide to leave. It’s a long project, but it should be well worth it. It’s life-changing. Sleep well.


Day 19

Mood: Studious

For some reason, I felt like a sponge for knowledge today. I wanted to learn as much as possible. Like I said, I have no idea where it came from, but I like it! I’m going to try to hold onto it as long as possible.


Day 20

Mood: Calm

Everything seems to be in its place right now. Perhaps it’s the calm before the storm. Regardless of what it is, I will enjoy it and be joyful as long as it’s here. If there is a storm coming, I will be ready. God will guide me and carry me through it.


Day 21

Mood: Peaceful

Three weeks have passed, and I’m still going strong. God is working in my life and all is well.


Day 22

Mood: Tired

Today was a very long day. I just need to get some rest. Good night.


Day 23

Mood: Accomplished

It was another day of getting a lot done. Once a stable source of food, water and supplies is established, living is not nearly as bad as one might think. Of course, a good routine helps as well. Well, I’m tired and it’s getting late, so I think I’ll turn in for the night.


Day 24

Mood: Bored

The routines are getting monotonous. Each day seems longer and longer. Each day brings me closer to wanting to leave. I thought 100 days was a good goal, but now 50 days sounds like a gold medal. I need to find something to do.


Day 25

Mood: Annoyed

I think I’m coming down with something. Maybe it’s just allergies. Whatever it is, it’s annoying. It’s not enough to stop me from my work, but it is interfering with my efficiency. I’m going to try to find something that might help. Maybe just some rest. Yeah, rest sounds good.


Day 26

Mood: Amazed

I’m feeling much better today. I woke up feeling worse, but, as the day progressed, my sickness seemed to melt away. I’m pretty sure it was all God. On a side note, I’ve noticed a slight change in my life since the beginning of my project. I knew the change was coming, but not this soon. My perception of things is definitely changing!


Day 27

Mood: Lazy

Another lazy day. I woke up later than usual and didn’t get much done. I made a good lunch, which I haven’t done in a while. It was a treat that I didn’t realize I had missed. Tomorrow is my favorite day! I can’t wait to see what God has planned.


Day 28

Mood: Suspicious

Today was an awesome day at first. I started it with an amazing time with God, then entertained myself with a few games. However, I think I might have an intruder. I’ll keep an eye out for more signs.


Day 29

Mood: Happy

I noticed that life can be a great challenge, but can also bring great gifts. There are many lives I would like to live, but every time I feel like I can’t handle this one, God reminds me of just how special this one is.


Day 30

Mood: Excited

It’s been a month! More good days keep coming, which is boosting my morale. Sure, I’ve had rough times, but God has always delivered.


Day 31

Mood: Amazed

I’m really amazed at how well the project is coming along. I’m learning so much from it. I can’t wait to finish. It’s coming together better than I ever expected, but I can’t forget who is allowing all of it to happen. He’s in charge, and He’s doing an outstanding job! He truly is The Great I Am.


Day 32

Mood: Tired

I’m too tired to write much. Just the usual routine today.


Day 33

Mood: Inspired

The project is finally done. I’m still in shock at how quickly it came together. On another note, I think I’ll be leaving soon. I think I’ve learned all that God has brought me here to learn.


-End-

Halloween and NaNoWriMo

Hey!

How are you doing? We just finished removing our Halloween decorations. I wonder how long it will take Eva to give in to her urge to decorate for Christmas. A few years ago, we already had our tree up and decorated! She’s nuts.

Anyway, on Halloween, we had some friends come over for a party before we took all the kids around the neighborhood. The party was fun, with some amazing homemade food, and everyone seemed to enjoy the conversations. Half of our effort went to keeping the kids fed and occupied, so they wouldn’t keep begging to go Trick-or-Treating.

After we finished eating, we took the kids outside to get ready to go. It was raining, so the adults grabbed umbrellas, and the kids didn’t care. On one hand, it’s not fun to walk in the cold and rain; on the other hand, there were far less people than usual, so the houses handed out more candy!

Our costumes this year didn’t have a theme like we usually do. Talon was Mal from Disney’s Descendants, Atlas was an astronaut, Eva was a wolf, and I was the milkman.

If my costume doesn’t make much sense, let me explain. Eva insisted that she and I have a couples outfit this year. After looking through several, we decided that I was going to be the milkman and she would be the pregnant housewife.

At one point, I asked Eva if I could change my costume, but she said, “Absolutely not. Then I would just be a pregnant wife. It wouldn’t work.” So I moved on. Then, a couple days before Halloween (after my costume had already come in), Eva decided that she couldn’t find the right outfit to make her costume work, so she was a wolf. I just shook my head and moved on. Sometimes, she drives me crazy.

As one of our friends put it, we were a “…scandalous pregnant house wife wolf who had a astronaut baby with the milk man.”


In other news, I started NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which is a personal challenge to write 50,000 words of your novel in November. That comes out to 1,667 words per day. I’ve been writing, but I’m far from keeping up with the pace. I’ve written just over 2,500 words, when I should be over 18,000.

The point of the challenge, though, is not so much about making the goal, but to focus on writing your novel. And it’s worked! I’ve been writing far more than I’ve written before. Most of my novel attempts only result in a few hundred words before I lose momentum and motivation. Granted, a few hundred and a couple thousand aren’t far apart, it’s still a big accomplishment for me.

I’ve always wanted to write a novel. It’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I’ve started several times, but planning all the details always got in the way. With NaNoWriMo, you are encouraged to send your “inner editor” on a month-long vacation and simply put words on paper. It’s been really hard for me to fight perfectionism, but sometimes you just need to tell yourself to shut up.

I read the intro to my book after finishing the rough draft, and boy is it rough. I’ve never written so sloppily (by my standards), but It’s a rough draft. I found that I always try to turn my rough draft into a final while I’m writing it. NaNo has really opened my eyes, though. It’s helped me realize that writing a long text requires a lot of work and many revisions. It can’t all be done at the same time. Patience is key.

That’s all I have for now. What have you been up to? Anything interesting happening in your life?

-Ryan