“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
“One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.”
~Robert A. Heinlein
Well, it has been a long time since I posted on here and I thought that today would be the perfect day to remedy that. It is sunny and beautiful here in California and I love it and am happy. But it isn’t the sun that has made me so happy today. No it is the people that I am finding that have entered my life recently. I don’t know why they entered it or for how long they will be with me on my journey through life or how long I will be with them on theirs but for here, today, life is good.
You see, I am currently working a job that I’d rather not be working. But isn’t that like most of the world. I think there are very few people that are working their dream job. I am blessed enough to know a few of these gems. To be honest though, I don’t think these people have anything more or less than anyone else that I know who is working a job that they don’t care for other than they seem to have a great humbleness about them. They are not arrogant and they are extremely careful to not take what they have for granted. These people are also working for not only themselves but for the greater good of the people around them. I love these people! So how did they get there? I honestly have no idea. Some of them worked for years, some of them fell into it, and others knew what they wanted to do from the very beginning. I am none of the above listed people.
But I am happy. Not even for myself for a lot of the time but for the people around me. I spend my working days around countless strangers that I never get to know the names of. I don’t like my job but it is my own personal mission to make these people think that I am the happiest person in the world. It isn’t a joke or a game so much as you will never know what is going on in these people’s lives. Some are getting abused at home. Others are in the rut of a lifetime. Some are just fine. Some are genuinely happy. How do you know which is which? You don’t. I like to think that all of the happy people that come through my line are all happy like some of them try to portray but the fact of the matter is that this simply isn’t possible. Sometimes that one quip or joke or kind comment about having a great hair day is all it takes to give someone the smile that they needed to make it through their day.
When one person is happy, it breeds happiness. By taking everything in stride and looking at the bright side, I had a wonderful lady offer me assistance. I never asked for it or expected it. Like most people that I come into contact with, she could have easily faded into the night, never to be seen again. Instead, she brought me to tears on more than one occasion with her generosity and kind spirit. As a matter of fact, I was crying again right before writing the post because of this wonderful lady that I like to think of as my friend. I told her about a single phone call that I was expecting today from a recruiter. I didn’t know what to expect from this phone call except for a little bit of advice. Instead, I got two calls today, one from the recruiter who didn’t give me a little advice, but a whole LOT of great advice! The other call was from a second recruiter that found me because of something that my wonderful friend told me to do simply because she thought that it would assist me on my path.
Basically, the moral of my rambley story is to stay happy, even when you aren’t feeling it. Find happiness in something and share it because happiness is infectious. Also, pay it forward. Karma does exist and she can be the biggest b*tch or your best friend. I prefer to keep such powerful forces on their good side if I can help it. My last tidbit is to pray. He is listening. And here is a question for thought. Have you ever noticed how some of the most successful people are not successful for themselves but more so for their families and for God? Just some food for thought I was talking about with Nik the other night. Have a great day.
“It’s so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making better decisions on a daily basis.”
Have you ever come home after a hard day of work and thrown your jacket on the back of the couch only to find your couch buried under an impressive number of not only jackets, but clothes, shoes, water bottles, your gym bag, and who knows what that one thing used to be? Don’t lie. I know I’m not the only one to have done this more times than I care to admit. I always wanted a way to magically fix this problem. Unfortunately, I never got accepted to Hogwarts school of magic and wizardry so I must just be “normal.” So what is a normal person to do?
Now I admit, I have not mastered the following, but the following tips are things that I am adding to my life’s toolbox so that I am better equipped and stand a chance at fighting off the monster mess that was once a couch. Here they are.
The 1-Minute Drill
The 1-Minute Drill is just that. There are any number of chores in your house, office, etc. that will take no more than one minute to complete. For example:
- That one paper needs to be filed
- Laundry needs to be sorted
- Take the coats OFF THE COUCH and HANG THEM
- Put the book on the bookcase
- MAKE THE BED
You see what I mean with this. None of these tasks are particularly difficult, nor do any of them take more than a minute. What becomes overwhelming is when you have a zillion 1-Minute tasks. All of a sudden it looks troubling and overwhelming. Take a couple segments of your day to tackle the 1-Minute tasks and all of a sudden, the thorough cleaning your house or office needs will be a lot easier to handle.
If you are like me, then you are way too attached to your phone and social media. A way to attack this is to create an Itunes (or Spotify, or whatever) playlist of some of your favorite songs that you love to jam out to. Make it anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour long. During this time, silence your phone and close all those distracting websites including Facebook, Twitter, and maybe even your email. Start your playlist. During the entirety of this playlist put your head down and work. With your favorite artists pushing you on, there is no way you won’t be productive. Sometimes I like to substitute my Workout Playlist for this. What better way to push to get more time than to aim to do it very quickly as well?
The 1% Improvement
This one is probably the most powerful of the self improvement methods I have listed. As much as I would love to take credit for this, I just cannot. It’s so simple that it is difficult. In summary it is to strive to do everything you do just 1% better. Over time, the small steps will add up to big things but the improvements may be so small at first that they are hardly noticeable. I highly encourage everyone to read the full article here on James Clear’s own blog. He has some really amazing insights that I thoroughly enjoy reading every week.
I sure hope that you enjoyed reading about these tips and tricks. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your whole world will be changed overnight. It takes 21 days AT MINIMUM to build a new and lasting habit so slowly add this into your days and watch as you get better with baby steps. Here’s to always improving! CHEERS!
“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”
The last couple of posts have been a little bit on the downer side. Today is not like that though. Today I want to encourage you to play with your food. Yes, I want you to beak all of the rules that you mom and dad gave you. Break the rules and have some fun. I promise you that life is more fun when we play with our food.
Now I’m no saying that I want you to have an all out food fight in the living room. Cleaning that up would suck and in the inevitable event that you miss some food that rolled under the couch, it is also very likely to become quite smelly. No one wants a smelly living room… Now that I have completely spiraled out of control, lets get back to the original point of this post. If you are like I was, you like good food but don’t really know how to go about creating it all your own. My issue was that I spent so much on the food in the first place that I really didn’t want to ruin it by messing up. This also equated to me having the same few meals over and over and over again because I knew how to make it and it came out the same each time. The word “same” means the same as “BORING” in case you didn’t know and boring is dull and dull is no fun. I went to a more paleo diet for a while and this forced me out of my comfort zone. Since then, I have learned about so many other foods and ways to cook. I have also learned that it is ok to use bits and pieces of recipes which lead to last night’s ROCKING meal!
Last night the boyfriend and I had “spaghetti” and grilled Italian chicken. Each piece of this recipe either stemmed from another recipe that I use for a different meal or simply from a mistake I made. Mistake is another word that I feel has the wrong connotation to it more often than not. A lot of times people feel bad when they make a mistake when a mistake simply means that the original intention was missed and something new and maybe even better was created as was the case for this dish. Anyways, here is the dish in pieces.
The “Spaghetti” (from Paleomg.com)
- One Spaghetti Squash
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut the Spaghetti Squash in half and lay it cut-side down on a foil lined cookie sheet.
- Once the oven is preheated, put the squash in the oven for 25-35 minutes depending on how big it is. You want to be able to poke the skin with a fork and it “give a little.”
- Once it is done, pull it out of the oven and leave it on a counter to cool for a little bit so that you can actually handle it.
- Once cooled take a fork and dispose of the seeds and then scrape the insides out of the squash. It will come out like spaghetti! YUM!
The Sauce (from Civilized Caveman)
- 28 ounces crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2-6 ounce cans tomatoe paste
- 2 minced cloves of garlic
- 4 T onion powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add all of the above ingredients to a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat so the flavors all meld together. It will start to bubble and boil a little but it makes a really thick sauce so just be sure to stir it enough so that it doesn’t stick to the pot.
- About 3-4 chicken breasts
- ground oregano
- garlic salt
- onion powder
- dried basil
- dried thyme
- dried parsley
- white pepper
- Cut the chicken breasts to that they are in about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide strips
- Mix all of the spices in a small bowl in a roughly 1:1 ratio. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just taste the mixture before you ever put in on your chicken and see if you like the flavor. You will know before you ever put it on the meat. I added too much pepper to mine originally (there was an avalanche in the bottle… oops. Still tasted great though!)
- Take you flat iron or grill pan and get it warmed up.
- Generously coat all of your chicken in the spice mix.
- Grill the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until it is well done. By cutting the chicken so thin to begin with, you not only cut down on the cooking time, but you will help the chicken stay moist and juicy as well.
- When the chicken is done, cut it up and enjoy.
From here just add the amount of “spaghetti” you want to a bowl, the sauce and the chicken, mix well, and ENJOY! NOMS! Have a great Tuesday everyone!
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
There has been a lot going on in my world recently and I couldn’t decide what to write on specifically so I decided to write about today, mainly because it started with food and the camaraderie that comes with eating a good meal with the people that you love. That, and I love food. To tell this story correctly though, I must start with yesterday.
Yesterday I came home from my part time job absolutely spent. I’d had more than a full shift and I didn’t have a single ounce of give a $hit left in my body. I hurt like hell, literally from head to toe. I cried, I cussed, I fussed, and poor Nik (my boyfriend who does more for me than anyone can ask for…) just took it and told me things would get better. I refused to see his logic or accept the fact that he might actually be right as I limped across our hardwood floors that kept laughing at me as I winced with every step I took. I knew he was wrong. I’d be stuck in this terrible cycle forever because that’s just what happens to people. People get stuck and then they just can’t get out of the cycle. Finally, I made it to bed and was almost instantly dead to the world.
The one positive thing that I did manage to do before I died last night was to make one last trip to the grocery store to pick up a few items for my favorite meal. Who wouldn’t look forward to bbq pork chops and basil potato wedges?! Crazy people! That’s who! So for lunch today (as I slept through breakfast) we went to the community grill on the property and decided to see if we couldn’t give it a try. It worked beautifully and luckily the meal came together with enough time for us to have a mini picnic outside by the grill for lunch where we could chat and enjoy the sunshine before I was sentenced once again to my dungeon (aka, work). For the life of me, I can’t remember exactly what we were talking about but I distinctly recall saying, “Life is a matter of perspective and there is ALWAYS another way to look at the situation.” In that same breath I realized that this could be something that Nik should have no problem throwing right back at me for the next time that I come home from work all cranky. Either way, I did go into work a little more open-minded today, for which I was rewarded.
There was a dad and his little daughter that I helped the other day at my store. He was a little on the gaunt side and looked as if the years had been beating on him quite a bit. His daughter was extremely healthy and happy though. Such a cheerful little thing. They had bought some things to get ready for Easter and the Easter Bunny. Through my conversation with him, he had told me that this year would be better as last year they had been evicted right after Easter and this year they were gearing up to do Easter all on their own. His daughter never knew they were hurting from the looks of how happy she was. That made me think and then feel really guilty. I was sitting here bitching and moaning about everything, but I have a roof over my head that isn’t going anywhere. I have food on my table that Nik and I buy and cook ourselves and it is more than just cans of beans and Top Ramen.
I am also guilty of thinking that my job is dumb on occasion. This isn’t true either. For some, this job is hope and a great start. One of my coworkers who does the same job as me but has been here longer is really happy with her job overall. She is the sweetest thing and she is new to the country. She has only been here for about a year and she is going camping for the first time next week and is so excited. She told me that all of this was a first for her, including this being her first job. She’s an all-star and rocks it. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such good people.
I tell you those stories to tell you this. Life truly is a matter of perspective and there is always another way to look at a problem. I would like to encourage you to look at something that has been bugging you or giving you grief and look at in in a new light. Realizing the problem is not as big or demeaning as it may originally seem can be a weight off of your shoulders all on its own. If you have trouble doing this on your own, go have a good meal with a good friend and talk it out together. Everyone knows that two heads are better than one and one can essentially do nothing “if one has not dined well.”
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”
I have probably written this post over 100 times in my head. The blog that would be mine. The blog that I could pour my heart and soul into. I wanted it to be a good one. One that would touch someone’s heart and soul. One that would help someone in need, in trouble, depressed, bored, or share some happiness, triumphs, and celebration. I wanted a blog that would be everything to everyone. I wanted a blog that would mean something. I did research online, I checked out blogging books from the library, I’ve read tons of blogs (many of which have helped me a great deal on any do-it-yourself or fun read you can think of), and yet. I still didn’t know how to start… So here I am… Winging it and hoping for the best. 😉
I suppose the goal for this blog is to first of all, help me. To allow me to share my ideas and feelings about whatever is moving me that day. Today, that means that I want to welcome you here if you are reading this. I have been blessed that so many people have touched my life in so many ways. Many, many good (and a few bad…) people have had a hand in my being today with every sort of memory imaginable behind that. But that is nothing special to just me. No, that is most everyone’s story. What makes the stories different is how we each view and look at the situation. If this blog can help just one person out, it will have all been worth it. That is the end all goal, for this blog and for me.
My name is Caitlin and I grew up in Texas. Within the last year, I moved out to San Francisco to be with my boyfriend. He found the job of his dreams and I wasn’t to be left behind. So we are here and things have been an adventure from beginning to end. It’s been awesome! I like pretending to be a foodie so I try new recipes from time to time that will probably be seen here on occasion. I also like to crossfit when I can. A lot of good parts of my life came from crossfitting in South East Texas for the short amount of time that I did. I met a lot of great people and a lot of thoughts and ideas were introduced to me that have immensely helped my whole family. It was also here that I learned what I actually wanted to do in life which is to own and operate a successful gym where I could help many people with something that I already love to do. But that is a long way down the road and for now I just need to start walking down it. Then, “I shall not live in vain.” Have a great night.