Experiments in Loving Life

Life is journey, let's enjoy it.

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

What’s new in life?

So I’m approximately 2.5 weeks into my Facebook excommunication and doing my best to avoid any and all time-wasting on the internet/computer and I’ve gotta say, the amount of space in my life as in time-based space is unbelievable. It’s as though a whole new world has suddenly been opened up to me. A world of freedom and reflection.

In other news, I sold my bed and one of my bookcases this last week. Which enabled me to rearrange my room and I’ve gotta say, the amount of physical space that I now have is quite possibly more liberating than the amount of time-based mental space that I now have. It’s incredible!  I’m pretty sure I spent about 15 minutes doing cartwheels and somersaults in my bedroom yesterday simply because, I could and I felt like it. Strange I know but true nonetheless.

I suppose that it’s also worth mentioning that with all of the extra time and space in my life I have had quite a lot of time to do some serious reflecting on my own personal desires and values and dreams and goals; and it’s thrown into question the continuation of my education here over the next two years. More on this to come but, I feel like I am not really doing anything good for the world here and wonder if maybe I could get to the point in the near future where, without an education, I was doing fantastic/fun/amazing/helpful/useful things for the rest of the world.

Am I being foolish? Is that a silly dream? Something I shouldn’t even try to imagine?

I guess we’ll see right?

In the meantime however I got a new/another job, this time as a web technician for the University of Idaho. Thankfully, I will not have to quit my current job which will give me some disposable income to start paying off my student loans. Yay Loans!!!

That’s about all that’s new however. Does anybody else have any amazing insights they would like to share with the world?

Or just me?

I don’t really get out much so It’s nice to hear from people sometimes.

Have a great weekend!



Alone – Andrea Dorfman

This is one of the most amazing videos on being alone I have ever seen. I saw it a few months ago and just remembered it.

Time without screens – healing

In an effort to increase my state of mental calm  and bring a bit of balance to my life, I made the decision last week to limit my screen exposure after 7:00 PM.  And in doing so I have had to rediscover for myself how to exist in a slightly less attached world. It’s been fascinating to see how, with – my phone silenced, my computer off, and my I-pod off, purposely separated from the sounds of my roommate’s television dramas – I interact with the world so differently. Without the ever-present allure of facebook’s updates, potential emails from work, web projects that I need to get done, and text messages that I need to Tap-Out because, God-forbid I keep someone waiting, I have time to actually focus on my own needs. Free of Distraction.

And I’ll tell you what, on day 1. knowing that I had no electronic things to distract me from my life, I was clueless, I had literally no idea what to do with myself. Surf the Internet? No that wouldn’t work. Stare at my computer and wait for a friend to IM me back? oh wait, I couldn’t do that either. Hell I couldn’t even watch porn!

So after about 30 minutes, I picked up a book that I had been trying to finish for the last 3 weeks (I only had about 70 pages left) and finished it! Walla! Holy Cow I suddenly had time to do something that I “hadn’t had time for” because I was too busy doing nothing. Now you explain to me, how THAT makes sense.

The next night, I caved, my recent ex wanted to talk to me and, who could resist that right? I mean, we spent over a year together and it had been less than a week and a half since we had ended it. So I IM’d her until about 8:30 when I realized that emotionally dependent or not, I deserved to be able to hold to myself to a pre-determined goal, regardless of what some pretty girl wanted. I mean seriously, who am I, to tell myself, to get lost just because I’m feeling dejected or lonely. In fact, is it not especially at the times that we feel dejected and lonely that we should seek solace in ourselves, Is it not when we feel the pull of companionship and the loss of our own ‘ness’ that we should step back from our lives, and sit still, treat our minds and our bodies to whatever they need to truly heal, and not just stuff some void full of Instant Messages that will only last a short while. Because what happens at the end of the conversation? All those instant messages drain out of the void in your soul to be filled back up again with, nothing.

I believe that if instead, we seek to heal our voids from within; through meditation, yoga, reflection, whatever it takes. That we can actually  fill those voids, permanently with materials that won’t fit through the whole at the bottom.

And then, being alone is no longer a negative thing. We can rejoice at the chance to be alone with ourselves instead of sitting at our computers and phones praying that we won’t be alone for much longer.

People talk of being either extroverts or introverts and if they are extroverts, may claim to hate being alone. I am beginning to think however, that introversion or extroversion, isn’t something that we are born into. It is rather, something that we allow to take hold within us. I was talking to somebody just the other day who said, I can’t be alone if I’m sad because then I just spiral into depression and I couldn’t help but think, what if you were able to be more mindful of your thoughts? What if you were able to sit back from yourself and actually see why you were sad, and understand what you needed to do to fix it. What if you had the ability to, through mindfulness and reflection, be less sad. Because not being alone doesn’t actually fix your sadness, it just puts it off for awhile until you are alone again when all of your old fears come back again.

I feel like I have so much to say on this topic but it’s 7:00 so I’m going to leave it here but you can expect more posts on this topic during the coming week.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!


What if

we could not lie. Or perhaps we could lie but there was no point in doing so because the world would be able to see right through you. How would you approach the world differently on a day to day basis? If when you were angry with your spouse, you actually had to talk about it. You couldn’t just ignore the issue, because it would be there for you and her and the world to see. And what if, not only could you not hide your truths from the rest of the world but you could also not hide them from yourself? I mean how often, honestly, do we lie to ourselves about what we want, need, or wish. If we had to actually sit down and face ourselves every single time that we made a decision. How would we live our lives differently. Would we make choices that we regret? Because if you think about, most of the time that we, or at least most of the time that I, make choices that I regret, it is because I ‘convince’ myself that it’s a choice I really do want to make. And I use the word convince lightly here because in the back of my mind, I still kinda know that it’s not a choice I really truly want to make. But I’ve made myself believe that it is. What if we could always see right through the lies that we tell.

I’ve been thinking about this since last night before I went to bed and I just can’t stop thinking about how different the world might be. But what’s really got me going, is that just because we can lie to ourselves and to other’s doesn’t mean we have to. Couldn’t we all live as though we couldn’t? And what if, what if just one or two people started living this way. Total Honesty. Would it create a snowball effect? Would more people start being honest. Sharing what they feel and what they think?

What if?

Try it for a week. I dare you. I dare you to see what changes may come about in your life if you are honest. at every possible moment of your day. Will your relationships with the people you really care about deepen? Will you build new relationships? Will you find it easier to not do the things you don’t believe in ad to keep those new year resolutions?

I’m going to try it. I’ll let you know what I discover as I do.

A solution

I believe that I have discovered a solution for the problem om meaninglessness that I described yesterday. You see, when talking to a friend, she suggested that I fix an old car, or build a model of something. And it occurred to me in that moment, as if some Giant Lightbulb had been turned on inside my skull, that a hobby is a way to combat that sense of pointlessness. After-all, One must ask themselves Do hobbies really have a purpose for us? Do they actually accomplish anything? And the answer must overwhelmingly be no. They do not. And so, I can’t help but wonder, why then do people have hobbies? And it makes sense to me that, in their heart of hearts, people, the world over, are trying to combat the disease of wondering at their own self worth. Certainly not everyone picks up a hobby. Some, utilize the T.V. as a way to drown out the questions they can’t help but ask, others read books to forget that they wonder. But it would seem that most people have a hobby. Whether it be exercise, fixing things, cooking, programming, or any number of other creative/fun outlets. And so, with the conclusion of this realization, I am going to begin coding the website for http://www.BarefootBoise.com a fun run in the Boise area being put on my younger brother. Whoever would’ve thought, that my brother, at 16 years of age, would be organizing a $4,000 event. Go him!

This is the logo that we put together for the race last week:


Being a Computer Science / Graphic Design double major makes it so everyone wants your help 😛 But I suppose that’s a good thing right?

One of those days

Do you ever find, that when you have nothing to do. Nothing that has to be done. No meals to be cooked. No homework to be done. No Jobs to complete. That you feel . . . useless? I do. And I don’t understand why because I don’t believe that other people feel the same way. I’m one of those people that is happiest occupied. Down-time? Veg-time? I don’t like it. It makes me feel like there’s no reason for me to be here. After-all, if you’re not doing anything, then what’s the point of existing?

Does anyone have answer to this question? Is there anyone who feels completely different? Is there anyone who feels the same way? Why do you feel the way that you do? How do you cope with/manage your down-time? Do you cook? I have enough food for a week. Do you garden? It’s January and there are 7 inches of snow on the ground. Do you watch T.V. that can hardly be described as productive. Do you go out and spend money doing fun things? I have no excess dollars to spend beyond food and rent. What do you do?

I’m considering getting another job but the semester starts up again in 4 days and I worry that I would then not enough time for 19 credits and 2 – 3 jobs.

I would appreciate any advice that you might have on the subject. In the meantime, I think I will go take another shower.

Prepping for the week

Before I start talking about what all I cooked last night, let me pose a question that begs to be answered. How do you put a price on something that comes off a bush? Or out of a garden for that matter? Is it free once you’ve paid for the land? Or the bush?  Or the plant? I rented a 20′ x 20′ plot of land on Wednesday that is 2.5 miles from my current apartment. The plot cost me $50.00. Now here’s the question I have to ask myself. Let’s say I plant another $50.00 worth of plants. Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Herbs, Lettuce, Cabbage, Maybe a melon if I have space. I don’t really think that would add up to $50.00 but you get the idea. That’s only $100.00 spent on this garden. Given that figure, how does one mesure the value of the food I lift from the garden. Do I just count, every time I take something away from the garden I add it to a growing tally in my head. Today I took the 357th item from this garden. And then just divide 100 by that number to determine the value of the food? Talk about savings. Of course that doesn’t account for whether or not I am taking what would ordinarily be a 9 cent jalapeño or a 5 dollar watermelon. I suppose I will continue to mull this over in my head as I clearly am not ready to come to a congruent solution.


In other news, last night, I made 18 cups of food for a mere $6.73. Beans, squash, and rice. YUM!!! If you figure that the most I can eat at any one given meal is going to about 1.5 cups. That means that my 18 cups of food should spread out over 12 meals. Sounds good to me I say. That means that per serving, The food I made yesterday will cost only $0.56.  Which, may I point out, leaves me plenty of expense to throw it all down on a nice bed of greens with a couple pinches of nuts, and dried raisins, and the like. I’m already excited for the week ahead 🙂

In other news, This pepper shaker mysteriously showed up at my house yesterday. Addressed to me. With no return address. So I’m sending a thank you out into the world through every channel that I have access to. Thank you for the Pepper Grinder oh Mysterious one.



And with that I bid you a good day.

This is so cool.

So I’m about 85% done with my ingredients expenses list, and I can now open up any cookbook that I have and in about 45 seconds know almost exactly what that particular recipe will cost which makes it super easy to know how many meals it will have to span for it to fit into my budget. It also makes it really easy for me to see what recipes will be viable for company and things because I will still want enough leftovers for it to meet my budgetary requirements.

Here’s what it looks like so far.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 1.08.08 PM


I hope that isn’t too hard to read . . . it looks pretty bad in my editor here. Maybe click on it?

Anyway, I can already say with certainty that if you are trying to budget your food allowances, this has got to be the way to go.

I have already got most of the items I cook with cataloged and like I said before, so cool. I had no idea for instance that 3/4 cups of cooked black beans cost me a mere 12 cents. 12!!! Beans are about to make an appearance at almost every lunch and dinnertime meal that I eat simply for the fact that paired with other things, they fill you up for such a small price. I mean seriously, One ‘serving’ (I’m calling a serving of beans 3/4 cups cooked) added to any meal leaves me about $2.00 of other delicious things I can still include! Super excited about that one I can assure you.

Anyway, two posts a day isn’t usually my style. Have a good rest of your day!

I have a goal

Do you ever have goals?  Dreams? Desires? Anything that you just really wish that you could either accomplish or achieve or witness or experience?  I do. Though I saw a cartoon earlier today that indicated that perhaps we should do these things less. For it is in the having of wants and desires that we make ourselves unhappy. And it is in the thinking of ourselves that makes us even less so.

If you have ever heard of Leo Babauta he has similar ideas and says that in living a life free of goals and self-expectations (with 6 kids and a wife) he has found so much more happiness than he ever could have imagined. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Should we really have goals?

Nevertheless, despite what I sometimes wonder, I do have goals. And the one that I am going to spend the day focusing on is my goal of spending only $200 on groceries in the month of January. That equates to $2.15 a meal. or $6.45 a day.

What?!? Is this even possible? I believe that it is. Especially since I am single and have no problem eating the same meal several days in a row. Not that I think eating the same meal every day is a necessity to achieve this goal but, as a Vegan who believes in whole foods and eating plant based and attempting to eat Organic at least 50% of the time, I do think that making meals that can be frozen, or eaten two or three times will ultimately make this process much easier for me. After-all, If I make an $8.60 pot of soup, and eat the soup for 4 meals, piece of cake right!

So today I will be doing a little bit of Math, trying to figure out exactly what a half cup of say, cannellini beans costs vs. a half cup of black beans vs. a half cup of quinoa vs. a half cup of black lentils. Not because when I figure out what is cheapest I will use only the cheapest ingredients but so that I can easily figure out how to balance different ingredients to make appropriately priced dishes.

And of course, things like oatmeal for breakfast, cooked with the bags of home frozen berries that Tara (my future Step-Mom) gave me at the end of my visit home this last week should help me drive prices down at breakfast in order so that I can maybe drive them a little bit at other meals. Careful planning I believe, is all that matters.

So today, not only will I be doing Math, but I will also be creating a menu for the month that should make it exceptionally easy (I hope) to accomplish this goal.

Which will ultimately roll the goal over to February, and then March, and then April, but one Goal at a time please! one Goal at a time!

What goals do you have or the month of January? Or do you also believe that having goals and desires brings us more unhappiness than happiness? If you do, why do you believe this?

This feels cliché

“Life is full of Changes. Try and enjoy them. Let them help you become who were made to become. And let us dance with the uncertainty and the hope that every new day brings, no matter how distant from our expectations.”

And it absolutely does. Hey it’s the New Year! Imma start a Blog! HaHa!

Believe it or not, I can assure that the incoming of the year 2013 had nothing to do with the start of this Blog. Not that you probably care. But I kind of do.

Regardless of that fact, it is a new year, and it is a time for change.

Because change happens. It happens at a rate that we sometimes don’t expect. Everything might seem to stagnate but then, all at once, everything seems different, and we find ourselves looking upon the world with new eyes.

I had a blog before, but for some reason that I’m not sure I could explain, I found myself fearful of posting the things that I really wanted to say on the blog. Not because I was worried that in saying them I would be struck by some cosmic energy, but because it seems there are things at times that just aren’t suitably said when those who know your true identity can ‘hear’ you.

For instance, would you ever tell your girlfriend that you feel worthless for no particularly reason. Even if all you want to do is shout it out to the world and see what response you might get? What about, “I’m not sure where this thing is going but I don’t think I like it.” Maybe you would. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

So, at the end of a year, and at the end of a relationship I have a new blog, where nobody knows who I really am.

And so, 400 words later, I’m not really doing this just to be cliché.  I’m doing this in an effort to recreate my place of becoming. Join me, or don’t join me, just try to be positive while you are here. Life is full of Changes. Try and enjoy them. Let them help you become who were made to become. And let us dance with the uncertainty and the hope that every new day brings, no matter how distant from our expectations.

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