Books to read

the absolute reality of black friday…

…and all “shopping,” really:

YOU CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF WHAT YOU DON’T NEED.

Consumerism

Funny that I’m finishing this book today, on Black Friday? More like perfect, as these now underlined words keep jumping out at me with the same passionate madness that Tom Cruise had that time he jumped on Oprah’s couch.

Have I mentioned how much I abhor Black Friday? A day like this fuels the giant denial fire that so many of us live in everyday. It fuels the debt fire, the stuff fire, the fire of pushing down and hiding away our real lives…because if we get more, more, more…we will be better.

Wrong.

The less “stuff” we have in, on, and around us, the happier life is. Period. This is not my opinion, it is a fact. I would like to be proven wrong, but I have a feeling I’d be hard pressed to find a guy out there with a few hundred thousand in debt, a house full of crap, and a bunch of personal baggage from growing up he’s never faced, who lives in pure true bliss. It’s just not possible. We as humans weigh ourselves down with such an enormous amount of what we don’t need, we actually break ourselves. Ever thought about that?

I hope during this holiday season you take a look around your space and think about what you can get rid of to make room for an extra hour with your friends. I hope you stop and think before going into Target, about what you really need at Target. I bet you’re not nearly out of that soap, lip liner, or rolls of 86 paper towels you’re about to buy. Think about that extra awesome hour you could have playing in the backyard with your kids, that you were about to spend at Target in line getting pissed off about how long they are, just so you could buy a bunch of things that you don’t even need yet. Target is open tomorrow, dooms day is not coming, and imagine- just imagine, actually finishing off one bottle of something before buying another. Imagine putting that “I can never get out of Target for less than $200!”, $200, towards an extra credit card payment that will help pave your road to debt freedom.

Victory!

Do you remember how great it was “doing nothing” yesterday playing football with your sons, watching the parade with your cousins, sipping wine with friends as you chopped and chopped? Do you remember snuggling up having coffee on the couch listening to granny’s stories about that time she burned the turkey? Do you remember laughing until your stomach hurt between dinner and dessert reminiscing with your sister about those really crappy guys you both used to date? Do you remember what you said when you were all going around the table sharing what you were thankful for? Do you remember really missing that person who was no longer around to sit next to and feast with? Do you remember how yesterday was (even in varying degrees of friend and family chaos and drama), all about simplicity and time together? Did we already forget, less than 24 hours later, about the things that really matter?

What kind of gifts are really important for us to give each other, and everyday, not just during the holiday season? I think the answer is time and truth. I encourage us to stop and think about this before we rev our engines and speed off to the rat race of Black (hole) Friday shopping.

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #LiveSimpleLiveMore

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i wish

I fell asleep texting with a friend last night at midnight telling him I felt like I was living in a war zone with the sound of helicopters and pop, pop, pop outside my windows. I live a few blocks from Uptown (Charlotte’s “downtown”) where lots of violence and madness has been happening.

I’m currently sitting at a Starbucks, just a few miles outside Uptown trying to focus on work and epically failing. It feels impossible to keep my mind out of the spin cycle thoughts of how incredibly messed up humans are these days. On a happy note, a police officer just walked in near me and a guy standing in line shook his hand and thanked him…then bought him a coffee. That made me smile.

I had a lunch meeting before this and when I walked in the restaurant, I passed by a table of 4 police officers.  Full uniforms and bullet proof vests. I stopped and thanked them, shared that I had just sent an email to some good friends of mine who I consider family (firefighters, police officers, ATF, FBI.) They thanked me for thanking them. Part of the email I sent to my public safety friends:

I have no idea how you ever had the selflessness to decide you wanted to do that kind of work however many years ago. I wish I was that awesome.

Oh the gratitude I continually have for all of the men & women in public service of any kind who help gift us freedoms and safety.

THANK YOU!

3 days a week in the early morning, I run in Uptown Charlotte, through the exact blocks that are now smashed to god knows what and ridden with graffiti after last night. Thursday mornings are typical run day for me. I ran a different route today. I had the inclination to crank out my normal routine and run through the heart of The Queen City as per usual to survey the damage, but I quickly snapped into…yeah…no…I don’t need to see that.

The media is awful, social media is worse. Nutty people are given free platforms to create chaos, and we react. It makes my head spin in shock and disbelief. I have numerous thoughts and opinions about the state of my city, this country, and this world, but instead of ranting about those, I will share what I thought about during my run this morning on that alternate route I took…

I kept thinking of the words, I wish.

I wish that each and every one of us, each and every day took just 5 minutes. 5 little minutes in silence, away from phones, laptops, TV screens, etc. to think about things like:

*What it felt like the first time we got our hearts broken
*What it would be like to be a police officer and get spit on
*How we felt last time we stood over a casket
*What that gut-punch feeling was like when our friend called to tell us they had cancer
*What it would be like to lose a baby
*What our days would entail if we were in a wheel chair
*How it feels when others judge us
*What it would be like to grow up without a mom or dad
*Those years we were broke as a joke
*How helpless we feel when someone we love gets hurt

Maybe if we took just 5 minutes to stop and think about what life has been, could be, or is for so many around us…we’d be much more loving, understanding and less violent with each other.

I wish.

Zero Violence World

#Charlotte #HowIWish #HateNeverWins

 

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lessons that remain the same

I sat at the counter reading a book today at a yummy little spot for a late Sunday brunch. Veggie scramble; onions, tomatoes, peppers and white cheddar hot and melty paired with a biscuit and potatoes. The happy place. That relaxing time on a weekend day in no rush. I Googled “Blue Lollipop Road read these books” on my phone looking for this link to a post I wrote last summer, so I could send it to a friend who was just gifted one of the books on my favorites list. I suppose by the power, algorithms, or whatever other technological thing that works to populate things on each of our phones like they are reading our minds, this video popped up. I made it 5 years ago today on 9/11/11 during my Honda sponsored road trip:

Wow. I feel like I look like a kid, a much younger, more innocent version of myself. Whoa nelly…if I had any idea what kind of news, terrorism, or hardships that were about to come in life- I’m not sure I would’ve looked halfway as fresh and excited as I did.

When you’re someone who goes through tremendous loss at a very young age, the ache in your heart goes deep and stays there. You learn to live with it and carry on as happily as possible, but on days like today when you just know so many other people in the world are missing that person they loved so much- It’s like there’s this automatic three ton weight on your chest for the strangers who you will never meet.

Countless beautiful and wonderful things have happened since I made the above video. I’m sure you can look back at the past 5 years and say the same. Moving forward the pendulum will swing a billion times to good and bad again. It feels thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. Let us be reminded; there is no time to wait to start living. There is no good time or bad time to start, be, do go – whatever we want to. In order to do something we have to start doing it first.

Go out there, kick some ass, take some names, and lay a big wet smacker on someone you love. Don’t put up with bullshit for longer than it takes you to gain a lesson, don’t be afraid to switch things up or quit what’s not working, high five a stranger, and eat some chocolate after your run.

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#RememberCelebrateLive #JustDoIt #Choices

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bye bye octopus on roller skates

It’s Sunday morning. I’m sipping coffee in bed on this humid end of August day with a fan on me. All windows open, balcony door too. Love the heat and that it feels like summer is still here in full force and going to be for a while.

I’m reading this book:

Books to read

On Monday morning this week I helped a client with some money organization and in just a little over an hour I saved her thousands of dollars on 2 credit cards. (Interest, fees, etc.) Whoop! Freedom from debt! At the end of our session, she handed me this book. We’ve talked a lot about working for yourself, having a full plate, business, life feeling busy, etc.

It sure is hard to get anywhere if you’re an octopus on roller skates. Been there, done that, and finally conquering taking that 6th skate off for good to leave myself with just two to whirl around in. How about you? How many skates are you wearing?

The very first page of this book made me gasp. (In a good, happy way.) It immediately launches into describing this scene from the movie City Slickers:

…which happens to be my favorite movie ever.

In 1991 when City Slickers came out in theaters and I watched it for the first time, I was a mere 13 years old and in 7th grade. 25 years ago I don’t think I knew shit from Shinola as “they” say. I don’t think I yet thought about the meaning of life, or that “One Thing,” and I certainly don’t think I really understood what this movie was all about, but there was just something that always connected with me.

As I sit here now just after my 38th birthday thumbing the pages of this book and finding gems like these couple sentences:

What matters

…I completely get why I have always loved the movie City Slickers and I’m glad that I’ve stuck with something that matters so much to me; this crazy Blue Lollipop Road.

Somehow within the layers of life; the loss, heartbreak, chaos, madness, exhaustion and everything else that makes us so often feel wiped by days end, if we continue to stick to that The One Thing each day that means so much to us or do just One Thing each day that helps keep us organized, we will always be getting somewhere.

Keep crackin’, baby!

#NeverQuitting #StickToIt #OrganizationNotDeprivation

 

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taking good advice

I’m pretty much obsessed with this book that was gifted to me this summer:

Best Books

It is raw, real, and one of the best things I have ever read. One of my favorite pages:

Love Tackle

I went to a 6:30am spinning class this morning and had all I could do to not burst into tears during that 60 minutes of dark-roomed, hard-core, sweat intensity. My mind was on one person only, who’s at the peak of a battle that’s beyond unfair. My legs pushed and pushed as if they were possessed to obliterate this person’s illness away. Oh how I wish my 110% effort, and an hour on a bike could change the world and cure cancer.

Today is Monday August 31, 2015. Continuing my Monday Hell Yeah! Get up, get out, and go for it! – themed posts, I’m vowing to not only tackle the motherfucking shit out of love, but to tackle the motherfucking shit out of life in general. Please join me. If we have our health and one single person who loves & believes in us, how lucky are we? Some people don’t have those incredible luxuries.

Get up, get out, and go for whatever you’ve been afraid of. Life is too short to not tackle to motherfucking shit out of everything.

#TodayIsTheDay #LiveWhileYoureLiving #Fearless

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b*tch stole my book title/subject/vibe! (again.)

From a friend this morning via text:

I went to a bookstore yesterday to try to find this book I’ve been wanting to read…they were sold out of that book, but I came across this in my search and had to get it for you:

Books I love

(The photo came in on my phone screen and the text continued…)

I don’t know anything about it, but it seemed too Peacock-esque to pass up:)

Do cool sh*T? Quit your day job, start your own business and live happily ever after?! Does this author live inside my head or what? (And I guess my friends know me pretty well, too.)

Recently, I wrote this post after my sister sent me Jen Sincero’s Badass book that I read in about 22 seconds. That was just a couple months ago and here pops in the above book. (I see a pattern here.) I haven’t yet read a page in this one, but I have a feeling based on the title and what I read about the author, I’m going to love it.

Did Jen Sincero or Miki Agrawal “steal” anything from me? No, of course not, they just beat me to the punch on finishing & publishing books like these, and jumping out to the world in a focused way asking for people to pay for sharing their knowledge & experience. (Man I have to get better at that whole charging for the value I bring to the table, thing.) At least I’ve been plugging along with my book, so sometime this century you will see me shamelessly self promoting my written words all typed and bound so pretty on shelves around the world.

This will happen.

Until then, I will take extra motivation and inspiration from badass & cool (see what I did there? HA!) author ladies like these.

Are you doing cool sh*t, or at least trying to?

Thanks for the book, A!

#LifeIsShortDoCoolShit #TodayIsTheDay #BeatOfMyOwnDrum

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