There are so many facets of living a healthy physical life that one might wonder where to begin. I’ve decided that it really comes down to three things: eating, sleeping, and exercising. Of course, I caveat that as the path to living a healthy physical life; I won’t go into mental, emotional or spiritual health in this post. But Lettice and I have a goal of living to a healthy 100 years together, and it’s not just something you can start in your late seventies. This is the type of goal you have to start early, because the payoff is so huge. And anything with a huge payoff requires a huge investment.
In this series we’re talking about how we achieved our goal of adopting a child. Our hope is to help others learn how the process of using a domestic private adoption agency can work. We also want to lend encouragement to those currently going through the process or who have goals to go through it someday!
In part one we talked about why we wanted to adopt and how we began the journey.
In part two we discussed how we funded the adoption.
We’ve all seen on TV when someone walks into a house, flips on the light switch and a hidden group of people jump out from different hiding places around the room and shout, “Surprise!”. Well, although I wasn’t exactly thinking of going for that kind of surprise, I did like the idea of throwing someone a surprise party. So much so, that I made it a goal of mine.
In our culture there are certain times in a person’s life that are extra special and are cause for more celebration then what you might normally do. And in the case of my surprise-throwing it happened to be when Ryan was a tad gloomy about turning 30 and when my Dad turned 50. Continue reading “Goal Achieved: Throw a Surprise Party”
Every (good) parent thinks his kid is totally awesome in one way or another, and it is true that all kids are special and unique. But what do you do when you REALLY think your kid is amazing at something? When even others who wouldn’t be biased toward him or her recognize something in them? Well, for us it was to try to help cultivate what we believe is a gift of his. Continue reading “Recognizing Children’s Talents and Helping Them Achieve Their Goals”
Ryan’s grandpa died just three months short of his 103rd birthday. Not only did he live to be that old, but he was mentally and physically able up until the last two to three years of his life. He only moved in with one of his children (Ryan’s dad Larry, the oldest son in his family) at the ripe age of 99 when Larry decided to move out of state and would no longer be Grandpa Barnum’s neighbor. Larry was also the only family member left where he resided at that time. Whenever we talk about Grandpa Barnum to people and mention his age they are almost always astonished. I know I was certainly impressed with his age and mobility when I first met him back in December of 2010! This man was an incredibly hard worker (he was a farmer by trade), a good family man (he and his wife raised 9 children and at the time of his death he had 263 descendants), very religious (in his late age he couldn’t go to church anymore, but he still read his scriptures and allowed church members to come visit him weekly), ate well (had an apple, salad and oatmeal raisin cookie nearly every day), exercised his mind (he read often up until near the end of his life, even if it did have to be very large print), enjoyed nature (up until the last couple of years of his life he took daily walks or rode around outside on his scooter), and was very stubborn. Researchers have linked all of these attributes to longevity, especially in centenarians.
Grandpa Barnum has inspired me and Ryan to want to live to be a HEALTHY 100 years old. We want to be active, travel, see our family, not have to depend on others to take care of us, enjoy intimacy, etc. And so, we are making changes that will hopefully get us there. I know that not every disease, disaster, accident, or whatever can be prevented, but many of them can be. I also know that if I do everything in my power to prevent them, and tragedy or illness does strike, I can handle it and the outcome with faith and perseverance because I’ve done all I can.
I’m not a betting woman, but if I were, I’d bet that everyone wants to be happy. Some may think that happiness is too hard to attain. I get it, we’re humans, which means we’re imperfect; we have so many emotions and it’s easy to get caught up in them, especially negative ones. However, there are things we can do to create happiness in our lives daily. And one of them is very simple to cultivate, if you really want to: gratitude.
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We all have goals. Even if some don’t have them written down, they at least think about things they want to do or have. I try to avoid using absolutes in my language, but I find it hard to believe that anybody has never said “I wish I could…” or “Someday I want to…” It’s just human nature to have hopes and dreams.
Well, I love books and am always on the lookout for good ones. The book that I’m about to tell you about might just be one of the top five that I’ve ever read (not counting my religious texts). When discussing the topic of goals, this book is the answer, everybody. It has helped change the way I think about accomplishing everything on my list. It’s called The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness, by Jeff Olson. My objective for this post is to convince you that you need to read this book. I will, of course, add my two cents. But I will also quote the author extensively, because I really cannot do this book justice only by talking about it. To begin, consider this parable summary as related in the book.
I want to make a confession. I’m an obstacle course freak. Ever since I can remember I have loved any kind of show that has to do with obstacles: Fear Factor, Wipeout, American Ninja Warrior –I watched each of them and envied all the participants. Forget “real” sports; this is where the fun is really at.[i] Athletically, I seem to be more of an obstacle race kind of guy, too; I’m not strong or fast, but I’m strong enough to lift some things, fast enough to keep up, and agile enough to switch between the two as needed. At least, that’s what I thought about myself. I had no way of really knowing if I was any good at them.
But once I learned about obstacle course races (OCRs) that anyone could join, I immediately wanted in. It wasn’t because OCRs are a fad and I wanted to be a part of the crowd. Apparently, “annual participation [of OCRs has] surpassed that of traditional half and full marathons combined.” I had no idea about that. My reason for joining was that as a kid (okay… as an adult too) I often imagined myself as a new Wipeout or American Ninja Warrior contender.[ii] And now I could kinda, sorta live that dream… no big deal! The Tough Mudder and Spartan Race were the first two that I heard about, so that’s what I decided on for my life goals.[iii]
If you haven’t said, “I don’t have the money” for accomplishing a goal, I’m sure you’ve said it about something else. I know we have! But let me let you in on a little not-so-secret secret to getting some cash relatively quick. It’s called holding garage sale.
Now before you click away, hear me out! I promise I am the LAST person that would have been on board with this idea if it hadn’t been for Ryan giving me a little push and us really wanting to set out on some bigger investments that required cash up front. I am NOT someone who likes to deal with people when it comes to money or haggling. Poor Ryan always gets stuck with paying the babysitters, negotiating prices for business, talking to sales reps about unfair billing, etc. Haha. Continue reading “I Can’t Accomplish My Goal, I Don’t Have the Money! (How We Made $1800 in Less Than Two Weeks)”