This episode I update you guys on my fasting journey. And it’s been a journey, so far. Take a listen! I’m rather long winded so if you don’t have time to listen at your desk, take me on the go! It’s on Spotify as well.
One last thing, the YouTuber I mention in my podcast, Autumn Bates – she has A LOT of really good information on fasting, if you’re interested.
I think I can appreciate this message now because I’m older.
A new year, a new beginning, a new chapter … and a time to reflect on the past. Which I don’t do, ever.
I’m a future sort of gal. I tend to only look to the future, plan for upcoming events, always thinking of what is to come. And because I tend to do that, I tend to forget to appreciate the now.
Though I feel like I’m better than I used to be.
I think Kevin is focused on the NOW. He’s always working on projects and doing things that need attention NOW. But he’s so busy living in the now that I don’t think he takes the time to appreciate the now. I’m working on coaching him to slow down, take it easy, appreciate the moments. His tasks? Will still be there whether he takes ten minutes or an entire afternoon to just STOP and appreciate the fact that he stopped and paid attention to the now.
I could be busier, sure. But I don’t want to be busier. I like having my quiet, solitude moments. I like parking my butt on my couch and reading books, or putting in earbuds and watching YouTube videos. I appreciate the moments perhaps TOO much.
But time doesn’t seem to be moving as quickly since I’ve been less busy, less productive.
I just wish I could slow time down a bit more so I can appreciate the moments even more.
Time is precious. It’s important to make the most of this precious time. But it’s also important to appreciate the previous moments as well.
It’s all about balance. And finding that balance is perhaps the most challenging part of living life.
Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?
No and here’s why.
I think my resolutions have always been someone else’s resolutions. Not to say I haven’t wanted those things I’ve resolved to do but rather, they were goals that weren’t that important or realistic for my lifestyle.
Not to mention, I just get bored with trying after a while.
I’m lazy. I really am. And I’m terribly selfish with my time. I think that selfishness stems from the fact that I spend the majority of my time helping/serving others. I work in the medical field so my day comprises of being available to our patients and at my doctor’s beck and call.
I don’t feel like I truly have time for ME. Because given the choice, I WOULDN’T do this job – it goes against every grain of my body – but somehow, I’m good at it. And I’ve gotten to the point where I feel comfortable doing the job and I like my co-workers so I don’t see myself starting over any time soon.
Plus, I’m just too old to start over. I could, but I don’t think it would be a good thing, overall, to do that.
I think if alternate day fasting has taught me anything, (and yes, I’m still doing that), it’s that I need to do what works for ME. Granted, I don’t know what that is until I try different things but I need to stop and recognize when something is not working and try something else. And NOT beat myself up over failing.
Ultimately, I’m scared of failing. I’m scared of wasting precious time because again, I don’t have a lot of time TO waste. I think that’s my biggest hang up with writing – I’m scared to fail. But how can I succeed if I don’t fail?
So, though it’s good to have goals, I think it’s more important to have REALISTIC goals for YOU and YOUR life.
1. Would you rather have all traffic lights you approach be green or never have to stand in line again?
I think I would prefer all traffic lights be green. Then you could get where you’re going faster and have more time to do whatever you need to do at the place you were traveling to.
I actually don’t mind standing in line. At all, really. Unless I’m in a hurry, of course. But standing in line gives me a chance to stop, breathe and observe. And I love to observe people. I love to watch facial expressions, body language and how they interact with their surroundings. I like to eavesdrop on various conversations and try and guess people’s background stories. And I think waiting in line is a good way to practice patience, something that is virtually non-existent nowadays.
Also, side note: Why do people get so uncomfortable standing in lines, or being put in awkward positions? For example, whenever I come into work every day, I take the service elevator up to my floor, the 7th floor, and without fail, if I’m in the elevator with other people, they will pull out their phones and look busy. And I’ll be honest, I peek around to see what they’re doing and really, they’re not doing anything, just literally scrolling through apps that are not open or read old text messages. It amuses me and annoys me that people feel they HAVE to stare at their phones for various reasons. Though I DO NOT want to start a conversation with anyone, I’m perfectly fine to just stare at the elevator numbers, I do find it sad that people are SO determined to withdraw from society that they have been reduced to staring at a hand-held computer.
Also, side/side note: People that are walking into work, at 7:00 AM, with their phones plastered to their heads and having a conversation with someone. At 7:00 AM?! Who the hell are you talking to and why can’t you talk to them later? Say, after you get off work. Who wants to have a conversation at 7:00 in the morning? Really bizarre to me.
2. Would you rather spend the rest of your life with a sailboat as your home or an RV as your home?
Oh, super easy, RV all the way. I LOVE camping, well, GLAMPING, let’s be honest. I would totally love to live in an RV and travel, at my leisure, around the countryside and blog/vlog about our travels and just ENJOY God’s amazing Earth.
I get motion sickness pretty easily, hence the reason I have to drive everywhere because being a passenger in a car, even going across town, is enough to make me hurl chunks. So the thought of even BEING on a sailboat churns my stomach acid. (Though interestingly enough, I don’t really get seasick when we cruise. Probably because the ship is HUGE and has stabilizers to discourage rocking).
3. Would you rather give up all drinks except for water or give up eating anything that was cooked in an oven?
Again, easy. I would rather give up anything cooked in an oven. I drink coffee and water, period. I don’t drink soda and rarely juices. And I could totally live on cold cuts, cereal and oatmeal (hot water from the water cooler. HA! Loop hole).
4. Would you rather be able to see 10 minutes into your own future or 10 minutes into the future of anyone but yourself?
If the question had been phrased differently, my answer would be different. If the question was if you could see your future or someone other than yourself, I would have said other people. I don’t want to see when/how I die, or when someone I love dies. But seeing 10 minutes at at time? Hhmm…I think I would rather see my own future. Then I could tell if I’m making the right decisions in the moment – make better choices, I guess.
5. Would you rather have an easy job working for someone else or work for yourself but work incredibly hard?
Depends. If I work for myself, am I ultimately successful? Because if I would have to work incredibly hard only for it to go nowhere I don’t know if it would be worth it. But how could it NOT go anywhere because I’m pouring my whole self into it?
Not gonna lie, my first instinct is to take the easy way out. Not because I’m lazy, though I am sometimes, but because after I’ve gotten my work done, I can go home and not worry about stuff and focus on things I really want to spend my time on.
But I also think taking the easy route would be so BORING after a while. It would definitely be more challenging to work for myself. BUT, I’ve tried that. When I was a stay-at-home mom and had the opportunity to work on websites and build my business, I didn’t. I lacked self-motivation and drive to really make it take off.
So, the realistic answer for me is the easy job. I feel sort of embarrassed to admit that.
6. Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or be the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?
I have zero interest in being the sort of person who has to try something first. I’m the LAST person to update my phone, or buy some new fancy gadget. I would rather the bugs be worked out of it first before I spend my money on it. I have no problem with waiting. So being the first person to explore a planet doesn’t appeal to me at all.
But the opportunity to help cure people and change their lives for the better? I am 100% on board with that plan. I would want to remain anonymous, though, because I wouldn’t be doing it to become famous but because if that opportunity ever came up? It would be the right thing to do.
7. Would you rather go back to age 5 with everything you know now or know now everything your future self will learn?
Seriously. Who would want to go back to age five? Actually, I take that back. Think about that a moment. If you knew what you know now at a young age, think of the BETTER choices you would make and how different your life would be right this moment. I wonder if we learned wisdom at an early age how the whole WORLD would look now?
Better, or worse? (I sense a story in there somewhere).
8. Would you rather be able to control animals (but not humans) with your mind or control electronics with your mind?
Don’t we sort of control electronics with our minds, now? I mean, what do you think powers our fingers when we type? Or the mouse we use to navigate? I feel like we already control electronics with our minds.
And though I’m not an animal lover, I would pick this choice. Imagine your neighbors dog that WON’T STOP BARKING? I can see being able to control animals coming in handy at times. *ahem*
9. Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
Hands down, unlimited international first-class tickets to everywhere.
I think if you never had to pay for food ever again would be a one-way meal ticket (see what I did there?) to becoming obese. No thanks.
10. Would you rather see what was behind every closed door or be able to guess the combination of every safe on the first try?
So, you guess the combination of every safe on your first try. Why? To become a thief? Why else would you want to open a safe? Hard pass.
But to see what is behind closed doors? To hear conversations and see how people REALLY are when others are not looking? Now that would be an invaluable asset, I would think. And I bet shocking, to be honest.
I’m posting the fourth episode before the 2nd/3rd episodes because it’s relevant to now. We have now approached the 50th anniversary of the Man on the Moon and I’ll be honest, I’m one of those people who are skeptical. My gut tells me that it really happened but I can’t help but be skeptical because I think I’ve trained myself to be nothing but skeptical at this point in our lives. You can believe what you read, you can’t believe what you see, (is that Photoshopped or real?) so I think I naturally gravitate toward cynicism.
I’ve really been into The Daily Wire recently. These guys are so good at examining issues nowadays and addressing all sides to an argument that it’s a breath of fresh air to listen to people who aren’t screaming, threatening, condescending, and just nonsensical like most of the commentators you hear nowadays. Give them a listen, I think you’ll see what I mean.
But in the meantime, what do you think? Did we actually put a Man on the Moon?
1. Would you rather the aliens that make first contact be robotic or organic?
First of all, I don’t believe in aliens.
I mean, our universe is massive. There may be other life forms out there. I don’t believe the Bible says anything about any other life forms out in the vast unknown (don’t quote me on that).
But IF there were aliens, I think I would rather they be organic. I have no idea if organic aliens would have feelings or empathy, but I think organic aliens would be more prone to those feelings than a robot with zero feelings.
And let’s hope they’re friendly.
2. Would you rather lose the ability to read or lose the ability to speak?
Oh, easy, 100% lose the ability to speak. I’m an AVID reader and I can’t imagine not being to read. And if I needed to communicate with people? Sign language.
3. Would you rather have a golden voice or a silver tongue?
Silver tongue. I like to pride myself on talking/debating someone into a corner. Not to be arrogant, but just to prove that I CAN.
4. Would you rather be covered in fur or covered in scales?
Probably scales though the thought of being covered in scales makes me throw up a bit in my mouth. But I’m hot natured and have already gone through the change so it doesn’t take much to make me sweat. And just the thought of being covered in fur makes me sweat. Not to mention, I feel like fur would get smelly after a while. Whereas scales would discourage touching, I don’t like to be touched, I have a bubble, and I feel like it would serve as some sort of armor so I couldn’t be easily hurt. Not that I think I would get hurt but since I’m trying to voice my opinions more now and considering the cry-baby mentality nowadays, I might need that protection.
5. Would you rather be in jail for a year or lose a year off your life?
This is going to sound weird, but be in jail for a year. Life is too short as it is, I can’t imagine losing a year. Not to mention, I would probably end my year in jail more buff, (because everyone who goes to jail works out, right??) and more educated. I would have more time to read and teach myself something I’ve always wanted to learn – maybe even write a book. I mean, we pay for inmates’ education, might as well take advantage of this broken system.
6. Would you rather always be 10 minutes late or always be 20 minutes early?
Twenty minutes early. One, it’s rude to make people wait on you. Two. I don’t want the stress of always running late. Three. It would stress me out more if I forgot something in my haste to get out of the door. If I’m early, I’m not being rude. I’m not stressed. I’m prepared. And I can pass the time by taking out my Kindle and reading a chapter. No brainer, honestly.
7. Would you rather have one real get out of jail free card or a key that opens any door?
So question, the key that opens any door? Are we talking a one-time thing, or a key that opens ALL doors? Because I feel like that makes a difference. Think of the crap you could discover if you could open any door you wanted to. I think I would choose the door because I would feel too guilty to commit a crime. And I’m nosy and love to snoop.
8. Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals?
Know the history of an object. Think of the stories they could tell! I could care less about animals.
9. Would you rather be married to a 10 with a bad personality or a 6 with an amazing personality?
Be married a to a 6 with an amazing personality. Having a fulfilling relationship is about way more than physical attractions. Looks fade, but an amazing personality will last a lifetime. (Hopefully).
10. Would you rather be able to talk to land animals, animals that fly, or animals that live under the water?
None of them, I can’t stand animals. Notice I didn’t say hate them, I like them if they belong to someone else. However, if I had to choose, probably flying animals. They could tell me all of the amazing sights they have seen. Plus, I think birds are cool.
When it comes to vacations, cruising, in our opinion, gives you the best bang for your buck. We explain how we got started cruising and why we love cruising so much.
Please be patient, this is our first podcast and we have a lot to learn.
We chose this topic because it’s always front and center of our conversations, at least lately. We love going on cruises, we love experiencing cruises and we thought we might be able to share our experiences and how we got started for anyone interested in hearing about it and/or anyone who is thinking of taking a cruise.
I apologize in advance. I’m a fast talker anyway and I talk fast in this episode. I will work on slowing down. Talking doesn’t come naturally to Kevin, he says he can never really think of anything to talk about so please be patient with us as we navigate this new form of media. We’re both very excited to dip our toes in podcast and we hope you find it interesting as well. We would like to leave a bit of an auditory diary behind for our children and thought this would be a fun way to do that.
Actually, we’ve gone beyond thinking about it, we’re doing it.
Actually, we started throwing the idea around when we were driving back home from New Orleans after our cruise in May. We have a ton of ideas to talk about and well, once I get started, I never shut up so it should be a piece of cake for me. Kevin is not sure how much he will talk but I’ll see if I can’t coax him out of his shell.
We’ve been told, over the years, whenever someone overhears us talking about something that we sound cute together and we’re funny how we debate things. Granted, we are both like minded and agree on a lot of issues but we are going to challenge ourselves to think about, and argue for/against, the other sides of issues simply because we want to be fair to all listeners who may disagree with our views and to try and not come off as arrogant know-it-alls.
Another reason I would like to try this is I would like to leave an auditory diary, of sorts, for our kids/grandkids. (We don’t have grandkids – I’m wishful thinking here). In addition to reading about our lives through this blog, I thought it would be fun for our kids to HEAR our thoughts, too.
Luckily, Kevin already has most of the equipment we need to begin. He’s a musician on the side (plays electric guitar) and he used to be in a few bands and has accumulated equipment over the years, not to mention, whenever he finds a good deal out and about on his thrift shopping expeditions, he will often times come back with a microphone, or some other piece of equipment I have no idea the function for and voila! We have what we need.
We have been using Audacity to record the podcast. Kevin has also created some original music so we already have a catchy riff to play at the beginning of our podcast like the true professionals we aren’t are.
I’ve done quite a bit of reading about how to start a podcast and here is what I’ve found.
Choose a topic you can commit to.
Define your show description and artwork.
Set up and thoroughly test your equipment.
Create a plan for your episodes.
Record your episodes.
Edit and publish your episodes.
Launch your podcast to your audience.
Let’s break this down:
Choose a topic you can commit to.
When I first broached this subject with Kevin, that was his first question: “What are we going to talk about?”
“Are you kidding me?” I responded. “Let me list out some things we can talk about, take notes.”
Making money thrift shopping
Booking vacations online
Interviews with BB and Roy
How to be frugal with money
Building points with credit cards
We have been married for nearly 30 years and we have a lot of life experience in the subjects above. Are we experts? Of course not. But that’s the beauty of us doing a podcast, we’re just a regular joe/jane who have tried and failed at different things in life and we feel like we can offer tips and suggestions on how to navigate this life a little easier, hopefully. Maybe.
I will warn you now, we are both opinionated and are not interested in walking on eggshells to avoid offending anyone. We say what we mean and we mean what we say. However, we’re not jerks, either. That’s why I mentioned we will try very hard to look at all sides of an issue because let’s face it, life is not black and white but 50 shades of gray … without the S&M. ha!
What will work in one situation will not necessarily work in another situation.
Not to mention, I think it’s important that we ALL get in the habit of looking at situations from all angles. Common sense is a lost art, everyone runs on feelings now, logic has all but disappeared. No one looks at the big picture anymore. (For example: Free healthcare for all! Sounds great, right?? Reality check: who is going to pay for it??)
So, I think we have a pretty good start on gathering topics to talk about. I realize that some of these topics are hot and get people fired up and I can’t promise we won’t be fired up about some of these things, but I believe it’s crucial that we all train ourselves to entertain opposing viewpoints (without calling each other racist, homophobic, bigots, etc because we dare to disagree) because who wants to live in a world where everything is run by a select group of people who happen to shout the loudest?
You know who you are.
2. Define your show description and artwork.
I haven’t quite gotten the show description down now but basically it goes like this:
“Join two ordinary people as they explore various hot-button topics and challenge themselves, and their audience, into breaking down common misconceptions and dare to offer alternate views in order to promote critical thinking and restore common sense.”
It’s rough, but you get the gist of it.
I came up with a logo of sorts. It’s not very good and it’s elementary at best but it will get us started at least.
The podcast is called “Right From Us” which of course is a play on the name of this blog “Write from Karen.” And we happen to lean to the right though I daresay I’m more Libertarian than conservative right now because I feel like most conservatives right now are a bunch of pussies. See? We haven’t even recorded our first episode and I’m already pushing buttons.
After looking around, I think I’d like to try Anchor to host our podcasts. Our goal is to upload several episodes before properly promoting it so check back often, you might just stumble onto an episode.
Be gentle with us. We really don’t know what we’re doing but we’re going to have fun figuring it out.
3. Set up and thoroughly test your equipment.
Kevin set up the equipment and we have tested it out. We are setting up shop in Kevin’s office at our house, not the rental house, so we can just sit down and start talking without a lot of prep work. We haven’t quite worked out when we are going to record. I would like to stick to one day/time to record so that it’s just another task we have to complete. I want to make it a habit so we don’t have to even think about, just get it done. Maybe Saturday/Sunday nights? We haven’t ironed it out yet.
4. Create a plan for your episodes.
This part is me. I’ll write out some sort of outline, points we want to make/talk about so we aren’t doing a lot of “ums” and dead air and we scramble to think of something to say. I mean, we’ll do that anyway, I’m sure, but that’s what editing is for.
5. Record your episodes.
Self-explanatory. Average podcast length is 43 minutes. Knowing Kevin, and especially at first, we’ll be lucky to get 20 minutes. Though I don’t know, once I warm up to a topic, I can be long winded. *ahem* Or maybe we can break it down into part one and part two. Some of the topics might require multiple parts. (Foreshadowing)
6. Edit and publish your episodes.
I’m counting on Kevin to do this part. He has the most experience with Cakewalk and he will be the one who will want to cut some stuff. This is going to be an interesting experience because he tries to tell me I shouldn’t put some of the stuff I put on my blog that I do so Lord knows how he’s going to feel about some of the stuff I say on the podcast. I can see most of what we say end up on the cutting room floor. I’ll have to monitor, erhm, I mean, we’ll have to compromise.
We are shooting for one episode per week. I can’t imagine I can get Kevin to do more than one episode per week. But who knows? He may really get into this and want to do a bi-weekly schedule. We’ll see.
7. Launch your podcast to your audience.
I’ll announce new episodes on this blog and on Twitter. I really don’t do any other form of social media. I deactivated my Facebook account – it’s just too much of a time suck and life is too short, you know?
Anyway, we’ll try this out and see how it fits. If it takes off, we can look at monetizing it. Wouldn’t that be something?
Whenever you go cruising, one of the things the cruise lines do is take your picture.
They take your picture whenever you disembark at a destination, usually with someone dressed up to represent that country’s culture. Or it could be with the cruise mascot. Or something as simple as a sign depicting where you are in that given moment.
Photographers also take your picture when you’re at dinner. Our last cruise, the first night at dinner, a person dressed up as a pirate ran around the various tables and pretended to hold a cardboard knife to your throat.
Photographers are stationed throughout the ship to take your picture on formal night, or any night really.
The point being, the cruise line is giving you another opportunity to take a piece of your vacation home with you by offering to take your picture.
You can buy a photography package before you even go onto the boat. You get so many of this size, so many of this size, etc.
The photos are usually decent and always available throughout your cruise to buy, if you so wish.
The cruise lines have a photography section on the ship where you can browse through the photos at your leisure. They usually categorize them by event, “First night in the Golden Dining Room.” “First formal night” and so on. They do this so if you know your picture was taken at that event you’ll be able to find your picture.
We have gotten some pretty decent pictures of ourselves this way. The photos are expensive but you can justify it by classifying it as one of your souvenirs from the trip.
Kevin and I did have our picture taken the first formal night of our last cruise. The pictures were decent but unfortunately, we picked a background of colored dots and it just looked too busy and we didn’t buy any.
It was disappointing but as with any photo, you run the risk of them not turning out – it is what it is.
After reviewing your pictures, you have the option of discarding them in a recycle bin. That way, the photographers know you’re not interested and you’ve cleared some space for some other people’s pictures.
This is a standard service on all cruise lines.
By the end of the cruise, everyone who is interested, starts crowding around the photo galley to check one last time on their pictures. Because if you opt not to buy any pictures, they are thrown away and lost forever. To my knowledge, there is not an opportunity to see, or buy, any pictures after the cruise is over.
The last day of our last cruise was an at sea day. Kevin and I went to the library and were playing Scrabble when we started noticing people coming in with stacks of pictures. One group was laying all of their pictures out on the tables in the library and sorting through them. We knew, hearing their conversation, that they had bought the photo package and were trying to pick out the pictures they wanted to keep.
After a while, smaller groups of people started coming in with stacks of pictures as well. Only, they weren’t laying them out to look at, they were trying to find a secluded area to lay out their pictures and then take pictures of them with their cameras.
It got to the point about four or five couples were doing it.
It started with one couple – she would lay the pictures on the floor under a table, and then she would lean over and start taking pictures of them with her phone. She would then look around to see if anyone from the photo galley was around and then take several more pictures. The photo galley was right outside the library.
Another couple would come in, see what the first couple was doing, figured it was okay for THEM to do it and would start taking pictures with their phones.
After a while, so many people were doing it, Kevin and I simply stopped playing out game and started watching with our mouths hanging open. It was amazing to just see people’s audacity – to openly steal and not give a shit who saw them.
Kevin actually got up at one point to try and find a photo galley employee but there was no one around, which was part of the problem, I suppose.
I’m not talking about taking one or two pictures, people, I’m talking STACKS of photos. Like, these people took every opportunity to have their picture taken while on the cruise, with no intention of buying any of them because they had every intention to steal them after the cruise was over.
And yes, they STOLE those pictures.
Would it have been stealing if people had simply used the backdrops that were put out in preparation for the photographers to use but they weren’t there to take the pictures? I don’t think so. You’re not abusing someone’s time or using his/her expertise. You’re simply using something that is already there, using your camera and taking a picture of yourself.
Taking pictures of pictures is the same thing as downloading someone else’s music for free. You know you should pay the creator but if you can get it for free, why not?
Remember how much trouble Napster got into? Same principle applies here.
Kevin and I talked about it at length afterward. Is it stealing if you’re taking pictures of pictures of yourself? After all, you’re the subject. And the pictures are so expensive … you’re just taking what is yours, right?
Wrong. The cruise line has hired photographers to take your picture. You have wasted their time and abused their expertise. Will the photographers get paid regardless? Probably, since they are likely employed by the cruise lines, but have you stopped and considered WHY the photos are so expensive?
They’re most likely expensive because assholes like those on our cruise STEAL them. The cruise line has to recoup the losses somehow. Nothing is free, people. NOTHING.
Kevin and I went so far as to alert the cruise line that was happening on our after cruise survey. The cruise line probably already knows that is happening and if that is the case, they need to take steps to prevent that from happening in the future. Instead of putting those pictures out for anyone to grab, they need to digitize them. If you wan your pictures, then here is a disc of them for such-and-such price. I believe Disney cruise lines already does this.
Would Kevin and I be tempted to take a picture of a picture we really liked of us. Sure. We’re human after all. But would we? Probably not. We would feel too guilty because no matter how much you sugar coat it, it’s stealing.
Not only were we shocked by what happened, literally right in front of us, but we were shocked by HOW MANY couples did it. It was like it was no big deal, everyone else is doing it so what’s the problem? Kevin did end up taking a picture of the initial couple that started the whole thing. I don’t know why, it’s not like the cruise line would have asked for photo evidence or had done anything to the people if they did ask for it, but we have a visual reminder of how people just don’t have any morals anymore. We live in a society where it’s all about me and screw you. It’s so sad.
I remember feeling SO ANGRY when those people started doing that. I was angry for like hours. It’s one thing to talk about people doing things like this, reading about it, hearing it the news, but to witness it? It’s shocking and terribly disappointing. I feel like people just don’t have values anymore and it infuriates me and saddens me at the same time.
This sort of behavior is the reason why our world is in the shape it’s in today, people.