The Comfortable Life

The state of being called comfort is my enemy. It is a warm blanket wrapped around me, lulling me to sleep. It is a cocoon that keeps me separated from the world and all the dangers and glories of reality.

It is known by many names: Procrastination, Leisure, Apathy. I love and loathe it at the same time. Comfort is a middle ground where you do the exact same things in the exact same way. You simply exist, taking each day as it comes and never looking forward unless forced to do so. And the most interesting thing of all, is that even stressful, hectic, unhappy living can become comfortable if you let it.

I have to force myself to be uncomfortable in order to accomplish anything. Even to write, or work on school I can’t be in my apartment. The temptations of the comfort objects and activities around me is too great. Applying for college, or a new job is a huge step outside my comfort zone. Becoming a professional is an intimidating prospect. Am I doing it right? What if I do something wrong? What if I don’t appear competent to others? I would much rather sit in my comfortable retail job and simply exist.

Some people are never comfortable, and I envy them. They are always seeking out new and exciting things or traveling to exotic places. But I think these same people hold the key to breaking out of the comfort zone of my life. Surrounding yourself with exciting people who are active, imaginative, and supportive can lift you out of the funk of a comfortable life and propel you in a new direction.

Are the people in your life enablers of your apathy? Do you surround yourself with those that support your endeavors or that mock those who try to make more of themselves? Put yourself in positions of discomfort. Make friends with those who challenge and inspire you. And most importantly, get off your butt and go do something!!

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Moving Along…

I’ve been doing some thinking lately about this blog and what I want to do with it. I first started it with the intention of writing about minimalism and the philosophy and beliefs behind it. Minimalism is a great way to live life, and although I still believe in it I am not so sure that the focus of this blog is going to remain there. There are so many great minimalist blogs and writers out there and most do it better than me.

I never intended this blog to be a money maker for me, and I didn’t have any expectations of wide readership (although I am very grateful for all my readers!). But my writing interests are shifting away from minimalism and productivity. Too often I find myself writing posts that are too trite for my liking. I want and need to explore the breadth of my writing potential, and minimalism is too small a topic for that.

So, hopefully starting soon, I will be reworking this blog to give a different feel. I will still write about minimalism from time to time and I still think its a great philosophy. I’ll keep my old posts and pages. But the focus will be different. Post types and lengths will change. This is a new year! 2013 holds great things in store for me I am sure and I want to be able to write about them all and share them here.

Another thing I hope to do is become more active in looking at and interacting with other writers. Too often I have hit the “follow” button out of reciprocation and not actually taken the time to see what everyone contributes to this hobby/lifestyle called blogging.

Hopefully you, my readers, aren’t disappointed by this change, and I ask that you stick around to see whats in store. I’m certain it will be great!

Christmas All Year

When Ebenezer Scrooge went through his ordeal and comes out a changed man, he vowed to “honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” And he succeeded, becoming a man of love, joy , and compassion. The spirit of Christmas was in his heart all the year round. How can one be like Scrooge? How can we, living in this busy, modern, and oft times cruel world keep the attitude of Christmas all year?

For me Christmas is a time for giving. Not giving just presents or sharing a meal with my family, but of giving myself to my loved ones. As I’ve grown up (and even more strongly in the last couple years), I have come to realize that those I love needs to include to those who need help or are less fortunate than me. It is this love: from one person to another without precondition, reciprocation, or even thanks, that Christmas represents.

Keeping that kind of attitude all year long can be difficult. During the fall and spring school and work take up a lot of time. When summer arrives its time for vacations and cookouts and having fun. We get so busy with our own lives that we forget that we should be giving to others all the time. What kinds of things can you give all year in order to keep your Christmas spirit alive?

  • A word of encouragement.
  • A small token of appreciation.
  • Volunteering at a local charity.
  • Treating a friend to dinner.
  • Host a party and invite your neighbors.
  • Spend time with your loved ones doing things that you both enjoy.
  • Do something unexpectedly nice for a stranger.

These examples aren’t just things you can do during Christmas, but year-round. Just like Valentine’s Day isn’t the only time you should love your spouse and Veterans Day shouldn’t be the only time you are grateful for those who have died for your freedom, so too should Christmas not be a once in a year time to give of yourself. By embracing the idea that giving should be a selfless act and keeping in mind those who you love and are in need of compassion you can truly keep the spirit of Christmas all year long.