Blog(ger)

One of my favorite things I learned in journalism school is that you must always have a topic as well as an angle. It’s never enough to write about something; you must have something to say.

Of course, I was voted Most Opinionated in high school …

However, as I’ve been leading the charge on the Infinity Marketing blog, this mantra has come up again and again. It’s not enough to say you are going to write a blog post about “diversity” — what are you going to say about it? What’s your angle?

Push yourself. Lazy blog writing — just like lazy journalism, lazy marketing or lazy photography — will only get you so far.

frugality FEELS
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Shopping Smart

“It’s about developing strategies to limit your purchases to things you really like, so that your bank account will be happier, AND you’ll wind up with things you’ll be satisfied with for years to come.”

In a beautiful blend of my favorite things to think about, Apartment Therapy wrote this awesome post about not buying everything so you can enjoy the things you have and buy the things you actually want/need.

Pair with: Becoming Minimalist’s post about the peacefulness and liberation that comes with learning to recognize “enough.”

I’m trying to learn the physicality of “enough”: of being fit enough, eating healthy enough, being thin enough; of lifting enough weights and doing enough cardio. Of getting enough sleep and sun. Of following all the rules “right” enough. But that’s a work in progress.

It’s The Climb

I wouldn’t say we are “non-consumers;” we are “low-consumers.”

I strive to consume less in my day-to-day life, but I still like clothes, being crafty, home decor, going on vacation, convenience, etc.

We have to find the “level” that works for us. There will always be someone who is more extreme — who can slash more from their budget, who can save more, who needs less and wants less. Additionally, there will always be perfectly happy families in Cambodia living on less than $1 a day. There will always be stories of people who are less fortunate. We were born into privilege, and our dilemma is to find a way to both appreciate that privilege and to live beyond it.

It’s impossible to go through life measuring yourself against others and still be happy. We’ve normalized what the cost of the American Dream is; we’ve put a definitive price tag on it.

So, Creighton and I have tried to cut back, but end up swinging the other way on the pendulum. I’m not thin enough. I’m not saving enough. I’m not “non-consuming” enough. I’m not doing enough to push myself to the next level.

It can make you feel very trapped — on the one hand, you don’t want to aggrandize your journey toward some sort of enlightenment, but you aren’t satisfied with what seems to be the status quo.

Creighton and I talk all the time about how people are on different “levels” for all things, all journeys (weight loss, spirituality, frugality, happiness, racquetball skill, athleticism, productivity). These levels are like a funnel or spiral staircase. The farther up on the level you are, the more you can see what other people — especially lower than your level — are doing (wrong), but it’s harder to see up. We have got a lot figured out and are doing a lot “right,” but we aren’t in the top 3 percent of savers, eating only rice for nourishment and retiring at age 27. We are doing what is right for us; we have a plan that works for us, fulfills us and satisfies us.

Bottom line: Find your level, try to continue climbing that ladder, but don’t kill yourself over it. It’s good to recognize and appreciate where we are, where we are going, or to stop striving and be happy with wherever we are in the process.

No matter what level you are on in your journeys, enjoy the view.

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Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

“Natives dislike speed, as we dislike noise, it is to them, at the best, heard to bear. They are also on friendly terms with time, and the plan of beguiling or killing it does not come into their heads. In fact the more time you can give them, the happier they are, and if you commission a Kikuyu to hold your horse while you make a visit, you can see by his face that he hopes you will be a long, long time about it. He does not try to pass the time then, but sits down and lives.