Friday, June 7, 2013

Right Reasons

And you thought soulja boy had nothing left to teach you.

Like a five-course fine-dining experience, all good reality shows have a certain sequence. As the season progresses, the same conflicts tend to arise and work themselves out in very similar fashion to previous seasons. The Bachelorette is no exception. At some point early in the season, the men try to uncover any competition who may not be there for the "right reasons."

The Bachelorette highlighted this "right reasons" concept last week by inviting none other than rap superstar and mohawk wielding Soluja boy. You may remember him from such hits as "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" or you may not remember him at all. Either way, he was there, helping the dudes put together a rap to impress Des, and good-natured frivolity ensued.

However, gentleman caller Ben was taking some heat from the other guys for potentially not being there for the "right reasons." This got me to thinking: What are the right reasons to go on a reality tv show like The Bachelorette?

I can see the appeal of going on other reality tv shows. On The Amazing Race you get to travel around the world whilst ruining your relationship with a loved one. On Survivor you get to lose half your body weight and nobody will judge you for not showering. But The Bachelorette is a little bit trickier.

I can see the right reason for the bachelorette herself. She is there to "find love" and gets to date 25 guys at the same time and take the pick of the litter. There's some solid odds and good logic in that. But what about the guys? Presumably their "right reason" is to "find love" as well, but really? Really? I imagine this imaginary (that's why I said I imagined it) conversation going on between the guys who sign up to go on the show and a friend of theirs.

Guy: You know, I'd like to find love.

Friend: There's this girl I know that's really great. I could set you up with her if you want. Only she is seeing 24 other guys right now. And most of your time with her will be spent with at least some of those guys.

Guy: Are you crazy? That sounds horrible.

Friend: You get to be on tv.

Guy: I'm in.

I'm not saying that the guys on the show don't legitimately want to find love and that the only reason they are there is that they just want to be on tv (I'm only kind of saying that), but let's be serious here, it has to be a factor. There is no logical reason for searching for love by limiting yourself to dating one woman who is dating a bunch of other guys, unless you get to be on tv. And let's be serious, meeting Soulja boy doesn't hurt.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Bachelorette and first impressions

It's no secret to those closest to me that I have a fondness for chick flicks and television typically targeted at women. With only a shred of shame do I declare A Walk to Remember to be one of my favorite movies. I did experience a pang of embarrassment recently when one of my favorite shows was classified as a part of a Monday night lineup called "Man Candy Monday."

I have long been intrigued by The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and yet, when asked, I have a hard time explaining exactly what it is that appeals to me. In an effort to decipher this show's ability to capture my attention, I will blog about The Bachelorette from time to time this summer. In case you don't watch The Bachelorette, I will try to keep the posts generic enough to appeal to the average reader (or even better, you should just start watching the show and follow my twitter feed @sethwatchestv as I live tweet whilst the show airs).

For those of you who aren't awesome and thus don't know, The Bachelor/Bachelorette is a show where one guy/girl essentially "dates" 25 girls/guys at a time, slowly dumping some as he/she goes, until there is one left and he proposes/lets him propose (gender neutrality is sooooo tedious) at the end of the season. If you think this sounds ridiculous, you've about got it.

Last week was the season premiere of The Bachelorette, where Des met all 25 of her gentlemen callers. One by one, the guys step out of a limo and introduce themselves. Over the course of the many seasons of this show, it has become a bit of a foregone conclusion that each guy stepping out of the limo has to have some sort of shtick; something special to make a lasting first impression. Monday night was perhaps the strangest combination of first impressions yet, including a knight in shining armor, a four-year old boy, and a guy with no shirt on.

What strikes me about these introductions are how planned out and non-spontaneous they are. Each guy knows that he is about to meet a girl that he hopes to woo and perhaps propose to and he has plenty of time to plan out what he is going to do. Some guys go the hot-bod route, like the shirtless wonder, and others go the funny route, like the guy who dropped to one knee as if to propose but then just tied his shoe.

We don't always get the opportunity to plan out what type of first impression we will make. If I did get the chance, I might try to come off as kind and caring. These are the traits that I find most important about myself.  However, I think reflecting on how we typically act around a new person or group of people is very telling of not what we find most important about ourselves, but rather what we think others will find most appealing about ourselves. For example, when I meet new people I think about 75% of the things I say are attempts at humor (and 5% are actually funny).

Perhaps I'm hypothesizing that we are more motivated to be who we think others want us to be rather than who we, ourselves, want to be. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but first impressions offer an interesting test to the hypothesis. When you really think about it, what characteristics are most important about yourself? How do those compare with how you act around new people?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Art of Sneaking Out

Sometimes even the most carefully planned hi jinx go wrong at the hands of a suspicious, light-sleeping mother.

It was the summer before my freshman year of high school and a buddy and I had spent all morning during summer school gym conniving. The plan was to sneak out of our respective houses and go toilet papering. It was my first time sneaking out and I knew my mom was a light sleeper so I made several contingency plans. First, when I left my bedroom I locked it behind me so that if she woke up she couldn't come in and see if I was asleep. Genius. The only problem was that in order to do this I had to lock the door first, then close it. I did not know doing this would disable the ability to close the door quietly. A quick but loud pop came from the door, then silence. My parents were still asleep. Time to keep going.

My second contingency was that I had packed a bag of clothes and stashed it in the backyard. This way if I got caught outside of my room I would just be in my boxers, clearly going to the bathroom or getting a drink of water. 14 year-old me was so smart.

I went into my garage and out the back door, quickly finding my stashed clothes and putting them on. My friend was waiting for me on the street. That's when we heard it. A loud tapping. More like a knocking. Coming from my parent's bedroom window. They had heard my door closing and were awake! They had not seen me because I was still on the side of the house but my friend had been compromised.

He ran over to me and we quickly decided to abort the mission. He took off as I restashed my clothes and got into the garage, hearing my mom approaching from inside. I needed to quickly think of some reason to be in the garage. The only thing that occurred to me was to grab a soda and say I came out to get one.

When my mom opened the door, this is what she saw: Her 14 year-old son in his underwear, holding a can of soda with the door to the backyard cracked open. I can only imagine what she thought was going on. My memory of what was said is a little foggy, but I believe the conversation went something like this.

Mom: What are you doing?

Me: Getting a soda.

Mom: Why is the back door open?

Me: I don't know.

(Long pause. I figured my best defense was to play stupid. My mom, probably figuring I was stupid for other reasons considers how to play this one)

Mom: It's late. I think you should go to bed.

I could say that I fooled my mom that night, but in my heart of hearts I'm pretty sure my mom just decided to have mercy on me. She probably knew that I was making a pathetic attempt to sneak out, figured I wasn't going to go do anything horrible anyway, and let me off the hook. She probably knew that I am such a rule-follower by nature that simply getting caught was punishment enough. Out of all the possible choices, on this night, she chose to have mercy.

To my wonderful, selfless, hardworking, strong mother. You have always desired the best for your kids and that's why you're the best. Love you!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Face Your Fears

I've been thinking a lot recently about really trying to blog more consistently. By recently I mean, oh, I don't know, the last seven years or so. I've even more recently (six and a half years) thought about slowly working my way toward some sort of scenario in which I get paid to write. I have these daydream sessions in which I imagine myself sitting at home with a typewriter writing the sequel to The Catcher in the Rye. Of course, it becomes an instant bestseller, I write and star in the movie adaptdation and win an Oscar, and during my acceptance speech I demonstrate how cool but humble of a guy I am and then everyone wants to be my friend (with sentences like that one, I'm bound to write a bestseller any day now).

The only problem (because there's only one) is that I never daydream about the writing part of it. I never think about the hours spent writing and editing and rewriting and whiting out all the errors from punching the wrong typewriter key. And when I finally do sit down to write I get very self-conscious. I ask myself, "Who would want to read this? This is so boring. If I am not enjoying writing it, how can I expect anyone to enjoy reading it?" In fact, I am experiencing these very thoughts as I write this very post.

However, I've been reading a book recently about how to take career aspirations and make them a reality and this book addresses this type of self-talk. The book is called Start by Jon Acuff and he calls this self-talk, "voices of fear and doubt." Jon's prescription for said voices: mock them and make them face the truth. What he means is to mock your fear by exaggerating it to illustrate how ridiculous it is in the first place and then make them face the truth by simply writing what is true about that issue. So hear goes.

Fear: "Who would want to read this? This is so boring. If I am not enjoying writing it, how can I expect anyone to enjoy reading it?"

Mock it up real good: If I continue writing this post and publish it, I will lose all four of my followers of this blog. Google will probably ban me from blogging and Wordpress will fold as a company so they do not have to publish my blog. My own mother, when reading this post, will projectile vomit and stop answering my phone calls. My eighteen month old son, despite being unable to read, will sense the lameness of my writing abilities and throw my laptop in the toilet, instantly potty-train himself in order to pee on my computer, then un-potty-train himself in order to communicate his disapproval.

The truth: Someone may want to read this and may even enjoy it. I have written some posts that people have really liked and admittedly, some that were pretty bad. If I actually write more consistently, I will get better.

That was pretty fun, especially the mocking part. What fears do you need to mock and confront with the truth?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Scarlet Letters

I am lucky to have a perfect child who has already demonstrated at the tender age of sixteen months that he will never, ever need to be disciplined. However, some children (probably because they were vaccinated) have disobedient tendencies that need to be parented out of them. There are all sorts of disciplining techniques parents can use: timeouts, spanking, and making your child watch a tiger eat a live goat are just a few of the more time-honored classics. But what do you do when these old standbys lose their effectiveness? What do you do with an unruly teenager who is too old for timeouts and eats live goats herself? Why not try the ultimate in human motivation: public humiliation.

Perhaps you've noticed the rash of online news site articles about parents who force their children to hold signs that decry their transgressions in a very public place (perhaps you've also noticed the rash of online news site articles about anything but actual news, but I digress). This discipline strategy combines the best of Puritanical condemnation with the viral capabilities of our modern world. Now anyone with a web browser can learn how desperate your parenting efforts have become.

To be (kind of) serious though, I wonder about this strategy. How effective is shame as a motivator? Maybe it is embarrassing, even horrifying for some people, to have your mistakes displayed publicly but does it really motivate one to change? On one hand, I could see how this form of discipline would be more of a motivation to make sure you don't get caught the next time. For truly disobedient teenagers who tend to wear their rebelliousness as a badge of honor this form of punishment is almost a reward; it's another opportunity to show the world how bad they are. On the other hand, I could see the time spent holding your sin sign in public as a time to really think about what you have done. If one does not feel shame for actually committing the act, then perhaps this form of discipline will create the appropriate feeling (if they can ever get past the feeling of hatred toward their parents for forcing them to do this/vaccinating them).
I have to admit, there are aspects of this technique I really like. I like the honesty and accountability of it. It is easy to rationalize bad behavior to ourselves when nobody else knows about it. But the practicality of shame is that it works as a kind of public conscience. Even if we can trick ourselves into not feeling bad about doing something bad, society will correct us through shame.
However, as a parent, I have scruples. After working with teenagers for many years, one of my favorite characteristics to see in a teen is a disregard for what others think that enables him/her to do what is right or good. This is one of the core lessons I hope to teach my own children. I wonder, does it not send conflicting messages to our children when we tell them not to worry about what other people think and then turn around and promote that shame and exploit it to try to correct behavior?

To be honest, I don't know. And like I said, I won't have to worry about it. Because my child is perfect.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Moral dilemma

Please help me with a moral dilemma I recently faced as a substitute teacher:

On this particular day, students had a few assignments to complete independently at their seats. As I walked around the classroom monitoring students' progress, I noticed that one student was working on science. This was a bit fishy since we were in a language arts class. I told him that he is free to work on whatever he likes once he has finished the language arts assignment and that I would even help him with the science if he needed it. Hearing this, he handed me the science packet and told me to look it over so that when he finished with his language arts I could help him.

After looking over the science packet for a few minutes, I notice that it is another student's name at the top of the paper. Looking back at the student, I see that he is still working on science. I assume he was copying another student's work onto his own packet and now he is just doing the science packet himself. However, when I get to his seat I find him working on a separate science assignment for the same girl who owned the packet.

My first reaction was shock that a student so blatantly cheating would actually hand me someone else's packet that he was working on without me demanding it. He freely offered it up! But then my need to make a decision set in. This was a clear instance of cheating and I had to decide what to do about it. Should I turn the student in to the science teacher? Should I return the science assignments to the girl to whom they belonged? Should I rip them up? Should I do nothing?

To complicate the situation, the student told me how the girl had been absent for a while and the teacher hadn't given her ample time to make up the work. Furthermore, if I turned the student in, there would be big consequences including suspension and getting kicked off the track team.

It is a difficult thing, trying to figure out when to exercise judgment and when to exercise grace. I wanted to find a way to both show grace to this student but still teach him a lesson that would hopefully stop him from cheating again.

As a side note I will say, students cheat like this all the time and find absolutely nothing wrong with it. Even to the point where they don't even consider copying homework answers from another student's paper onto their own "cheating." This kind of bugs me. It's one thing to say it's not that bad but to say it's not cheating at all? How can a statement like that be defended? What does the prevalence of cheating say about what we are really teaching our students? That the grade is what matters, not the learning? I digress.

So before I share what I ended up doing, I'd love to hear what you would do. How would you handle this situation? Also, were you a cheater when you were in school? Is cheating not so bad? Why do so many students cheat and think it's not a big deal? Put your thinking caps on and give me some thoughts.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Nose to nose

My child is the cutest child on the face of God's green earth.

I know pretty much everyone thinks this about their own child and has no hesitation saying it to others. I know this can get annoying for others to listen to or see countless pictures of said baby on Facebook. But the reality is, someone's child has to be the cutest. It just so happens that my child is that child (with the possible exception of my mother's youngest child).

It's like when you're a celebrity and people are always telling you that they are your biggest fan (this drives me nuts. I can't go anywhere anymore). Well, it probably feels like that to those fans, but even though most of them are wrong, one of them is right! One of them is the biggest fan. Just like my child is the cutest child.

Out of all the cute things he does though, there is one that just melts my heart far and above the others. Sometimes, when I have him on my hip and I am focused on something else, he will lean over gently and put his face right in front of my face, real close, and smile his sweet, pure smile. "Look at me, Dada! Pay attention to me, love me!" ( He can't speak yet, but this is what he is saying).

It really is something remarkable, to know that my attention, my love means so much to another. To be able to make my son happy from my mere presence and attention.

As I thought about this more, it brought to mind a few different and conflicting metaphors for my relationship with God.

In one metaphor, I am the baby and God is the father. Sometimes I feel like God's attention is far from me. I trust in his near presence but it doesn't feel like his loving eye is on me. It's like he is holding me but looking at something else. I know he is there in my head, but my heart isn't connected to that presence. I suppose I should be satisfied with knowing God is near but my heart longs for more. I want to be desired by God, to feel God's eyes looking on me with love and delight. I want to make God smile.

In the other metaphor, God is the baby and I am the father. I have the most precious thing in the world right in front of me, ready to deliver joy and delight into my life, and yet, I am looking at something else, focused on something else. It's not that I am completely neglecting God; I am keeping him right there next to me, but I am not engaging with God. I am not focused on God's desires. And yet, God is leaning over, trying to get my attention. Not even in an angry or whiny way, but in a loving, sweet way, God is putting his face in front of me and saying, "What could be more important? What could bring you more joy?"

I wonder which metaphor describes my relationship with God more. I wonder why it is so difficult to feel God's loving gaze sometimes. I wonder why I allow myself to become distracted with trivialities when the greatest joy I've ever known is unceasingly, gently, lovingly, placing himself nose to nose with me everyday.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Extreme Couponing

I have never seen any of the extreme couponing shows on television because I don't have time in my busy and super important life to waste on cable television. However, I do, apparently, have the time to waste on extreme couponing itself.

Unlike the outrageous cost of cable television, extreme couponing actually saves you money. Perhaps someday I will save enough money through extreme couponing that I will actually be able to afford cable television (okay, you got me: it's not that I'm too important or too busy for cable; it's that I'm too poor). For now though, it is mostly curiosity and frugality that drew me to this alternative lifestyle.

If you aren't familiar with the concept, extreme couponing involves matching store sales up with a store's coupon and a manufacturer's coupon in order to purchase items for little to no cost. There are plenty of websites out there explaining what coupons to use at what stores in order to get the best deals. It takes a few hours of reading through the websites to really get a sense for how it works, but after this initial research, I was armed with a handful of coupons and an optimistic wallet.

My first trip was to good old Walmart. I had four items on the list and based on the research I had done, I was supposed to get them all for free. Unfortunately, I could not find two of the items on the shelves. I picked up the other two items and headed to the checkout. For some reason, the checkout scanner would not accept one of my coupons, but it did accept the other and the coupon actually exceeded the price of the item. It was a weird feeling to have the cashier hand me twenty cents and give me a grocery item. It was only a "savings" of ninety cents and it was matched with some disappointment about the other items, but I must admit, to see the confounded look on the cashier's face as she handed me money, it was pretty worth it.

My big "success" story was at CVS. They also had a "moneymaker" item: A multi-vitamin that I would never purchase if I wasn't getting paid to do it. I also got some sweet coupons for some cosmetics that my wife needed. I got two bottles of the vitamins and one stick of concealer. The price before any sales or coupons: $44.23. The price I paid: $2.34. A total savings of $41.89. Granted, the most expensive items I would have never bought otherwise, but I do actually use the vitamins now and if you take out the price of those vitamins I'm still paying $2.34 for about $13 worth of a product we did actually need.

I feel quite lame admitting this, but it was a bit of a rush doing this. I felt like I was cheating the system or stealing a little bit, even though it was totally legal. So I am going to keep going on this couponing adventure and see where it takes me. Maybe someday they will print a sweet coupon for cable television.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Previously on sethbehindtheseth:

(Fade in on Seth rifling through his clothes closet looking for something to wear. Cue eerie music. Clothes begin attacking Seth. Dramatic fade out and fade into blog title)

In case you don't want to read about it here, I recently created a list of items for my wardrobe based solely on needs. Not in an extreme way, but based on my current lifestyle, what are my legitimate needs if I don't want to smell or be a cartoon character who wears the same thing every day (though, to be fair, cartoon characters typically have a closet full of the same outfit, not just one outfit they wear every day. My apologies Doug Funny).

So instead of writing out my entire wardrobe, I will begin this post with a list of all the items I own that go above and beyond the list I made last post. Ever wonder how I always look so good? Well, me neither, but here goes anyway:

Extra Clothes
-2 suits (3 suits total! Who am I, Donald Trump?)
-2 sports coats
-3 pair dress slacks ("slacks" sound like a women's clothing item so these have to go for sure. but I'm keeping my pants that are actually made for women)
-1 pair dress shoes
-12 pairs dress socks (I swear these things multiply themselves in my top drawer)
-9 ties (I could tie them together and rappel down the front of my house from my bedroom)
-1 pair cord. pants
-1 pair khaki pants
-9 dress shirts (what in the world am I doing with all these dress clothes?)
-1 polo
-7 sweaters (a weakness of mine. who doesn't love a good sweater?)
-3 undershirts
-4 pairs of jeans (including two that would only fit if I were visiting a skate park or 7th grade)
-26 extra t-shirts (the only part of my wardrobe where hard decisions about sentimental items must be made)
- 4 long-sleeve t-shirts
-2 pairs shorts
-1 pair sweatpants
-1 hoodie
-2 pairs athletic shorts
-2.5 pairs athletic socks (darn you mysterious clothes dryer single sock-eating monster!)
-1 toboggan hat (is this the proper use of "toboggan?")
-1 pair gloves

So that's it. Just the "extra" clothes in my wardrobe. The question: Why in the world would I spend the time and trouble of doing this?

Too many clothes is an efficiency problem. Not only am I wasting space in my closet and dresser on clothes I never wear, but I am also complicating the daily decision of what to wear. I read recently that each decision we make in a day causes stress and uses mental energy. It's better to pre-decide as many things as possible in order to free up mental space for the decisions that really matter. The simple reality in terms of clothes is, the less choices I have, the easier it will be to choose. In fact, my plan is to be nerdy enough to have an actual outfit for each day of the workweek. I never have to plan or think about what to wear. I wonder how long it will co-workers to figure out I wear the same thing each Monday, Tuesday, etc?

The real dilemma is, what do I do with all the extra clothes listed above? Give them away? Try to sell them? The frugalite in me wants to keep them in a box in case another article of clothing wears or tears. Hmmm. Anybody want some clothes?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The clothes I need

For a long time I was embarrassed to show my drivers license because I was inevitably always wearing the same blue hoodie in that moment as I was in the picture on the license. I could see the person checking my ID looking back at me, then at the ID again, then back at me, and thinking, "What, does this guy only own one shirt?"

I assure you nothing is further from the truth. I actually own five hoodies but I really only wear the blue one with any regularity (that is, about every day--if you know me, you know the hoodie I'm talking about).  This leads me to my next adventure in living on purpose: wardrobe. Who on earth needs five hoodies? Not me. Don't even ask me how many t-shirts I own. If nothing else, spending nine years in youth ministry will leave someone with a world-class collection of t-shirts.

Despite hardly ever buying new clothes, I have way more than I need. I credit this to hardly ever getting rid of anything and having a mother who shops so frequently as Marshalls that they gave her her own parking space. Furthermore, I am a horrible shopper and sometimes buy things I never end up wearing. This is because I get mixed up in my priorities. I am a pretty cheap shopper who likes to shop at outlet shops. Good deals, but sometimes I buy something that's a good deal but doesn't fit me quite right. Then after I wash it it doesn't fit me at all. I'm left with even more clothes I don't need.

So what if I wrote out a wardrobe based entirely on needs? What would that look like? Well, taking into account my lifestyle, work responsibilities, free time activities, etc, I came up with this list:

Formal (Interviews, weddings, funerals)
-1 suit
-1 pair dress shoes
-1 dress belt
-1 pair dress socks
-1 white dress shirt
-1 light blue dress shirt
-1 tie to go with both shirts

Business Casual (for work and less formal events)
-4 pairs of pants
-3 more button-up, collared shirts
-1 belt
-3 ties to go with shirts
-1 pair shoes
-3 polos for warm weather
-5 undershirts
-5 pairs of socks

Casual (Evening and weekends with friends)
-2 pairs of jeans
-5 t-shirts
-2 pairs casual shoes
-2 light-weight long-sleeve shirts
-2 hoodies
-6 pairs socks
-3 pairs of shorts of warm weather
-1 pair sandals

Comfy (Relaxing at home)
-1 pair super-comfy sweatpants
-1 super-comfy sweatshirt

Activewear (exercising, hiking)
-1 pair athletic shorts
-5 pair t-shirts
-1 pair tennis shoes
-5 pairs of athletic socks
-1 pair hiking boots
-1 pair waterproof pants
-1 long-sleeve breathable shirt
-1 short-sleeve breathable shirt

Work clothes (yardwork, etc)
-1 pair old jeans/carhartts
-1 pair old shorts
-1 pair old tennis shoes
-3 old t-shirts
-1 old long-sleeve t-shirt
-1 old sweatshirt
-1 old coat

-1 bathing suit
-1 pair gloves
-1 baseball hat
-1 snow hat
-1 rain jacket
-1 winter jacket
-1 work jacket

That's all I came up with. Did I miss anything? Am I overshooting? I must admit, I feel a little guilty making this list because I think I could actually do with even less. Next post I will take an actual inventory of all the clothes I own and make some hard decisions. I will also elaborate on the rationale behind such an exercise. What would be on your list?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Life on Purpose: Phase One

For a long time I assumed that because I am the one making the choices in my own life, most everything I do is on purpose; most everything I do is something I mean to do. And in the sense that "on purpose" means the opposite of "on accident," this is true. I didn't pack a swiss cake roll for lunch today on accident; I did it on purpose. I meant to. However if I took some time to sit down and think through what I pack for lunch, if I factored in nutrition, cost, convenience, and, of course, scrumptulescentness, would I still pack the swiss cake roll? For that matter, would I have purchased them in the first place? Probably, but you get the point.

I think if I were to step back and really take a good, hard look at the small, everyday choices in life as well as the big, life-altering choices, I might realize that some of my choices don't make a lot of sense. They aren't, in some fundamental way, what I really want.

My family's decision to rather randomly move 8 hours away to a place we had only visited once and had no full-time job or place to live (we confirmed our housing here four hours after we closed on our house) has really brought this idea of living life on purpose into focus for me.

We have spent the past five years in Columbus, Ohio. This is my hometown and has a lot of really great reasons to live there including family, cheap cost of living, blah, blah, blah. But five years ago we didn't really choose to live in Columbus, per se. We chose to take a job that was in Columbus. A lot of people do this and it's not necessarily wrong or dumb. There were a lot of things we loved about the place but a lot of things that just didn't click with what we really wanted. So we spent a stinking long time thinking a lot about it and decided the best place to live for us, taking all factors into account, would be Asheville, North Carolina. And we up and moved.

So far it is feeling like an amazing decision.

There is a lot more to say about the move and definitely more to say about this idea of living on purpose, but it's long and my thoughts are still pretty disorganized about it. Maybe the point I'm getting to for the moment is that there are degrees of living life on purpose and I'm submitting for the approval of the midnight society and/or you the reader that the more on purpose we live life, the more satisfied we are likely to be. Thoughts? 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Parenting Bliss

Potential reasons my son throws food on the ground instead of eating it:

-For the joy of hearing it splatter on the dining room floor
-He is practicing his pitching motion in preparation for his career as a major league baseball player in which he makes millions of dollars and gives it all to his father as compensation for the countless hours scrubbing the dining room floor
-Food? What food? I don't see any food!
-He has decided to become a vegan
-To test his boundaries with his parents
-He wasn't hungry anymore
-The beginning phase of a long but persistent battle to slowly suck all happiness out of my soul

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Despite my opinion that New Years Eve is one of the lamest holidays around, I am pretty sweet on New Years Day, mostly because I love making New Years resolutions. Ever the optimist, I love making lists of all the great things I will accomplish in the coming year. However, just like the folks who fill the gym for the first two weeks of January but are never to be seen there again, I tend to sputter out on most of my goals pretty early in the game. As I ring in this New Year, I can't even remember if I made any goals for 2012 much less say I accomplished any of them. So I decided to do something a little different. This year, I am making anti-goals. Here is a list of things I hope will not happen but most likely will in 2013:

-Continue my slow decline of physical fitness as I age
-Eat more processed foods and drink more Dr. Pepper
-Stop wasting so much time reading and being with my family and really bury my free time with bad television shows
-Fall out of contact with close friends
-Write even less than I did in 2012
-Avoid pursuing big but scary dreams for my life and settle for what is easy and right in front of me

I started out thinking this would be a goofy post but it turned out a little serious. This is actually an interesting way to look at goals. What are your anti-goals for 2013?