Five and a half years later, it is the uncertain road ahead again. I woke up yesterday, a bit earlier than usual, and did my regular morning routine. I commuted in to work as usual, except my friend, who was also headed to the train station, saw me waiting for the bus and gave me a ride. Things were seemingly normal at work. I went in for my weekly 1:1 meeting with my manager, and he said that he had bad news and HR was on the phone. These are two things you generally do not want to hear, and combined together, it is guaranteed you do not want to hear it. My manager starts reading some legal sounding text to me that ends with “terminate your employment.”
My office changed locations a year ago. I went from a 5.7 mile commute to an 18 mile commute. To get to work, I now ride the bus and train, instead of a bicycle. This results in a substantially longer commute time. My bike time was about 30 minutes each way. My bus and train time is 90 minutes. I certainly didn’t want this change, but I have been trying to make the best of it. So, what do I do with a 3 hour commute each day?
For the past 12 months, I have been commuting to work on the bus and train because my company moved offices. What was a 5.7 mile bicycle commute is now an 18 mile bus and train ride. It has taken a lot of adjustment and requires significantly more time, but it has saved money over driving and my current job is my best work option right now. The commute has also helped me, maybe I could say forced me, to find ways to use my commute time to fill some gaps in my life. Gaps like education, spiritual renewal, physical improvement, and even social skills. So, maybe what started as a “hardship” really is a blessing. However, the story of what I do on my commute is for another time. Today, I want to keep to the commute and what it means to me.
It started in March on 2015. I made and drank my first green smoothie. Now, almost two years later, I am pleased to report that I have pretty much drank a green smoothie every single day since then. To some, this journey might seem long, but it really has gone quickly. Has it changed me? I hope so. I certainly am not worse off. I think I need to step back and look a little more carefully at the journey and where I am now.
October 28, 2014
I strongly believe that our exposure to different cultures helps shape us, and knowing about the experiences and places a person has been is part of that exposure. I also think you can gain insights about a person based on their favorite places. So, here is my list of top 10 cities I have visited. Creating this list was harder than I thought. I had to try and figure out why I liked a place and then try to rank it. So, I learned about myself in doing this, which is the intent of these posts. Keep in mind that I have not been to that many cities, so I don’t’ have a lot to choose from.
When I was in high school, our mascot was a tiger and our colors were orange and black. To show school spirit, many would wear clothing with our school colors. To me, these were about the worst colors we could have. I didn’t like wearing black. I didn’t like black shirts, black shoes, black pants, black socks, or any other piece of black clothing. Orange was even worse. What a ridiculous color for clothing. Orange was for pumpkins. And wear the orange and black together and you look like you have a freakish love for Halloween at the wrong time of year. Well, here is another case where things have changed or maybe I have just given in to popular opinion; either way, here I go changing again.
The beautiful white lake calls
As it has done before
But then it had to wait
For there was much you had to do
During the last couple of months, I have really gotten into drinking green smoothies. I have done a lot of research, and the more I learn, the more benefits there seem to be for making green smoothies a part of my life. For example, pretty much everyone knows that getting lots of green vegetables into their diet is good. We also know that cooking vegetables can take away some of the nutrients. My challenge is that I do not love eating raw greens, especially a lot of them. So, for years I have tried to increase my green intake, but have only made small strides forward. Now, in comes the green smoothie. Within four minutes, I can drink a 40 oz green smoothie that has at least ten servings of raw fruits and vegetables and I like it – it is WONDERFUL! Now, to expand my smoothie options, I want a better blender.
Lately, my quest has taken me into the world of diet, meaning what foods to eat and not how to lose weight. I have known for years that my diet is far from “good,” but it didn’t seem to matter because I was always so healthy. So, why did it matter that I ate lots of meat, fried and salty foods, and sugar filled creations? Also, why did it matter that I hardly had any vegetables in my life, and the ones I did eat were just a token gesture? Well, in recent years, things have changed and awakened me. My poor choices were catching up with me. For example, I have developed issues with lactose, so I have greatly reduced my dairy consumption. I have developed Vitamin D and magnesium deficiencies, so have tried to eat more fruits and vegetables, to eat a greater variety of foods to increase my chances of getting my needed nutrients, and taking vitamins. I consider these, and several other things I have been doing, good but small changes. Now, I am taking a gigantic leap forward into the world of plant-based diet diet and green smoothies.
I recently purchased an inexpensive pedometer. I have been curious for years how many steps I take each day. Am I really as active as I think or fooling myself? Also, being active is important to good health, so I really want to know how active I am and, regardless of where I am, I want to improve. This is also true for other aspects of my life – I wan to improve. A person I greatly respect told me, “When progress is measured, progress improves.” I know measuring progress is not usually convenient, and in many cases really difficult to do, but I firmly believe that if I really want something that I need to work for, I need to find a way to measure my progress and make the effort to measure it.