Pursue what is meaningful

Another Jordan Peterson post here covering rule number 7 from his 12 Rules for Life. While i was growing up the opposite was told to me. when i said what I wanted to do with my life the response was, “You need to think about money.” I had, what i was told at the time, a good job. I worked for a well known organization and reach the top of the ladder in my department. That was it. no raise. stuck with nowhere to go and it wasn’t something i enjoyed doing. Regardless of my years in the department i had supervisors who hunted down things they could find wrong and in some cases made up something, anything to justify their position. after 14 years, I quit.

I currently have two dreams that I am pursuing. 1 is establishing a writing career. the second is to eventually work for myself in something that I enjoy doing and will become better at over time. I don’t find meaning in what i do. I think about the benefits of my position, the security, insurance, and of course the paycheck. But it isn’t something that i can look back on and proud of. My books give me a sense of meaning. Making a delicious meal and sharing it with those i care about give me meaning. Being able to support myself and the ones I love doing something I enjoy gives me meaning. There are necessities in life that you can not go without. Having something meaningful in your life is one of them. I don’t know how long it will take or how it will happen but eventually one or both of these things will become a reality.

There is more on my plate these days. Being the primary daycare of a preemie baby, taking care of two houses, and staying up late to write a little, like this post, his how my time is spent. I haven’t even finished the self authoring program that i paid for. I don’t know where to go from here, and that is why i haven’t continued. the future portion of the program expects me to know where i want my life to go. that is something new, scary, an unexpected change from the normal day after day grind that has defined so much of my life. to be in control of where my life is heading is fucking scary. I have had so many people over the years tell me what the right choice is, the safe option of any dilemma. When i was ready to sail into the wind and explore new territory there was always someone close to tell me I couldn’t, I shouldn’t, or you have go to be out of your mind. In the end it is my fault after all I am the one who let these people into my life. Maybe I should be concentrating on something else. Rule number 3, Make friends with people who want the best for you. It sounds like a solid place to start.

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A Day Late and a Dream Short

Two Days ago a friend of mine sent me a message stating that a spot had opened up on the downtown mall. The small walk up window has been a home to many businesses over the years. every summer something comes and goes. Sunday night i took a picture of the sign in the window with my phone, took a quick look around, and thought it over.

A dream that i have come to cherish is having the first Ramen shop in Kalamazoo. We have several Asian restaurants, sushi joints, and Chinese buffets. One thing that is missing for a town that is home to three college campuses is a Ramen place. I have poured over recipe books, raided the local Asian market for ingredients, spent countless hours cooking broth on the stove, and in the end I am still waiting. There was a spot attached to the State Theater i inquired about only to learn they were never renting the spot out again. Did i mention they said NEVER! I continued my search for great recipes and played around with new ideas.

Monday I tried to figure out how i would be able to cook the broth and noodles in such a small space. The toppings could be prepped easily. The noodles would need a boiling pot to cook in. The Broth would have to stay on a burner of some kind. there was the issue of using To Go containers for Ramen that is served hot and loses it’s freshness as the minutes tick by. By Monday night I had almost everything figured out and if not I would eventually figure it out. I called the number Tuesday morning only to learn that the spot had just been rented. I was crushed. Sure, i was having doubts about the whole thing. what to do with the baby? would i be working 12-16 hour days with my other full time job? What if my Ramen sucked?

Like i said, this spot opens up every year with a new business. maybe this year isn’t mine but that gives me another year to work on recipes and figure out how to make Ramen To GO with out making sucky ramen. Plus I have to buy T-shirts for work, something reading “the only men I like in me is Ramen” or “Send Noodz.” I still have a lot of work to do.

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Three Days of Hiking

One of my goals on this page was to start hiking at least once a week. Considering the weather and flooding that happened last week the hikes that I have been doing involve walking a few blocks from the house and up a large hill to a park that overlooks the city. I didn’t have the stroller so my daughter was harnessed to my chest and I climbed the hill 14 pounds heavier. the walk wasn’t as bad as it sounds. most of my job is spent on my feet and walking around the building finding things to clean or fix. The goal of these hikes is to become fit to some degree and lose some weight in the meantime. when the weather stays reliable and I’m able to travel further out of the city i would like to see Chipman Preserve again and bring a weighted pack. The preserve is covered in rolling hills and steep climbs. the scenery changes from prairie lands to hard wood forests. It’s common to see tree stands left from the hinting seasons. Deer or often seen in the middle of the day and during the mid summer months you can find all kinds of black and raspberries to pick for later use.

Cooking has become a hobby of mine this year. While it is not healthy, Ramen has caught me attention again, sending me to the local Asian market for supplies and trying out different recipes to see what I like. bags of fresh-cut noodles sit in the freezer and instant packs fill a box on the shelf waiting to face my judgement. My curiosity has taken me on YouTube binges lasting several hours watching cooks, reviewers, and vloggers eating ramen all over the world. I have come to appreciate the 7 minute egg and have come to see the major differences between instant and fresh noodles. the broth is the hardest part of this hobby, taking several hours and learning the subtle differences of certain ingredients.

My cheap hobbies have kept me from spending cash lately. Overtime is coming up and I plan to put that into savings where it belongs. Nine months after Zoey was born the insurance is starting to decline certain visits since it is the new year. already bills are coming to the house and I doubt the money I’m planning to save will stay there long. For more on Zoey visit The Proud Preemie Poppa on The Good Men Project website. For being 9 months old Zoey had a long journey already so i can’t complain when i have to pay out for something she needs at this point.

I worry about the world that will be left for her. the trash we walked past on the side of the road. the items i saw floating in the pond that supplies our drinking water to the city. the needle i walked over in the park today lead me to believe that humans, for all of our genius and technology, have not learned to keep the only planet we can live on. The city is a mess. There is a loss of pride that once came with life. Leave this place better than how you found it, is no longer a motto anybody believes in. temporary gains are better than seeking longer term solutions. why wait when i can have it now. that is the motto we live by these days. our kids, who cares? they can clean up our mess after we are gone.

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