2020 Phrase of the Year

Apparently it’s common for people to have a word or phrase of the year.

I’m big on goals for the year, you’ll see a vlog on that later, but a phrase that is supposed to represent you for an entire year. That’s intriguing.

I think it’s a neat idea. You can run big decisions of the year through the filter of the word or phrase. It would help a people keep focused on their phrase of “positivity”, “community”, or any other word they might.

I assume people take a lot of time to thoroughly ensure they have the right word for this point and time in their life.

Alright, I picked mine. Drum Roll Please!

2020 Phrase of the Year: Show Me Some (Fluffy) Passion!
(PG edit because my nephew is 6, and I like to imagine he is an avid reader of his uncle‘s blog.)

Long ago, I read a person’s comment on Reddit about something that changed their life.

Technically, not something, rather, some words. 

They decided they would post the words Show Me Some (Fluffy) Passion in their house. If my memory serves me right, they posted it in their bedroom so they could see it every day.

Each day they woke, read the words reminding them to show passion.

The redditor mentioned after some time, they noticed change in multiple areas of their life.

Work changed because they were reminded to show the passion that once earned him the job. Married life changed because they showed the passion felt instead of letting it sit. Their life changed because they started looking for things they were passionate about and pursuing them.

Humor me for a moment, as I dive into the phrase.

Show Me

Every 20-something year old with a guitar will tell you they’re passionate about music. Others may talk about the outdoors, social justice, and community as their passion.

In many cases, a 30-something year old passion may have live a life directly impacted by their passions. Or they could be discovering their passion for the first time. (I’m a year away from my thirties, and I’m in many ways just learning and pursuing my passions.

For most people 40’s and above family life has really kicked in gear, and the passion of old isn’t the same. It’s changed direction.

The point of the Show Me, is to prove it. A stranger should be able to walk into your life, follow you for a day/week/month and at the end of it say, “You’re passionate about music/family/money.”

To say you’re passionate about a topic is one thing. To go out there and show it is entirely different.

 

Some

We have the ability to be passionate about a lot of things. What we don’t have is the capacity for showing our full passion in every single category. There’s just not enough time in the day. That’s why some is so important.

Choose a few of your passions to focus on. Some of them will pan out into something greater! Which is very cool. Some of them will not. No worries, a passion doesn’t have to equal a business or amazing performance. If you decide a passion is done, cool, we have another passion that can take its place.

Show some of your passion daily. If your passion is dog walking, Don’t spend 10 hours on dog training once and then be over it for a month. Show some today, some the next day, next week, next month. Get in the habit of continually showing some.

Plan to show it.
Make time on the calendar for it.
When you have free time, study it.

Put some effort into your passion. Otherwise, your passion is just a wish.

 

 

If you’re passionate about music make the best music you possibly can. Then grow in the passion and learn more. Get better.

If your job is your passion, walk into work and show yourself. Make you believe again, you are passionate about what you do.

When your passion has a new focus, devote yourself to it. If your passion is those around you, show passion for family by changing as they change. By loving them where they are as they grow to find and chase their passion.

Showing passion isn’t an extravagant moment. It’s daily. It’s a grind. It’s hard.

It’s not going out with the boys because you want to get one more shot of the night sky. It’s not finding ways to leave work early, but learning ways to better employment. It’s learning the more about why the heck your child is excited about seeing a penguin in Minecraft.

 

 

(Fluffy)

Now, I shouldn’t have to explain what this word really was when the person wrote it. It’s what I like to call a “heightening” word.

It emphasizes anger, excitement, disappointment, shock, horror. It takes the feelings of wherever its placed to the next level.

Some of you need to add more fluffy to your pursuit of passion. Heighten your pursuit. Go to the next level. Don’t stay in one spot with your passion, until it’s time to set the passion aside.

So seek help. In our Information Age, there are too many resources available for you to stop learning.
Google exists.
YouTube exists.
Pinterest exists.
The information is ripe for your picking. Go out there a fluffy do it!

Get on yourself and do it. Amp yourself up.  Heighten your focus. Get in there and fluffy work.

Passion.

Passion is like abs. You have them. You can’t tell me you don’t, because all of us do. Some of us are just learning where they are and how to show them. Others of us have been showing them off for years and posting pictures on Instagram of them. Some of us forgot we have them when we stopped pursuing them and lost them under thick layers of laziness.

Nevertheless, our abs and passion are there.

 

So this is my 2020 Phrase of the Year: Show Me Some Fluffy Passion.

I’m hitting the point in my life, where I need to be pursuing these passions. Pursue, lest I forget I have them. Pursue daily, a grind that allows me to grow in them; grow with them.

These passions are mine. They were given to me and are my responsibility. No one else has passions exactly like mine.

 

Once more:

Show. Me. Some. Fluffy. Passion.

The Life I’ve Always Wanted

Just a few months ago, I was chatting with my homeboi Cameron about a fantasy scenario I have sometimes.

No, not that type of fantasy!

This one, “If someone paid for all your expenses for one year. What would you do with your time?”

If I remember correctly, he wanted to learn a way to make a sustainable business, so when he returned to work a year later, he would have a second income that would allow him to work less and spend more time with his family.

Very clever.

Mine was definitely more fantasy driven: It starts with moving to a small town. At the time, I said Grand Lake, Colorado. If I had to choose a favorite spot in Colorado, it would have to be Grand Lake. Not only do I have some very fond memories here, I really enjoy the scenery. It’s too beautiful. There is a quaint town with 2 for 1 margaritas during happy hour at one restaurant and ice cream shop that my lactose intolerant body cannot resist!

Next, I’d get a job! I know, you’re asking, ” Wasn’t the point of this fantasy to not work?”  Yes. In a way. I would want a job in cozy coffee shop. I’ve always wanted to own a coffee shop. When I was young, I dreamed of calling it Ms. Abbey. So clearly influenced by The Beatles album. I love coffee and the ambiance shops provide. Many good things happen within the four walls of a café. In my opinion, they don’t receive the recognition they deserve in the States.

Working at a coffee shop would also be my community fix. A place where I can see regulars, have some lengthy chats about how things are going on the ranch, discuss local politics, and probably ward off offers from the older customers attempting to set me up with their daughters or granddaughters.

Yep, even in my crazy fantasy, I’m single.

I’d run a lot in this fantasy life. When I was younger, I remember watching my brother run a lot. He was preparing for a marathon when he was 17 or 18. I was at a very impressionable age, and wanted to be just like him. Since then, my fantasy has always included days with a nice run.

I would fill the rest of my days with writing. I always dreamed that in the slow times in my coffee shop, I would sit and write something. A book maybe, or a memoir. In my dreams, I was a bit older and had traveled the world, shot beautiful pictures which were hung on the wall of the café, and I would sit and write stories I lived or heard while I was abroad.

It’s a simple fantasy; I like it.

_______________

“Do you think I could quit my job and work a bunch of little jobs?” I asked my sister. “I think I’d have plenty less money to play with, but I’d be happier overall!”

I’ve asked my sister this question plenty of times throughout my life. In fact, I’ve tossed a lot of ideas her way. I have so many different ideas that pop through my head. Many of them I filter, while the rest my sister helps filter between “ridiculous” and “so ridiculous, it just might work.”

Moving to New Zealand was ridiculous enough to work.

This idea of working multiple jobs to make a living is something I’ve tossed around for a while. A while ago, I started working multiple side jobs to make extra side money so I can pay the ever growing student loan mountain. (APU, you’re great, but I debate if you’re worth the cost!) Therefore, I was already used to wearing different hats.

So many people take the path of working multiple jobs all the while hoping they can one day land a big one to cover all of their expenses. The 9-5 life is what many people work toward, but honestly, I’m exhausted by it.

I’m so tired of driving an hour or more to work and back everyday.
I’m so tired of working a job that brings no enjoyment or value to my life.
I’m so tired of being tired at the end of the day and not having the energy to live!

I’ve been blessed with good jobs for the past few years and sure the money is good, but how long will I make myself live to work and just get more money and more tired? The constant struggle between what I do and what I want to do has been going on since I’ve joined the work force.

I remember having a conversation with my father about this. I love the provision my father has given my siblings and me during our adolescence. However, even at a young age, I could see the toll it took on him. He was tired, all the time. Fortunately, as he got older, he was offer jobs that required to drive less, or work less. But it took many years to get there.

During the phone call with my dad, he told me that during his life he learned that a person should choose something they enjoy over the money. He felt like money chasing was helpful in providing, but he missed out on enjoying some parts of life.

My dad worked a minimum of 40 hours a week, that’s 2080 hours a year. Factor in the 2 hours of drive time one way, my dad spent a minimum of 130 days of the year with work. Work that he wasn’t enjoying.

130 days of the year, doing something you don’t enjoy. Let that sink in. 

“You know what I’ve learned, son? If you choose to work something you enjoy, you’ll be happier at work, which will help you be happier overall. I would choose happiness over money.” My dad said simply.

“DON’T TELL HIM THAT!!!” Exclaimed my mother, who we then learned was eavesdropping.

Different strokes for different folks. Despite the saying, money does bring a form of happiness to a lot of people. It brings the security they feel they need. It brings the stuff to fill their house. It allows the to dress the way they want. Money is the fantasy that many people have, and they chase it like I chase my dreams. Power to them! I hope they get it and I hope it brings the type of happiness they’re looking for.

It just doesn’t bring the happiness I’m searching for.

_______________

Originally, I entered the work force as a manager of a retail store in Southern California. Let me tell you, that was awful. Like seriously, terrible. I’m a firm believer that everyone should spend 1 year working in customer facing retail positions.

Retail put so much stress on me! Thieves taking merchandise (and punching me in the face – a story for another time perhaps), constantly unruly middle aged women wanting to report me for not giving them a deeper discount, and a boss that would alter my hours without telling me so my paycheck was less than I earned. (Not you Laurie, you’re a gem and I love you, and still think about you and tell stories about you!)

It was there that I felt a strong drain of my life.
Every. Single. Day.

I’ve never felt more depressed in my entire life. I literally felt my soul draining out of me with every shift I had. I knew there had to be something else I could do that would suck the life out of me.

Eventually, I made my way to Colorado. It was there I made a new home for myself and discovered that work doesn’t have to be as bad. I worked as a project coordinator and project manager for years. It was quite okay. It wasn’t bringing me happiness, but it wasn’t draining me.

I learned that I could be comfortable with what this job provided me. A good paycheck, and low stress. I’m no opposed to a comfortable lifestyle, but I have to admit, I wasn’t happy with this job.

It was at this job that I was chatting about our “no work for a year fantasy” with Cameron. Sometimes, I feel like you have to sit down and dream. Fantasize about what you would do for a year if you didn’t have a job or expenses. Once you conjure the fantasy, work on making your life as close as you can to that dream.

That day, I decided to. It’s led me to where I am today. I’m so thrilled about where I am today.

_______________

My life isn’t the exact fantasy I created back then. But its closer than I’ve ever been.

I’m not waking up early to work in a coffee shop. But I’m staying up til 2am to teach English to children in China, which is tons of fun!
I run or ride my bike nearly everyday, just for the health of it!
I am writing. As you can see from this post, I’m writing quite a bit. (and that’s just the writing you see. 😉 Wait till my other stuff comes out!)
I’m pursuing ventures and activities that excite me! Ones that have me looking forward to “Mondays.”

Sure, I’m making less money. Like, a lot less money. I think my mom’s heart would drop to know I’ll likely make around $50,000 USD less than last year job. Don’t worry, I’m doing fine! This isn’t a round about way to ask for money. I like to think the money I’ve “lost” is just an investment into me. And let me tell you, the return on investment so far is high!

I see the return in the mirror when I smile.

I find myself in a very happy spot. Doing the things I want to do. Hiking, learning Spanish, writing stories, performing improv comedy, eating dinner with my flatmates, writing a book, biking in the rain, running in day, exploring when I can.

I’m happy. And this is a feeling I could get used to.
This is a fantasy, I get to call my life.

Dreams are Hard

If I’m being honest with you, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

People told me to pursue my dreams! They didn’t tell me it would be difficult to start them.
People told me that I’m going to have so much fun chasing this desire! They didn’t tell me how hard it is to stop yourself from turning back.
People say they admired my journey and wish they could do the same. In a short time, I’ve learn to respond with, “It’s not easy.”

Read more

Fulfilling the Dream

I left Honolulu, Hawaii both relaxed and anxious at the same time. Honestly, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Honolulu. It was the beautiful island life all tourist sites advertise.

Despite Hawaii’s beauty, looming inside my brain was the knowledge that Tuesday, May 15th at 2:25pm, I would be boarding a plan to move to New Zealand. I was finally doing it. I was going to New Zealand! I was moving out of the country!

I was about to fulfill quite possibly the biggest dream…of my childhood

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A Child’s Dream

What did you dream about when you were a child? Was it about getting a pony? Becoming an astronaut? Or perhaps to build the largest lego castle ever!?

I had those dreams growing up too. Those, and a few more most children don’t have.

Read more