One Year Down, A Lifetime To Go

Yesterday, KristaRose and I celebrated our 1st anniversary. It’s a big milestone, it marks that even after a year, KristaRose hasn’t gotten tired of me and has decided to keep me! All jokes, aside, it is a big milestone to me but it’s just one of many milestones we will have in our lives. I wanted to take some time today (and I was starting to reflect a bit on it yesterday as well) to really think about what marriage means and how we’ve really grown in the past year.

The past year has been a journey for the both of us. I think there are really two main themes to the year and I think it coincides with our wedding theme as well.

Love is Patient.

Krista has gone through a lot of medical challenges and it’s been a learning experience for the both of us. I’ve personally learned the importance of keeping track of everything. I’m talking about medical bills, prescriptions, even the summary of your doctor visits. I don’t think that in the past year there was not a week where there wasn’t a doctor visit of some sort whether it be for a specialist, for physical or occupational therapy or for an acute visit. We’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals and there are a lot of times where I had to stop what I was doing either work wise or personally in order to take her to the doctor. It has given me a new sense of what it means to be patient. Sometimes you just have to wait your turn in the hospital. Sometimes you have to wait months for a new medicine to either work or not work. Sometimes it’s just a big waiting game in order to figure out what you have to do next in life.

I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to slow down and you just have to have faith that everything will turn out correctly. I think it’s one of the things that we all struggle with. We all worry about the future. We all worry about what’s happening in our lives right now. We all still worry about things that happened in the past. The truth is, you can’t really control a lot of it. It does not help to worry about what has already happened. You can’t change that. It does not help to worry about the future. You can think you can change it but in the grand scheme of things, no amount of planning will lead to a perfect day. God will direct the future as he sees fit and you can be certain that he will make sure you can handle it.

All of the medical complications have really strengthened me. It has made me realize that we need to be even more grateful for the love and support our family and friends have given us. We need to be patient and steadfast in knowing that God will lay out the path for us and we should not worry. Through all of this, we have each other. Love is patient.

Love is Kind.

One of the reasons I married KristaRose is because she is such a kind person. She might not believe it all the time but there are a lot of little acts that make up who she is as a person. I remember there was a time we were in Chicago and we passed by a homeless person. She had just purchased a blueberry oatmeal from Jamba Juice and was more than willing to give it up to the homeless person. It was a selfless act that I still remember to this day. This is just one example but I see it all the time. She might not be able to do as much because of all the medical limitations but her heart has not wavered. She will still help out people as best as she can.

I think the biggest thing though is how she helps me to be kind. I must admit that I don’t get a lot of sleep. Between work, trying to develop myself personally, doing chores around the house, taking care of Krista, taking care of Twix, there’s just not a lot of time that I can have to sleep. It’s harder than you think to have a consistent schedule especially if things happen late nights or there is an unexpected doctor’s visit. Because of the lack of sleep though, I may have developed a bit of criticism when driving. I notice a lot of things more often but Krista is always telling me to be kind on the road and reminding me that we shouldn’t be spreading negative thoughts on the road. It’s a difficult thing to do but her love is always kind and always helps me to bring me back to where I need to be.

Love is Everlasting

Finally, as I conclude my thoughts, I just want to make a comment about marriage in general. I think that in this world, there is not enough love. Even in marriages, how many times have we heard that a person is getting a divorced or that they’re going into their second or third marriage? How many times have we been kind of been beaten in the head that divorce is ok? It seems like the media and really the world is migrating more towards thinking that marriage and relationships are only fleeting. I personally think that we need to take a look at why people get married. For me it stems from the spiritual component and the connection you have to God.

When I got married, I decided that I was going to become one with KristaRose. That’s what happens in a marriage. Through thick or thin, through sickness and in health, you stick by that person for the rest of your life. You don’t give up with the going gets tough. You don’t just leave because you get frustrated with your wife or husband’s point of view. I knew going in that things weren’t going to be easy. We were going to have a lot of difficulty. But together with God, you become one unit and you grow together. For me, this is so very important. Without that connection, the marriage is meaningless.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone else’s marriage isn’t valid. I’m simply saying that you need a connection with your spouse. It can’t be superficial. When you say your vows, you have to mean it. You have to know that you will stick by that person to the very end. You have to know that person will help you along and make you a better person. You have to go into it always thinking, this is the one, there is no one else. Otherwise, what’s the point of a marriage? Why even go into it if there’s even a chance that you’d consider a divorce?

I know why I went into this marriage. I am looking forward to many more years where I can share my love. I’m looking forward to continuing to be more patient and more kind. I am looking forward to more smiles, more laughter, more tears, more struggles, more triumphs. It’s about that connection. I know it has gotten stronger over the past year and will only continue to get stronger for the rest of our lives.

Where Have All the Smiles Gone?

I don’t mean to paint a bleak picture but everywhere I go, it seems that people are unhappy. We are being dominated by technology and I think it is having some negative effects. People look down at their phones, stare at a big screen, spend all day in front of a computer. Don’t worry, I know I’m in that trap. I’m in it right now as I stare at my computer. I feel that a lot of us have gotten out of touch with how to interact with one another, with how to feel proper emotions. A smiley face on a text message doesn’t equate to a smile in real life, nor should it ever. We actually feel emotion and live it when we interact with one another. When we see someone that we haven’t seen in a long time, a smile will appear on our face. When we receive a physical package or letter in the mail, a small smile may appear. When we get excellent service at a restaurant, smiles start to appear across the table. Smiles are around but they stay hidden until something prompts it.

I ask the world, why does it have to be like that? Why must we have to experience something in order to smile? Why must something positive be the impetus to turn that frown upside down? Why can’t we just smile every once in awhile? Why can’t we savor the present because that’s the only thing that is guaranteed? Why can’t we dig up past memories in our heads and reminisce and smile about the feelings we had at that moment? Why can’t we actively put ourselves in more situations in order to smile?

I can tell you it is tough to smile when you have a lot going on in your world. If you spend all day worrying about your big to-do list and you keep chipping at it, sure you’ll get through the list but will you be happy? Will you feel satisfied?

Life is never easy and everyone goes through a different set of problems. There are times it just sucks. There is no other word to describe the situation. The one thing that I’ve learned though is that you have to keep hope alive and you have to smile.

You have to smile in order to make yourself feel better.

You have to smile to make others in the room feel better.

You have to smile because even through adversity, there is always a lesson to learn, a person to thank, an end result that teaches you.

You have to smile because you are alive today.

You have to smile because you have a chance to live tomorrow.

You have to smile because you have a chance to keep changing people’s lives and making a difference.

That’s why even when the day is bad, you just have to smile.

I hope that you smile today!

~The Lermz

Chasing a Dream

Everyone has a dream or perhaps many dreams that they want to accomplish in their lifetime. Perhaps you might even have a bucket list of items such as climbing Mount Everest or going skydiving (btw those two are not on my list :D). With how busy life can be sometimes we push aside those dreams to focus on other immediate things. It is a shame though because you can look back at your life and feel regret about not chasing after those dreams. Sometimes in life you just have to force yourself to allocate even the tiniest bit of time towards something you believe in. For me, I think I’ve done just that and that’s why you haven’t seen us quite as active on the blog as in the past.

If you haven’t heard yet, KristaRose and I opened our own online shop. We wanted a place to give out inspiration to others and help them encourage those around them. We came up with the concept of “Thank You” mini-cards that allowed you to at first compliment waiters at restaurants or others that have done a great job for you. We have since expanded to be broader and allow you to hand these cards out to others who have just made a difference in general. It could be for a person who just opened the door for you or maybe it’s for someone that helped you move to another place. They’re meant to be something that is relative inexpensive and inspirational.

In the future we plan on expanding the use of the cards even more. We realize we can specialize who they are for. Think of the possibilities: teachers, parents, family members, dentists, police officers, those who serve in the military. There are a lot of people in this world that deserve our gratitude and this card can help. We’re also thinking of making full sized cards and postcards so that it is easy to mail someone and tell them your gratitude as well.

In addition, we’re adding some fun hobby items as well. We’re both pretty crafty so we’ve both made some pretty unique things.

The biggest part of our store is giving back to the community. We’re donating 20% of all our profits to a different charity each month. It is very important for us because we want to make an impact on people’s lives. This dream isn’t about us making money, it’s about us getting more people inspired and smiling. Trust me if I had all the money in the world, I would give away a lot of these items in our shop!

This was an important step for us to take because sometimes things get too hectic in our lives. When things get hectic, you start to lose hope and you start to give up on your dreams. We’ve refused to do that. Even if this venture fails we won’t look back at it with regret. We shouldn’t either, we’ve made a few sales already and our inspiring words and thoughts are no doubt making at least a few people smile somewhere. My advice to everyone else is to make sure you don’t give up on your dream. Take small steps to make it a reality. It won’t happen overnight in most cases but if you at least keep the dream in your peripheral, you will be energized by it.

If you would like to check out what we have on our shop, please go http://kreeations.storenvy.com . If you support what we are doing, feel free to make a purchase or tell a friend about it!

~The Lermz

Love from a Man’s Best Friend

For one reason or another I was checking my Facebook today and I happened to click a link that told a story about a Veterinarian who was wrestling with the decision of whether or not to put down his own dog. His dog was already 15 years old and it was discovered that he had some small internal bleeding that would escalate into a larger issue. At that point there was nothing he really could do for his dog except try to give it some good days before it was his time to go. In the end, he decided to put his dog to sleep in order for him to not feel the pain that was coming.

It was a sad story and the thing is that this happens all the time. It’s one of the worst things about being a pet owner. The realization that one day you might have to make a tough decision like that and potentially will have to see your best friend put to sleep. Honestly, I’m not sure what I would do in that situation. Twix is like a son to us. I know it might sound weird if you haven’t been a pet owner but I think if you have owned any kind of pet whether it was a dog, cat, fish, etc, you get this emotional attachment. Your pet is dependent on you, much like a child would be. In my honest opinion, a pet has the potential to be the most loyal thing in your life.

Twix, for example, is always very happy to see us when we come back home from the store or from shopping. He would always come up to the door with a smile on his face and his tail wagging in all sorts of directions. (Maybe I should take that back, with older age he sometimes can be lazy and just wait for us to get to the bedroom before greeting us). He is dependent on us giving him food, water, and love. He seems to know when we’re having bad days and will cuddle with us when that happens. He can be a troublemaker but you just know that he loves you with all his heart.

It makes me sad to think sometimes that I yelled at Twix. For the times that he’s gotten into the trash or barked like a crazy dog at other pets. There were plenty of times but you know thinking about it.. it’s probably not fair to Twix. You have to be able to shrug things off sometimes. You just have to because you never know when that day will come that your friend isn’t by your side.

It might be bold of me to say this but maybe we all need to be more like dogs. Maybe we need to have that unwavering loyalty. Maybe we need to be happy every day and be grateful to see another day. Maybe we need to know when to comfort someone and be there to do that.

Maybe we need to love like a dog.

I think that’s what we need in our everyday life. More love. More smiles. More loyalty. That’s what makes this life worth living. That’s how God meant us to live our lives.

blogentry_michael

Save time for a hobby

blogentry_michaelI started growing an indoor garden a few weeks ago. I’m not sure what prompted the need for me to buy seeds and try my hands at producing fresh vegetables but I’m glad I made the choice to. I’ve found that if you have a hobby and you can actively do it day in and day out, it brings a sense of fulfillment to your life. In my case, the routine of turning on the grow lights and making sure the crops have enough water is a nice start to the day and gives me something to look at if I need a break from my computer monitor.

Like any novice farmer, I have to spend some time at least describing my crops. I started out with just a few pots, some potting soil and tomato and sweet pepper seeds. We got a set at Walmart where they were just small clay pots. I didn’t really like that concept and probably with good reason because if you really want to ensure your crops grow, you should start them either in the pot you’re going to have them in after they’ve grown or start them in a greenhouse seed starter kit. So I planted cherry tomatoes and cilantro in the greenhouse kit. The tomatoes shot up like crazy and were ready to be transplanted. I took a 3ft pot and placed 6 tomatoes in there. That was probably a mistake since they really should be spaced out more. But after I placed them there I made sure I took care of them well. I got self watering pots where you put the water from below so that the roots would be the first to get soaked in water. I turned on the overhead fan so that I could simulate wind and make the stems even stronger. With all of these things going on, I felt very proud of what I’ve done.

In the next couple of weeks we ended up adding yellow onions to the mix. The yellow onions I’ve actually kind of failed at because even with the stem growth, some of the bulbs actually were rotten and so I ended up not having great luck. We added an orchid and another tropical plant which the name of has slipped my mind. This new hobby of mine has really brought a fun addition to my morning routine.

I think the reason why I’m writing about hobbies is because in our busy lives I think it’s good to have something that is not work related and not family related in your life. Life is all about giving to others but you do have to take care of yourself as well. By having a healthy hobby such as my gardening or volunteering at a church group or at a homeless shelter, you are giving yourself a chance to be proud of yourself and passionate for something in your life. It’s a great way to wind down a day or start up a day.

So if you don’t have a hobby or if you haven’t been able to keep one going because you’re busy, try blocking out part of your day or part of your week towards a hobby. It’s definitely something that will make you happy and in turn make others around you happy. It could even be something that helps others unintentionally, like this blog!

blogentry_michael

Healthy Eating Makes for Healthy Living

blogentry_michaelI was not known to really be a cook while I was growing up. My mother and father were always the ones cooking for me and I really didn’t learn how to do anything except bake muffins when I was a child. That slowly changed when I started college and especially when I met KristaRose. She’s always been a great cook and to this day I’m still kind of baffled that she can just take whatever items are out there and create great. I think it probably comes from experience and probably she picked it up from Mom and Dad.

In any case, I started to learn to cook a few items in college. Mostly around baking more items but I also learned how to cook some Filipino food. Lumpia, Pancit, Adobo, those were all staples of date nights that we would have from time to time. Then I guess I sort of regressed once I got out of college and was living on my own in Chicago. It was hard to really cook for one person and almost impossible in my first apartment. Let me tell you, that first apartment I moved into was a complete mess! I had bug problems all the time and I still remember just the sheer number of small little roaches that kept appearing even after having the landlords come in and spray. Anyway, to say the least, that deterred me from really cooking. My second apartment that was in Arlington Heights on the other hand had a nice kitchen with a nice island countertop. I did do more cooking but I think I relied too much on frozen TV dinners still.

Fast forward to the present and now the need to cook most meals is more evident than ever. KristaRose has a lot of allergies and we have been trying our best to avoid them. The biggest one and really the hardest one to avoid is corn. Think of everything that has some form of corn in it. It could be corn flour, corn syrup, corn starch or just plain pieces of corn. It’s everywhere! When you go and eat out, you will find that corn is almost in every single item that you eat. To avoid this, we tend to cook and eat at home more often. It’s easier and it leads to less reactions for her which is always a good thing.

Now even when we got to South Bend, I was still not an expert cook. I knew how to cook spaghetti pretty well. I also did a mean bowl of cereal. Slowly though I started to experiment with other items. I would buy just some plain chicken thighs from the grocery store and mix it with various herbs and spices. I learned that it’s pretty easy to just get some garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and olive oil and slap it onto the chicken and bake or fry it. It creates an easy meal that doesn’t take too long and you can pair it with rice, couscous, veggies, you name it. The same can be done with steak. You don’t really have to throw in a ton of things and simplicity tends to be the key.

After discovering that, I started experimenting with other types of dishes. I’ve made chicken marsala and different types of stir fry that I must say can taste better than what you can get at a restaurant. I’ve also really gotten into making easy dishes for breakfast. A quiche is fairly easy to do if you prep it easily. Also, if you want to have a nice snack, stick slices of apples in croissant rolls and add some cinnamon sugar. It’s a healthier version than some of the pies you can get at stores and restaurants.

It’s especially easy nowadays to go on the internet and find some recipes matching what mood you are in. I find that eating home cooked meals is a lot healthier and it just somehow makes you feel better. I guess the worst part or the hardest part would be finding the time to do this. I have a weird schedule nowadays because of various appointments and how work is going. But I try to find time during the day to put something in the oven or on the stove and keep doing my work while food is cooking.

We started tracking what we eat on an app called MyFitnessPal. When I say we, I really mean KristaRose. I’m still not 100% there since I have a million things on my mind usually. It’s a great little app that allows you to enter in what you’ve eaten for the day and it has a huge database that’s populated by its users. You just select what you’ve eaten, what portions or serving size and voila. You can set your target goal calorie wise as well.

Something seems to be working because as of right now, I’ve lost a good 10-12 pounds and KristaRose has lost about 6-7 pounds. I’m hoping that if we continue this healthy trend of eating and I discipline myself to cook instead of eating out that we’ll continue to see these results and most importantly not see the weight come back. I think if maybe we can add some more exercise to the equation especially when Krista is feeling better, we might in turn feel a lot better and have more energy.

So really my ask to all the readers is to really take a look at your diet and see where you can make some improvements and take out a fast food meal here and there. Look into making simple dishes for yourself and watch the savings weight wise and on your pocketbook. I think you’ll be glad when you do!

blogentry_michael

Sale, sale, sale

blogentry_michaelI think one of the biggest gripes that I have about the economy today is the shopper mentality. It seems that nowadays everyone is looking for a bargain whether it is on clothes, food, or services. I think that’s fine to look for the better deal but the way companies are approaching it now is becoming almost criminal in my opinion. Let’s take a look at some stores for example.

I think the biggest example of the excessive sales is Kohl’s. They have all kinds of promotions and clearances going on every single day. In fact when I go into the store there’s not a lot of things that don’t have a red “Sale” tag on it. Kohl’s is really guilty of bumping up the MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) and then claiming you save 40% or more. It’s like an addiction because at the cash register when you ring up all of your items, they tell you that you’ve saved a ridiculous amount of money. Just from listening to some other people’s orders you can save like $300+. Are you really saving that much money though? Let’s take a simple polo from Kohl’s. They usually advertise it for around $13 after a sale. That’s after saying the MSRP is around $19. You’ve saved $6. That sounds like a good deal doesn’t it? However, if you do some comparison shopping to other stores for the quality of the polo you just looked at, you’ll usually find that the price should be around $13 or maybe even lower if a store has a true sale. With Kohl’s, I find it difficult to commit to buying anything because it’s really so hard to figure out if something is a good deal or not. I have to always look at the “sale” price and ask myself, “Is this really a good deal? How much would it cost at other places?”.

Another example of excessive sales is JC Penny. I actually really liked this store when it had the fair pricing scheme from a couple of years ago. Prices for everything were held constant and you knew what everything was really worth for every day pricing. It was a fresh change at least in my perspective. That ship has since sailed though. Prices are back to being on sale for everything. There are very little items in the store that aren’t marked as a sale and just looking at the MSRP, you can tell the prices are inflated. I mean come on, $60 for a mediocre quality dress shirt? The one thing I will say about JC Penny though is when something is truly on clearance you can get great deals. When things are out of season, that’s the time when you should buy. It’s also when I found a great strategy to know if something truly is on sale.

Do you ever notice what number a price ends in? Most items end in a 9 because they are worth like $5.99 or $6.49. That usually would indicate that it’s a regular “Sale” price. However, when items end in another number like 8 or 7, that’s usually an indicator that they’ve been given an extra discount. I’ve seen it happen at JC Penny with many of their discounted items. They usually end in a 7. There’s an article about the codes they use in Costco and what was found is the following:

  • Prices that end in 97¢: These have been marked down from the regular priced items, which end in 99¢
  • Odd pricing, such as 79¢, 49¢, or 89¢: These indicate specially priced items that Costco got a deal from the manufacturer. Rapoport says these can be better deals than at other stores, but not usually better than the 97¢ markdown.
  • An asterisk* on the upper right side of the sign: The item won’t be reordered.
  • 88¢ or .00 endings: Manager markdowns. Sometimes the company uses these to move a product very fast.

(Source: http://lifehacker.com/save-even-more-money-at-costco-by-knowing-their-secret-800666594)

It pays to really look at the items and discern whether or not they’re really good deals. In today’s society it seems that companies have to fight more and more to get your business and they try to do so with pricing. Don’t get fooled into good deals, go with your instinct and don’t buy into the shopper’s mentality.

blogentry_michael

Marriage Isn’t for Me

blogentry_michaelSociety has a problem. It’s been one that’s been developing for decades. There are more than a few movies that show the problems of marriage. They depict how it’s quite alright to have a divorce. It’s quite alright to just move on to the next person to find what you’re searching for. It’s a scary thought to me that it’s becoming the norm and is accepted. I think it’s because a person goes into a marriage thinking about the benefits of themselves. In reality, a marriage isn’t for me. It’s about the person I marry. It’s about the woman I love.

When I say society has a problem, maybe I’m generalizing it too much. There are plenty of couples that I know that have been happy and married for years. I only have to look towards many of our family members who are celebrating anniversaries of 20, 30, or even longer amounts of time. I’ve even had the great opportunity to be there for mom and dad’s 35th anniversary. What a wonderful thought that is isn’t it? To be married for so long and to see that love is not only still present but ever growing. It’s just a beautiful thing.

Even though I haven’t even been married for a year I’ve come to a conclusion that hopefully will help and guide me going forward.

Marriage isn’t for me.

I didn’t get married so that I would gain these wonderful benefits for myself. When I was up at the altar, I did not make vows to myself and that I would take care of myself and be selfish. I took a vow to take care of KristaRose. I took a vow to grow in love through the good and the bad. I took a vow to grow in love for Christ through my union with Krista. Nowhere in the celebration was it a congratulations or a pat on the back for me gaining anything. It makes me realize that I need to keep remembering that marriage isn’t for yourself, it’s for the one you love and most of all it’s for God.

Now I know that you might be thinking to yourself that hey wait a second, marriage can’t just be a one way street. You have to be able to have certain things that you like and be able to do certain activities that bring you joy and pleasure. That’s good and true but think about it this way… The person that you marry is supposed to be the one that will make you a better person. That person isn’t perfect. Every person is not perfect. But this one person that you have put a ring on is that person to help you grow. Your wife or your husband is going to be the one that wakes up everyday and learns about you and your tendencies. He or she is going to be the one that encourages you to keep doing the things you like to do and is going to make sure it makes you a better person.

I think a good example of this would be going bowling on Monday. I know that I made a blog post about it but it really is something special when Krista decides to take me bowling. She hasn’t been able to physically do bowling because of medical reasons but she knows just how much I love going and sat there and watched me as I played 5 games. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

Other things I can think of are the times that I’m not too much of a happy person on the road. She’s always there to make sure I calm down and see it from the other person’s perspective. She’s really showed me how to consider everyone that is around you and that sometimes if a person is having a bad day, that person can make a bad move on the road and you shouldn’t be penalized for it. Isn’t that a good lesson we should learn in life? If someone makes a mistake, we shouldn’t yell at them. We should learn why they might have made the mistake and then work with them if they need our help. It’s a refreshing attitude that the world desperately needs.

I think most of all, Krista has been able to help me back to a more spiritual path. It’s great to have lots of conversation and discussion. It’s also great that we are able to have our own prayer time that we have in the mornings and evenings. I think it really helps us to fulfill our role in getting closer to God. I think it was Manang Grace that introduced this concept to us. In a marriage, you really have a triangle where God is at the top and the husband and wife are on the bottom parts. The closer you get to God, the closer your relationship will be. What a wonderful concept that is and it’s something that I definitely believe in.

So back to where I started this post. I think the world is really suffering with an attention disorder. It seems most people are satisfied to find instant thrill and not settle down and find the people that will actually make a difference in your life. Marriage isn’t supposed to be a fleeting thrill. It is a lifelong commitment that no matter what happens, you are sticking by that person. No matter how hard it gets, no matter what sicknesses come along, you love that one person and by giving your all to them, you become the person you are meant to be as well. Keep in mind that if you find the right person, he or she will give their all to you as well. It’s not a one way street, but a symbiotic relationship that brings you closer to each other and more importantly closer to God.

blogentry_michael

Take it slow

blogentry_michaelI got the rare chance to go bowling today as KristaRose decided to take me today. I don’t get many chances because I’m simply really busy most of the time. It’s always refreshing to go bowling though because it’s something I’m passionate about. I know that for some people, it’s hard to grasp but for me bowling has been kind of an art form. You really have to have dedication and discipline in order to do well. There are many different ways you can throw the ball but there is probably only a couple of ways that will suit your style and your strengths. Once you know how to throw the ball, then it becomes critical that you can throw it the same way over and over again. It’s the same concept in basketball or football. You have to practice that jump shot so that your arms and your legs automatically know how to shoot even with someone in your face. For football, you have to practice exactly how to throw the football so that it has the precise speed or you have to know how to run your route and how to adjust.

For today’s session, I was able to start off really strong with a 207. That’s fairly high for me especially since I haven’t really bowled in awhile. Actually, I think the last time I might have gone bowling was during my bachelor party. Anyway, during that game I started off ok but I quickly realized that I was bowling too fast. If you’ve bowled for a good portion of your life, you will instantly recognize when you’re a little too energetic. When I bowl too fast and with too much power I end up not curving the ball as much because I force it down the lane. About midway through the game, I adjusted and what was the result? I got a turkey (which for those who don’t know that means three strikes in a row).

After that, I started thinking about how this really could be applied to the real world. How many times have we gone through situations and sped through them as quickly as possible because we wanted them to just be over with? How many times have we been at work and wanted the clock to speed up so we can get back home? How many times have we waited impatiently at a red light and just want to blast right through it?

I know that I’m guilty of many of these situations. We live in a world that demands us to manage our time very carefully. We have to spend a lot of time devoted to work. We have to spend time for the family and kids. We have to spend time for friends and those around us. We think that going fast allows us to do so much more. Maybe we’re going about this the wrong way.

Take me for example. I tend to forget a lot of things. Maybe it’s because I’m a guy. Maybe it’s because I’m just me. But whatever the case, I tend to forget instructions unless I write them down or there’s not too many steps involved. I really have to focus sometimes just to get things right. I’ve always thought that it’s a combination of these problems that leads me to forget. However, what if it’s because I don’t take my time and really absorb what’s going on around me? What if my memory improves if I take things slower?

I’ve started trying this with things that Krista has told me to do. We use this app called Wunderlist, which by the way is a great free app that allows you to create lots of to-do lists. In this app, Krista can outline things for me to pick up from the grocery store or chores to do around the house. Many times though, I’m so pressed for time and I think that I have so much to do like dishes and laundry that I actually forget that I have this app on my phone. Because of this, I end up not doing everything on the list and I have to spend more time accomplishing those goals.

I’ve found that if I take things slower and do everything one by one on my lists, things get finished and I don’t have to redo the task. Sure it might overall take a little longer but the time saved in not redoing tasks more than makes up for it.

I think that going forward this is the method I’m really going to follow. Whether I use lists on Wunderlist or a list on my whiteboard in the office, I can spend some time each morning just going through all the tasks that I have and making sure I prioritize what I need to get done. I find that I just get a lot more done and it keeps me motivated to keep going through my tasks.

So what can you do today to take things slower? Think about everything you need to do and approach things one by one instead of all at the same time. Once you learn to take things slower, then you’ll really be living in the moment as well!