Proud of my Nephew

It has been hard watching my nephews and nieces grow up.  In my mind they are always the little kids that I held at the hospital more than fifteen years ago, but the truth is they are turning into young adults.  It has been a great journey watching them grow and helping them become the people they are today, but at the same time it is hard to believe that their time as kids is just about over.

Am I really getting that old?

The thought of being older really hit home this week when the oldest nephew, David, started his new job working in water damage restoration Malibu.  One of his best friends, Dan, had taken a job working with the same company just a few months earlier, and he was the one that encouraged David to apply.  They paid well, had benefits and Dan suggested that they could learn from the job over the course of a year or so and then start their own business.  That really lit David’s eyes up and they have been scheming ever since as to how they will create their own company to help people recover from water damage.

I am so proud of him – I know that he can do whatever he puts his mind to.

Bought Some Groomer Pants for my Sister

When it comes to buying my baby sister gifts for her birthday or Christmas, I really struggle to find her anything that she would use.  I don’t know the first thing about her likes and dislikes, but at the same time, I don’t want to waste money on something that she doesn’t use.

It makes shopping for her very hard.

But after having coffee with some of my girlfriends, I realized something – it would make a lot more sense to get her something that she would use for work than trying to find her something fun.

So, that is what I decided to do.

Jennifer works in a pet grooming salon and I knew that she was forever buying new pairs of groomers pants each and every month.  I knew that if I bought her some, she would use them and that would make me happy.  It would be a gift that she would use instead of just putting on a shelf somewhere.

I had to speak with my mother to get the size of her clothes and I have placed an order online for her gift.  They will show up in time for her birthday party in four weeks.

I hope she loves my gift!

Getting Ready for Winter

It is hard to believe that winter is just about here.  The warm days of summer are gone and I am not looking forward to the cooler temperatures.  Call me a baby if you’d like, but there is a reason why I live where I do – I need the heat to survive.

One of the ways that I know is a sure-fire way to keep your home warmer is to ensure that you have properly sealed windows in your home.  This house that I am living in is old and leaks like a sieve, so I knew that I would need to replace the windows to make it through these colder months.

It wasn’t going to be a job that I did on my own – I needed to hire an expert.

So, I found a company that specialized in replacement windows in Los Angeles that had the time to help me out.  In fact, I found them online and they were happy to hear from me.

They made a good first impression.

In order to ensure that they ordered the right windows for my home, they came out and measured every one of them.  They will be coming out to install them sometime early next week and I am looking forward to them all being done.

It will feel great to be warm this winter.

Insomnia Keeping You Awake At Night? Try These Tips And Get Some Rest

Sleep

If you’ve gotten into the habit of napping and you find that you’re having trouble sleeping at night, you should consider doing away with your daytime naps. There are many strategies you can use to energize yourself during a midday lull besides choosing to take a nap. Consider choosing some of the suggestions below to do away with your midday nap and improve your ability to sleep at night.

Stay away from tobacco, alcohol, and even caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, so you’re doing the exact opposite as calming your nerves when you use it. Alcohol and tobacco have been proven to actually worsen your sleeping, so neither is good to use when you’re suffering from bad insomnia.

Limit the amount of time you spend in bed. Your bed is for sleeping and not to pay your bills or make phone calls. It is also important that you refrain from listening to your radio or watching your television while in bed. These types of activities make you alert and make it extra difficult to fall asleep.

Particularly if you work in an office and do not engage in much physical activity during the day, establish a workout schedule for yourself. Just 15 minutes a day of activity can help, as long as you do so a good 30 minutes or more before bed. Exercise enables you to get the oxygen you need to rest and sleep well.

Make sure you are going to bed at about the same time each night. Whether you realize it or not, you are a creature of routine. Your body works best when it has a schedule. So set times to go to bed and get up daily, and your body will respond by feeling drowsy just at the right time.

Consider cognitive therapy if you have severe insomnia. This type of therapy helps you pinpoint inappropriate beliefs and thoughts that are causing your lack of sleep and correct them. Other benefits from cognitive therapy include learning about sleep changes over the human life cycle, in particular age-related ones, and also being able to set realistic sleep goals.

Exercising earlier in the day can help you sleep. Morning exercise is also a great idea. Exercising before bed can actually make you stay up longer. This can cause you to lay awake at night.

If you find you wake up shaking in the night, but a thick blanket doesn’t help, have a glass of warm milk before you hit the hay. Milk contains nutrients which keep your blood sugar level overnight, and this can save you from that horrible shaking you are experiencing.

If you are getting up to use the bathroom all night long, talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested. Those with diabetes often drink a lot during the day, and this can affect your sleep as you have to void all of that liquid during the night.

If you suffer from bouts of insomnia, take a look at your mattress to see if it may be contributing to the problem. If your mattress is to soft, too hard, or just old and uncomfortable, it could be the cause of insomnia, or frequent night waking. A new mattress might be just what you need.

Check your mattress often for signs of wear and tear. If you’re not comfortable, it may need to be replaced. Buy new pillows and bed linen whenever necessary. Avoid allergens when choosing bedding. Although feather pillows might be more comfortable, they are a waste of money if you’re allergic to them.

Your bed can become your friend when it comes to sleep if you make it exclusive to your sleeping time. Watching television throughout the day, getting on the laptop, napping and other activities should be kept out of your bed. Your bed needs to only be used for sleeping only!

Walking in the evening is relaxing and helps you wind down and let go of your cares. The more pumped up the body is, the less likely it is to sleep. Exercise will energize you and make it tough to get to sleep.

Using a air purifier can often help those with breathing issues. It will clear the air of most allergens and dust mites that can bother you. As an added bonus, it also gives the rooms a clean, fresh smell. Most of them are very quiet or make a low soothing noise that is like white noise.

Exercise can help you sleep better at night but only if you exercise during the day or early evening. If you exercise right before bed, then you will only get your adrenaline going and you find it hard to sleep. So try exercising during the day to get a better sleep at night.

Get all electronics you can out of your bedroom. You may find it tougher to fall asleep if a computer or television is present in your room. Also be sure you’re leaving your cellular telephone in a different room every night. Only use this room for sex and sleep. Your house can contain your electronics in other rooms.

If you want to lose weight, then how much sleep you are getting each night is quite important. People who are tired tend to eat more. You are also going to make less healthy choices in terms of what you do eat.

If you were told to drink a warm glass of milk before bed to help you sleep, that advice was sound. This can help you feel drowsy and full, allowing you to pass right out. If you want an extra boost of sedation, add 1 tablespoon of honey to the mix.

While there is some research and lots of encouragement by some professionals about the benefits of napping, if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, you should probably skip your afternoon nap. You’ll want to choose effective strategies for weaning yourself off your afternoon nap. Use the suggestions above to help you cure your nighttime insomnia by doing away with your afternoon nap.

An Afternoon of Skating

At the Skate Park

There are few things in my life that I love more than my skateboard.  For me, I was introduced to skating during my time in high school and it was there for me at a time in my life where I needed to be good at something.

Skating filled that void for me.

I spent hours at our local skate park when I needed to escape life and get in touch with my “true self”.  Not only did it help me spiritually, but helped me physically as well.

It has been a big part of my life.

In my adult life, I have not had as much time to skate, but when I do need to escape, I know exactly where to go.

Which is where I am today.

Work has been hectic, and moving didn’t go as well as I had hoped, so I am taking a bit of a break right now on the skate park.

Thank goodness I have this kind of escape.

I’ll be here for a few more hours if you want to join me – it will be back to my real life tomorrow.

But for now it is just me, my skateboard and my freedom – I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.

Improve Your Leadership Skills By Using These Ideas

Business Leader

It’s time you transformed into a much better leader than you are now. You see, that is what all people should be thinking. There is always room for improvement, and it is about time you found out more about what it takes. Consider these helpful tips that will allow you to know more about being a good leader.

Never belittle your coworkers. Your subordinates will never respect you if you do not treat them with respect. Remember that you are not better than they are. Consider yourself fortunate to be a leader. Treating your coworkers as you would want to be treated will go a long way in developing a cooperative team.

In order to be a great leader, you must be able to communicate your vision to your team. Explain clearly what the common goal is, and instill a vision of success in the group. Getting everyone working together on something they all believe in cements your leadership role in the group.

You can never be a good leader if you don’t respect that others may have different opinions than your own. While it may seem like being a leader is all about bossing people around, you can never be the boss if you have no idea how to respect the feelings of others.

While you should always be there for your team as a leader, don’t forget to nurture growth in yourself. Figure out where it is that you want to grow. Do what you can to stretch yourself as much as you can. Engage and deepen your passions and strengths to make your most valuable contributions.

When you are a leader, it is important that they know regularly they are appreciated. Recognizing someone’s contribution only requires a minute and can greatly improve that person’s morale. A little acknowledgement can lift a mood, brighten a day and doesn’t cost you a thing.

Be sure that you spend some time each day out of your office, and in the midst of the workforce. Try to be a part of the group, while maintaining your leadership role. You can use this time to get to know your employees, ask questions or even join them for lunch.

Conquer your fear. Fear can be a terrible thing for you to experience, especially if you’re a leader. Instead, start paying attention to what the fear is telling you. Learn to process it in a way that is healthy and in a way that urges you to move beyond the fear to something more.

Mentor

Use a mentor. Find someone whose leadership skills you trust, and model your behavior after theirs. Watch them for a while, and get an idea of how they lead and what makes them a good leader. You don’t want to mimic them completely, but find what works about their style and incorporate it into a style that works for you.

When working to improve in the area of leadership, it is vital that you develop competency. People need to trust that you know what you are doing in order to feel confident in your leadership ability. Instill confidence in those who follow you by finding a mentor to help you become truly proficient in what you do.

If you are new to a leadership role in your workplace, you may have questions, or concerns about your new responsibilities. Think about enlisting the help of a coach, or mentor, with whom you can communicate openly about leadership issues and concerns. It really helps to have a neutral person to give you support in your important, new role.

Besides recognizing your employees talents, you must also know your own strengths and weaknesses. Evaluate your own abilities often and work to improve on those areas that are weaker. Become a better manager by attending leadership training courses, continuing your formal education and adopting a mentor who is a successful business leader.

Trying to understand what makes a good leader can seem elusive at times because it takes practice. You know that leaders must work hard and be dedicated to serving. So, do you think you now have what it takes? Set some leadership goals for yourself so that you can make some improvements.

Back on my Own

My New Apartment

Today marks my first paycheck and the first time that I am back on my own.  I had a couple of friends help move what little stuff I had out of a storage into my new bachelor suite just a few blocks from where I work.

It is nice to finally have a new home.

It will take some time to get used to being in this space on my own, but it feels good to be on my two feet again.  Hopefully I will never be down and out like that ever again.

Got the Job!

Got the Job!

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was excited.

In fact, I am ecstatic!

There is such an amazing change going from feeling hopeless, homeless and alone to having your world turn out for the better.  That’s right guys, I received a phone call this morning offering me the job from the interview that I had on Tuesday.

I’m feeling thankful right now.

But there will be some time before everything is alright and I am back on my feet, but it feels good to know that in the next couple of weeks I will get an actual paycheck.

I might even be able to get my own place.

But I won’t jump ahead of myself and take things one day at a time.  I still have to make it through probation and assess whether or not I want to stay at this new job or if I will continue looking for something better.

Needless to say it feels good to get my life back on track.  It is about time.

Hopeful Monday

Monday Morning

Still homeless, but there is hope.  I have been dropping of resumes like they are running out of style, but I figured that it was going to be the only way to get any kind of traction on the whole job front.

Saturday I felt like giving up.  As of that day I had handed out nearly 100 resumes to just about every business within a four block radius from where I was staying.  I was not selective as to what I was doing – I just needed some money.

I took Sunday off.

I needed the break.

What I was not expecting was the phone call this morning from one of the places that I had applied during one of the first days of job hunting.  It is a job that I usually would refuse to do, but a hungry and homeless mouth still needs to eat – so I will take what I can get.

The interview is set for tomorrow – wish me luck!

Couch Surfing

Being homeless sucks.

It has been about a week since I lost my job and the roof of my head, and while living in my car was fun for the first few days, I quickly learned that it wasn’t the be-all or end-all of existence.  Within days I decided that I needed to find a better place to live.

Which I have.  This is a picture of my new bed right here:

My New Bed

It isn’t much, but it is more comfortable than my car.  Thankfully a good friend of mine, Julie, was kind enough to share her couch with me.  It isn’t a permanent home by any means, but it will give me access to a shower with a warm roof over my head for the next couple of weeks.

Now that I have some semblance of a place to live, I’m going to ramp up my efforts to find a new job.  I don’t think I will be able to be picky at this time, so if I can find anything that pays a steady paycheck, I’ll have to take it.

Hopefully I will be able to find a job soon – my savings are just about gone.