Thursday 30 June 2016

Marathon of Dreams

Once you have spent a bit of time envisioning your goal and dream already fulfilled. After you have weathered that crushing crash back to reality. 

After you have gotten back up, more agitated than ever to make your dream a reality. After all that comes the work and day to day drudgery of working towards that goal.

What helps is to keep that fire that was lit after realizing that your goal is not your current reality. 

How you do that is to keep your eye on your goal, to keep it fixed in your mind like the finish line of a race. 

This is not a sprint, but a marathon, as goals and dreams worth pursuing are not ones just outside of our reach, but further down the road. 

As I have said before, use smaller goals like mile markers on this marathon of dreams. Space them evenly apart so that you can see regular progress; this helps, trust me.

The main thing is to keep reminding yourself of where you are heading, and encourage yourself. Always envision that your goal is a foregone conclusion, as inevitable as the setting sun. 

Whatever your goal is, you can do it . . . I know that you can . . . you know that you can . . . now get to it!

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday 29 June 2016

After The Dagger’s Cut

After you have come down from the excitement that envisioning you already achieving and therefore living out your dream.

 After the return to reality and the humdrum, boring and tediousness drudgery of your existence in comparison; you must go on.

You need to pick yourself up and trudge forward, but how do you do that? How can you not let the image of your dream turn into a constant reminder of your failure to achieve said dream, thus far?

The trick is to let yourself get annoyed, but for the right reasons. The trick is to tell yourself that you deserve that dream that the current situation that you are living in, (whatever that may be) is: 

Less than you deserve.
A path to where you want to go.
Something that you can handle. 

Likewise, convince yourself that your dream is: 

Where you will be.
What you deserve to have.
A stepping stone to even greater things.
Something you will enjoy.

This method utilizes the carrot and the stick in motivating you to get off of your duff and keep moving towards achieving whatever it is that you want to achieve. 

Get frustrated, get angry about your current situation. Don’t let that anger and frustration beat you down, use it as a fire to get you going. 

As long as you are making steady progress, you will be able to keep making that steady progress. The trick here is to make sure to show yourself the steady progress that you are making. 

This will help stave off the ‘I’m getting nowhere’ feelings from setting in. This is why I recommend setting a number of smaller, bite-sized goals on your way to achieving a larger goal. 

I have a lot of dreams and goals that I have set out for myself. Paying off my Truck and Trailer, to become totally debt free is only one of them. 

It is a starting point, from which I will move from and towards bigger and better things. I will need the freedom that comes with having a mobile place to live, no debts and yes, some cash in the bank. 

I am most certainly not satisfied with my current situation, nor will I be living in an RV for the rest of my life. These are temporary conditions that are necessary for me to achieve what I want to achieve. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

The Double-Edged Dagger of Dreams

For the most part, dreams are good. I am not talking about the kind of dreams that we all experience when we are asleep.

No, I am talking about the kind of dreams that we have as in where we want to go and what we want to do in life.

These kinds of dreams inspire us and drive us further towards bigger and better things, so how could they be bad?

It is good to take a bit of time now and again to sit back and envision yourself having already achieved the dream that you have for yourself.

This can reinvigorate you to move forward and keep doing what you need to do in order to achieve those dreams. So again, what could be bad about this?

The problem is, that after you are done dreaming and envisioning how wonderful your life will be once you do this or that or once you reach this goal you are left facing your life as it is now.

It is this let down, this smacking in the face from reality that is what you need to manage, in order to keep moving forward.

It is this let down this long stare in the mirror of what and how your life really is that can cause many of us to give up on our dreams.

We look at our life as it is now, longing for and mourning the failure (so far) to achieve that goal or dream that you had set out for yourself and cave. . . we give up, without giving it our best shot.

It is from that place of disappointment that our doubts and self-sacrificing mentalities and behaviours can get the best of us.

So to this, I say, out of experience in this area, that you need to stop this self-destruction, pull up your bootstraps, compliment yourself and keep on keeping on.

As long as you are aware of the letdown that will come after envisioning you already achieving your goals and dreams you can prepare for and deal with it.

This one last step will decide the difference between those who give up, and those who succeed.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward! 

Monday 27 June 2016

Dump Station Drama

Okay, so this weekend, for the most part, went like last weekend did. I stayed in my Western Home on both Friday and Saturday nights. I went to my favourite Library, did a bit of grocery shopping, and even had my nice cheap breakfast on Sunday morning. 

Sunday afternoon, was when things got interesting. I went to the dump station that I know about that actually has water available and is free to use. I would pay to dump at my neighbourhood truck stop, but their water has been off, due to a broken water pipe, going on two years now (I think). 

So, as you can imagine, with the limited number of fully functional dump stations, there was a line-up of people waiting to dump their tanks. I thought about coming back first thing in the morning, but the truth is, I really don’t feel like driving all the way out here on a special trip, that early in the morning. 

So, I parked and waited . . . and waited. You see, the person at the RV dump station was a large, fancy motor home. The occupants of which were, shall we say, in less of a hurry to do anything, than most people, and clearly had time to waste. They took the better part of half an hour to dump and fill their tanks. It takes me five to ten minutes to do the very same thing.

I sat there and waited because I really had nothing more pressing to do and didn’t feel like going back. This brings up a point that I think should be mentioned. If you are using a shared facility, like an RV dump station, keep in mind that there are others waiting to use those very same facilities. 

Just because you are on vacation or otherwise footloose and fancy free, does not mean everyone else is. Respect their time by doing what you need to do, but to it in as efficient and expedient a manner as possible. 

Again, I could wait, I didn’t have a pressing engagement to get to, but that is no excuse to lollygag and stretch something out when there are at least four RV’s waiting to use that one and only RV dump facility.

I will see how things go next week, but for now, I will go back next Sunday and see if things are better. It is good to know that I could stretch things out to two weeks, or longer if I needed to in between dumps. In the end, I like showers and using my taps to wash my hands. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Friday 24 June 2016

Onwards and Upwards

I know, another blog entry where it sounds like I am bragging; to be honest I do these, mostly for myself. Kinda like the rest of this blog, at least why I started it . . . to keep myself motivated. 

I get my highs where I feel: invincible, unstoppable, and on the top of the world. I also get my crushing lows where I feel the futility and certainty of my inevitable and spectacular failure. 

Most times I am somewhere in between; I may have exaggerated the swings, but hey ‘poetic license.’  I just want to get across the fact that we all have our good and bad days. 

The key to success in life, in any endeavour, is to stick with it. It is easy to keep going when things are easy, when everything just falls into place. That teaches you nothing. 

What really teaches you about yourself and what you are capable of is to stick with it when things are tough; when it is not easy. It is easy to stick with this life in June, when the weather is warm and you have water in your tanks. 

Sticking with it in December, when you have long since winterized your pipes and are having a bachelor’s bath when it is somewhere close to zero in your house. That is stick-to-itiveness.

So, forgive me if I pause every once in a while to say, that things are going well, and as I see it, things re moving onwards and upwards, ever higher towards my goal. 

Don’t worry though, I will keep a stiff upper lip during the tough times and indeed keep calm and carry on . . . Why do I have a sudden urge for a cup of tea? 

As always: keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Thursday 23 June 2016

Another Step Forward

Yesterday was payday, so that means that last night I did my running around along with bill paying and so forth. I did a little bit of grocery shopping, as well, but not a lot. 

The main thing this time is that I was able to nudge myself forward on a few goals. With the way that I have restructured my goal board, I am now able to pull down one “Long-Term Savings Goal” per month. Since last night was the second payday of the month, I was able to do that last night.

I also was able to finally get the fuel tank of Trea (my truck) filled back up to a full tank again. You see, ever since Waterton Lakes, I just haven’t had the cash in the budget to fill Trea’s tank all the way to the top, as I like her to be. 

Yesterday I put a bit of extra cash in the fuel budget and didn’t fill up my Generator Jerry Can. That did the trick as I was able to fill up Trea’s tank with a few bucks to spare. With this being summer, and since I am able to stretch my running o Jenny to once a week, I should be fine.

I also was able to put a bit of cash back into my Mid-Term Savings Account, which I plan to have fully funded next payday, just in time for my vacation. Which will commence the following Friday (as in two days later).

All the while I have been able to pay my other bills, stay above zero in my Personal Overdraft and keep my Long Term Savings Plan on track. 

These may seem like small goals in the larger scheme of things, and in truth they are. The thing to remember is that the journey to debt freedom is not made in leaps and bounds, but by small steps forward. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday 22 June 2016

I’m Gonna Make It After All!!!

Okay, homages to old TV show theme songs aside, I took stock, once again of my water situation and realized that I just might squeak out too weeks before having to dump and fill again.

I have two jugs that I store water in. I pump water out of my 5 gallon water cooler jug. I store water in my five gallon cube jug that you are supposed to take camping . . . the kind with a spigot.

Well, that ‘five gallon’ Cube Jug can actually hold about 6 gallons, if you fill that up to the tippy-top (which I do).  When my Water Cooler Jug is down a fair bit, I will top this one up with the Cube Jug.

This leaves a gallon or two in that Cube Jug, which can come in handy, as in now. This, coupled with my small 1.5 Litre bottles, that I can use to pilfer water from here and there means that I can make it until Sunday Afternoon.

This is the new time of the week that I have decided (unless it turns out to be a debacle) to dump and fill up. I will do this after leaving my Western Home to head back to my Eastern Home. I will just take a northern detour to my favourite free (so far) dumping station with water.

Since today is payday, I could, if pressed, just decide to fill up tomorrow morning first thing, as I have in days gone by. I do want to stretch and press my luck this time. I have a thing about hitting targets that I aim for, however. 

I will make it, I will be okay. I will make my water last. Yes I will still wash daily, cook, clean and stay hydrated. I will just do so while being very water wise for the next few days.

As always : keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Water Waning

Okay so typically I would have filled up Monday Morning, as per my usual schedule. I didn’t though as I was hoping to make it to next Monday, well, that will not happen. 

I am running low on water, but I am not out. It looks that unless I am in super-water-saving mode that I won’t make it two weeks. That’s okay as I am at least doing what I need to do and yes washing every day. 

I will be able to make it to payday, though, and that is tomorrow, so Thursday morning, I will dump and fill up, after leaving my Western Home. 

I don’t need to prove that I can last on little water, I know I can as during the week in the winter, I last on five gallons of water a week. So, forgive me if I splurge so that I can last on 40 gallons of water a week.

It is officially Summer, though and that means that the risk of frozen pipes are behind me, at least for the next few months at least. After that it is back to watching the weather and conserving my water. 

As always, I will survive, and in so doing, thrive. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward.

Monday 20 June 2016

Snuck Into My Western Home

This weekend I tried out a new schedule and system which will allow me to once again sleep in the place that is my weekend home: My Western Home

Since the stores in this area do not like anyone parking there for longer than 24 hours, this means that I can’t just pull up, set up shop and stay for the weekend, as I have in the past. I can, however, come and go during that time, as long as I stay less than 24 hours.

What I did this weekend, and plan to do every weekend from now on is to first go to my mailbox, do whatever shopping or running around that I need to do and then head to my Western Home.

I will set up and stay the night in my Western Home, but instead of staying there on Saturday, I will go to my favourite library for the day the. Since the security people at the mall where this library is located are a bit ‘twitchy’ how do I do this? 

Well, what I do is park just over a block away from the far side of the mall, in a forlorn part of a big box store parking lot. This is a store that is big a big box store, but is on its own, and is not part of any mall. 

As it stands I have not tried to sleep there, I just park there for a short time, as in when I am doing my banking or going to this library. So far, they have not complained as I have not inconvenienced anyone, as nobody ever parks in this area of their lot. 

After spending the day in the library, using their power and Wi-Fi, I typically treat myself for a meal at the shopping centre. 

I find that going to the library puts me in a ‘work mode’ and I actually get a lot done, whether it is writing or whatever project I am working on.  

After the library I head back to my Western Home, unless I need to do some shopping or laundry first. 

Once there, I setup again and stay till morning where, this morning, Sunday morning, I get to have my IKEA breakfast. 

Hint: if you buy your breakfast in that magic time between half an hour before the store opens (when they open the doors) and the time that the actually opens, you get your coffee for free. So out here that means breakfast and a coffee for $1.05. 

After that I drive back to where I park near work (My Eastern Home) and then run my generator for 4 hours and in so doing, charge up my batteries. I was able to make it last all week last week. This is huge and if I can keep this up it will save me on gas.

While it is not perfect, it works and keeps me moving around. I will say that it is nice to be able to put the slide out, out even for an evening. It really opens the space up inside and makes Wanda feel more like a home. 

I will survive, I will thrive and yes I will be totally debt free. Beyond that, I will own a home and it will be a welcoming place for all who seek me out. 

If you happen to stop by today, or wherever you can find me, you will likewise receive that same warm welcome, my home is just smaller and simpler right now.

What this points out is that there are always ways to work around obstacles and get what you need. As the song says, while you can’t always get what you want, if you try, you might find, that you get what you need.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday 17 June 2016

Water Experiment, Just Because

I have made it to the weekend and I still have about half a tank of fresh water (or so Wanda’s Gauge tells me). I have been trying out a technique to stretch out the intervals that I need to dump and fill up my water tanks. 

Usually, I dump and fill up my fresh water once a week, but this time I will try to stretch things out to two weeks, just to see if I can do that and still properly function (as in wash daily). 

The water in my main tank I use for: 

Washing hands 
Flushing the toilet

The water in my five gallon jug with hand pump I use for:

Washing dishes
My “Jug Shower”

How I stretch the water in my main tank further is to only shower every second day. The in between days I wash with my “jug shower.” 

This is when I use the hot water from the kettle and cool it down with water from the five gallon jug. Then stand in the shower and:

1. Pour water over my head and body just to get wet
2. Lather my hair with shampoo
3. Lather/wash my body with soap
4. Pour water over my body starting from my head to rinse off.

Trust me, you can get your shower done with just a two liter juice jug filled with warm water. This is what I do when I am in my “Fall/Spring” mode.

I want to see, how long I can stretch this out, can I make it two weeks? I know that I could stretch things out further, if I wanted. 

I could go for perhaps a month, if I didn’t shower but just did my jug showers and still was conservative with water. 

I won’t try that, as I am not in a situation which necessitates that. I just want to see if I can do this, call it a twisted hobby. I still am doing what I need to do, so all in all, I’m okay. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Vacation Preparations

Sorry about no blog yesterday, it was a crazy morning and I didn’t get the chance.

As I look forward to my upcoming vacation in mid July, I see that I only have two paydays before it. I also realize that there are a few things that I want to take care of before then. I am starting to make a list and see what I can do to take care of these items before last minute panic hits me.

I am looking ahead and this time planning to book campsites for at least the first part of the trip, rather than rely on dumb luck. There are a few places that I want to be in for specific days, so those I will book but leave the rest wide open and take my chances.

This is because, in reality, I do like an unplanned vacation. As in, I plan to go down to the coast, but not my exact itinerary or exactly where I will stay, what I will do or when. That just gets to feel like too much work and less of a vacation. 

As far as the items I want to get, they are typically small, just in case, items. As in, I don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, needing this one little thing and not having it. This may seem strange, since just this past weekend I threw out a bunch of stuff. Once again, even when buying things, I ask myself: 

1) If I need it 
2) Is it worth its: 
a. Price
b. Weight
c. Space (it will take up).

Again, this is a necessity for the way that I live. As far as how things are going, it is getting easier now that the weather is warm and I have access to water and a dump station. 

I have seemed to found a way to stretch my electricity out so that running Jenny for 4 hours once a week will last me. As far as my water goes, that too I can stretch out for at least a week, perhaps two.

Each day that I am out here brings me closer to Debt and therefore total freedom. This brings a smile to my face and keeps me going. 

As always: keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward.

Monday 13 June 2016

Dump the Dead Weight

No, I’m not talking about your good for nothing, soon to be ex, I’m talking about the stuff we carry around with us on a daily basis. Okay, the stuff that I carry around with me on a daily basis.

Due to the nature of my lifestyle, I am constantly aware of how much stuff I have. I really do have a limited amount of space and I haul everything I own, everywhere I go. 

That means that everything that I own takes up space and weight and needs to therefor justify its existence based on these two criteria. As in, is it worth the space that it takes up and its weight. 

Why is this important? Well, for one the trailer is rated to only carry so much and two the truck can only tow so much. When you add this to the fact that the more my truck and trailer weigh, the harder they are to tow and therefore the more fuel that I will burn just moving around.

This means that what I own falls into three categories: 

1. Functional
2. Sentimental
3. Dead Weight

I really have to be callus and hard when it comes to what I own due to how I live. I am constantly evaluating what I purchase, and asking myself, do I need this? 

At least once a year, in springtime, I go through everything that I own, pull out every box and compartment and ask myself the same question. This year I decided to do it twice; as last time I really didn’t toss out that much.

So, that is what I did this weekend; besides make another massive batch of food for lunches. It gets easier with each pass. 

This is something that everyone can do, all you do is look at what you own and ask yourself three questions:

1. Have I used it in the last six months or will I need it in the next six months?
2. Does it have sentimental value to me?
3. Can I buy it again?

This should help you pare down what you own really fast. It is surprising how much stuff we accumulate if we are in one location for too long. Most of the stuff we have would not survive this simple test. 

Every now and again, it is healthy and positive to go through what you have and toss out what you don’t need. For me it is for practical reasons, for the rest of you, it may just be a healthy exercise. 

As always: keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

(But, by all means, dump that good for nothing so and so, after all dead weight is dead weight.)

Friday 10 June 2016

Birthday Reflection

So, it seems to be an emerging tradition to pause on my birthday to reflect on how my life and this journey towards total debt freedom has gone over the past year. 

This time last year I was starting Card #3 and had a bit on Card #2. I was also just starting to think about continuing to stay in Wanda until I had paid everything off. 

I was stressed and anxious to finally get my credit card debt done and gone. A year later I have not only paid off my credit cards, I have a sizable savings growing. Not only that but I have given myself 1K in my own overdraft and even started an RRSP. 

I have achieved great things this past year and I reflect on them to encourage myself to keep going, not to brag. At first, it was frustrating and seemed to be an impossible task.

Yet, with each debt that I paid off, I freed up more money in my budget. That freed up money was now mine to do with as I pleased, such as pay down another debt or just put into savings. 

As I see it, next year I will be very close and in fact six months from being totally debt free. I see good and great things for me this next year. I know that I can do it; I know that I can make it. 

As always: keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Thursday 9 June 2016

Perplexing Perspective Positions

As I was perusing a news website this morning, before starting this blog entry, I happened to glance at their poll today. It asked “Do you own your home?” I naturally wanted to click “Yes,” as technically I do. 

This got me thinking, the answer to that question “Do I own my home” depends on what criteria you use to determine what a “Home” is and what “Own” means. 

For example, I consider that I own my home, because I live Wanda and I have the registration papers to prove it. 

If you define a “Home” as a fixed address, then, no, I don’t own my home.  If for some reason you define “Home” as a detached single family dwelling, than anyone living in a townhouse or condo does not own their home.

If for some reason you determine that “Own” means paid off and debt free, then most of the population does not own their home. 

The point I am making today is that there are many different ways to look at the same, and sometimes obvious, concept. What is obvious to us is may not even enter someone else’s mind. 

Each of us sees the world through our own eyes and through our own perspective; a perspective which has been shaped and influenced by the culmination of our life experiences. 

For example, earlier in my days I would have been too afraid of what people might think to consider living in an RV full time. Even when I first started living in Wanda full time, I would not tell people where I was living. Now, I proudly tell people that I live in Wanda, proudly so. 

As I have said before, as far as I’m concerned I do own my home, I just don’t own the land underneath it. 

Your perspective is not necessarily right, and it is not necessarily wrong, it is just yours. Right or wrong, all depend on what yardstick or criteria you are using to compare any opinion or perspective to.

As always: keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Revised Goal’s Board

So, yesterday was payday, and so today, once again, I have no cash, but unlike decades gone by, today my goals and dreams are nudged forward. 

It is all thanks to the financial planning and tracking system that I have developed and refined. Let me go over with you now, what it has become. 

It starts with my spreadsheets, I have two versions of this: one is for my first payday of the month and the second one is for the second payday of the month. 

One budget covers the payday cycle that I am in now, and the other one covers the next payday cycle. Depending on where in the month that I am, will determine which one is current and which one is the next one.

On payday, I budget out both the current payday cycle budget and the next one. I do this so as to not only plan but to motivate myself; if I am good this pay cycle, then I can achieve this much more in the next pay cycle. 

To stay on budget I have my wallets of cash that I use to pay for my day to day “operational” expenses. I have one wallet for each of the major areas: Groceries, Utilities (propane/water dump), Treats, Etc. 

This way when I am buying groceries I can look in the wallet and know that this pile of cash has to last me till payday. This makes your budget tangible, as in you see it and yes, you make it work. 

I do have a contingency wallet that I can dip into between paydays to give a depleted wallet a small boost. I have drained this wallet completely though, and not been able to replenish it. It is a lower fiscal priority.

I only use my bank card to pay for very specific expenses, such as fuel once a payday. I leave the money in the account to pay for automatic payments (that I still budget and account for).

I still leave my bank card locked up so I can’t use it for impulse expenses. I also never use it for day to day purchases. 

This way I can predict what I will have left in my bank account by the end of the pay day cycle down to the penny. By being able to do this, I can budget successfully and move my fiscal goals forward.

Finally I have my goals board:

The top are my smaller goals and targets that I have set for myself. I have now laid them out so that they are in month-sized chunks. This is so I can see regular movement in these goals and achieve one of these per month. This is key to motivating myself to sticking with my overall plan and resist futility to set in. 

The goals go from left to right, with left being the next goal to be achieved and right being the last one to be achieved. Each time I achieve one I: pull it down, crumple it up, throw it away, and then move all of the other goals over one spot. At the start of the year I will have twelve goals up there and at the end of the year there should be none.

Along the bottom is the current status of my three accounts. This is down here because it is the foundation of everything, all of my fiscal goals are founded on these three accounts. 

The main account shows what I have over my personal target of $1k. I deduct the $1k from the bank balance to display here so as to reinforce the concept that $1k is $0 in that account. 

As well, this is not the current balance in the main account, but what it will be once all of my automatic payments have been paid.

The happy or sad face in the corner shows whether I am happy or sad with the status of this account. As in, am I on target or behind. 

The line in between the goals line on top and the account status line below is my bills and debts line. Some of these are bills to myself, and some are debts to be paid off. They are in the middle because they stand in the way of my goals, I must get rid of them if I am to achieve and pick up speed on my goals. 

Like with the goals, the order of importance and the one that I am targeting is the one on the left, then the one next to it, and so on. Each time one is paid off, it is taken down, crumpled up and the others are moved over. 

Once again, I am not bragging here, but I hope that this inspires you to do something similar. I have found that having these notes in my face reinforces: where I am, where I want go to and what I what I need to do to get there. Not only that but they motivate me to stay on track.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Still The Water Miser

I was able to dump my black and gray water tanks along with filling my fresh water tanks on Friday, or rather, very early Saturday Morning.  

This means that I now (at least until late September) have ready and free access to water for Wanda’s tanks! 

You would think that this would mean that I would be using my water taps all the time and temporarily retire my water jug and hand pump, but no. 

Since fresh in my mind is the fact of not having easy access to water all winter. Also, since I have to rely on this system for eight months of the year for all of my water this is what I am used to. 

So, I find myself still pumping my drinking/cooking/dishwashing water out of this jug and still have my spare/backup five gallon jug of water sitting beside it, just in case. 

Normal is just what we do every day, and so to me, it is normal to pump water out of that jug, and in so doing, conserve the amount of water that I use. 

The water in Wanda’s fresh water tank, I reserve for showers, handwashing and yes flushing the toilet. This way I can stretch out the intervals between my dumping for two weeks, or more, if need be. 

Whilst the dumping station is free, I don’t want to take it for granted or use it too often, once a week is the most that I will use it. To thank them for the privilege I buy my propane from another outlet of the same major gas station chain.

It is just interesting to take note of the quirky habits that we pick up and continue to do, just because it feels right and is part of our “Normal” daily routine. 

This weekend, since it is my birthday weekend, I am heading to McLean Creek campground to celebrate my birthday as well as an early anniversary return to the first place that I lived in Wanda Full-Time.  (July 12, 2014.)

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Monday 6 June 2016

Intriguing Offer

Okay, so I did go to my favourite library this weekend and it was productive. I have started to get back into writing Book Two. I finally think I have an ending for it, so what I have been doing has to read/edit Book One. 

This has led me to then read and edit what I have of Book Two so far. With any luck I should be starting new chapters (something not done since September) in a couple of days. 

(A Literary Agent and/or publisher would be hot, BTW . . . just saying.)

It is always good to spend time with old friends that these characters are to me. In essence writing this series and with these characters is easy. All I really do is put them in situations, watch what happens and record the results. 

That was this weekend but this morning I had an interesting offer from an encounter that could have gone either way. 

So there I was reading and editing Book Two when a truck pulled up next to my window and stopped. The driver motioned for me to come outside. I groaned and went out, my curiosity getting the better of me. 

I expected some questioning or lecture about what I was doing and why. People are either curious or look at me as a homeless bum. In this area I am always asked if I knew anything about any of the break-ins, which happens regularly in the area. 

I walked out and by this time the driver had pulled over, behind Wanda, thankfully he seemed nice enough. After a brief discussion about a few break-ins the previous night (none of which I knew anything about) he relayed an offer from one of the larger businesses in the area for me to park and stay in their lot. 

I was intrigued as this offer came with a power hookup at least. I thanked him and said that I was interested but that I am not the night watchman and would not be doing any rounds. While the offer does sound nice I will need to talk to the owner/manager more.

I don’t want any misconceptions or certainly don’t want to take responsibility for the security of the place at night. After all, I work during the day and sleep at night, I therefore can’t and won’t to do nightly rounds. I will keep you all posted on these developments, however.

Tomorrow is payday, so this means that tomorrow I will take one more step forward towards Total Debt Freedom! (Having a steady place to park would make the journey a little easier.)

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Friday 3 June 2016

Step By Step is Hard

As I sit here and plan out my budget, I find myself thinking of not the pay period that I am in, but the next one and the one after that. 

Each pay period budget has a different target, a different fiscal goal to accomplish. Each one of these goals is a necessary step in my overall path towards total debt freedom. 

If and when I accomplish each of these fiscal goals, they are but one step in my overall progress. Therein lies the problem, the slow pace of it. After all, my pay period cycle is approximately two weeks, so it takes a painstakingly long period of time to accomplish anything. 

Yet in the same time, not really, not when you look at the larger picture. In the span of two years (two years next month) of living in Wanda full time I have accomplished a great deal.

I have eliminated my credit card debt and saved up a healthy chunk. In fact I will have saved up as much as I had indebted on Card #1 and Card #2 combined, as well as my overdraft!

Intellectually, I know that I am steadily making progress, good progress at that. I do get frustrated and down now and again, after all, I am human. How you deal with these discouraging doldrums is necessary to your determination, and therefore success. 

The problem with any endeavour such as mine, one which takes months, and years to accomplish is to keep moving steadily forward. Sure it may take a paycheque to move a small bit forward, but you are moving forward.

Each day I am in fact moving myself forward by sticking to my budget and working my fiscal plan. It is important that I see constant movement and progress, I know this, as I know me. 

The key to this is to keep small reminders of your successes. For me it is those post it notes on my bulletin board. I change these notes regularly to reflect what is going on and let me know how I am doing. 

This lets me see that I am doing good, that I am making a difference in my fiscal life and situation. As long as I see progress I can and will be able to stick with it. 

This and keeping I mind the vision and dream of finally and once again paying off all of my bills: always envision yourself having already succeeded and having achieved your goal.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

P.S. Good news! My favourite dump station now open, so this means that I can access water and finally have the luxury of running water and showers in my own home! 

Thursday 2 June 2016

Things I’ve Learned From Playing Tetris

You heard me right, today’s blog is about what I have learned while playing that annoyingly addictive game where you try to make lines by stacking up blocks of various shapes. Before work I play a bit of Tetris just to unwind before the work day starts. 

Not sure what Tetris is, check this out: Tetris

1) How to Make Snap decisions

The first thing that you have to learn is how to make a quick decision. There is a steady stream of blocks coming down and you need to decide what to do with this block and fast. The game gets steadily quicker and so you have to decide what to do that much quicker. This forces you to make a judgment call within a second or two.

2) How to Let Past Mistakes go

It happens, and can happen ever more frequently when you have to make snap decisions: you make the wrong call. With those blocks still coming down, you need to just let it go and focus on what to do now. Three seconds ago was the past, so don’t beat yourself up about it, just move on from here. 

3) Any Situation is Salvageable

It can also happen that bad mistakes pile up and you find yourself with a taller and taller pile of blocks. This forces you to just keep making quick decisions to just make a line, then another one and another one. Soon you are chipping away at what a ten seconds ago seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle and certain doom.

4) Never Give Up! 

As those blocks keep piling up and you near that ceiling, all you need to do is remember that only have to make one line to buy yourself a bit of time. Keep working and keep at it. There have been times when I have neared the top but managed to work that pile down to nothing again. There is always a solution if you keep working at it. 

Today’s lesson boils down to this, kids: Winston Churchill was right . . . “Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!”

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Maintaining a Positive Attitude

One of the challenges that I have found after getting yourself on an upward mood swing is to somehow maintain that positive momentum.  

Often times what happens is that life and circumstances grind us down until we are happily miserable again (AKA back to “normal”) . . . Why is that?

I have found in recent days that what happens, at least to me, is that something will trigger an angry outburst and a rant of some kind. This is full of angry, negative energy and is disastrous to your positive mood and mindset.

Often times, and this is the most insane, is that what I find myself ranting about is something happening somewhere far away, which has no impact in my life. Some world event or decision by the government domestic of foreign will set me going. 

None of that will impact me directly, or, for that matter, could I possibly change, should I wish to. Why, I ask you, should I ruin my mood as I turn the air around me blue? The answer, of course, is that there is no reason whatsoever. 

I like to stay informed on current affairs and what is happening in the world. If you wish, I’ll sit down and discuss any number of world topics if you wish. 

Even more, if I had a chance to fix things, sure I’d give it a go to set the world right. As yet, nobody has asked me, so I will continue to mind my own patch of problems as I wait for the phone call from the UN.

What I am leading up to is that I have found in recent days how to deal with this eventuality and quickly pull myself out of a mood nose-dive.  

While it may sound a bit corny, it works, at least for me. I tell you now, not so you can get a laugh, but in case it might do you some good too. 

What I do is first of all I notice that a rant is starting and that I am getting angry. Second, I quickly assess if there is a legitimate reason that I am getting angry. As in, is something happening that directly impacts me? If so, get angry, vent then calm down and deal with the situation. 

If the reason that I am getting angry is not legitimate, (as in the price of world oil, or the fact that a certain business man keeps edging towards becoming the next US president) I do the following. I stop myself from ranting, force myself to calm down by repeating “I am not accepting this negativity!” 

It may sound silly, and perhaps it is, but it is my way of reminding myself that a lot of what I was getting angry about was nothing that impacted me at all. 

Even the things that did impact me that I was getting angry about, turned out to be not so big a deal, or easily solved problems. As in there are a thousand other places to park.

Why this is important is that like small success building on one another to set yourself up for a pattern and expectation of success, so to anger and negativity will build on one another to set you up for a pattern and expectation of negative and hurtful things. 

Trust me, you will see the worst in people and expect that: people, things, the universe, and even yourself will sabotage everything you do and make you fail. This is not a happy place to be, trust me. 

So, give my corny little routine a try and see if it doesn’t help brighten your mood. A positive attitude does wonders for your ability to handle and solve real problems, the ones that you actually do need to deal with and solve.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!