Our best is yet to come.
Do you believe that statement for your life?
I have a feeling that a lot of you just laughed when I asked that question, rolled your eyes and muttered, “Yeah, right.”
It is true, however.
I have been accused of being overly positive by some, and as I said in the Happy Fall Equinox 2019 Episode: I know it, and I own every bit of that positivity. I am not afraid to produce the Happy Half Hour Podcast. I am a positive person, and that is who I am. My platform is a reflection of me. I believe that positive vibes and energy can lift people up as much as negativity can bring people down.
Stuck in the Suck
Some people are “stuck in the suck” of their own negativity. Others are stuck in the past and believe their best happened years ago. When people believe both, it is a combination that can lead to horrendous results.
Someone recently reminded me that there is a whole series of horrendously toxic television shows that Hollywood and New York City pump out this kind of garbage weekly. A great example is the old show “Married…with Children.” It is a show about a dysfunctional family where the husband, Al Bundy, is a former high school football player who never lived up to his potential and is a lowly shoe salesman in his older years. Al’s own family and neighbors do not like him, and they continue to hammer him about his shoe sales profession and lack of drive or success beyond the high school grid iron. Most storylines involve Al’s schemes being foiled by his own cartoonish dim wit and bad luck.
This show was on the air for 10 years (from 1987 to 1997) and produced 259 episodes over its 11 season lifespan. Many people in my generation watched this show, along with The Simpsons and The Family Guy. Plenty of these shows pumped out toxic messages that beat down family units (fathers, mothers, and kids) and helped enforce the message that people are stuck in a rut and in failure.
Why am I talking about this?
Quite suddenly on Tuesday, my old high school suddenly popped out an announcement on Facebook that the 1989 State Championship Burnsville High School Team would be recognized at this week’s Homecoming Game. It was a surprise because I didn’t think 30 years had passed this quickly and that it just popped up out of the blue! Even if my extended family is coming this weekend for the 2019 Domres’ Early Christmas/Fall Fest Gathering, I decided that I would go.
Someone made an offhand comment that it would be an “Al Bundy Experience” tonight at my old high school. That comment made me bristle a bit. Yes, that experience and the lessons learned from my old coach are part of me and who I am.
However, as I look back on our story from when we won the Championship to now, I can see how far Julie and I have come and how much we have learned and improved. As I thought about it some more, I defiantly told Julie last night:
“Just wait: our best is yet to come. My glory days are not behind me; they are ahead.”
Yes we have struggles like anyone else. However, life is good, and I will live it with joy and enthusiasm. I am free to shape my life to the extent allowed by practiced skill, courage and might. I will continue to improve through experimentation, struggle and failure.
The key, my friends, is embodied in our motto here at Small Scale Life:
“Learn, do grow and be a little better everyday.”
Turn off that Hollywood garbage and get off the couch. Stop listening to the toxic voices in media and in our head. It is all designed to keep you stuck in a rut and paralyzed.
Go outside. Take a walk. Smell the air, feel the soil and look at the changing leaves. Start living. Develop your skills, relationships and grow.
I firmly believe that our best is yet to come.
Picks of the Week
The following posts and podcast episodes catpure this concept in their own unique ways, and these are my picks of the week.
Terrance Layhew – Intellectual Agrarian Podcast
Scott Hebert returns to the Intellectual Agrarian Podcast to discuss changes on his farm; sparring and martial arts; and the effects of consistency. Scott is an urban farmer in Chilliwack, Canada, and he has been on the Small Scale Life Podcast a couple times as well. You can listen to those episodes here and here.
One thing that you can do to start improving your life (health, finances, relationships, skills, etc.) is being consistent. So many times we start a diet or budgeting, and we get frustrated when we do not see immediate results (guilty as charged right here: like 14 failed diets).
Terrance makes a great point about patience and time for efforts to come to maturity. Remember: it takes time for seeds to grow. We will harvest what we sow, but it takes time. Be patient.
Tom Merlino – Follow Me Out of Debt
When you are surrounded by debt, health issues, relationship issues or similar stressors/chaos day after day, you can start to believe that you ARE those stressors. You will have anxiety about them, and you will sink into depression and the suck.
Tom Merlino reminds us that you are a separate entity from that debt or other stressor. You need to go to war against it and attack that stressor! Take action! You are not your debt, and over time, your focus, perseverance and hard work will pay off.
Pay down your debt one at a time. Make a plan to pay down that debt. Do you need more income to put to debt? Then you might need to get a side hustle/second job. Use a zero balance budget (we have tools to help you set up your first budget – get your FREE budget bundle today).
The key is to start. Get moving, Lifers.
Nicole Sauce – Living Free in Tennessee
Speaking about a second job and side hustles, Nicole Sauce from Living Free in Tennessee talks about her journey to income independence at the Holler Homestead. This is essentially Part 2 to a podcast episode in April 2019 where she talked about all of her “business units” and contemplated which to double down on and which to end.
Nicole quit a regular job because it was literally killing her, and this move launched her into side hustle entrepreneurship. Nicole states emphatically:
“Don’t quit a job and launch into side hustles with crushing debt! Side hustles take money, and chances are, you will add to your debt in the short term.”
If you are a content creator and want to monetize your platforms (ahem), this is an interesting podcast episode. There is a lot to learn from folks who are further down the rabbit hole on this path. I appreciate Nicole’s frank discussion, and yes, I am taking notes!
Amy Dingmann – A Farmish Kind of Life
Once you get off the couch and start working on a project or yourself (perhaps the biggest project of them all), you will find challenges, resistance and failures. This is part of the learning process, and I usually learn more through failure than unbridled success.
Amy Dingmann talks about her year so far on her 5-acre homestead in Minnesota. Things on the homestead are going to go wrong; you have to accept that. It is easy to show the successes (like your garden) and hide the failures (like the chaos in the barn). Every year is going to be different, and while you will be a rockstar in one area, you will be a complete disaster in others.
During the episode, Amy has beautiful quote that really sums up it all up nicely:
“As a Homesteader, you need to realize there isn’t a time for everything, but there is A time for everything.”
Stated another way, there is only so much time in the day, and there is only one of you. You have to pick your battles and projects. Spreading yourself too thin leads to complete failure all the way around.
Remember, dear friends:
“Life on the farm doesn’t make sense (to everyone), but for those who live on the farm, it is the only life that makes sense.”
Brilliant work, Amy.
Our Best is Yet to Come
As we roll into another great weekend, it is time to get out of the rut and start making steps to becoming the best you. Each person’s path is different, and we need to find what that path is.
The key is starting.
Get off the couch. Turn off the television; the media does not have anything positive for you. The President might get impeached; he might not. We might go to war with Iran; we might not. We might have a recession; we might not. Some celebrity might get married or divorced; they might not.
This stuff doesn’t matter. Enough of this noisy negative circus; you have worth and are worthy of the investment.
You matter. Turn it off and start learning, doing, growing and be a little better everyday.
Our best is yet to come!