Author Archives: free2live282000

About free2live282000

I love seeing the humor, the interesting, and the nerdiness in life. I believe life is not tidy, and the more I try to put my experiences in a tidy box of memories, the more they come out and laugh at me. So why not write about them? As a mom, a wife, a woman, and a revolving fatty and thinny, there are too many experiences to notice and not share. Life happens. I just write about it.

The Most Important Question Of Your Life

Such  a great find that I had to share. The form it came in had his name link incorrect, so now you can check out his site. Props, Mark. Props.



 by: Mark Manson, on

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.

A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence—but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.

People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately appreciate the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.

People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.

People want a partner, a spouse. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.

What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.

There’s a lot of crappy advice out there that says, “You’ve just got to want it enough!”

Everybody wants something. And everybody wants something enough. They just aren’t aware of what it is they want, or rather, what they want “enough.”

Because if you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. If you want the beach body, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten thousand.

If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

Sometimes I ask people, “How do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?

That answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me me and you you. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end. The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time before I could invest the proper amount of time and effort into getting out there and making it work. First, I needed to finish school. Then, I needed to make money. Then, I needed to find the time. Then … and then nothing.

Despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time and a lot of negative experiences to finally figure out why: I didn’t actually want it.

I was in love with the result—the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, pouring my heart into what I’m playing—but I wasn’t in love with the process. And because of that, I failed at it. Repeatedly. Hell, I didn’t even try hard enough to fail at it. I hardly tried at all.

The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 pounds of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I didn’t like to climb much. I just liked to imagine the top.

Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself, that I’m a quitter or a loser. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. The entrepreneurial/start-up crowd would tell me that I chickened out on my dream and gave in to my conventional social conditioning. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or manifest or something.

But the truth is far less interesting than that: I thought I wanted something, but it turns out I didn’t. End of story.

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend


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Giddyup, Train!

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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Life


Brilliant find. -Shared from WordPress

Vividly captures the ideas and paints them for the reader. Loved it. – Broken Balcony –

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Posted by on April 17, 2016 in Life


Train trip Talk


The Zephyr and I go way back. Fourteen years, to be exact. I know this because the first time I rode the train, I had just given birth to my youngest child a month or two before, and it was my first time leaving her.

My husband is a saint.

So here I sit again, peeking through her large windows and ogling at the beauty that she chugs through. Only this time, I have it down. I know what to expect.


I find myself slipping into a role of half tour guide, half child as I converse with my companions for the next 15 hours. It works out well, as I find that many travelers are as excited as I am to see the sights and weather and flora.

“Look over there!” “Check out the snow!” “Did you see that?!”

Cameras click. Phones flash. Laughter and babbling ensues. I am fairly sure I photobombed 2 selfie stick pics.


And this was just the first few hours.

Its nearing the end of my 15 hours, and Provo has just approached. Or encroached, I might say. It has intruded in my bubble of peace and let us know that other people exist.

How rude.

I have just another two hours to spend with this group, and i may never see them again, but for this time that we shared, I was enriched.


Shawn, thank you for your time. Your story is something I am excited to follow. (Note to those who are not a man journeying across the country by bike, meandering to places such as Death Valley, Moab, and Grand Junction: SUCKA’S!!!!  You will have to live vicariously through this guy’s experiences, just like me.)  I am excited that you will let me keep up with you and post a bit about your story.

Tommy, thanks for your time. You were enlightening, thought-provoking, and … Frankly, surprising. 1. You do NOT look old enough to have kids and grandkids. 2. You are the 2nd welder I have met today. And thanks for the lead for my son. 3. I am excited to research your findings. (For those of you who did not get to experience this 47 year old philosopher, you missed out!)


Alder, thanks for sharing your blog and your wisdom with me. Your 10-year-old brain is pretty advanced in programming as well as humam observation. And a shout out to your blog I hope people will take a look at your trip and then comment on it because they deserve to see how awesome you really are. (Note to those who are not Alder: Think Alton Brown’s big brain in a 10 year olds body. Now stick in a pretty funny sense of humor. Keep up and be amused like I was.)

Thanks, Shane Reeder, for being an awesome conductor. 1. You are the 3rd welder I have met this time around, and you are a wealth of knowledge. 2. BYU was fun to defend over the Utes, but I couldn’t get over the fact that you had so much good to say about the QB’s. 3. You are truly in the right place at the right time.


Lastly, Andrew, thank you for being weird. Weird and welcoming at the same time. You let me experience bravery as you experience freefall and uncertainty in your life. Its okay to be in a building phase, a regrouping spot. I wish you well. (Note to self: Remember that it is rewarding to look past first impressions. Rock on. Also, quit making notes. Thats dumb.)

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Posted by on April 16, 2016 in Life


And It Cliqued, Just Like That.


Here’s the thing about women. They are POWERFUL. They have influence individually, but in groups, they are exceptional. And if anyone has been to middle school, or high school, you may have experienced some of that. Whether in a school dance or at a lunch table, school age groups of females have been a force to be reckoned with. I know this because, well, I am one. And from experience, I know how hard it can be to operate around a group of females. A bad hair day, or the wrong jeans are sometimes all it takes to feel the brunt of a gaggle of ladies. We women can be cliquish. Dramatic. Catty. Gossipy.


powerful womenWe woman can be inspiring. Empowering. Encouraging.  This is what I experienced tonight. I experienced a MeetUp group called Onederous Women. Onederous Women chose into creating an inclusive space where networking was not a cattle call for business cards. I experienced a space, instead, where strengths were shared.  I got to be part of a space where women met to empower, enjoy, and partake of each other’s lives.

It was an honor.

Imagine this: Nourishment for the belly and the soul all in one room. Practical solutions to everyday problems. A group of problem-solvers devoted to hearing a call and responding. That’s what happened tonight. Right there in the basement of a church, inspiration happened. Bravery happened. Connection happened.

And I was in awe.

I choose to believe it was all for me. It had to be. Because it was that specific to me. No, seriously. Look. I have needs. And wants. We all do, but all I can do is speak for me. So, again,  I am saying that I lack in many areas. And mostly, I get to them eventually. EVENTUALLY, some things get handled, but some just keep getting pushed to the bottom of the pile. But it was a bit uncanny that so many of my needs and wants and lacks were being solved in one room, at one time. The room was filled with innovative solutions by women who utilized their talents, their experiences, their sorrows and joys into a workable resource that filled a need.

My need, tonight.

Check this out. I need a tailor. For my husband. We have been looking and looking, but never really got around to pulling the trigger. So we just let it hang out there, in nebulous space. Also, I need to eat healthier. I say it every day, and so does my daughter and hubby. Again, nebulous need. However, I also need a practical way to travel. It has become more important. Also, I need clothes that rock. But I just hate shopping.

stuffNebulous space gets a bit crowded sometimes.

So many more. I need guidance with my finances on an ongoing basis. So does everyone I know. I crave knowing what I don’t know. I stink at sending out cards and correspondence. I am on a journey of discovering how to heal and move forward. I need help knowing how to market to people who are looking for what I can do for them (Freelance writing, by the way. Shameless Plug.) Blah, Blah, Blah. I lack in many areas, but what I lack the most is a cheering section of people who know how hard it is to be living life as a woman, and know how to help.

I didn’t even know that having a one-stop problem-solving shop was an option.

These ladies brought all their power together and what came from it was an alliance of possibility. Power radiated throughout that room, and I don’t know that they even realized it. Actually, they probably do. And now, so do I. Think about the power of possibility. Now add to it the real-life applications, the experience, the innovation that comes from hard working business-minded women. It adds up to much more than hope.

lightbulb momentIt is what makes success.

If you have one whit of sense, you will seek out this group. For networking, sure. For fun, yes. But for a life-changing experience, definitely. Be part of a power clique.


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An Intolerance To Tolerance…


tolerance-2We should practice tolerance, right? It’s what I’ve been taught. says that tolerance is: A fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry. I can get behind this definition. Sounds ideal, and something to strive for.

What I am currently experiencing in my life, however, is quite the opposite. It is pretty slanted to be overshadowed by one key word in that definition: PERMISSIVE. Basically, tolerance seems to have been reworded to mean:  A permissive attitude toward those who are not you, even when what they do is harmful, in order to prove that you are nice, kind, progressive, or just enough of a good person not to get singled out and slammed publicly or privately. It’s a pretty cowardly space to be in, trying to fly under the radar so the bullies don’t get cha.


This individual, right here, can practice loving on people, and learning about other cultures and ways of living, but is fed up with wondering whom she will offend at every turn of a corner while doing it because she doesn’t want to be accused of being intolerant. So, I am claiming my space in this area. BAM! Somewhere along the line, the media, the comedy clubs, and the culture around it has lost the meaning of reality. Being popular and entertained has become more important than being real. Or honest. Or true to some solid values. Somewhere along the line, the meaning of giving a fan More Bang For Their Buck became Let’s Just Run With It. And fans, and then the culture let it become the new reality.

It’s into this new reality that I am ready to pop a gasket. Let me explain. I had a conversation, not too long ago, that involved the slamming of my race, religion, culture, choice to have kids, gluttonous amount of money my type of household brings in, and my sad lack of parenting skills. And I took it. WHY? Why would anyone finish a conversation like that? Well, it was because it was coming from a person who was qualified to do it. She was allowed to unload on me about White Privilege, First World Problems, Stupidity of Christianity, the evils of Corporate Life. The Dumb Mom Syndrome that she had run into while at a discount store was just a bonus, I think. She had been discriminated against, growing up, so she deserved to get what was coming to her. This looked like bagging about these subjects.

The conundrum was that they all trumped my place in life, socially. Politically correctly, I mean. So I let it go on. And I questioned my worth. I actually listened to her rational explanation of why “Those People” would be valued by her as less than second-hand citizen status. She was a bigot, and I was her gossip. But instead of stopping the trash, I felt I had to swallow it to be part of a culture where it was her RIGHT to be angry about a type of people who had done her type of people wrong. The “Oh Yeah? You Don’t Appreciate Being Treated That Way? Well How Does It Feel? I have had to deal with it my WHOLE life!” undertone in her voice screamed loudly, even as she was tossing off her words calmly. It dared me to stop the belittling. It wanted to voice the outrage, but do so conversationally.

And I backed away from that voice, cowardly. Obligingly.

I think she had no initial idea how she had pigeon-holed me. NONE. Because it was so accepted in her life, and social circle, to bash the type of people that had bashed hers for so long. Not at first.  Justified loathing, gossip, arrogant one liners, and bitterly sticking it to “the man” was absolutely okay. In fact, when I went quiet, she ridiculed me for being all sensitive about it. “I don’t mean YOU, Shar. You know that.” And that was what she used to make it okay.

I experienced small-mindedness. And it SUCKED. So let me say now, right here, that Bigotry sucks. Racism, Sexism, Ageism, … any -ism (which simply gives an individual permission to be dismissive of what is different) … is toxic. And there are countless people who experience it every day. And thrive, in spite of it. But there are also countless people who experience it every day and become the bitter, small-minded, toxic people that they hate so much. So today, I take a stand. Not in behalf of all members of any particular race, sex, religion, age, or community, but on behalf of me. My own space. My human space.

It is time to put down the categories, quit pigeon-holing, and get past the first glance judgments. Discrimination. Reverse Discrimination. It’s all blaming, and I am officially sick of the labels. So. I am taking a stand. To all the bullies out there that want to bludgeon me for not laying down and taking it. This is for you. It looks like this: I am no longer the reason for your triumphs or your struggles. Nor are you the reason for mine.

I have a right to my own struggles with pain and heartache, and they don’t need to be shrugged off, or brushed under the rug, just so your comfort with snap judgments, witty comments, and righteous indignation can happen. I have every right to question my past, my memories, or the inconsistencies in any religion, including my own. This doesn’t mean that my judgment needs to be questioned. This doesn’t even mean that I must have lost faith. Questioning gives me the strength to rely on what I know. So save the insincere prayers, head shakes, and tut-tutting for someone else. I haven’t lost my faith. I have lost my trust. I need transparency from organizations now. If you aren’t willing to back me on what I find, then my faith is none of your business.

In fact, I have a right to make a decision, based upon my gut. Some call it a woman’s intuition, or a sixth sense, or just a gut feeling. Whatever IT is, though, I have a right to it because it is in me. IT is already there, and it is a good tool. So slamming me for using it, or even having it, is over the line. Making it about my sex is not only small-minded, but inaccurate as well. You probably have it too, if you are put in a situation where leaning on it could benefit you or others, constantly, and if you were in a space to listen to it. Don’t discount what you don’t know.

Also, I have a right to be proud of my heritage. Yep. Even though I am WHITE. White, by the way, is the color of my skin, not my state of mind. I am not a robot, any more than you are. I have a choice of how to act, and react, and so do you. So don’t you dare make my flaws or strengths about the color of my skin. That is ignorant, flawed reasoning, and a bully’s reason to be selfish.

I am fine being American, by the way. I am blessed and humbled to know of the freedoms I am allowed when so many others around the world are not. But being American does not automatically make me gluttonous. It doesn’t mean I live in a globally out-of-touch way. So leave me out of the “First World Problems” jokes. I am well aware that other people are hurting. And dying. I am aware of that fact, and that is why I contribute time, money, and energy to various organizations to relieve some of the hurt. It is what I can do. I am also aware that I, alone, am not the solution, so I don’t need your reminder that I still have something left over when others do not, implying that I have not done enough unless I am destitute. I have a right to be happy. This doesn’t mean that I am oblivious to those who are not. It means I am thankful.

Back off.

Actually, this faith-based, white American female, a mom that works both in and out of the home, is hard-working and makes and then uses money. I am not evil or insensitive for having money in the bank, paying taxes, or having some nice things. I work HARD to save and budget and be smart about the finances, so if I want to enjoy something at a cliche place like Starbucks, or buy something frivolous, believe me, I have budgeted it out. I have a right to use that money, so again, I don’t need to hear the term “White Privilege” or “First World Problems” tossed off at me One. More. Time.


If you want to change me, try inspiring me instead of insulting me. If you want tolerance and acceptance and generosity, then get bigger than your anger or derision. Hate doesn’t bring love. If you wanna be effective, put down the judgement and LEARN about why I tick. Because when that happens, then I know you care. And, if you have a better solution than what I am currently doing, then I would love to hear it. IF you present it kindly. But spewing anger and derision? Well, that’s just crowd mentality, and I won’t take you seriously. And I have every right to walk away from it, not because I am insensitive, but because I value my time. And my energy. I am human. So are you.

So how bout this?

If I say something that offends you, apply that human-ness filter first. It could be that there is a simple, HUMAN, reason for what I have done or said. It could be that I am unaware that there is a change in terminology. Or that new information has come to light, but I wasn’t on Yahoo News to read about it. It could be that a case was won, or lost, or discovered in the Supreme Court, and again, I am not being insensitive or intolerant, I am being HUMAN and living my life. I do not have all the facts and figures. Neither do you. So if you need to assume something, assume this: I AM DOING THE BEST THAT I CAN WITH THE INFORMATION, EXPERIENCES, AND LESSONS I HAVE HAD UP TO THIS POINT IN LIFE. SO ARE YOU. How’s that for being tolerant? When we understand that our rants, our anger, and snap judgments are based, all the way around, from our past experiences being negatively charged about it, then we all come from that same place. Hurt. And wanting to simply protect ourselves and our loved ones. THAT place is the same.

So the question really is this: What outcome do you want from me? Do you want to hurt me, or change me? If you want to hurt me, I will eventually get it, and will just put my back up against you. Your words will be discounted. Or wasted entirely. But if you want to CHANGE me, then really commit. Dig in deep to know what my motivation is, and inspire me. Give me something good to get behind. I already have enough negativity, stress, guilt, and pain in my life. Show me a better solution, and I will bring all my power to the cause. And I have a lot of it. I belong to communities based on sex, race, religion, motherhood, and similar pains in life. I believe in a win/win solution for life. There is no room in that life for cruelty, pettiness, and intolerance. But there is ample room for acceptance, open-mindedness, and tapping into each others strengths to find a better way. So jump on board, or back up outta my space.

I don’t need your approval of me.


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Posted by on March 31, 2016 in Life


Jessica Ladd: The reporting system that sexual assault survivors want

Check out this amazing TEDTalk:

Jessica Ladd: The reporting system that sexual assault survivors want

Sent from the official TED app for Android:
Google Play:

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Posted by on March 18, 2016 in Life

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