Monday, May 14, 2012


I have been MIA.  Bad Blogger, no cookie! 

Remember how I talked about FOMO?  My friends are off partying.  I hear all the cool things they are doing.  I tag along to a couple.  Then I hear about what I have missed out on and I am disappointed.  I say I can't attend more than what I already am for fear for getting sick or sore.  So I convince myself I HAVE to go.  Recongize any of these arguments within yourself? 

I am bummed with myself for overcommitting again.  Yet, I cannot do anything about the past.  I can set new limit/parameters for myself and pray I hold true.  My new commitment to myself is one event a week unless it's a special occassion.  This means I will need to be choosy about what it is. 

In other news, our garden is coming together.  Tim has been working like crazy.  The radishes are almost all up.  I have to keep my schematic handy to remember what is where in the garden.  My family gave me fruit trees for Mother's Day and I hope to go pick them up today. 

Today I hope to take it easy and relax a lot.  Allow my body to heal from my lackluster decisions on my activities recently.  I am healthy.  I make healthy choices!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fear Of Missing Out

Leo Baubata recently published an article on the fear of missing out.  I will attach said message at the end of this, no worries, those of you that are afraid of missing out on it ;).  If you do a search for this topic you will find blog after blog writing on this which might lead one to believe this is a recent thing. 

FOMO or fear of missing out was actually coined in 1985 by by Kelley J Watson and Diane E. Meyer nee Wells according to Wikipedia.  This was well before the advent of the iPhone, tweeting, facebook, instagram, and all of the latest craziness. 

Here is Urban Dictionary's top definition:
fomo6186 up, 1739 down
April 14, 2011 Urban Word of the Day
"fear of missing out". The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.
Even though he was exhausted, John's fomo got the best of him and he went to the party.
I have to admit to an aha moment when I received Baubata's article.  It explains so much about myself.  I am driven by this fear and it often leads to unhealthy decisions on my part.  It also leads to huge time sinks.  How often do I really need to check Facebook?  Need to?

I have taken leadership positions because I was afraid of missing out.  I have held on to leadership positions for longer than what was healthy due to FOMO.  I have had troubles deciding what I want to do with my life because I've wanted to do it all for fear of missing out.  Overcommitting (for what is healthy for me) is how I became so ill.  A tick or a bad back or e coli might have helped, but it was my habits that allowed my health to deteriorate so thoroughly and so rapidly. 

I would guess that FOMO is at the root of many people's problems with time management and responsibilities.  And so many parents are passing this on to their children which cell phones, scheduling them for tons of after school activities, tutors, etc...  When do our children get to be kids?  When do we get to rest?  Or re-create? 

When is enough enough?  For me, first I need to become aware of the issue and I cannot express the relief I felt when I learned of this.  Now I can see where I went wrong and why.  I can see how pervasive this issue is.  And I can see why I continue to question my direction. 

Here is Leo Baubata's article for your consideration: 
The 39th Lesson
Post written by Leo Babauta.
Today (April 30) is my 39th Un-un-birthday, and as usual, the day is a good day to pause and reflect.
Last year I wrote 38 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 38 Years, and people seemed to find some use in it.
This year, I thought I’d share an additional lesson I’ve learned:
You’re not missing out.
Our lives are often ruled by the Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO. (Never heard of FOMO? You’re missing out.)
Some ways we let the fear of missing out rule us:
  1. We check email, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks often, in case we’re missing something important.
  2. We try and do the most exciting things, and are constantly in search of exciting things, because we’re worried we might miss out on the fun that others are having.
  3. We constantly read about what other people are doing, and try to emulate them, because it sounds like they’re doing something great that we’re not.
  4. We often want to travel the world, because it seems that other people are living amazing lives by traveling all the time.
  5. We miss what we don’t have, miss places and people who we aren’t with.
  6. We work constantly, because we think if we don’t, we might miss out on opportunities other people will get.
  7. We feel like our own lives are poor in comparison with the great lives others are leading, and so feel bad about ourselves.
I could go on and on, but I have a birthday breakfast to eat (Eva and the kids are baking something delicious), so I’ll stop there.
We fear missing out, but why?
The truth is, we could run around trying to do everything exciting, and travel around the world, and always stay in touch with our iPhones and Crackberries, and work and party all day long without sleep … but we could never do it all. We will always be missing something.
And so, if we cannot help missing out, what is a saner alternative than letting this fear drive us? Let go of it, and realize you have everything right now.
The best in life isn’t somewhere else. It’s right where you are, at this moment. There is nothing better than exactly that.
Pause for just 10 seconds, and notice where you are, what you’re doing, who you are, at this very moment. Notice that you are breathing, and how lovely that is. Notice that you can smile, and feel the joy in that. Notice the good things around you. Give thanks for the people you’ve seen today. Celebrate the perhaps not altogether insignificant fact that you are alive.
This moment, and who you are, is absolutely perfect.
You are missing nothing, because there is nothing better.
You can breathe, and let go of all that fear of missing out, and be happy with what you have. Be grateful, and each moment think not about what you’re missing, but what you’ve been given.
This past year has been my best ever, because each day I have celebrated my Un-birthday with a smile and warmth in my heart. Today, I celebrate my non-un-birthday, and it is perfect. This moment I have spent talking to you is a gift. Thank you, my friends.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Urban Homesteading

Remember how I said my ADD is fritzing?  Yeah well, the recent thing to hyperfocus on is small space/urban/backyard homesteading.  As I continue to learn more or brush up on my various skills (I've got chicken rearing skills, bow skills, nunchuck skills...)  I am amazed by how many people are also interested in this subject.  For many reasons as well. 

Fresh Food From Small Spaces added another reason for me to homestead.  Most people know that gasoline is subsidized.  Do you know why?  Gasoline costs around $10 a gallon without those subsidies.  It is believed that within our lifetimes there will be a food crisis.  When shipping costs will rise to the point of making things like bananas too expensive to import.  Think about that!  I realized how important it is to teach my children how to provide for themselves. 

I have always loved the older art forms from grinding my own wheat to make bread (real bread with healthy ingredients, even the healthy stuff on shelves don't compare to fresh ground baked breads) to preparing my own fiber, dyeing, spinning, and weaving it into something wonderful.  I am so thrilled to try out some new things and only finances are keeping me from trying it out all at once.  I didn't know I could take my fresh, raw nut milks and turn them into yogurts.  I knew I could make cheese from them. 

I love the idea of making my own foods.  First, the pride in having done it myself.  Second, I KNOW every single ingredient. 

So... anywho... I have been reading like mad crazy.  Here are a couple of books I've finished that I wanted to make small comments on and not a large review:

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: I don't know why its called a backyard homestead other than the first book (The Backyard Homestead) actually covers a backyard.  I read the chicken section, skimmed the rabbit, goat, and bees section.  This book does not apply to the average backyard. 

Chickens are the only livestock animal that I am allowed to raise where I live, except rabbits but I don't really consider them livestock.  Most cities do not allow much else.  Let alone the average urban household does not have enough acreage to support a goat let alone a cow. 

Having said that, I found this book to have a pretty decent overview of information on each animal.  If it ever does come to the point of food being a real hardship for the average American and if my family continues to eat meat I would seriously consider raising rabbits for meat.  I would also consider fencing my front yard and raising goats for milk and meat.  I guess we would learn to butcher or my family would choose to become vegetarians if they couldn't handle that. 

The average urban family would gain more from single purpose books.  Check out books on chicken rearing, apiculture, or rabbit raising if that interests you.

Cubed Foot Gardening is a decent book on intensive gardening.  This is along the lines of Square Foot Gardening without quite as many "rules."  I actually recommend reading this book and All New Square Foot Gardening.  I am combining the information.

I liked Bird's bed design and soil infomation more so than Bartholomew's.  Bird uses 12" beds with double digging for plants with deep root systems.  Bartholomew uses 6" beds except for root bed when he recommends 12".  Also Bartholomew is a bit gimmicky in his bed designs, grids, and soil mix. 

Maybe Bartholomew's soil is all that and a cupcake, but I feel like he's selling something (which he isn't other than his book). 

Anyways, read both of these books and decided for yourself.  I won't purchase Cubed Foot Gardening.  I am 2/3rd through All New Square Foot Gardening and I'm considering picking up this book.  Bartholomew's book is a bit more dumbed down (woot for simplicity!) and I appreciate saving brain capacity for other things.  :)

Here are a few more resources:

An inexpensive greenhouse that I am considering building later on, it will work perfectly for my new raised beds and would allow for winter gardening:

Mother Earth News has an email newsletter for free as well as a magazine.  I haven't tried out their magazine, but I enjoy their newsletter:

Backyard Farming blog:

A Garden for the House blog:

If you've found something you love, let me know.  I have about 30 books I am reading/skimming from the library and will let you know what I think of them as I go through them.  I am almost finished with Bartholomew's book and then I will be reading The Backyard Homestead

Have a blessed Beltane!  If you are local, we will be celebrating at 6 p.m. with a traditional maypole dance and some fertility magick.  Blessed be!