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Adulting means….Watching Out for Each Other

I live in a small town in North Texas. Our town is often listed on the “Safest Towns in Texas”. It’s quaint, quiet and honestly it can be a little boring. I love to go for jogs in the early morning hours. I plug in my earbuds and I’m off. I leave my house before dawn to attend my Camp Gladiator work outs (like an outdoor bootcamp). My 17 year old daughter rolls in from work sometime around 10:00 pm. I’ve never once been worried about our safety. The only time I’ve been scared going to my car was because I watched a particularly intense Walking Dead episode.

Jogging alone

My fairy tale land came crashing in around me 3 weeks ago. It was Super Bowl Sunday. We had all the kids in the house watching the game, eating pizza and playing board games. We’re a loud bunch when we get competitive. As I headed out to bring a bag of trash outside, my husband joined me. We were chatting about this and that standing on our front porch. Suddenly we heard a woman’s voice yelling. At first we figured it was kids playing and chasing each other. Then it got more desperate and louder. We started running in the direction of the screams. It was dark and we couldn’t see anyone. My husband called out “Are you okay? Do we need to call the police?” Then a man took off running away from us. We quickly saw a woman come out of the shadows. She was crying and trying to call 911. As we approached her we saw she had a busted lips and both knees are bleeding.

 

She was crying so hard, I took her phone to give the 911 operator our situation and location. As she calmed down, she was able to tell us what happened. She was walking in the dark (about 7pm) with her headphones in and a man came out of nowhere and grabbed her from behind. He started groping her and tearing at her clothes. For two hours we sat with her consoling her and helping her retell her story to the police. My teenagers brought water and aspirin. One thing that really struck me is how GUILTY the victim felt. Granted walking at night, by yourself, with headphones in may not be the wisest decision.

TX neighborhood

BUT as I’ve mentioned, we live in a very safe (very boring) little town. You would never expect this brazen attack here. Especially on a fairly busy street in the evening. I’d say this was a reality check for many of us. The assault was reported on all the local news channels and media outlets. At the very least, I hope others of us who run, jog and walk our streets have taken note. In no way am I saying we should stop our activities. I am angry about this violence and I for one will not be scared to live my life. I will not give him the satisfaction of “stealing” my freedom. I will, however, by more aware of my surroundings. I now have a running belt and it’s armed with pepper spray, a personal alarm and a Kubotan (see YouTube videos on how to use this weapon).

kubotan

This man is still out there. Please watch out for each other. If you See something, Say something. If you hear someone in trouble, don’t assume it’s not your problem. “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other “ – Mother Teresa

Adulting means….protecting yourself

Recently my 17 year old daughter had a car accident. During rush hour traffic, she slammed in to the woman in front of her. My daughter’s explanation was this, “I thought we were all going. She didn’t.” Luckily everyone was physically fine. Unfortunately her car was totaled and the car she hit had damage. Regarding my daughter’s car, we are out of luck. We weren’t carrying insurance to replace/repair her car in an accident caused by her. The car just wasn’t worth enough money to justify that. BUT the insurance DID cover the damage done to the other car. This is when you realize how important it is to have good coverage with a good company and it makes those monthly premiums seem a little less painful.

  • car wreck

In general, insurance is there to save you from catastrophe. When the unthinkable happens, your insurance will be there to help you out. You buy an insurance policy, then if you have an incident, they pay you for the damage. Every month you’ll need to pay them a certain amount (premium) to contribute. If there’s a incident, you’ll likely need to pay the first chunk of money (deductible). Then the insurance company pays the rest. This general model applies to all types of insurance including auto, health, home-owner/renter and life. At this stage of your life you most likely need all of those.

Auto insurance covers your car and anything you damage with your car (property, people, etc). You MUST have insurance to drive a car. You can adjust the amount of the deductible. I recommend getting a higher deductible (like $1,000), but ONLY if you have some money in an emergency fund to help you cover the deductible if you ever need it.

Home-owners and Renters insurance covers your house, property, everything IN your house and any injuries occurring on your property. If you have a mortgage, you MUST have insurance. You can rent without insurance, but renter’s insurance is super cheap and worth the peace of mind.

life insurance

Life insurance can be a bit trickier. If you don’t have a spouse or family depending on your income, you can get a small policy. Just enough to basically cover a funeral. This is often provided by your employer, so check that out. If you have people who would suffer if you weren’t there bringing in a paycheck, you need a bigger policy. Again, employers often have inexpensive coverage available. You should talk to an insurance professional to determine how much you need. Get a TERM policy! Do not get a Whole policy.

Medical insurance will cover most medical, dental, vision expenses. Just like all other insurance, you’ll need to pay premiums (sometimes employers help with that) and you’ll pay a deductible (amount varies by plan). Sometimes you’ll even need to pay a portion of what’s remaining (co-pay). This can all add up and be fairly expensive, but if an incident occurs, you’ll be so happy you have it. Usually employers offer a few different options for your insurance. Talk to your Human Resources department to help you choose a plan.

umbrella money

Here’s a few general insurance tips. Don’t make any claims unless you NEED to. If you car door gets scratched at the grocery store, don’t claim that. You’ll have to pay the deductible any way. Insurance companies will raise your rates if you’ve been making claims. Also, every time your insurance policy is up for renewal (every 6 – 12 months), go get at least 3 quotes. Rates and

Adulting means…..Setting Goals

Happy New Year 2019! This is the perfect time to set some goals for yourself. What do you want to accomplish this year? When you’re looking back, what will make you say, “Wow! I nailed it this year!” Do you want to pay off some debt? Continue your education? Get a promotion? Or maybe improve a relationship? If you are serious about those dreams, you better set some goals.

Setting goals fuels your ambition and gives you a way to measure your progress. Goals help you prioritize and focus your time. Accountability and commitment will fuel your drive and ultimately get you the results you want!

You may need help determining what goals you should focus on or where to start. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. I love using the wheel to help figure out what areas of your life are strong and what areas may need some work. Take a look at this wheel and think about where your life is currently. A 10 would be perfect and a 1 would be unbearable.

Wheel.docx

Now it should be fairly clear where you can set some goals. For example, if you rated a 2 on health, you might want to set a goal to exercise every day for 30 minutes. This is a personal task, so you do what YOU need to do.

When setting your goal, there are a few things to keep in mind. I suggest using the SMART goal setting technique.

SMART

Your goal should be ALL of these things. A goals doesn’t always need to take a year to accomplish. Ideally, within 90 days or so, you’ll create a habit that then just becomes part of your life. Regular check ins might be a good idea to ensure you’re still on track 😊

One of the keys to success is ACCOUNTABILITY!  Figure out what works for you. Maybe it’s posting regularly to social media. It could be a weekly check in with your family or bff. Or go old school and give yourself a gold star sticker on the calendar for every successful day.

Let’s go! Go big or go home! Make THIS your year and take control of your life. With some focus, attention and accountability, success is near!

“If There’s Anything I Can Do……”

helpful

Did your best friend have a baby? Your neighbor had surgery? Your Dad slipped on the ice?

 

Don’t offer to be helpful. Actually BE helpful. This is what grown-ups do. Here’s a few key notes for you.

 

  • Text them and see when it’s a good time to talk. If you call first, you might wake them up.

 

  • Better yet, text the care giver.   They will give you guidance on contact.

 

  • Never ever say “If there’s anything I can do, let me know.” They will never take you up on that.

casserole

  • Instead say “Please let me…”
    • Bring you dinner
    • Drive you to the Doctor
    • Take your kids to dinner and a movie
    • Clean your bathrooms and kitchen
    • Run a list of errands
    • Take your dog for a few days

 

  • Organize a group to rotate the help.

 

  • Be mindful of their boundaries. They may not want a different acquaintance showing up every night with a casserole.

 

  • If they aren’t local, you can send flowers or have a meal shipped.
  • Follow up with them later. Set a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget

Adulting means……Dealing With Change

Your world is probably a whirlwind of change these days. One thing that never changes? Things are always changing. You may as well be prepared and know how to deal with change in stride. Here’s some great ideas I got from the book “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

Change

CHANGE HAPPENS

  • Don’t overanalyze the change. Accept, adapt and then execute a new plan or path.
  • Engage in activities that help improve your emotions – meditation, sports

 

ANTICIPATE CHANGE:

  • Get ready for change. You know it’s bound to happen.
  • Expect it. Watch for it. Initiate it.

thermometer

MONITOR CHANGE:

  • Be aware of your environment and your own biases.
  • Measure your environment. Review it. Watch for trends.

 

ADAPT QUICKLY

  • Embrace the change. The sooner you stop being scared, the sooner you’ll see the benefits.
  • Focus on what you’ll gain rather than what you’ll lose.

 

EXECUTE CHANGE

  • Fear can slowly degrade you. Confront it!
  • Develop a routine that optimizes your behavior.

Arms open

ENJOY CHANGE

  • Change can lead you to things you can’t even imagine.
  • If you’re forced in to change, you might as well appreciate the ride.

 

CHANGE HAPPENS AGAIN AND AGAIN

  • The ultimate goal is to change your mind set about change.