This month is a bit of pinch for me when coming to economy. Last month didn’t bring as much as normal, and lots of bills (the irony) were waiting for me. That plus the mandatory savings that I put away each month, plus retirement savings, didn’t leave too much left.

So I decided to give a try to a tactic my friend told me about a while ago. It’s pretty simple but it gives a great overview of your current state in the economy this month. It looks like this:

economy overview

It’s all in Swedish Crowns

It’s not much. Once you’ve set up the bootstrap, there’re only two things to change each month: Total and Days this month. The total amount of available money each month is divided by the number of days to show how much you have avaialble every day. The number showed next to saved is how much of your available money you’ve not used this far.

So at the end of every day you enter how much you’ve spent that day in the used column. As you see I’ve put in 0 on day 1 and 2, which brought saved up to 407 (Swedish Crowns, SEK). I can actually see exactly how much of my resources I’ve used this month, that’s awesome! On day 3 I used part of my daily available amount, and on day 4 I did some grocery shopping for the week, using more than I had that day. But I can see that thanks to my days where I didn’t use any I’m still doing well.

When you start using it, it will also be in the back of your head all the time like a last line of defence for when you want to buy a small snack or similar; “Hmm, that ice cream/chocolate bar/*random tasty thing* looks really good. But it’d be awesome to keep the 0 today, and get some more saved points!”.

This motivates me a lot not to spend money on small things, because you will see in a very direct way how it affects your economy at the end of the day. Many times I’ve thought “Bah, 20kr isn’t that much, I can have that“, and bought me a coffee or tea. It’s true, it’s not much, but it’s very hard to have a good overview in your head, and sometimes I would think like that several times in one day, several days in a row, and all of a sudden I’ve used up a lot in a very short period of time. But when you have to put in at the end of every day how much you’ve spent you become much more aware of how much and how fast things pile up.

It’s only the 8th this month, but I think this method has already saved me probably a copule of hunded.

Here’s the link to it if you want to try it out!

Yesterday I decided to go vegetarian. I didn’t have any reasons left not to.

I’ve had many great inspirations, and I’ve been eating mostly vegetarian food for about half a year now so the transition won’t be that much of an effort, and there are so many awesome vegan stuff out there, and more is coming, so I don’t think it’ll be very hard. I will most likely go vegan as well at some point but I don’t want to make too much change at once so I might risk getting discouraged, and we’re trying to work out how to make awesome food together at home as well, and going vegan straight away might be too big a step for us.

It feels very good, even being only on the second day. Making up my mind did a lot for my mental health and well-being. I feel free in some way, like I’ve been carrying a big secret and now it’s out. And I feel I’m not betraying my animal friends anymore (at least not as much, I’m still not vegan. At least some of the things CAN be produced while still treating animals gently and lovingly, unlike meat where you can’t avoid killing. But not at the mass production rate we’re going with today.)

I’ve been calling myself a wannabe-vegetarian for a while, but I still unconsciously put off stop eating animals for some reason. Maybe I was afraid of change, or maybe I wasn’t ready yet. But I’ve been feeling pretty bad supporting vegan diet while still going on not doing anything myself, and many times I met other vegans and vegetarians I felt a bit bad because I envied them, and I couldn’t find any excuses for not eating vego-style as well. Important note: These excuses were for myself only, no one has ever tried pushing vegan och vegetarian lifestyle on me.

However, yesterday when we were doing some shopping plans for food I came to the insight that change can only happen in the present moment (#thepowerofnow, fuck yeah!) and understood that it was time, and talked with my girlfriend about it. We changed a few things on the shopping list, went shopping, and got back home and made the best darn pizza I’ve had in a long time.

So far many have showed me love and support for my decision (both vegans and not), and many of the same people have been great inspirations to me. Thank you! ❤

Emotions are like fire. Fire is full of constant change. It can give warmth, but it can also be destructive if left unwatched. Used well and carefully fire can light up candles to brighten up a room and give comfort and warmth. But let loose or used carelessly and without control it can burn down your house and hurt you and those around.

Fire can be wounderful when being watched and cared for, and equally destructive and dangerous if left alone.

Watch your feelings and see what’s going on inside. See and accept what’s happening there. This is more important than acting upon them. Fire can spread uncontrollably if left alone, just as emotions can build up new emotions out of your control if left alone. Just being aware and accepting of your emotions can do much more than ignoring or acting upon them without observation.

Emotions are a part of life and aren’t going anywhere. But when you can learn to observe them rather than blindly acting upon them you can save yourself and others a lot of pain, both psychological and physical, and you can start to grow as a person.

Today I was sitting in my friend’s house, working on my computer. I had asked my friend about something work related on a chat and he was answering every now and then with short sentences.

My friend’s little brother came home from school, said hi, and went came over to see what I was doing. I had the window I was working in in focus on the computer, so the IM messages showed up in the top right corner, and my friend’s little brother said:
“Hey, your friend just sent you a message!”,
and I said “Yup, that is correct!” and continued looking at him.
He looked at me for a second and then he said
“Aren’t you going to read it?”
“I can answer when I want to. But right now I’m talking to you, and I was working before that. I can choose whenever I want to read it, and there’s no rule that you have to reply immediately.”
“Hmm. I always reply right away.” he said and walked away.

And he’s not alone. Many people don’t even consider it a possibility to not read or type a reply as soon as you get a message, now matter how unimportant the message might be. Not even in the middle of a conversation does people let go of reading and replying to incoming messages. Instant replying is almost a feeling of duty for some people.

Pay some attention to the people you’re with instead of everyone else that you’re not with at the moment. You will get much more out of the meeting, and your friend will probably appreciate it a lot that you prioritize her or him more than your phone. I know I do. And I think you would too!

Sometimes I find myself thinking without taking any active part of it myself. My thoughts are being thought for me, all thoughts are just reactions to my surroundings. You might also have felt this way, because it’s thoughts you’ve been taught to have. Many times people around you and society teach you that you have to get angry if this happens, and you should be sad if that happens etc.

When I find myself thinking on reflex like that I try to take a break. Feel my surroundings, look at my hands, really be there in the moment being aware that life and everything is now. It’s a really powerful and energizing feeling when you manage and it gives you the feeling that you have the power to choose. More than a feeling actually, the truth.

You’re free to choose how you act on things, how you react, how you think, how you want to do things. Maybe some people will disagree with your ways or try to make you change into reacting “the way you should”. Because even if it makes you feel worse, it’s the “right” way to think.

Is it really? I propose that it might just be a common way to think. But then many people today are unhappy or stressed out. Considering that, breaking from the common way of thinking might just be a very good idea and may have many good effects on your mental and physical well-being.

Many things today we think of differently than we did a couple of years ago, not not to mention a 100 years ago and even further back. Not just as persons but as humans. People’s and society’s way of seeing things have also changed throughout the years. The way we think isn’t decided for us, it’s dynamic and we’re free to choose.

Try to observe your thoughts in situations where you usually think on reflex. Situations when you usually get sad, irritated or angry, and just pause. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if you can’t react in a way that would make you feel better. This does not include thinking of how to take revenge on something bad something did to you, because it might feel a bit better for a second but anger will eventually create guilt, and guilt does not make you feel better. Instead think of how you could change your thoughts right now to make you feel easier on the inside. Maybe you won’t feel happy, but at least at peace.

If you don’t succeed this time, forgive yourself and apologize if you got angry or irritated to whatever or whomever you got angry at, even if it’s just silently inside your head. It will release a lot of stress and you will feel easier on the inside. Then try again the next time.

I just came home from a 4 km barefoot run in pitch dark. The bus wasn’t coming before another 20 minutes so I decided to use the opportunity to run. It had rained a couple of hours earlier, so the asphalt was wet and cool.

When I got home I took a cold shower. We have to make fire to get heat in the water tanks at home, and many times when I get back from a run, we don’t have any hot water so it’s just to step into the shower and get it over with. I didn’t mind though. And it was when I was standing in the shower, not minding it at all, that it got to me that there were many things I don’t mind today that I would’ve gotten very irritated by, just 2 years ago (or even more recently).

First off, just a couple of months ago I didn’t like cold showers at all and avoided them at all costs, even on hot summer days. But one day when I was in Korea 2 months ago, someone forgot to tell me about the hot water switch when I was alone in the apartment, so I stepped into the cold shower. And started laughing. It was such a funny situation that it was all I could do. If I’m gonna do something less enjoyable, I might as well make the most of it! And since that day I sometimes even willingly take cold showers even when there’s hot water in the tanks.

One other thing, is being barefoot. Until 2 years ago I really didn’t like being barefoot. I wanted my foot armor in shape of a shoe. It felt safe and stable. But at some time I started to enjoy being barefoot. Being more natural, not wearing shoes or socks (when it’s not too cold of course, that is), and lately I’ve been more and more into barefoot running. From not liking to be barefoot to prefer running without shoes even when I have them! It feels fantastic and I smile when I think about it.

It feels really good having made this progress in attitude towards things in life. Big ones and small ones. I don’t even sigh when I on rare occasions spill my cup of hot coffee over myself in the morning (don’t ask why I spill my coffee, I can’t answer), I just laugh over the silly situation and clean it up, feeling almost better than before!

Being able to laugh about things that might seem bad at first glance, but really is just silly or funny, have helped me relax and feel better. Good or bad is all about attitude and perspective, and you can chose whether you want to look on something as good or as bad. If something’s happened, it’s happened, and it won’t change because you don’t like it, so make the best of it and find the good or funny parts and laugh at it!

Many times we think that we need to be doing something all the time in order to be productive or just to prevent wasting our time. But even so, every so often we think we don’t have enough time or that we haven’t done enough.

What if the thing we haven’t done enough is to not do anything? The thing you’re worried about not having had time to do might just be that you haven’t taken your time to be still, to think, to not think, or to just enjoy being.

I bet there are hundreds of things in your head that you’d like to have time to process, but so many things are left untouched because you don’t have any time for your brain to work with what’s already in it.

When I ride the bus, the train or the subway, I barely see anyone without a phone in their hand, checking up on mail, communities, talking to someone somewhere else or playing games. People are desperately trying to fill out the ’empty’ time  while going somewhere.

Once in a while just try to consciously do nothing when riding the bus or the subway ( or at other times as well! ). Just be still, see if there are something you want to just think about, or just be, without thinking about anything. It’s strangely refreshing and your brain will probably like the time off from all the constant focus shifts that it has to withstand every day.

Spend some time with focus on yourself, just being aware of yourself, how your body feels, how your mind feels. Many times we’re so busy doing things that we don’t understand what we really need or that we’re getting stressed. Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re stressed without even knowing it or because your head is whirling with thoughts.

By being still and quiet you can sometimes realize that something’s going on inside you, and that you might be able to fix it before it blooms, or think through things so you don’t do it the time just before you fall asleep. When being still and quiet, you may also come up with ideas and solutions that you wouldn’t have otherwise because you were too busy doing something.

Try to leave some space. Sometimes the most productive thing to do is to do nothing at all.