Welcome to the Nspyired Newsletter. In this issue, we’ve got my birthday, one year older and one year of reflection. Good books to read, good treats to try, and good coffee to brew. You’ll see that Twitter can be funny, and everybody needs a little motivation. Join here for quality content delivered to your inbox.
1. It’s been about four weeks since I’ve written anything, so it’s been hard for me to put my thoughts on paper. And to be quite frank with you, I’ve been obsessed with the news. Seems like something major is happening everyday.
My birthday just passed, July the 4th. So I’m full of thoughts and reflections.
As I turn 34, I basically think about two life buckets, money and health.
Have I made enough money, saved enough money, and how much debt do I have?
Generally it’s not a good conversation that I have with myself. Although when I look back I generally find myself in a better position…especially as I get older and get more experience professionally.
The thing is, it never feels that way.
I also think about my health. I think about how I look and how I feel. At this point I want to make sure that I’m doing the right things, and for me the right thing is working out. Am I doing it consistently?
How’s my eating? Am I eating junk food or real food?
I like to have multiple checkpoints throughout the year. Just to see where I’m at in these particular areas.
When we don’t check these areas, the saying “life happens” pops up. Thats what happens when we get caught in the weeds. We get caught up in the day-to-day and tend to the urgent, but rarely pay attention to the important but not urgent quadrant. (I read about this in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey)
The Devil is Always in the Details
Think about it: credit cards, I’ve had them since I was in college, and it’s never ended well.
To me, credit cards are the path of least resistance, an easy route if you will. And if it’s easy today, there’s always a price to be paid down the road.
Now, not all paths of “least resistance” are bad, and credit is not bad especially if you can use them the right way. At this point in my life, for me, I’ve used them responsibly and I’ve also used them irresponsibly.
The truth is the other day I decided to check the interest rate on my credit cards.
My God, the interest rates were 17% and 20%. And there you have it, that’s where the devil showed up…in the details.
Most of these cards were opened with 0% APR the first year…but I know now that’s the trap.
So now at the age of 34, I vow to get rid of credit card debt. I asked myself this question the other day as I “discovered” these rates, would I borrow money to buy a car with a 17% interest rate?
No, for the life of me I could never figure out why my credit card balance kept going up and up. I would go back and wonder what I was buying, but no I wasn’t buying anything. I just borrowed money at a ridiculously high rate.
Yep so there you have it. I’m done with credit cards.
The Health Bucket
The other bucket is your health, which is if you don’t have your health then nothing else matters. So this by nature comes first.
Every now and then I have to check myself about how I’m eating. Over the last month I’ve lost five pounds, and it was tough. Tougher than normal.
But I have to confess as to what actually happened. So one day I asked my wife to make me some Rice Krispy Treats, she’s an excellent cook, but this time I don’t think she knew exactly how to make them. She followed the instructions on the back of the box, but like all good cooks she added her own lil’ flavor to them.
And Rice Krispies just ain’t the thing you do that to.
So the next day, I tried to make them and honestly I was upset how easy it was when I followed the directions. Truthfully, I was actually excited because I now could make them whenever I wanted.
And that’s exactly what I did.
Going into 2020 for three months I made Rice Krispies every weekend and sometimes if they didn’t turn out perfect, I would eat that pan and then try them again mid week.
Like I said before, it was the path of least resistance, so I paid for it later in pounds. So around November of 2019, I weighed in between 185 to 190 lbs.
By March of 2020, for the first time in my life I hit 200 lbs. And that was going into quarantine season for COVID-19. So technically, I could have easily put on additional weight from being stuck in the house and nothing to do other than eat. The gym was closed and like the rest of America we made a run on the grocery store and bought every roll of toilet paper we could find.
Which for the life of me, I still don’t know what toilet paper has to do with a pandemic.
Then again, I’ve never ran out of toilet paper either. So the thought of running out of toilet paper and no hopes of getting any is actually probably pretty bad.
But I’m proud to say that as of my 34th birthday, within the last month I’ve lost 5 – 7 lbs.
Let me be honest about this though. It’s getting harder to lose weight. I’ve had to not only stop eating the Rice Krispies, but I’ve had to examine other foods that I was eating.
I was eating a ton of bread, muffins, corn bread, hamburger buns. Bread makes me bloated, and helps me add on the weight. Also since we were home in quarantine, we were eating breakfast more.
So we had the typical pancakes and syrup and even french toast. My wife showed me she could make those. Homemade french toast is a game changer. My advice to you is to refrain from learning how to make it at home.
French toast has probably contributed five lbs. alone. The other thing I’ve had to do is make sure I workout consistently.
I’m not where I want to be, but I’m getting closer, but like anything, it’s the consistency that does the trick.
2. Here is a fiction book by Colson Whitehead, although it’s fiction, it’s based on true events in history, just a different time period and fictional characters. Whitehead depicts the story of a juvenile reform school in Marianna, Florida originally known as the Florida State Reform School.
Book I Read This Past Month| The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
3. Not too much to say about this one at this point. Just really getting into it, but I can tell you 2020 will be a big election year and voter turnout will be the key.
The Book I’m Currently Reading| Our Time Is Now by Stacey Abrams
4. Since it’s the reason I gained weight, I find it necessary to put a link in here so you can try it. Just follow the instructions on the box. I normally melt the butter and marshmallows on the stovetop, but last week I put it in the microwave and it worked out just fine. Don’t get carried away, they’re addictive.
Favorite Treat Right Now| Rice Krispies
5. A nice morning brew. When the world closed down, coffee shops closed too. Starbucks tried to stay open, but I only drink black coffee, and I hate sitting in their long drive thru lines. When you order a cup of coffee at Starbucks, they turn around pour your coffee and you’re out the door. Since the cafe was closed I basically stopped going during the pandemic. But the beautiful thing is that it gave me an opportunity to work on my coffee game at home. For the last three months I’ve tried other beans and I have found different ones that I like, but Counter Culture is my favorite.
The Human Section
6. Check out Sarah Cooper on Twitter, you won’t be disappointed. She’s too funny.
7. Everybody needs to be motivated. I mean a word to uplift
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