Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Confessions of a Blog Writer

I must confess that I am tired. Although I successfully managed the crisis phase of my family emergency, I am ready to rest, but there are related tasks that seem to show up almost every day. I know that is affecting my motivation to continue writing this blog and working on my other retirement projects.

I must confess that I am bored. It seems that after more than 750 blog posts I have run out of things to say. Finding new ways to say the same old thing just seems to get harder and harder.

But I know that these same old boring things need to be said over and over until you find your way financial freedom. Looking at the increase in household indebtedness and the decrease in household net worth, it is obvious that we, as a nation, are still losing the battle to find financial freedom.

My wife and I recently bought one of those DVD courses, The Science of Natural Healing by Dr. Mimi Guarneri, a cardiologist and expert in integrative medicine. Dr Guarneri seems to begin each lecture on the various maladies of her patients who suffer from heart problems, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type II diabetes with the same refrain, “Food, exercise, supplements.”

I am doing pretty well on exercise. I am walking 25-30 miles most weeks. I could and probably will add a little strength training and stretching at some point, but really I’m doing OK. I am pretty much taking the supplements that are appropriate for someone my age and with my conditions; although I am learning that I could add a little more here and there.

My diet is atrocious. I know that. I don’t need a board certified cardiologist to tell me I am still overweight because I drink beer, eat too much fatty meat, and enjoy every unhealthy carbohydrate known to man, but her lectures on diet (that fall just short of rants) aren’t helpful. I can eat dried beans, raw vegetables, and select fresh fruit with low sugar content. For breakfast I can enjoy steel cut oats sprinkled with Metamucil (psyllium seeds) for a special treat. Can’t somebody tell me how to add a few more vegetables to my diet that taste good without a lot of expense in time and money?

I understand why Dr Guarneri is as serious as the proverbial heart attack. That is just what walks into the door of her office every single day of her life. One of her patients came to her after open heart surgery. He was 150 pounds overweight and suffered from just about every condition that one could imagine. He was in her office because if he didn’t do something pretty radical, pretty soon, he was going to die. In such cases, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to lock the patient up for six weeks on a diet of raw kale and filtered water (no water from plastic bottles permitted).

So, therein lies my problem. I see and read about financial situations that make what is left of my hair stand straight up on my poor old tired bald head. Then I am inclined to rant or despair. A little wisdom in the reader is helpful. If you are flirting with bankruptcy, by all means live on raw vegetables and Metamucil sprinkled on steel cut oats. Hire a personal trainer who will scream at you. If you are doing OK, but need to save more for retirement and your kids’ college education find ways to add some fiber, fruit, and greens to your diet. Find a responsibility partner (your spouse comes to mind) who shares the same problems and goals. Then start walking maybe 20 minutes a day toward the promise of financial freedom. Before you know it, you will be walking more than an hour a day and enjoying it. Now, work harder or work smarter, spend less, save more, learn to invest, and avoid debt like the plague. What other advice can I offer than, “Food, exercise, supplements?”

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