Category Archives: Updates

Frugal By Choice

I realize that it may seem counter intuitive, but I don’t want to be rich. I have no desire to display an expensive car, own a trophy home, or wear designer anything. Such expressions of worth are worthless to me. I’d rather live a rich life, full of adventures. My latest adventure involves being frugal by choice. 

 Life’s circumstances extracted me from the professional world. I held on for a number of years, “consulting,” here and there, but for the most part I’m done with it. I don’t want the stress of a high paying job. I’d rather earn less and be happier.

I now think of my professional skills as my back up plan, which is ironic because my current occupation is a former fall back skill. I’m working in food service, as a line cook, in San Francisco. The work is hard, and physical, and even a little stressful at times, but at the end of the day, it all stays there. I don’t carry it with me. And, I get a lot of time to think, and ponder.

So, the money is not great. In fact, technically I’m now a member of the working poor, with a few exceptions. First of all, I don’t pay rent or a mortgage. I’m lucky and thankful to live in a family home that’s paid for. I’m also lucky to have a car that’s paid for. It’s eleven years old, but runs great, and I take public transit to the City as much as possible. For the rest of my expenses, I have a series of strategies to mitigate costs.

Even before I cooked professionally, I was regularly dissatisfied with most restaurant food. It’s hard to pay for something you know you can do better yourself. So now my eating out excursions are mostly for ethnic food, read: inexpensive ethnic food. I also thrift shop, I make due with what I have, and when I do spend money on new items, I tend to get the best quality I can afford. Durability, it’s a thing. 

I think I’ve been striving for this kind of focus for a long time. I like inserting thoughtfulness to my purchases. And, by being so frugal, I’m currently able to put almost half of my money towards debt, with the goal of paying it off as soon as possible. But, my motive is more than being out of I debt. 

Living a frugal lifestyle is about seeking satisfaction. The more I find myself being satisfied with less, the happier I am. Dismissing self imposed or societal pressures to have all the things is refreshing actually, and by doing so I can focus on that which I really want. 

So, be prepared. For the foreseeable future this blog will be about my adventures in frugality, the what, how and why I choose to live this way. Maybe it’ll prove to be helpful to someone else. Stand by.

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Filed under Frugal Life, Simple Life, Updates

A Declaration for Clarity

Life for me is changing. The original purpose of this blog was to write about digital communications, something that still interests me greatly. I used this blog to share information I learned and to drum up business for my own consulting services.

But, life for me has changed. For the last four years I’ve acquired a changeling existence with the San Francisco Bay Area, making it increasingly difficult to keep up my consulting services. I haven’t given it up all together, but Communications Consulting is no longer the focus of my occupational life.

Instead, I’ve taken to a different endeavor: a simpler life. I am currently inclined to strive for a life that includes fewer things, more living, and thus less stress. I want to owe less, own less, and enjoy the simple things more.

This blog will continue, but dear reader, but you will find that the subject of what brings me clarity has evolved. Communication is grand, but so is a thoughtful, meaningful life.  Stay tuned and enjoy this next adventure with me.

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Filed under asides, Projects, Updates

Being Polite in Canada

Canadian MannersFor those who don’t know me, I’ve been away from the Bay Area this winter. I decided to winter in the Great White North to see how I like it. Although harsh in the colder months, I’ve found that the Saskatchewan prairies suit me. So the emigration process has begun.

After a careful search I found an employer that will sponsor my work permit, and the applications are in. It’s a bit of an arduous process. The employer must advertise the job for 30 days to guarantee that no Canadians are available before an offer is made, and the candidate, i.e. me, has to commit to work for two years, not take any social assistance, and attend a Canadian Culture Course aka Politeness Training.

That’s right. Within the Canadian Culture Course, newcomers to Canada not only learn the correct way to say sorry, pronounced “sore-ee,” but also the virtues of being helpful to strangers, and polite driving. The free one day course is held at the main library once a month.

It’s a lot harder than I would have thought to emigrate to another country. But at least systems are in place to assist in this transition.

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