I’ve Had My Fill of Ads for Pills

I tolerated the fungus-fighting toe and the lady whose cat and dog’s bodies are the word sleep and wake. The lady who walks through a world where everything besides her appears to be made of white paper does kind of weird me out. But the final straw for me is the pile of intestines with the turtle legs and head.image

It seems like we are being bombarded with direct to consumer TV ads. Twenty-four billion dollars were spent on these ads in 2014 and 2015 is on pace to exceed last year. Pharmaceutical companies spend over twice that amount marketing their drugs to doctors.

With these advertising budgets, why are they paying people to create intestine turtles? The majority of ads either show adults enjoying fun activities and/or employ some kind of cartoonish material. I believe this is done to distract viewers from the long list of side effects, some of which might be fatal, that companies are required to include in the ad. Are you focusing on the cute sleep cat, or the line that says you might experience temporary paralysis upon waking?

So many of the drugs advertised do not cure the disease, but only help manage the symptoms and as for those nasty side effects, well they have a drug for that also. So as I take my medicine to help me sleep tonight, I worry whether I will get up and eat during the night in my sleep. I worry that I may not be able to move when the alarm sounds. I notice a twitching in my right eye. Is that a sign of dry eye? Is that spot on my toe fungus? Better get an appointment with my doctor and ask, and maybe he can get something for my nerves.

If you are interested in learning more about how new drugs are developed and marketed, you can read an article from Harvard University Center of Ethics here.

Image courtesy of jk 1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

 

Chasing My Goals Through Running

It had been a long time since I had reached a meaningful goal. Yesterday I reached an important goal of mine. I participated in an official 5K!

Why did I choose to start running? I guess because right now running is one of the few things that makes me feel good about myself. After 40 years of smoking, I finally quit about 2 1/2 years ago. That was also a major accomplishment. As I started to feel better not smoking, I just felt like running.

Before I quit I doubt I could have run 50 yards without collapsing. At first I measured my progress by how many steps I could run before I had to start walking. I remember coming home excited to tell my wife I was able to run 500 steps. Then I started measuring my progress by my time running 5K. When I first finished under 45 minutes, I began to believe I could get under 40 minutes. Now that I run at 35 minutes, I believe I can get under 30.

Why is reaching this goal so important to me? I know many people will wonder what is the big deal about completing a 5K. I didn’t win any awards. I finished in 131st place overall and 7th out of 16 in my age group. It is important because I needed to succeed at something. I needed to complete a goal. I needed to start chasing the negative thoughts from my head.

It is so easy to start just drifting through life, accepting where you are and just happy to make it through another day, another week, another uneventful year. It is so easy to believe that the opportunity for personal growth is far behind you. I needed to prove to myself that I am not through growing and changing.

Completing this race gives me the confidence to pursue my other goals. It shows me that, with effort, I am capable of being a successful writer. I can find a way to support myself doing something I love rather than in retail management which I am so tired of doing.

So I sprinted the last quarter mile of this race, and as the finish line approached I was able to smile despite the physical effort. And when I crossed the finish line I shed a couple of tears because I realized that I CAN!

 

The goal of this blog is to share my journey to Live Simple, Live healthy and to Love what I’m doing. If you can relate to this blog please subscribe to my blog and/or like my Live Your Future Now Facebook page. If you know others who may benefit from my blog, PLEASE share this blog with them. Thank you for your support.

What if I Stumble?

I was just past the halfway point of my 5k run, feeling strong and on pace to finish in under 35 minutes for the first time when it happened. Just the smallest bit of the tip of my left foot caught on a piece of upraised sidewalk. I stumbled a couple of steps trying to regain my balance before finally face planting and eating some concrete. My nose and upper lip were a bloody mess along with scraped knees and some assorted bruises. None of my injuries were serious and just needed some cleaning, ice and time to heal.

Responses from my friends, family and coworkers varied from telling me that maybe I was too old, running is dangerous, or I should stick to running on a treadmill to those who told me to get back on the horse and ride. My favorite response was from a great niece of mine who is a runner. She told me a true runner is one who, when injured, counts the days before they can run again!

Now I had a choice to make. I could use this fall as an excuse to quit. Maybe I am too old to run and should stick to walking. If I keep running, I am going to fall again and next time I may not be so lucky. Who would blame me if I quit? Today, I chose to get back on the horse and ride. Two weeks after my fall, I ran 5K today! My time was 3 minutes off of my best time, but it felt like a major victory. I did not quit. I stumbled, but got back up. This is a change for me  as in the past I often quit after a fall.

It really felt good not to quit. Maybe it will become a habit.

Persevere, don’t quit. There is always an answer!

 

 

 

Live Simple, Live Healthy, Live Doing What You Love

I would like to invite you to the new Live Your Future Now blog! In the past this blog’s focus has been on living a life free from clutter, removing the objects and activities that keep you from doing the things you love.  That focus has not changed.

What I realize now is that there is so much more to achieving this lifestyle then just cleaning out your closets and garages. It can be a long and sometimes painful journey full of small successes and setbacks. You not only need to remove the material objects that are weighing you down, but the physical and emotional obstacles as well.

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This new banner shows the goal I have for my life. Future blog posts will be about my journey to achieve that goal. I will write about the things that help me make progress and tools which move me past obstacles. I will write about the things that cause me setbacks. My hope is that along the way you will find some encouragement and practical resources to help you achieve your goals.

Here is an update of my progress since my last post in May. I am still running on a regular basis and have reduced my 5K time to under 36 minutes. I still have not entered an official 5K race but plan to do so this year. To improve on my times, I will need to do more exercises geared to strengthening my core and glutes.

I’m not sure what my weight was in my last post, but I do know I weighed 194 pounds on February 21st and I weighed 158 on August 22nd. I am not on any diet plan, just making healthier food choices. There will be future posts on the subject of healthy eating.

Although I have done some writing since my last post, I still have some fears and obstacles to overcome to be anywhere near my goals for my writing. I believe I can make a difference for some people through my writing and also generate some income from my efforts.

At this time, my biggest challenge is in the area of living doing what I love as my current job is definitely not what I love.

Your goals and struggles may not be the same as mine, but we can all learn from each other’ experiences. If you have read this far, then maybe something is striking a chord with you and I invite you to follow my blog, like my Facebook page and leave a comment on this post. Please share this with anyone you believe may benefit from my blog. Join me on my journey.

I want to leave you with a video that has inspired me to push myself. I watch it almost every day. I hope it inspires you also. Follow this link Unbroken

Continue reading

Caring for Yourself.

How do you continue on when no one seems to care?

In my post Fantasy Starts, False Starts, and Failed Starts I stated that I was going to use this blog to share the struggles I am facing in reaching my goals with the hope that the sharing would help both me and any readers that may also be struggling. Well, I’m struggling and now I’m sharing.

I am not having much problem with eating healthier and losing weight. My wife actually got a head start on healthy eating and weight loss, so she is preparing healthy meals for us and holding me accountable for my diet.  I’ve lost 5 more pounds since that post and I seldom eat any junk food.

Running has even been going well. I get out to run/walk 2 to 3 times each week and have improved my 5K time from 58 minutes to just over 45 minutes. My goal is to get under 40 minutes, then enter a 5K race. I think I am on track to achieve this goal.

Where I am struggling the most is in my writing. I have not written a single word on any of my fiction short stories since I posted that as a goal. I had to renew my domain site writerrick.com and my wife questioned the wisdom of spending $50 on something nobody reads anyway. That is my biggest discouragement.  My last post on motivation had one reader.  It was a man named Karol Gajda from Poland, a blogger and author who inspires me. I wasn’t expecting thousands or even hundreds of hits, but I did post the link on my Facebook page and not one of my family or friends went to my blog.

So, how do I continue when no on else cares? By caring myself and not worrying whether anyone else cares. So I will continue to attempt reaching my goals and I will continue to report my struggles here. I will not advertise these posts about my struggles on my Facebook page. If someone reads this because they reached my blog for other content, that is fine. Meanwhile, I will motivate myself and move forward.

 

Who or what motivates you?

We’ve all said it, ” I really should be doing (fill in the blank) but I just can’t seem to get motivated today. I need someone or something to get me motivated.” So we sit back and wait for motivation to come knocking , either right before or right after opportunity, and nothing happens.

A Google search of motivational speeches and speakers will bring up a list of hits that would take weeks to read  and years to watch. The motivation industry is huge. Some people spend a lot of their time and money chasing after motivation. You might call them professional motivation seeker!

The problem is that nothing or no one can motivate you but yourself. You can be inspired by someone. Friends or peers may encourage you. You may act to avoid negative consequences or to obtain positive rewards, but motivation comes from within.

Inspiriration, support and encouragement are important, especially when we encounter struggles or roadblocks.  It is our choice to allow the above to motivate us. We choose to act.

“Your destiny is determined by the choices you make. Choose now, choose well.” Anthony Robbins

 

Fantasy Starts, False Starts, and Failed Starts

Most of us could make a long list of things we want to start.  Many lists would include starting habits traditionally found in New Year’s resolutions. This year I’m going to exercise more, eat healthier, start saving more money, volunteer my time….blah, blah, blah, etc. etc. etc. Some items would be more personal. This is the spring I’m going to build that deck I’ve been talking about for years, the summer I will take the family camping, the fall I take those cooking classes or the winter I start writing my novel.

Too often most of the items on our lists amount to no more than fantasy starts.  We picture the evenings we spend on our new deck or the restaurant quality meals we will whip up in the kitchen, and that is as far as we get. Don’t get me wrong, visualizing a successful outcome is helpful in reaching your goal.  Visualizing the steps and hard work it will take to accomplish your goal is much more productive.

If we get past the fantasy stage, then we may fall victim to a false start.  We draw up plans for the deck, calculate the materials we need and get expert advice on how to proceed and go no further. I am the king of false starts.  Live Your Future Now has been without a new post for over 2 years.  This article you are reading now was started in September of 2013!

One item on my list for years has been to be a successful writer, not just of a blog, but also of short stories. Three years ago I purchased the domain Writerrick.com and have not even purchased hosting much less published anything.  I have 4, or is it 5, short stories started and no good reason why I haven’t finished even one.

While writing is at the top of my list, I also want to run a 5K this year, lose 15 more pounds, (I’ve already lost 15 since February 20th) and improve my interpersonal and spiritual relationships. Sounds like a lot to attempt and it won’t be easy.

To help me achieve these goals, I am changing the mission of Live Your Future Now. I will use this blog to discuss my struggles, successes, and the materials I have found to help me along the way.  I’m not doing this to receive encouragement and congratulations, although I will take all I can get.  The reason is to keep me writing, hold me accountable and hopefully help others reach their goals.

It would foolish to believe I will succeed in everything I attempt. There will be some starts where I try my best but fail.  Maybe the goal was not realistic or I did not plan properly.  I will learn from the experience, replan and start again.

While there will still be occasional posts on living a simple, uncluttered life as I have not abandoned my minimalistic ideas, the majority of posts will be on my writing and running goals.

Most people reading this blog at this time are my family and friends. To reach my goal of being a successful writer I need to expand my audience. If you feel any of my posts may be helpful to one of your friends, please share it with them. Let them join me in my journey.

P.S. I both ran and wrote today, so today was a good day! See the poem below.

I RAN TODAY
(a poem? by Rick McCarthy)
I ran today. Feet flying over pavement.
I do not know whether I run to escape or arrive.
I do not care.
All I know is-
I ran today. I will continue to run
For as long as my heart provides life’s blood
For as long as oxygen flows through my brain.
I will run until my body can no longer.
And then … I am done.

I wrote today. Fingers flying over keyboard.
I do not know whether I write to escape or arrive.
I do not care.
All I know is-
I wrote today. I will continue to write
For as long as my heart provides life’s stories.
For as long as ideas flow through my brain.
I will write until my soul can no longer.
And then … I am done.