Archives for October 2012

Five Tips to Survive and Thrive Through a Divorce

Divorce is an unfortunate reality for a lot of people at some point in their lives. While it is generally not considered a good thing, you can not only survive but thrive as you make your way through the divorce process. Here are five tips that will help if you find yourself in this situation.

TIP 1 – Keep Your Perspective – Although the divorce might seem like it is consuming your life while it is ongoing remember that at some point it will just be a part of your past life. So even though it seems enormous right now remind yourself that this feeling is temporary.

Read also: “Resentment is poison“.

TIP 2 – Hire a Good Lawyer and Follow Their Advice – Many people fear hiring a lawyer, thinking that doing so will turn their divorce into a giant battle. If you go to the right lawyer the opposite will happen and they will help you reach a fair and fast conclusion.

TIP 3 – Don’t Start Dating too Quickly – Often people feel (especially if they think their spouse is “leaving them”) that they need to immediately jump back into the dating world to prove that they are still desirable. This can be overwhelming and too much too soon. There is plenty of time to date and it will be a lot more fun after you have had a chance to transition to being single again first. This leads me to Tip #4…

TIP 4 – Let Yourself Grieve, But Don’t Dwell – Give yourself permission to feel bad about it for a little while. It is natural and healthy to grieve when a lifelong commitment doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would. But remember that you only get once chance at this life so you should treasure each day as the gift that it is. If you keep this in mind you will eventually be able to move on, appreciating your marriage for whatever positive you got out of it and then happily move forward into the next phase of your life.

TIP 5 – Take Care of Yourself By Having Some Fun – It might be trite but laughter really is the best medicine, even for a heartache. Find a way to get some laughter and joy into your life. If you have kids, go out of your way to do fun things with them during your with them. If you have hobbies that you enjoy, do them. And if you grew up in the 70’s or 80’s and just need a laugh check out this happy little clouds video.

Follow these tips and you will be able to move onward and upward with your life even through the divorce process.

About the Author

This is a guest post by Scott Morgan is an Austin divorce lawyer with 18 years of experience helping people navigate the divorce process. You can read more about him at the Morgan Law Firm website.

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8 sneaky ways to get free furniture

I hope that title is not misleading.  While there is nothing sneakier than tiptoeing into somebody’s house in the middle of the night and stealing stuff from them, that is not what this post is about.  This is about being creative.

Free furniture is there for the taking.  All you have to do is open your eyes, and you will never pay for furniture again.  Not all of these methods might apply to you, and some might be a little…er…eccentric (yeah, that’s the word!) than others.  But all are real and some may even be realistic.

Use less. This is the most obvious and simplest way to get free furniture.  You don’t pay anything for furniture you don’t have.  And let’s face it, most of us have too much furniture and too little space.

DIY. There are books in the library that will show you how to build your own furniture.  There are plans.  There are step-by-step instructions.  You can become a one-man furniture factory.  Or a one-woman furniture factory.

Of course, this is only free if you already have the tools (or have a brother-in-law who does) and the materials lying around.  If you have to buy materials, this won’t count as “free”, just as “frugal” or “thrifty“.

Roadside scrounging. You would be amazed at what people throw out.  Sometimes, it is total trash (not so amazing), but sometimes it is almost like new (amazing).  If you “shop” around various neighbourhoods on their respective garbage days.  If you don’t mind having furniture that might look like you have had it for a few years – and even new furniture looks like that, after a few years – this is a great way to stock up on pretty much anything but mattresses.

Barter. This is a great way to add new furniture to your home and clean out the clutter at the same time.  One person’s junk is another person’s treasure, so trade junk and you both win treasure.  There is always someone around who has the piece of furniture you would like, and bartering is becoming more popular.  And why complain if they are foolish enough to pay for a new piece to replace it.

Inherit. Unless your parents are living in a cardboard box, chances are you will inherit some furniture.  This is absolutely free, because society has set up the system of inheritance to make sure that everybody qualifies for free end tables.  Be forewarned that this method does require more patience than bartering or scrounging.

Watch for sales. I love this one, because you get to be such a helpful person and so sneaky and under-handed at the same time. Why would you watch for sales if you are looking for free furniture? To help your friends out, of course – out of their current furniture.

For instance, if you would just love Jenny’s couch, mark up all the furniture sale flyers by circling some of the best deals on couches she might like.  Then pass the flyer on to Jenny.  Sooner or later, she will take the hint and buy a new couch.  And guess which helpful friend will likely walk away with the old couch.  It’s a win-win.

Rewards. Credit cards offer rewards.  Well, all the rewarding ones do.  And those rewards can usually be spent on – you guessed it – a new dining room set.

Refinish. I saved the best for last, because this one can be combined with scrounging or with DIY or just on its own to extend the life of your current furniture. We once had a plan, long since forgotten.  We were going to scrounge wooden kitchen chairs.  We wanted to collect an entire set with no two alike.  All wood.  Each a different shape.  We were going to pain all the seats one colour, most likely in a textured multi-tone paint.  We were going to paint all the backs and legs in another colour, most likely a glossy complementary single tone.  Each chair different in shape.  Each chair, the same in coloring.  And, of course, the table to match.  This was not planned as a frugal project, so much as a decorating project.  But, aside for some paint to buy, totally free.

Not all these methods are for you.  And some are easier than others.  But with a little creativity and a willingness to compromise, there is no reason that you should have to pay to furnish your house.

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What Smoking has Taught Us and Our Children

Humanity has been smoking filtered tobacco cigarettes since the mid-twentieth century, and we’ve been smoking more primitive variants of the cigarette way before that. Rolling tobacco leaves, lighting them up, sucking in the smoke has been done by the Mayans since the 9th century (they called it a siyar).

Now, we return to the present. The World Health Organization states on their fact page that cancer is the leading cause of death, and lung cancer tops the list as the most prevalent killer, claiming over a million lives per year (1.37 million in 2008). Of course, tobacco use is the leading cause of lung cancer. Oh, and this isn’t a steady number or percentage. With their data, they predict the death toll to keep rising, doubling present death toll numbers by 2030.

This begs a simple question: why do we do this to ourselves? You’d think over a thousand years of puffing tobacco smoke and seeing the effects from doing it would teach us to stay away from burning that leaf for good. Then again, that’s just one of the many destructive activities humans have been doing since we became “civilized.”

Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned from smoking, so far:

It’s a Hard Habit to Break

The American Heart Association has claimed that nicotine addiction (nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that makes it oh so irresistible) is one of the hardest dependencies to shake off. Add the fact that tobacco companies in America (and possibly everywhere else in the world) are gradually raising the nicotine content in their cigarette products, this just means that more and more people (younger and younger, too) will get hooked.

That makes cigarette companies big-time drug dealers that are bent on making every single human addicted to their merchandise. What’s worse is that they’re totally legit in the eyes of governments.

Diminished Quality and Quantity of Life

It was already mentioned above that smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer, and that cancer kills more and more people all over the world (70% from the low and middle class), you could definitely infer from those bits of knowledge that smokers will tend to live shorter, more disease-ridden lives.

I don’t think any amount of YOLO-ing or believing in a sugar candy land afterlife will justify ruining the tail end of your short stay on this planet.

It’s Cool to be Stupid

Chemical addiction aside, we’ve all been exposed to the flimsy lies and flawed logic behind justifying the use of these “cancer sticks.” Still, even with the warnings, studies, and graphic images showing the insides of a dead smoker’s lungs, we puff on. Hey, lots of people are doing it, and important people, to boot. Even doctors smoke, so it can’t be that bad, right?

It’s just too hip a hobby to quit, and the alternatives and substitutes (nicotine patches or gum, e-cigarettes, inhalers, etc.) just aren’t as cool.

We Have a Long Way to Go

Humans aren’t quite the enlightened and wise race of sentients that we purport ourselves to be. We fight amongst each other, covet each other’s resources, and sacrifice the well-being of others to benefit our own agenda. The cigarette industry is a prime example of that. They entice and sell products that basically make their customers worse off. The only benefit they can really impart is that they give pharmaceutical and medical companies some big opportunities for business when the smokers’ bodies become compromised, and are in need of medical attention.

I know we can do better than this. Toss those cancer sticks into the bin, find a good hobby, and take care of your body. As far as I know, you only have one.

About the Author

Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and is currently working with her friends on a blog, Word Baristas.

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