Traveling today no formal post

I am sitting at my home PC typing this, shirt and tie on. I know…. Today I actually have to travel for business. Its been a while. I used to travel a lot a decade or so a go for work. Got a chance to see a lot of the U.S. as a result. Anyway no formal post today.

As always thanks so much for supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Will be back on Wed with a formal post. Take care.

A Gen X Point of View Blog – 2021 Recap

So another year is rapidly approaching its end. I think back on my life from time to time and for me my earliest clearest memory is from 1976 (yes I’m ancient) and being in the bicentennial parade. Nearly 50 years later here I am, a blogger. So 2021 was a good year for this blog. Let me be clear though, number of visitors was down 6% views were down 3% from 2020 so statistically its less but 2020 to me was an odd year as many people were forced to be home. We had way more online activity so it’s hard to use that as a metric.

To recap a bit, this blog is one person, me. I don’t have an editor, co-creators, contributors etc. I write all the posts myself, do the research, try to edit. For the most part I am happy with how 2021 played out for the blog. I took the blog in different directions this year with more health and finance pieces and those were largely successful. The focus of the blog still remained Anxiety and Mental Health and to be perfectly candid those posts had less traction then others.

I suspect it has to do with the fact that there is only so many ways to confer Anxiety as an issue, and or people are just sick and tired of reading about anxiety as it seems to be covered a lot more now than when I started a few years ago. My international viewership when up which is great, however the U.S. still remains as my strongest reader base. I am located in the U.S. so that isn’t surprising but it’s nice to know individuals from Australia to Zimbabwe read my blog.

I think 2022 will continue much the same as 2021 did. I will still commit to 3 blog posts a week but honestly that pace might have to slow down in the summer of 2022 as I anticipate work will pick up for me and it’s simply going to be much harder to muster the energy to create 3 unique blog posts a week. I do have a good body of work to pull from and revisit some posts but overall I don’t feel burned out just slightly gassed in the sense the well of material for anxiety posts is starting to run dry.

So what can you expect in 2022 from “A Gen X Point of View?”  Below is a glimpse of the topics I plan to cover.

  1. Anxiety – There will always be a place for this topic on this blog. There may be less in 2022 but not a lot less.
  2. Finance – As a 20+ year finance professional it’s a big part of my life so I am going to talk about it. As a category these posts were among the most viewed on my channel in 2021.
  3. Weight Loss – I haven’t done many posts on this but I did drop nearly 30 pounds since the pandemic and have kept it off. I was never really fat but never really fit either. I am now, at 51 not to shabby. I’m going to indulge myself a little more on this subject, I’m proud of it.
  4. U.S. History – On U.S. holidays I usually do a piece on this historical significance of the holiday. I think I am going to do more of that with the desired approach of NOT getting overtly into politics.
  5. Paganism – Or more likely mythology. Western culture has been converged and condensed for years. Christmas/Yule etc. I’m going to talk about this a little more.

Overall 2021 was nearly the same in terms of visits and views to 2020. I am taking that as a statistical win as 2020 was full pandemic mode. 2021 less so, but I do realize people are still at home and online more. I doubled my subscribers which is encouraging, I would like to hit 1000 of you by the end of 2022 that would be cool. Having goals in life is important IMHO, it’s just a number I realize that. Many of you have 10K plus subs, remember what it was like?

I intend on publishing Mon – Wed – Fri for the mid-term, should things become challenging for me writing wise I may cut back to 2 posts a week but for now expect the status quo. This Blog doesn’t exist without your support. Thank you for reading my content. Thank you for liking and subscribing, if you keep showing up so will I.

Karac.

How to be a better man – A Dad Lesson

In this series of posts I write about how to be a better man. Not every man will or is a dad and that’s fine. Many of you are or will be and there are a couple of hard realities that you have to accept when you become a dad. The first one is there is a new metric by which you are measured, the dad metric. Now everyone in your life has a father, and as a new father you are going to be measured against their father experience.

It’s an unrealistic unfair measure but its reality you are going to have to deal with it. The hardest thing to do? Is not let it flavor how you parent. You are a sum of your experiences. Parenting is a learned skill that millions (billion) before you have gotten through and there is no perfect path. Put down the parenting books, stop listening to “how hard” it is talks you get from other parents and let go of what other men are doing as a reflection on you.

Just show up and be present.

No matter how hard, how easy, how bad you do or how well you do just keep showing up. Being present means putting the phone away, keeping distractions at a minimum, keeping work at work. No matter what you do someone will be there to critique you and often it will be your spouse who takes shots at you that cut deep. While those can hurt, you have to move past that as well. Quick aside, many relationships become toxic once a child is born because expectations change. Have many conversations on your values first before ever bringing a child into the world.

How to move mountains
Sometimes a Mountain is a Mole Hill

10 years goes by fast, before you know it 20 have gone. What you are doing now when the child is 2, 6, 13 is critical because this is how they bond with you personally but also how they shape their view of fathers as they enter adult life. Even if you screwed everything up, you were always present you were trying. Believe me they will know this. The value of being there for children is immense. They are going to find their way in life, you did.

The key here is don’t get to absorbed into the expectations of others. The judgement of others or comparisons and yes that includes your spouse and immediate close family. Just keep showing up and being present and if you are still getting critiqued it generally means they have an issue with you not necessarily your parenting style. Now to be clear this is a license to be an A-Hole. Do the right thing, be a good person, be kind. No one should have to spell that out for you but one of the things dads don’t here often is “Thank you for always being there”.

Don’t miss recitals, don’t miss games, don’t miss family events, don’t work late constantly, don’t spend a lot of time away from home. Be present in that child’s life as much as you can, before you know it they will be old enough not to need you as much and you will have plenty of time to do your own thing.

Thanks for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here. 

Enough

Anxiety: One quick way to get out of others grief.

Grief is horrible. It is usually derived from a cataclysmic event in someone’s life that is often unexpected. This can happen to anyone; someone you love or know could have a random serious medical condition tomorrow. Life is that fragile, I do not wish something like that on anyone. Now most of us reading this blog have some form of anxiety. Manageable for most of us but grief can spiral us out of control. Not just our grief but others as well.

I absorb other peoples emotional state, but like all good men I internalize it (joking…. Somewhat). The issue becomes when you absorb others emotional state or energy around a grief event this can spiral you towards revisiting your own grief events through your life. They don’t even have to be current, what you are doing is, is trying to empathize with the other person through a corollary of your own experiences.

If you are far along in your anxiety journey and can navigate that, bravo you’re doing awesome. Many of us can’t and it cripples us emotionally because we revisit some of the most painful episodes of our life. How do you deal with it, or as I quip in the title, how do you get out of others grief? It isn’t easy and requires a great deal of effort on your part because your instinct is to relate. How do you do it? You look them in the eye first. “What if they aren’t looking at me?” then you take both of their hands in yours (if appropriate), they will look at you then and say:

“I know you are hurting; I wish I could make this better for you. I will be right back”

You then go to another room if inside. If at a restaurant you go the bathroom. In a car? Instead of saying “I will be right back” you said “I need a quick minute” and say nothing.

Words can be Good, Bad, and Ugly

This may seem callus, cold and harmful its actually just the opposite. What you are doing is you are breaking the grief energy by not allowing yourself to be a conduit. Everyone has to grieve but the longer you do, the harder it becomes to escape its negative consequences. When you come back you can discuss the issue, offer sympathy, listen everything you normally would.

By breaking the flow immediately you give yourself and the person grieving pause. That pause is an opportunity to have other energy flow in. Breaking the continuous flow of grief is paramount to keeping anxiety in check. Do this regularly with those in grief, again come back to them provide them with support but when the energy starts to filter to you, break its flow with a polite removal of yourself.

This is a subtle social skill that if mastered will benefit you tremendously as you develop it. It may seem selfish, or self-absorbed and I can see why some might say that. The truth is breaking grief moments help expedite the opportunities for other moments to filter in. A story comes on the news, a song plays on the radio, a child needs attention. It’s not perfect but as individuals with anxiety grief can literally be a killer. Address it with as much grace as you can muster but always be aware of it.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.  

Comply or else

They are coming for you. It’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when. Your neighbors, people you trust, someone within 100 feet of you right now. Who are they? Normal everyday people. Many of them are genuinely friendly and nice but they hide a deep secret. What is it? They have rationalized a consequence for your choices based on their fears. We have seen this many times throughout history and it rarely ends well. You see the logic is unassailable “This is a dangerous act, so you should comply or else”.

What if you don’t think it’s a dangerous act? That no longer matters. You will comply or you will be cancelled, reeducated, shunned, chastised, ridiculed or worse. This is what modern western culture has come too. This mindset is prevalent everywhere, from Belgium to Australia to the U.S and everywhere in-between.

You are living in a modern “cultural revolution”. Sure that term isn’t being used at the moment but go ahead, take a look at its use in the past, I dare you. This particular “revolution” is at its peak at the moment, at least that’s my estimation, I hope I am right. You see it’s not enough to feel a certain way, but if others don’t feel the same or accommodate that feeling? BAM! People are tired of it.

The Party is over.

The historic pattern is the same. A fear proposition is offered to the masses. Empowered by numbers many begin to dehumanize you. You must offer coherent arguments to satisfy their fear, even when you explain it clearly, its not enough. They have already made up their mind, they are empowered, you are the minority. You become labeled as non compliant…. A problem. You are then categorized based on this designation, anything else you have done doesn’t matter, you are now “X”. In the past you were marked physically so you could be identified this has evolved to your electronic signature but the concept is the same. All of this leads to one horrible end, you are put in a corner. Your options become less and less, your hand is forced. “COMPLY OR ELSE

In the past if someone was fearful, they protected themselves. Now? Everyone else has to change to accommodate their fear, regardless if its rational or not. I believe many, tens of millions, have had enough of this and are finding their voice and fighting back. Be wary of those who smile at you as they talk about taking away your liberty, they are extremely dangerous and most of them don’t even understand why.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Surviving 2020 & covid

How to be a better man – 3 quick things you can do

Being a better man is subjective. It may be that you feel you are fine the way you are and that is great. If that is the case, thanks for coming by you don’t really need to read further. Looking for a few more pieces of wisdom to help on the journey? Read on. Below are 3 things you can do quickly that will indirectly help you be a better man.

  1. Drink less alcohol: Notice I am not saying quit booze, I’m saying drink less. The less you consume the higher chances you have of not having a negative outcome from alcohol consumption. Alcohol is fine for adults, a buzz from time to time is socially acceptable, helps reduce inhibitions and can really be fun as hell. On the flip side it can also lead to being drunk, black outs, DUI’s, obnoxious behavior and all sorts of other negative consequences.
  2. Watch less Porn: Notice I am not saying quit it all together. Let’s not B.S. one another here, millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of people (mostly men) have watched porn at some point in their lives. Masturbation and fantasy are fine, when tempered with the knowledge that Porn can alter the way you perceive women. It’s okay to desire women sexually, to want them to fulfill your sexual fantasies. That’s a normal healthy thing. Its unhealthy to transfer those desires to expectations. This distorts the relationship often leading to resentment on both sides. Be honest about your sexual desires and find a partner who you feel fills that need for you. They aren’t objects, or actress, they are women who love you and want you to be happy. Less porn = more realistic sexual relationships.
  3. Narrow the friend pool: We all have friends that are bone heads. They do dumb shit, are goof’s or are just bad influence all around. It’s okay to hang with the boys, blow off some steam and just be men but be honest about your crew. The older we get the more skin we have in the game of life and dumb mistakes get more painful. “Knuckle head Joe” maybe funny as hell since college but if you have a pregnant wife, a 5-year-old and a decent career it might be time to cut back on “joe time”. You know where I am going here, you know who the guy is in your circle. No need to be cruel about it, just start cutting back.
If you don’t ask the question, the default answer is no.

As a mini disclaimer I am a heterosexual male, my advice is always geared toward like-minded people. I don’t profess to have knowledge of homosexuals, bi sexual and everything in between. If these pieces of advice are applicable I will leave that to you. Remember the spirit in which these posts are made, to share wisdom and help improve men. They are not intended to all audiences, if you chose to consume the content and assume nefarious intent, you own that.

Thanks for stopping by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Wisdom from the Past: Psalms 94:19

Once again we are going to harken back to the past to extract wisdom to help us through the present. Today we are going to lean on our Christian friends for some wisdom from the book of psalms. It is a remarkable resource for inspiration, in context. Keeping in mind it is a religious text/doctrine that celebrates god. Now some of my pagan friends would say “You mean A God” right? I’m not entirely sure, I suspect that god has manifested itself in multiple ways to spread the same message but that’s not what this post is about.

It is about faith and how faith can help you in great times of anxiety.

The Psalm – “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” 94:19

This psalm gives you insight in to the great value religion brings. Faith allows for remarkable outcomes for the spirit as you allow a higher power (real or imagined) to govern how events unfold. For those of us with Anxiety? This is an extremely potent tool. “It is gods will” is a remarkably empowering phrase. It allows you, the believer, to absolve yourself of the negative (or positive) outcome to nearly anything that happens.

Do you believe?

This is the hidden power of faith, now I concede that many who are not believers look at these notions and cringe. It is very simplistic and allows for many to absolve themselves of responsibility of their actions. I get that, this isn’t a post about religion and its value but more of how faith can empower you to overcome negative outcomes in your life.

The choice of faith, or deity is irrelevant really as when something happens in your life and its impactful you can ascribe it to said faith. This doesn’t work for the non-devout, make no mistake you can’t just turn this on tomorrow and expect to have great results. Faith is built through years of practice and being in the life. IF you are a person of faith, perhaps Psalms 94:19 will help you to get through your next bout with anxiety.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Genetics

Can Anxiety be inherited? (Repost)

New Intro: I was looking back at some of my older posts and I thought this one was very good but didnt get a lot of traction. While I admit I am not a wordsmith, the bones of this post and the link info are very useful IMHO. Give it a read and let me know what you think, thanks again for all your support I really appreciate it.

Many of us who have anxiety or other mental health issues can give citation to someone in linage who had a similar condition. While we don’t have direct evidence yet that there are specific DNA threads where anxiety triggers live, it’s highly likely that the traits conducive to anxiety and mental health are heredity. Of course there are environmental, relationship, financial and a plethora of other reasons why you could have or get anxiety. It’s not an exact science, but it’s being worked on.

I found a good article here That discusses the notion of inheriting anxiety. I thought it was a very good article and certainly worthy of my time and hopefully yours.

From the article: “As with most things mental health-related, the answer isn’t cut and dried. Yes, anxiety and depression are heritable, according to the psychiatrists I interviewed. But environmental factors, like early childhood experiences, also play a role, interacting with your genes to influence whether you actually develop these disorders.”

Plastic destroys the environment
Hopefully your environment is clean and not full of clutter

Further: “Genetics seem to explain certain anxiety disorders — namely obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorder — more than others, Potash says. But research to identify the genes involved in these anxiety disorders is still ongoing, partly because recruiting the vast number of participants needed to yield definitive results takes time.”

Understanding where our individual anxiety comes from is paramount to understanding where we may end up, and how best to combat it. I know that’s part of the end game goal for all of us right? One of the exercises we can perform to reveal this is to look back at our immediate family life when we were younger and attempt to understand how things played out. Essentially what you want to do is recognize the adult realities of your childhood. Did you parents struggle? Why? Perhaps this has contributed to your anxiety.

Simply put, we can’t dismiss inheritance of anxiety and mental health issues from our immediate DNA relatives our parents and grandparents. Spending time attempting to understand their lives and why things played out the way they did might be one of the puzzle pieces you need to understand your situation. What were their environmental factors growing up? What was the social situation? Was there unrest and anxiety abound?

I imagine for kids today in 2020 they will be looking back when they are in their 50’s and saying “god my parents must have really been stressed out…”

Thank you so much for coming by and supporting my blog! Please leave a like or a comment to let me know you were here! Want to see more posts like this one? Click here.

Ancient Wisdom - Confucius

How to improve as a man – disconnect from other’s expectations

This is one of the hardest concepts to implement. It’s pretty close to “stop caring what other people think” which, unless you are a sociopath you’re not going to be able to achieve. However, other’s expectations is a broad enough category where we can whittle away at this which is the point of this post. Simply put, have good values and morals which you adhere too is paramount to self-improvement. Where you obtained those values is an aside really, the point here is trying to distance yourself from others expectations.

The perception of masculinity and men as a whole has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. It’s a mixed bag of good and bad to be blunt. For most men it’s now challenging to understand where they fit into societies expectations, as hundreds (or thousands) of years of accepted norms are no longer applicable. Disconnecting from the current status quo is paramount to your happiness as a man, and then by extension those who you have in your life.

This doesn’t mean you treat people like crap, be disrespectful, confrontational etc. It means you make the rules you live by and should people like or not like it that is there choice. The key proposition here is you are setting your own expectations and working to reach them. This in turn should attract to you people who are of a like mind. This is a net positive for you and everyone around you. This enables others in your life to clearly gauge you as an individual, and determine for themselves if you are someone they want to invest their time in.

Obtaining a thick skin is a life long journey

This also empowers you to live the life you want. One major caveat there though dear reader, when you do this you will face consequences. Society is in a place today where social dictates come from multiple sources. They are loud, aggressive and in many cases have extreme responses to anyone who does not adhere to their particular moral doctrine. That isn’t meant to scare you, just a warning. “cancel culture” is real, anyone can be targeted for mass harassment for a simple tweet like “I didn’t help them change their tire. 2 empowered females should be able to handle it no problem”

The world is full of anonymous experts in everything, particularly how you should think and feel. Be mindful of this as you venture through your own self-discovery and decide what works for you and how to implement it. Disconnecting from other’s expectations is extremely challenging, it means that some in our life will be unhappy. It may mean that on your journey you experience a lot of turmoil. Take heart, as this journey is your own and becoming a better man, at the end of the day, makes everyone around you better too.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Seasonal Affect Disorder: Winter is coming…. 3 foods you can eat to fight back.

Yes, winter is coming to the west and if you have anxiety like me, the bleak weather of the winter can really make a bad mood worse. Most of us soldier through and do the best we can. That said there are things you can do during the doldrums of winter to improve your mood. As someone once said, “you are what you eat”, thankfully that isn’t true because god knows what I would have morphed into after all these years.

Berries

Be it strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, the berry family helps a great deal when it comes to fighting stress and exhaustion. The berries are believed to prevent the release of cortisol a stress hormone thereby combating stress.

Dark chocolate

You know the feeling when on your lowest days, you get this strange urge to bite into a chocolate? It is because studies have shown that chocolates especially the dark kind have a high polyphenol content. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidants that can help you get through some tough feelings. Grab a bar with the highest cocoa content.

Bananas

Did you know that the carbohydrates from natural sugars and potassium in bananas can help fuel your brain and make you feel less mentally exhausted? Bananas are rich in magnesium as well, which can help with anxiety and make you sleep well. This winter have more bananas than you usually do, especially if you feel the blues.

Winter is coming.

Berries are remarkable, if you can work them into your diet you will benefit greatly. As I discussed in this blog post Cortisol is a huge culprit in many health issues. Anything you can do to combat it is a positive.

Of course, berries are not in season in the west right now due to the weather. You’re likely going to have to pay more to get them now, still berries are not cost prohibitive but do be mindful of cost. Blueberries are always a good value and usually run cheaper then say strawberries or raspberries.

Consider adding these foods to your diet. Balance is paramount when putting things into your body. Will it help? I don’t know for sure but the three listed, in moderation are very good sources of macro nutrients and vitamins. If the secondary effect is less anxiety that’s a win win!

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.