Friday, June 7, 2013


McCormick's Sea Salt Grinder
I love McCormick's Sea Salt Grinder.

It's a pricey little bottle, but man, I love a coursely-ground salt sprinkled on salads, over popcorn, or on the baked potatoes (& broccoli) I've started to enjoy.

Yep. I've purchased a fair number of these little bottles over the years.

And always, when I'm finished with the product, I'm faced with something of a dilemma. How do I recycle the thing? It's glass and plastic. Is there a way to get the grinding cap off? It's not an easy task to do by hand. In fact, I'd already decided that it was impossible.

So this evening, as I was gathering up my recyclables, I decided I'd better find an answer to these questions for the sake of "proper" recycling.

And then it hit me! 

Why the heck was I taking another McCormick Sea Salt Grinder to the curb?
Market District Cypriot Sea Salt

Earlier in the month, I'd taken a chance and purchased some Market District Cypriot Flake Salt. I didn't notice it at the time of purchase, but when I got home I realized: it didn't have a grinder! It was difficult to hand-grind its hardened flakes to the consistency I prefer. And I had already regretted switching from my beloved McCormick's.

But you have to understand. The Giant Eagle Market District Cypriot Flake Salt looked so intriguing. It was crystalline & beautiful & exotic-sounding! ha So I took a chance, grabbed it off the shelf and didn't notice the lack of built-in grinder until it was too late.

Then thankfully tonight, the light finally went off.

Why not figure out a way to reuse the McCormick grinder with the Cypriot Flake Salt?

It'd save me a whole lot of hassle.

After a quick internet search, I found a very helpful page on how to remove the McCormick Sea Salt Grinder for proper reuse:

here's the link:  How to Reuse a McCormick Sea Salt Grinder

And it worked perfectly! (Click the link for DynoChick's (Jan's) technique.)

Which leads me to the real point(s) of my post: 

(1) I saved money ($3)

(2) by reusing a product (a salt grinder)

(3) that I've not only purchased many times already (??)

(4) but then always just mindlessly set it at the curb for someone else to recycle.

Yes. I know it's just a silly salt shaker. (With a super-sweet grinder!)

I know this doesn't change the world.

But how many other items are we throwing away or recycling at the curb that we could just easily reuse ourselves?

Could you save yourself more money than I did by retooling (and/or thinking of new ways to reuse) common items?

Give it some thought. The internet is a great resource for finding new ways to look at our old ways.

Perhaps next time, before we take the recyclables to the curb, we could do a quick search on Google to see if there's something cool we could do with them instead: 

"How to reuse a pop can"

"How to reuse newspaper"

Maybe we'll discover other useful, fairly obvious ways to reuse our junk without relying on someone else to do it for us.

We'll cut out the middle man. Keep more money in our pockets. And make less trips to the curb. ha

If you know of any great ways to reuse a product (especially the ones I keep buying over and over again! ack!) please let me know ASAP!

Thanks for letting me ramble. I feel better.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reinvent Yourself: STOP LIVING FOR "SOMEDAY"

Subtitled: A Scary Phrase (That's Haunted Me For Years)    

I was listening to the Internet Business Mastery podcast today, and Jeremy and Jason mentioned a phrase that has haunted me for years.

They mentioned it in passing, so it clearly wasn't something that they've wrestled with to any degree.

But the fact that this phrase actually had a name distracted me for several minutes as I wrestled with guilt, and the feeling that I had wasted so much time already, clinging to a belief that told me over and over again:

"Someday, I'll be happy."

I rewound the podcast. And listened again.

The phrase they mentioned was the Arrival Fallacy.

(Just typing it makes my blood chill.)

What is the Arrival Fallacy?  (brrrr...)

It's the belief that you will achieve happiness and fulfillment only after certain, future criteria have been met. You cannot be happy now. You will only be happy after this happens. Or when that happens.

Or when this and that happen!

Perhaps it's after you get the raise you wanted. Or after you finally buy a home.

You've decided that you will only be happy when you've arrived.

Are you like me?

Does your happiness lie just around the corner, or in some distant future?  Does it always seem to be out of reach?

Perhaps you believe in the Arrival Fallacy too.

"How can I be happy now? I'm clearly not the person I want to be yet."

"I'm overweight." "I don't make enough money." "I haven't found love yet."

Oh, yeah.  I know all about this kind of thinking.

Do you live for a happier time? A better place? Are you wishing you were somewhere other than where you are right now?  Do you secretly think: "Someday..."?

"Someday, I'll start making those changes."

"Someday, life will be better, and I can start fresh."

"Someday, I'll be happy."

These thoughts echo in my mind, and have for years. 

Of course the fact that the world is a miserable place isn't helping us at all. How can we possibly be happy right now? While people hurt, or kill, or die?

It's true. The world isn't a perfect place. Not even close.

I think that's why it's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking, "Someday". 

It gives us an excuse, perfectly wrapped in a shiny package. "I'll wait until life is just a little bit better before I start doing that important thing I've wanted to do all my life." "I'll wait just a little bit longer before I start doing the things that make me happy."

I didn't even realize I had this mindset.

I thought I was just being hopeful.

Someday things'll get better. Someday I'll achieve the things I want to achieve.

Sure, it's hopeful thinking - but at some point, if you're not careful, it can become an avoidance technique.

That's what it became to me.

I've pushed so many of my dreams so far into "someday" that I've never had to worry about actually achieving them.

So I just stay right here. Where it's safe. Locked in thoughts of a happier future. Never having to put my neck out there. Never having to risk failure at achieving my goals.

... because someday it'll all be okay. One of these days, I'll find that elusive confidence I've been seeking. I'll give voice to the artist inside of me. One of these days, I'll create! I'll Do! I'll Be! Go me! Yeah!!

Sounds wonderful. Like heaven on earth.

But there's bad news. (You knew I'd have bad news. You probably already know what it is. You're smart like that.)

The bad news is one of these days we're going to die.

(I hope it's a peaceful death for us. In our sleep, surrounded by family.)

But what if we end up with a lot of time to contemplate the things that might've been, could've been... weren't? What if we were able to see what needed to be done, but we hadn't done it?

Don't know about you, but that would be pretty crushing. Living in the shadow of goals unpursued.

That's the way I've been living. (Have you been living that way too?)

[insert long sigh of sad realization] [ha]

There are a few cures to this scary scenario.

You could try reading this (hysterical and vulgar).

Or try this (not hysterical or vulgar).

Or I could just cut to the chase and tell you to:


I don't care how crappy it is.

I don't care how scary it is.

I don't care who'll laugh at you.


Take a first step toward a worthy goal.

Do something that matters. Right now.

It doesn't have to matter to anyone else but you.

But start doing it. Whatever it is.


Do it because arrival is a fallacy.

You're already here. You're on the planet. You're breathing air. You're reading these words.

You've arrived. 

You've arrived at the start of a beautiful new day. 

And this day is all we have.

And unlike "someday", TODAY is not a fallacy.


It could just make you happy.

Thank you. Sorry for rambling, ha.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reinvent Yourself: MAKE A HAPPINESS JAR

Subtitle: Ditch the New Year's Resolutions! Make a Happiness Jar! In 3 Easy Steps!

I'm not making any New Year's Resolutions this year.

There. I said it.

I've been doing resolutions every year for decades now, but dammit!... it's time to admit the truth.

I FAIL at New Year's Resolutions!

And because my friends & I review our resolutions on New Years Eve each year, I begin nearly every new year on a disappointing note by stewing on my failures of the past 356 days.

And what makes it worse is that I've often recycled the same resolution from year to year because: (1) it's usually a great goal on some level, and (2) it deserves another shot at being accomplished. I think most people have done this.

But we shouldn't recycle our goals.  We should accomplish them!  Then move on!


I had one resolution for 2012

Start School.

Did I start school?  NO.

Am I happy about not starting school?  NO.

Did reflecting on "not starting school" start my New Year off with a bang?  NO!

Get the picture?


So I want to try something different for 2013.

I love the idea of making a "Happiness Jar". (It goes by many names.)

It's a simple idea. And there's only 3 Easy Steps.

(1) Get a jar.
(2) When something good happens to you in 2013, write it down on a scrap of paper, and
(3) Put it in the jar!

Then on New Years Eve 2013-2014, you & your friends can take turns reading notes from your Happiness Jars. (You can even do this alone.)

To me, this is a great way to honor a year. So much better than reflecting on the failures, don't you think? You get an opportunity to remember and acknowledge and reflect upon the good things that happened to you in a year. I love it.

Of course if you're really good at setting goals and accomplishing them at New Years, by all means KEEP DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

But since the context for my message is that New Year's Resolutions are more like fun ideas that aren't structured to be taken seriously (not like focused goal setting), and since many of us are tired of slamming our heads against a wall come New Year's Eve, and since many of us would like a boost to kick-off a new year, consider making a Happiness Jar.

Already started mine.

"1/1/13: Heard (& Saw) a Trilling Screech Owl!"

Hey, it made me happy!

But you need to find the things that make you happy!

Then write them down & throw them in the jar.

Maybe, just maybe, 2014 has a chance to start off really great!

Happy New Years to you, World!

Action to Us All!