13 Small Substitutions for my Better Life

In the past year I’ve been making many changes to try to make myself better.  A better dad, a faster runner, and other things to lead a wealthier, healthier and simpler life.  Among those big things I’ve found smaller things that help and each little bit helps.

My brother and I loved Legos and with a new set we would rip open a box to find a dozen or so bags.  Some bags had the big pieces of a ship or castle while other bags had the detailed, smaller pieces.  That’s what this list is, the details.  These are the little things that have helped make my life better.  Like the 200+ pieces of a Lego ship needs a Jolly Roger flag, these are the little flags of a good life.

Library books for Amazon.com books

Well document on the blog.   Currently this has given me How to Write Short and The Smartest Kids in the World.

Water for pop

I just stopped. I decided not to buy pop or drink pop. Pop is consumerism and I’ve been slightly anti-consumerism. I also reasoned that if I’m not buying things I love (books), why should I buy things I don’t (pop).

Running for golf

Sh!t. I say that often while playing golf and other four letter words. I enjoyed the thrill of good golf shots but not the frustration I failed to contain with bad ones. I may return to the links someday, not soon though.  Plus I can log hours of running for free, golf was an expensive hobby, even in my rural “Can I please walk 9-holes” kind of way.

Silence for Pandora

Silence allows me time to think and like a caged leopard at the zoo, is hardly seen at my house.  Music seemed to add to our crazy lives and once I turned it off I realized how many noises were important.  Cooking food, monitoring the kids, hearing our house.

Evernote for paper (except for the quick paper notes I sometimes keep)

Did you know I liked Evernote?

Podcasts for audio books

In On Writing, Stephen King says that to write you need to read and he suggests that audiobooks are a good way to do that. Not for me. Except for the recent Born to Run, I find myself brainstorming and daydreaming instead of actively listening to audiobooks. Podcasts are better for me, some favorites include; This American Life, The Talk Show, Planet Money, Beyond the To Do List, and Financial Independence.

Books for movies

Last week I tried watching Skyfall, but it fell short of my expectations. For as good as Daniel Craig is as James Bond – third after Connery and Moore – none are as good as the book version. Ditto for Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Stephen King’s Running Man. I know this but sometimes I’ll think a movie might be great, try it, and then remember to read a book instead.

Smiles for scowls

The more I smile the happier I am. I like being happy.

Heated sheets for a heated house

I’ve got a big house and while I love living in it, I hate heating it. Heated sheets make me feel incredibly wealthy. It’s like in Downton Abbey times when a servant would warm your bed for you. Today all I need to do is push a button.

Sanity for vanity

Why be vain when I can be sane? I try to think about what matters in life and try to devote time toward those things. That list almost entirely encompasses how to show my daughters how to be great, how to be great to my wife, and how to be grateful to myself.

Moving on for dwelling on

Someone yelled/hated/cut-off/flicked-off/shit-on/pissed-off me or you or us. Oh well, move on.

The moment for the future

I’m trying to live more in the here and now.

The future for the past

The future hold excitement, the past holds why that should be exciting.

Those are my flags.

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3 thoughts on “13 Small Substitutions for my Better Life

  1. Loved the list, but couldn’t help notice that you seemed to flip the ordering of your sections when you listed out “Vanity for sanity”. Every other section was of the form “What_I_Kept for What_I_used_to_have”.

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