Prepping for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is under a month away! Without fail, that holiday seems to roll around quicker than almost any other on a yearly basis. Perhaps it’s because February is one of the most forgettable months of the year (it’s actually number one on that list, in case you were curious), meaning it’s one month that will always seem to come around quicker than the ones you actually care for.

Or, perhaps it’s because all the annoying couples come out of the woodwork during this time of year. And as we just said, the things you really don’t care for or don’t want to see are always the events or periods in time that seem to come back the quickest annually. Meanwhile, days like your birthday are also exactly 365 days away each year, yet they take forever to arrive.

Nonetheless, whether you buy into this holiday’s hype and apply it to your annual schedule or not doesn’t make a difference when it comes to this holiday making its return. Even if you try to be a recluse around Valentine’s Day, it will be inevitably forced down your throat every February, just like the tongues of the very teenagers that businesses are marketing their goods towards. So even if you’re happily in a relationship or a lone wolf jaded by the world, the pinks and reds and abundant hearts will find their way into your life some way or another on this February 14th.

So why not take part? At the very least, do it for your friends and family. You don’t have to feel the need to go out and buy extravagant candy boxes or plush animals for your favorite cousin or your best friend. Nonetheless, why not use the holiday against itself and celebrate in the name of true love? Love for your friends, love for your family, love for humanity. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll enjoy the process if you go out and shop a little for the ones who mean the most to you, even if you do happen to be single and don’t buy into it all.

Candy boxes and huge stuffed bears or not, Valentine’s Day can be a bit more than the superficial holiday that everyone claims it to be (myself included). It all just depends on your perspective, and if you can shift the way you see everyday things, you can change a lot in your life for the better.

Vinyl Collecting Can Be Expensive

Recently I started to look into collecting vinyl records from some of my favorite bands. And don’t get me wrong, I know there are vinyl collectors out there growing in numbers with the resurgence of the medium, but there’s a difference between picking up standard pressings of records from some bands you sort of know and what I plan on doing. (I don’t mean to say this in some sort of elitist way, to be brutally honest. I suppose I’m just wanting to whine about the price difference in the records I’ll be collecting!)

You see, I wish I was going to be going after standard black wax pressings of my bands. But since I had to fall in love with a band that does a lot of alternate pressings that are quite rare, well, my wallet is bound to suffer over the next year when I start chasing down some of these albums.

It’s not just the fact that the alternate pressings exist. It’s the fact that they’re released in batches of 100 or 300 in a way to make them extremely rare. Only those quick enough to order them right away will get them brand new. Otherwise, you’ve got to look around on the aftermarket to pick up some of the coveted variants. And trust me, seeing some records go for over $150 on ebay isn’t the most fun thing when you really want that album.

I did discover that some people are fans of trading records though. So it gives me incentive to go through some of my cardboard boxes full of my partner’s dad’s albums from the ‘70s to see if there are any gems hidden within. At the very least, I could trade away some of the albums he didn’t want and we don’t care to listen to in order to snag some of the rarer albums from my favorite bands.

It’s a good thing we did decide to pack away a good portion of the records he gave us in some old cardboard boxes. We don’t necessarily have room for them, but we placed them in a few boxes in the back of our coat closet. They stay out of the way and aren’t in trouble of collecting any dust, meaning they shouldn’t lose any of their quality or conditions. So, lucky for me, I said “Yeah sure, I’ll take those” when he asked if we wanted any of his old records. Looks like it’s paying off now!

New Decade’s Resolutions

Just a week ago, we experienced not only the turn of the year, but the turn of a decade. People have made a huge deal about new year’s resolutions from one year to the next, and I’ve always found them quite silly considering people can make resolutions at any point in the year. However, I will admit that with the end of a decade and the beginning of a new one, it may be a good time to reflect on your last ten years and look forward to the next ten.

So, this should be approached as a new decade’s resolutions instead. If it were thought of like this by the masses, I’d have much fewer problems with the idea of resolutions, especially if long term goals are considered.

For myself, I’m looking to focus a lot more on my financial situation going forward as well as my health. If there are two things that impact my life the most down the road, it’s these. While other smaller resolutions are fun to tackle, nothing is as impactful as taking care of your body and mind while also building a solid financial base that will support you throughout life.

Regarding health, I know one thing I’ll be cutting back on this year (to prepare for the decade to come) is alcohol and candy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t drink every single day, and I’m not some sort of candy fiend who is always at the theater munching on whatever candy boxes I can get my hands on.

But still, I know that alcohol will slowly destroy my liver, and candy boxes are absolutely loaded with sugars that are not only bad for my body but my dental health as well. While they have been my little vices for the past few years, I know they haven’t impacted me too badly in the immediate here and now. But that sort of thinking is what gets you in trouble decades down the road. I don’t want to wake up one day and have some sort of heart problem or liver problem that could have been avoided back when I was this age.

I think if more people considered their health and life down the road when they made resolutions for the new year, things would be a lot less bleak. When we learn to look towards the future and learn from the past, real change occurs.

Chores and Responsibility

Any time I think of the chores that need done around my own household, my mind wanders back to a time when I was young, had no true responsibilities or jobs, and only had to do a few chores a week for my parents. Sometimes I get caught up in wishing that was my life again because of the freedom and lack of care in the world. But then I realize I wouldn’t truly have the “freedom” I now have to do anything I’d like whenever I like.

Still, it’s a point in my life worth missing with how little I had to do. School was easy. My home life was great. And I had a lot of free time to do whatever I wanted. I sometimes wish I still could explore my options in my free time now, but things are a little more rigid when you’re an adult.

Chores, though, gave me character. And there were a few in particular that I think instilled a sense of ownership and responsibility in me more than other chores ever could have. Those chores? Well, read on.

Picking up the house.

This was likely the most common chore I carried out and one that the house needed the most on a daily basis. I got pretty good about carrying a few cardboard boxes around the house with me to pick up loose items and clothes. This helped me to save trips walking from one room to the other putting things in their rightful places. Of course, if you wanted to use something else besides cardboard boxes, plastic totes would suffice. We just didn’t happen to have any.


What better way to give a teen responsibility than trusting them to run power equipment? Obviously this is something that I was taught to be extra careful with, even if it was a riding mower. We never had hills on our property, so it was as safe as could be when mowing. Still, it sort of made me feel more like an adult every time I cut the lawn.

Washing dishes.

Working as a dishwasher when I was 16 kind of ruined doing dishes at home as a chore when I was younger, if only because I felt like my life was consumed with dishes. So, I learned the art of compromise and would often trade my brother chores in order to get out of washing dishes. That typically meant I would end up sweeping the house, but if it meant not doing dishes, I was all for it.