Always the Student

“So what got a young man like yourself into pest control?”

This is a question I receive on a regular basis. I’ve tried to pin down why so many people are interested in what brought me to the line of work.

I believe it is partly because I look much younger than I actually am. No one believes my 30th birthday is now 6 months away. So they feel I’m a bit young to find myself in this work.

I also like to believe it’s because they feel I’m far too strapping of a young man to be involved in such dirty, disgusting work. Although, that’s just speculation.

Almost always I reply the same way, “Pest control is never a line of work I thought I would be in, but it’s interesting. I’m always learning something new, and that makes it fun.”

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Forever a Student

There have been very few times in my life where I have not enjoyed learning new things. I was that kid who enjoyed school, not for the social aspect (I’m super awkward in person) but because of the knowledge I could gain.

I have been out of a classroom setting for learning for seven years now and I miss it. But there are so many other ways of learning, and there’s so much out there to learn, even if it is not in  a classroom.

Being in pest control for two and a half years now, I know more about bugs and rodents than I ever thought there was to know. Yet, there’s so much more to know about them which would make me more effective at my job. So I continue to ask questions, and investigate so I will know more for next time.

As I begin this journey of writing and marketing there’s so much information out there available.

I would be a fool to not spend time learning from those who have paved the path before me.

Do Not Settle

No matter the topic, no matter how much of an expert you feel you are on a topic, never become so full of yourself that you think there’s nothing left to learn.

If it’s for a job, there’s always more knowledge you can gain in order to apply it so you can be more effective. It may help you move up the ladder if that’s your goal, or out the door to another opportunity.

Artists need to keep learning so their craft can evolve and grow over time. This requires, “homework,” or another word for it, practice. Practicing a skill is one way to lear pn it better and will grow your knowledge on what it takes to be the best.

Politics, faith, and hobbies are all areas which require a continual growth of knowledge.

Learning Can Be Fun

As I mentioned, I always enjoyed a classroom style of learning but I understand not everyone does.

Find a topic which interests you and find a way to learn it best. It could be reading, audiobooks, an apprenticeship, or any number of different avenues.

The route you choose isn’t as important as continuing the journey.

Don’t stop learning.

Be cool. Stay in school….or something like that.

All About Water

It has happened to me more times than I care to admit.

I’ve been dehydrated. I’m not talking,”feeling a little parched.” I mean my brain has gone foggy and the world around me starts spinning at a rate I can actually feel.

I’ll be the first one to say, it was stupid.

I have never been stranded alone in the desert with no access to water. There has not been a time in my life when I have lived in an area where water is scarce.

Zero. That’s how many reasons there are for me to have ever been that dehyrated.

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Busyness

When it happened I told myself I was too busy to slow down. I have a certain number of stops to complete each day, sometimes more are added and it can make for a very busy day.

So in the past I would cut corners. Some days I would go without eating lunch. I wouldn’t stop to get anything to drink.

It is not like you cannot feel the effects of dehydration coming on; but I would ignore them so I could get work done.

Stupid.

Take Care Of Yourself

There are times when it is understandable you may feel selfish to think about yourself.

Keeping hydrated is not one of those times. If we do not take the best care of our bodies that we can, they will fail us and then we won’t be able to do any of the things we used as excuses to not take care of ourselves.

I would not be able to continue working if I suffered some medical emergency because of extreme dehydration.

Our Bodies Need Water

It isn’t an unnecessary luxury. We actually need it to survive.

Depending on the situation a person can die without water in a week, or if the conditions are hazardous, in less than a day.

This is no exaggeration, we actually need water, you know, to live.

All Liquids Are Not Created Equal

Stop saying you don’t need to drink water because you drink 50 energy drinks, or sodas, or cups of coffee.

Do not even replace your water intake with sports drinks.

Water. We need water.

Benefits of water

ENERGY- our bodies are made of mostly water. When we reduce those levels everything has to work harder to function better, which can lead to fatigue.

SURVIVAL- See above. You need it to live. No joke.

METABOLISM- Drinking can aide in weight loss. It helps fill your stomach which means you have less desire to fill it with other junk. Between that and the increased metabolism, hello weight loss.

LESS ACHES AND PAINS- Dehydration can lead to headaches, cramps, and strains muscles. When all we have to do is drink water to reduce those issues, it’s ridiculous to think we wouldn’t.

Be Aware

Just like the amount of time it would take to die from dehydration changes based on the conditions you are living in or working, the amount you should be drinking also varies.

This is me pleading with you. Make sure to be drinking plenty of water. On days I work and then run/workout I have to drink 1.5-2 gallons of water that day to keep properly hydrated.

When im just working on a mild day, usually around a gallon is plenty.

Just be aware of of what you have been doing throughout the day and drink water accordingly. It even helps to be prepared (take a jug to work).

Take care of yourself.

Drink more water.

Your body will thank you.

The Evil At the Week’s Start

We’ve all heard someone declare it. We may even have been the ones to raise a fist to the air in anger on the topic. Week after week I see posts online about people are outraged about it happening.

It seems like it is able to continue in its destructive wake and nobody is doing anything to stop it.

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Monday.

Monday always rolls around and it Feels like we are all subject to its wrath. It comes like a theif in the night to steal, kill, and destroy.

It steals our happiness. It kills any fun happening. It destroys our weekends.

Monday comes around and does whatever it wants. Week after week I see people posting about how they dread the beginning of a new week. They dread going to work.

I am just as guilty about letting Monday get under my skin and “ruin” my life.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. What if I told you, Monday only has as much power over you as you give it? Monday doesn’t have to leave you feeling the same way as a visit from your mother-in-law.

Tweet: Monday: the mother-in-law of days of the week.

It may surprise some to know, but you are in control of how you approach your life. I’m not saying there won’t be days you feel down and out. Often times emotions come and go like surprise storms on the horizon.

However, we can decide to be hopeful, even in the face of Mondays.

Decide Today

Don’t let Monday sneak up on you this coming week (I realize it is Monday now and you may already be caught in the trenches off guard). Make a decision now you will do what it takes to make Monday the best it can be. Let it be a set up to a great week.

Are you stuck at a job you hate? Find something, anything, you enjoy about it and find joy in it. Maybe there’s something coming later in the week you can look forward to doing. Let it be a motivater, even on Monday.

Stop now. Write something down which you can use to keep you from dreading the Mondays to come.

Pick a Friend

I find when I surround myself with complainers I am more likely to complain. When I spend my time around people who are complaining about their job or the coming week, I am much more likely to jump into the same attitude.

Instead of trying to be positive for them to encourage them to have a great attitude I find I just jump on the train and ride along, yelling and screaming about how much the train sucks.

Is there someone in your life who seems to be more positive than others? Not that they never have anything bad going on, but they genuinely seem to find the positive in life?

Hang around them. Talk with them. Soak up that attitude.

It is amazing how hanging around others with a different mindset can change ours. And when you carry a positive attitude, it can be contagious for those around you.

Don’t be fake

In no way am I trying to get you to fake your way through life, pretending all is well when you may legitimately be having a terrible day, or even week. Those times are going to happen. In those periods of life, lean on those friends around you who can encourage and not tear you down further.

Even when life (or “Monday”) is difficult, keep pressing forward. Look for anything positive around you and focus on it.

When we decide to not let Mondays rule or ruin our lives, we gain back the control. We are more productive, proactive, and positive people (yay, alliteration).

So stand strong when Monday rears its head. Don’t let it bring you down. Grab your sword and be the master, instead of the other way around.

Morning Inner Dialogue

*It’s dark. The darkness is partially because his eyes were closed. Mostly though, the sun had not yet risen and the lights were off. He slept comfortably under a warm sheet encasing his body; all except his right leg from the knee down. That remained exposed for a perfect warm/cool balance.


If he were to be asked life had always been this way. He had always been asleep in this soft bed. He had never know another life.

Obviously he couldn’t be asked anything because of his current unconscious state. One person had tried asking him a question once during these moments of sleep which he was convinced never ended, but that person has never done so again.

We wont explore why.

All this was about to change though. This current state of his was coming to an abrupt end. It always ended this way. But it was always new and unexpected.*


What is that terrible sound? It’s so loud and repetitive. Why won’t it stop? Make it stop!

Alarm. That noise is the alarm.

Alarm? What a terrible sounding word. Am I in danger? I don’t feel like I’m in any danger. Ugh, just make it stop. Why am I being tortured?

No, it’s a different kind of alarmIt’s time to get up. Come on, get going. You know once you roll on out of bed and start moving you’ll wake right up. This happens every day.

No it doesn’t.

Stop being ridiculous.

You’re ridiculous.

Wow, real mature. What are you, 5? Come on, get..

You’re five.

Oh my goodness. Just roll out of bed. You go through this every morning.

Today is different.

It really isn’t. 

Leave me alone! All I want to do is lay here in bed and sleep. There’s no crime in that. I work hard, I deserve a litttle sleep. Why hasn’t anyone shut off that blasted alarm?

First, I’m you. I can’t just up and leave. Apparently I can’t do anything because I’m stuck in this lazy body. 

I’m not lazy. I just mentioned how hard I work. Aren’t you listening?

Not even going to acknowledge that response.

That’s typical.

Second, the only person with the power to shut off the alarm is you. So unless you are going…

No power. Batteries drained. Need sleep. What’s so important about today anyway?

It’s a new opportunity at life! There’s work, family friends. A chance to be creative. Adventure awaits and all you have to do to get started is roll out of bed and shut off that alarm.

I really feel like you’re overplaying your hand here. It all sounds nice but nothing can be as great as right where I am at this very moment. Nothing.

There’s coffee.

Coffee?

You know. That savory, dark drink which begins to work its magic as soon as the aroma hits your nose. Then as you take those first sips, not only does it warm you from the inside out, it fuels your soul. It supplies you with energy. I cannot be certain but there’s magic in each cup. Actual magic which gives you the power to not just begin your day but to excel.

Hey, the alarm stopped. How did that happen. Wait a moment, I’m standing up! Coffee.

Every single time.

 

If You Feel Like It…

What she said: “If you feel like it you could clean up the kitchen while I’m gone.”

Innocent enough. But let me tell you, the statement was loaded and needed to be examined with care because it was not what it seemed.

To a bystander, one with an untrained ear, it would appear my wife had given me an option.

She had not.

The phrase, “If you feel like it,” set up an expectation. Really the statement was, “I’ve been busy/had a long day/feeling the need to murder (pick any of the above) and I’m needing some help around the house. Clean the kitchen…or else.”

I can hear her now, “No, I was giving you an option.” Technically, yes. But the two of us have been married long enough for me to know I do not want to see how tomorrow plays out if I chose to not clean up.

Marriage is tricky business. It requires active participation from both parties. One must learn to hear not just the words which come out but also the intention. Here are a few important things to listen for in any conversation.

What tone is being used?

This is probably the easiest. You begin to understand the tone of your partner during the early days of your relationship.

Early on you pick up on the lovey tones, sarcastic quips, or genuine elation.

These tones are an important tool to use in understanding your spouse. When, “It’s fine,” is said in a harsh tone, all is not fine.

Head for the hills or grab some water to throw on the fire. Through trial and error you will come to know which action is best.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

Body language speaks volumes to emphasize your words (think standing on a chair while thrusting a condescending finger down at your someone while screaming down at them).

It can also speak with no words at all (think arms crossed, legs shoulder width apart and scowling).

There are some body language signals which are pretty universal. However, in a marriage you need to understand your spouses body language. Keep from self-projecting (when I feel _______, I do _______ so since she is doing ______ it must mean ______).

There are times I shut down because I’m thinking. I slouch, my face goes stern, and I may even cross my arms. It would lead to many arguments if Jenny thought I was angry with her every single time I “assumed the position.” She’s learned.

She’s a lot smarter than I am.

What Did You Not Just Say?

As with my opening illustration, there are times, a spouse may not say exactly what he or she wants.

Would it be clearer to come right out and say it? Yes.

Would it lead to less frustration if we stopped trying to get our spouses to assume what we want? Yes.

Unfortunately, some people just like to watch the world burn.

Listen for what is not being said. Body language and tone may help to pick up on these secret clues. Breadcrumb trails left from earlier in the day may help.

You receive a text at 9am, “I’m just exhausted today.” Then when you see your spouse later, “the kids have been driving me crazy.” As she walks out the door, “If you want, you could ______.”

Pay attention to detail. I don’t care if you aren’t a detailed oriented person. Get to be detail oriented when it comes to your spouse.

Stay Alert

That’s basically what I’m saying. The two of you married each other because you loved each other. Or I guess it could have been the money. Or it was a dare.

But I’m guessing for most people it was love (I’m sure there’s a study out there somewhere).

Pay attention to each other, and lean to the side of service. Always be looking for ways to serve each other. If you think she may want the kitchen cleaned, do it.

Don’t forget tone easy on each other as well. We all make mistakes. Even when we are a clear as possible there’s still room for misunderstanding. Extend grace and try again.

Now, I’m going to clean the living room as well, just to be safe.

 

What are clues you and your spouse have dropped for each other?

Ready, Set, Go!

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

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When starting a new direction in life it is easy to to spend a lot of time comparing where you want to end up with where you are now. I don’t know about you, but doing that can be frustrating. The fear of people seeing me start and fail often keeps me from starting at all.

The thought that once this post goes public I will have an active blog with a single post is scary. Who takes seriously a blog with only one post?

Why would anyone spend time reading the rambling posts of a noobie when they can read the carefully crafted posts of men and women who have been writing for years?

It’s also easy to become discouraged by how extravagant the craft of someone else looks. They make it seem so easy.

It made me think about how easy it was for God to create. He didn’t just create a blog post, or do some creative voice work. He didn’t jot down a poem, although some would say his creation is full of beautiful rhythms and rhymes.

Everything. God created everything. There started out with absolutely nothing, and God took that, the nothingness, and created everything.

Beautiful. Simple.

How very unlike me.

Yet, I cannot shake the need to write. It’s this desire deep within my being. The words call, begging to be released.

Sometimes I do a great job allowing the river of words to flow from inside my mind on down the page. Other times it’s a disaster of choppy words and sentences.

Either way I have the need to write and create.

Worlds are born.

Ideas are crafted.

My family is happier because I’m not driving them crazy because I’m unhappy with all the uncrafted thoughts in my head.

Really it is a win all around.

This blog is going to be used for a few different purposes. I’ll be doing some fiction writing. I’ll be sharing thoughts I have on parenting, marriage, or Christian living. I may even post some poetry.

Most importantly, I hope to be perfecting this craft. If others want to come along for the ride, then come along.

It’s going to be bumpy.

It’s also going to be a whole lot of fun.

Hope to see you there.