Monday, April 17, 2017

The Hailstones, From Life Below Zero, Have Inspired Me A Bit...

We end most of our days with family snuggle time on the sofa. During this time, we watch an episode or 2 of a TV show on Netflix or Amazon. For the longest time we watched House M.D. Unfortunately, after working our way through only a few seasons, Netflix discontinued the show as of April 1st. The following week, Lisa introduced me to Life Below Zero. She wasn't sure I'd like it, but after watching  a couple of episodes, I was intrigued. It caught my attention.

I'm not usually a fan of reality TV. These shows are heavily edited. They're presented in a way to lure viewers in with heavy doses of drama and the absurd. It's fair to say, Life Below Zero is no exception in the world of reality TV.

This became apparent when I did a little research on the show and the people featured. I came across an article about a lawsuit Susan Aikens has with the producers of the show. Allegedly, she was forced to film a dangerous stunt for a fictitious narrative.

Putting all of that aside, watching Life Below Zero has made an impact on me. With each episode I watch, I'm digging deeper and deeper into evaluating my daily life.

No, this does not include any interest in moving our family to Alaska. 

The other night, I sat at my desk and thought about a lot of stuff. My daily life. Our daily life. Goals. Work. The blogs I own and author. My book. The exhaustion I experience because of my messed up schedule. What frustrates me. What stresses me out. What I allow to get the best of me.

The list goes on...

I have the Hailstone family to thank for this. Out of all the people on the show, Chip and Agnes Hailstone, and their family, have left the biggest impression.

The Hailstone family lives entirely off the land. They fish and hunt for food. With Agnes's Eskimo Heritage, they're extremely knowledgeable with tracking down the best seasonal hunts.

Everything they hunt and fish for is utilized. Food. Fat to make oil for their lamps. They use the fur, skin, teeth, and bones to make jewelry, clothing, hats, and other items to sell.

In a recent episode we watched, the Hailstone family spent a great deal of time scoping the muddy river beds for bones and antlers and whatever else they could find.

In most episodes, Chip and Agnes speak loud and clear about being opportunists. Their actions in every day life supports their beliefs and way of living. They radiate an opportunists way of life. If they're sick of eating caribou for dinner, they spend a day hunting and fishing for alternative protein. If funds are running low, they make jewelry and clothing out of fur and bones. If they need something for their home, they barter.

It doesn't matter how exhausted they are, how much work is involved in a single task, or what the conditions are. It gets done.

Not once have I witnessed them complaining. 

This is where I sit back in my office chair and think, "I kind of suck."

I own it. 

I'll give myself credit. I'm a hard worker. I always have been. I've busted my ass over the past decade or so to get to where I'm at now. I've had my fair share of 100+ hour work weeks. I've swam oceans and climbed mountains for clients and companies.

But, in the here and now, after distancing myself from the corporate ladders and rat races, I've become a bit spoiled and particular.

I own that too.

I complain too much about my schedule not going as planned.

I complain too much about not having enough work time during the day.

I complain too much about sleep deprivation and my messed up schedule.

I get lazy on the overnights. Even though I have about 6 hours to get stuff done, I often cave to exhaustion and fall asleep while writing blog posts.

I get too frustrated when I don't have the ideal materials to work with when I want to create a DIY Dog Mom Project.

I've gotten lazy with baking homemade treats for Lisa's lunches.

I blame too much on things not going as planned, the weather, being tired, and not getting stuff done during a "normal work day."

Again, the list goes on.

In a lot of ways, I've become spoiled.

I've veered far away from the path of being an opportunist.

I realize that needs to stop.

Although Lisa and I have gone to great lengths to reduce our monthly expenses, and that includes reducing our heating expenses during the cold weather months, we can do better. A lot better.

As a work at home Dog Mom, most of that responsibility falls on me.

I need to utilize the resources and materials we already have.

I need to stop focusing on what doesn't go right.

I need to stop focusing on the ideal work hours.

I need to stop being comfortable enough on the overnight hours to where I'll fall asleep. Sure, I'm tired and would much rather be in bed with Lisa and our kids, but that's not an option.

Instead, I have 6 or 7 hours of quiet, uninterrupted work time. I need to utilize that to the fullest. Sure, it's not the most ideal chunk of time to get work done, but it's time I have.

If that overnight work time includes typing blog posts at the table on my Chrome book while I whip up homemade baked goods for Lisa's lunches, so be it.

I need to see all of the above, and than some, as an opportunist.

And, as Chip and Agnes always says, "It's not about surviving. It's about thriving."

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