Put down the phone and step away slowly.

I’m not quite old. But I’m not young, either.

I’m old enough to remember the excitement when our family got an extended phone cord, so I could have a private conversation in the coat closet.

However, I’m also young enough to be able to claim that I have three laptops, two tablets, and a smartphone. These technology tools that today’s digital natives for granted help me manage more of my business, personal life, and home every year.

I never went on a road trip with my family and had the luxury of watching movies from start to finish. Today, though, I don’t fly without writing an article, catching up on email and managing my business from takeoff to touchdown.

The timing of my entrance into this world means I understand the value of spending time away from the digital world. And I know how to survive the real world.

I, also, love – even rely on – being on the grid.

My life is increasingly digital.

I find myself more and more on the grid year after year. Being online allows me freedom and flexibility in the way I make money, the way I travel, and the way I enjoy my life.

It’s set me free from the mundane and offers entrance into worlds of thoughts and ideas that I don’t always see IRL.

I assume if you’re reading this article on this blog that I wrote on my laptop, you relate to at least some of what I’m saying.

You probably know exactly what it’s like to have an online presence, even if it means that your ability to survive the real world is a little hampered.

I also don’t get bothered by seeing people with their faces in their phones. I assume that most of them are like me and building something.

But I also know it’s possible to get too carried away. There is a real solid world out there, and we all need to be connected to it.

It’s important that we all manage our digital lives and not let our digital lives manage us. So, here’s what my household does to fight the robots from taking over before their time.

Embrace everyone, not everything.

All electronic devices are not equal. I wholeheartedly love my electronics, but some of them aren’t worth the time, money or hassle. Take, for example, ereaders.

I tried to buy into them. In fact, I bought two even though I saw the limitations of my first ereader quickly. Ereaders were all the rage for readers. My husband got me one of the first, and the first time I flew I was told that I had to put my ereader away until the plane took off.

For the ten to 50 minutes until we were safely in the air, as a reader, I was bored. I was once stuck on a tarmac for what seemed like hours and couldn’t read or go to the bathroom.

(Editor’s note: you can use ereaders during takeoff and landing today. In fact, I love my Kindle Paperwhite. Don’t leave home without it — especially when I fly. A full library in the palm of my hand; I can read whatever I’m in the mood for without weighing myself down with several tomes.)

As time passed, I realized that I missed my tangible books with their bent edges, scuffed covers, and bookmarks that always fall out of place. I missed the option of highlighting and taking notes in the books I bought for learning. I missed the ease of sharing a book I loved.

I know there are digital solutions for all the voids from my short-lived ereading days, but there’s something to be said for the tactile, tangible, and rudimentary.

I don’t want to make Jeff Bezos poor. I’m just suggesting that you pick and choose what digital devices you let into your life and which you don’t. They don’t all provide more value than what you have or had.

Enjoy the art of the start and a happy ending.

A while ago, my husband and I started to turn off and disconnect at 8:30 pm. The blue light, the surround sound, and all the flashing are too stimulating to the brain. In fact, studies suggest that you should turn off your devices at least an hour before bed so you can fall asleep at a decent hour and rejuvenate for the next day.

We have the Blue Light Filter for all our devices, but we still feel more ready for bed at bedtime when we turn everything off. It’s the perfect way to unwind and relax.

We’ve, also, found that what there is to read online or on social media is less relaxing than most books — yes, old school books — that we read. In fact, you’re likely to find something on social media that gets your heart rate going and your blood boiling. That’s not a recipe for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Recently, we’ve imposed the limitation of not turning on our devices until we’ve completed our morning meditation, journaling, and exercise. So far, we like it.

Before this new policy, we found ourselves turning our phones on first thing in the morning and letting Facebook or email decide how our day started. We didn’t like that. We now turn on our phones or laptops at about 7 am. Ironically, we don’t get any less done than when we turned our phones on as soon as we woke.

In fact, we are a little more productive because we’ve started the day focused and happy.

Get human2human.

As with disconnecting from the digital world and connecting with nature, humans benefit greatly from social interaction. Let’s face it, we’re not that much evolved from our cave brothers and sisters.

Regular human to human interaction has been shown to help people live longer, maintain and improve people’s physical health, maintain and improve cognitive skills, and reduce the risk or effects of dementia.

Meet a friend for coffee. Walk with your special someone around your dream neighborhood. Go to a ballgame with your best friends. Hang out with, talk with, and enjoy other people without being more concerned about what’s happening on your phone than what’s happening around you.

Put the phone away and put the people standing in front of you first.

While human-to-human contact is best, you can also connect with those far and away by making an old-school phone call or using Skype or FaceTime. Don’t settle for a quick text that you can then ignore.

Seeing someone’s face on video, or hearing their voice over the phone, will lift your spirits, help maintain or improve your mental and physical states, and keep you connected with loved ones beyond the character limits that often come with electronic text.

Master the art of doing nothing.

You know what people don’t know how to do anymore? Nothing!

We’re over-stimulated, multitasking zombies who occasionally need a break from everything. We often worry about how to survive the real world — the time spent in a grocery line or commuting on the train — without the aid of our devices. But the truth is that you could probably use a little time without them.

Stare out your living room window or sitting on your front porch alone and without any distractions. Time yourself to see how long it takes you to get antsy. If you can’t go a few minutes without feeling anxious, you need to do nothing more often.

There is great value in downtime. These days, we complain if there isn’t something entertaining right in front of us all the time. We don’t need to be constantly entertained. Let your brain get in some relaxing.

Go outside naked.

I knew this was the point you’d want to read most, which I why I put it at the end.

Don’t strip down to your birthday suit and log a run around the block like you’re to your neighborhood what Mark Roberts was to the PyeongChang Olympics. My point is to go outside and experience nature without a single digital device.

Trust me! You’ll get to the park and home again in one piece without Google Maps. You don’t need Spotify to walk down the street. Rather, listen to the soundtrack of your life — it’s the one playing in your head. You’ll hear it if you listen.

Studies suggest that being in and naturally experiencing nature will improve your mood and lower your blood pressure, your heart rate, muscle tension, and stress. Some studies even suggest it reduces your chance dying earlier.

That’s worth a walk in the woods and off the grid.

Being disconnected will give you the opportunity to hear the birds chirp and the leaves rustle. You’ll more attentively experience the sun, snow, and rain.

You’ll hear silence, and silence is truly golden.

You’ll also have the chance to connect better with yourself and your thoughts. A walk outside in nature, even a walk down the block, is a great form of meditation.

Survive the real world without devices.

These are a few of my recommendations to help you stay connected with your natural self and the environment. Digital is good but a little less digital won’t hurt you. In fact, striking the balance between digital and living IRL will probably help you a ton.

When you start paying attention to how often you’re connected, you’ll start to see the value in disconnecting sometimes as well.

When you start managing your digital work, you’ll feel, be, and do better in the real world — and we need the real world to be a whole lot better than it is today.

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Warning: this post is a little heavy.

At the time that I’m writing this post, I (like millions of other Americans) have just learned that, yet again, there has been another horrifying school shooting. And, as this is only the second month in 2018.

It was all over social media. It is still all over social media as people debate the causes and solutions — often without doing more than screaming talking points and increasing the negativity in the world.

I find myself wondering how many times we will be alerted to this type of news throughout the year and how many times we’ll go through this cycle.

In fact, by the end of 2017, I found myself dreading the news, social media, and any form of media whose sole purpose was to inform me about what was going on in the world.

Sometimes, you just don’t want to know. And, sometimes, you don’t need to know. By October 2017, I began formulating a plan to take a social media break. One free from the constant notifications, angry comments, scary news, and political fighting. And, in December I managed to stay off of social media for a month.

I was damn glad. It was the most peaceful month of the entire last year.

Wonder how I did it?

First, I had to acknowledge that constantly being “in the loop” was driving me crazy and stressing me out.

On top of that, the stress began affecting my ability to live my life happily. Once I owned the fact that I needed time to not care about anyone but me and that I wasn’t being selfish, the social media break was easy to do.

Plus, social media can be distracting. It’s easy to sucked into a discussion. Before you know it, an hour has passed — and you’ve accomplished nothing to enrich your life. I could have spent much more time on my business and made more money without the time spent on social media.

Of course, my social media presence was a huge deal, so I needed to keep people in the loop.

I began prepping the people in my life who were used to communicating with me via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Each day, I would post a message that would pique my friends’ interest. I kept these messages pretty cryptic so that they would engage with the post.

My friends began asking me questions about what was going on. Those questions gave me the opening to say “Hey-I’m taking a break soon from social media!”

Preparing my friends for this break was important because people take social media so seriously nowadays! You don’t want to unintentionally upset someone who reaches out to you but has no idea that you’re completely offline.

Leave a “bye Felicia” post.

Seriously, leave a post on your social media profiles letting people know that you are on a break. I literally left post letting telling my friends and followers the following:

  • What I was doing: “Taking a social media break” and how that break would affect the people that I typically connect with online.
  • I shared my “why.” This type of post is optional, but I found that by sharing my “why” other people would share that they were feeling the same way that I was and were thinking about taking a social media break too.
  • Share when you plan to return to social media. You’ll find that if you slip and get back on social and your friends notice, they will call you out on it!

Now that you’ve left notices and shared what’s going on, it’s time to take your break.

The logistics.

First, figure out which social media platforms you’re using. Because I run a blog, I am on basically all of the platforms. But you might only be on a few platforms that you use regularly. Identify those.

Next, get rid of the apps. I removed all of the apps from my cell phone. It was that simple. You might be surprised at how easy it is to avoid social media when it’s not staring you in the face on your phone. 

I also decided to stop watching the news. Interestingly, I actually found that to be a little more difficult than breaking up with social media.

Staying away from the news and constantly checking the headlines on my phone was a challenge. However, I didn’t miss the negativity involved with all that news.

What surprised me.

You’ve heard that  “ignorance is bliss.” I  100% agree.

The month of December was a blissful experience of being purposefully out of the loop. And, in just in case you’re wondering, if anything really crazy came up, people were sure to let me know what was going on.

My productivity shot through the roof, my anxiety levels went way down, and I existed in a state of complete calm.

By removing the anxious anticipation of waking up in the morning and wondering “What in the hell happened last night?” Each morning became something that I looked forward to.

And I also stopped checking my phone obsessively throughout the day. In fact, several social media related habits became apparent to me during my break. A few habits included: checking my social media right when I woke up, obsessively reading my feeds to see what was going on, and commenting constantly.

All of these things had been happening when I could have been working on something meaningful instead.

By the end of my experiment, I was surprised to discover how much I used to be involved with checking things on social media and in the news.

Would I do it again?

And, just in case you’re wondering, I am back on social media.

But I’ve become very attuned to how it makes me feel — and the minute it starts stressing me out, I’m taking a break.

The social media break was so enjoyable that I’ve actually scheduled breaks throughout the year and will take the entire month of December off again.

It made the holiday season so much more enjoyable.

You might be worried about what you’re missing by not being constantly connected. FOMO is real. But it doesn’t have to control your life.

In fact, once you go on break, you’ll realize that your FOMO isn’t really that bad after all.

Don’t worry about FOMO — embrace it.

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Have you thought about what it means to live a purposeful life? Read More...

“Follow your bliss.”

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

What does any of that mean?

Sure it would be nice to just hang out having fun and making money for doing whatever. The reality, though, is that most of us have to work for a living.

Besides, even if we love what we do, some days are just crappy. As much as I enjoy writing, there are days I just don’t really “feel” it.

But I do it anyway because I like eating, and I think my son should wear clothing to school. Does the fact that some days aren’t bliss-filled and there are times I have to write shit I don’t care about mean I’m on the wrong path?

Of course not.

You’re not supposed to be in a state of blissful happiness 24/7. If you were in that state all the time, it would cease to be bliss. Once it becomes normal, there’s really no point. It’s the ups and downs that make those precious moments worthwhile.

The real key is figuring out what your bliss happens to be and then incorporating that bliss in your life.

That’s the journey I’m on right now. Rather than setting a bunch of quasi-meaningless goals for the new year, I’m making this a time of exploration for me. What do I want my purpose in life to be? How can I figure it out so I can follow my bliss?

Map it out: What does your bliss look like?

If you want to follow your bliss, the first step is to think about what it looks like. And be honest: would you really be happy lying on a beach somewhere doing nothing all the time? I know I wouldn’t be.

In fact, most of us don’t want to be stuck doing nothing. There’s a reason research indicates that early retirement can lead to an earlier death. There might be a correlation between not having a purpose after you quit work and a premature death. While there’s still plenty of research to be done, and the data isn’t conclusive, you can see why losing your purpose might mean mental and physical health problems.

But I’m not anywhere near retirement. I just want to figure out what matters to me so I can follow my bliss on a more regular basis.

So, inspired by Harlan’s life map, I created my own.

Miranda Life Map

I named my map “Living with Passion and Purpose” because I decided that my bliss involves things that allow me to follow some of my passions while also living with a sense of purpose.

Many of us like to feel as though we can make a difference. Chances are when you think about how to follow your bliss, part of that is working in a capacity that allows you to help people, whether that means volunteering or cultivating career opportunities that allow you to feel as though you are contributing to something worthwhile.

You can figure out what your own bliss looks like by going through the exercise of creating a life map as well. Sit down and think about the kinds of things you would be doing for work and in your leisure time if you were able to follow your bliss.

One of the reasons that phrases like “follow your bliss” get so much play is due to the fact that, for most of us, money isn’t the driver that makes life interesting.

Here is what Rosabeth Moss Kanter at Harvard discovered about what makes work worth doing:

In research for my book Evolve!, I identified three primary sources of motivation in high-innovation companies: mastery, membership, and meaning. Another M, money, turned out to be a distant fourth. Money acted as a scorecard, but it did not get people up-and-at ‘em for the daily work, nor did it help people go home every day with a feeling of fulfillment.

Follow Your Bliss -- Or At Least Figure Out What It Looks Like

Where does money fit when you follow your bliss?

Money is on my life map, but mostly as a subject I write and podcast about — as well as the Thing that allows me to follow all my other interests.

In order to fulfill the items at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy pyramid, money is necessary. You can’t buy food, water, or shelter without money. Even on the second level up, with safety needs, some sort of funds are necessary.

You can’t keep moving up the pyramid without the basics that often have to be bought. And, even as you progress up the pyramid, money can help you feel other things. I like to use money as a means to my ends. Many of the activities I have on my life map — items like travel and providing opportunities for my son — require money.

But I don’t like earning money just to have moar money.

Chances are that money isn’t your main motivator, either. Even if you don’t have same passions I do or hope to impact the world around you in the same way (I prefer small-scale, local efforts), you are probably motivated by something other than just piling up the benjamins in your bank account.

Add bits of bliss to your life.

Once you know what your bliss looks like, you can start adding it to your life. It doesn’t mean that you have to drop everything you’re doing right now to follow bliss. You can start looking for meaning in what you do, even if it is a crappy job.

Find other ways to add purpose to your life. Start a side gig. Volunteer. Take music lessons. Play with your kids. Netflix and chill. Join a book club. Spend the night in a hotel. Look for a way to make a small change that adds to your quality of life.

A few years ago, when I felt trapped in my life, I made time to take guitar lessons. For half an hour each week, I met with a teacher. I practiced for 15 to 20 minutes each day.

Is that enough to become a good guitar player? Nope. But it’s enough to find some enjoyment and passion in the day, learn something new, and get to the point where I can accompany other people. It wasn’t much, but it added something to my life — a spark of joy.

Today, I still like to get out the guitar on occasion. Just like I enjoy playing the piano. I’ve also added short, 10-minute lessons with Duolingo. I purposely carve out a half hour for lunch to read a chapter in a novel while I eat.

These are simple things that don’t take a lot of time. However, they bring a bit of bliss into my daily life. They give me a sense that I don’t always have to be involved in the daily grind or working on something productive. Sometimes it’s okay to just live.

Little by little, reduce the amount of time you spend on things that don’t bring you happiness and shift toward what adds purpose and passion to your life.

Don’t expect everything to change at once.

It would be great to snap your fingers and have everything figured out. But that’s not how it works. In fact, it can take months — and even years — to finally shift all the pieces of your life.

You don’t have to upend your life to follow your bliss. And you don’t have to stop what you’re doing just because you have a bad day.

However, you can make a plan. Use your life map as a guide to figure out which areas you want to focus on first. Consider how you can create a new career strategy that allows you to gradually change course and love your work.

Slowly find time to yourself, doing what you want. Maybe it means finding five minutes to do yoga or scheduling 20 minutes to read each day. I recently added exercise to my calendar. It’s something that is now blocked out and I’m committed to it. While it’s not exactly my bliss, I do feel better when I exercise and I also expect to reap the health benefits.

Your life will never be absolutely perfect. But it can be pretty damn good.

Look for the little ways to enjoy life, and you’ll be surprised at how it all adds up until eventually you really do get to live the life you (mostly) want.

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Vacations can make or break a friendship. If you’re going to plan a good one – do it right. Read More...

Recently, the number one movie in America was Girls Trip-a hilariously wild movie all about taking an epic trip with a few of your best friends. I’ve had the good luck to take a number of girls trips with my BFFs (I have more than one) and there are a couple of tips that I would like to share so that you can successfully plan an incredible vacation with your BFF.

Decisions, decisions!

First, you will need to decide on the destination. This decision sets the foundation for all of your additional trip-related decisions. In the process of deciding where to go, you will discover the type of traveler your BFF really is.

You can opt for a traditional location such as a large city with good food and interesting tourist exhibits. Cities such as NYC, Chicago, LA, and New Orleans are typically safe bets.

Then, you begin asking one another the following questions:

  • How safe of a city does it have to be for you to feel safe visiting it?
  • What do you find interesting to do for fun?
  • Do you want to drive around town all day?

Once you’ve worked through these questions, begin discussing the logistics of your trip. Talk about how you like to experience and explore a new city. Are you a wanderer? Do you prefer to follow an itinerary? These are all disqualifying (or qualifying) questions that will help you decide: is this really a person that I would like to travel with?

Do I want to travel with you?

Be honest if the answer is NO! If this is your BFF, don’t put yourself in the position of a friendship breakup because you took a trip that one of you potentially wouldn’t enjoy because the activities and city were ill-suited to their personality.

Friends sometimes want to get super adventurous way too fast when traveling together. I would strongly advise you to avoid doing this and to build up to an epic travel experience by taking smaller trips together…just to make sure.

Time to talk money.

Once you’ve decided on the location, you’ll then need to work on some of the nitty-gritty. What do your budgets look like and how does your budget affect what you can do?

Be candid about your budget-but at the same time be self-aware. Whether both of you are flush with cash or not, come up with a nice balance of activities that provide a wide-range of opportunities to have fun at varying levels of expense. This empowers both friends to choose activities that suit their financial situation.

Have a real conversation about what you can, cannot, or won’t pay for during your travels.

Become self-aware. How flexible are you? Would you lose your mind if there were problems with your accommodations? Would you freak out if you had to share a room or a bed? Are you an indifferent eater, an obsessive museum fan, or (ahem) clingy? Do you need someone with you as you explore town? Or, are you the type of traveler who needs occasional “me” time when you’re on trips with friends? Be honest!

It’s now time for shenanigans!

Some of my favorite trips were taken with my BFFs. Traveling to Las Vegas on a Greyhound bus and freaking out when the blind couple with the fake seeing-eye-dog almost got hit by highway traffic during one of our rest breaks. Fun times!

Going to L.A. with another friend and meeting every single freaky person in California – who just knew that we weren’t from there. They just could smell the Colorado on us.

Going to Breckenridge with my European BFFs and everyone (but me) getting altitude sickness and needing to go to the local oxygen bar for some relief.

I love having these memories and I know that you, too, will enjoy creating new, life-long memories with your BFFs.

I strongly suggest traveling with your friends, just be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot tolerate when traveling. You can be realistic about your friend’s quirks without throwing them under the bus.

Share your favorite BFF travel story in the #Adulting Facebook community!

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Being a single mom doesn’t have to be depressing. Here’s how to love it. Read More...

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

Emma Johnson, author of The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children and blogger-owner of http://wealthsinglemommy.com/ joins Harlan and Miranda today to share tips about living a great life while being the single parent of children.

We talk about dating, money, and how you can feel empowered and love being a single mom without hating men. We also look at taking charge of your finances and rebuilding your life on your own terms.

Emma Johnson is the author of THE KICKASS SINGLE MOM: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children, creator of the immensely popular blog, WealthySingleMommy.com, and host of the podcast, “Like a Mother,” where she explores issues facing professional moms like herself. She is a writer, journalist, entrepreneur, former small-town Midwesterner, and current New Yorker. Since launching her blog four years ago, she has become the leading voice of single motherhood in the popular media and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Day, and NPR, among others.

Book: https://adulting.tv/a/014313115X
Twitter: @JohnsonEmma
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=646747051
Website: http://www.wealthysinglemommy.com

Watch the video above or listen to the audio podcast below.

Hosted byHarlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

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Life doesn’t need to keep kicking you in the ass. Read More...

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

Do you feel like you just can’t anymore? It doesn’t have to be that way. We talk to Michelle Jackson about building resilience. When life kicks you in the ass, you can turn around and fight back. It’s not easy. It’s not always fun. But it is possible.

One of the most important things you can do for success is to develop grit. Michelle has grit. She had to help support her mother, and she’s had her own share of setbacks. Find out how Michelle moved forward — see if you can learn lessons in building resilience in your own life.

Website: michelleismoneyhungry.com

Instagram: @michelleismoneyhungry

Twitter: MichLovesMoney

Podcast: Girl Gone Frugal (again)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/adult… https://twitter.com/adultingtv https://www.pinterest.com/adultingtv/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaok…

Hosted byHarlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.

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Friendships are work. Just because you’re adulting hard doesn’t mean you have to let them slip away. Read More...

When you’re going through high school and college, the idea of drifting apart from your closest friends seems impossible. When you share a bond so strong, how could living in different cities or working opposite schedules get in the way?

Flash forward to your mid-20s, and you haven’t talked to any of them in months. Maybe you don’t even have their numbers.

After I graduated college, I learned the hard way that friendship is like a garden – if you don’t water it consistently, the vines will wither and die. Busy with work and high on my new career, I gradually started losing contact with the people who once meant the most to me. I assumed it would be easy to make new friendships, just like it was in college – how wrong I was.

Thankfully, I was able to turn things around before I lost my friends completely, but others aren’t so lucky. There are twenty-somethings all over the country pining for their old buddies, wondering where it all went wrong. If you don’t want to become one of them, read ahead to find out how.

Create a schedule.

My friend Leslie told me about how she would go weeks without talking to her sister, and how sad it made her. Every time she’d call, her sister would be busy and vice versa. Sick of playing phone tag, they created a schedule where every Sunday at 2 p.m., they call each other and catch up on an episode of their favorite show, usually “Pretty Little Liars” or “Chopped.”

Leslie said that since they created a schedule, they haven’t missed a phone call unless one of them has been on vacation. I love the idea of creating a regular phone date at the same time every month.

For this system to work, each person has to promise to be available during the agreed time and not cancel when life gets busy. You can’t flake out just because you’re tired or your boyfriend really wants to watch a movie – once you miss an appointment for flimsy reasons, it’s going to be easier to skip out from that point on.

Keep it simple.

A couple weeks ago, my college friends and I took a four-day trip to Asheville, North Carolina. We stayed in a rustic cabin outside of town and planned to spend our time kayaking, paddleboarding and hiking – almost none of which we actually did.

Why? We spent most of the time talking to each other, drinking homemade cocktails and staying up late playing Taboo. I had as much fun with them singing along to the Spice Girls in the car as I did exploring downtown Asheville.

If you’re struggling to make time for your friends, you might be overthinking it. Don’t try to plan an amazing Friday night, ask them over to watch “30 Rock” or play a board game instead. You don’t have to plan a dinner party or make reservations at the newest bar to have a good time.

Run errands together.

When I still lived in the same city as one of my best friends, we would often do the most mundane tasks together, like go grocery shopping or return clothes we’d bought online.

It’s not that we didn’t want to do something more exciting, but I was very frugal at the time and didn’t have extra money to spend on movies, concerts or going out. Instead, we’d go to Costco, get a hot dog for $1 and then buy whatever was on our list. Even though we were spending our Saturdays at a warehouse club, we still had fun.

If you’re pressed for time, don’t choose between your friends and your responsibilities. Combine them instead. Who knows, your friend might also need to buy moisturizer at Sephora or a new blazer at the mall.

You can even do this if you’re on a call with someone. For example, I love talking on the phone while I’m out walking the dogs or cleaning up around the house. It doesn’t take any extra mental capacity, and I’m not shirking my responsibilities.

That’s why I would always call my mom when I was driving home from work. I didn’t have anything else I needed to do at the same time, and it always made me feel better.

Take advantage of technology.

My best friends and I are separated by multiple states and we only see each other a couple times a year. To bridge the gap, I try to send them articles I think they’ll like or comment on their Facebook photos. Technology makes it so easy to stay in touch, especially if you’re far away.

Since I’ve started texting my friends more, I’ve felt more connected to a part of my life that ended when I graduated from college. I feel happier when I get a text from a friend, even if it’s as simple as an inside joke or a recommendation for acne cleanser.

Send snail mail.

You can also send letters and cards for birthdays and random events. It’s cheap, but it’s so fun to get real mail from your friends.

What are some of the ways you make time for friends? Have you adjusted relationships due to distance or schedules? Tell us about it over at the #Adulting Facebook community.

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Self-care is important.

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

We don’t have a video this week, but we do have an interview with an expert. Lynette Davis is an entrepreneur coach and mental health advocate. She knows what it’s like to lose touch with yourself and the importance of mental health as an entrepreneur.

In this episode, Lynette talks about the importance of self-care, watching for signs that you might need to pay better attention to your mental health, and how better mental health can help you make the most of your business.

We also talk about the importance of getting help when you need it and removing some of the stigma related to mental health from the national conversation. Listen in to find out what you need to know about mental health as an entrepreneur.

Website: http://lynettedavis.biz/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AplusDMedia
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynetted

Hosted byHarlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

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Life’s too short to always feel shafted. If you’re not getting what you want out of your life, it’s time to change things! Let’s put your effort where it matters. Read More...

Is your life a profitable business or a non-profit? In business, everything requires a return on investment (ROI). Unless they’re required otherwise by law, companies don’t do anything without the intention of making money. Companies hire a person in so much as that person can complete a task that pays for their salary and makes the company a profit.

I know! Some jobs subsidize others, but this isn’t ECON101. We’re in Adulting701, and we’re talking about life.

Why is it that we don’t apply a similar philosophy of an ROI on our personal lives? We keep people around who suck our souls. We repeat bad habits that harm our health. We avoid opportunities to challenge ourselves and grow. We stay with the same, old tried and true to the detriment of our dreams.

That is not a business or personal model for success.

Spend time with other awesome people.

As we age, we collect people in our lives and keep them at all cost. We’re loyal and faithful and sometimes caring to a fault. Everyone has their down days and who doesn’t want to live up to Bill Withers’ standard when he sang, “Lean on me when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.” Aside from ending in a preposition, those are noble words by which to live.

See what I did there?

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talked about emotional bank accounts. Everyone has an emotional bank account, and the people in our lives are either making a deposit or making a withdrawal from our emotional bank account.

The more people withdraw from our emotional bank account, the lower our ROI. If they deduct or even deplete our emotional bank account, our ROI can be negative. That’s not okay. We want people who add more than they take so that we can be all or more than we can be. It’s fair to remember, that we’re either adding to or taking from others’ emotional bank accounts, too.

Keep people around you who make you better and whom you can help be better.

Risk living for your dream or stay stuck in a nightmare.

Les Brown said, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled.” Will you take your biggest and best asset to the grave with you?

Are you staying with a job because you have family responsibilities? Are you not stretching towards your dream because you think you’re too old, too young, not the right gender, don’t have enough experience, blah, blah, blah?

You know what they say about excuses, right?

For the longest time, I wanted to be financially and geographically independent by helping people with their money. That’s making a long story short. However, one of my mental hurdles was thinking that I was too young. Who would listen to me in my 20s? Who would listen to me in my 30s? Even when I started this venture, I wondered who would listen to me in my 40s?

When I started doing what I wanted, I began networking with others who were doing the same. Many of them were younger than me. Because I’m a master of self-doubt, I started to think I’m too old. If I listened to my internal dialogue, I had one year in which I was the optimal age to do what I wanted to do.

Mel Robbins says we’d be committed to an institution if other people could hear our internal dialogue. So, I stopped listening to my fears and insecurities and started listening to my faith and possibilities. While nothing is inevitable, I’m happier than ever and can’t wait to wake up every day to continue working on my dream.

If you aren’t excited to wake up more days than not, is it because you’re living a nightmare? If you’re living a nightmare or even a drama, what value are you getting from it?

Don’t love the one you’re with, rather be with the one you love.

“Love the One You’re With” is a badass tune, but it’s bad advice. There’s a good chance we get one life and, as we’ve learned over the last couple of decades, we can have full and happy lives alone. We don’t need someone else to make us happy and, if we think we do, there’s a problem.

If we “need” someone in our lives to make us happy, then we have more needs than love. Plus, it’s not fair to put that kind of responsibility on someone.

Only when we can love ourselves fully, completely alone, and for who we are can we receive true love. It feels unfair, but it’s true, and any relationship we stay in because we need to will be mediocre at best and, in economic terms, that’s stagnation.

Our resources are limited. We only have so much time. We only have so much energy. We can only give so much without getting something in return. What is your ROI in every area of your life and how can you get a better return?

When you figure out that formula, you’ll have more abundance than you thought possible.

We would love to hear your thoughts about your personal ROI in the #Adulting Facebook community! Hope to see you there!

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Feeling like a stranger in a strange land? It can be hard to start over in a new city. But part of the fun is making new connections and finding a new crew. Read More...

When my husband and I moved from Indianapolis to Denver a couple years ago, I left behind a solid core of friends that made up the bulk of my social life. I was sad to leave them, but confident I could do the same thing I’d done when changing schools as a child or moving out of state for college – maintain my old friendships and start some new ones.

While I had no problems staying in touch with my friends from Indiana, making new relationships was so much harder than I ever expected. Not only did I lack any kind of social base to start from, but I had just left an office job to start my career as a freelance writer. You don’t realize how important the workplace can be as a social tool until your only office mates are a husband and two dogs.

It took some time, but eventually, I was able to meet some great people and form lasting friendships. Here are some of the methods I tried, and how well they might work for you.


MeetUp is one of the best tools to find new friends with similar interests, and almost every major city has an active MeetUp community.

MeetUp is a haven for groups based on every kind of interest imaginable. I’ve joined book clubs, art journal groups and card-game nights. Many of these have hundreds of members, so don’t expect to see the same faces every time. But if you attend the same event frequently enough, you’re bound to make some connections that stick.

Go to two or three events before you decide you don’t like a group. It can take time to get out of your comfort zone and feel at ease around total strangers, but since most MeetUp groups are based on a specific activity you’ll always have something in common.

Make sure to look at the age range of the groups you’re interested in. I once joined a movie MeetUp without realizing I was the youngest person there. I went a couple times, but ultimately decided I couldn’t make close friendships with people close to my parent’s age.


This tip is only for the ladies. The dating app, Bumble has a feature where women can look for other women to be friends with. When you download the app, choose the BFF setting when prompted. You’ll only see profiles of other women who want to find a new shopping buddy or movie companion.

Bumble starts by showing you a series of photos. Like many dating apps, you swipe right on the prospects you like and left on the ones you don’t. At first, I swiped right on almost everyone, but I quickly realized I wanted to be more selective.

Almost half of the girls I saw said they loved drinking wine and going to brunch – but doesn’t everyone? I decided to swipe left on anyone who had such a generic profile. I swiped right on girls who said they loved comic books, playing with their dog or reading detective novels. I wasn’t trying to be judgemental, but it’s easier to make a connection when you have something in common.

I met a couple cool girls through the app, but staying in touch on a long-term basis proved harder. That’s not an indictment of the service, but you’ll need to invest some time and energy into the app if you want it to pay off long term.


When you’re in a new city, it can be hard to get the lay of the land. What events are cool? Which museums are worth going to? Where can you find the best ice cream?

Volunteering for local events is one way to have fun, explore, and make friends in a new city in the process. Most volunteer spots last several hours, so you’ll have time to chat and get to know people. Plus, you often get free swag or privileged access.

If you hear about a local event that sounds interesting, but you don’t want to go alone, contact the organizers to see if they need volunteers.

Sports leagues.

Joining a local bowling league is the best way I’ve made friends in Denver. We played one game a week for six weeks, meeting at the same time and place consistently. Having a regular time to hang out proved to be the key to making a new group of friends. When you sporadically attend functions, you don’t get the consistency that’s required to solidify new friendships. Seeing the same people once a week made it easier to develop actual relationships.

We started planning other activities together pretty quickly, like going to the movies, attending musicals and going on short hikes. Eventually we started watching “Game of Thrones” together every Sunday and later transitioned into a weekly trivia group when our bowling season ended.

Every city has local sports leagues you can join and participate in. Most people won’t care if you’re unathletic, as long as you have a positive attitude and a cursory knowledge of the sport. Often, groups go out afterward for drinks or dinner, giving you another opportunity to establish roots.

Moving to a new city is the perfect chance to find new friends and reinvent your life with people who you can enjoy time with.

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