Finding balance in a chaotic world

Archive for April, 2008


PillsI suffer migraine headaches at times, as do my mother and sister. Luckily my headaches are no where near as bad as theirs but they still make me miserable. Every once in a while I’ll have one bad enough to stay in bed all day, but for the most part they are just annoying.


After a while, I learned what triggered my migraine headaches. For me it was either lack of sleep or lack of food (or a combination of both). There was not a magic formula for how much sleep or food I needed, but if I was noticeably lacking in one or the other, I was pretty sure I’d have a headache soon.

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“Let go Luke”

DrumkitI have many hobbies. Too many probably, but two of those hobbies are drumming and shooting. I picked up the drums years ago when Amy gave me drum lessons as a Valentine’s Day present. It was a lot of fun learning a new instrument and there is definitely something satisfying about pounding away on the kit.

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The Most Powerful Word

LettersI have a friend who says the most powerful word in the English language is “no.” It took me a while to understand the concept there but once I did, I found I have to agree with him. It is also one of the most balancing words.


The fastest way for me to get unbalanced is by simply overcommitting. Like many people, I have these deep desire to have everyone like me, so when they ask me to do something, I immediately want to do it. If I do it, they will like me more, right? So I get involved in things that truthfully I’d rather not do all due to my insecurity.

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CandlesSo picture this, early on a Monday morning in the dead of winter, I hear a loud crack outside our window. I get up to look out and see that an ice storm has passed through during the night, not unusual in Oklahoma. The ice has so thoroughly coated my neighbor’s tree in his back yard that limbs are starting crack off of it. I dully hope that none hit my fence and go back to sleep for another 30 minutes before I have to get up and get ready for work. During that 30 minutes, I keep hearing the sound of cracking wood all across the neighborhood. You know how amplified sound seems when there is snow or ice floating in the sky? Add to the sound of wood giving way and you have a pretty surreal moment while you are shaving.

Luckily for our house, we only have one tree in our front yard and it isn’t too big, so I’m not concerned about damage to the house and I just continue on with my morning rituals. Right as I’m brushing my teeth and getting ready to head out the door, the power in the house goes out. Not entirely unexpected and I’ve pretty much finished everything I needed to do so off to work I head. The roads are suprising clear, but everywhere I look, I see tree limbs on the ground. It looks like a bomb went off all around the neighborhood. Throughout the day I talk to my wife, the power is still not on in the house and now her parent’s have lost their power. It becomes rapidly apparent that this is no ordinary ice storm. It is one of the hardest hitting storms in the city’s history, at least in regards to damage to trees and powerlines. At the height of it, over half the people in the Tulsa metro area (with a population of 500,000+) will be without power. Read more »

A Need to a Want

So a few years back my wife, Amy, was concerned about our financial position. She had actually been Moneyconcerned for a quite a while but I never tuned into this. After all, we were doing ok. We had a little bit of credit card debt, but certainly nothing like the average American. We had one car payment that was reasonable, our mortgage, and my student loans for my MBA. Nothing too outrageous, but we were still running out of money each month. It wasn’t a lot but it still happened and it added up.

So she read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and was convinced that that was the way we needed to head. She asked me to read, and I did. I felt his tone was a little too salesmany, but what he said made perfect sense. So we set off to follow down that path towards financial freedom.

For me, the crux of the whole book was the way he did his budgeting. Previous attempts at a budget in our house used monthly averages. This caused problems whenever things like our twice-a-year car insurance came up since the price of it was amortized over a period of months. It shouldn’t have been a problem if we had squirrled away that amount each month, but somehow it never happened.

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