Budgeting… Our Time


Most often when we talk about budgeting we are referring to our money.  That is important and I will get to that later this week.  But, right now I want to focus on budgeting our time.  This will help us with our money and everything else. Time is the thing we lose more than anything. It keeps moving no matter what’s going on in our lives. It never stops.  Most of all, it never gives us back what time we’ve lost.  As the song states, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.”

Time is also something we are only given a certain amount.  Some of us are given a little more than others, but essentially we all are given less than 100 years, or 1200 months, or 36,500 days, or 876,000 hours, or 52,560,000 minutes. Regardless of the overall amount we each have, we all have the same 24 hours in a day.  None of us get more or less than anyone else.  Our choices are what differ.  24 hours a day, every day.  That’s it, folks.  There are no do-overs, there are no second chances, and there is no re-start button – at least not with THIS life.  Time is also not guaranteed.  Our time could be up today, tomorrow, or at any moment.  I have suddenly lost people in my life, and their absence leaves a deep hole inside my soul. I one day will be absent and leave this world.  BUT, while I’m here, I want to make the most of the time I have, and in order to make the most of it, I have to budget and protect my time, just like I do my money.

Not knowing exactly how much time we have makes budgeting complicated. However, that shouldn’t stop us from planning, using estimated and approximated time in order to utilize it the best we can.  Time is a thief, it steals moments and opportunities when we allow it control of our decisions.  When we just ‘wing it’, we miss a lot of opportunity.  Though it’s been said opportunity falls into our laps, that’s not been the experience I’ve known.  While opportunities present themselves throughout our lives, we have to choose to seize them or lose them, and our lives will become a string of regret.

This is very important. We have to protect our time.  We have to be picky about who and what we allow into our lives. There are people and substances (substance abuse, addictions and distractions (yes, this also includes video games) that will steal our attention, distract our focus, waste our time, and destroy our opportunities. Misery loves company.  Laziness loves excuses. Train wrecks love to cause other train wrecks. Users seek to use up our opportunities and resources, and then move onto their next victim, leaving us empty. Addicts need other addicts. Losers make other losers. You are as successful as the company you keep.  You are who you hang with. If you’re surrounded by a bunch of losers, addicts, lazy-ass mother fuckers, cheaters, liars, thieves, thugs, selfish, self-centered narcissists … get the picture?  Surround yourself with people who are successful, driven, focused, giving, optimistic, wise, intelligent, and kind.  Make a plan for YOURSELF, and then stand back and watch to see who or what comes in to derail or support those plans.  While we would love to blame THEM or THAT, they’re not the ones responsible for stealing our time or destroying the budget or plans we’ve made with that time. WE ARE. We are the guardians and managers of ourselves, our time, our budget, our resources, our company, our friends, our drive and determination, and everything else we have and want.

If we want to get ahead, enjoy success, fulfill our dreams, reach our goals, and live a life full of experience and adventures, then we must take a realistic look at how we spend our time, make the necessary and honest (often hard) adjustments, and then budget our time to meet those goals and dreams.  It can be done. I’ve done it several times now and I’m doing it again. I hope you come along with me. If not, then good luck to you, because I’m not going to stick around and allow you steal my time or derail my dreams. I love myself enough to cut you out of my time budget.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, friends, gaming, Health & Fitness, Hope, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Musing, Philosophy, respect, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Moving Forward… Day 5

Moving Forward Day 5.jpg

Well, it’s day five and I’m still moving forward.  Not in leaps and bounds, but in tiny steps, but the most important thing is that I’m moving.

One of the ways and keys to moving forward is making plans and small changes to fulfill those plans.  If you would have asked me last year what my plans were, they would be so different than the plans I’m making now.  Why is that?  Because of the people that are in my life now.

Since last year, I’ve met three people that I’ve fell madly in love with, and knowing them has filled my life, my heart and now my plans, but I’ll get into that more as I go through these plans that I’m making in my quest of moving forward.

Lighthouse Adventure.  As most of you already know, I’m on a quest to visit, picture, and explore all the lighthouses along the Florida coast from Amelia Island to Pensacola, including the keys.  I’ve already discovered, photo, or visited more than ten so far.  I’m constantly searching maps, books, and google maps searching and researching the lighthouses of Florida. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s educational, and it’s an adventure that makes me smile.

Writing. As you can see, I’ve picked up blogging on a regular basis again, but I haven’t given any time to writing.  But, as part of moving forward in my writing, I’m making a promise, a plan, to write at least one thing a week…whether a short story, or a chapter, or an article.  This doesn’t include blogging.  I plan to do that every week day.

Gaming.  I’ve been playing Xbox video games now for the last 4 years, starting with Assassin’s Creed, Red Dead Redemption, and then moving to Destiny, with splashes of GTAV, Halo, Call of Duty, and various new games here and there.  I’m not hard core, but I enjoy them.  Most of all I enjoy the company of my gamer friends.  My plan is make time to play, at least an hour a day during the week, and no more than a few hours on the weekend.

Side note: Well, my boys (two of the three people I’ve met this past year that I mentioned above), Anthony and Nathan, now play video games with me.  It’s a common ground activity for us, a way to spend quality time together, doing something we all enjoy, yet in the comfort of our own homes/rooms.  I love hanging out with these boys, they are two amazing teenagers, and I know they wouldn’t be the remarkable kids they are without the love and guidance of their father, Jon.  He’s a single dad and got a lot on his plate, but one of the things I admire most about him is the love he pours into these boys.  He’s not perfect by any means, struggles on many levels, but on the important things, I feel he’s doing a damned good job.   I also don’t think he gets enough credit for the effort he makes.  He lets his boys be themselves, but within defined guidelines.  He always tells them he loves them.  He’s always hugging them.  Most of all, in his busy world with all his responsibilities, he spends QUALITY time with them whether taking them fishing or surfing, or playing a vicious game of Monopoly or Poker.  He’s home with them after work, and then spends most weekends with them.  He makes them brush their teeth, do their chores, and pitch in with cooking, doing laundry, instead of doing everything for them.

Warning: Rant ahead.  It pisses me off sometimes when his selfish friends are always asking him to go do things that they want or need, that will take him away from time with his boys, when they have no similar responsibilities, or when they take advantage of him by asking him to do things to help themselves in the middle of THEIR crisis, instead of helping HIM. I’ve never heard any of them offer to take him and his boys on an adventure, go over and help him clean his house, cook him a meal to feed his boys, or ask him if he needs anything. He wouldn’t take their help if they offered it, but they never offer. They come to him with their relationship problems, stupid-ass choice, and dire straits, because he listens and he cares.  They take, take, and take… want, want, and want for themselves and what THEY need.  Where’s the giving?  Where’s the helping? Where’s the love? They’re selfish bastards. (And I don’t give a fuck if they get pissed at me for feeling this way. I’ve yet to see any of those fuckers do anything for that family but take. And there have been many opportunities for those fuckers to help. Fuck them!) Yet, Jon would do anything to help any of them if they needed it, and he helps them often (I’ve witnessed it), usually at the sacrifice of valuable time that he needs to keep on top of his own responsibilities. Fucking selfish bitches. Yet, when he needed something – none of those bitches were around. A real friend wouldn’t have to be told what he needs, they would see it. I don’t want to get to know any of them, and the one’s I have gotten to know so far, I’m not impressed. Yes, it’s important that Jon spends some time for himself, doing adult things, not forgetting he’s not just a father, but a man or a friend. But his friends should be more considerate of his responsibilities and not even ask him to do anything that would make meeting those responsibilities harder or more of a burden for him. Take the man out to eat, put gas in his truck, help him change a tire, buy him a beer, go surfing with him (even if it’s not your thing – do something HE loves, not just ask him to join in YOUR activities), take him to a movie, or play a game of poker (bring him a fat cigar too – he loves those). Oy veh! Okay – rant over, back to the regularly scheduled program.

Fishing.  I plan to learn how to fish.  Not just because I want to know myself, nor for the fact that I live in Florida and with all the lakes, rivers, and ocean all around me, fishing is abundant.  I want to learn how to fish, because I know it’s a passion for Nathan, and I want to be able to share in that activity with him.  I’ve seen this kid’s face completely light up when it comes to fishing.  Seeing that love and excitement on his face, that’s worth it to learn.  So, I’ll be researching poles, equipment, bait, methods, patterns, etc.  That’s one of my new goals, and I’m excited about it.

Sailing.  I have also met this year a wonderful new friend, Jason, that can see the joy and excitement on my face when out on the water, and has offered to make that activity available to me.  This is one of those treasured friends that are rare to find. I’m glad I met him and I’m glad he’s my friend.  I’ve been sailing now a few times, and boating aboard a floating Christmas tree a couple times, and planning a huge trip later in 2017.  I love being on the water. I love being in nature. I can’t express how it soothes my soul. Nor can I truly express how grateful I am to the opportunity Jason is offering me, and not just me, but for those I love most too… like my best friend Jenna, and my boys, Anthony and Nathan.

I’ll have more plans as the new year unfolds, but right now I’m off to a good start. One thing I’m suspending for the time being is dating.  I’m open to get to know someone, but I still need some time to heal. My heart is mangled mess and I don’t think it would be a good idea to jump into a romantic relationship until my heart’s not hurting anymore. I don’t want a band-aid or a temporary distraction, I want real, deep, forever-kind of love.  I want romance and adventure.  So, I’ll wait because doing it right, being healed first, is important. Until then… I’m going to put all my focus on moving forward.  Healing is part of moving forward.  So, let’s take a new step today.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Faith, family, friends, gaming, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Musing, Relationships, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swoozie’s Cheerleader

Okay, if you guys don’t know my boy Swoozie, from YouTube, you’re missing it. Adande Thorne is infectious. He’s one of the naturally funniest guys I’ve ever watched.  My good friend, Emilio Solano, introduced me to his videos a few years ago, and ever since I’ve been a loyal fan. I anticipate his videos and when I see a new one has been posted, I literally can’t stop the smile that spreads across my face. I usually watch the video right there, right then, even in the middle of a date, No matter what I’m doing, except perhaps while having se… well, maybe even then too, I’ll stop and watch a Swoozie video.

He’s charming. He’s funny. He’s adorable.  He puts it all out there, all the embarrassing stuff, all the mistakes, all the funny day-to-day life tragedies and mishaps.  His raw honesty helps restore my faith that good men still exist. He’s brilliant. He’s talented. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also very, very handsome. It’s also a plus that he’s a gamer, but doesn’t let the games consume his life. I have this fantasy of us playing a video game and the controllers get all mixed up… and… um… well… where was I?

But, seriously, one of the reasons I love this guy so much, is because I see what’s not quite apparent. He’s talented and a hard worker, and he’s out there doing it, chasing his dreams, and making it come true. He’s an inspiration because as a writer, author, and artist, I hear so many people talk about their dreams, talk about what they want to do in life, but I don’t see them doing a damned thing to go out there and make it happen.  It’s like this world expects everything to just drop in their laps like they’re entitled, but dreams require sacrifice, they require dedication, they require sticking with it when it looks like the whole world doesn’t give a damn – but you. I’ve watched Adande back when he only had a few video posts push forward.

Every time I saw him accomplish something else, I smiled.  When my boy went to the White House to interview President Obama, man… Oh, man… I was so damned proud.  His success has NOTHING to do with me, but I can’t help feel like I’m one of his cheerleaders from the sideline, cheering him forward, and getting to witness his run right into greatness.  Watch this man!  I’m telling you, watch him… because he’s one of the greats.  His spotlight is bright.  His presence is infectious.  His mind is clever.  His determination is steel.  He’s going to make it. I can already see it, and I can’t express how freakin’ proud I am.

The very first video I watched by Swoozie was Video Game Girlfriend, and then a year or so later, Kiss the Gamer Girl.  He blew me away. I know he’ll absolutely have you rolling on the floor.

So, guys and gals… if you haven’t checked out my friends, Swoozie, what the heck are you waiting for?  Do it now. I promise… I promise… you won’t regret it.  In fact, you’ll be sending me messages thanking me. Show the love, people. Don’t forget to let Swoozie know how much you love his videos once you do fall in love with them.

Till next time,

~Swoozie’s Cheerleader

Categories: Blog Post, gaming, Inspirational, Musing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Omega Victrix Mortalis – February 2015

Omega Victrix Mortalis

Every kind of group filled with human being goes through a constant metamorphosis.  It will never be the same today as it was yesterday, or as it will be tomorrow.  As long as people have free will, change in inevitable.  The same goes for clan membership.  Omega Victrix Mortalis is filled with human beings, creatures filled with different backgrounds, ideas, passions, levels of maturity, and experiences.  However, there are some traits that should be cultivated in order for the group to strive and continue to grow.

I’m very proud of OVM.  There have been some members that have come and gone, others who are in constant pursuit to steal our members away to their own clans, and yet others who come from other places seeking something new, wanting something more than just the game.

What I love most about this clan is that our coming together isn’t JUST about the game.  We have and are becoming a network of friends who love and support one another in life – not just bounties, strikes, matches, missions, and raids. We are family. It breaks my heart when we lose one of our  members to another clan, much the way losing a friend or family member.    However, members are free to come and go as they will.  As as long as the moves are open and honest, there should be no reason we can’t continue to be friends and support one another ..even if we’re not clan members.  Trust, however, once lost …is almost impossible to regain.  Loyalty is not just a one time thing that is proven with one act, or can be traded for one moment, but is a part of the integrity a person already has within them. I am loyal to my friends and family.  They come first.  If loyalties are divided, so is the mindset, and also the respect. Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”  Alliances are preferable to divided loyalties.  Respect is a two-way street. Promises made should be kept.

OVM has recently added a few new members.  Veteran OVM’s, please do all you can to welcome new clan members.  Attend to their needs, help them with their missions, invite them into your hearts, make room for them into your gaming lives, and treat them with the respect you’d want to receive.  Support them, help them become the best at their game, cheer them on, let them know and feel they’re part of the family.  I love you all.  I miss the ones we’ve lost, but it is what it is. Guard your hearts and don’t let your actions be ‘just about the game’.  OVM is more than just a clan.  Destiny, AC Unity, Halo, GTA5, COD, etc. are all just games, but OVM is filled with friends and family, and that is much more important than any game.

Here is the OVM clan roster as of 02/19/2015:

PhoenixMortalis  – Founder/God  (College Student/CSI)

KV Kvothe – Administrator/Goddess (Writer/Consultant)

iTz CriMSonDxsk – Administrator/God (College Student/Medical Field) – Currently in the finals for COD MLG team!

RevertantPath – Administrator/God (High School Student)

CJBIGMAC – Guardian/Demigod (College Student/Mechanical)

iTz CriMSonJr – Guardian/Mascot (Student)

greyNinja – Guardian/Mortal (Student)

Deathstroke1997 – Guardian/Mortal (Student)

GODLY Furrrball – Guardian/Mortal (Business Owner/Operator)

InfernoVictrix – Guardian/Mortal (Student)

XxTrsXShotxX – Guardian/Mortal (Student)

Set Off The DJ – Guardian/Mortal (Student)

oZ Bacon – Guardian/Mortal (Student)

oZ Vinyl – Guardian/Mortal (Canadian… but we won’t hold that against him.)

oZ Shocx (Shocx Gaming) – Guardian/Mortal (Student)

the Cheeseki11er – Guardian/Mortal (Student)

BABYDOLL 143 – Guardian/Princess (Bartender)

Till next time,

~KV Kvothe

Categories: Clan, Destiny, family, February, friends, gaming, love, Omega Victrix Mortalis, respect, XBox1 | Leave a comment

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