The world from where I sit …


20 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are

Grateful Heart


This post was written by Brianna Wiest and originally appeared on Thought Catalog.  Thank you, Debbie Zwetsch, for posting this piece on Facebook.   It really hit home.

The last few years have been a challenge for me due to the financial disaster left by my ex, but I have muddled through with the help of family and friends and my own due diligence.  There’s a wonderful new man in my life, I am rekindling my former business (villa rentals, my first love), connecting with old pals, and can now say that I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Some of my friends have had a rough time, as well, encountering situations that none of us ever expected to endure:  loss of a home, difficulty finding appropriate employment, serious health issues, death of a loved one, etc.  I told one of my friends only yesterday that I believe 2016 is going to be a very good year for all of us who have survived the recent turbulence that has disrupted the very core of our existence.

Meanwhile, as we go through the journey to get our lives back on track, we have much for which to be grateful.  And I am.

#1. You paid the bills this month, and maybe even had extra to spend on non-necessities. It doesn’t matter how much you belabored the checks as they went out, the point is that they did, and you figured it out regardless.

#2. You question yourself. You doubt your life. You feel miserable some days. This means you’re still open to growth. This means you can be objective and self-aware. The best people go home at the end of the day and think: “or… maybe there’s another way.”

#3. You have a job. For however many hours, at whatever rate, you are earning money that helps you eat something, sleep on something, wear something every day. It’s not failure if it doesn’t look the way you thought it would – you’re valuing your independence and taking responsibility for yourself.

#4. You have time to do something you enjoy. Even if “what you enjoy” is sitting on the couch and ordering dinner and watching Netflix.

#5. You are not worried about where your next meal is coming from. There’s food in the fridge or pantry, and you have enough to actually pick and choose what you want to eat.

#6. You can eat because you enjoy it. It’s not a matter of sheer survival.

#7. You have one or two truly close friends. People worry about the quantity but eventually tend to realize the number of people you can claim to be in your tribe has no bearing on how much you feel intimacy, acceptance, community, or joy. At the end of the day, all we really want are a few close people who know us (and love us) no matter what.

#8. You could afford a subway ride, cup of coffee, or the gas in your car this morning. The smallest conveniences (and oftentimes, necessities) are not variables for you.

#9. You’re not the same person you were a year ago. You’re learning, and evolving, and can identify the ways in which you’ve changed for better and worse.

#10. You have the time and means to do things beyond the bare minimum. You’ve maybe been to a concert in the last few years, you buy books for yourself, you could take a day trip to a neighboring city if you wanted – you don’t have to work all hours of the day to survive.

#11. You have a selection of clothing at your disposal. You aren’t worried about having a hat or gloves in a blizzard, you have cool clothes for the summer and something to wear to a wedding. You not only can shield and decorate your body, but can do so appropriately for a variety of circumstances.

#12. You can sense what isn’t right in your life. The first and most crucial step is simply being aware. Being able to communicate to yourself: “something is not right, even though I am not yet sure what would feel better.”

#13. If you could talk to your younger self, you would be able so say: “We did it, we made it out, we survived that terrible thing.” So often people carry their past traumas into their present lives, and if you want any proof that we carry who we were in who we are, all you need to do is see how you respond to your inner child hearing, you’re going to be okay, from the person they became.

#14. You have a space of your own. It doesn’t even have to be a home or apartment (but that’s great if it is). All you need is a room, a corner, a desk, where you can create or rest at your discretion; where you govern who gets to be part of your weird little world, and to what capacity. It’s one of the few controls we can actually exert.

#15. You’ve lost relationships. More important than the fact that you’ve simply had them in the first place is that you or your former partner chose not to settle. You opened yourself to the possibility of something else being out there.

#16. You’re interested in something. Whether it’s now how to live a happier life, maintain better relationships, reading or movies or sex or society or the axis on which the world spins, something intrigues you to explore it.

#17. You know how to take care of yourself. You know how many hours of sleep you need to feel okay the next day, who to turn to when you’re heartbroken, what you have fun doing, what to do when you don’t feel well, etc.

#18. You’re working toward a goal. Even if you’re exhausted and it feels miles away, you have a dream for yourself, however vague and malleable.

#19. But you’re not uncompromisingly set on anything for your future. Some of the happiest and best adjusted people are the ones who can make any situation an ideal, who are too immersed in the moment to intricately plan and decidedly commit to any one specific outcome.

#20. You’ve been through some crap. You can look at challenges you currently face and compare them to ones you thought you’d never get over. You can reassure yourself through your own experience. Life did not get easier, you got smarter.

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Five Research-based Reasons to be Kind

kindness2There can be few things that pay as big a dividend as simple acts of kindness.

Selfless acts of giving, be it a smile, a word of encouragement, or the offer of a helping hand, result in an emotional uplift not only for others, but also for our self.

Research has shown what we ourselves may instinctively know — kindness can be a major contributor to the levels of happiness any of us experience.

Kindness Is Inbuilt

Performing acts of kindness may well be a choice, but the ability and the tendency to be kind appear to be something innate, something that we have even in infancy.

Research conducted by Dr. Michael Tomasello of the Max Planck Institute, demonstrated that children begin to help others at an astonishingly early age. [1] For example, a 14-month-old child seeing an adult experience difficulty, such as struggling to open a door because their hands are full, will automatically attempt to help.

In other words, when we perform acts of kindness, we are being true to our own nature, and this naturally makes us feel good.

Kindness Can Have Positive Effects On The Brain

Not only does kindness make us and others feel good, studies have demonstrated that the psychological benefits of kindness are actually reflected in the neural circuitry of the brain. [2]

When we allow ourselves to be kind, regularly engaging in random acts of kindness, we create neural pathways that enhance feelings of well-being and the natural flow of feel-good endorphins and mood elevating neurotransmitters.

Kindness Can Actually Help You Live Longer

Some remarkable benefits can be reaped by those who engage in kindness. In one 2003 study, University of Michigan psychologist Dr Stephanie Brown found that people who regularly offered practical help to others had a lower risk of dying over a five-year period than those who did not. [3]

One interesting aspect revealed by this study was that those who received help showed no reduction of death risk. Only those who practiced kindness reaped the longevity benefits.

Kindness Is Contagious

A fascinating feature of kindness is that it appears to be self-replicating, inspiring kindness in others. Simply put, when we ourselves perform an act of kindness, this is likely to encourage others to act in a similar way.

One study conducted by researchers at Cambridge University, the University of Plymouth and the University of California LA, found that seeing someone else help another person produced good feelings, which subsequently caused them to reach out and do something altruistic themselves. [4]

When we are kind, we help make our world a kinder place to live in.

Kindness Makes You Happier

If all of the above reasons aren’t enough to convince you to behave in a kinder way, consider this: Kindness actually does make you happier.

A study, conducted by a University of Pennsylvania research team headed by Dr. Martin Seligman looked at the effects of writing a thank you letter and personally delivering it to someone who had never been properly thanked for their kindness. In other words, performing an act of kindness and gratitude towards someone who had themselves been kind. Participants who did this were able to immediately exhibit a massive increase in happiness scores, with benefits lasting for a month after. [5]

Another recent study, conducted by the Department of Psychology of Tohoku Gakuin University in Japan, looked into the relationship between kindness and happiness. The results indicate that happiness was increased simply by counting kindnesses performed over the course of a week, an exercise that also increased both kindness and gratitude in the participants. [6]

The Bottom Line On Kindness

With research to back it up, it seems clear that doing good for others can also do good for us. It’s a habit that can be developed anywhere, at any time, at little or no cost. Actively work on this, make it a habit, and your happiness quota will automatically sky rocket.

“There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy,” said the Dalai Lama, spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism. “Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

Practice a philosophy of kindness and you will retrain your brain and alter your mind, making for a better relationship with yourself as well as with others. This is sure to bring greater happiness and joy into your life.

Above all, be kind to yourself! See yourself as a person of worth; doing the best you can with what you have. You are human. Like every other person, you also have your emotional baggage, and you’re working to unpack it. What we can handle varies from day to day. Acknowledge that you’re continuing to grow into the person you’re becoming, and that the person you are also deserves the benefit of the doubt. Remember that you, too, deserve your own generosity, compassion and kindness.

Kindness is one of the most important habits we can develop on our journey to real and sustainable happiness. It is an essential key to a life lived creatively: one in which we remain healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. Kindness costs little but pays huge dividends in our own lives and in the lives of those we touch. It’s a habit that paves the way to a happy life.

“The simplest acts of kindness are far more powerful
than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Peter Field is a UK registered psychotherapist and board certified hypnotherapist. His hypnotherapy Birmingham and London clinics provide hypno-psychotherapy services for a wide range of issues. His new book The Chi of Change focuses on the fascinating world of hypnotherapy.



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Breaking the Ties That Bind Us

There comes a point when we realize that some of the people we have held close are around us because we think we want or need them to be there and not because they add to our lives in a positive way.  On closer inspection, they may event create the drama that we desperately try to avoid.

Walk away from anyone who takes away from your joy.

Facing an unpleasant and upsetting situation recently, I was surprised that several of my friends, unrelated to the incident, took the opportunity to share with me that those people who challenged me did not deserve my friendship.

Friendship, like trust, is earned.  It is a gift and a very special gift, indeed.

It’s true, I am a very good and loyal friend.  I have generously opened up my home to college acquaintances who needed temporary lodgings on a moment’s notice, and friends wanting a quick vacation or even a more permanent place to live.  I plan parties, BBQs, dinners and other get-togethers so that we can enjoy each other’s company.  I visit people in the hospital.  I remember and make a concerted effort to celebrate their birthdays.  I have sent gas money to people that I knew needed it.

My boyfriend, who generally does not speak up about these things, offered that one of the individuals who contributed to the drama recently had not been a good friend for a number of years.  Funny, when I reflected back on my relationship with her, I always put the kindnesses she exhibited during a particularly difficult period in my life ahead of the times her behavior disappointed me.  And, in hindsight, there were several of these occasions that hurt pretty deeply.

Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care but because they don’t.

How true.  But how hard to pull away.  Because there’s a history.  And isn’t it interesting that the few good memories usually overshadow the bad?

Coming to this reality was very freeing.  For one thing, I am very blessed to have a lot of friends, and with my new found freedom I can redirect my attention to enjoy the company of people I just didn’t have the time for before.  Turns out, although unrelated, they’re a pretty neat and fun bunch.  In the process, I have opened the door to fresh, new and exciting adventures that have enhanced my life and broadened my perspective … without the guilt of leaving behind those who, basically, sucked the happiness out of me.

Let go of people who dull your shine, poison your spirit and bring you drama.  Cancel your subscription to their issues.

If you question the loyalty of some of the people around you, if you’d willingly swim across oceans for them and they won’t jump puddles for you, then listen to yoAmerican-Quarters-25-Cent-Coinsur intuition.  Ask the tough question:

Are they adding to the joy in my life or detracting from it?

If someone doesn’t appreciate your efforts, stop trying to please them.  If they don’t appreciate you, they don’t deserve you.  Take a good, hard look at your relationships, and focus on those that offer a good return on your investment of time, kindness and love.  In doing so, give yourself permission to break the ties that bind you.

Remember, having four quarters in your pocket is a lot better than carrying around a hundred pennies.


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How to Get Your Flight Attendant to Like (Maybe Even Love) You

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Maybe you don’t want to please your cabin crew next time you fly. I know, I know, it’s their job to be nice; you’re the customer, they’re the employee. But if you’re good to them, they’ll be extra nice to you. So here’s how to charm them.

1. Say hello! If a flight attendant greets you upon boarding at the jetway, say hi back. Don’t just ignore them. A simple “good morning” or “good evening” does it. How would you like to greet 20 people in a row and be greeted by silence? Well, that’s what usually happens.

2. Listen to the safety demo. It’s just polite. Put down your iPad and Kindle. When was the last time you really listened? If it was more than a few years ago, it’s time for a refresher. At the very least don’t talk loudly to your neighbor when a flight attendant is standing in front of you trying to keep you safe.

3. Headphones off! Take your headphones off when they ask you what you’d like to drink so they don’t have to repeat it three times. How would you like it if they were wearing headphones when talking to you? It’s the Golden Rule.

4. Be specific when ordering. When you ask for coffee or tea, specify milk or no milk, sweetener or not, without being asked as in, “I’d like coffee with milk, please” or “I’d like coffee, black.” Not only does it make their job easier, but everyone on the plane will get served more quickly.

5. Same for cold drinks. “I’d like Diet Coke, no ice, please” or “Water, with ice and a slice of lemon, please.”

6. Say please and thank you. As in the examples above, say please and thank you when asking for and receiving something. Again, common courtesy that will get you treated extra well. A flight attendant once told me “We thought you were company” (meaning that I worked for the airline) because I was so polite.

7. Magazines! Donate copies of your current magazines to the crew. After you finish reading this week’s US Weekly or GQ, give it to your flight attendant. Flight attendants love to read magazines when they’re off duty or on break.

8. Treats. It’s perfectly permissible to bring a little tasty treat for your crew. Just make sure it’s safety-sealed — not your homemade muffins, which might be considered a safety hazard. I bring boxes of Walker’s Scottish shortbread or factory-sealed chocolates. They’re always a big hit and you may be rewarded with a free cocktail or maybe even get reseated in the exit row. It happens!

9. Pens! People are always asking flight attendants for pens, whether to complete immigration and customs forms or to simply do the crossword puzzle. Bring a few extra cheap pens, bundle them up and give them to your crewmember. It may not be as enjoyable as a box of chocolates, but they will surely put them to good use.

10. Wheels in! Try to put your carryon bag with wheels or handles facing in before commandeering twice as much space putting it horizontally. And, for Heaven’s sake, don’t put your jackets or tiny bags in the bin. That takes up space for larger items that have to go there, and these smaller items easily can fit atop existing bags once everyone has boarded or underneath the seat. Flight attendants will tell you that boarding is the most stressful part of their job, and by exhibiting an ounce of courtesy and common sense, it helps the entire plane get on the way more quickly.

11. Stay out of the aisles. Make your best effort to stay out of the aisles when the carts are brought out or when the plane is boarding. Try to use the bathroom before boarding or after takeoff, but if the crew begins their service, it is best to stay seated. The carts are heavy and awkward to maneuver, and there’s no reason to become an obstacle to them unless absolutely necessary. And if a crewmember reminds you that the seatbelt sign is still illuminated, remember that they are just doing their job.

12. Stay out of the galley! Sure you need to stretch your legs and all, but galleys are tiny and your flight attendant doesn’t want you there.

13. Tell the airline. If a flight attendant offers exceptionally nice service, most airlines have a mechanism for recognizing them. Ask for their employee number and note the flight number.

Where will all this kindness get you? No, you probably won’t get an inflight upgrade (although flight attendants do have the ability to offer them if there’s room). Maybe the crew will forget to charge you for your cocktail. Maybe they’ll reseat you if the child behind you is wailing like a banshee. I’ve been offered a bottle of wine at the end of the flight on more than one occasion. But sometimes being nice is its own reward.

Follow the author, George Hobica, on Twitter:

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The Actual Difference Between Women Who Are Hot And Who Are Beautiful

raphaeli-bikini-rainbowWomen. We’re curvy, skinny, hood, pretty, cute, ethnic, bad, dime pieces, unicorns, babes, pieces of tail, juicy, fine, sexy, foxes, sultry, voluptuous… The list goes on.

When was the last time you heard a man describe a woman with an adjective that isn’t dripping in sexual innuendos and defaming premises? When was the last time you heard a man describe a woman by something that compliments her soul and her inherent elegance? When was the last time you heard a man describe a woman as beautiful?

There’s been a loss of respect when it comes to admiring women, shifting towards describing us as objects, rather than people. Men look at women as pieces of tail, “things” to be conquered, rather than appreciating women for their individuality.

A large portion of today’s men are momentarily allured by hair extensions, large chests, big bottoms and stilettos. They think sexuality comes in the form of bronzed skin, bikini waxes and fake eyelashes. They’ve been programmed to believe that any woman with a sculpted body and perky breasts is attractive.

What about the women who don’t want to indulge in the male fantasy? What about the women who just want to wear comfortable sweaters and flats? What about the women who don’t dress to impress the opposite sex, but instead, to just feel good in their own skin? Isn’t there attractiveness in that? Isn’t there an appeal to that sense of confidence?

When did women become forced to acquiesce to this standard, or otherwise get lost in the crowd? When did getting a man mean painting on layers of makeup and investing in mini skirts?

There is a certain type of man that continually defames women, judging us solely on sex appeal, they fail to see the actual grandeur of a woman. They miss the rare moments of natural beauty and uniqueness.

They don’t recognize that “hotness” doesn’t last past midnight, when the makeup has smudged onto the pillow and the hair extensions have been taken out. It doesn’t last when the spray tans have washed away and the tight dresses have come off.

It’s not real; it’s an illusion that’s been forcing women to conform to unhealthy habits for too many years.

It’s time these men are reminded of the difference between hot and beautiful. It’s time men realize that women have more to offer than just a body.

Women are stunning creatures, with assets and traits both unique and enchanting to each one of us, and it’s time we started showcasing our individuality and stop giving in to the illusion of sexy created by man. Beauty isn’t about wanting to f*ck her; it’s about wanting to be with her.

Hot is admired from afar; beauty is to be held.

Hot is perception; beauty is appreciation.

Hot is smokey-eyed; beautiful is bare-faced.

Hot is an appearance; beautiful is more than skin deep.

Hot is the way she moans; beautiful is the way she speaks.

Hot is a strong appeal; beautiful is strong mind.

Hot is youthful; beautiful is ageless.

Hot is conventional; beauty is unique.

Hot is a one-night stand; beautiful is sleepless nights.

Hot is a state of being; beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Hot is devious; beautiful is innocent.

Hot is bending her over; beautiful is baking her blueberry pancakes.

Hot is sultry; beautiful is wholesome.

Hot is her curves; beauty is her nerves.

Hot is a text message; beautiful is a love letter.

Hot is a facade; beautiful is a woman.

Article by Lauren Martin

Top Photo Courtesy: We Heart It

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Would You Date An Unemployed Man? – 75 Percent Of Women Would Not

If you had asked me 10 or even five years ago if I would date an unemployed man, the answer would probably have been no.  As a career-oriented woman with two businesses to her name, I would have viewed unemployment with a jaded eye.  I mean, how could a man without a job be a good (prospective) provider for his wife and kids, holding up his end?  In all fairness, this is not a black and white situation.  Obviously, if the man had “a plan” and was just between jobs (and actively looking for a new position), that would be entirely different from someone who was simply uninterested in being gainfully employed.  My single girlfriends tell me that there are plenty of men who find nothing wrong with being supported by their wives or girlfriends.  Uh … no.  

However, the times they are a-changing, as Bob Dylan said.  The U.S. economy is in the toilet and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve real soon.  I have personally felt the pinch, making half of what I did 10 years ago.  Clients are paying later and later, making me their personal bank loan.  One client even defaulted – this was a first in my three decade work history.  As a result, I am forced to rethink my career path.  

Some of my girlfriends are struggling to find employment and keep their heads above water.  One in particular – a well-educated, hard-working gal who went to an excellent college (with me!) and grew up in a very affluent ‘burb in Westchester, NY – is about to lose her house.  Another one of my friends was unceremoniously laid off after running a man’s rather multi-faceted business enterprise for over two decades.  And yet another very capable friend, who brought in well over a million dollars in business, was let go without any cause or warning after working for the same hotel for over twenty years.

I am very fortunate to have someone in my corner who understands my situation, sees my potential, and appreciates the difficulty of having to change gears midlife.  He has been very supportive and helpful throughout the frustrating process.  I thank God every day for bringing him into my life.  But this is not the case for everyone out there, I know.

What are your thought on the article that follows?


If you are a man living in America today, to a large degree your value to society is determined by how much money you make.  It should not be that way, but that is how our society works.  And if you do not have a job at all and you cannot take care of your own family, then almost everyone looks down on you even if it is not your fault.  Once you are unemployed, it becomes the number one defining factor in your life.  Yes, there are a few people that may look at you in the same way, but in the eyes of most you will now be less of a man.  Sadly, this is particularly true when it comes to romantic relationships.  Unemployed men tend to have unhappier marriages, they tend to divorce more frequently, and as you will see below approximately 75 percent of all American women do not have any interest in dating unemployed men.  Unfortunately for American men, the decline of the U.S. economy in recent years has had a disproportionate impact on them.  The past five years have been the worst years for employment for American men in the post-World War II era, and things are only going to get worse from here.

Yes, unemployed women go through similar things.  I do not mean to downplay the economic suffering of unemployed women at all.  In fact, I write about it quite frequently.

Today, however, I want to focus on how the steadily declining U.S. economy is affecting men.  If you are a single man and you are unemployed, that automatically means that most single women will not be interested in you at all.  At least that is what one very shocking survey discovered…

Of the 925 single women surveyed, 75 percent said they’d have a problem with dating someone without a job. Only 4 percent of respondents asked whether they would go out with an unemployed man answered “of course.”

“Not having a job will definitely make it harder for men to date someone they don’t already know,” Irene LaCota, a spokesperson for It’s Just Lunch, said in a press release. “This is the rare area, compared to other topics we’ve done surveys on, where women’s old-fashioned beliefs about sex roles seem to apply.”

So what would happen if things were reversed and that same question was asked to men?

Well, it turns out that there is a big difference.

When men were asked that exact same question, the results were absolutely startling

On the other hand, the prospect of dating an unemployed woman was not a problem for nearly two-thirds of men. In fact, 19 percent of men said they had no reservations and 46 percent of men said they were positive they would date an unemployed woman.

Perhaps traditional gender roles are not quite as dead as many people believe that they are.

And as I mentioned earlier, the declining economy is hitting men even harder than it is hitting women.  Yes, millions upon millions of women are deeply suffering in this economy.  There is no doubt about that.  But men are actually having an even more difficult time than women are.

The following are 12 signs that the decline of the U.S. economy is having a disproportionate impact on men…

#1 The labor force participation rate for men is now at an all-time low…

Men - Labor Force Participation Rate

#2 During the last recession, men lost twice as many jobs as women did.  All of the jobs that women in the United States lost during the last recession have been regained, but only about 70 percent of the jobs that men lost during the last recession have been regained.  Meanwhile, the size of the overall population continues to grow rapidly.

#3 The inactivity rate for men has risen even higher since the end of the last recession and is now hovering near an all-time record high…

Inactivity Rate Men

#4 Since 2010, about a million construction workers have either been forced to switch industries or have disappeared from the labor force entirely.  This has had a disproportionate impact on men.

#5 Back in the 1950s, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Just before the last recession, about 70 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, only 64 percent of all men in the United States have jobs…

Employment-Population Ratio Men

#6 Back in the 1980s, more than 20 percent of the jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs.  Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.  This has had a disproportionate impact on men.

#7 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. economy loses 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported.  A disproportionate percentage of those job losses tend to come from male-dominated industries such as manufacturing.  Since 1975, the United States has run a total trade deficit with the rest of the world of more than 8 trillion dollars, and right now there are more than 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job.

#8 Between 1969 and 2009, the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

#9 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the “real entry-level hourly wage for men who recently graduated from high school” has declined from $15.64 in 1979 to $11.68 today.

#10 Thanks to Obama administration policies which are systematically killing off small businesses in the United States, the percentage of self-employed Americans is at an all-time low today.  This has had a disproportionate impact on men.

#11 According to CNN, American men in the 25 to 34-year-old age bracket are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as women the same age are.

#12 According to Time Magazine, unemployed men are significantly more likely to get divorced than employed men are.

When a man cannot take care of his own family, it can be absolutely soul crushing.  Though many would like to deny this, the truth is that men are still considered to be the primary breadwinners in society today.  When a man finds that he cannot provide what his family needs no matter how hard he tries, it can be really easy to descend into a spiral of despair, depression and self-pity.

Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore and it never will again.  Meanwhile, the quality of our jobs continues to decline at a staggering pace.

What all of this means is that the number of Americans living in poverty is going to continue to grow, and there will be lots more men that feel worthless because they can’t provide for their families.

The following is one example of a single dad that is forced to turn to the government for assistance because he cannot provide for his children on his own

It means Lyman Curtis, single dad of five kids, will only be able to reliably heat his home in Dexter, Maine, for the first half of this winter, maybe through February.

After that, Curtis will drive to the local gas station to buy kerosene oil in 5-gallon increments — all he can afford to buy at one time.

“I know a lot of people who do it that way, because there’s just not enoughmoney to heat your home and pay for groceries in your everyday life,” said Curtis, 38, who is the primary caregiver for his kids and relies on disability benefits and food stamps to survive.

Nobody should ever look down on someone like Lyman Curtis.  He is doing the best that he can.

At this point our economy is kind of like a very twisted game of musical chairs.  If your family is doing well at the moment, you should not be too complacent because the next time the music stops you might be the one that loses a job.

In recent years, millions upon millions of Americans have lost good jobs, and in most cases it was due to forces beyond their control.

And as the economy continues to deteriorate, Americans are going to become even more angry and even more frustrated.  In fact, one recent survey found that 60 percent of all Americans “report feeling angry or irritable“.

But we have not even reached the next major wave of the economic collapse yet.

How “angry” and “irritable” will people feel once millions more Americans lose their jobs?

That is something to think about.

So what do you think about all of this?

What do you think about the fact that most women would not even consider dating anunemployed man?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

Michael T. Snyder is the Editor of The Economic Collapse Blog.

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Managing Your E-Mail Effectively

computerhands1Whether or not you’re a busy entrepreneur like me, if you have an e-mail address, chances are you are inundated with e-mail.  Tons of it, much of which is electronic junk mail. Try as we might to keep those nasty spammers at bay, it becomes challenging to sort the important messages from the Viagra offerings. Well, I have tackled that problem with some success, and offer my simple solution to keeping things under control.

First, you should know that I monitor many different e-mail addresses on a constant basis. Huh? you say.  Let me explain …

I use Yahoo, which is a free, popular and user-friendly (no matter what your ability level) e-mail service that everyone knows about, for most of my e-mail addresses. There are others, such as Gmail (Google) and Hotmail to name a few, but I cannot comment on their reliability. I have found Yahoo to be very dependable, easy to set up and navigate (even for beginners), and I can view my e-mail from anyplace in the world with simple Internet access (WiFi or hardwire) – important for me because of the amount of travel, domestically and internationally, that I do.

I efficiently manage my e-mails by breaking down my e-mail access into separate e-mail accounts (or addresses). Specifically:

– I have a personal e-mail address that my family and friends use to send me notes, invitations, announcements, humor, etc.

– I have a personal business e-mail address that appears on my resume and is used when applying for jobs, communicating with headhunters, general business correspondence not related to my companies et al.

– I have a business e-mail addresses that ties into my company, and is used for direct communication with clients or prospective clients.

– I have an e-mail address which ties into my Facebook Page (Coyaba Saratoga Bed and Breakfast) for my bed and breakfast.

– Perhaps most importantly, I have an e-mail address (affectionately referred to as ‘Lori’s Spam’, although I use the word “info” in the address name and not “spam” so as not to offend) for all those stores and other often annoying sites that want your e-mail address to pelt you with notifications (sometimes daily) about sales, special promotions and the lot, and that might sell your e-mail address to others (which really ticks me off). This keeps these time-sucking solicitors at bay; I can control them better.

With a smartphone or tablet, you can set-up/import your e-mail addresses (which would normally be accessed from a desktop computer or laptop) so that you can read your e-mail while out and about. On my smartphone, there is one box (a default, it is set up automatically) called All Boxes that dumps all the e-mails into it as they come in. Then there are individual e-mail boxes (e-mail accounts) that I have set up which sort and copy those specific messages, allowing me to view these messages in their individual boxes if I choose to do so. I can, therefore, separate out the messages I really need to see right away from those that I don’t. It also makes it fast and easy to delete those unwanted e-blasts sent to my Spam e-mail address.

On my smartphone and tablet, there is also the option to ‘flag’ messages – those you want to revisit, require action or have important information that you need at a later date – and the ‘flagged’ messages have their own, separate box which I find extremely helpful.

On a recent business trip to The Bahamas, I was without an Internet connection for two days, and when I was finally able to view my 835 (no joke) e-mails on my smartphone and tablet, I did so by going into my family/friends and business e-mail accounts first because I could view the messages in these boxes separate from All Boxes (default). I read the messages in the Spam account when I am sitting in a doctor’s office, beauty salon, having a cup of coffee, watching TV (rare as it is), and so forth, and have some extra time on my hands.

This simple system has cut my e-mail monitoring time by about 60%, and eliminated the stress of the thought of missing an important message. Even if you are not a constantly-on-the-go hospitality consultant like me, just to have a separate ‘Spam’ e-mail address will make managing your e-mails a breeze and reclaim a lot of time in your busy day.