Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! My 2017 Rants and Reflections.

Let’s start off with a festive Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to Everybody!

This year, we picked up a lot more Christmas decorations for the house, including some for the outside, which we did not do last year.

We’ve got a North Pole lamp post with pointed signs that says “reindeer crossing” and so on. We also have several lighted and one animated reindeer. One of these reindeers is part of a sleigh set, which is very nice. We wanted to add lighted gift boxes to the sleigh but couldn’t find the right ones. Oh well, maybe next year.

Another thing we wanted is the icicle lighting on the house itself, but we couldn’t find the right ones in time. The one I like is where the light slowly trickles down the icicle so that it looks like a water drop. I didn’t want to add just the regular Christmas lights to the house. It needs to be the right one if I’m going to put in the work!

2017 Rants and Reflections

Part of this post is about this past year. I always feel that it’s good to do some self-reflection and look back on what has happened, good and bad, and then to look forward and make it an even better year.

One thing I tell the younger generation when they complain about School and learning is that you never stop learning, even after they’re done with their studies. If you want to keep moving forward in life, you need to keep learning.

Learning doesn’t have to take the form of formal education as in classes and degrees. You can’t learn everything in a classroom. But, at the very least, you need a college diploma as a starting point for your career as it is a minimum requirement for most jobs these days.

The two richest people on earth, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have never stopped learning. They’ve mentioned it many times in interviews and whatnot that they always find a new book to read to learn new things.

In life, you’ll figure out that you’ll need to learn to be a better person, learn to better assess situations, learn to analyze and then learn how to tackle and solve situations and issues at home and at work if you want to move forward.

In the workplace, you’ll need to learn new skills if you want to move up the corporate ladder. In the technical field, you’ll need to learn new advances in technology in your respective field to stay relevant.

Everything is about learning and improving yourself to make your situation better. I know of many people who are stuck in the lower end of the job pool but they’re unwilling to learn what they need to move forward. And then they blame it on society and past Presidents and this and that and so on, but never themselves.

What they need is to look at themselves and realize the problem is them. Times change and we all need to adjust to changes. If all the world has moved on from coal, then why would we need coal workers? I do feel bad that many, if not most, in that industry have lost their jobs, but that’s a fact of life.

Once robots took over manufacturing jobs, new opportunities arose. Yes, people lost jobs. But, new technical and better paying jobs came out of robot manufacturing because now it takes someone with technical skills to build, repair and maintain those robots.

It’s never too late to learn and start a new career to make your situation better.

Much of the above rant was due to the current political climate whose large base support for our current President are those on the lower end of the financial spectrum. Much of those people tend to blame outside conditions for their personal situations and the President played on this behavior to win their support.

If the previous President or other outside factors was the cause of their personal situation, then why are there people doing better than ever? Why are there still people in your company, in any company, still climbing the corporate ladder and improving their situation? Why are there people opening new businesses and doing well?

Nobody is the cause of your personal situation. It’s you. If you fail an exam, it’s not the exam, it’s you. If you didn’t get that job or promotion, it’s not them, it’s you.

It’s not a conspiracy and they’re not out to get you. It’s just you blaming everything else and not realizing that you needed to improve yourself to keep moving ahead.

Gluten and Dairy/Lactose Intolerance

Since I was young, I knew I was lactose intolerant to a certain degree. I also had a lot of other digestive issues even when I stayed away from dairy and none of the specialists knew the cause. They kept coming up with all these “other” diagnoses but had no action plan for me.

A few years ago, I started to develop joint pain. First in the fingers and then a couple of years ago it hit my right knee. Half a year after that, my left knee. At times, my knee pain would get so bad that I couldn’t walk and had to use crutches. The worst was when both knees were in pain at the same time.

My personal physician, multiple orthopedics and even a rheumatologist could not figure out why I have all this joint pain. X-rays, MRI’s and blood tests all ruled out the normal causes of joint pain. For two years that I went to all these doctors, they could not tell me what was going on and I didn’t want to keep taking pain killers every day. That’ll lead to other issues.

Then, earlier this year, I saw a show on TV called “No Grain, No Pain” by Dr. Peter Osborne. At the time, I’ve already heard of the gluten free diet but I thought it was just another diet to lose weight or something.

After watching the show, I decided to go Gluten Free for a month to see what happens. Within just 1 week of going gluten free, my joint pain diminished. Within a month, I was pain free!

Aside from my joint pain going away, my digestive issues all went away as well. It turns out I was gluten intolerant my whole life, maybe even Celiac. I never went back to my doctors to officially get tested for Celiac because you have to be actively eating foods with Gluten for at least 6 weeks. I didn’t want to start eating gluten again.

After 41 years, I finally know the cause of my digestive issues and now my joint pain. But, as many others have experienced as our digestive tract heals, my sensitivity to gluten and even dairy now is extremely high.

If I accidentally eat something with gluten or even from cross contamination, I feel so much worse than I did on a daily basis before going gluten free. My joint pain returns almost immediately as well for a couple of days.

Eating out is definitely a challenge now so I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. I also had a European cruise vacation planned already and I was already gluten free for a few months at the time. I was worried about finding gluten free food on my trip so I packed protein powder to make shakes to drink if I couldn’t find gluten free food to eat at times.

As it turns out, I didn’t have to worry about gluten free issues in Europe. They’re actually more conscious of people with Celiac and gluten intolerance than we are here in the US. At least this was my experience in Spain, Italy and France.

I had a gluten free pizza in Italy and didn’t have issues with the dairy as well. All restaurants we went to in those 3 countries had many gluten free options and the wait staff knew perfectly well the condition and to prevent cross contamination.

Here in the US, I would get blank stares all too often if I ask if they have anything gluten free. Even McDonald’s in Spain had gluten free buns and prepare it without cross contamination.

When I ask McDonald’s workers here in the US, most don’t even know what I’m talking about and then when I ask for a lettuce wrapped burger, I have issues with cross contamination because they prepped it on the same surface as other burgers even though I tell them about cross contamination.

Just within the past couple of weeks, my sensitivity to gluten and dairy have spiked up. Whereas I was able to eat foods that had cheese by just taking a Lactaid tablet before, I can’t do that anymore. The tablet doesn’t help anymore and I just feel sick for days.

Now, I have to completely stay away from both gluten and dairy. No more cheeseburgers at Disneyland with a gluten free bun. No more gluten free pizzas.

Looking forward to 2018

Despite this past year’s situations, the political climate, proposed tax plan and having to cut out a ton of food that I loved, I’m looking forward to 2018.

One thing all people need to realize is that no matter what changes in our political, public or private situation, we can all work past the obstacles and come out ahead.

If an issue arises, you resolve it and move on. If you run away from the issue and blame others for not being able to move forward, think again and look in the mirror.

Think about why others are able to move forward when you’re not able to. It’s not the system, it’s you that’s preventing you from moving on.

I’ll leave it at that and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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