Freedom Day! 11th Month Edition

Our continuing mission to seek out new opportunities, new wealth and prosperity has hit yet more snags. I’ve been off work for 11 months with no prospects for gainful employment in sight. The government is not helping yet or possibly at all. The bills are starting to creep up.

Captain’s Log. Stardate: 6.19.2022.

Our continuing mission to seek out new opportunities, new wealth and prosperity has hit yet more snags. I’ve been off work for 11 months with no prospects for gainful employment in sight. The government is not helping yet or possibly at all. The bills are starting to creep up.

A family of six surviving on one paycheck in this day and age looks pretty grim. Law of Attraction aficionados would say I chose this. Lord knows I have plenty of reasons to be down these days. Guess I’m choosing depression, too. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could just bury my head in the sand and just pretend things were going to improve.

Site engagement has been up.

THANK YOU!

One silver lining this month has been engagement on this site. I saw a couple of beautiful spikes in views earlier this month. Wow! If you’re here, thank you! I appreciate you stopping by.

A lot of the feedback I’ve received from sources such as #ttrpg Twitter has been extremely positive. I’m still somewhat new to blogging and it makes my heart flutter a bit when I hear a compliment. Thank you! Of course, more site traffic isn’t a sign of positive or negative opinions, but I’ll take the up-tick in views. Thank you!

Then there’s a ton of stuff that doesn’t make much sense yet.

I regularly mull over what I’m doing right in terms of writing, parenting, husbanding, adulting, etc. There’s never a super clear answer to any of my questions. It’s not like life comes with a user’s manual. Kinda wish it did some days. (Like, the ones ending in “y.”)

I keep wondering about how to best monetize myself in the roleplaying game market. Kickstarter? Patreon? Maybe just put stuff on Ko-Fi? I’m not sure I’m ready for DriveThruRPG just yet. That would require a finished larger product.

Someone recently mentioned trying out Fiverr. (Coming Soon!) I have often considered doing piece work, short articles, and social media posts. The same wonderful person mentioned possibly doing some ghostwriting or editing. Terrifying, which is why I’m looking into it.

Then again, am I really supposed to be in the RPG market at all? What about writing a novel? (Not as easy as it sounds, btw.) What about life coaching? (LOL! Not sure if I should be coaching or finding one.) What about becoming some sort of spiritual teacher? (*Don’t worry. Andey Fellowes and others would talk me down off that ledge.) What about a self help book? (Uh… 😐)

Figured out what I’m not doing.

That list goes on forever. The most obvious ones include finding another dispatching job. No thanks PTSD. Not today.

Scrubbing floors is right out. Even if my back and pain levels could tolerate it, my wife would likely shoot me. The hours for that kind of work are not worth the pay and effort involved.

Iowa Workforce Development. There’s a reason I’m no longer looking for a job in this state. They were more than happy to help as long as I wasn’t neurodivergent, in pain, and happy to throw my college degree out the window. Iowa needs dental hygienists and welders. Just don’t come around here being one of those sinister teacher types. (*Love you, wife.)

I’m too old and out of shape for retail, restaurants, factories, and office jobs. I have too many values and principles to ever do sales, especially over the phone. Call center jobs tend to become very stressful and triggering about five minutes in. I don’t even think Wal Mart would take me as a door greeter at this point.

In fact, screw working for any kind of big company or corporation ever again. Even if all the corporate culture head trash didn’t make me want to vomit, I’m pretty sure any review I receive is going to trigger me all over the place. That’s assuming we get that far. “Let’s have a meeting” would be followed by me coming completely unglued on someone. No thanks.

Bring my Garden Weasel to work day?

A brilliant and beautiful soul put me onto some new avenues of abundance.

Laura is the best!

I can always count on my friend Laura DiBenedetto to set me straight. She recently clued me into a couple of new avenues to abundance. I’m working on it, but it’s taking a little time. More on that as it develops.

I also continue to practice the skills I learned from The Six Habits. Laura’s book legitimately can and will change your life if you work with it. I may still get down sometimes (depression sucks!) but it’s an ongoing process, much like spiritual awakening.

The human brain creates channels of memory like lava carving its way down the side of a volcano. Practice a habit for 21 days and you can change the channel. Brain cells that fire together wire together. Neuroplasticity can modify those channels to improve your life. Look up Hebb’s Law. A constant practice of Kindness, Acceptance, Gratitude, Presence, Goodness and Intention will yield positive results given enough practice.

I’ve been back into the book lately, myself. Sometimes we get out of practice on certain things. It’s good to go back to basics and remember why we came here.

Gratitude is key.

Okay. I’ll buy that one. I’m so happy and grateful I have a roof over my head and a food on my plate. I’m grateful for all of the wonderful things I have in life. I’m grateful for my family’s health. I’m super extra grateful for my wife’s job. I’m super happy and grateful when I find loose change on the street, too. I’m grateful I met Laura, too.

Gonna go off now…

I’d like to say I’m grateful I got canned from that last gig. Look at all the stuff that’s teaching me. I’m grateful to be walking around with not-two-shits to give about anyone working for a large corporation or what they have to say. I’m grateful Iowa Workforce Development was more than happy to help as long as I did exactly what they wanted me to do. I’m extra grateful the government keeps denying my disability because I love being f’kn broke all the time. I’m grateful every time I log into LinkedIn to find out some other scamtastic pile of refuse has viewed my profile, because it reminds me I’m glad I gave up that damn job search crap months ago.

I know I have some things working against me every day.

Silly “Old Grognard” photo

First up, my age. I turn the big 50 in ten days. Even if I wasn’t long in the beard and bald as a cue ball, my birth certificate does not lie. I could shave tomorrow, but I know in my heart of hearts it will do me no good.

But what does that mean? Why is that so bad? Well, first off, employers really don’t want to see me walk in the door because they know I’m old enough not to take any sh*t that they hand out to the younger new guys.

On every given day, especially now that I’m officially “old,” my health comes into question. Which, I know how much they cringe with FMLA comes up. I literally have no choice but to mention it nowadays. I’m happy to be functional three days out of five most of the time.

My back and my pain tolerance make it pretty hard to do a lot of those fun repetitive motion tasks like mopping floors, scrubbing toilets, running a cash register, stocking shelves, standing all day, and a lot of other things y’all youngins take for granted. In fact, writing is one of the few things I can enjoy doing while sitting down from the comfort of my couch. (Too bad it doesn’t pay better, but we’re working on it.)

As bitterly annoyed as I am becoming toward certain entities, one fact remains prevalent.

No clue wtf I’m doing any more.

I have a family to take care of. That hurts on so many levels I can’t even describe them all. I’m very grateful my wife is taking care of all of us. That’s super.

Sorry, kids. Dad’s kind of a deadbeat. Seriously, I know how it looks. I wish I could provide more. I so desperately want to give more financially. And I live here. Your mom and I are still married somehow.

So, yeah. 11 months into this sh*tshow and I still have more questions than answers. I’m still wrestling with finding myself, accepting my own inadequacies, and fumbling around with what to do. I’m still unable to rub two shince together and have not two sh*ts left to give some days. Improvements are hopefully on the way soon.

Thanks for being here, one and all. I would have liked to have glowing things to say, but it’s been another r month. Onward and upward, I suppose.


Massive Shout Out!

Please don’t just take my word for it! Please go check out her website. I know I sound biased. She’s a world class coach, professional, CEO, and TEDx speaker among other accolades. She’s done so much and helped many people find joy.

Thank you, Laura DiBenedetto!

Not just a friend, but a force of nature!

Almost out of the blue yesterday, I received a couple of LinkedIn notifications. One was a message from Laura and the other was a comment on one of my blog slugs on LinkedIn. I had commented in that article about wanting to make more money and how I’m a bit stymied at present.

Well, long story short, my very good friend Laura put me onto a couple of ideas that I will be developing further in the coming weeks. I want to expand at my own pace in a way that makes sense for me, but at the same time builds up some financial success for my family.

I’m so ridiculously grateful to know Laura and have had the privilege to work for her a little bit. She’s generous to a fault. She’s always been very helpful. There’s no encouragement like Laura’s. And let’s mention jaw-dropping, heart stopping motivation. Seriously, I get all teary-eyed and speechless.

She’s also honest when needed. I can always count on her to make me face reality and set me straight when I’m all over the place. A more true friend I’m not sure I could ask for in this world and I don’t have that many.

I can’t mention Laura without mentioning The Six Habits.

This book can change your life!

LauraDiBenedetto.com
Please don’t just take my word for it! Please go check out her website. I know I sound biased. She’s a world class coach, professional, CEO, and TEDx speaker among other accolades. She’s done so much and helped many people find joy.

I first discovered Laura on Instagram. Her posts are always off the charts cool. I learned a LOT about life, success, joy and spirituality from her. She’s incredibly wise and still learning. As a side note, she’s the only person I know who retired at 37 years young and then got pulled back into a leadership role many times over.

No, it’s not a cult. Just want to put that out there. I know my recent encounters with Andey Fellowes made me really consider that notion and Laura doesn’t tick those boxes. No worries. She’s one of the good ones.

I have, however, discovered many other amazing folks on Instagram as a result. I’ll shout some of those fine folks out in a future article. Laura has a fantastic circle of friends and is so helpful when it comes to networking!

One thing will always blow my mind when it comes to Laura.

She’s very high class. Like, we’re talking she can hang with people who make six digits or more per year. She’s rock star/Hollywood celebrity caliber. (Ammunition pun intended. See one of her newest ventures.) I so totally admire this lady and would gladly follow in her footsteps were that an option.

Alas, I follow in my own footsteps. I can aspire to my own greatness. I owe her that much. Honestly, I’m not sure how the heck I made it from 2019-Present without The Six Habits and some encouragement of my friend. She would likely say that’s the best any of us can do is carve out our own path and find joy for ourselves.

What still blows my mind is the notion that she’s so classy and high powered but still somehow manages to find the time to chat with lil old me out of the blue. Like, wow. Just… wow.

I can’t thank you enough.

THANK YOU, LAURA!

I still contend I owe you like, uh. Okay I lost count. A LOT, okay. I owe you big time! Thanks for being so awesome!

And thank all of you for stopping by. Lots of love and aloha as my friend would say. I appreciate you. More to come.

Using the Fantasy to Its Fullest

I can’t stress this enough. TTRPGs are a great way to blow off steam. Think about a bunch of carefully painted miniatures on a battle map, slugging it out with sword and spell. D20s and damage dice going back and forth. I would dare say that is far healthier mentally and physically than, say, ambushing and beating the unholy living sh*t out of some kid who bullied us on the playground last month.

There was a time when all I wanted to do was roll dice to punch Orcs in the face and hack Skeletons to tiny bits.

Okay, if we’re being honest, that was yesterday? Earlier this morning maybe? And don’t get me wrong, rolling dice to burn things and blow stuff up still really appeals. It probably always will. (Oh, there’s a “but” coming.)

But, I think the psychology behind some of the more destructive fantasies is worthy of examination. No, I’m not in danger of attracting police attention. Rolling dice and using spells to level buildings is plenty sufficient to keep me off certain watch lists.

So, why all the harshness within TTRPGs?

Maybe it’s an imbalance in the Divine Masculine? Maybe my chakras are misaligned. Maybe it’s an imbalance in my Sacral Chakra? It could possibly be something deeply psychological, and little more.

See, your humble narrator used to get picked on a LOT from the time I was in elementary school all the way through high school. Bullies would ride up to little Jeff and steal his book bag, pull his coat up over his head, or count coup as they rode by to just punch me. Middle school kids can be the most cruel little heathens you can imagine. (I will attest to this now that I have kids of my own at that age.)

That was about the time I discovered roleplaying games. I was 8 or 9 when I was introduced to Marvel Superheroes and Dungeons & Dragons. Ah, good times. That’s where the fantasy took root.

I still got picked on regularly, but now I had a mental outlet for all the pent-up aggression.

Now that I’m older, I think I would have benefited from meditation and all the Zen Buddhism I discovered in high school. I still admire those monks to this day. But, a d20 roll and 1d6 damage had to suffice back then.

The friends I discovered from gaming were true friends. We kinda shared that common “nerd” bond. We played all manner of games where the bad guys got beat sometimes in the most brutal fashion possible. Every one of us enacted some sort of revenge fantasy on orcs (bullies,) goblins (kids teasing us,) and skeletons (general childhood frustrations.) I forgot to mention, Drow were the girls who turned us down and openly mocked us asking for a date. (I had two friends who were big on that one. <cringe>)

The good thing is, NO ONE WAS HURT IN THE REAL WORLD!

I can’t stress this enough. TTRPGs are a great way to blow off steam. Think about a bunch of carefully painted miniatures on a battle map, slugging it out with sword and spell. D20s and damage dice going back and forth. I would dare say that is far healthier mentally and physically than, say, ambushing and beating the unholy living sh*t out of some kid who bullied us on the playground last month.

I hate to use school shootings as another example, but it’s true. Teenagers tend to make a lot of heated emotional decisions that have permanent consequences. Thinking back on it, I could have been one of those kids. Literally. If we’re being totally honest, it’s not like I never thought about it. But I never did it. Cooler heads always prevailed. That was 30+ years ago.

Obviously, that would never, ever happen now. I truly weep in my heart for the kids and families who have suffered at the hands of school shooters and unwarranted gun violence in America. Thank God I and my friends found better ways to channel that aggression without hurting anyone. I sincerely wish more kids would pick up a d20 instead of a gun.

If I’ve learned anything from being an “Old Grognard” it’s that roleplaying can be a good outlet for heroic fantasy.

Supers RPGs such as ICONS are fabulous for making bullies pay for their wrongdoing and making the little guy the hero of the story. That’s sort of the nature of comic books, isn’t it? Science nerd Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gradually becomes a force for epic good. Little Billy Batson says “SHAZAM!” and transforms into a guy with powers rivaling those of Superman. It’s not just about beating up bad guys, but learning what being a hero is all about!

I think that’s the other lesson to be learned here. Our fantasies in any RPG are also a wonderful way to explore all the good things of which we’re capable. Truth, justice, friendship, compassion and freedom are all possible within a game session. Through roleplaying, we can experience life the way we desire it to be. We can try out new personas that are somewhat like our own, but in a way that helps us explore and no one gets hurt.

Have a great day/night wherever you are. Please be kind in the real world. Please be the change you want to see. Thank you for being here. I’m grateful for you.

Note of Gratitude and Congratulations!

Congratulations to April Kit Walsh, Whitney Delagio, Dominique Dickey, Jonaya Kemper, Alexis Sara, and Rae Nedjadi and the folx at Evil Hat Productions! Their game, Thirsty Sword Lesbians became the first RPG to win a Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Holy buckets! Is this awesome or what?

A member of the gaming community recently hit it big.

Congratulations to April Kit Walsh, Whitney Delagio, Dominique Dickey, Jonaya Kemper, Alexis Sara, and Rae Nedjadi and the folx at Evil Hat Productions! Their game, Thirsty Sword Lesbians became the first RPG to win a Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Holy buckets! Is this awesome or what?

Nebula Award for Thirsty Sword Lesbians. Neat!

I think this is going to put Evil Hat on the map even more than before.

Thirsty Sword Lesbians RPG.

One thing I will say about Evil Hat Productions is they seem to really know how to pick them. FATE RPG is an amazing game with several successful spin offs/settings. Monster of the Week by Michael Sands is outstanding in the horror RPG genre as well as being an amazing game in its own right. Now, Thirsty Sword Lesbians by April Kit Walsh has hit big on several fronts. The good times are rolling for our friends at Evil Hat.

There are a couple of things that really stand out about this award as an event in the RPG community that I want to discuss. Aside from one of “our” own, (ours as in an RPG writer) making some headlines, I think it’s great that it’s not one of the big names in gaming for a change. It’s also remarkable to be recognized outside of the usual RPG industry awards such as Origins, ENnies, or Gen Con. Finally, this game uses Powered by the Apocalypse (*Apocalypse World Engine) as its core rules. I’ve been critical of any game using PbtA in the past, but my mind is changing fast.

Confession, I haven’t played this game yet.

Honestly, as much as I uh, love lesbians, I’m still a guy. That’s not to disrespect the gay community. A couple of my best friends are lesbians. Before anyone starts blasting this “Old Grognard” in the RPG community, let’s be clear- I fully support and encourage members of the LGBTQIA++ community. I honestly admire the fact that Thirsty Sword Lesbians was chosen over other industry notables such as D&D, Pathfinder, Star Wars RPG, Savage Worlds, and others.

That’s actually the first thing about this particular award that blows my mind. There have literally been decades of RPGs out there that could have been chosen in years past. I sincerely hope the marketing people at Hasbro had kittens when they found out about this. A little “indie” game did something D&D has never accomplished. Critical Role hasn’t even broken some of these barriers yet. Woot!

I think the rest of the RPG industry should be taking notes over what has been done here.

For any RPG to win an award outside of the usual circles is truly fantastic!

I used to be critical of PbtA. Then I was introduced to Monster of the Week RPG. After making four or five characters, I’m really liking the simplicity of character creation and the playbook style. It’s especially easy on new players. It lays out what characters can do well and helps build backstory in a few easy steps.

Usually one would expect an RPG to be given an award at some event such as Origins, Gen Con, or EN World. (love the ENnies!) For the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to take notice? Thirsty Sword Lesbians must be a truly outstanding game. Whatever awards this games wins going forward, let’s consider this Nebula Award to be a good step in success.

Like I have pointed out here on my blog before, other Evil Hat games are pretty remarkable in their own right. I think part of what sets Thirsty Sword Lesbians apart is the subject matter. Fabulous art and talented writing help quite a bit, too. Again, I am grateful and really admire what this game has accomplished. Keep up the good work!

I hope someday I manage to put out an RPG product that makes money, wins awards, and raises awareness. I really admire what has been done here. I’m happy and grateful that members of the RPG family are being acknowledged for their hard work.

Congratulations again, Thirsty Sword Lesbians!

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you. Take care.

Please be kind to one another!

Getting Communities Together Pt 3.

We have what are two separate communities under one banner. I’d love to think the RPG crowd on Twitter or really anywhere is one big, happy family. Some things happened recently to remind me that even though we might be family, we still have plenty of duality and separation to go around.

I promise I am going somewhere with all this.

I’m speaking from my own experiences as an OG (Old Gamer.) All of the opinions are mine. I’m not the world’s expert on all things Old Grognard, but I do sort of identify with that label. Labels are a lot of what this all boils down-to in the end.

We have what are two separate communities under one banner. I’d love to think the RPG crowd on Twitter or really anywhere is one big, happy family. Some things happened recently to remind me that even though we might be family, we still have plenty of duality and separation to go around.

“Those darn kids…”

Those “kids” are pretty great, actually.

I think that’s pretty much the battle cry of the Old Grognard online. “Those darn kids” or whatever synonyms are used, is usually the start of some real polarizing arguments. It’s not always wrong, but it’s an attitude that usually leads to trouble of some kind. It’s not fair to the younger generation and quite often speaks poorly of the older person saying it.

We have this up-and-coming crowd of young gamers. Many of them were brought into the hobby through an interest in Critical Role or some other actual play podcast. Many of them got with a group and discovered they like D&D as a hobby. Great!

They learn to make characters. They play their characters with zeal in many cases. They roll dice and eat snacks, too. Many times they breathe new life into old campaigns or allow us to start new ones. We should be celebrating this! “Those darn kids” are keeping the hobby alive. Screw what edition they’re playing!

Some of us old guys are figuring out that if we want new players, we have to change up the paradigm a bit.

This newer crowd/rpg subculture comes with some new and different rules, however. Not necessarily RPG rules, but socio-cultural rules. It’s similar to trying to understand today’s teenagers. In fact, my own kids fall into this category. It requires a lot of patience and understanding to get to know these “kids.”

Session Zero is a great example of this. Prior to a few years ago, I don’t remember it ever actually coming up much. Sometimes we ran a game session where we made new characters and introduced ourselves, but no one ever discussed “red flags” or “X cards.” Most of the time we discovered one another’s sensitivities after someone got offended. Turns out I actually like Session Zero discussions. They’re useful in so many ways!

“Back in my day…” redux.

Pretty sad that some people were like this back then.

Back in the 1980’s and 90’s, we had a much different political, social, and cultural climate here in the United States. The AIDS scare had people paranoid about sexual relations (ironically it turns out the heterosexual community was most affected.) The Satanic Panic had people extra jumpy about RPGs. The religious right was consistently bombarding America with their often pretentious “values.” Cocaine had half of Hollywood, the music industry, government officials, and corporate executives stoned off their asses and making sketchy decisions. (New Coke, anyone? Reaganomics maybe?)

A lot of us growing up back then were taught to shame gay and trans folk. Gamers got “The lecture” about burning their books and throwing away their “evil” dice. Women were still fighting the glass ceiling and trying to be treated as equals in the workplace. Being sensitive to the needs of others was relegated to “political correctness.” Conservatives ruled the US for over a decade. Eesh.

This is not to excuse the bad behaviour of some of the older generations of gamers. There’s never a good excuse for hate, intolerance, or even really bad behaviour. But it does signal a need for change in some of us as people, and should serve as a wake up call for those engaging in such radical nonsense. If you’re old enough to become bitter and jaded toward someone, you’re old enough to figure out how to get your shit straightened out.

These “new” kids…

Respect will get you success!

Learning is an ongoing experience at any age. Change is inevitable at any age. Cultures and societies change mores and values all the time. It’s not always an instant change. For us “old” guys, some of us wonder how change occurred overnight.

If we “Old Grognards” can put our edition differences aside and sit down with these fresh-faced younger players and DM/GMs, we can accomplish so much together. Gaming is supposed to be fun! For crying out loud, have fun with it.

We should all be rolling dice together and yelling “huzzah!” not bickering over whose edition is best or whether we should be concerned over someone’s pronouns. Yes, we should be sensitive toward one another’s feelings, don’t get me wrong. But pronouns should have been agreed upon probably during Session Zero if they weren’t already established.

Please do everyone at your gaming table a huge favor- leave politics, real world religion, and all of your old baggage at the door. There’s plenty of time to find things to argue about on the Internet. If you’re playing a virtual game, it works much the same way when you sit down for Session ONE onward. The bottom line is play nice. RPGs are a cooperative experience, so uh, please cooperate okay?

There may yet be a Part 4 to this discussion.

I feel like Old Grognards still have a bad rep in the RPG community. Maybe some of us have earned it on an individual basis. Unfortunately, the labels and/or stereotypes run both ways. Sometimes we older players and DM/GMs have a hard time finding a pickup game online, at a convention or even at our local FLGS. Sometimes the discrimination runs both ways. Labels, good or bad, run both ways.

I can’t say I entirely blame the younger crowd for not wanting grandpa or grandma at the table. Sometimes we do tend to bog the conversation down with tales of the days of yore. Yesteryear was a very long time ago for some younger gamers. Some of these younger folks don’t quite get the difference between beer-n-pretzels gaming vs a serious campaign, either.

Thanks for stopping by today. I have a ton of good stuff for Power Rangers RPG, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Monster of the Week , and maybe even good old 5E in the works. This topic of the generation gap in gamers and my friend’s battle with “old cishet white guys” has been occupying a lot of my thoughts lately.

Regardless of what edition you play or who is at your regular table, please have fun. Please treat one another with kindness and compassion in real life. I appreciate you for being here. Thank you!

Why I’m Still Blogging.

My point being, I get there’s no profits in simply giving people money. But building a community, planting trees, and creating jobs for people can be profitable. If people can throw $40+ BILLION at something, why not have it be locally owned farms? Why not have it be community centers and housing for the homeless? How about we encourage people to embrace joy and prosperity?

I spend a lot of time behind this computer screen.

Every day I come to this blog to pump out fresh content of some kind. Not gonna josh anyone, it keeps me sane. I’m super grateful for you if you’re reading this, whoever you are. Thank you!

I’ve been through a lot dealing with unemployment and health issues. It’s getting better, slowly but surely. I think the Universe likes to test us to see if we’re ready for more joy, love, freedom, prosperity, peace, and harmony every day. It’s not always easy.

We don’t learn as much from easy.

These billionaires, God love em, who have so much money to throw at buying major social media entities just blow my mind. I don’t envy their riches. Good for them for getting where they are today. (I would love to join them.) I mean, they literally have the power to do so much for so many and yet…

It’s true since the first epoch of mankind on this planet that life isn’t easy. We’re here in the physical to learn, remember, and grow. Overcoming challenges and trauma ultimately lead to joy and love. Where would we be without duality and contrast through it all?

I keep coming back to this notion that if I were a millionaire, things would look different.

What would I do with that kind of money? First, take care of my family. Get all the bills paid and make sure the kids are pretty much set for life. I’d teach them what I did to hit millionaire status so they could do the same.

Next, I’d make sure my wife could retire happily and maybe sell real estate or just hang out at home with the cats all day. As long as she’s happy, it’s okay. My wife, Heather, has truly earned a rest after everything she’s done for us.

After the personal stuff comes the investments. I’ve blogged about this before. I want to build my personal empire by helping people. I want to pay it forward as much as possible. Heck, I’d start my own commune if I thought it would help people. (*commune? Collective might be a better choice of words. Not trying to set myself up as any kind of cult leader.)

My point being, I get there’s no profits in simply giving people money. But building a community, planting trees, and creating jobs for people can be profitable. If people can throw $40+ BILLION at something, why not have it be locally owned farms? Why not have it be community centers and housing for the homeless? How about we encourage people to embrace joy and prosperity?

I’m not there yet. I dunno if I ever will be.

With the way things have been going this past year, I don’t know if it will ever happen. Right now I’m planting that seed. I’m doing the few things that bring me joy throughout this struggle, like my humble little blog here.

I’ll take the joy as it comes. I’ll look to expand my resources when the time and the opportunity come. The prosperity will come in many forms and I absolutely know it’s there. Right now, I’m just working on getting out of neutral in my life to get the prosperity flowing into it more. I believe love, prosperity and joy are out there waiting for us. ALL of us.

Thanks for stopping in today. I truly appreciate all of you. Happy Cinco de Mayo if that’s a holiday you celebrate. Take care.

Personal Spiritual Share: Existence.

Sometimes the struggle comes before the prosperity. Whenever you’re going through crap, there’s always a lesson on the other side.

It’s been a rough couple of days.

Expectation of injured.

One thing people don’t tend to understand as well about depression is that it doesn’t show on the outside. The same goes for chronic physical pain. Just because there’s no fence post sticking through my neck, doesn’t mean I don’t feel the pain every day both emotionally and physically.

I’ve said before that if pain is fear leaving the body, I can walk up to Godzilla and kick him in the nuts. I ain’t scared of nothin. (*Editor’s note: Yes, that’s horrible grammar.) But the point is: I’ve had my freakin fill of pain and fear both. I’m done.

There’s ALWAYS a lesson!

Quick story for ya. The other day I went to my kids’ ballgames and dropped them off to their respective teams. Grandview Little League is notorious for having very little available parking on Saturdays during game days. I circled around a few times and couldn’t find a space. So, out of sheer frustration, I took the car home and walked back to the baseball field. It only takes about 15-20 minutes. I used to do that kind of thing all the time where I grew up.

So, I get back to the ballpark and walk past my usual parking space only to find it wide open. I busted out laughing because you just can’t make this stuff up. The Universe taught me a lesson that day. Sometimes the struggle comes before the prosperity. Whenever you’re going through crap, there’s always a lesson on the other side.

Taking it one or two steps further.

Walk with me for a moment figuratively. IFF we’re spiritual beings having a physical experience, then the human body is basically a lens through which experiences are focused-in-on and perceived. These fleshy suits we wear in 3D reality are like a magnifying glass for experiences and feelings in the physical. (Editor’s Note: If you really want to blow your mind, multiply everything by millions upon billions of beings across the universe and alternate reality timelines. It’s staggering!)

As a collective consciousness, Earth is a big classroom with the Universe/God/Source as our teacher. Everything we all experience together is then a spiritual lesson for us all. Every moment of joy, triumph, or passion teaches us something. Likewise, so does lack, pain, and suffering.

I think we all know what we would prefer to experience while we’re here on Earth. The hard part is experiencing all of the things we don’t prefer in order to learn what we do prefer. For example, we have all at some time experienced lack (of some sort,) so we know what an abundance looks like. We’ve all been sad, so we know what joy looks like.

It’s hard to be grateful for the negative stuff.

Yet I am, because without it, I wouldn’t know what the awesomeness on the other side will look like. As an aside, because I do know what much better times look like, I know the sad times won’t last forever. Until then, I’m grateful for what I have.

Thank you all for being here. Have a fabulous weekend.

Praying for Ukraine Right Now.

I’m very sad for humanity right now. The US is proving to be morally and ethically bankrupt from within. Now Russia has started hostilities in the Ukraine. Can we please leave a world where we can tell our children we did the right thing?

Here’s an article I would have rather not written.

Praying for our planet tonight.

I’m sad for humanity tonight. We might well be on the path to our own extinction. Why? What’s it all for?

I don’t want to hear whatever cockamamie story the mass news and propaganda outlets cooked up this time. Seriously, we fended off WW3 this long. Why now? What’s the point?

Not that either will read it, but-

Dear Mr Putin,

Please come up with a reason to have a lasting peace. Please, pull back your troops. No reasons needed. No blame. Stand down. Stop the insanity before we all lose. Please prevent further bloodshed. It’s not too late.

Dear President Biden,

Please stop whatever plans you have that may lead to an extinction level event on our planet now, while you still can. It’s okay to declare peace. Fewer people are likely to die from it, and you’ll still save face in the end. Do it for our children and grandchildren. Leave them a world to inherit.

Thank you.

As the world may not exist this time tomorrow, I love you. It’s been fun.

And if I’m wrong, then I’ll be back with all kinds of fun stuff for roleplaying games. Seriously, boardgames, roleplaying games and miniatures wargames are fictional. For the love of God, can we please just keep the fighting on the table with dice and miniatures?

I appreciate all of you. Thank you!

I should say it more.

Please Pray for Immediate, Lasting Peace!

Thank you. Namaste

Freedom Day! February 2020 v2.0 Edition

It’s going to get better. One of the toughest lessons in Law of Attraction is learning when the Universe is testing us. Also, learning from past experiences that keep repeating themselves is important. The Universe likes to ask, “Are you sure? Are you really ready for this awesomesauce thing you’ve been manifesting?”

I only wish I was kidding.

No surprises, really.

Remember the year 2020? Have any of us forgotten it yet? So far, this year is starting to remind me of 2020 in all of its shitastic glory.

I’ve reviewed, revised and rewritten this site. That’s as close to a breakthrough as I’ve truly had this year. I feel like we’re connecting more, reaching you, a more receptive audience, and growing together.

Then there’s the rest. The Icky Cough-Coughs came to visit in the middle of January and ate up two weeks of our lives here at the Craigmile house. It was not fun times. All of us came through it okay, which is a huge plus. Just when ya thought you were done with quarantine, though. (Eyeroll.)

The beginning of the year also brought us Governor Kim Reynolds meddling about in Iowa Workforce Development. Iowa has a massive shortage of “skilled” jobs, but nothing requiring a college degree. Nothing like a Bachelor’s degree in two majors just to have IWD tell me they’ll be happy to retrain my fibromyalgia-having ass to become an arc welder or a dental hygienist. (That shit ain’t happening.) But I still persevered through all the added hoops necessary to keep my unemployment check coming.

Then this week, I got shot down for a job I really had my sights set on. That hit right in the old depression, worse than anything in months. While I was recovering from that and a pain flare, I got a love letter in the mail from IWD. My unemployment money is due to peter out this week. We knew this day would come, but it doesn’t take the sting out of it.

Plus a lot of little things keep popping up like the kids’ grades. Minor household disasters are one of the latest things on the shit list. (Okay, a chunk of our garage literally fell off the other day.) Just for fun, I accidentally chipped a tooth the other day, too. One of these days my student loans are going to come due.

Let’s not forget it’s also an election year. Russia and the US are doing their damnedest to not go to war with one another or however that works. Let’s not forget the trucking, uh disaster, in Canada. The mass news media has more garbage and propaganda than ever to spew. I wasn’t even going to touch on this, but it does come up around here occasionally. Every once in a while my wife also goes rant mode over something a school board does any given place in the US. This whole book banning/burning thing makes me ill.

Chillin. Waitin for things to improve.

It’s going to get better. One of the toughest lessons in Law of Attraction is learning when the Universe is testing us. Also, learning from past experiences that keep repeating themselves is important. The Universe likes to ask, “Are you sure? Are you really ready for this awesomesauce thing you’ve been manifesting?”

My answer is always, “Give me a couple million dollars and let’s find out, okay?”

Hasn’t happened yet, but any day now. Right? (Nervous chuckle.) Until it does, or something equally wonderful, I have gratitude for the blessings in my life. I am grateful for new friends, especially on #TTRPGTwitter. I’m also grateful for my Earthly teachers new and old. I’m grateful for the wealth and prosperity that flows into our lives easily, endlessly and copiously every day. It’s the whole notion of living in the dream fulfilled.

The dream shifts and evolves.

Maybe this is why my vision board is not posted anywhere but in my head and on the internet. My big dream is to be a successful RPG writer/game designer. I intend for my kids to be well taken care-of. I want my wife to be happy. I’m pretty satisfied as long as all of that is in motion.

Would I love to be rich? Sure. Am I focused on being happy regardless? Yeah. Most days. Growing beyond contentment into joy is the pinnacle of high vibrations. As we all know from LoA, high vibration pulls us closer to manifesting our highest and best intentions.

I appreciate all of you. Thank you for sharing this space. More to come.

Am I Doing This Right?

Still looking for that remote job. Wanna chat over Twitter? Sure. Want to exchange Instagram messages? Great. Message me on LinkedIn? Are you real? Wanna text? How well do I know you? You want to get together in person?!? Uh… Umm… M-maybe next week/month/year/never.

Please bear with me as I’m going to ramble a bit here.

I’ve been debating about posting this for a while now. It’s not entirely an imposter syndrome thing. Sometimes I just wonder if I’m doing things right?

I still have plenty of PTSD around criticism, so I’m not exactly out soliciting opinions of anything I’m doing. My inner critic is enough for me on any given day. I sure as shit never want to set foot in a “real” job ever again. If I can’t work remotely, I ain’t doin it. For the rest, there’s therapy. 😅

Today and several other days, I keep wondering if I’m social media-ing correctly? Is that a thing? I dunno. It is now, I guess.

I mean, I’m not trying to be the popular-est guy ever on social media. I’ve met some very amazing and talented people on Instagram and Twitter both. I truly treasure and appreciate so many of whom I’ve met so far. But am I making an impact? Would they say the same? I’m not entirely sure.

I’m not always getting 100% of the engagement I’m looking for on Twitter and Instagram. At least I’m not fighting/arguing with or getting-trolled-by anyone the majority of the time. That’s good, I guess.

I have a few people on Twitter that I follow who I’m pretty sure don’t recognize me as a follower or just plain don’t care. Lol? I guess invisible and anonymous is okay in some cases. I can still talk mad smack about Matt Mercer and he’ll never know. Bwah haha! (Just kidding.)

Having a life online and having friends out in the physical world are two different things.

Sure, we’d like to believe it’s both. You’ll notice I didn’t say, “the ‘real’ world” because for many, especially the last two years, online relationships are just as real as physical ones.

I have friends that I met, talk to, and hang with online pretty much exclusively. Kinda hard to go to coffee when we’re scattered all over the planet, literally, but we’re friends, regardless. As a big proponent of the Law of Attraction, I would say reality is what you make it.

Even if you have imaginary friends, and you have conversations with them in your head all day, they’re just as real as people you could meet on the street. And because emotion is energy in motion, eventually the Universe would likely pair you up with someone similar to the ones in you imagined along the lines of your vibrational frequency. (Theoretically.) So, no worries there.

I’m still struggling with meeting people out in public.

My therapist is working with me on this. Maybe talking about it helps, I dunno? Truth is, I still don’t want to hang with people out in the physical world. Some days, I don’t even want to leave the house. Hanging out with people in the physical world puts me in a state between panic and anger a lot of times.

Still looking for that remote job. Wanna chat over Twitter? Sure. Want to exchange Instagram messages? Great. Message me on LinkedIn? Are you real? Wanna text? How well do I know you? You want to get together in person?!? Uh… Umm… M-maybe next week/month/year/never.

Maybe I’m happier making friends online? That’s sort of the social media engagement I’d really like. I’ve met some very remarkable people online over the years. That’s a good thing.

Maybe that’s why this format works for me.

I’m okay addressing an audience in writing. It’s cool. I’ll probably never hear from the vast majority of my audience. And that’s okay. We’re cool like that, right?

I’m grateful for you. I appreciate you. Thank you for being here with me in this space. See ya soon.

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