The Country Mentality

Different Than the City

This is probably as obvious as anything else: in general, the people’s mentality in the Countryside is different than the people’s mentality in the City. Just to be clear and on the safe side: everything written in this post should not be seen as absolute. Meaning that what I write here is my personal experience from both living in big Cities and now living in the Canadian Countryside. Nothing more, nothing less. In addition, neither is better than the other. It’s just different. That’s all.

So where is the mentality different then? Lets make a list: [Read more...]

Country Food Cooking

What Is Healthy Food?

slow food dishI am not going to write the epic article that will define in absolute terms what healthy food is. But I have personally experienced that living in the Countryside has brought with it for me the sense of heating healthy food.

For one, the closest McDonalds is a thirty-minute drive away. So ever since I moved here I have cut down on my junk food intake already. And, boy, does a Big Mac taste nice every once in a while when I eat one. [Read more...]

Country Livin’

There are major differences between living in the city and living in the country. In my younger years I loved the hustle and bustle of "city life". I reveled in the spontaneity and adventure that the city offered. I experienced so many things and met so many amazing people over the years. It seemed like there was no "end" to a day in the city. The night would carry-on into the wee hours of the next morning and it would all begin again. I was able to get around without a vehicle because of public transportation. At first I loved this luxury. Eventually though, having to wait on a train schedule and rely on lifts and cabs got to be expensive. What I used to regard as "freedom" from a vehicle I now regarded as a hassle!

Making the Move
When I decided to pack up and move out of the city I didn't realize how much more responsibility I would have to take on myself. As a homeowner, I was now in charge of things that my building superintendent and on-site handyman had taken care of for me for so many years. Not to mention I now had the investment of my own vehicle, which I at first, welcomed with open arms. 

The Catch
What I wasn't prepared for with my "situation" was getting locked out. It feels like within the first year of living out of the city and the comfort of my "building neighbors" I was locked out of everything from my home, to my car to my new office. I didn't realize I had become so accustomed to others "having my back" when it came to getting into and out of situations. Now living in the country I had to accept a new method of thinking. After becoming close friends with my local locksmiths, like Locksmiths Southampton, I realized I had to make a change. I immediately backed up any and all keys I had in my possession… hiding them in various places and giving copies to close friends. 

Moving from the city to the country is quiet and beautiful. At my age, it is a welcomed respite from the "hustle and bustle" I once loved. It does, however, give you a new sense of responsibility. I think I've finally got the hang of it now… 

Why It’s Cool to be a Middle-Aged Traveler

These days, you'll often come across middle-aged couples mixed in with solo backpackers in their twenty-something years exploring various tourist attractions and not-so-popular sites around the world.

If you are nearing your retirement years or already retired, it's definitely great to take the time to travel once in a while. It's good for your peace of mind and overall well-being, not to mention enriching your mind with greater knowledge. Personally, I love learning about new cultures and discovering historical places I haven't been to before because I consider this brain exercise and vitamins for the soul.

You've Got the Money

When you are in your middle ages, you are likely to have more cash saved up for your trip. This will allow you to enjoy the wonderful perks of traveling to the country or city of your choice. It's certainly cooler to relish the "good life" by dining in luxurious restaurants and availing of deluxe tours such as the European river cruises rather than limiting yourself to daily meals at McDonald's and settling for just free sightseeing. Naturally, you can make the most of your vacation when you've got the money to experience everything you want to experience.

You're Generally Wiser

Being wiser, you can plan your holiday better and make wiser decisions as to where to stay, what activity to try out, and more. It's not just a matter of having fun, splurging, and indulging. You can maximize your stay while being more sensible.

Furthermore, robbers and con artists are more likely to target the younger and naïve-looking travelers instead of coming after you. At the same time, you can better get away with bargaining and complaining because people will also tend to respect you more.

You'll Likely Enjoy More Perks

If you are a senior citizen, you might just enjoy added perks even if you are a tourist. In some places, you'll probably get discounts on food and entrance fees. Even the tour guides may give you certain advantages such as being first in line or getting the good seats in the bus or in a theater.

Never think that you're too old to travel. In my case, even if I truly love living in the countryside, I still make it a point to try fresh adventures and discover new places all the time. Believe me, it will do your health wonders, make you happier and feeling young, and give you greater reason to live.

5 Outdoor Spring Cleanups Every Homeowner Needs to Do

Winters, especially like the one many of us experienced this past year, can be very tough on our homes and landscape making spring cleanup something every homeowner needs to do. Here are 5 must perform task you should start once the weather warms up a bit.

#1. Take an Inventory: Winter storms that produce heavy snow and high winds can cause a lot of damage that may go unseen during the long darker days of December, January and February. All homeowners, as soon as the weather permits, need to get outdoors and take an inventory of their property. Check the roof for signs of wear or damage do to fallen tree branches. Look closely at gutters and clean any debris that may have built up over the long winter. Clogged gutters can cause rain water or melting snow to back up into the home.

When taking your inventory, be certain to examine any outdoor structures like decks, garages, fences and sheds for signs of damage or advancing stages of deterioration. Staying on top of any needed repairs can save you money in the long run.

#2. Examine Trees and Scrubs: Once again damage from heavy wet snow or high winds can be sever on trees and scrubs over the winter. Consider having a tree service came in and survey your property as Spring is the perfect time to perform any tree trimming or pruning.

Plants and scrubs also need some tender loving care in the spring, so be sure to pay close attention to all your outdoor gardening needs.

#3. Cleanup: Winter arrived early in many parts of the country and many homeowners never got around to adequately getting things ready for the season. Run the mower over the lawn for a quick cleanup. If there are any dried leaves or plant life, mowing would break them up and add nutrients back into the soil. Look in corners and tight spaces for leaf buildup and place in proper recycling bags for pickup.

#4. Restore Outdoor Furniture: Outdoor furniture is always best put away or covered over the winter, but many people fail to do so. If that is the case, then you should consider performing some restoration on your deck and garden furnishings. Wrought iron can and should be repainted and rust proofed. Wood chairs and tables can also be stained or painted, and the grill will most certainly need a once over.

#5. Power Wash: Power washers have really come down in price and are a great item every homeowner should consider purchasing. From siding to walkways right down to the deck, a good power wash can return the luster to anything exposed to the elements. Can’t afford the power washer? Consider renting one for the day. You will be so happy with the results that purchasing one will become a priority.

The winter of 2014 was an unusually rough one for nearly everyone, while our yards and outdoor living spaces really paid the price. Spring cleanup this year is something you cannot ignore. Besides, getting out and Performing these tasks in the early spring will allow for months of enjoyment once the real outdoor season begins.

My Gripe With The Lack Of Surgery Options In Rural Areas

Beauty shot of a young model touching her face and looking up, isolated on whiteEver since I made the move from the city out to the country one thing that has constantly surprised me is the lack of proper medical facilities.

Now, I am not naïve enough to think that the government is going to build a super modern hospital in the middle of nowhere that only receives a few patients a month however getting access to a doctor or other medical professional is very difficult out here.

I’ll use an example to show you what I mean.

My wife was considering undergoing liposuction.

She had lost a lot of weight in recent years however with the house renovations finally completed we thought that having this done would take her back to her ideal weight and we had the funds to do it as well. The problem is actually having the procedure completed where we live or rather anywhere near where we live.

In the city I could think of 5 places off the top of my head where liposuction is offered and I could probably find 10 more with a simple internet search. Certainly this is one of the big differences between our old life and new one.

So we decided to look for liposuction Washington DC as we felt that this was within our reach to get there without it being a ridiculous journey and we came across the Center For Positive Aging. On the one hand this required us to travel a fair distance however on the other they provided all the basic amenities that my wife needed so that we didn’t have to travel back either the same day or the next.

The procedure is hardly the most complicated however there is some recovery time involved and travelling a long distance immediately afterwards is not recommended.

In many ways this raised some interesting points overall about health and cosmetic surgery care in rural areas. I know that in some places there is a sort of traveling surgeon that works in clinics all around so that, in at least parts of the year, local rural residents can get basic surgeries or cosmetic work carried out without having to travel the better part of a day to get to the nearest city.

Unfortunately this hasn’t manifested itself near us yet however I have been looking into ways to try and raise awareness for this. We have some towns near us which would probably have many of the facilities that are required for this kind of procedure and even basic surgery however we lack the medical expertise. No-one is willing to come out here and work full time if there is no guarantee of patients – it is understandable that they would be much more useful in a densely packed city where their office would be filled every day.

Well this was just something that was going around in my head and the good news is that the liposuction was a success and everything is back to normal again.

Hopefully if one of us needs treatment in the future then it will be much more accessible out here in the country and we won’t have to travel such a long distance.

Dealing with the Financial Turmoil of a Lawsuit

In these crazy times of financial instability and everyday demands, it is important to get a little help when you can. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone simply knocked on your door and handed you a large sum of money to help you make ends meet? I know from experience that the odds of this magical knock on the door are slim! However, there are many financial options available to people that they are simply just not aware of. Often times, there are viable options for individuals who need money immediately, but because they don’t understand these options and are rightfully cautious when it comes to money matters, these options go unnoticed.

I remember when I was a kid I always used to watch the Ed McMahon specials where he would knock on someone’s door and hand them an over-sized check for a million dollars. Whenever someone would knock on our door I would rush to find out who it was just hoping it was Ed. Unfortunately, it never was. But that’s ok, my family and I seemed to do just fine with a giant cardboard check.

As a rule, I like to think that good can come out of any bad situation. When it comes to a lawsuit, there is no “fun” way to go about dealing with one. Lawsuits are intrinsically time consuming and a hassle for mostly everyone involved. In some cases, they go beyond a simple inconvenience and can negatively impact our lives financially, emotionally and physically (as is the case in personal injury suits, wrongful termination suits and harassment suits.) There can be a silver lining, though.

Lawsuit loans are a viable option for you and your family when it comes to getting money fast. Maybe you have been out of work due to a personal injury and need the money to pay off debts and monthly bills. Maybe you need money to pay your legal team in order to ensure that your case is kept a top priority. In any event, lawsuit funding companies are a good option to look into. The good news about lawsuit funding companies is that they assume all of the risk. There is no need for you to put up collateral in the form of your house or your car. To put it simply, the lawsuit funding company projects a settlement for your case and awards you that monetary projection. Instead of having to wait years in civil court awaiting your settlement, the company funds you the money. The best part? If you don’t win- you don’t pay! It’s that simple.

If this sounds too good to be true, I assure you it isn’t! You can find out more about lawsuit funding and if it is right for you by clicking on this link. Get informed about your financial status and the options available to you!

I don’t think they’re still doing the Ed McMahon specials but I know that I always feel that brief sense of excitement every time the doorbell rings. Maybe someday someone actually will show up with a bag of money but until then I guess we’ll all need to be more practical about our finances.

Why I Love My Life Here in the Greater Toronto Countryside

I have been living in the Greater Toronto countryside for more than two decades now. Even though some people might think of life in the countryside as too boring, not once have I regretted moving here. Over the years I have spent here, I have developed a successful a career as a freelance writer. Had I stayed in the city, I probably would have ended up unhappy with work. Life in the country has given me so many wonderful opportunities the city didn’t. Some people may think that there are always more opportunities in the city, but this isn’t actually always the case. In fact, the opposite can actually be true sometimes. There are other reasons why I love my life in the countryside, and I’ll go over them in this post.

One of the things that I love about the countryside is the fact that I don’t have to worry about my finances here. Living here is much more affordable so I don’t have to worry about my expenditures and earnings that much. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I don’t make it a point to earn a lot of money here. In fact, I actually earn more here than I did in the city. I actually still have to avail of the bookkeeping services that Toronto firms offer in order to set my finances straight. Yes, it is actually possible to earn so much in the country as to warrant hiring a certified accountant and bookkeeper that Toronto citizens trust. Without their help, I’d probably be losing money for incurring penalties with regard to my tax.

In addition to having better financial standing, living here has also helped me become a better father to my daughters. Luckily, my wife and I decided to move here back when they were still young. Thanks to the slower pace of life here in the countryside, I was able to have greater focus on raising my kids during the most crucial years of their childhood. Had we stayed in the city, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do my best in helping them become the best they can be.

Of course, one other thing that has made life here in the country so much better is the fact that it gives me more time to pursue my interest in art. Since moving here, I have done so many installations. In fact, I’ve already had a few exhibitions here. Look it up on the internet and you’ll see that some people actually consider me a “celebrated artist.”

Hopefully, what I have written here will give you a good glimpse of my wonderful life here in the country. I am not saying that everyone will have a much better life here; I am, however, pointing out that it is certainly possible to have a better life here in the country in the city. People should stop equating life in the country with boredom. In fact, all of the people I know who moved to the country actually find life here more interesting.

Farming as a Family Business

Although most of my city friends don’t realize it, farming is still a major economic activity in the world today. I was amazed when I moved to the country to pursue my freelance writing dreams to discover even family farms are not cozy operations with everyone pitching in to help with milking or harvesting hay. Most of them are large specialized agribusinesses operated as legal corporations.

My closest neighbors are a couple nearing 70 years of age. They operate a farm owned by the family for 150 years. Mike’s grandfather and father added to the acreage over the years and Mike himself is still buying more land as it becomes available, usually because other farmers can’t afford to maintain their smaller operations.

Mike and Sheila’s son and his family do most of the work, conscripting the teenage grandchildren as needed. At harvest time, they hire other farmers who own the huge machines to harvest the crops quickly and efficiently. It is a busy and physically demanding way of life. I know our friends have reached the point of wondering if their son will actually continue the work when they finally are not able to put in the hours. None of the grandchildren seem interested even though both families live comfortably on a more than adequate income.
It’s interesting to listen to Sheila and Mike speak about the tough times over the years to keep their dairy farm going. As the price of milk fluctuates, so does their income. Often the government puts in place new legislation that cost much money to implement.

Although our friends are as concerned about the safety of their product as any consumer, they also worry about all the high tech equipment now needed to pass inspections. I could scarcely believe what I saw on a recent tour of the stables. Not only is the milking process done by machines, there is a computer hookup recording all the data from the milk from each cow. Seriously, there is an instant readout of the butterfat content of the milk from each cow and an immediate indication of any antibiotics lingering in the milk if the cow had been sick. All the information can be accessed by inspectors who can stop delivery of the milk to the dairies.

It became more and more obvious there is no such creature as a simple family farm. Our friend’s family business is worth several million dollars in land, livestock and equipment and it is not particularly large for this part of the country. There has also been an investment in education. Most farmers around here have been to agricultural college so they understand the science of their particular farming operations whether they are dairy farmers, beef farmers or specialists in cash crops.

Fortunately, for our friend’s family, Sheila has a head for business. She is the one who deals with the lawyers who not only specialize in family business, but also understand the particular challenges of agribusiness. The farm is incorporated with all the investments and liabilities clearly identified over the three generations. I, for one, hope this kind of business continues for a few more generations and our friends do not have to sell out to a faceless corporation based on the other side of the world.

My Life in the Countryside

I moved to the Greater Toronto countryside almost ten years ago. In the ten years I have spent here in the country, not once have I regretted moving here. For me, life in the country is so much better than my life in the city. The reason why I am actually writing this article is to give my readers a good picture of my wonderful life here in the Greater Toronto countryside. Many of my readers have been asking me how life is for a middle-aged freelance writer here in the country, and so I am writing this post to answer their questions.

One of the things that make life here in the country so much better than life in the city is the fact that I have a lot of free time. Granted, I work freelance, but even if I weren’t, I would still have a lot of free time in my hands. Country life moves much slower than city life, so even those who work “busy jobs” here aren’t actually that busy. Because of the pace of country life, I believe that it is better for family men like me. Because of its pace, I believe that the country provides the best environment to raise one’s children.

Of course, I don’t wholly spend my free time focused on my family; I also spend some of my free time engaging in my hobbies. During my free time, I engage in various home improvement projects. I am no expert in it, though, so I do get help from local home renovation companies when I’m doing a rather difficult project. Just recently, I renovated my basement with the help of a group of basement finishing contractors GTA citizens trust. The basement renovations contractors made me feel at ease because they collaborated with me throughout the renovation process. In addition to this, they really knew the best materials to use to meet my vision for my basement. Now, I have a really great-looking basement that has become the envy of many of my friends.

Doing home improvement would have been impossible for me had I still been living in the city. In the city, I probably wouldn’t have enough time to pursue such a hobby. In addition, home renovation services generally cost a lot more in the city. When it comes to basement finishing cost. Toronto citizens who live in the countryside have nothing to worry about because it is much cheaper in the countryside.

Hopefully, what I have written here will provide great insights to my readers. Who knows? Maybe what I have written here will make you consider moving to the country too. Whatever the case may be, I can assure all of my readers that all of the people I know who have moved to the country never regretted it. The country offers many great things the city doesn’t. The idea of moving might seem very daunting to you know, but it really isn’t. Once you’ve made the move, you will realize that it’s actually easy.

My Favorite Car Movies You Must Watch

With all the many car movies that hit the film industry, I must say that a lot of people who may or may not own the fastest cars in the world have always been enthralled and excited to watch flicks that star their favorite rides aside from their favorite actors. Well, as a freelancer myself, I can’t help but spend some time watching these films on my free time. When you do freelance, your time is yours and this is what I like best about it. I get to choose when I work or when to just relax and enjoy my favorite films. This was especially the case when I moved from the big city to the country side – life here flows slowly and peacefully so you really get the chance to do the things you love.

Hollywood has showcased quite a number of amazing automobiles in tons of movies through the years, from action flicks to suspense thrillers and even animations. Among these many car flicks, a number has caught my attention and I would like to share them with you now. Here is my list of some of the most notable car films to watch.

American Graffiti (1973)
The movie tells the story of a group of high school friends on a memorable last night cruise. It features cars such as the 1932 Ford Coupe, the 1955 Chevy Impala, the 1951 Mercury coupe, and the 1956 Ford Thunderbird.

The Blues Brothers (1980)
Starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd, the flick is about two brothers trying to raise money to save the orphanage they grew up in and also to revive their rhythm-and-blues band. I like it that this movie also has a more sensitive touch as the brothers strive to accomplish their mission from God. The 1974 Dodge Monaco is the star car for this film. The brothers named it their Bluesmobile.

Cars
This is one of the most charming animated movies I’ve seen and has its story around a hotshot race car named Lightning McQueen who finds himself stranded in a small town and gets to learn life lessons from the town locals that help him become the best race car. This features the Porsche Carrera as the animated race car McQueen, and other animated cars like the Hudson Hornet, and Willys MB to name a few. Audiences of all ages are sure to love this.

The Fast and the Furious
This is probably one of the most popular car flick series of the 21st century that I have continually pursued. The first installation of this film came out in 2001 as it followed the life of an undercover cop on a mission to bust the circle of electronic thieves by immersing himself in the L.A. street-race scene. Among the modified race cars showcased in the film were the Toyota Supra, the Mitsubishi eclipse, Honda Civic, Dodge Charger R/T, Mazda RX-7, Volkswagen Jetta. Paul Walker and Vin Diesel rolled in these hot wheels and that certainly kept all audiences excited. I have thought that with the stunts featured in this film’s race and chase sequences, insurance rates for these high-end fast-rolling wheels would sure cost a fortune especially so if they were in California. It would truly pay to get connected with the right California car insurance provider that offers practical rates for vehicles like this.

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
A story about a car thief that quotas on boosting 48 cars a week after which mayhem follows. This flick stars a number of cars but highlights a certain Mustang Fastback by Ford that is named Eleonor. I find this movie exciting and fast-paced with some see-it-to-believe-it moments.

Grand Prix (1966)
Starring James Garner and Eva Marie Saint, this movie has brought me to the Euro-cool realm of open-wheel racing. It all brings us back to the era when Formula 1 race cars were driven apart from computer controls and stunts were performed with actual cars. The flick shows awesome race car footage for something created in the 1960s.

Living as a Middle-Aged Web Designer in the Whitby Countryside

I love living in the countryside. Some people think I moved here too early at the age of 38, but I don’t think they’re right. I make a good living here as a freelance web designer and I now have more time for the things I value the most in life: my family and creating art. The reason why I am writing this post is because some of my readers have recently been asking me how life in the country is like for a middle-aged freelancer like me. While I can’t speak for anyone else, I can definitely say that I am at my happiest here in the Whitby countryside.

One of the best things about being a web designer in the Whitby countryside is that I don’t have much competition. With regard to my career, the biggest problem I had when I was still living in the city was competition with younger web designers. Most clients from the city simply prefer working with younger web designers. This is not the case here in the Whitby countryside – I have more clients than ever here. I find communicating with my clients here in Whitby much easier – with them, my work is much smoother and I don’t have to make a lot of revisions on the website designs I make.

Aside from having a nice career as a freelance website designer, I now also get to focus on creating art. Even though I had fewer clients in the city, they demanded more work for less pay – this left me with no time at all to focus on art. I’ve always wanted to be an artist back when I was growing up, but the demands of my clients back in the city forced me to forget about it. I am now able to paint to my heart’s content, though. In fact, I have already actually had a few successful shows in the local art gallery. Now that I think about it, moving to the countryside was the only good choice I had back then with regard to my career.

Everything didn’t go smooth though:  when I first moved here, I actually got into a car accident. The driver of the car that hit me was intoxicated at the time – because of this, I was able to successfully pursue legal action against him with the help of a personal injury lawyer in Whitby. Through the Whitby accident attorney, I was able to gain $2 million in damages. It’s really a good thing that I didn’t end up suffering from a permanent disability because of the accident. I was able to walk again after just spending two weeks in the hospital.

Hopefully, this post will give people the idea that living in the country isn’t necessarily bad. Although I cannot speak for anyone else, my story should prove to people that living in the country can be good for some people. If ever moving to the Whitby countryside has crossed your mind, do give it a serious thought. It’s quite possible that you’ll find life here to be better than your life in the city.

Spending Middle Age in the Ajax Countryside

Moving to the countryside was one of the best decisions I made in my life. My life is so much better here in the Ajax countryside. Not many of my old friends realize this, though; many of them think that life in the countryside is dull. This is not true – I am at happiest here. I am actually writing this post because a friend of mine recently asked me if I wanted to move back to the city. I moved here when I was thirty five and in the ten years since then, I have never considered moving back to the city. Life in countryside is not perfect: it has its fair share of ups and downs but hopefully, people who read this post will realize that life in the countryside can be good.

One of the best things about my life here in the countryside is that it is not fast-paced. Aside from the fact that I work as a freelance writer, daily life in the countryside makes for a lifestyle that is much “slower and quieter.” I have more time for leisure and my family now. I can definitely say that moving the Ajax countryside has improved my relationship with my family. I am now much closer to my daughter (even though she’s often away from home because of work) and my relationship with my wife is now stronger than ever. I have to mention that my transition wasn’t smooth, though. I actually got into a slip and fall injury at a local establishment when I first moved here, and I spent two months in rehabilitation. Thankfully, a few friends who happen to be Ajax personal injury lawyers helped me get through that ordeal.

Most of the time, slip and fall injuries are the fault of the injury victim. In my case though, I definitely knew it wasn’t. Proving negligence in slip and fall injuries is very tricky though; people need to have an expert lawyer who can solidify their claim. It’s a good thing my lawyer friends are well-versed in personal injury law – because of them, the establishment that caused my injury paid me more than a few hundred thousand dollars while the insurance for the property I was injured at covered many of my expenses.

Thanks to my personal injury lawyers in Ajax, I was able to get back on track with regard to settling here just a few months after my accident. I am now healthier than ever and I am still able to give my best at work. Thankfully, my slip and fall injuries didn’t result in any permanent disability.

As you can discern from what I shared here, my life in the Ajax countryside isn’t perfect. Still, I think it is the best place for me to spend my middle age. Hopefully, this post will change your mind if you dismiss life in the country as dull. If the thought of moving to the country has ever crossed your mind, do give it a serious thought. Who knows? You might end up being at your happiest here.

Health, Meditation and Friends: 3 Tips to Get Going

Since I moved from the “Big City” and adapted to life in the countryside, I’ve encountered a lot of problems that I never faced in the corporate world. When I had a 9-5 to go to every day, the threat of losing my job was enough to make me jump out of bed each morning and make sure I got to sleep at a reasonable hour each night. My crazy friends kept me constantly entertained whenever I wasn’t working, and I’ve always been big on exercise so I never had a problem with getting motivated at the gym. When I moved away from my crazy friends and that 9-5 job to turn over a new life as a country-ish freelancer, things changed. I was my own boss, so I had to figure out how to stay motivated to get work done when getting fired isn’t a possibility. I was in a new (small) town and hadn’t made friends quickly, so I didn’t socialize very much and got bored often. A few months after I made the move, I was regretting it. I was in a rut and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to climb out of it.

I couldn’t move back to the city. That would take time and money and a willingness to admit to all my friends that I couldn’t do what I so proudly proclaimed I would do. So I stuck it out, and in the process I came up with a 3 step process for getting out of a rut.

Step 1: Pay attention to your health

If you’re not healthy, you’re not going to be productive and you’re certainly not going to be happy. One of my biggest problems when I first moved out to the countryside was that I was out of shape, smoking two packs a day, and slightly depressed. In making my first local friend, I got into rowing, which whipped me into shape and helped relieve the mild depression. I discovered that the more I moved around, the less I wanted to smoke and wound up quitting cigarettes three months later. I also found out that I had an umbilical hernia and underwent surgery to have a mesh implanted. If you’re a woman, hernias aren’t your only worry. Get checked for pelvic organ prolapse. You may need a transvaginal mesh implant before you start an active lifestyle. For more information on transvaginal mesh devices: http://www.transvaginalmeshdevice.com.

Step 2: Meditate

One of the biggest things that got me out of my rut was that I began to meditate so that I could live more “in the moment”. See, I had developed a nasty habit of living in the past and worrying about the future. With meditation, I began to live in the moment – and I was a lot happier and more productive as a result.

Step 3: Make Friends

Ultimately, it was the relationships that I built with my neighbors that allowed me to transition to a happy life in the countryside. Whether you live in the heart of New York City or in the far reaches of Alaska, it’s important to invest the time to develop social relationships. Friends and family can pull you out of a rut even when everything else you do just won’t do the trick.

Pay attention to your health, start meditating and living in the moment, and make friends. You’ll be happier and more productive, and you’ll wonder how you could have ever found yourself in a rut in the first place.