Books

Surviving a Long Commute & Public Transit Nightmares

Traffic, public transit, smelly commuters, loud talkers and angry drivers… You know the feeling, am I right?!

This blog post was inspired by my favorite website Apartment Therapy where they review the 5 Ways Smart People Survive a Long Commute.

As per a study by Statistics Canada: “In the six largest metropolitan areas, the average commuting time was 44 minutes for public transit users and 27 minutes by car.”

I guess I’m far from the average commuter since my daily public transit commute is approximately 2.5 hours, and 40 minutes on the weekends. Which is an average total of 750 minutes of commute time each week. Cue the tears…

I don’t have a driver’s license, so taking the bus really is my only option. I’ve been taking the bus for most of my life, and luckily I’ve found several ways to make the most of my time productive and enjoyable.

    1. Music

If I don’t have my headphones with me, I’m basically miserable, so I’ve made the habit of checking my bag before I leave the house each day. I plug them in and listen to my favorite tunes all the way to my office. Lately, my playlists consists of Justin Bieber (I’m not even slightly embarrassed about him being the first on my list), Iggy Azalea (working on my shiiiit), The Weekend (especially when it’s rainy, so soothing), Lana Del Rey (duh) and random oldies.

  1. Podcasts

The great thing about podcasts is you can actually download them to your device instead of streaming them on the bus! I mostly listen to Tim Ferris, Call Your Girlfriend, The Mystery Show and my new favorite The Meditation Podcast, any time I feel anxious, nervous or frustrated, I put my headphones in and listen to their 8 minute podcast and I feel a thousand times better.

  1. Lists

Lists, oh how I love making lists. I plan my day, I plan my evening, I plan my week, I plan everything, and it helps keep me on track and I usually avoid forgetting things… Usually… I put everything in the Notes section of my phone, and set daily reminders for things I absolutely can’t forget. If you can’t already tell, I’m a very forgetful person.

  1. E-books

I LOVE E-books! Unfortunately in the last couple of years I’ve become nauseated from reading in a moving vehicle, that’s when I discovered E-books. The last one I read was Furiously Happy, which I recommend times a million to anyone who deals, or knows someone that deals with mental illness.

  1. Naps

I’m not even kidding, sometimes I definitely get some sleep on my way in to work. I’m not a morning person, don’t judge me. It’s never a full REM sleep obviously, but I feels good to close my eyes. And luckily (knock on wood) I’ve never missed my stop.

Now, for the totally unacceptable things to do in public transit:

Disclaimer, if you do any of these things, you’re a terrible human being.

  1. Cut your nails. I’ve actually seen this happen more often than I would like to admit, and I mean I’ve even seen people take their socks off and cut their toe nails. DON’T EVER DO THIS.
  2. Lounge. By all means, read your book, I have no issue with that, but understand that this isn’t your sofa, I do not want your elbows on my person, so GTFO.
  3. Argue on the phone. Listen if you’re on the phone, I don’t care, that’s why I have headphones, but do not yell on your phone swearing about how your brother ate the entire bag of Cheetos last night. True story.
  4. Eggs. Nothing makes me want to puke more in the morning than someone eating hard-boiled eggs on the bus. COMMON NOW!
alice-face-palm-featured

#facepalm

Let me know the things you do to pass the time on your commute into work! I’d love to add somethings to my list! And share any horror stories you’ve witnessed on the bus or other public transit – we can console each other about how messed up some people are.

Happy Monday everyone!

Amanda Kayla Liberty | Blog | Video Games

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I am Still Learning

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Lazy Learners.”

I would like to introduce this post by giving myself a solid tap on the back. I’m 26 years old, I work 2 jobs and I go to University part-time. In the past couple of months alone, I’ve accomplished a lot of things on my to-do list:

  • Starting a blog (oh, hello!)
  • Starting to paint and attempting to sell my art
  • Being more physically active

So, to say I consider myself a “lazy learner” wouldn’t be fair, I’ve done a lot of reading, research and experimenting to get me where I am today.

To be brutally honest though, there are a whole list of things that I haven’t gotten around to learning, and I’m a bit ashamed of them:

  • Learning how to drive
  • Learning how to swim
  • Learning a new language
  • Taking a sewing lesson
  • Taking a class in graphic design

In all cases I did some legwork to get myself going, such as watch YouTube videos, read my driver’s manual, use the Duolingo application on a daily basis, but I truly haven’t crossed any of these things off my list. Is it in part laziness? Probably. But, I think it’s more likely that in the grand scheme of things, none of these were my top priorities.

Unfortunately, I did waste a lot of time. The majority of my early twenties was spent being the laziest human on earth. A story for another day…

But in the past 2 to 3 years, I’ve grown as an individual, I’ve truly accomplished so much in such little time, and for that I am very proud of myself.

No one can do it all, it’s impossible. But progress is key.

Remember that not everyone learns the same way. If your first method didn’t work – don’t give up, try a different way.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Library Card

Recently, while I was rummaging through the belongings I had left behind at my parents’ house, I stumbled upon my old library card. For a moment I wondered why I had left it with my most treasured items, which included birthday cards, photo booth pictures, movie stamps and handmade ornaments.

In one swift moment I was brought back to the exact day I got my very own library card. In that moment, it was the most amazing thing I owned, the most important item in my wallet.

I have my wonderful parents to thank for my love of literature. I can clearly recall the time my Dad told me that allowing myself time to read was the best gift I could give myself. And he was absolutely right. My parents have always had an amazing collection of books, shelves filled with colorful books all different shapes and sizes. I remember staring at those shelves, knowing that each was filled with different stories, and I knew that one day I wanted my own home library.

There is one book, that I still don’t own, but I rented it from the library over and over again. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney. It was my favorite book. I read the first chapters in the isle nearest to the audio books. I sat on the floor with my back against the large bookshelf, and I read. I was completely captivated. If my friend hadn’t interrupted so that we could leave, I probably would have sat there until I finished the entire book.

I also remember a time I went to the library with my Mom to rent multiple books on planets, space shuttles, and the universe. My Mom and I sat for hours building a project for my 6th grade Science class. This is one of my fondest memories of school. During the time we spent, reading, writing, preparing and practicing my presentation, my Mom really taught me how to write, how to express myself and how to captivate an audience with confidence and just enough humor. I got an A+ on that project, so good that my teacher asked me to present my project to the other 6th grade class. I was so proud.

No – I was over the moon.

Another important moment in my life, was the first time I really told myself that I wanted to be an artist. I went to the library and sat in one of the desks in the back, equipped with drawing pencils that my Grandpa had given me, and a book on Michelangelo’s artwork. I doodled in my sketch book for the entire afternoon.

These might only be a handful of memories, but all these memories, all these stories, they all began with a library card.

Let me know which books you’ve been loving lately!

Beans Now, Steak Later

“Beans Now, Steak Later”, after hearing this for the first time, I was initially puzzled. What did this mean? Oh great… now I’m hungry, and I really want a steak.

The basic principle behind the saying is that, if you live simply now, later on in life you will be able to enjoy life’s pleasures without worry – in this case, a steak. As much as this sounds like an exaggeration, this actually comes from a true story. In Kevin O’Leary’s book Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women & Money, he writes about a time he met an elderly man from Minneapolis. He explains, that he ate beans for over 5 years, and after he paid off his mortgage, he bought himself a steak.

I found myself partially troubled by this idea. When I was younger I was told to save, and that later on in life I would be able to enjoy my savings, travel, and do whatever I pleased. However, when I became old enough to start making my own opinions about life, I started to fear living for tomorrow, and began to live with the mantra “live each day to the fullest”.

Now, at 26 years old, I wish I would have found a balance between both those ideas. Because yes, life is about balance. Living within your means, but enjoying every day to its fullest. The thing I didn’t understand as a teenager, and still struggle with today, is that, living every day to its fullest, doesn’t mean always having to spend money. I, along with many other people, need to learn to embrace and treasure the simple things in life, every single day – and that, is living each day to its fullest.

Beyond my internal debate on the matter, I still believe there is something real, something honest in “Beans Now, Steak Later”. Personally, what I would like to take from it is that, today, you might struggle, you might be doing certain things you’d rather not be doing, but one day, everything you have accomplished, and all the hard work you put in, all of it was moving you towards your ultimate goal, whatever that may be.

Now, go seize the day!

Hot Yoga & “Super Better”

Well… My 6:30 AM Hot Yoga class kicked my ass this morning. I don’t think I’ve ever been that sweaty in my entire life. It was excruciating… But absolutely worth it.

To be fair, I’m very new at yoga practice, and I am not flexible to begin with. This makes this entire process a lot of work for me. BUT, I’m sticking to it, and enjoying it more and more each day.

This is the yoga studio I’ve been visiting lately:

PranaShanti Yoga Centre
52 Armstrong Street, Ottawa
Twitter: @pranashanti

In other exciting news… This morning I pre-ordered Super Better by Jane McGonigal, and I am Super Excited, haha. The book will be released September 15th, 2015, but you can pre-order it here on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=super+better

Super Better by Jane McGonigal

Super Better by Jane McGonigal

I was first introduced to Jane McGonigal in Tim Ferris’ podcast: Jane McGonigal on Getting More Done with Less Stress and The Health Benefits of Gaming.

Basically, she does a lot of research that involves the health benefits associated with playing video games – and that of course, is right up my alley!

Where can I sign up to be a part of this research?!

Have a lovely Tuesday! xx