Why Burmese Cats Are The Best

Taiko, a Platinum American Burmese Male – My first Burmese love…

Since 1986, I have had fourteen different cats, and cannot imagine life without felines in my household. Seven of the cats I had have been of mixed breed, while the other seven were purebred. Of those pure breeds, I have had a Blue Point Birman (Natasha, 1991-2000), a Snow Bengal (Abbey, 2002-2005), a Scottish Fold (Sophie, 2000-2010), one European Burmese (Kazu, born in 2009 and part of my current brood), and three American Burmese (Taiko 2001-2009, Tenshi, born in 2008, Koji, born in 2021). From the moment I brought Taiko, a platinum male, home, I actually enjoyed how intensely social and needy Taiko was, and I completely fell in love with his doglike personality, which I quickly learned was characteristic of Burmese cats. It was enough to solidify my preference for Burmese cats, and now I insist on always having Burmese cats in my life.

Tenshi, my Blue American Burmese Male

Burmese cats truly are extremely friendly, need to be around their humans the majority of the time, and are so drawn to laps that they are referred to as “lap Velcro”. Having lived with Burmese since 2001, I can definitely vouch for the fact that these felines are attention whores, which is quite the opposite of what some cat haters think about cat temperament. My cats are social, playful, gentle, and intelligent, and they often want to cuddle, sometimes when I am trying to do housework or telemedicine! I’m also accustomed to having all my cats on my bed at some point during every night, and I will usually wake up with Kazu right next to me. These cats have tons of personality!

Kazu, my Cream European Burmese Female

There are some minor physical differences between American Burms and European Burms, such as head shape (American Burms have more rounded skulls, while European Burms have a slight wedge shape), and there are colors which are unique to E Burms (such as Cream, which is what my Kazu is), but both Burmese versions are very similar and also feature the same loveable personality profile. It is much more difficult to find European Burmese breeders in the United States, so if you have your heart set on an E Burm, you will probably have to travel out of state to find one.

Koji, my Sable American Burmese Male

The following are breed descriptions from CFA.org and TICA.org respectively. The CFA recognizes the American Burmese, while TICA recognizes the European Burmese.

AMERICAN BURMESE BREED DESCRIPTON:

The Burmese breed first came to America in 1930 when Dr. Joseph Thompson of San Francisco brought a small walnut brown female cat from Burma. He named her Wong Mau and bred her to Siamese cats. Through selective breeding the unique solid brown colored coat, now known as Sable, was isolated. This work demonstrated that these Burmese cats were a distinct breed and ultimately led the breeders to request championship recognition from the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). Along the way, the other colors seen in the Siamese breed were also seen in litters. Over time and with much controversy, these other colors were accepted by CFA. The four colors we now recognize in CFA are Sable, a rich dark brown; Champagne, a warm beige; Platinum, a pale gray with fawn undertones; and Blue, a medium gray with fawn undertones.

Burmese cats carry surprising weight for their size. Their coats are short and close-lying, and they have a very silky texture. They need very little grooming, usually requiring only some daily petting. You will see a range of styles of Burmese cats, with those with rounder heads and shorter bodies being the show cats. Their large, expressive eyes radiate an innocence that will seduce you, and they have an irresistible appeal that has won over many a person who thought he didn’t like cats. Burmese cats have an endearing quality that has won the hearts of those lucky enough to be owned by one. They have great affection for their people, wanting to be with them as much as possible without being overly demanding. Many Burmese will even play fetch with a toy, given the chance.

Burmese kittens can be quite spirited. They are playful and fearless, attempting feats beyond their means and landing on their sturdy little rear ends. A Burmese kitten will remain playful well into adulthood. As they mature, their unique intelligence will reveal itself as their personalities unfold. They will soon grow into confident and charming little executives who will rule the house and your heart. Burmese are soft-spoken beings who have little trouble making their wishes known. They adore their people and are known for being good with children as well as liking (or at least tolerating) the family dog. Burmese are extremely people-oriented companions. Their personalities are almost dog-like. They will follow you from room to room, and they greatly desire to give and receive affection. They seek out warm laps and gentle strokes of your hand, and they love to snuggle up with their owners when they are reading or watching TV. Come bedtime they look forward to sleeping in or on your bed if allowed. Burmese are convinced that it is their job to run the house. Females tend to demand center stage and take an active role in managing the household. Males on the other hand tend to be more relaxed, managing from a comfortable spot on your lap. Be forewarned – Burmese cats can be addictive! It is not uncommon for someone to acquire a Burmese and find one is not enough. Many people ultimately have two or more Burmese, one of each gender or of different colors. Being one of the most trusting cat breeds, Burmese should never be allowed outside.  https://cfa.org/burmese/

EUROPEAN BURMESE BREED DESCRIPTION:

Burmese can be found in a range of solid and tortoiseshell colors: rich, dark sable brown; medium, warm blue; warm, honey beige chocolate with pink or fawn tints; lilac that ranges in tone from a bright pinkish grey to a silvery platinum with pink tints; reds of a light, golden apricot with melon-orange overtones; rich, warm deep creams with hints of apricot; and the soft mingling of red or cream with sable, chocolate, blue or lilac found in the tortoiseshells. In young cats, the points will be darker but as the cat gets older and the coat matures the body color becomes deeper and richer until there is only a very slight difference between its body and the color on the legs, head and tail. On Mar 29 1955, the first blue Burmese kitten, Sealcoat Blue Surprise, was born in England. Cats other than sable had appeared earlier, but most Burmese breeders chose to breed only the sable cats. It is now believed that Wong Mau also carried the genes for dilution and chocolate that resulted in the appearance of chocolate, blue and lilac kittens. The red factor was added later in Europe. The Burmese was one of the original breeds TICA recognized in June 1979.

Remove Your Shoes Please!

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I grew up in a shoes-off household, which meant that as soon as anyone stepped into my home, they had to remove their shoes and leave them at the front door. Throughout my childhood, I noticed that none of my friends removed their shoes while in their homes, but then again, none of whom were Asian. In stark contrast, I noticed that the habit of removing shoes, sandals, and boots was always followed by my mom’s Asian friends, as well as by my relatives (also Asian) in Hawaii. I soon noticed that the floors in my friends’ homes didn’t feel nearly as clean on my bare feet as the ones in my own apartment, since they didn’t practice the same ritual my Japanese-American mother and I did. What I ended up doing in my friends’ homes was either keep my shoes on, or I would keep my socks on if I was wearing any when I visited them. To be honest, I always felt that it was so much cleaner to be in the habit of removing shoes once entering a residence, and this is something I continue to practice to this day. Since I am also the person who usually cleans the floors, rugs and carpets in my house, I have become a stickler for ensuring that no one enters in shoes which have traversed sidewalks, driveways, lawns which are teeming with all kinds of nasty gunk.

These days, I even go so far as to ask service technicians who enter my home to either remove their work boots, or to wear shoe covers, if they intend to conduct work inside the house. Before you accuse me of being extreme in my desire to keep my abode clean, keep in mind that back in July of 2021, a central air service technician tracked so much dirt and oil into my bedroom that it took me two sessions to remove all the stains from my bedroom carpet. Shortly after that, I ordered disposable shoe covers and have them right at the foyer for convenience.

Copyright: Elenathewise

Even with the shoes-off policy in my home, I still notice dust and dirt on my floors, and since I have pets, there is also the issue of shedding hair which accumulates. The last thing I want is to worry about when I clean the floors every week is chemicals, dog feces, and various microbes being introduced to my house via outdoor footwear. A study conducted by the University of Arizona discovered that 96% of soles of shoes were found to harbor fecal matter, which is picked up from the floors of public restrooms, as well as bird droppings and dog feces from asphalt, concrete, grass and soil. When you wear your shoes inside your house, you are spreading all of that bacteria, most notably E. coli, over all of your floors. Not only do you have to worry about germs, you also need to be aware of how many chemicals we track into our homes with our shoes, from gasoline which we pick up while pumping gas at a gas station, to carcinogenic chemicals which are used on lawns, and the list goes on.

Why not improve your indoor environment with a simple step and implement a no-shoes policy when you are inside your house? You’ll be rewarded with a cleaner home and will decrease your exposure to potentially harmful substances.

Establishing A Car Fund

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Since getting a car, whether new or used, is a major purchase, it makes sense to anticipate the financial outlay well in advance by setting funds aside. If you have a plan of attack, you can either put away enough money for a down payment on a vehicle, or even amass enough cash to purchase a car outright with no financing. I was so determined to pay cash for my next set of wheels that when I purchased my current car in April of 2017 after the 24-month lease ended, I began saving up for the next car by earmarking contributions in a specially designated car fund. I now have enough set aside to purchase a moderately priced new or gently used vehicle when the time comes. Granted, I was extremely aggressive and determined when I began saving up, but I now know that it is indeed possible to self-finance a car purchase.

Copyright: 3rus

Even if you can’t save up enough money for a cash purchase, a chunk of change could nicely cover a down payment, thus lowering the total amount which ends up being financed. I ended up intuitively setting up a high yield savings account and have been making monthly investments for the past five years, a technique which is actually recommended by financial experts. The other thing I kept in mind when figuring out how much to set aside each month was the value of the vehicle which I would most likely purchase in the future. When I got any additional small windfalls, I would add those monies to the fund. Lastly, another thing which I made sure to do was to set up a car repairs fund in high yield savings so that I would be prepared if I ran into any unexpected repair bills on my current ride.

For more detailed information on whether to buy new or used, or to buy versus lease (though I NEVER advise anyone to lease a vehicle), you can check out this article:

https://www.investopedia.com/how-to-save-for-a-car-5184740

Financial Wellness

Copyright: tzido

*Note: This is an updated version of an article which I had posted back in September of 2020, entitled Do Your Finances Need A Tune-Up?

Now that restrictions are lifting after the COVID pandemic and lockdown from 2020, we are now in an especially critical situation due to the financial beating and recession which has negatively impacted the majority of the population. Whether you are someone who already had emergency funds and retirement savings in place before the pandemic hit, or you are hoping to finally start setting aside those funds for the future, it is important for you to review your financial health on a regular basis and to find ways to protect yourself so that you are prepared for any potential financial emergency. What if you don’t know where to start? The most important principles to follow in the quest for financial health include paying down debt, establishing an emergency fund, finding other means to generate income, and continuing to contribute to retirement accounts.  Another vital component in good financial health is establishing a budget and really examining your spending habits.  Almost invariably, people find out after they create a budget that they are spending money needlessly on frills that they don’t need.  By eliminating those hidden money drains, it becomes easier to cover living expenses, thus reducing some of the stress involved in getting by financially.

I have had a budget in place for over 30 years, and I have seen the power it wields.  By following a budget, I was able to pay down all credit card debt, pay off a car, establish an emergency fund, and put money aside for retirement, so I know it can all be done.  I have lived without credit card debt or a car note for almost a decade now, and I will never fall back into the debt trap ever again. I am also acutely aware of my budget at all times, and I review it on an almost weekly basis to make sure I am on track. The emergency financial cushions which I have established give me peace of mind, because I have successfully created and maintained my own safety nets. By no means am I wealthy, but I know that I am not in any precarious financial waters either.

Source: pigly.com

If you need help in establishing a budget, you can use a budget calculator. I found a wonderful budget calculator on Pigly.com which is very easy to use, and extremely thorough.  It helps you break down all expenses, from the essentials to debts and savings so you can target all your goals and ensure that your income is allocated optimally. All you have to do is plug in your income, and the calculator will automatically generate a low end and high end for all the categories.  So even if you have never established a budget before, you can set one up instantly.

When budgeting, don’t be afraid to contribute to your retirement accounts right now, as long as you have your debts paid down and you have an emergency fund in place.  I am a big proponent of Dave Ramsey’s investing philosophy, and I am grateful that I educated myself on financial wellness and dug myself out of what once seemed like a desperate situation.  It was only after I had paid off all of my credit cards and established an emergency fund back in 2013 that I began aggressively started putting money aside for retirement.

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Copyright : Romolo Tavani

The fact is, we are living in uncertain times, and need to be prepared for whatever hits.  By buttressing our financial health, getting creative with income streams, and following a budget, we will be better equipped to survive the ebb and flow of the current economy.

How to Live More Health-Conscious Without Worrying About Your Wallet

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By Camille Johnson

Many people are finding it tougher than usual to make ends meet nowadays. So much so, that the thought of leading a healthier lifestyle has become more of a burden than an opportunity to lead a better quality of life. So, if you’ve been wanting to cut your unhealthy habits but were worried about how it could affect your disposable income, Dr. Stacey Naito weighs in on how to adopt a cost-effective healthy way of living.

Relook at your health insurance options

One of the perks of leading a healthier lifestyle is that you probably won’t get as sick as often, and you won’t need to see the doctor as much. Therefore, why not explore your options as far as health insurance goes and find a plan with lower premiums such as a High Deductible Health Plan, for instance. Not only will your premium amount be reduced, but you could also qualify for a Health Savings Plan where you can save even more money because of certain tax-deductible advantages that come with having this plan. Plus, you can even use a Health Savings Plan as an investment for when you retire.

You don’t have to pay restaurant prices

Maybe you’ve grown more fond of cooking home-cooked customized meals than you thought you would. And you’ve been left wondering why you ever had to resort to restaurants or takeout to get the nutrients you require. Furthermore, perhaps you’ve noticed the positive impact it’s had on your budget too, which makes it the perfect time to ditch dining out and rather save the extra money you would have spent at restaurants on creating a personalized eating plan for yourself.

Why drive when you can cycle?

Ever experienced the world from a cyclist’s point of view? If not, then perhaps you should skip driving to work all together and take the bike instead. If your commute is too far, you could opt to take an electric bike instead so that you don’t have to cycle all the way. You’ll not only be saving on fuel costs, but you’ll also be getting fitter, and you’ll be helping to save the environment too.

Of course, you could even make money with your new, more healthy lifestyle. Some of these money-making ideas could include:

Changing your shopping habits

Buying healthier foodstuffs doesn’t have to be as expensive as it looks. In fact, with just a few simple changes to your shopping habits, you can still enjoy all your favorite fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and healthy grains by taking advantage of special discounts along the way. Or you could even decide to buy some of your more healthy non-perishables in bulk to reap the benefits of cost savings in this way.  Or why not grow your own fruits and vegetables to drastically reduce the cost of your food bill every month?

Enjoy the outdoors for free!

If you have access to parks, outdoor gyms, jogging trails, etc. why not make use of these free activities to enhance your fitness levels even more? Furthermore, you’re more likely to stick with outdoor fitness activities because, for one, the outdoors is usually more varied and interesting, you could make friends along the way, and it’s better for your lungs, etc.

Making money with your newfound passion for leading a healthier life

Perhaps, you’ve found your real passion in your pursuit to lead a healthier lifestyle. You could then build a business around this and generate even more income besides savings on general expenses. For example, you could earn extra money through affiliate marketing if blogging is something you’re interested in doing. Or maybe opening up your own eCommerce store that sells gym equipment and workout gear has more of a ring to it. Either way (and amongst other things) you’ll want a professional-looking invoice to send to clients when they are due to pay. 

An online invoice generator can help with this by allowing you to design a customized invoice that you can tweak as you see fit, including inserting your special logo, personalizing your color scheme as well as adding any other important information on their premade templates.

In conclusion, living healthier is going to be an exercise (excuse the pun). But it doesn’t have to be draining on your income by any means. In fact, it could be quite the opposite if you know to adjust your existing lifestyle wisely.

Boot Crazy

Jeffrey Campbell Embellished Boot

I’ve loved boots as far back as I can remember, and eagerly anticipated obtaining my first pair, which finally happened at the age of 12 when my favorite cousin at the time gave me a pair of knee high boots for my birthday. They were made of buttery soft leather, were a warm camel in color, and they made me feel like the sassiest 12 year old on the planet. I managed to beat those boots up because I wore them so much.

Once I hit my 30’s, I developed a fixation on over the knee boots, but never ended up buying a pair until I was in my early 40’s. After I purchased my first pair of over the knee boots, I was hooked, but I also still enjoyed boots of any length. At this point in my life, I have eleven pairs of over the knee boots, seven of which are black, two of which are gray, and a red pair. The boots which I wear the most frequently are low heeled black suede over the knee boots, and I continue to be tempted to wear them even though they are finally starting to show signs of wear after four years of ownership.

Jeffrey Campbell Cattle Western Boot

This year, I realized that I hadn’t purchased any boots in four years, so I purchased a very distinctive pair of knee high boots, and shortly afterwards, I received a second pair of knee high boots as a gift. Both pairs of boots were designed by Jeffrey Campbell, are incredibly well made, and are very comfortable. Two pairs of new boots are enough to satisfy my boot cravings for a while.

Daily Duolingo Sessions

My streak as of March 17, 2022

As of today, April 12th, I have completed a 567 day streak on Duolingo, and I have every intention of continuing my daily language practice on the user friendly app. I began this streak with Japanese and Spanish as my daily languages, and added Portuguese at the beginning of March because I want to have some familiarity with the language when I visit Portugal in May. Duolingo is an excellent app for brushing up on languages or even learning a new one, and Duolingo Plus is only $84 per year. For that price, you can practice as many languages as you’d like.

I have practiced a bunch of languages, besides the ones I mentioned previously, on Duolingo over the past several years (French, German, Hungarian, Latin, Italian, and Hawaiian), and I love the fact that I can jump back into practicing any of those languages if I’d like. Though I took French and Latin in high school, I am rusty in those languages, and I only know a small amount of Hungarian, German, Italian, and Hawaiian. It is important for me to polish my Spanish speaking and reading skills constantly, not only because I was immersed in it when I would visit my dad and his children from his second marriage, but also because I don’t want to lose the skills I learned from Spanish classes I took throughout grade school, high school and college. I also feel a responsibility to learn as much Japanese as I can, since I am half Japanese, took Japanese in college, and intend to visit Japan again in the future.

Duolingo truly is a fantastic way to learn any language which is in their system. I highly recommend it!

Captured By Fragrance

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Several months ago, I read a book entitled The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr, which mainly explores the life and work of scientist Luca Turin. Luca Turin has made an indelible mark on the world of scent theory because he believes in a different concept of how we smell, and backs up his belief with hard science. What I did not expect while reading this book was that I learned how deeply immersed Turin is in the world of fine fragrance, to such an extent that he wrote a well respected perfume guide.

As I continued to read The Emperor of Scent, I became intensely curious about several fragrances which have been touted the world’s best scents. Turin’s description of Chamade by Guerlain captured me so intensely that I blind purchased two tiny vintage bottles of the extrait, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed, because the fragrance is sublime.

Une note de départ verte et anodine donne le coup d’ envoi à un miracle qui se produit sur plusiers heures, voire plusiers jours. A green and somewhat nondescript top note launches a miracle that happens over several hours, even several days. As soon as the initial fog dissipates, a splendid form appears, all of one piece, smooth and seamless, a strong white note, powdery and sculptural, that strengthens without losing complexity until complete evaporation. Typically Guerlain in its flattering and tender character, Chamade is nevertheless a haughty perfume, pure and distant and miles away from the slightly catty chic of Jicky and Shalimar. Its tenacity is prodigious, and one would believe it conceived to be smelled two days later. Put it on at least two hours before asking it to have its effect.

A masterpiece of elegance and poetry. One of the greatest perfumes of all time.”

How could I pass up an opportunity to obtain Chamade after reading Turin’s description?

I became obsessed with finding other vintage fragrances, such as Diorissimo (Dior) and L’Interdit (Givenchy), and also found other lovely scents which are currently being produced. However, I always try to get the vintage versions, because the newer iterations are never exactly the same as the originals. I also try to get the extrait or the eau de parfum instead of the EDT because of the staying power of perfume formulations.

I ended up finding a vintage bottle of Diorissimo EDP, which is a gorgeous expression of lily-of-the-valley, but sadly, it doesn’t last on my skin. I kept a bottle of the original L’Interdit (1957) which my mother had in her collection, and I have noted a difference between the vintage version and the bottle which I recently purchased. Nevertheless, the modern take on L’Interdit is absolutely lovely when mixed with my body chemistry.

I also found other fragrances during my recent foray into the world of scent, and stumbled upon the lovely floral Mon Guerlain (Guerlain), and the intense Sublime (Jean Patou). I revisited Byblos (Byblos) which I had kept from my mom’s collection, as well as J’Adore (Dior). Another fragrance which I absolutely love is a brand new offering from Givenchy called Irrestistible Fresh, which is a beautiful light fruity/floral.

The one mistake I made was in blind purchasing Joy (Jean Patou) based on the fact that it is the most expensive fragrance in the world. When I received the bottle in the mail, I spritzed some on my pulse points, and immediately became concerned because I could smell an imminent funk from the mixture. In addition, it was heady stuff, very grandma-esque, and just not my style. I waited for a half hour for the fragrance to meld with my body, and all I could think of was how much I wanted to jump in the shower to wash it off! The clincher for me was when my kitten approached me, took one whiff, and made swipes with his paw on the sofa as if to cover the results of a recent potty session. I took another sniff, and realized that Joy had turned into something that smelled like cat urine on me, thanks to the civet which is part of the base of the legendary scent. I returned it immediately.

Now I am just experimenting with the various fragrances I have in my collection, and will switch up my scent depending on my mood, the weather, or what I plan to do later that day. And though Marc Jacobs’ Daisy Eau So Fresh is still my go to daily fragrance, I am truly enjoying the variety which the new additions to my fragrance collection are providing.

Hot Today, Cold Tomorrow

I’ve lived in California my entire life, and have enjoyed the state’s history of relatively predictable weather patterns over the decades. Unlike the crazy fluctuations which I have heard about from other parts of the U.S., central and southern California have always exhibited climate patterns which were pretty reliable. We could generally rely on pleasant daytime temperatures during the spring, hot summer days, a return to temperate conditions in the fall, and cold days and evenings in the middle of winter.

I know that other regions of the country, particularly the midwest, tend to experience differences in daily temperatures which are so extreme that it is possible to wear shorts and a t-shirt one day, and thermals and a winter overcoat the next. As an example of the random weather forecasts I have witnessed in the midwest, I endured the weather patterns very similar to the following numerous times when I visited Columbus, Ohio:

Monday 73°/47°

Tuesday 75°/55°

Wednesday 57°/40°

Thursday 59°/38°

Friday 68°/41°

Saturday 59°/47°

Sunday 52°/38°

Monday 64°/42°

Tuesday 73°/43°

Wednesday 59°/39°

For the past several years, the weather patterns in southern California have been similarly erratic, and it can be downright confusing to try to figure out how to dress on a given day. I became even more aware of the large daily temperature fluctuations when our central heat/air stopped functioning in February, because for a period of two weeks, the temperature inside our home was reflective of the ambient temperature outside. During the first four days, the high temperature in my area was 54 degrees Fahrenheit, then crept up to the mid 60’s for two days. Then we had a small heat wave for 3 days which caused the mercury to jump to the upper 80’s. Then suddenly, the temperature plummeted to the mid to upper 50’s during the day. Low temps during that two week period ranged between 37 degrees and 55 degrees, so bundling up at night was imperative.

One habit which I had to develop over the past few years as a result of the erratic climate is to dress in layers, a habit which I had already begun to cultivate when I went through menopause and was managing my random hot flashes. Gone are the days when I was able to put away my summer clothing during the colder months, because the temperature can run from a brisk 54 degrees in the early morning to a balmy 91 degrees by midday (see screenshot at top of this blogpost for an actual weather forecast for my area infrom earlier this month). The fact that we can have a high temp of 70 degrees one day, then a high temp of 90 degrees three days later, is pretty maddening.

Goals to Give You the Confidence to Return to the World

Image: Pixabay

Check out this inspiring and motivating article written by Camille Johnson on how to get back in gear after being on lockdown for so long.

Do you lack the confidence to re-enter the world after being indoors for an extended period of time? Maybe you lost your job due to the pandemic and are just now going back to work. Or maybe you were affected by lockdowns and are just now finding it safe to socialize again. Whatever the reason, it’s important to make sure you are confident enough to get back into the swing of things. Employ the tips below to help you build the confidence you need to overcome your fears.

Build your confidence and fitness with customized nutrition and fitness programs from Stacey Naito!

The Importance of Setting Goals

Setting goals is one of the most important parts of any lifestyle change. With just a few small changes, it’s possible to dramatically improve your life.

Many people have trouble setting and achieving their goals. This is because they don’t have a clear idea of what they want or need in their lives.

To avoid this, create a list of goals to give yourself the confidence you need to take on the world again. You could create lists with short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals that will help you reach your ultimate goal: happiness!

Reduce Debt, Reduce Stress

Debt is a major source of stress for many people, with 47% of Americans feeling overwhelmed by their debt. While there are a number of factors contributing to the level of debt Americans hold, one major factor is student loans.

Some people might believe that they are not able to take on more debt as they try to pay off existing balances. However, there are ways you can reduce your debt while still saving money, such as refinancing your home.

Refinancing allows qualified homeowners to decrease the equity in their homes and free up cash or reduce their monthly mortgage payments. Additionally, refinancing can be beneficial if you’re looking to take out a different type of loan. For instance, some people refinance a low-interest mortgage for one with an even lower rate.

Go Back to School

Oftentimes, people stop going to school when they get married and have children or they simply start to feel overwhelmed with life. But if you’re interested in progressing in your career, then why not consider going back to school?

Back in the day, it was common for people to care for their kids as a stay-at-home mom. In today’s society, women and men work outside the home. That said, being a working parent can be extremely difficult, and sometimes it might seem like there isn’t an alternative.

Fortunately, there is hope! Going back for an online degree in business, criminal justice, or nursing allows you to complete your education in a more flexible way. It also offers a lot of perks, such as:

  • The ability to balance work, family, and school
  • Not having to commute every day
  • Learning at your own pace
  • No dorm fees

If you’re considering going back to school for a degree or certificate program, now is the perfect time. It’s an investment that can pay off for years to come in higher wages and better job prospects.

In Closing

Setting goals, both short and long term, is not only a great way to stay on track, but it gives you the confidence to return to the world. When you are clear about what you are trying to accomplish, it’s easier to plan a course of action.