Sunday, April 5, 2020

5 Ways to plan for life after Quarantine

Overnight my life in New Orleans, Louisiana changed as the USA responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was laid off from my job, athletic competitions I was scheduled to compete in are canceled, and spring workshops I planned to speak at were postponed indefinitely as I watched the stock market crash. How do we plan for life after quarantine? WE MAKE A PLAN! The following are 5 ways I recommend implementing systems in your lifestyle that will benefit your future.

1.) What Is Your Monthly Budget?
  • What is your checking & savings balance?
  • What are your recurring monthly bills (car, house, phone, nutritional, medical, ect.) and the estimated monthly charge?
  • Do you have any nonessential membership fees you can cancel?
Once you have this information, you can make a strategic plan for the foundation of your coming months. To be honest-I wanted to know approximately how long I had till I could potentially exhaust my financial resources without any financial assistance. Having a daily financial ledger can help coordinate your spending activities and identify financial concerns.

2.) What Do You Own?
  • Take a quick inventory of your refrigerator and pantry.
  • Know what personal care products you own.
  • Check your cleaning supplies inventory.
  • What gift cards and loyalty rewards do you have?
  • Discard expired items safely.
Knowing what you have on hand will make a dent in unnecessary spending. $1, $5, or $20's saved all adds up in your checking or savings account. If you do not have a savings or checking account; add loose change and dollars not spent in a jar with the goal to open a minimum balance checking or savings account without monthly fees.

3.) Make A List
  • To reduce food waste, create meal plans for two weeks based on what you have in your home.
  • Only purchase the necessary items you can not creatively substitute. 
  • Use the items that are opened first till they are completely used. 
  • Maintain a 15 minute daily cleaning (dishes, sweeping, organize a cluttered space, fold and put away clothes, ect.) and sanitizing ritual. 
  • Affix gift cards and loyalty rewards with a magnet or tape on your refrigerator as a reminder of resources to use first.
  • What are your athletic goals?
Lists can help identify risks and motivate you. Every Sunday I discard lists fully completed or I add pending tasks to a new list. Be aware of portion control in all aspects of your life as to not waste resources.

4.) Make A Plan

  • Evaluate your goals and where you want to be in life 1-5 years from now.
  • Have a schedule and stick to it.
  • Update your resume and social media profiles (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, ect.).
  • Take professional certification courses.
  • Read
Knowing where you want to be in the future is great, but be flexible to change. If you do not have specific future goals, now is a great time to start. Everything you do to add a positive value to your goals will help you navigate the unknown of our future.

5.) Get Creative 
  • Use samples and opened travel supplies.
  • Save leftover soap to blend into a liquid bath soap.
  • Have fun with leftovers and food items near expiration.
  • Play a favorite song while cleaning.
  • Map out your essential shopping route with coupons, sticky notes, and stickers.
  • Utilize environmentally friendly cleaning supplies 

If you feel overwhelmed-listen to your inner self. Embracing the balance of physical and mental health in your daily routine is as important as completing tasks timely. Using environmentally safe cleaning supplies may cost a little more, but I have found that the benefits long-term in my life's investment to be substantial. As a professional style, I have found that I usually complete more goals if I or the people around me find some enjoyment in the task. Be flexible and have fun in implementing systems in your lifestyle that will benefit your future. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Always A Friend

EN: This poem is a retrospective of my experiences, memories, and my opinions, originally started in approximately 2006 and completed in 2020. Always A Friend takes place at a time when I was an ambitious punk rocker, artist, fashion designer, with a massive 30 centimeters tall nuclear red mohawk, who worked in commodities trade. At that time I was rebelling against my gender, my identity, and had completely stopped performing within the Chicago drag scene. Reflecting on past journal entries; the tension of the past mirrors the minx desperately living to be loved today.

ES: Este poema es una retrospectiva de mis experiencias, recuerdos y mis opiniones que empezaron a formarse aproximadamente en el año 2006 y concluyeron en el 2020. Always A Friend (Siempre Un Amigo) ocurre en un momento de mi vida cuando yo era un ambicioso punk rocker, artista, diseñador de moda, con un enorme mohawk rojo nuclear de 30 centímetros de altura, que trabajaba en el cambio de bolsa. En ese momento me estaba rebelando contra mi género, mi identidad, y había dejado de actuar por completo en la escena drag de Chicago. Reflexionando sobre entradas de diario del pasado; la tensión de ese pasado refleja una versión de la coqueta que vive desesperadamente para ser amada hoy.

FR: Ce poème est une rétrospective de mes expériences, de mes souvenirs et de mes opinions, qui a débuté vers 2006 et s'est achevée en 2020. Toujours un ami, jamais un amant se déroule à une époque où j'étais un punk rocker ambitieux, un artiste, un créateur de mode, avec une crête rouge vif de 30 centimètres de haut, qui travaillait dans le commerce des matières premières. A cette époque, je me rebellais contre mon genre, mon identité, et j'avais complètement arrêté de me produire dans le milieu en tant que drag queen à Chicago. En réfléchissant aux pages écrites dans mon journal intime, la tension du passé reflète le désir qui vit désespérément en moi d'être aimée aujourd'hui.

Always A Friend

Kelly green, market freedom, and a splash of coke,
Your friendship sits next to me radiant and nurturing,
Laughing, holding hands, balancing his bike-we see rainbows in disguise,
The things we never say harvest our emotions like a specter in the Fall,
Was Cere’s last call conspiring on our behalf.

Our subway ride felt like we went from one end of the world to the other,
I feel heartache at Division and Damen-never love,
In your arms, my body is overflowing with loneliness bribed by your delight,
I smell the tobacco on your fingers as I move to lick the whiskey off your lips,
Your kisses’ passion threw me into weakness,
I hate myself.
I love myself.
I can’t decide.
I let him take charge.

He took my body home but my soul was left behind,
I kiss your toes and bite your body,
The fear of rejection haunts me to bite harder,
My darkest desires become your greatest pleasure,
The courage I feel feeds his strength to choke me with my past,
Unbound electricity, 
You leave your love inside me as I blackout from my emotions.

I open my eyes,
Respect for my time,
Respect for me left like the smell of tobacco and whiskey,
I cross Damen and Division to echo my path,
My heartache walks with me,
Always filling the space of my lovers’ taunt.

By George Melichar