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Autumn teaches us a valuable lesson. During summer, all the green trees are beautiful. But there is no time of the year when the trees are more beautiful than when they are different colors. Diversity adds beauty to our world.
– Donald H. Hicks, "Look into the stillnes"  
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 9 September 2020  

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  Too comfortable?
  By Mark Stoller

   Mark Stoller moved to Falcon in 2007. He and his wife, Andra, both U.S. Air Force veterans, enjoy life with their daughters, extended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark savors the privilege of his wife and daughters being his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investigate.
In last month’s column, we decided to have fun and make memories during this weird summer of 2020.
   
   Taking my own advice, our family gathered on July 5 for festivities with David and Gina from I Arted – The Mobile Paint Party.
   
   We scheduled our event online and hosted the painting party at our home. I Arted brought all the supplies (easel, canvas, paint, brushes, drop cloth) and we provided the space, food and beverage.
   
   From the many available designs, we chose the (my description) “dark blue, starry night sky, American flag with mountain and trees silhouettes” picture from the summer collection.
   
   David and Gina are gracious people. Gina patiently instructed every step of the painting process while David replenished paint and supplies. I am no Bob Ross, however, I think my painting looks pretty nice.
   
   I encourage you to check out I Arted (iartedllc.com) and have fun painting with your family and friends!
   
   In my June column, I mentioned I was trying out Noom. It’s a program focused on making behavioral changes surrounding food and weight loss.
   
   It’s not just an “eat this/don’t eat this — good luck and thanks for the 50 bucks” program. It really does change the way you think about food with daily, short readings for education and encouragement.
   
   Another feature is the steady reduction in daily calorie budgets. When I started, on May 1, I was allowed 1,800 calories per day. This week, I will manage 1,490 calories, per day, making nutritious food choices.
   
   My math and creative solution skills have really been strengthened. I can calculate all sorts of food source fractions in order to stay in budget.
   
   To date, I have lost 22 pounds with the final 8 pounds taunting me from beyond my current plateau. Consistent efforts to exercise would get me to the final goal.
   
   I am old enough to know better. Exercise is a healthy decision to improve quality of life. I see how time and lack of exercise has negatively affected my elderly patients.
   
   Frankly, I think I have grown lazy.
   
   The COVID life change is partially to blame. The workplace closure modified my routine and now I work full-time from home. I see this as life’s balance. Telecommuting allows me to be with my family — sharing the time I missed out on by working in an office across town for all these years.
   
   I no longer dress in slacks and button-down shirts. Instead, I conduct business in shorts, T-shirts and bare feet.
   
   That said, I have found what happens when comfortable becomes too comfortable. Lethargy. Apathy. Lazy — and a bunch of other long, unflattering words ending in y.
   
   On the day I came to the realization of my slothful disposition, I’d swear there must have been some mind-reading superpower with my computer.
   
   I came across an email feed advertisement for the book written by retired Green Beret, Jason Van Camp, titled “Deliberate Discomfort.”
   
   Its chapters were written by Van Camp and 11 other special forces warriors about their experiences on the battlefield. They each share vulnerable, personal pain points from combat and turn them into teaching objectives for application in the readers’ personal and professional lives.
   
   I have concluded being too comfortable has negatively affected my drive to learn and grow.
   Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and America’s third president, is quoted as saying, “Determine never to be idle. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.”
   
   Sound advice from over 240 years ago.
   
   What is your comfort level like these days?
   
   We only get one chance at this lifetime. Let’s endeavor “never to be idle” and make the most of life.
  
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