Working From Home During The Coronavirus Crisis Is A Recipe For Burnout, Experts Say

Working from home is hard under ordinary circumstances. Add in anxiety around the coronavirus pandemic, the fact that you’ve lost the physical separation between “work” and “life,” plus the emotions around having a job where you can work from home in an economy where so many cannot, and you have a recipe for burnout.

“Change can be a positive experience, but for many, … simply not working in the same manner, in the same location for the same hours can cause additional stress,” clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow Ph.D., tells Bustle. “All of these factors mean our job becomes more challenging, more taxing on our system, more difficult psychologically and logistically, and more stressful.”

“Burnout can occur when any individual is exposed to prolonged and often excessive stress,” Dr. Jasleen Chhatwal M.D., chief medical officer for Sierra Tucson Treatment Center, a mental health rehabilitation facility, tells Bustle. “It’s an internal crisis manifested by a lack of control and efficacy in our external world.”

Burnout is defined by three components according to psychologists: complete exhaustion and inability to cope, cynicism about work, and reduced performance both at home and in the workplace. In prolonged social-distancing scenarios, Dr. Chhatwal says, “Fears are likely to intensify, leading to increased anxiety and lowered enjoyment of work. Lack of control and social isolation increase the risk of burnout exponentially.”

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Right now, medical professionals, grocery store workers, and other essential personnel are at particularly high risk of burnout, experts say, as they’re at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. But even if you feel grateful to be able to work from home during this time, you can still be vulnerable. Bloomberg reported in March 2020 that remote workers in the U.S., Spain, Australia, and elsewhere are working on average two hours extra per day as a result of social-distancing policies. Without the benefit of set start and finishing times, sending “just one more email” can be too tempting — or worse, can be something your manager now expects.

The loneliness of doing your job from home can exacerbate stress you’re already feeling. “Isolation can be depressing,” Dr. Sanam Hafeez, Psy.D., a neuropsychologist, tells Bustle. “Many people are suffering from sadness, anxiety, anguish, frustration, and boredom during their quarantine or social-distancing efforts. This is compounded by the general anxiety brought on by health risks, career or employment layoffs, and public confusion.”

Dr. Klapow recommends changing expectations about productivity, goals, breaks, and when you start and finish. “Don’t hold yourself to a set of rules that may not work in the home environment and expect that you will be at the same level of productivity,” he says. Be mindful of how your body and brain are feeling. Are you getting headaches after hours of screen time? Do you need to get up and move? Be transparent about your physical needs during this time and try to set an example for the rest of your team; if you need to log off for an hour to supervise a child’s remote learning, be upfront about it.

Dr. Hafeez also suggests using video chats over phone calls for all conversations, work or social, because anything that keeps us connected right now will help mental health. “The social interaction that video chats provide can be crucial in helping our minds cope with the confusing and worrisome times we are living in,” she says. Dr. Chhatwal also suggests talking to your company’s human resources team if you’re noticing signs of burnout; they might be able to direct you to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which can help you find mental health support.

“We all can benefit from knowing that we have others who understand what we are experiencing,” she says. In times like these, human connections, support, and clear boundaries can help a great deal to sustain us.

 

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What Should I Do With My Stimulus Check? How To Save Money During The Coronavirus Crisis

A month into social distancing measures, most people are trying to understand the full scope of how the coronavirus pandemic will impact their lives. As state and local governments order people to stay home, many of us have shifted to work from home indefinitely, continued positions on the front lines, or lost jobs altogether. As a result, the economy has thrown retirement savings and other investments for a loop.

These changes, like any issue related to the gender pay gap, disproportionately affect women, who make up 75% of health care practitioners, almost 90% of health care support staff and one-third of independent contractors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 700,000 jobs were eliminated during the first wave of coronavirus-related layoffs in March, NPR reported, 60% of which were held by women; a recent report from the National Women’s Law Center found that women, especially Latinx, black, and indigenous women, are overrepresented in low-wage jobs and will be hit hardest by a post-COVID-19 recession. Women who are still employed might need to juggle new responsibilities like caring for children who are now learning remotely or for sick relatives alongside, you know, doing their jobs.

Financially speaking, it’s a tough time for everybody. Bustle spoke with economics and personal finance experts about what you should be doing with your money right now.

Plan How You’ll Use Your Stimulus Check

The stimulus package signed at the end of March is meant to offset some of the losses from the shaky economy. Single individuals who made less than $75,000 in 2018 will get $1,200, plus $500 per child. People making up to $99,000 and married couples who filed jointly might get slightly different amounts.

Yana Rodgers, faculty director for the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University, says the package is “a step in the right direction but … insufficient” — not enough people qualify for stimulus checks, the checks won’t come quickly enough, and $1,200 isn’t really enough to sustain a household through this crisis.

Ande Frazier, a certified financial planner and CEO and editor-in-chief of MyWorth, a personal finance site, suggests using this money to cover immediate needs or boost your emergency fund. Lauren Anastasio, a certified financial planner at SoFi, a personal finance company, says that your emergency fund should consist of three to six months’ worth of essential living expenses; if you’re wondering what that number is, calculate everything you spend money on in a month and multiply that by at least three. If you don’t already have a budget, that would be a good project to take on now, too.

If you’re strapped for cash, plan to be “ruthless” with your spending for the next few months, Frazier says. Write down how much money is coming in and out, when your bills are due, and what you can cut. If you’re working from home, your transportation costs will likely be lower or nonexistent; if you take money out of your paycheck pre-tax for subway tickets or parking, ask HR if you can pause that deduction for now. You can also cut back on food expenses by meal prepping, Frazier says.

The package will also expand unemployment benefits; you can receive an additional $600 a week through the end of July and can get benefits for up to 39 weeks rather than the usual 26. If you’ve lost your job or been furloughed because of coronavirus, you can go to your state’s department of labor and see what you’re eligible for.

If you’re totally secure in your emergency fund and want to use the extra money to help others out, Frazier recommends donating it to domestic violence organizations or another cause close to your heart.

Call Your Bill Collectors About Coronavirus Relief

If the pandemic means you can’t cover your heat or electric costs, call your lenders to adjust or defer your repayment plans, Anastasio says. If you specify that you’ve been impacted by coronavirus-related job cuts, they may offer programs that will prevent your accounts from being reported to credit bureaus for late or missing payments.

Under the new stimulus package, federal student loan payments will be suspended until Sept. 30, according to The New York Times, so that’s one bill people won’t have to worry about; Frazier recommends putting the money you’d spend on paying off loans directly into savings if you don’t need it right away.

Frazier has been advising her clients to pay the minimum on their debts and concentrate on stashing as much money as possible in their emergency funds. If you want to continue paying off your debts during this period, try the avalanche method, or paying the minimum across all your debt and use the money left over to pay off anything high interest. If your debt feels overwhelming, try the snowball repayment method, meaning you pay off your smaller debts before moving onto the bigger ones.

Leave Your Retirement Savings Alone… Unless You Really, Really Need It

It might be tempting, but pulling money from your retirement probably isn’t worth it, unless your situation is truly drastic. Instead, Frazier recommends waiting out the market downturn.

“I know that this is very uncomfortable, but it truly is a natural part of the market cycle,” Anastasio says. “And for those younger investors who are experiencing this for the first time and watching their portfolio go down … this is not the first time they’re going to experience this during their career.”

Frazier recommends looking at your savings, the cash value of your life insurance policy, or even a home equity loan instead.

If you absolutely need to withdraw from your retirement savings, you can take out up to $100,000 from your 401(k) or IRA without being hit with a 10% penalty, thanks to the stimulus package, but you’ll still have to pay regular income tax on it, Frazier says.

“Taking money from your retirement funds probably should be a last resort,” she says.

Don’t Panic Invest During The Stock Market Downturn

You might have heard that with the downturn, it’s like stocks are “on sale.” Anastasio has heard of inexperienced investors who are borrowing money or even using their emergency funds to invest in stocks at a lower price, but she says it’s not a great idea to withdraw from an emergency fund for anything other than an emergency.

Most people shouldn’t make any changes to their investment strategy right now, Anastasio says. She says she’d rather see her clients focus on building a cash reserve — that three to six months’ worth of expenses — than trying to make short-term gains on the stock market. Ideally, you want to have those savings and your high-interest debt paid off before doing any kind of investing, she says. That way, you’ll be prepared to take care of yourself if you’re laid off or furloughed or if you get sick.

If your savings are in good shape and you’re itching to get into the market, talk to a financial advisor to make sure you’re making the best use of your money. But remember that no one is sure how long these ups and downs will last, and the stock market will still be there when this is all over.

 

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10 Life Changing Things to Do While You Are in Self-Isolation

When it comes to the coronavirus, we are all in this together; but we are not in the same boat.

“When’s my ship coming in?”

“Swim out to it!”

When it comes to the coronavirus, we are all in this together; but we are not in the same boat. You may well find yourself alone at home, either because you are in self-isolation or because your employer has asked you to work from home. You may also find that you have less work to do as this crisis will be putting a stop to many business activities across the globe.

If you are an employee of a cash-rich company, then good for you. You will probably continue to draw your salary.  If you run your own business or work for one that has stopped trading, you could well be in a worse position. Last but not least, many of us will also be concerned about the health risks of the pandemic virus.

This article is by no means intended to trivialize the hardship that many of us will experience over the coming weeks or months, however, I would encourage you to find something positive in this difficult situation. Maybe that self-isolation and extra time at hand could be used to create a positive change in your life, or perhaps even new opportunities for your career or business?

Here are a few projects that you could take on while you are stuck at home, if indeed you are not actually ill (in which case you should rest!):

1. Review your life

Most people are so busy running on a hamster wheel each day that they never make time to stop and review their life from a bird’s eye view. I recommend everybody to make time once a year to reflect on the big questions of your life, such as:

  • Is this still the life I want to live?
  • Do I love my career?
  • What would satisfaction in all my key life areas look like?
  • What is most important to me in my life?
  • Where do I want to be in 5/10/20 years?

If you are in self-isolation, this could be a great opportunity to work through these questions in detail.  A coach like myself can assist you with this. Coaching can be done very safely and effectively via Skype video calls.  In fact, I receive my own coaching via Skype from people I have never met in person.

2. Learn a new skill

Hand on heart: Who here is guilty of having bought an online course in a bout of enthusiasm but then never completed it? I have for sure! Now is a great time to dig it out and work through the course; or buy a new one and actually complete it this time!

Maybe:

  • you always wanted to learn French?
  • you know that completing a software coding course would improve your job opportunities?
  • you have wanted to learn SEO strategies to boost your business?
  • you feel attracted to a creative writing course just for the sheer pleasure of it?

3. Brush up your CV and LinkedIn profile

Speaking of your job, if you are dreaming of greener pastures, how about brushing up your CV and improving your LinkedIn profile? There are lots of guides on how to do this available on the internet or Amazon. You could even go further by reaching out to your network and contacting recruitment agencies or a coach to discuss your career plans.  It is quite likely that over the coming weeks they will have more time to talk to you than normal.

4. Learn Meditation & Mindfulness

If you find it hard to stand still and be alone, it’s likely that you would probably benefit from practicing exactly that. Learning to enjoy being mindful and practicing meditation can be life-changing. It can improve your emotional wellbeing, sharpen your mind and reduce stress levels. You may even find that mindfulness will open a door to a completely new joyful experience of life. There are plenty of online courses on mindfulness available; or try a meditation app such as Calm or Headspace.

5. Connect to neglected friends

This could be the most powerful of all the items on my list.  Scholars of Positive Psychology tell us that social connections are the most important ingredient to our happiness; much more than our career, that dream job or looking beautiful.  Maintaining healthy social connections is particularly important when you are in self-isolation. It helps you keep our mental health on track.

Thanks to modern technology we can still connect to others even when we have to stay at home alone. A skype video call will be almost like having the other person sitting next to you. How about making time to have calls with all those friends and family members that you have been neglecting recently? How cool would it be if this crisis actually brought us closer together despite social distancing?

And don’t forget ordinary phone calls. When was the last time you spoke to a friend and truly listened to them, fully concentrating on their voice without browsing the internet at the same time?

6. Create a business plan

Ever dreamed of running your own business? Do you have lots of ideas but don’t know how to make them happen?  How about taking one of those ideas and think them through in detail! You can download a basic business plan template from the internet that tells you about all the items to consider, such as the basic concept, ideal client, the pricing model, route to market, etc. Do a SWOT analysis (you can look that one up too!) and exchange ideas with your friends over Skype. You can also work with a coach to explore and test your ideas.

Perhaps you could start by creating a website for your business? Sites like Wix and Squarespace make it super easy and fun.

7. Get fit

Get fit at home! How, you may wonder? Well, if you have free floor space of at least 1m x 2m, then that’s all you need to do a tough workout. There are lots of apps that offer workout routines that don’t require any equipment. My favorite is Freeletics. You tell the app your goals, basic stats and fitness levels and it will deliver weekly tailored fitness plans. You may be surprised how tough they can be.  Exercises such as burpees, push-ups and lunges will increase your fitness very quickly.

Obviously, don’t work out if you are actually ill with the coronavirus. In that case, your body will need all energy for recovery.

8. Sort out your finances

Do you know how much money and assets you have, and how much you spend on what? Do you have a nest egg and a retirement plan? These are topics that we tend to avoid, partly because retirement seems so far away, but also because we don’t really want to look into our finances out of fear of what we might find.

Well, now is a good time to do exactly that. Dig out your bank statements and create a list of where your money goes. Are you spending too much on the wrong things? Do you have savings to help you through times of crisis like the one we are facing right now? Perhaps it’s time to change your spending and savings patterns?

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If you find this hard to do, you don’t need to do it alone:

  • There are lots of apps that can help you with spend monitoring.
  • Contact a financial advisor to discuss your retirement plans.
  • Some charities offer free financial coaching.
  • Get a lawyer to finally make a will.  It’s cheaper than you think.

9. Declutter your home

Our home environment has a massive impact on our emotional wellbeing. Any of the following may well affect how you feel at home:

  • Your house is cluttered with lots of stuff that you don’t need.
  • There are piles of work that you think you “should” be doing.
  • Your home looks faded or untidy.
  • There are unfinished DIY jobs in every corner.

These things can be real energy-suckers. How about using your free time in self-isolation for a proper spring clean:

  • Ruthlessly give away to charity what you don’t need.
  • Tidy up your rooms, drawers and cabinets.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to your walls.
  • Create a list of all jobs that need to be done and complete one of them each day.

Then enjoy the wonderful feeling of a lighter and fresh environment.

10. Spring clean your garden

Having sorted out your home, how about working on your outdoor space if you have any? Gardening is a fantastic activity with plenty of benefits such as:

  • physical activity that improves your fitness
  • exercising your creativity in a healthy setting
  • connecting you to nature
  • calming your senses and any anxiety you may be feeling
  • satisfaction from creating a beautiful space

What’s your next project?

Hopefully, one or two of the ideas in this article have inspired you to pick a project that creates a new opportunity in this time of social distancing.  Maybe the list even promoted a better idea of your own?

It all boils down to a key life skill that I cherish:

Rather than focusing on what you can NOT do, focus on what you CAN do!

This mindset turns an unhelpful complaint into a resourceful question that can generate new solutions for your life.

You are the master of your own life.  What are you going to do with it?

(Don’t just eat and drink too much and watch TV… That’s on you. This is your moment! Do something productive!)

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Special Report: Prepare For The Ultimate Gaslighting

You are not crazy, my friends

*Gaslighting, if you don’t know the word, is defined as manipulation into doubting your own sanity; as in, Carl made Mary think she was crazy, even though she clearly caught him cheating. He gaslit her.

Pretty soon, as the country begins to figure out how we “open back up” and move forward, very powerful forces will try to convince us all to get back to normal. (That never happened. What are you talking about?) Billions of dollars will be spent on advertising, messaging, and television and media content to make you feel comfortable again. It will come in the traditional forms — a billboard here, a hundred commercials there — and in new-media forms: a 2020–2021 generation of memes to remind you that what you want again is normalcy. In truth, you want the feeling of normalcy, and we all want it. We want desperately to feel good again, to get back to the routines of life, to not lie in bed at night wondering how we’re going to afford our rent and bills, to not wake to an endless scroll of human tragedy on our phones, to have a cup of perfectly brewed coffee, and simply leave the house for work. The need for comfort will be real, and it will be strong. And every brand in America will come to your rescue, dear consumer, to help take away that darkness and get life back to the way it was before the crisis. I urge you to be well aware of what is coming.

For the last hundred years, the multibillion-dollar advertising business has operated based on this cardinal principle: Find the consumer’s problem and fix it with your product. When the problem is practical and tactical, the solution is “as seen on TV” and available at Home Depot. Command strips will save me from having to repaint. So will Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. Elfa shelving will get rid of the mess in my closet. The Ring doorbell will let me see who’s on the porch if I can’t take my eyes off Netflix. But when the problem is emotional, the fix becomes a new staple in your life, and you become a lifelong loyalist. Coca-Cola makes you: happy. A Mercedes makes you: successful. Taking your kids to Disneyland makes you: proud. Smart marketers know how to highlight what brands can do for you to make your life easier. But brilliant marketers know how to rewire your heart. And, make no mistake, the heart is what has been most traumatized this last month. We are, as a society, now vulnerable in a whole new way.

What the trauma has shown us, though, cannot be unseen. A carless Los Angeles has clear blue skies as pollution has simply stopped. In a quiet New York, you can hear the birds chirp in the middle of Madison Avenue. Coyotes have been spotted on the Golden Gate Bridge. These are the postcard images of what the world might be like if we could find a way to have a less deadly daily effect on the planet. What’s not fit for a postcard are the other scenes we have witnessed: a health care system that cannot provide basic protective equipment for its frontline; small businesses — and very large ones — that do not have enough cash to pay their rent or workers, sending over 16 million people to seek unemployment benefits; a government that has so severely damaged the credibility of our media that 300 million people don’t know who to listen to for basic facts that can save their lives.

The cat is out of the bag. We, as a nation, have deeply disturbing problems. You’re right. That’s not news. They are problems we ignore every day, not because we’re terrible people or because we don’t care about fixing them, but because we don’t have time. Sorry, we have other shit to do. The plain truth is that no matter our ethnicity, religion, gender, political party (the list goes on), nor even our socioeconomic status, as Americans we share this: We are busy. We’re out and about hustling to make our own lives work. We have goals to meet and meetings to attend and mortgages to pay — all while the phone is ringing and the laptop is pinging. And when we get home, Crate and Barrel and Louis Vuitton and Andy Cohen make us feel just good enough to get up the next day and do it all over again. It is very easy to close your eyes to a problem when you barely have enough time to close them to sleep. The greatest misconception among us, which causes deep and painful social and political tension every day in this country, is that we somehow don’t care about each other. White people don’t care about the problems of black America. Men don’t care about women’s rights. Cops don’t care about the communities they serve. Humans don’t care about the environment. These couldn’t be further from the truth. We do care. We just don’t have the time to do anything about it. Maybe that’s just me. But maybe it’s you, too.

Well, the treadmill you’ve been on for decades just stopped. Bam! And that feeling you have right now is the same as if you’d been thrown off your Peloton bike and onto the ground: What in the holy fuck just happened? I hope you might consider this: What happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but The Great Pause. It is, in a word, profound. Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open. What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, ever in our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. Here it is. We’re in it. Stores are closed. Restaurants are empty. Streets and six-lane highways are barren. Even the planet itself is rattling less (true story). And because it is rarer than rare, it has brought to light all of the beautiful and painful truths of how we live. And that feels weird. Really weird. Because it has… never… happened… before. If we want to create a better country and a better world for our kids, and if we want to make sure we are even sustainable as a nation and as a democracy, we have to pay attention to how we feel right now. I cannot speak for you, but I imagine you feel like I do: devastated, depressed, and heartbroken.

And what a perfect time for Best Buy and H&M and Wal-Mart to help me feel normal again. If I could just have the new iPhone in my hand, if I could rest my feet on a pillow of new Nikes, if I could drink a venti blonde vanilla latte or sip a Diet Coke, then this very dark feeling would go away. You think I’m kidding, that I’m being cute, that I’m denying the very obvious benefits of having a roaring economy. You’re right. Our way of life is not ruinous. The economy is not, at its core, evil. Brands and their products create millions of jobs. Like people — and most anything in life — there are brands that are responsible and ethical, and there are others that are not. They are all part of a system that keeps us living long and strong. We have lifted more humans out of poverty through the power of economics than any other civilization in history. Yes, without a doubt, Americanism is a force for good. It is not some villainous plot to wreak havoc and destroy the planet and all our souls along with it. I get it, and I agree. But its flaws have been laid bare for all to see. It doesn’t work for everyone. It’s responsible for great destruction. It is so unevenly distributed in its benefit that three men own more wealth than 150 million people. Its intentions have been perverted, and the protection it offers has disappeared. In fact, it’s been brought to its knees by one pangolin.

And so the onslaught is coming. Get ready, my friends. What is about to be unleashed on American society will be the greatest campaign ever created to get you to feel normal again. It will come from brands, it will come from government, it will even come from each other, and it will come from the left and from the right. We will do anything, spend anything, believe anything, just so we can take away how horribly uncomfortable all of this feels. And on top of that, just to turn the screw that much more, will be the one effort that’s even greater: the all-out blitz to make you believe you never saw what you saw. The air wasn’t really cleaner; those images were fake. The hospitals weren’t really a war zone; those stories were hyperbole. The numbers were not that high; the press is lying. You didn’t see people in masks standing in the rain risking their lives to vote. Not in America. You didn’t see the leader of the free world push an unproven miracle drug like a late-night infomercial salesman. That was a crisis update. You didn’t see homeless people dead on the street. You didn’t see inequality. You didn’t see indifference. You didn’t see utter failure of leadership and systems.

But you did. You are not crazy, my friends. And so we are about to be gaslit in a truly unprecedented way. It starts with a check for $1,200 (Don’t say I never gave you anything) and then it will be so big that it will be bigly. And it will be a one-two punch from both big business and the big White House — inextricably intertwined now more than ever and being led by, as our luck would have it, a Marketer in Chief. Business and government are about to band together to knock us unconscious again. It will be funded like no other operation in our lifetimes. It will be fast. It will be furious. And it will be overwhelming. The Great American Return to Normal is coming.

From one citizen to another, I beg of you: Take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud. We get to Marie Kondo the shit out of it all. We care deeply about one another. That is clear. That can be seen in every supportive Facebook post, in every meal dropped off for a neighbor, in every Zoom birthday party. We are a good people. And as a good people, we want to define — on our own terms — what this country looks like in five, 10, 50 years. This is our chance to do that, the biggest one we have ever gotten. And the best one we’ll ever get.

We can do that on a personal scale in our homes, in how we choose to spend our family time on nights and weekends, what we watch, what we listen to, what we eat, and what we choose to spend our dollars on and where. We can do it locally in our communities, in what organizations we support, what truths we tell, and what events we attend. And we can do it nationally in our government, in which leaders we vote in and to whom we give power. If we want cleaner air, we can make it happen. If we want to protect our doctors and nurses from the next virus — and protect all Americans — we can make it happen. If we want our neighbors and friends to earn a dignified income, we can make that happen. If we want millions of kids to be able to eat if suddenly their school is closed, we can make that happen. And, yes, if we just want to live a simpler life, we can make that happen, too. But only if we resist the massive gaslighting that is about to come. It’s on its way. Look out.

 

I’d love to hear your comments…

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Dust for Life

Dust for Life was a post-grunge band from Memphis, Tennessee formed in 1999.

Formation and initial success

After the dissolution of the Memphis grunge band Bacchanal, Jason Hughes recruited three members from the local Memphis rock band Spaceman to form DFL.[1] Chris Gavin of the band Burning Blue was added and became the second main songwriter of the group.[2]

In late 1999, DFL self-released a nine-track eponymous album.[3] Then in April 2000, DFL recorded four songs (“Step into the Light”, “Dirt into Dust”, “Dragonfly”, and “Where the Freaks Go”) at Ardent Studios. This demo was overnighted to Jeff Hanson, manager of the band Creed, and they were subsequently signed to Wind-Up Records.

In October 2000, DFL released a second eponymous album containing all new songs with the exception of two re-recorded songs from their 1999 album. The album reached No. 26 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Two singles from the album also charted. In 2001, drummer Rick Shelton left DFL to join Course of Nature.[4]

Touring and money troubles

For much of 2001, DFL toured with Creed, 3 Doors DownThe CultTantricDisturbedOrgyCold and Saliva.

In May 2001, DFL discovered its publishing money had been spent frivolously by their management and subsequently released the company. In July, they parted ways with Wind-Up Records due to contractual elements not being honored.[5] At the end of the year, Jason Hughes also released an album with the band Third Harmonic Distortion.[6] In early 2002, DFL embarked upon a headlining national tour with Tantric.[5] The song “Poison” was used in the movie Dragonball Z Cooler’s Revenge.

Separate ways and reformation

After taking a break, the band’s two primary songwriters (Hughes and Gavin) began work on the band’s next release in July 2003.[7] Later that year, DFL self-released an eight-song EP titled Degrees of Black.

Eventually DFL went on an indefinite hiatus. Chris Gavin formed the band Memphis Sound. Vocalist Jason Hughes formed the band Dark Things with Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett in late 2006 with the intention of releasing an album on Warner Bros. Records.[8] Yet the project never came to fruition. Instead, Hughes and Gavin announced on their MySpace blog in 2007 that DFL was to begin recording new material.[9] In April 2008, the band released The Consequence Of Vanishing.[10] Scott Bartlett was featured on the album.[11] Hughes announced a line of clothing based on the title of the song “Dark Things Betray”.[12] The song “Release The Flood” was used by TNA Wrestling as the theme song for Slammiversary (2008).[13]

Another indefinite hiatus

In 2009, Jason Hughes released an album with the band Driving Eternity.[14] The band later changed its name to Driving Into Eternity and released a 5-song EP in 2010.[15]

Chris Gavin currently plays in the bands Kings Trio, White Noise Theory, and the cover band Hi-Fi Allstars.[16][17] In 2009, White Noise Theory released his first full-length album, Self Titled. The album consists of some tracks from the Degrees Of Black album. In April 2011, White Noise Theory released Dust, a collection of re-recorded DFL songs. In 2011, he released his third album Soul Of The Machine. All albums were released digitally.

DFL is presumably on another indefinite hiatus as their current projects list them as former members of DFL and dustforlifemusic.com is inactive.

 

So sad… I loved this band.

 

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15 Things to Know Before Moving in With Your Boyfriend

Are you moving in with your boyfriend? Well, good for you! But here are a few things you need to keep in mind to have that perfect romantic start.

Moving in with your boyfriend can seem more like fun and less like a big life altering decision.

While moving in is fun, it’s also something you need to give a lot of thought.

So do you know if he’s a great guy?

Do you think both of you will have a perfect relationship after you move in?

Will you moving in lead to a proposal and babies soon?

The only way to really know for sure is to try it, right?

Moving in with your boyfriend

No relationship is the same, and when it comes to moving in too, no experience will ever be the same.

But there are a few things that are common while moving in together.

There are right moves. And then, there are a few wrong moves.

If you want to make sure that both of you set off on a perfectly romantic start after moving in together, here are a few things you need to talk about with your boyfriend, and ask yourself the real answers.

5 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE MOVING IN

If you haven’t moved in just yet, give these pointers a deep thought. Sometimes, it’s the little things you overlook that can play the biggest part.

#1 Set ground rules. It may seem trivial and unnecessary, but it’ll save both of you from confusions and frustrations later. Setting clear ground rules can help both of you talk about faults and confusions without arguments. Unless you make rules, there’s no way to tell why the frustrations began in the first place.

#2 Be sure of your decision. Are you completely sure you want to move in with your boyfriend? Take time to decide about it and weigh all the options. It’s alright to feel confused as long as you’re excited about moving in together. Don’t let infatuation cloud your judgment though.

#3 Consider your independence. Moving in together is something that is inevitable when you’re in love. It can happen now or it can happen a few years down the lane. You may be in love with your sweetheart, but are you in the right frame of mind and have the intellectual maturity to give up on your own freedom just to share some bedroom space with your lover?

#4 How is your boyfriend really? Is he a great guy? Do you really see yourself walking down the aisle with him years from now? If your boyfriend’s gentle and considerate of your feelings, it’s a safe plunge. But if he’s domineering or wants things his way, ask yourself if he’s really the one for you.

#5 Can both of you take joint decisions? The decisions in the relationship have to be taken jointly no matter what. Both of you should agree on that before moving in. Everything from deciding on monthly expenses to hanging out with friends has to be taken jointly without arguments.

10 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AFTER MOVING IN

Have you moved in already? It’s not too late. Here are a few more things you should consider to have a perfectly romantic relationship.

#1 Be prepared to see his not-so-nice side. All of us show off our good sides when we’re with someone. But it takes living with someone to see their real side. Your boyfriend may have a few flaws or differences from your behavior. It’s not weird. He’s just being himself.

#2 Split the household chores. Give this a serious thought even if it’s toe curling and awkward to talk about. Create a list of necessary chores and split the chores right down the middle unless one of you is willing to take on more responsibility. But unless there’s a real good reason to unfairly split the chores like one working partner and one homemaker, try to keep it balanced.

#3 Take time to settle in. Dating is very different from moving in together. When you move in, you’re practically living with each other 24/7. Accept the fact that the relationship can feel different at the beginning. He may have pampered you like a princess until now, but now that you’ve both moved in, he may expect you to be more handy and less like a damsel in distress.

#4 Talk about the differences. You and your boyfriend are not two peas in a pod. Both of you are two individuals with different wants and interests. So talk about your differences and lifestyle choices with your boyfriend. When you move in together, both of you have to make a few compromises, be it watching a favorite show on the television or deciding how many times to go out in a week.

#5 Learn to forgive. When you move in together, there are bound to be a few differences and misunderstandings at the beginning. You and your boyfriend have to take the pains to go out of your ways to help the other person feel comfortable in the new environment. And if mistakes do happen, learn to forgive.

#6 Always communicate. Talk about your feelings, it’s really the right thing to do after moving in together. Forgive those little mistakes, but talk about it with your boyfriend and let him know what’s on your mind. Misunderstandings are good, because they help your boyfriend understand you better. But conflicts just aren’t any help in the relationship. Avoid conflicts, but communicate each other’s thoughts.

#7 His friends and yours. Both of you have to avoid bringing friends over to your place often for a couple of weeks or months. Take time to understand each other and live with each other before bringing confusions and new people into the house.

#8 Avoid creating insecurities. You may be dating for a while, but moving in together is a fragile stage in the relationship. Can you stop calling or texting other guys late into the night if it makes your boyfriend uncomfortable? Sometimes, insecurities in a relationship increase when people move in together. It takes a few sacrifices, reassurances and communication to test the waters of moving in together.

#9 Talk about money. Talk about money, individual savings and expenditures. Some things are better left out in the open than brushed under the carpet. Moving in is like a little marriage experiment. It can help both of you experience the reality of marriage before taking the plunge.

#10 Be serious. Living together with your boyfriend is no joke, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s better to consider it seriously and live seriously than look at it as an easy way to spend more time with each other or have more sex. Making any mistakes here will only force both of you apart. Be serious about the relationship and work together as a couple instead of two individuals.

Moving in with your boyfriend is just like getting married, without the license. Keep these 15 tips in mind and your next step together will be a walk in the clouds. Get these wrong, and one of you could nip a perfect relationship in the bud.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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10 Types Of Relationships That Have No Chance Of Lasting

These are basically doomed from the start.

Is it ever possible to start a relationship in which partners will be able to live happily until old age?

It’s difficult to predict the future.

But, the chances of success are higher if lovers want to be together, invest emotionally, and recognize the signs of serious issues in time.

Hence, not all relationships with issues are doomed.

So, are you ready to find out what increases the risk of a breakup and how to deal with stress in the case of failure?

And what couples are doomed to break up?

1. Those who don’t discuss financial matters

Romance alone will not get you far.

If the partners aren’t aware of each other’s financial requests at the very beginning, it will play a cruel joke on them in the future.

Therefore, it is necessary to negotiate beforehand on how to manage the family budget.

Who will be the main breadwinner? What are your career ambitions? Are you both ready to sacrifice your comfort if a crisis comes?

Otherwise, there’s a risk of unpleasant surprises.

2. Those who fall in love with their illusions

It is foolish to choose a partner relying solely on who they might become in the future.

In the end, these are your guesses and dreams and you will have to live with who they really are.

If you don’t like someone’s character, bad habits, and social circle, you will not be able to change them.

Hence, you will have to be able to accept them with all their shortcomings.

However, if you are not ready, then do not be fooled. A breakup is inevitable.

3. Those who like to even the score

For example, a woman had refused to have sex, then a man did not buy her a gift.

She could not come on holidays with him, then he went on vacation alone. There are couples like this.

No one is willing to give up their wishes, so the partners play a game called “you give me something, and then I will give you something in return”.

And the rates will rise until someone gets crazy and leaves the game.

True love does not tolerate competition — you either mutually invest or you drown each other.

4. A star and an admirer

In such a relationship, one partner is selfish and requires unquestioning veneration and adoration.

First, another partner indulges them and takes care of them, almost wears on their hand until the demands of the “star” increase many times and the person does not receive anything in return.

One day, the admirer gives up and stops being a donor, because they are also alive and need love.

There needs to be a balance of energy and support if you don’t want your relationship to be doomed.

5. A thinker and a dummy

Even if the partners have been brought together by true love, sooner or later the difference in intellectual levels will manifest.

People who are at different evolutionary stages cannot be together.

If one seeks to improve oneself and develop their knowledge, while another one doesn’t need anything from life, the relationship will fail.

Sooner or later, one of them will tire of carrying dead weight and the second one will not be able to rise above their station.

6. Partners with conflicting interests

Relationships aren’t only about love.

People need to have similar interests and goals for the relationship to flourish.

If a woman wants to have children, but a man doesn’t.

If one of them wants to devote themselves to saving the world, while another one cares for nothing but themselves, then such a relationship will not work out, no matter how the two are deceiving themselves.

Lifestyles and ideals must coincide; otherwise, they will kill each other.

7. People with a big age difference

At first, in such a relationship, everything goes perfectly.

For example, the heart of a young lady loves the reliability and sustainability of a mature partner.

However, they will hardly be together to old age, since their interests and needs differ too much.

At some point, the young partner may want to have kids, devote themselves to self-realization, and feel passion, while the second one, being in their 50s, quickly loses interest in everything and tires himself of the frenetic pace.

Then, their future can be doomed.

8. Two leaders

This type of relationship is about strength, purposefulness, and a strong-willed character.

They are similar and this cannot inspire.

However, a relationship is the union of a leader and a follower or when both partners are easy-going and willing to share obligations.

Leaders are not capable of giving in, because they want to be first and foremost in everything.

And if there are two bosses, there can be a struggle for power, which, in turn, can result in a breakup.

9. An emotionally unstable couple

When one of the partners plays the role of a caring parent, sooner or later they will become exhausted – especially if they get nothing in return.

A person gets tired of being forgiving and all-loving when their efforts are sabotaged and criticized; they also have the right to love!

Therefore, they leave and go where they will be valued, taken care of, and where they will always be welcomed.

10. Those who are united only by physical proximity

If the partners have nothing in common except physical proximity, then their relationship is doomed to fail.

In any relationship, you also need to talk, do household chores, and be there for each other in times of grief and joy.

And what if there are health problems, financial problems, or personal crisis?

You cannot build a strong and healthy relationship if it’s only based on sex.

However, you can find an exception to each of these cases.

A breakup is the last resort and most couples aren’t doomed to end up like that.

Many problems between partners can and should be worked on and solved.

But, only if both partners want it.

However, if the breakup is inevitable, it’s necessary to do your best to get over it with minimum losses.

What are some of the most common signs that a relationship will fail? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Eileen – Chapter 9 – I Don’t Want To Be Alone

So Eileen is supposed to start taking Saturdays, because Achilles wants to be off on the weekends. (See: Achilles – The Bronze God)

I get it. When I was in the rat race I too wanted to be free on the weekends.

You open the salon everyday for ten years and do the same thing over and over but it brings you riches with little effort.

The bane of your existence is your staff. They always suck. A bunch of hungover teenage girls that get sick and call out on a regular basis. You had three tanning salons and you told me you closed the other two because “It was this headache times three.”

Until I came along.

Achilles, you’ve had a renaissance for the last two years because of me.

We’ve had our staffing challenges. Girls calling out because they’ve been kicked out of their halfway houses for drinking. Girls busted for cocaine and could’t come in because they were in jail. Dudes we liked that stole money from you.

Even Summer folded at the end. I loved her. I love her still. But her life has changed as we all know now.

But in the Spring of this year you have the best of the best.

Me. The corporate reject that’s done with the rat race and embraces your business and loves the salon.

The guy who buys detergent and hand soap and toilet paper from the dollar store when needed without direction. Your ultimate employee. A guy that loves the company and always does the extra to maintain it.

An aspect you’ve never known here at the salon.

Dusting off the shelves and the lotions and the bed’s hoods on a regular basis.

Have you become spoiled Achilles with your charge?

Is that possible?

When I came here two years ago I was absolutely clueless on everything here. All I knew was it was extra money under the table and I was surrounded by tan, fit, slender young women every night.

I wanted to be busy and I really felt a great connection with Achilles and it was an amazing match.

He once told me that the reason he hired me was my personality. It took me forever to learn the system but once I did I became the master of the salon.

Like in every job I’ve ever had I was always the overachiever and become number one. (Due to low self esteem and my father)

So it looks like I only took the job in banking to escape the long crazy hours of retail, and please my father.

But here I am, free from banking and my later waste, Advertising.

I’ve found that I can work at a job and murder it but when it comes to the weekends, I’m just bored and nervous. Now I work on the weekends and love it.

I’ve lived my whole life working jobs like everyone else when we dread Sunday night when we have to think of the bullshit that’s about to happen this week.

I killed that.

You have to find a job that you look forward to. Find a job where you can’t wait to see your co-workers.

Do something you enjoy. Life is short, fleeting and fragile.

Sunday would come and I was fearful of the Monday Morning Kickoff Meeting, The Wednesday Sales Meeting, and the Thursday One on One.

All Bullshit.

I quit that company and the asshole who conceived that concept was fired and is still out of work.

My sister Janice said to me: “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”

She got it dead on.

That clown that came into my last company I worked for that I had respect for and destroyed the sales department. He coddled loser account managers, brought in mental patients and drug addicts and failed on an epic level.

But I love the guy. I would totally have a drink with my last manager, but he is a “run for the hills” type of manager so that’s why we’ve all moved on.

So sad. A nice man, but an absolute failure and a bad hire that destroys companies.

So that guy is just basically a bad bitch I needed to cut from my life.

Like all of the others.

 

So here I am. Abandoning the rat race. Working at a tanning salon. I suddenly have the best staff ever.

Amelia and Eileen.

I need Eileen to work on Saturday because Achilles need his weekends off.

“Can you be with me on Saturday?”

I’m not getting paid for it but I feel like I have to do it. (I run it by Achilles and he blows me off)

I’m going to come in on Saturday and just be present for Eileen so she’s not twisting in the wind by herself.

If I were Achilles, I would have paid his finest employee to coach our girl, but no.

We’re already on strike 12 with Megasun but I understand.

There’s a new plan to move forward in Rittenhouse.

I get up, shower and spend the entire Saturday with Eileen at the salon.

I’m supposed to be off.

 

Achilles has been so fucked over by everyone in his life he can’t see integrity anymore.

Sadly this is leaking into all of his relationships.

The right thing to do would have been to pay me for looking after Eileen.

Achilles, why didn’t you do that? We’re in our busy season. We’re making a thousand dollars a day. What happened to you?

We just need tons of toilet paper, laundry detergent and eye wear,… why are we running out of everything in or busiest season?

We’re killing it with the best staff we’ve ever had in the history of the company.

Why are you slacking?

I worked Saturday with lovely Eileen for free. it was an incredible money day and she did great.

You should have paid your lead guy, but again you went cheap and squandered your greatest resource.

The high point of the day is when I went to a local pizza place called “& Pizza” a block away. I was so proud of Eileen’s performance I again was happy to reward her with free food and drinks. (I take care of my employees, Achilles)

I went there to grab a pizza and some drinks.

I didn’t know I was talking to the manager when I was being my usual enthusiastic, social self. I talked to her about our business and offered a free tan card. I do that occasionally, and it always results in the person buying a package.

When I went to pay for the food and drinks she said it was all on her. I was stunned and amazed. Just another case of being a good neighbor and business professional that’s resulted in still another glorious hookup.

It made my day and Eileen was delighted.

It’s what I do, but I’m so happy that it reinforced that I need to do more work in the hospitality/small business community of this city.

I have another plan that I’m working on.

My friend Duncan once said:’ Charles, you’ll never go hungry. You have a gift.”

 

 

Alicia – Chapter 5 – Get Her Number

I used to be at war with my demons and now we’re all on the same side.

I need my sleep from life in general. I wake late on Monday morning. There are things I need to do. They need to happen today. The first day of the week. I have to go deposit my check and talk to Alicia.

There’s no real reason to do any of this, other that the directive that always drives me. I like Alicia my favorite teller, and I want to break the shell of her understanding and take her to a nice lunch. I want to get to know her.

Why?

Why not. I’m attracted to her and her aloofness. That and those arms. It’s weird but it’s mine. There’s something unique about her. If I can just secure some time with her outside the credit union I can learn all about her. Is it for me or the blog?

Do I really want to get to know this stranger that handles my money or am I just doing this to create content for phicklephilly?

Have I done things before that have simply driven the blog? I’m starting to think that I have. I’m managing my current relationship as best I can and all of the facets that come with that but why this teller?

I know nothing about her. She’s behind bulletproof glass. Is this simply a new goal for me to keep my life interesting and drop the dopamine?

I’m starting to think that. Is the art now driving my life?

I don’t have a problem with that but I can feel the anxiety placing its cold fingers around my heart as I climb the steps to my credit union.

I take some deep breaths as I unbutton my overcoat and loosen my scarf.

“I need to get into character and just do this.”

I walk into the credit union and head to the desk. I fill out my deposit slip. My hands are shaking a bit. Am I just nervous or are dementia tremors kicking in from the drinking? I write my name and social security number and it looks like the writing of an old man.

I’m 55. Middle age has got me by the throat, but I still have mad game and after decades of dealing with my anxiety and depression… I can push those loser off me.

I know what I’m going to say. I worked it out all weekend. I’m ready. I’m going to run the program like I always have. I’m so good at this now. I turn to Depression and tell him to cheer up and go to work. I turn to Anxiety and tell him to settle down and just be excited at the prospect of a new lady.

I used to be at war with these demons and now we’re all on the same side.

Get in line.

I’m standing there with my paperwork. There are tellers waiting on customers. Just another boring Monday at the office.

I see her.

Alicia.

Her back is turned and she’s working on something at the back counter behind the teller area.

Fuck! She won’t see me. I’ll have to go to one of these other people.

Bust suddenly she turns and sees me. She smiles.

“I can take you down here.”

Time to close this.

I scamper down to her window. The credit union’s quiet. I need to do this now. I push my check and deposit slip into the slit under the bulletproof glass.

“How are you? Nice to see you.”

“You too.”

This is where the rubber meets the road my friends. The move has to be made now or you will lose forever.

“You said you like french toast.”

“Yeah” she smiles.

“On the weekends brunch goes to 3pm, but during the week breakfast ends at 11am. Most end at 10:30. The only place to get french toast in this city during the week after 11am is Midtown Diner. I’m not taking you there. Great spot, but no. I spoke with my friend Jason at Square 1682. He’s the General Manager. I described the dilemma of your 11am lunch break. He told me if I email him and give him the day we’re meeting for lunch he assured me that you will have french toast for lunch at 11 even though breakfast ends at 10:30. And the french toast at Square 1682 is slammin.”

Alicia is listening intently and smiles. She is delighted by my efforts.

This is how you date my friends.

Go slowly. Build the trust. Make her laugh. Make her feel safe. Be non menacing. Be trustworthy. Be creative. Bend time. Be original. Be extraordinary.

So many men fire off to quickly and blow it. My father taught me to be the lion lying in the grass and doing nothing. Like wine it could take years. Most men aren’t that patient. You have to be if you want something. I’ve waited years for the things I’ve wanted.

If you can do that and be elegant, you’ll close the sale and win the girl.

It may not work out, but it’s never the kill. It’s the thrill of the chase.

That’s the true rush of romance. The best part. The unknown. The excitement of the possibilities.

This could just be a lunch, but I want nothing more from Alicia. I love the idea of the old horse being able to get a lunch date with a beautiful young girl though bulletproof glass can still happen.

I tell her my efforts and Alicia is entranced.

“I can’t do this week, but next Thursday at 11 would work.”

“Perfect. May have your number?”

Alicia grabs a pink post it and scrawls down her phone number. She sticks it to my deposit receipt and thrusts it back to me under the glass.

 

The die has been cast. I’ve won after over a year of desire.

I tell her I’ll push her my contact info in a text. She smiles and agrees.

I’ve done it.

There is a pause and we look into each others eyes. We smile and I realize I have all I need and my transaction is done.

“Okay then. I’ll set it up.”

“Yea. Have a great day, Charles.”

“I have some more checks to deposit so I’ll see you soon.”

“Okay.” (smiles)

I walk out of the credit union. Should I go out and have a celebratory smoke or go eat before my shift at the salon because I have to train the new girl (Eileen or Amelia) tonight?

Go eat. You’ve earned it buddy!

 

Lunch date with hot Alicia!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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13 Things Rich People Don’t Spend Their Money On, While Poor People Are Ready to Take Out Loans for Them

There are things that speak to a person’s financial wealth. Usually, they are things like fur coats, fine jewelry, and expensive watches. Some poor people are ready to save their money for years or even take out loans to be able to buy these things. However, rich people around the world have gradually stopped indicating their social status this way.

We at Bright Side are big supporters of sensible spending and that’s why we want to highlight symbols of wealth that are not trendy anymore. There are still many people who haven’t realized this yet.

1. Gold jewelry

Stylish and wealthy women usually wear a moderate amount of gold jewelry when attending events. In addition, the quality of these items is the biggest priority for them. Some of them even prefer large jewelry.

For those whose financial position is not stable, buying gold is still considered an investment. It is believed that by buying a gold item, you create a stash for rainy days in the form of a gold chain or a ring. That’s why poor girls prefer to wear jewelry with the mantra: “I’m wearing the best of what I have.”

2. Clothes and shoes from expensive brands

Oftentimes, even very wealthy people are indifferent to branded clothing and wear ordinary, mass-market jeans and sweaters that are basic items in their wardrobe and in their everyday life. In one of his interviews, Bill Gates outlined that the watch on his wrist cost $10, despite the fact that he could afford millions of watches from the most famous brands. Instead of shopping, rich people try to explore the other pleasures that life has to offer, like entertainment and travel. This means more to them than a brand new bag.

3. Plastic surgery

Earlier, plastic surgery was pretty popular around the world — everyone wanted to have a perfect body and a flawless face. Rich men would even offer to pay for the transformation of their “chosen ones,” while the girls didn’t mind at all. Today more and more celebrities and wealthy people are against plastic surgery and are promoting having love for one’s body and wrinkles.

Meanwhile, many girls are still ready to cut back on a lot of things in order to save enough money for lip and breast surgeries, as well as other procedures that could help them look young and meet the current understanding of beauty ideals, which are actually fading into the past.

4. Fur coats

Famous designers and their wealthy clients are refusing to wear fur coats, since they believe that it is unethical to wear them. There were cases when animal advocates poured paint on girls who were wearing fur coats. In addition, California state has a law banning the wearing and selling of natural fur.

But fur coats are still considered a luxury item and an indicator of social status for some girls. However, theoretically, they can be easily replaced by frost-resistant down jackets, winter coats, or warm fur coats that are made of artificial fur.

5. Flying in business class

Rational people around the world want to travel modestly, even if they have the financial ability to pay more. For example, the founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, believes that flying business class is an unnecessary luxury, that’s why all IKEA employees, despite their level, fly in economy class and stay in inexpensive hotels.

However, many people with a moderate income are ready to overpay for a trip in business class, despite the fact that prices for air tickets continue to rise and business class tickets have seen the highest increases. In fact, thanks to the existence of expensive business class fares, airlines can keep affordable fares for economy class. When we know about this fact, business class flights stop looking so attractive.

6. Home appliances

Wealthy people don’t strive to buy the latest models of home appliances. If the previous model they bought still works perfectly, they see no need to buy a new one. At the same time, this rule is constantly broken by people with an average income — consumer loans are taken out for any household appliances and gadgets.

This also relates to “one-time” home appliances like waffle irons, pancake makers, ice cream makers, and fondue pots, as well as massagers with 15 nozzles. Most often, people use these super devices only one or 2 times, and afterward they just lie on a shelf and “stare” at their owners with dumb reproach for insensibly spent money.

7. A lot of knick-knacks

Successful people try to keep minimalism in their home’s design. Rich people increasingly prefer simplicity in their interiors, so as not to be distracted by household items and so they don’t waste time choosing and buying furniture, or repairing it. It helps them free up time for family, relationships, meeting friends, and work.

Oftentimes, the middle class try to fill their houses with various interior details and the latest trendy things. They strive to constantly improve their interior, distracting themselves from the really important immaterial things.

8. A big house

Wealthy people prefer to buy promising real estate, for little money, in order to make a profit when it grows in price. For example, billionaire Warren Buffett still lives in the same modest house that he bought in 1958. His cozy house in Nebraska state only cost him $30,000, today it’s estimated to be worth $650,000.

A Mexican billionaire whose fortune is estimated at $50 billion, also lives in a modest house that was bought long ago and avoids expensive things. Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara clothing store chain, also didn’t let his success infatuate him — he and his wife live in an ordinary house in Spain. A professor at Stanford University, David Cheriton, who owns $1.3 billion in Google shares, once said in his interview, “These people who build houses with 13 bathrooms and so on, there’s something wrong with them.”

The middle class, in contrast, is mainly driven by the saying, “Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and give birth to a son.” That’s why the life of many people starts to center around the construction of a big house, that sometimes doesn’t stop until the kids grow up. It takes a lot of money, time, and energy, while the expenses for maintaining the house itself and its territory take a big part of their income.

9. Luxury cars

Nowadays, wealthy people don’t buy new car brands if their own car is in good condition and meets all their needs. Even Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg, drives a Volkswagen with a manual transmission and says he never cared about “looking” rich.

However, many people around the world use expensive cars to boost their self-esteem and even not having the money to buy or maintain a vehicle like this doesn’t prevent them from getting one. They just take out car loans.

10. An expensive education

Millionaires know that a free education doesn’t differ much from an expensive one, while success in life is obtained by discipline, determination, and perseverance. In addition, nowadays big international companies are ready to hire young people for work, if they have the necessary knowledge. This means that professional experience and real skills are becoming more important than a college diploma.

At the same time, many people believe that if they pay for an education and get a diploma, they are buying a ticket to a successful life. As a result, young people take out huge loans to pay for their education, but after graduation, they have to work outside of their specialty for the next 5-10 years to pay back the loan to the bank, which means they spend the most precious years of their life doing this.

11. Buying lots of toys for their kids

Successful people came to the conclusion that they could harm their children by buying toys in unlimited quantities. Research proves it too: 36 children were offered the chance to play for half an hour with 4 or 16 toys. It was found that the kids from the first group (the ones who had 4 toys) showed more creativity and came up with more interesting ideas using fewer objects. If parents spend time with their kids and pay more attention to them, they will develop faster than if they are simply playing with a lot of toys.

At the same time, most parents admit that their kids are literally snowed under toys: their stuffed toys are so big that they require a separate apartment, their amount of dolls is so big that they could build a doll army, there are so many Legos that it’s possible to build a 2-story house out of them. Kids don’t have time to dream — they have everything and all their wishes come true too quickly. That’s the way parents show their love to their kids and give them the things they themselves didn’t have in their childhood.

12. Training and courses

Personal growth courses are a business, and the coaches there are not interested in the effective development of their clients. Because of this, it is impossible to transform your life drastically with the help of a training session like this. Successful people know that you can only change your life by continuously working on yourself and your goals.

At the same time, these courses have become incredibly popular among people who are planning to become successful. Even though their cost is pretty high, tickets are still sold really quickly. Poor people are often trying to find a magic pill that will change their life for the better. When one pill doesn’t work, they start to seek help from another coach.

13. The beauty sphere

Today, the natural color of nails speaks to privilege and wealth. Successful women prefer a neat, natural nail, in a modest pastel or nude shade that looks nice.

But many girls want to be sure that their manicure is noticeable by everyone around them, which is why they often opt for brighter colors of nail polish, unique designs with rhinestones, and extreme lengths. If the length is not enough, they go for artificial nails. This style is often chosen by middle class women who want to show that they have an idle and relaxed lifestyle.

Which things do you consider a part of your social status and are you not ready to give up?

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