Adding more to life one thoughtful decision at a time.

About me

I am starting this blog to help me keep track of my own progress in adding value to my life. Values can be anything worthwhile that I want to add. Such as happiness, or more free time, etc. I’m not going to be too picky by the fact that if I have more free time, that may also boost my happiness. That is a bonus that I will try and capture here as well.

I also started this blog for everyone who wants to get the most out of life. All too often people are the victims of their own story. This does not have to be the case! There is always a way out, always a way to do something better, always a way to make life amazing for YOU. One of the most cheerful friends I have ever had, also had some of the greatest struggles. She was born in a refugee camp in Cambodia and lost several siblings to various diseases before her family immigrated to the United States. She grew up with very little money. Her first marriage at the age of twenty-two was to a man who had contracted AIDs during a blood transfusion. They both knew this and were careful but happy. A year into their marriage around Christmas her husband tripped on the step between their dining room and living room and fell, breaking his neck and he died. I met her two years later when we both worked for Starbucks.

She doesn’t think her outlook on life is anything special. Why should she dwell on all of the grief and struggle in her life that she cannot change? Just as easy to remember all of the positive things and continue to find happiness she would tell me. I only disagree with her on whether or not she is special. She is and I hope she can continue to pursue and see all the good things in her life for the rest of her life.

The name of the blog comes from a business process that asks the question “Is this value-added?” Meaning, is the action being performed at the moment worth continuing to do?  Maybe it is an unnecessary action that cropped up as a filler activity.  Another way to look at value-added is to say “I think I should do this new thing” and the very next thought should be “what value does this add to my life?” The reason I want it to be “value” and not “happy” or even “good things” is because sometimes value comes from something negative or sad. My grandmother died last Sunday at 10:22 pm. This Sunday before she had had a heart attack and did not realize it. She called my cousin twelve hours later to ask what she should do because she couldn’t breath well and was gasping a lot. My cousin tried to call back and couldn’t get a hold of her, so he called 911 and my aunt, uncle, and cousin rushed the 45 minutes down to her house and then the hospital. She spent a week in the hospital fighting for her life but ultimately was not getting better. It was decided to take off the tubes and breather and let her be more comfortable as she died. She hung on long enough for all of us to say goodbye and I got to see her acting like herself for a few hours, although still sick. I got that all important glimpse that she knew I was there and knew I loved her.

This was valuable and I will remember it, but it was not happy. I was anxious, sad, bored during the waiting times, and generally uncomfortable. My family was great, the hospital was great and so was the staff, but there is not much you can do other than provide a safe secure spot in this situation. You are still uncomfortable. But I would not pass up the opportunity to be there. To make sure my grandma knew she was loved and would be missed. To make sure my family each had an opportunity to grieve in whatever way they needed. It was all valuable.

That value can be whatever you decide is valuable to you.  If it is something you like doing, love doing, or obsessive about doing- that is valuable to you. If it is something you need to do, it is worth adding into your decision making process.

On the other hand if it is something that does not continue any of your goals in any way, meaning it is something you hate, you are not gaining knowledge or skills, it is not giving you more comfort (such as earning money or the dreadful cleaning of the kitchen), is it worth doing?  It is crucial to figure out why you are doing something, as it may be wasting your time, your money, or your decision making power, aka willpower.

This blog will cover many things all aimed at bringing more value to your life.  Everyone has different values so if I am not covering something that is of the highest concern to you, feel free to contact me about your particular concern.  I want my blog to be a place for inspiration and as a forum to connect with those looking to improve their lives and whatever way is important to them. I am hoping eventually to have others with different values write about what they did to add value to their life.

About me:

I am Victoria Kean and I go by the name Tori.  I live in Pickerington, Ohio after transplanting from Boston with my husband and two cats. I love learning new things and trying out new skills (well before I have said skills).  I have aspirations to travel the world, learn new languages, learn to paddle board, and start many businesses in my lifetime. I am an avid researcher and I try to get my thoughts down on paper or the screen in a comprehensive manner that I hope is funny (it is ok if you do not agree). My goal in writing is to reach people and help them live their life to the fullest extent they desire. My goal in living is to never stop growing, never stop living, and never stop learning.

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