Homeside Financial - March 2019

NMLS #111660

March 2019

1730 North Center Street, Hickory, NC 28601 • 828.229.7877 • Spring-Cleaning Your Life

A Personal Development Strategy to Generate New Growth

I n years past, I thought I knew how to rest a trip up to the mountains on a Friday afternoon, it’s not the days or the hours spent away that lead to rest; it’s how you spend them. I’ve found that unplugging from all my technology leads to better rest. Usually, after four days away from my tech devices, I get antsy and go back to work, but it’s becoming more and more important for me to find ways to take a break from technology. I have two computers at my desk and two more at home, a phone, a Fitbit, and a tablet. I have all the technology in the world at my fingertips, and unplugging from it is almost as valuable as a long vacation. Nick, our divisional manager here at Homeside, spent a few days with us recently. He talked about how hard it is to get a kid’s undivided attention today. They get bombarded with endless stimuli, and those things can grab our attention as adults and distract us just as much. One of my goals for free time has become unplugging from tech. I don’t want my phone close to me. I don’t want the distraction. I want to be engaged and present. We are just getting destroyed by all this technology. Now, when a baby starts crying, we shove a smartphone in their face. That can’t be good for their brain development. In the 1990s and early 2000s, multitasking was considered a tremendous skill. Our obsession with it became extreme, to the point that if we were not multitasking half a dozen things at a time, we were effectively. I was wrong. I used to think I needed to take a whole week off to feel recharged, but I have learned that I can feel just as rested after a long weekend. Whether it’s a staycation or just

not being productive. But this much multitasking actually degrades your work’s quality. You should try to focus 100 percent of your attention on one thing at a time, whether it takes one hour or a whole weekend. It’s okay to multitask some low-level activities, but many make the mistake of trying to multitask high-level activities.

I have two computers at my desk and two more at home, a phone, a Fitbit, and a tablet. I have all the technology in the world at my fingers, and unplugging from it is almost as valuable as a longer vacation.

Freckles on his way to the mountains for some R&R

can follow up with some reading, and you can use this time to exercise as well —but I tend to skip that part! This morning routine can become your break from all the craziness — just you and your pen, paper, and books in the quiet. The point is, breaks are important. Don’t put pressure on yourself to set aside a whole week for a break when all you need is a morning routine or a weekend

When taking a break, focusing on one thing at a time is just as important as stepping away from your phone and computer. Every morning, I try to wake up early (around 5–5:15 a.m.) and follow a routine. I call it my “miracle morning,”and it is amazing. I recommend this strategy for everyone. I read once that it is important to take the first part of your morning to visualize your day and your goals. It might be beneficial to have a prayer time. You might also try to do some writing during this time. I try to journal for a fewminutes, just to write down some of my thoughts for the day. You

in the mountains, away from your phone and computer. Breaks take different forms for everyone, but the benefits are ubiquitous.

-Jamie Harrington



Mortgage Made Easy!

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Family-Friendly Activities

leprechaun came from or read other stories from Irish folklore. You can also watch videos of Irish dance performances and encourage the kids to make their own. There’s also fascinating history on St. Patrick and why he became the patron of the holiday that your family members can research together. If you have Irish roots, tell your kids about your heritage. Watch Irish Movies For a relaxing activity, settle down in front of the TV for a movie night filled with films related to Irish culture. Try “The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns,”“Song of the Sea,”“The Luck of the Irish,” or “The Secret of Kells.” Make an Impact Teach your kids how to be “greener” this month by doing more for the environment. Discuss ways to save energy and water in the home, and talk about the importance of taking a break from electronics and enjoying the outdoors. This list is not exhaustive by any means, but it’s a good start to get your family to create new ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You might even create family traditions that will last for years to come. Clean It Right Away Cleaning dishes and putting away clothes immediately after use may seem intuitive, but this practice can be mimicked in other areas as well. Did your leftovers dirty the microwave when you reheated them? Wipe it down immediately after you use it. The same principle should apply for the oven and the refrigerator. Cleaning kitchen appliances is always a big part of spring-cleaning, and trying to clean them immediately after you notice the mess will reduce the amount of chores you have to do later. Know Where the Clutter Is “Out of sight, out of mind,” is a proverb realized in almost every home. Whether it’s a drawer in the kitchen or a closet at the end of the hall, there is at least one space in the house to put all the odds and ends that you can’t be bothered with. The key to habitually reducing this clutter is to be mindful of it. Keep a mental inventory of your clutter if you can and make a note of where you want it to end up. That way, even if it does build up, you have a plan for where to put it. With spring’s arrival, you will always remember tasks and chores that the fog of winter hid away. However, by developing habits that you can use to keep your house clean year-round, your spring-cleaning list will be shorter.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to mean heading to the local Irish bar and drinking a large green beverage. If you’re not interested in going out this year and would prefer to do something at home with the family, here are a few ways everyone can celebrate. Irish-Themed Food What better way to get festive than by making some St. Patrick’s Day- themed dishes? You can make rainbow cupcakes, green cookies, St. Patrick’s Day popcorn, or — for a more traditional dish — Irish soda bread. You can also cook up an array of greens for dinner on March 17, which could include Brussels sprouts, spinach, cucumbers, green beans, peas, or asparagus. A Mischievous Leprechaun To treat your kids to a fun game, leave green footprints around the house and participate in impish tricks! Empty a tissue box, hide the remote, swap out regular light bulbs with green ones, or draw rainbows on the windows. You’re only limited by your imagination. Exploring Irish Culture Another way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your family is to sit down and read about Irish culture with your kids. Learn where the legend of the

Reducing the Dread of Spring-Cleaning Developing Cleaning Habits to Practice Year-Round

Spring-cleaning season can be a great time to develop new habits for keeping your home clean the rest of the year. You may find yourself staring at a dishearteningly long to-do list and debating whether spring- cleaning is really even worth the effort. After all, isn’t it going to get messy again anyway? Well, the idea is that being habitually clean throughout the year will make that daunting spring-cleaning to-do list shorter next year. Start The best way to develop habits in cleanliness is to start. Don’t let the size of the task daunt you; just start doing something. Wipe down a baseboard; dust a shelf — anything to push past the initial lack of motivation. As with exercising, starting is often the hardest part of cleaning. Once you get going, you can ride the wave of motivation until the task is complete, then repeat.


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When the dolls and baseball cards get pushed to the wayside for cell phones and movie dates, it may be time to gently nudge your child out from under your wing and into the workplace. It doesn’t have to be pushing shopping carts or spinning signs on the corner; working in any capacity during formative years builds character and gives your child real-world experience. Summer jobs teach the value of a dollar and give kids lasting memories, and after-school gigs lead to more pocket change for the weekends and less worrying for Mom and Dad. The hard part isn’t asking yourself if they should work; it’s asking yourself when they should work. In the U.S., most of us have about four decades of working to look forward to. Many start working in late adolescence and continue until retirement age. Now, that’s a lot of work to be had. So why rush it? Well, idle hands often spell disaster. Sitting around all day is a burden on both child and parent, whether they realize it or not. Those few years between hitting puberty and graduating high school are the sweet spot for your child to start their part-time career. There’s no shame in flipping burgers, stocking shelves, or mowing lawns. As of 2014, there were 16 million workers in the retail and food service industries, and the numbers have only gone up from there. But work ethic is changing among American teenagers. Just one-third of individuals aged 16–19 had a job lined up for last summer, compared to 51.2 percent for the same age range in 1997. While surviving on minimum wage as an adult is a topic of great debate, raking in around $10 an hour as a 14-year-old can seem like a king’s ransom. A few working hours here and there will do your grown baby a world of good and prepare them for the next chapter of their lives.

“Buying our first home together has been a dream of ours since we married. Finding one big enough for our family, well, that was another thing. When we found the home we wanted, we knew it! Working with Jamie Harrington and the staff at Homeside Financial was great! Everyone was friendly and helpful and made our home buying

process an easy one. Chris Gettys is an awesome real estate agent as well. If I had to buy again, they would be the ones we would choose. We love our new home and look forward to watching our kids grow while living in it. Thanks again to Homeside Financial and Chris Gettys for making our homebuying experience easy and simple.”

–Eric & Autum Knight

*Many thanks to Erik and Autum for their service to our community. Erik is in law enforcement, and Autum is a nurse.



Mortgage Made Easy!

1730 North Center Street, Hickory, NC 28601



The Importance of Taking Time Off


Family Activities for St. Patrick’s Day Reducing the Dread of Spring-Cleaning


Homes for Heroes Is It Time for Your Child’s First Part-Time Job?


Llamas, Pigs, and Horses … Oh, My!

Llamas, Pigs, and Horses … Oh, My!

3 Unique Therapy Animals

Everyone has heard of therapy dogs and cats, but did you know virtually any critter can be a therapy or support animal? Therapy animals help humans cope with PTSD, anxiety, depression, injury, high blood pressure, and chronic pain, as well as a wide range of other conditions and difficulties. Therapy animals range from guinea pigs that can fit in a purse to dolphins that swim with amputees. Here are three unique companions who make a difference in the lives of people who need them. Rojo the Llama Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas in Portland, Oregon, has conducted over 1,500 visits during the last decade and helps over 10,000 people each year. Their star llama, Rojo, is one of just 14 llamas registered as a therapy animal in the United States. Rojo’s exceptionally gentle temperament is calming to everyone who meets him. He’s so well-loved and has become such a big deal that he has his own Facebook page and two children’s books! Buttercup the Pot-Bellied Pig Lois Brady, a speech pathologist who works with special needs students in San Francisco, has a secret

weapon in her arsenal: Buttercup, her black, 70-pound Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. His docile nature makes him the perfect companion for autistic children, who are often easily startled. Because Buttercup is an unusual sight in classrooms, children find him fascinating. In 2017, an autistic student who had never spoken to his classmates before felt compelled to crawl out from beneath his desk to pet Buttercup. Afterward, the child spoke to the class for the first time. “It was a remarkable breakthrough,” says Brady. Rocky the Miniature Horse At just 32 inches high and 325 pounds, Rocky packs a lot of cuteness into one small package. He’s not a pony but rather a breed of miniature horse historically used in coal mines in the 17th century. His specialty is working with retired veterans at the VA Community Living Center in Phoenix, Arizona, where the residents know him and look forward to his visits. For some, Rocky’s visits are bittersweet. “I wish I could have had more time to spend with horses,” says one veteran as he scratches Rocky’s ears. “There’s something calming about them.”


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