An index of all of my articles by topic



Life Lessons

The unfathomable becomes fathomable when you act

Photo by Andreas Kind on Unsplash

Have you ever heard the quote-

“Nothing worthwhile is achieved without sacrifice?”

Now, I’m not sure sacrifice is the right word, but nonetheless the message is clear- beautiful things take hard work.

Just like things don’t get done unless you do them, and things don’t happen unless you make them happen, dreams won’t be achieved unless you work.

I’ve written about this topic a lot- about taking that difficult first step toward a task or goal and then seeing it through to its end.

But the concept of dreams is fascinating to me. Dreams imply aspirations which seem out of…

How to improve your empathy on a daily basis

Photo by Hannah Sutherland on Unsplash

You’re driving in the left lane and someone is going 10 miles per hour under the speed limit. — Instant annoyance.

You’re driving home carefully and someone passes you like a maniac. — Instant annoyance.

The car behind you is riding your tail. — Instant annoyance.

It’s quite easy to get frustrated while driving. Even with a universal set of rules, we are trying to navigate a roadway filled with a variety of people with different personalities, experiences, anxieties, and driving styles.

Every time I feel frustration in a car, I have a moment of reflection about the fact that…

And then pass others a seed

Photo by JD Designs on Unsplash

Have you ever felt like you’ve put in a ton of work for the longest period of time, only to see no success? Sometimes the most rewarding things take the longest to become visible.

I’m currently working toward a PhD. I’m 2 years in but I have a minimum of 3 more to get through. Many people take much longer than 5 years. I keep telling myself I’ll be done by 5 so I don’t allow myself to feel as though I have more time to linger. …

The five strategies I use to clear my house and my mind

Photo of a tidy bedroom.
Photo of a tidy bedroom.
Photo by SHOP SLO® on Unsplash

When I moved across the country from my family I took whatever I could fit in three suitcases and a carry-on. Unintentionally, I had become a minimalist.

Unfortunately, that didn’t last too long. Over the past two years, I have accumulated quite a lot of, well, clutter. I lived with it for a while. But then I got tired of it.

Slowly, one day at a time, I’ve been decluttering.

I’ve found a consistent system to get things out, and over time I’ve cleared out a lot from my house. Decluttering became a routine. It became a habit.

I talk…

Working toward rewards has amplified my productivity.

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

The article below by Mary-kate provides a great argument for why positive reinforcement is the best option of training for dogs.

Positive reinforcement is the idea that your dog learns that good things happen to him/her when he/she does the thing you like and therefore is more likely to repeat that behavior. Conversely, if you ignore unwanted behaviors or use positive training to redirect a dog, they are more likely to decrease those behaviors.”

As I read, I started thinking- why isn’t this used for people? After all, we are animals ourselves.

Maybe the better question is, why don’t we…

The right readers will find you

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

I’ve heard so much debate on this topic lately. To write in a niche or to write whatever you like?

For the record, my personal answer will always be to write what you are inspired to write. When you write on something you’re not currently motivated to discuss, the output will always be bland.

I strongly believe, that no matter which topic you are motivated to write about on a certain day, you should pick up a pen (or a computer) and get to it.

The followers that like what you write, or like some of the topics you write…

A symbol of kindness in a world too often grey

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Regardless of culture, race, or sex

A smile’s meaning is never questioned.

Though often not something we expect

From the stranger offering a suggestion

Cold, quiet, private- that’s our standard interaction

When did politeness translate to being solemn,

When a smile can bring more traction?

When a smile can make others blossom-

A symbol of kindness in a world too often grey.

A smile isn’t controversial

And yet, somehow we still shy away?

A simple symbol, an easy nonverbal.

A smile isn’t difficult to implement.

But once it’s released, it leaves way for future kindness

A smile in return, perhaps…

Organized by body part

Photo by Ilona Frey on Unsplash

I spent years writing a new packing list before every trip. I finally consolidated. Of course, some of these items will depend on the nature of the vacation (and on the individual) but this has been a great starting guide for me.

If you think of anything I’ve missed- let me know in the comments below!



  • Hairbrush
  • Comb
  • Hairspray/products needed
  • Hairties
  • Bobbypins
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner


  • Contacts
  • Contact solution
  • Glasses
  • Eye drops
  • Sunglasses
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow


  • qtips


  • Travel Tissues


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Chapstick/lipstick
  • Gum


  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Body spray/perfume/cologne
  • Lotion
  • Bandaids/first aid kit
  • Foundation/cover up
  • Bodywash
  • Razors
  • Makeup wipes
  • Hand sanitizer


  • Snacks

Remind us that the world is small

Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

The whiff of a grill alit on a summers night

I turn my nose toward the smell as I pass on my bike

The aroma means family and togetherness

And I’m urged to remember just how much I’m blessed

My stomach growls for grilled corn and burgers

Before it’s distracted by the dog barking around the corner

I remember the smell of my late dogs breath

She smelled of love as I hugged her fluffy breast

I think back to home

And of the smells unique to my hometown

Now in the desert, I miss the smell of the sea

Trudy Horsting

Writer. PhD Student. Frugal Traveler. Passionate about health, personal growth, and saving money.

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