Friday, November 9, 2012

Spend Your Money and Your Time on What You Value

Finance and Frugality Friday

A girlfriend of mine got divorced a few years ago and had a very, very limited budget for a year while she put her personal life back together. For that year she lived in a studio apartment with her cat and she didn't get cable TV. She had a zillion DVDs to watch and she also streamed Netflix movies on her notebook computer to help her while away the long evenings alone. With her cat.

I treated her to a Happy Hour one day and I inquired how she was getting on.

Her only complaint? "Everyone keeps giving me shit about not having cable TV."

I was really appalled. Why would anyone care about her personal home entertainment choices? She said co-workers and even her ex kept asking her why she couldn't afford cable. Was the money thing really that bad?

"But I just don't care about cable right now. So why should I pay for it?"

This is a perfect example of choosing to fill your life with things you value.

My friend did not value cable TV so she didn't sign up for it. I value Happy Hour with friends so I make room for it in my budget. I do not value brand new cars so I refrain from buying them. My sister-in-law doesn't want Internet access at home because she has unrestricted access all day at work. I don't value beautiful fingernails so I don't spend time caring for them myself or money getting someone else to do it for me. This list goes on and on for every person. Reading about frugality includes all range of stories from people re-using tea bags to dumpster diving to the intricate planning of errands so that all destinations form a circle and one never needs to double back. I do that last one. I keep lists galore on my frig. I try very hard to never make a special trip for anything. If I'm running low on dog kibble or milk or gasoline I make a note and determine when, in the next few days, will I be driving past the places I buy these items?


Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Got Credit for Getting Up Early Even Though I Didn't

Homemaking Thursday

My daily routine calls for my alarm clock to go off at 6am. But this past weekend we ended daylight savings time and "fell back" 1 hour. A friend needed a ride to the airport very early Monday morning. There were four adults (myself included) who were available to give him a ride. Everyone balked at taking him to the airport at 5:30 in the morning. But I of course, saw the truth.

"Of course I'll take you. You want to be at the airport by 6am? I'll pick you up at 5:30."

Everyone's mouths dropped open in astonishment. They wanted to know why I was volunteering to get up at butt-crack dawn. I waved them away and said it was no trouble. Because it wasn't.

Have you figured it out yet?

My alarm goes off every weekday morning at 6am. The very first Monday after the time change I needed my alarm to go off at 5am in order to take my friend to the airport. My body noticed no difference because it had yet to adjust to the time change. The best part? I get "credit" for getting up early and I get to mock my friends for not being willing to sacrifice a bit of sleep for a friend. I love a win-win.


I'd also like to put in my 2 cents about daylight savings time. Just get rid of it. It's silly.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Glass of Wine is My Friend

Health and Wellness Wednesday

Last night was election night in America. President Obama was re-elected to a second term. But when I went to sleep no one knew that yet. Why did I go to sleep so early? Well, in a word, wine. I had worked 2 very long days and when I got home after voting I made a sandwich and then felt very, very lazy. I watched that movie Chimpanzee (so cute) and then an idea occurred to me. Wine! So I poured a glass that Jules from Cougar Town would've been proud of and settled into my jammies in bed.

Delicious wine (pinot noir if you care) and (boring) election results made for a very sleepy me. Long story less long, I woke early, fully rested and ready for hump day. I called out to Rob, who was already up and having his coffee in front of the TV in the living room, "Who's the president?"

"Obama," he called back.

I'm not sure what wine and election day have to do with Health and Wellness Wednesday, but what I am sure of is that a full night's rest after a glass of wine makes for a very wonderful Wednesday.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Want to Feel My Body

The Woman I Want to Be Tuesday

Last night I went to yoga for the first time in weeks and weeks and weeks. And, as happens every time I go to yoga after a hiatus, I couldn't believe why I ever made excuses not to go. It made me feel so good! I felt connected in a positive way to the other people who were there. I discovered that my body is weak and strong simultaneously. And I love any kind of exercise that doesn't involve excessive sweating.

My favorite yoga instructor has teaches four classes every week. Why have I avoided going to them? Why do I let my lazy self dictate how I spend all my time? No matter. What matters is that I move forward from here with the desire to feel my body and learn about the things it can do.

Melanie is moving here. I can hardly believe it. My friend is taking us up on our offer to let her live with us so she can get out of her go-nowhere job in her go no-where hometown. She is taking real steps to change her life. She is choosing to make her life different. Wow.

I will have 1000 followers of this blog by summer 2013.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Birthday Weekend

Marriage and Relationships Monday

I'm so glad that today I get to write about relationships. My friendships are primarily fed on the weekends. The marriage is a 7-day-a-week thing, but my social life exists mainly during those scant hours from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening when I see local friends face-to-face and far away friends on Facebook. 

And this past weekend was my birthday. My birthday dinner was a restaurant we'd never been to and six of us were there. Me and Rob, Stan and Sammie, and the Gays, Bob and Mark. Stan and Sammie are our best couple friends for the last 6 or 7 years. The four of us get along so well as a group we generally go into shock if we're not hanging out at least 4 weekends a month. A little co-dependent, but nonetheless it works beautifully for us. The Gays are new friends. But halfway through dinner Bob turned to me and said "I'm so glad we're family now." His eyes were bright with bourbon but his smile and his words were genuine. And I felt the same way.

Choosing your family does not mean that there will never be conflict, but it helps me remember to be kind. That night there were many jokes, compliments, barbs and insults, and generous and silly gifts were received. But the best gift of all was an evening with my family.