There’s something about the last month of the year. For all it’s magic, December always passes by in a blur. Still, as I looked through our numbers for November and thought about the month ahead, I realized that we’re making progress. And two little tweaks I made a few months back have been paying off big time for me personally.
To the people who say not to make your work your passion*, you’re right. Your approach is far more strategic and systematic. You will reach financial independence much faster pursuing a six-figure career than I will figuring out why teenagers are still tempted to cover their arms in glue whenever we create posters. You will also garner far more esteem in the media, on social media, from your friends, and at family parties. You, my friend, are an innovator. A disrupter. Someone who will push your field to the precipice, help pivot a struggling enterprise, or create the newest technology.
I don’t do what you do.
I couldn’t do what you do.
I’m also not sure I’d want to. Continue reading “My Passion is My Work”
At the beginning of the summer, I outlined my grand plans to earn extra income this summer. And grand they were. Summer school wraps up today, and I only have two more meetings on the docket. Thanks to all of my school-related side hustling, I’ll have clocked in just shy of $3500 after taxes. That doesn’t even include the money I made tutoring or contributing to Tip Yourself. For someone who is hellbent on crushing her mortgage, you’d think I’d be pretty content. But I can’t help but wonder if I’ve been hustling too hard. Continue reading “Am I Hustling Too Hard?”
Over the past week, there’s been a lot of celebrating going on in my world: a milestone birthday followed by Mother’s Day celebrations with my mom and again with my mother-in-law. There have been laughter and sweets, photos and games. And yes, there have even been gifts.
One thing I’ve noticed post-celebration–even more than the tightness of my pants*–is the way we, as a society, tend to talk about celebrations. What’s become especially interesting to me is the way we seem to want to measure their success. “What did you get?” If I didn’t field that question twenty different ways in the day following my thirtieth birthday, I’d be shocked. I tried to talk about the surprise party my husband threw. I tried to mention how friends from high school, college, and work all went in on the surprise. But all anyone really seemed to care about is what I unwrapped. Continue reading “Reframing the Question About Celebrations”
I spent the day before winter break writing your children thank you notes that I am fairly confident you will never see. In fact, they’ve probably already been relinquished to the deep recesses of binders next to permission slips, school calendars, and progress reports or banished to the bottoms of lockers atop moldy sandwiches, gym shirts, and library books. Some cards won’t even make it that far. Some are tossed in the trash, which I later dutifully recycle. Others are discarded underneath desks. Even if you did see my note, the letter I wrote your child is different than what I’d like to say to you. Continue reading “To Families Who Gave Teachers Gifts”
The other day, we were in the middle of reviewing literary devices when I asked for a student to remind me of what sarcasm is. “It would be like someone saying, ‘I reeeeally like that blouse you’re wearing today’.” Sometimes, I just walk right into. My stomach hurt by the time we all got done laughing.
Truth be told, I imagine most adults have been outsmarted by a child or teen at some point. A clever quip, an unforeseen loophole, an infallible counterargument. But this week I was absolutely amazed to realize that when it comes to purposeful living and personal finance, teens know quite a few things that we seem to forget as adults. Continue reading “What Teens Know That Adults Forget”
After working out at a bargain-chain fitness center for a few years, I started experimenting with at-home fitness about a year ago. I checked out Pilates and yoga DVDs from my local library, started following a few fitness blogs, and bookmarked some YouTube channels. I also kept going with
sprinting running jogging around the neighborhood using the MapMyRun app on my phone.
The more I found myself exercising at home and in my neighborhood, the less I felt the need to go to the gym. Between the commute to the gym and fighting the siren song of donuts on Tuesdays once I was there*, I realized that gym just wasn’t for me at this moment in time. Makes sense, right? Right.
Here’s where it stops making sense and starts costing
cents dollars. Hundreds of dollars. My membership cost exactly $10 each month, totaling $120 a year. Plus that pesky $20 annual membership fee. Nonetheless, I waited over a year to cancel my membership. Why? Simple. Ten dollars didn’t seem like that big of a deal, especially since I kept telling myself that I might go back to working out at the gym one day. One day in the distant future when I’m no longer turned off by the ever-increasing amount of gym mirror selfies and sweaty people who ignore the signs asking them to wipe down machines when they’re done**. Continue reading “Why I Walked Away From the Gym this Summer”