I celebrated an anniversary two weeks ago… The anniversary of last year’s disastrous American thanksgiving, when a slightly sensitive tooth flared up into a full-blown infection leading to the first of what would be many dental procedures over the next 12 months.
You see, for the 10 years before that date I had been avoiding the dentist.
Some of my favourite excuses were:
I know there’s stuff that needs to be done, but I don’t have the money.
It doesn’t really hurt that badly.
I don’t really need my teeth… I can just live off of milkshakes… they’re good…
But the truth was, I was just pretty scared of the dentist. Ever since I was a little kid, I hated it there. The sounds, the smells, they just made my muscles tense up.
Plus…there was the money thing…
So it was an occasion worth celebrating when, a year after that first root canal, I was CAVITY FREE for the first time in years. I had bitten the bullet, gotten the work done… and doggone it… it was worth it.
Well done, past Chris, you’re finally growing up into an adult.
And the very next morning after my joyous anniversary I woke up with a terrible toothache… (more…)
So, apparently ‘Giving Tuesday’ is a thing now… I’m not sure when that started, but I will say that somehow it loses a little bit of its authenticity when it comes right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday (which I had also never heard of until this year).
Nonetheless, there was some pretty spectacular giving going on. I love how many great causes people were posting about. It was an amazing burst of positivity on my newsfeed. But I think we can all agree the winner has to be Mr. Facebook himself who pledged 99% of his Facebook shares to charity. Billions of dollars.
That’s a whole lot of giving.
It’s pretty easy as an artist living on less to not think about ‘giving’ all that often. In fact, in the arts, we often are the ones people are ‘giving’ to. And so, too often, the conversations artists have about charity and donations are about how people aren’t giving us enough.
I think it’s easy to become a little selfish when you’re having trouble making ends meet. At least, it’s easy for me. It’s easy to forget exactly how lucky I am, and how many things I have.
And it’s really easy to assume that because I can’t give billions of dollars away… the few dollars that I could afford couldn’t possibly matter. (more…)
In the personal finance sphere it seems like there’s no greater fate than being broke. NO MONEY??? That must be absolutely terrible, you must be doing everything wrong.
The thing is, having no money doesn’t mean you’re broken. In fact there are lots of people who don’t mind living with no money (and some of them are even… gasp… happy).
On the other hand, broke can also be a really shitty place to be. The stress, the sense of shame (whether it’s deserved or not), the desperation.
But that feeling is shitty not necessarily because you don’t have any money, it’s because you don’t have enough money to do what ever it is you want to do.
Recently, a friend posted a video of a guy who swore he had hit rock bottom. Things had gotten so low that he had to buy a Ford Focus.
“I deserve a treat.”
Do you know how easy it is for my brain to justify that sentence??
I just ate two donuts because I felt that I deserved a treat (ya.. that’s right… TWO… cause one donut isn’t treat enough!).
The personal finance handbook comes down pretty hard on ‘treats’. It’s not so much in favour of them. I should be investing that money in a low MER ETF with a half-way decent dividend yield instead!
But… um….donuts… (more…)
I’m really good at losing focus!
Both in the little things and the big picture stuff.
And do you know what’s really incredible?… I’m so good at it, it doesn’t even look like I’m losing focus at all.
I’ll sit down at my desk in the morning, start with some studying, and then be reminded of an email I need to send. Half-way through that I get a good idea for a blog post … then an interesting aria idea that I should try.
I call it hyper productive time wasting.
I’m getting things done… Without really accomplishing anything.
*pause for applause*
It’s not that I mean to be a time waster, but it’s really easy to convince myself that I’m working hard while completely losing focus on what I’m working towards.
On the surface, it’s all good work, but is it the right work? (more…)