Increasing Your Money Awareness

I've never been very good with money. Somehow, it has never felt super important. I roughly moderate my spending to correspond with what I have, not through any serious budgeting process, but just by listening to the little voices in my head that warn me when the balance between spending and earning is off. Becoming More Aware of Money in My Life But this year, I've decided to consider money differently -- to consciously become more aware of dollars and cents and … [Read more...]

Weird Money Stories and My Quest to Improve

Most of us have weird money stories and sometimes they really don't make much sense. So what's my weird money story? My Weird Money Story I often worry more about little expenditures than big ones. I fret about buying a Kindle book for $9 more than I do about a trip to Cuba for $3,000! (Yes, we are going to Cuba over Christmas.) These strange, counter-intuitive ways with money are quite common. I see them in my friends. Some of my friends are so poor that they … [Read more...]

Reporting on my Incremental Improvement Plan

Turns out that change, even little step by little step, isn't so easy. Two weeks ago, I wrote a post advocating making little changes day after day after day. And I created the list of changes I'd make daily for fourteen days. Below is my little list of 1% improvements along with my report of what I did and didn't do.  And here, perhaps more importantly, is what I've learned. Little Lessons Learned It's easier to do something new once than it is to keep doing it day … [Read more...]

The Discipline and Practice of Gratitude

Have you ever gone out of your way to do something nice for someone and not been thanked? How did that feel? Conversely, how do you feel when someone lets you know that they both notice and appreciate your help? Stop reading for a few seconds and conjure up those feelings. Pull back that slightly bitter sensation that you went out of your way for someone who didn't even let you know they noticed. And now, remember the little sweet glow you felt when someone let you … [Read more...]

Are you Conscious and Competent? Or are You Creative?

I've been working out with a great trainer lately. He's determined to help this old crone get strong -- really strong. It's frustrating, exciting and fun.  Frustrating when I can't do what he asks. Exciting when I start to get the form. And serious fun when I can see how much better and stronger I'm getting. My excellent trainer at Crunch, Leonel Dias, introduced me to the Conscious Competence Learning Model. Conscious Competence Learning Model It goes like … [Read more...]

Does it Pay to Be a Snitch?

I was breathing easy about Clemetin. His life was going smoothly. He hadn't been stopped by the cops in quite a while. Perhaps as a result of the change in the stop and frisk policies adopted by the city some months ago. And he's been very proud that he has stopped shoplifting -- something that for Clemetin has been a way of life since he was a child. But then, one day went by and then another without a word from him. I didn't think much about it until the phone rang … [Read more...]

Are You a Scatterbrain?

The other day I read a blog post written by someone I know and respect and like. The post was titled, Scatterbrained People Can Succeed in Major Gifts. It was about how people who can't stay organized... people whose thinking is not linear, can still be successful if they're managed well. While I understand my friend's point, the word "scatterbrained" stuck in my craw. It's just so negative and implies that people whose thinking is nonlinear are somehow less … [Read more...]

Slogger or Sprinter: What’s Your Work Style?

Have you ever castigated yourself for being inconsistent? Perhaps you, like me, can't sustain a process easily. You work for a while and then go fritter away some time. Then, later (sometimes a lot later) you come back to the task again. I've often criticized myself for not being able to stay focused on a task from beginning to end. And really, sometimes I'm extreme. If I'm writing something, after 15 minutes, when I get stuck, I sometimes go lie down! Recently, … [Read more...]

Are You a Member of the “Me Generation?”

I have joined the “ME generation.” I know that phrase is generally used to describe so-called Millennials — people now in their 20’s.  Samantha Raphelson, in her piece for the NPR New Boom series, cited them as “self-absorbed, self-centered, selfie-snapping-20-somethings.” Today’s 20-somethings are just stepping into adulthood. They may not have steady jobs. They sometimes seem uncaring in their independent and individualistic ways.  Many of them don’t have families to … [Read more...]

Life’s Third Third

I've reached a milestone. Today is my seventieth birthday. I'm in the midst of what some people have called the "third third" of life. For me, this third third is the very best! The stresses and strains of growing up are over. The challenges of building lasting relationships have eased. The anxiety and responsibilities that come with raising children have receded. And, most wonderfully, the need to prove yourself mostly evaporates. In this third third, it's easier to be … [Read more...]