Once again, it's time to Geek out on Groceries. If you want a great laugh (and of course some extremely insightful wisdom) check out this podcast from Financially-Blonde, where Shannon and the happy hour crew discuss food budgets and just how much pregnant women can eat (in a judgement free zone- kind of).
The last few weeks have been a little bit weird on the grocery front. I was travelling for business, so I pre-made a bunch of food for my husband and roommate. However, my husband volunteered at a construction camp for kids where he ate five dinners, and my roommate is either lazier than I thought or he started a diet before going home to his mom's cooking (this week), because the pre-made food is only half eaten. That being said, I still managed to go a little crazy on my return trip grocery shop, so my grocery expenditures are still in line with my long run average.
While I was on the business trip, I stayed with my parents rather than in a hotel, and I also ate their food (except for lunches which will mostly get comped). My son also ate their food. As did all my siblings, their children, and their significant others. In fact, my husband was the only member of the extended family who didn't accost my parents for the last week. We had a little impromptu family reunion since I was in town (only my little bro and little sister were planning to stay with my parents, but I guess my family revolves around me sometimes). Interestingly, my attempt to pay for even a few groceries was absolutely rebuffed by my parents. Even when I host them, they are loathe to let me pay, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the fact that cash was shoved in my wallet post shopping. Even Steven wrote an interesting post on the who pays conundrum a while back, it's worth checking out if your parents are like mine.
June Week 3- $57.29
This week, I flew across the country to help solve a work related problem. Normally, I work remotely, which is awesome, but sometimes in person interactions trump video conferencing. Anyhow, the problem largely boiled down to poor communication driven by organization changes. These types of problems haven't been so common until recently, so I am wondering if the organizational changes fundamentally altered my working culture or if this is just a small hiccup that is inevitable with change, and if the culture has changed, I'm wondering if I still like it or not.
Normally, when I hear people talk about work culture, they talk about friends and perks. I mean it's pretty sexy for people to talk about Google's free sushi, laundry, and company bikes. And of course, there are companies like Method where Ping Pong tournaments are encouraged.
Since I work remotely, things like ping pong tables, office snacks, and free coffee have no pull on me. And now that I'm married with a kid, a work culture where socializing outside of work is expected is an active detractor to me. On a side note, Wednesday's Wall Street Journal even had an interesting article discussed how great work cultures can crimp employee's personal life.
All this being said, I still consider work culture to be one a top priority during my working years. After all, I spend 8-10 hours per day working, so I better enjoy the culture that I'm working in.
What I want in my working culture
If you are like me, you can feel the palpable grief associated with the Charleston Mass Murder. The hate crime has stoked a regional grief that is honestly on par with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I am so grateful that the victim's families have shown an outpouring of forgiveness in the midst of their grief, but it does little to diminish the sadness of the hate crime.
In the midst of this grief, we are celebrating Father's Day. I for one, am thankful for the opportunity to honor the dads in my life who have taught me a lot about being sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. I am thankful for my heavenly father, who calls me his own child even though I fail daily to reflect his character. I am thankful for my grandfather, who taught me to hold the things of heaven tightly, and to hold this earth with a loose grip. He taught me a lot about marriage by the way that he has continued to love my grandma, through their many good years, and through these last several years of sickness and dementia.
I am thankful for my own dad, who loved me fiercely, and always took the time to enjoy time with me, to help me grow in character and wisdom, and who earnestly prayed for me every day of my life.
I am thankful for my husband, the father of my son. Becoming a father has caused him to grow and change in a way that I never knew was possible. He loves more deeply, he plans more thoughtfully, and he prays with an earnestness that I never saw before we had our son.
I think there is one common thread that I see in the dads in my life, and that is that they all would love to be a super hero in their kids lives, but they see that they cannot shield them from the world's troubles. Instead, they all work hard to instill a hope for eternity, a love for people now, and a distinct willingness to embrace the world now even in its brokenness.
This Father's day, the quote that encapsulates these dads is from Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. "There's a lot of ugly things in the world, son. I wish I could keep 'em all away from you. That's never possible." To the dads in my life who fight for justice, who love with abandon and yearn for an eternal hope that is imperishable and undefiled, thank you for being a dad! Happy Father's Day!
In high school, I played two sports that I classify as psychological opposites. I ran (distance), and I played tennis. I was a much more successful runner (as is evidenced by the fact that this was my collegiate sport), but I liked to play tennis a lot more (I think if I would have taken a year off after high school to only focus on tennis I probably could have played college tennis instead).
The most common links between personal finance and sport liken the appropriate financial mindset to the mindset of a distance runner (or a generically fit person). Which is to say, that the "competition" is mental, that the primary person you should be trying to beat is yourself, pacing is important, over training and under training are both going to hurt you, etc. To many people, the parallels between running and personal finance are obvious.
Actually the parallels are obvious to me too, but I hate running psychology. In a race, there is only one winner, and most of the time it wasn't me (by college it was never me). I hated walking up to the starting line and realizing that my best would not be good enough to win.
I ran with everything I had within me. I relied on my training, and I would go for broke at the end. Sometimes, I would vomit on the end line. When most runners crossed the finish line they looked at their wrist to check their time. I didn't run with a watch. A watch couldn't tell me what I already knew. I hadn't won.
One might expect that my attitude towards racing might improve over time, but it never did. If this is my attitude towards running, I think it's fair to say that if I view life or finances as a long race, then I will hate the journey and be disappointed by the outcome.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.